Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

 First, Miquette came to town! Our dear friend, fellow Quisqueya teacher, and the founder of TeacHaiti spent a week in Dallas speaking about her amazing organization and drumming up new sponsors.  We had a little party at our house where she met the Carters.
Next we headed to Vacation Bible School, where this team worked to communicate to kids the importance of sharing the love of Jesus by meeting needs around the world.
Kids and adults from the church conducted a change drive and raised thousands of dollars- every penny goes to educational sponsorships through TeacHaiti.
On the last day the VBS kids made a coloring book for TeacHaiti students. Each image is labeled with English and Kreyol, helping the TeacHaiti kids to learn English vocab.
 I spent time with my beloved future sister-in-law, and met my puppy-in-law Benny :)
We traveled to Austin to celebrate the wedding of Luke and Colette!
 The next week we headed to Mt. Lebanon for children's camp. This is my 9th year at this camp, always with 5th grade girls. I adore this week each year, and it is very spiritually nourishing while also very challenging. I learn a lot about conflict resolution, parenting, and teaching.
 Ben and I sported our Prezidan Martelly shirts on neon glow-in-the-dark night at children's camp. Tet Kale!
 I loved my 5th grade Ladybugs!
 Harry Potter at midnight with Kelsey. Sigh. The end.
 We danced all night as Laura became Mrs. Elmore in Dallas!
 The dance floor was a-rockin' at Laura and John's wedding.
 Members of my Baylor prayer group, the Tribe, traveled from seven cities to celebrate Sarah and Sergio's engagement in New Orleans. It was a precious, tender time together with lots of prayer, tears, laughs, and over 24 hours in the car :)
 My mom invited her new friend Olivia over for dinner and froyo. Olivia is an international student from Taiwan in Dallas for graduate school. My mom is her sponsor/friend/English helper through a program at church. Olivia's boyfriend and sister joined us. I have loved learning from her.

Whew. I promise we have rested much more than last summer. We head back to Haiti in less than two weeks. I feel lots of things at once.

Katie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

DEADLINE THIS WEEK!

Ok, it's really here- last chance to sponsor a little Haitian child for a year of school through TeacHaiti. Our last post gave all the details, including exactly what the money goes to and the addresses/links for giving. At this point, Paypal is preferred since it is faster. (Note: if you want to give to TeacHaiti, please don't use the Paypal link on our blog- that money goes to our support, not to TeacHaiti)

$350 to change a child's life forever. I promise it can be found in your budget.

Katie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TeacHaiti Deadline Is This Week




Dear friends and Haiti-lovers,

You've heard us talk a million times about TeacHaiti: an educational sponsorship program that provides school for the poorest of the poor kids in Haiti. For $350 a year, you can sponsor a sweet little kid to have daily hot lunch, tuition, books, uniforms, shoes, school supplies, immunizations, doctor visits, etc. etc. The 220 kids go to school in neighborhood private schools (free public schools basically don't exist in Haiti), except for about 70 of them in grades 1-4 who attended the new TeacHaiti School of Hope just down the street from Ben and I (and Quisqueya where we teach) in Port-au-Prince. Miquette Denie is the founder, and she is our friend and is generally everybody's hero. Yes, you've heard this all before.

Each year there are dozens and dozens of new applicants! Lots of kids in line for an opportunity of a lifetime like this. Each year Miquette and her team have to wade through the applications and select the kids who will be accepted.

How many spots will be open for next year? Well, that depends on you, to be frank.

The deadline for sponsors to send in their $350 is July (in the next week, I believe) so that Miquette can see how many sponsors she will have, and accept the right amount of kids into her program.

Yesterday I sent in my check to sponsor Sarah again. Remember Sarah? She has an entire category of posts in the list of tags at right ->. In the same envelope my parents sent their check to sponsor Woudjina again. She'll be moving on to fourth grade this year, because of my parents.

Are you thinking about sponsoring? Can you find $350? Can your Sunday School class or small group? Your office? Your Bible study/book club/ mom's group/ PTA? How about your child's youth group, or their class? Soccer team?

As a word of challenge, two weeks ago I watched as children from age 4 to 12 at the church where I grew up raised over $4,000 in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Surely we can do the same with grown up incomes.

A 3rd grade girl said she broke her piggy bank and gave TeacHaiti all that was in it. Twenty six dollars. An older boy gave the $40 he had been saving for a video game. (I really hope his parents bought it for him! If I were his mother I'd be mush at that kind of generosity and would probably buy him two or something!)

If you're thinking about sponsoring, this is the final week or two for this next school year. Please forward this around- every $350 will literally change a child's life. We're not talking about giving a kid a stuffed animal here- they will eat and learn to read, or they will not.

Checks can be made out to TeacHaiti and mailed to:
TeacHaiti
PO Box 1173
Detroit Lakes, MN 56502-1173

There is a form that can be printed and sent along with your donation. The form is here. Make sure to note whether you want your donation to go toward operations or a child sponsorship.

Paypal donations can be made at http://teachaiti.org/.

Katie

Monday, July 11, 2011

CHILDREN'S CAMP

There is simply no other way to title this post than in all caps. Children's Camp is the most high volume week of the year. And my favorite :)

16 5th grade girls. 4 counselors. 150 other kids from our church..... let's go. Here's what I did last week:
The 5th grade girls are named the Ladybugs. Each year two boys are honorary Ladybugs- Ben and Mark.
Getting their ladybug headbands at the church.
Ben and I at the Alpine Tower! Please note the height of this structure, as in a moment you'll see me waaaay up on top of it.
Ben on Whiteout Night. Does your children's camp have a rave? I highly recommend adding it to the schedule.
(PS The theme was about light and darkness this year.... thus, the glow-in-the-dark party)
(PPS Please note Ben's Prezidan Martelly shirt)
Ben and some fellow counselors with their camplings.
Two of my ladybugs.
Silly faces at the Zipline Tower.
Me at the top of the Alpine Tower!
Meredith and Jennifer.
All our nametags and headbands while we did the Zip Tower.
Beautiful Nicole, co-counselor.
Amazing Olivia, our flower girl, who gets to come to camp because her daddy leads worship and makes our video.
Pippa, Elizabeth, Emily

Trey's camp tradition: Sharpies and a mohawk.
The Plunge!
My ladybugs :)

All photo credits go to the brilliant team at Everitt

It was a fabulous week. It was my 9th year to do this camp, always with 5th grade girls. I accepted Christ there when I was a 5th grader. I started dating my fellow 5th grade counselor named Ben when I was a senior in high school there. It's deep in my heart.

Ben and I got home at noon on Saturday. Ben left again at 2:30 for Youth Camp, which begins today. He is going to be a family group leader (with our friend Phil- the one with the beard in the pic of the male counselors and boys in zipline harnesses), in charge of Bible study, recreation spirit, and love for about 12 kids in 7-12th grade. His team name is Cinnamon! Pray for him this week and for salvation and life change for the teenagers he's with.

Katie

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