LOVE IN ACTION: Nurturing The Faith of a Child

February may be considered the month of love, but we cannot resist sharing the LOVE our heroes on the ground show ALL throughout the year! But in honor of Valentine’s Day, we spotlight a specific hero for our LOVE IN ACTION Blog! 

LOVE IN ACTION: Nurturing the faith of a child

Jesus says, “…whoever takes the lowly position of this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name, welcomes me.”

Matthew 18:3-5

The faith of a child refers to the fact that Jesus is asking us to let go of what we think we control and fully trust in Him. In society, children have no authority over anyone else. Christ is asking us to surrender to His authority humbly. Pas Jacqueline, despite all the current circumstances of Haiti that have thrown at him and his family, continues to lay aside his own will and surrender to Christ’s call on his life. One specific way is by welcoming the children of Peredo and the surrounding communities, in the name of Jesus, to engage in a three-day retreat on the Peredo Campus. 

Each year, the schools around the country close for up to a week in observation. To provide an alternative to the large crowd festivities, yet still engage children in the history of Carnival (or kanaval as it’s written in Haitian Creole). This historic celebration has evolved over the decades, becoming a national holiday and Haiti’s most important cultural event. 

Starting with pre-kanaval in January and the main festivities in February each year, the atmosphere can be described as that of massive street parties in which organized groups of bands and performers dress in colorful costumes used to signify specific events in Haiti’s history, hold political meaning, and for some, inspire change. Originally, kanaval “…started during the colonial period in the bigger cities such as Port-au-Prince, Cap-Haïtien, and Jacmel. At that time, the enslaved people were not allowed to participate. French slave owners wanted to deprive the people of as much as possible, particularly things associated with the lifestyle of Haiti’s white, slave-owning elite. However, the enslaved people staged their own mini-carnivals in their backyards and areas.” Learn more about Carnival here.

With the help of our campus staff, Pas Jacqueline planned many activities to keep the kiddos entertained and engaged! Hosting this retreat provided a safe and structured environment while school was not in session. They could play ALL day in a Christ-centered environment instead of being at risk on the streets. Activities included hide and seek, singing, jump rope, basketball, soccer, and crafts. They also learned to bake a cake and pâtés (a Haitian puff pastry with different fillings such as spicy ground beef). 

Over the three days, Pas Jacqueline invited the children to participate in a devotional focused on three specific points. This year, the focus of the devotion was centered around the following: 

  1. Forgiveness 
  2. Morals and Values
  3. The history of Mardi Gras/Carnival

In the name of Jesus, the Peredo campus welcomed 75 kids for the retreat! The members of the Emmanuel Christian Church were able to provide a meal and refreshments to all who attended. Thanks to partners like YOU, Pas Jacqueline and the Peredo Campus are nurturing the faith of the children of their communities! If you are giving or previously given to the disaster relief fund to assist with purchasing food items, this is just one of the many opportunities your gift partnered with our heroes on the ground! This is LOVE IN ACTION; this is doing something in Haiti that will last. THANK YOU!