Posted: 3/2/18 at 2:00pm. Column by Rhonda Evans.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the children at the Source of Light Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti!
In late December, our mission team from West Lynchburg Baptist Church visited Source of Light to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with the children and staff at there. We were greeted with smiles and hugs in anticipation of the fun-filled week ahead.
The Christmas celebration included lots of music, crafts, games, and laughter. The Christmas story was read in both English and Creole. Together, we gave thanks to God for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
All the children received a stocking filled with toiletry items, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, tissues, as well as water bottles, sunglasses, and pencils. A special gift was also given to each child. The younger boys were each given a Transformer, the younger girls were given Barbies with fun accessories, and the two youngest girls were given a baby doll.
We took the older children to a store so that they could pick out a gift that they wanted for Christmas. They were so excited to go because most of them had never been in a store before. The boys quickly selected new tennis shoes, paid for them, and, just like American boys, stood at the door waiting for the girls. The girls had to look at everything and finally settled on shirts and pants. One of the highlights of the day for them was trying on their clothes in the dressing rooms.
The most special gift that the children received were the cards and letters from their sponsor families. They were so excited to read them and it was obvious that these cards and letters were treasured possessions. Over and over, we heard the word, “Mesi!” Thank you.
Our New Year’s celebration was also full of excitement. In Haiti, New Year’s Day is also Freedom Day because on January 1, 1804, Haiti gained its independence. Christians in Haiti welcome the New Year by giving thanks to God.
Our team and the children at the center joined the church at Source of Light (Eglise Baptiste de Dieu) for worship at 10 pm on New Year’s Eve. The music and worship was powerful, expressive, and an experience that we will never forget. It was pure worship of our God. Pastor Willy shared a message of God’s faithfulness, “Paske Bondye Fidel”, “Because God is Faithful.”
The service lasted until well after midnight but the celebration continued all night. The morning would bring the traditional pumpkin soup for the children as our team headed home.
Thank you so much for loving and supporting these children. Bondye beni ou! God bless you!
The Source of Light Center is the school and orphanage that Virginia Baptists helped Haitian Baptists begin after the 2010 earthquake. Want to help? Click here for more information. You can also read the following articles to learn more: