Some Christmas Joy … And a Dream Come True

December 16, 2012 | 15 comments

A big white truck pulled onto the schoolyard, while Haitian children in matching yellow shirts craned their necks to see what had been delivered.

These children have come to expect good things at their school: uniforms and shoes and backpacks and one good meal every day.

And now, this wonderful Christmas surprise —

Someone put a hand on the latch of the truck, and swung opened the doors. Haitian sunlight poured in, and hundreds of schoolchildren cheered and chanted: “Li jwet! Li jwet!” Which means, “It’s for play!” “It’s for play!”



Friends, You did this! You, with the generous hearts. You, with the prayers. You, with the love poured out toward our Haitian brothers and sisters!

Lydia had a dream to build a playground in Simonette, Haiti, by selling ViBella Jewelry. Orders came in from Texas and California and Canada … and right here in our own neighborhood. We were overwhelmed with your generosity.  In one month, about $6,000 was raised for the playground.

Kayla, our missionary-friend in Haiti who helps run the school, said that the equipment was purchased from a small, family-run business in Haiti. The pieces of play equipment — slides, swings, jungle gyms and more — were fabricated by hand out of metal, and then painted.

“It is seriously beautiful!!” Kayla wrote to us yesterday. We couldn’t agree more.

During Lydia’s fundraising effort, little sister Anna came to me, asking what she could do to help the Haitian children. “I love Haiti, too, Mommy,” she told me. So, that week, we started a smaller, quieter fundraiser to raise money for a basketball court next to the playground. We made soy candles, selling them at local craft fairs. To date, we have nearly raised the full $2,000, thanks to the generosity of local friends and family.

We are excited to go to Haiti in January to play on the equipment, and to meet the children we sponsor at the school, to pray with their families, and to do any other work that Kayla has for us.

Here’s a short video message from the girls:



Also, the Sioux City Journal published a story in Sunday’s paper about the new playground and basketball court. You can find that story here. 

You can find Kayla’s report here on her blog.

by | December 16, 2012 | 15 comments


  1. Carol Hulin

    Woot woot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lydia’s heart must be bursting with joy….this was good news today….thank you 🙂

  2. Marlys Etter

    Very, very cool!!!

  3. Lisa Auter

    tears of joy. the wonder of children and the miracles that are performed on behalf of their sweet hearts. tears of joy.

  4. Sylvia R

    So good to see this, and hear this good news!

  5. Leah Adams

    Well done, Lydia and Anna. Jesus is so pleased with you.

  6. Jillie

    Dear Jennifer…This was so lovely and touching for me. To see your bright-eyed, Jesus-loving girls so excited about the joy they’ve given to all those Haitian children! It seems bittersweet to me, when I think of all those wee ones in Newtown. The potential lost in those dear children. Your girls brought tears to my eyes. And I’m thanking God.

  7. ro.ellott

    first of all…those girls are too adorable…rejoicing with all…God is so good~

  8. Linda Worden

    What a fabulous way to share Jesus’ love and generosity! Your daughters are real bright, Christmas joy lights with their bubbling enthusiasm and wide smiles. It is such a huge blessing to read about, see and hear how God is at work in and through you and your family. Big hug to you dear friend.

  9. melissa moser

    Wonderful news! Praying those children will remember & appreciate this gift from such a caring child and that they will always remember the greatest gift of all comes from knowing our Savior! Merry Christmas!

  10. Margaret

    love the photos! can see joy radiating in them

  11. Holley Gerth

    Looking forward to more God-sized dreaming with you in 2013, friend! 🙂

  12. Ann Barkel

    Dear Lydia and Anna,
    I am so proud of you both for stepping out in faith and being willing servants who would work hard for God’s children. You , and everyone around you, have seen His Hand at work through you. What an awesome thing! I love your beautiful smiles and those huge hearts you have! I’ll be praying for you, your safety, your mission, and your trip.
    Merry Christmas!

  13. SimplyDarlene

    a rainbow!

    a promise.
    & His big love.

  14. Dolly@Soulstops

    Wow… Lydia and Anna…thanks for following God’s lead…you both are inspiring 🙂


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