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.