Tag Archive: school


What we’ve been up to lately…

The last month has consisted of a trip to the states to share about what God’s doing with Respire Haiti, returning back to amazing building progress on our Secondary school and much more with our school and other projects!!

Since it’s SO much to write about I figured some pictures would do a better job at telling about the month of November!!

Had the amazing opportunity to speak in front of numerous groups and churches about what God has done and is doing in Haiti.

In Nashville, TN with the AMAZING 147 ladies during the fundraiser that they put on for Respire Haiti’s Medical Center! Blessed to know these beautiful women of God 🙂

 

Respire Haiti Christian Schools first ever FIELD DAY! Fun day of games, races and more! 🙂 The children LOVED it and so did we!!!

 

Every Friday at Respire Haiti Christian School is MOVIE DAY for a special class. This picture is from 3rd grade and they had PERFECT attendance for a whole week…40 children (I know HUGE CLASS) but 40 out of 40 were present EVERY DAY for a week!!!

Thanks to an amazing team, we have playground equipment! Swings, Monkey Bars and Tether Balls!! SO exciting to see the children play at recess and after school! BIG Thanks to Mr. George, Mr. Paul and Mandy!!!

One of Respire Haiti Christian School’s Soccer Team warming up!

Secondary School…SO close to being finished! Block is done and the roof will be going up soon! 4 more classrooms almost finished, which will mean a total of 14…FOURTEEN classes on Bellevue Mountain 🙂

What our Secondary School will look like soon! Beautiful design by Kyle Fishburn!

We are SO blessed by all that God is doing here in Gressier, and we are CONSTANTLY reminded of HIS vision here for Respire Haiti.  Thank you for your support, encouragement and most importantly your PRAYERS! 🙂

The following link is to our Holiday Gift Catalog, if you are looking for a way to support Respire Haiti OR give gifts on behalf of friends or family, please visit our Gift Catalog to see how you can support us by buying things like shinguards, blocks, shoes, medicine, books and more for our children here in Gressier!  Thank you! 🙂

Remembering Haiti…

This week we remembered the earthquake that happened 2 years ago…a day that changed so many people’s lives…there is no way to adequately describe the journey, or roller coaster really, that so many of these men, women and children have been on here in Haiti.

The National Palace in Port au Prince.

There is no way that the community of Gressier that was so badly hit by the earthquake and experienced so much pain can forget January 12, 2010…their wounds are deep, they are still hurting and for some their scars are on the outside…but one thing that I realized this past Monday as I celebrated one year since I moved to Gressier, is that God is continuing to bring healing, positive change and encouragement to this community.

January 9, 2012 marked the official first day of Respire Haiti Christian School on Bellevue Mountain…

Words cannot describe the joy in seeing my 1st-6th grade children walk 2 by 2 up to Bellevue Mountain leaving behind their packed, one room church classroom and outside tarps and benches…

As they made the short walk up Bellevue Mountain…the excitement in their step and joy in their faces was unforgettable…

When they made it to the school they were prayed over by teachers and staff…

Then they prayed for each other and the next semester ahead….

They got excited to be seated in their new classrooms (still missing some benches) but happy to finally have a room of their own…

Our 3rd grade class (lacking some benches which were still being worked on) but happy to be in their new classroom!

Beautiful Bellevue Mountain.  FINALLY a place for them to play that is NOT surrounded by rebar sticking out or crumbled buildings and rubble…

But instead has plenty of room for them to run, laugh and play soccer (even if it is with a water bottle).

Tears of JOY welled up in my eyes as I took a deep breath and saw what God can accomplish when we are obedient…I thought of the times of unknown and how he showed up…I thought of the times where I didn’t even know if I would have enough money to buy groceries…I thought of the time when God told me HIS plans for this community…

Thank you to all who thought of Haiti this week, THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and is supporting Respire Haiti financially, with prayer, encouragement or visits which made this first building possible!  We are almost finished with our water cistern and beginning our depot and Kindergarten building now!  The children of Gressier and I are forever grateful for this life changing opportunity to see God so BOLDLY at work in our community.  THANK YOU.

There is no way I can even begin to put into words what God has done in my life in 2011…but I will try with few words, and many pictures 🙂

After starting Respire Haiti in November 2010 and meeting Michaelle in December of 2010, God guided my path to Bellevue Mountain in Gressier.  Moving to Gressier, Haiti on January 9, 2011 I had no idea what I would be doing…

The only tree on Bellevue Mountain

Over the past 8 months, Respire Haiti has purchased over 3 acres of land to build a school, library, pavilion, medical clinic and more…

Our recently acquired land, the top of Bellevue Mountain.

Respire Haiti Christian School started in a one room church in January 2011 with 97 children…with no uniforms, books, school supplies or even desks…

Students in March 2011

Ricardo using a chair as a desk, March 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we have over 350 students…with uniforms, books, school supplies, breakfast every morning and more!  For the first half of the year we continued to meet in the one room church, outside of the church and in another nearby location.  Respire Haiti Christian School will start 1st-6th grade in a new building on Wednesday January 4th, 2012!

Students in October 2011

We have seen children transformed by the opportunity to go to school…

Vanessa when I first met her in March of 2011

Vanessa now enrolled in Kindergarten at our school.

Taken out of situations of Restavek and other working environments…

Florencia during a school day last spring before she was enrolled in Respire Haiti Christian School.

And put into environments of learning…

2nd year Kindergarten painting with Water Color

 

 

 

We have seen how quickly things can happen in Haiti when it is GOD’s Plan…

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

 

Hallway of first finished 6 classroom building, opening on Wednesday January 4, 2012 for 1st-6th grade.

 

Our first Community Activity was in January of 2011 with just over 70 children…

Now we have two community activities (feeding programs) every Saturday which feeds more than 700 children…

La Colline Feeding

 

We’ve also seen God’s hand move in amazing ways, through the closer of Son of God orphanage after 11 months of fighting for the freedom of these trafficked, abused and neglected orphans…

Son of God Orphanage

And though the fight for justice is not yet over for these children from Son of God Orphanage, the majority of them have been taken out of a situation where they were being abused, starved and neglected.  Praying that God continues to do BIG things in 2012 for these children and the justice they deserve.

 

 

 

And lastly, I have gone from not even thinking about being a MOM to being the Mommy to two beautiful girls who have changed my life forever.

Michaelle (8), Megan, and Jessica (4.5)

THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed, donated and believed in the vision that God has given me for Bellevue Mountain and the children of Gressier, Haiti.

A special thank you to our American builder, Kyle Fishburn, without him we might still be meeting outside under a tree 😉 and to Bernard Joseph, our Haitian backbone/superman that helps us get things done fast and right!

Kyle (aka Kyle the Builder, KTB) pointing out his ideas for the ceiling of the school, and probably teaching me some building techniques and construction lingo as well!

Happy New Year to All and please continue to follow our next endeavor of our 4 classroom Kindergarten as well as our two-story Library and Computer Lab!

Walking in his shoes…

The needs of this country are hard to see everyday.  Death is hard to see.  Hunger is hard when it knocks at your gate every day.  Poverty is hard when they are your physical neighbors.

But for me, the hardest part of every day is seeing children at home, washing dishes or clothes, cooking, cleaning or just doing nothing in the middle of the day when they should be in school.

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Walking to the mountain again, mid morning, I met him along the way.  Barefoot, in an oversized t-shirt, smiling big and telling me Good Morning, there was little John.  As he followed behind me keeping his distance, I stopped on the top of Bellevue Mountain and turned around.  I asked how he was and as he looked at the ground and kicked a piece of rebar he said, “Pa pi Mal.”  Meaning, not too bad.

I’d never seen him before so I asked his name and then introduced myself, before I could even finish, “My name…” He looked up at me and said, “I know you, You’re Megan!” and smiled, his deep brown eyes still looking at the ground.

As I saw his bare feet, torn t-shirt and skinny figure, I knew the answer, but I asked him anyway, “Are you in school?”

For the first time in our conversation, he lifted his eyes from the ground and said loudly, “No.”  I went on to ask him some more questions about his schooling and family.

Trying to hide my heartbreak for an 11-year-old boy living with “family” members who can’t afford to put him in school.   I could tell that he didn’t have a voice, that he didn’t have someone telling him to brush his teeth or go to bed or telling him I Love You.

As we talked a bit longer, I began praying vigorously for the next step.  It seems easy right?  But, Respire Haiti Christian School is FILLED to capacity.  We have over 360 children now.  We have already started talking with our builder about adding classrooms, we’ve talked with the teachers about hiring assistants and splitting some classes.  We know that we cannot just keep stuffing children into our school, just as important as them BEING in school is them having the ability to successfully LEARN in our school.

The truth is that it is so extremely difficult to walk to my school being built on Bellevue Mountain, not because it’s strenuous or far away, but because without a doubt, every single time, I meet more children who are not in school.  My heart breaks and feels heavy, my mind starts jumping through hoops counting up the number enrolled in each class in my head and it is so hard.

I could see John’s eyes pleading with me, and I could feel the Lord just saying Yes, so I looked at him and said that I would come to his house and speak with his caregivers so he could come to our school.  He lit up and immediately and I just heard Christ’s words pouring into my heart….

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

I could see John’s appeal in his eyes.  I could hear his appeal in His voice.

I know God is bigger than squishy classrooms, that He knows how many children He is enrolling in our school.  That HE is and will continue to work out the details and everything else…He reminds me of this constantly…

Yesterday as I was picking up Michaelle and Jessica from school I ran into one of my neighbors who was picking up his children, all three of them.  As we all walked home together he began pouring his heart out saying that he had his children in another school before the earthquake, but as he lost his house, his job and as the prices for the other school rose to an outrageous amount last year he had to take them out.  He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Without you, without this school, my children would be at home not learning, I thank God for you every day.  Please know, that WE are with You.”  He then wiped his eyes and said, “God Bless You.”

I looked at him and all I could murmur back was, “God Bless you too.”

Standing outside of the gate to my house I was in shock.  My mind was racing, not about how nice that was, or how he said some sweet things.  My mind was racing about how BIG our God isHow BIG He is to know that He would get me to Gressier.  How BIG that He set up every step, every skill, every connection…all the way to get me to this point of building a school.

God is moving, and He is moving fast and His vision is BIG.  We have just been offered by the city of Gressier to buy, Yes, BUY, the top of Bellevue Mountain.  If we buy this, that means we will have almost 4 acres total of land on this beautiful mountain, and this will be a wonderful amount of space to expand Respire Haiti Christian School to fulfill the vision God has for it.

What’s amazing, is that the whole top of the mountain is being sold to us for 50% of the price because the city loves what Respire Haiti is doing and wants us to continue to build in this community.  For $45,000 we will buy just over another acre of land.  Other individuals and organizations have inquired about it, but the magistrates and judges have given us the first choice in hopes that we will buy it for these children. Even though this is a scary endeavor, buying more land, God is moving all of our hearts towards, YES and TRUST ME with this!

If you would like to support us in this purchase, please visit, Respire Haiti

Thank you for journeying with us through this as we are constantly reminded, All things are possible for him who believes.

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