Christmas for Haiti was a big success and could not have happened without you.  Charles Seraphin, the team leader for the program, wanted to make sure to thank you all, for not only helping, but for entirely making this Christmas program possible. Because of YOU, who made cash donations or who purchased One Mission products, choosing 40% of your purchase to go towards ‘Christmas for Haiti’, hundreds of Haitian people were able to learn about the birth of Jesus, eat a warm, nutritious meal, receive gifts, such as sandals, toys, cloths, and notebooks for school.  The people were so happy to be there, and so GRATEFUL to be able to participate and they certainly felt the love.  They all send their love right back to you.  So, THANK YOU. kids with gifts

If you’re curious as to what this program entails… It’s quite a bit of effort (all worth it, of course!). First of all, several trips were made into Port-au-Prince.  (Haiti’s capital and considered the ‘big city’ and where you’ll find the bigger markets to purchase things in bulk).   Keep in mind that most Haitians do not own cars and rely heavily on motos and tap taps.  (Think taxi’s, although on a moto, you’re riding on the back of a small motorcycle and a tap tap is a truck with benches in the back end, used to carry lots of people at once to and from wherever they need to go.)  So, they have to schedule a ‘driver’ and make the trip into the city.  They gather all the supplies they can and then make as many trips as it takes in order to get all that they need for the program.  Once they were able to gather all the supplies they needed, there were many late nights, organizing what food and gifts to take to what location, not to mention preparing all the food that needed to be cooked.

On Monday, December 22nd, a small team and three donkeys were saddled up with gifts and food and were sent up to the mountain village of Nicola.  The Christmas celebration started that next morning on the 23rd. The people were very excited and gave the team a happy welcome.  The team saw many of the same faces from last year’s program, but there were many new faces as well.

Christmas Eve was spent back at home, re-grouping, re-packing and organizing for the program in Digue Proby on Christmas Day.

On Thursday, December 25th, the cooks were up bright and early at 4am, preparing and cooking the chicken.   It was beautiful day, and the team all met at 10am to pray before the driver arrived and they loaded up for the trip to Digue Proby. As they got closer to the village, they learned that the main road crossing the river to get to the church was bad and could not be driven on. The food and gifts needed to be unloaded from the vehicle and hand-carried over the river. However, they got a joyful greeting from everyone upon their arrival at the church. There were lots of new faces. Charles said it was amazing to see the kids’ faces light up while accepting their gifts, and a man named, Loranzo, said ‘Thank you to God for his new sandals – that he been without a sandal for few weeks.”

By 2:30 pm that day they arrived at the Homeless Shelter. Charles said the number was small (36), but that many more would be back in the evening and they were going to save the food and all eat together before bedtime.  However, during the time they were there, they prayed with the people and passed out gifts and retold the Christmas story. Many had heard about Christmas but for most, this was the first time they had ever celebrated the day. They were very quiet, but polite and grateful.

So, all in all, people came — hundreds of people came — and for all sorts of reasons… for food, for gifts, simply for fellowship, they came to learn about Jesus.  As much joy and happiness that the food and gifts brought, the majority of the people were most happy simply to learn more about God, and the story of Jesus’ birth. For some it rekindled their faith, and others decided whole-heartedly to follow Christ from that point on.  God is so much greater than any of us could ever image. So here we think we are going to be like Santa in Haiti, but little did we think or know that our God would use this program to change peoples’ lives and put them on a path centered on Christ.  And that, my friends, makes me happiest of all.

To quote Charles, “We must give the people of Haiti hope, for God is great and can do wonderful things.”  Yes, yes he can.  charles with thank you sign