Sunday, June 26, was an eventful day. It began with a special celebration in the church to close the 2015-2016 work year and bid farewell to Samuel and Bonita. All of our staff were there, as well as the church family and some special guests.
Grann, Asela, and Frè Jacques are all handicapped in some way, which makes them unable to attend church. Samuel and Bonita really wanted them to be there for this special occasion. Bonita and Thony picked each of them up in the Land Rover and brought them to the service. Asela arrived as we were singing the opening songs. The joy was shining from her face, and she danced down the aisle as she was led to her seat (she is blind).
(Grann is seated with the cane. Asela is sitting on the bench in front of her.)
Cupidon came from Port-au-Prince bringing a few other visitors to join us. He opened the service for us with prayer.
Thony requested a short leave from his internship so that he could be with us for the celebration. He shared a brief message out of Joshua 1:9.
We assembled a choir to sing two special songs for the occasion. The first states:
I am happy to serve the King! I am so happy, yes, so happy! I have surpassing peace and joy when I am serving the Greatest King.
Each of our directors gave a short speech reviewing the year, thanking their staff, and saying a few words to Samuel and Bonita, who had specially reserved seats for the service.
(Almaïs, the School Director)
(Jinel, the Hospitality Director)
(Lenique, the Development Administrator–Samuel was the Director.)
And of course, there was some fun too! Manis invited Samuel and Bonita up for a little dance in front of everybody.
And he surprised everyone into laughter by coming out in this outfit…
…Samuel’s old work clothes!
Thony was full of his own surprises too! Not only did he come with gifts for Samuel and Bonita, he also presented Lemuel with a plaque honoring our 20 years of investing in lives, including his own.
During the service, we honored a special employee as well. Regilien has been working steadily for Lemuel since 2004, and has been involved in most of the development work since then. He works hard without complaining and is always ready at a minute’s notice. As a token of our appreciation for his years of faithful service as an employee, Lemuel will assist him and his family in building a block home next year.