Over Christmas Break (and New Year’s Baskets, Part 1)

The Christmas Program

This year’s Christmas party committee worked tirelessly to design an innovative program that would appeal to and involve as many members of the community as wanted to participate.

There were skits (done in true Haitian style) about the true meaning of Christmas…

(the cast for one of the skits)

One of the students from Lemuel’s school read the Christmas story out of Luke, and Thony presented a brief Christmas message.

Their were tons of games for all ages, only a few of which I was able to capture in photos.

The prizes for the winners ranged from brightly wrapped gifts to special “gift cards.”

One of the gift cards was for a free meal at Tes et Fils after the program.  The other gift card was for a free goat! During hurricane Matthew, many people lost livestock, so the “goat gift cards” were a great way to give some families a boost. Each member of the winning four-man team for the game below won a goat.

There were trivia questions…

…and special music…

…and energetic Christmas carols…

…and a traditional-style, gift-giving dance.

New Year’s Eve Service and Food Baskets

School vacation times always provide unique opportunities to work with and invest in our youth.  Its also a fun reunion as those who are attending school in other cities or in the D.R. come back to the Plateau.  They immediately begin participating in various work around Lemuel while regular staff are on vacation.

This year, Manis put the youth in charge of the New Year’s Eve service in the church.  They did an excellent job.

While the service was going on, the youth were also entrusted with a surprise.  All of those attending were to be given a gift of a food “basket” after the service (they were not told this in advance).

While Thony and some others wrapped up the service, the rest of the youth were quickly separating the food into family portions.

Manis announced the surprise at the end of the service and then handed things over to Mezou, who was responsible to separate the crowd into family groups and direct the distribution.

One member representing each family passed through the line for a full basket’s worth of provisions.

Then, all the individuals remaining–mostly children and youth–were each given one item out of what was left–either a bag of flour or a bag of spaghetti, oil, tomato paste, etc.