WOW! Imagine a mountain of 213 Christmas gifts…each package wrapped with the special sparkle and cheerful colors of love, each glowing with the spirit of Christ’s message, “Whatsoever you do to these, the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.” That’s the picture of your gifts, your sacrifices from the 2010 fundraiser Christmas in July…and each day a few more gifts are added to the mountain. We’re almost half-way to the budget target and still many envelopes to be returned.
Seeds and tools and goats and chickens and piglets and, yes! a bull and a cow. Essential help for the villagers to help their hard work produce more food! 85 gifts for the Agriculture and Livestock problem; thank you for feeding the hungry. The Haitian man who helps us manage the agriculture and animal husbandry project is a jewel! His “day-job” is being a teacher. He volunteers to help the village evenings and weekends with agriculture/livestock. He has also been important in the leadership of micro-credit, but agriculture/livestock has become such a demanding schedule that he is spending all of his “spare time” on it. It’s another case where “no good deed goes unpunished”. Because he has done such a good job of coaching and guiding, the participants are seeing tremendous success…despite the setbacks from floods and earthquakes, their gardens are producing more, their livestock are healthier and producing more offspring. Consequently, more of their
neighbors want to join the program. The requests for training and assistance keep growing. He’s a glutton for punishment. Although already over the planned capacity, he says if we can provide the additional funding he will add more of the waiting villagers to the project.
We are building momentum for success!! With clean water, the villagers are not sick as much. Since they are not sick as much, they can spend more days working and planting and growing. As they are able to have more and healthier food, they are becoming stronger and healthier. Also, the kids are missing less school, learning more, etc. It is not an overnight transformation, but over years the results are showing!!
Medicine and medical supplies stacked high with 62 gifts. Thank you for healing the sick. When we were there in April, some of the older members of the group talked about how the “young folks” didn’t even remember when Boileau was just like the neighboring villages with no place to get help when their kids were sick…or when they were sick. The school provides the critical tools for continued progress by the villagers… 66 gifts to provide school supplies and school lunches…feeding both the bodies and minds of the children. Again, the transformation in overall vitality is amazing. Eight years ago, when we first saw the dilapidated structure they used for a school….poles with a tin roof and a few straw curtains for some shade…the school area had a low buzz of students dutiful repeating in a sing-song monotone after the teacher. During recess, groups of lethargic kids competed for a spot of shade to sit and stare vacantly. Now the school and school yard are bustling with active youngsters from sun-up to sun-down. We don’t need the doctor to tell us that the clean water and improved nutrition is transforming the village. We can see it and hear it as the kids act like kids!!
Based on the generous response to this phase of Christmas in July, we’ve pledged the villagers of Boileau that we will support the clinic, the school, micro-credit, agriculture, and village leadership programs during the next year. We are depending on your continued generosity through the “coin box” program scheduled for collection in October.