Tuesday, July 9, 2013

let the kids be kids

Back in April, I wrote about my visit to La Source. I went back to the village, a few weeks after the Life Ministries International team had returned to the States. I met with the village leaders, and discussed different ways that we could work together to clean up the village. I stressed that I was not going there to "tell them what they need to fix," but to merely ask how we could partner together to clean up La Source. Trash washes up on the beach daily, and the task of raking, sweeping, and cleaning the beaches and yards is no small task. Still, we felt like it was something that needed to be talked about. The village leaders expressed a desire to begin this work. They said that they wanted to be good stewards of what God has blessed them with. They wanted to teach their children about caring for their land and possessions, in response to the blessings God has given them. We discussed gathering and burning trash outside the village, and recycling plastic bottles. I left slightly overwhelmed about all the work ahead, but very thankful for our conversation and their eagerness to begin these plans. In June, another team returned to the village for a week of ministry. The villagers had already begun cleaning the beaches, and 4,800 plastic bottles had been collected and stored in the pastor's yard until we can set up correspondence with a recycling center on the mainland. These photos were taken:

The people of La Source continue to clean their yards and beaches, in response to the Lord and his work in their lives and among the people. They long to be good stewards of what they have, and to set an example to each other and surrounding villages. To reward the people of La Source for their efforts, and because we love them, a team in January will be building a community playground. We want this to be a gathering place for the people- where mothers can sit under a pavilion and knit together- through our knitting ministry as their children swing, climb, and are able to be children. We want it to be a safe place where they can gather, whether teams are there or not, and share in the joy of the children having a safe place to play, of having toys of their own, and of having the responsibility to maintain the site. 
The materials and transport of materials for this playground will be several thousand dollars. We will be buying our supplies from a Haitian store on the mainland, to support the Haitian economy. We are selling t shirts to help us raise the needed funds for this project. Please pray about how you can be a part of this amazing ministry to the Church, by going or sending. We believe that every child should get to BE a child, no matter where they live. Through this ministry, we build lasting relationships and are able to advance the Gospel and encourage the local church. 

If you are interested in joining our January team, please email me at laurenegilpin@gmail.com. 

This is the t shirt design: the left picture is the front chest, and the right is the back. 

Shirts are $20. All proceeds go directly to the purchase and shipment of playground materials. If you would like to purchase a t-shirt, you can do so by emailing me your size and shipment info at lasourceplayground@gmail.com if you'd like to send a check or give me the money in person. If you would like to purchase a shirt online, you can do so with the PayPal link below.
Peace & Blessings!