Serving with Joy
By Karleigh Bloomer
It is a beautiful morning in Haiti as we bounce on bumpy back roads on the Mission’s ATV through the Ouest mountains to a Baptist Haiti Mission sponsored school. The sun is shining as school children dressed in colorful uniforms are talking and laughing together as they walk to school. There is a cool mountain breeze blowing, motorcycles are zipping by blaring loud Haitian music, and people are bustling about as they continue in their daily activities. As we drive through the mountainside, we look out to see the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen, and these mountains are both breathtaking and innumerable. The word “Haiti” means “the land of the mountains” after all. We are headed to take annual school pictures of the students for the Child Sponsorship Program.
As we arrive at the school, curious children peek their head out of their classrooms to see what is happening and sweet shouts of “Bonjou!” or “Good morning!” soon follow. We talk to the school’s administrators and teachers and give them the students’ papers. Not long after, students file out of their classrooms with their documents ready to get their picture taken. Some are shy to smile while others are very quick to crack a big grin. One by one we take their pictures and then say our goodbyes as we get back in the ATV to travel back the BHM campus.
As an intern here at Baptist Haiti Mission, I have had the joy and privilege of being part of the Child Sponsorship Program and specifically taking and editing the annual school photos. These photos are what we put on their annual report cards that we send to their sponsors and on new photo cards if the child still needs to be sponsored.
I’ve also had the honor of getting to know and invest in some students that are benefiting from the BHM’s Child Sponsorship Program. They go to a BHM sponsored school nearby and live on the BHM’s campus where I also live, usually because one of their parents work for the BHM. I practice my Creole with them, laugh with them, explore with them, and hopefully display the gospel of Jesus Christ in my words and actions to them. Getting to know them has been my favorite thing by far about my time here at the Baptist Haiti Mission.
Education is not promised in Haiti. However, for over 30 years, BHM’s Child Sponsorship program has been impacting the lives of thousands of children all over Haiti through helping with medical expenses, books, uniforms, and an overall life change through Jesus Christ. The BHM’s Christian education system seeks to develop the spiritual, physical, and mental well being of each child.
Every time we drive on those bumpy back roads through the beautiful Haitian mountainside, I have a lot of time to think and reflect. And almost every time, I am quietly brought to tears as I cannot help but be in awe of the Lord and thank Him for giving me the opportunity to be apart of what He is doing through the Child Sponsorship ministry for my good and His glory.