- Jeff Rynning
Haiti Blog #5 | "Hi, My Name Is..."
Today, rather than going through a list of everything we did, I want you to meet the students that we are interacting with each day. We spent our entire day today at one of WWV’s schools interviewing kids who are in need of sponsorship and got to know them and some of their favorite things in order to put a profile together with a picture for potential sponsors. We also spent an hour or two walking around the surrounding neighborhood to pray for, encourage, and share the Gospel with some amazing people. Today was filled with so many incredible people and stories that I could write a 20 page blog today, but rather than doing that, I’m going to tell you about the typical kid in Luly, Haiti.
The interview was a simple set of 5 questions. I’d always start by asking about their family, whether or not both of their parents were around, how many siblings they had, and what kind of work their parent(s) did. It has to be a little intimidating to get interviewed by a bunch of Americans you don’t know very well yet, so I always made it my goal to get at least 1 good smile out of them during the interview. Thankfully, I always won that game. Some kids more than others, but I just kept reminding myself of what a vulnerable position they were in answering these questions about their lives and families. Having to use a translator to communicate makes it a little harder to connect through language, but one thing I know is that you can always connect through laughter and a smile.
The first questions was a good Icebreaker: What is your favorite game?
The most popular answer was hide and seek, and in case you were wondering, every single one of them is the self-proclaimed best hider in the school! A lot of the boys like soccer and some of the girls talked about playing with their dolls. A lot of what they talked about included plying with each other, which I could see everywhere I looked as these kids were running around, laughing, and playing with each other (when they weren’t in class of course).
The second question was: What is your favorite song? Not knowing a lot about the Haitian music scene, I went with: What is your favorite kind of music? I only heard 3 answers: 1) Christian music, 2) Hip Hop, and 3) Pop. One common theme is that no matter what kind of music is playing, they love to dance, and try to get you to dance too. Unfortunately, we accidentally deleted all the pictures of us “dancing” so you’re just going to have to take our word on that one :)
The third question was fun: What do you want to be when you grow up? Man do these kids have dreams. So many kids, both boys and girls, have dreams of becoming doctors and nurses when they grow up. I told them that’s great because then they can take care of me when I get older! They didn’t all think that was very funny. Swing and a miss. Other kids want to be teachers, some fisherman, some dream of owning a business, and one boy wants to be a mechanic. Like I said in a previous blog, it is so encouraging and brings me so much joy to hear about the hopes and dreams of these kids and know that they have a chance to chase after and accomplish these dreams because of child sponsorship. It’s because of people like you who sponsor a child that these kids are getting an education and creating a better, hope-filled future for Haiti.
The fourth question asked about how a potential sponsor could be praying for them. Most of the kids were so sweet and asked for prayer for their families, for their parent’s jobs, and that they would continue to do well and learn a lot in school. You’d think that we were making up the answers for them as some kind of marketing strategy, but I was repeatedly blown away by the genuine and caring nature in each of these kid's prayer requests. They truly want the best for their families, their future, and for Haiti.
The last question was this: What is something that you would want to know about someone if they were to sponsor you? Every kid, after you’d ask, would kind of pause, look up, and think about it for a second. They had never really thought about it before. Some kids were curious about what their (potential) sponsor’s life is like and how they live. One girl asked if they would be tall (I think that had something to do with the guy that was interviewing her #JefftheGiant), but most of the kids had the same thought; they didn’t really have any questions about them, they just really want to meet them. When they’d think of that answer, they were sure of it. More so than knowing about the material blessings we’re often surrounded by in America, they, more than anything, just wanted to meet the people responsible for giving them an education, a meal every day, and hope for a better future that may not have happened otherwise.
We finished the interview by having them draw a picture of anything they wanted, and I’ll say, for a bunch of future doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, and mechanics, these kids are pretty good artists!
We loved getting to sit down with all of these students and hear their stories. They were each unique in their own way, but there was always a common theme of laughter, hope, their passions, and thankfulness. It was cool to see just how much having a sponsor means to these kids, which just makes me that much more excited about getting to see the kids I sponsor tomorrow. We’ll see you back here then!