Monday, June 30, 2014

C2 - Haiti Trip Update

The team was up bright and early today for daily Mass at 6:30 AM and then jumped right in to the first day of camp.  About 200 children arrived by 8:30 AM, many of them walking for 2 hours through the mountains. There are 6 animators, young adults who travel the diocese putting on vacation bible school-type camps, as well as the teachers from the school.

The theme of the camp translates into English as "Helping children to have a more beautiful life."  After the opening songs and cheers typical of any summer camp, the team divided themselves among the age groups. Connie and Jen were with the youngest children who are about 4 to 6 years old. Carol was with the slightly older girls, about 8 to 10 years old,  Bruce was with the boys about the same age, and  Erin was with the teenagers. Erin and Fr. Effener played a spirited game of volleyball with the teens, cheered on by younger campers, and Bruce proved that he can jump rope as well as any little girl at the camp!

The children are fed a simple breakfast of bread and cheese and then settle into Bible lessons and crafts. During free time, the children sang "This Little Light of Mine" in Creole to the team. They learned this songin English from the C2-Haiti missionary team of 2012, and it has become a camp favorite.

Lunch for the children was a bowl of rice and avocado. The team was deeply affected by how spiritual the children are:  while the teachers and animators were briefly occupied, the group of 10 year old boys sang and said grace on their own before lunch without any adult prompting.

Lunch for the team was roasted goat, french fries and fried plantains. After the children went home around 3 PM, the team had the chance to reflect and process their experience of the day. A group of girls who live near St. Anne's joined them on the porch in the afternoon, and they continued to teach each other Creole and English words.

The team turned in by about 9:30 PM and will get another early start in the morning. They plan to head into the city of Gonaives tomorrow after camp.

Please continue to keep Bruce, Carol, Connie, Erin and Jen in your prayers, as well as Fr. Effener and the children, teachers and animators at the camp. Also, feel free to post encouragement to the team in the comments section.


  1. Hi team-We love hearing the updates about your experiences at VBS! We are praying for your continued growth as disciples during this trip, for the children of St. Anne's and Fr. Effener, and for your safe return. Kathleen

  2. What a wonderful day! May The Lord continue to bless your time there and keep you safe. -Mark

  3. Bonjou! Koman w ye? Hearing about your experiences brings back a flood of memories. Please give my love to the teachers. Praying for all of you, Fr. Effener, the children and everyone else each day. God bless you!

  4. Hi Jen! Your small group is praying for you and sending lots of love your way. Can't wait to hear all about your experience when you get back. Sending love to Fr. Effener, the children and the teachers as well. My God continue to guide you in the work you're doing and bring you home safe!

  5. Thank you for these precious updates! You are all such great examples for the children! Stay safe, excited to hear all of your experiences!

    Jen's mom, Kathy