The team had a wonderful last day in Monarch on Tuesday! Another rise and shine this morning, breakfast, and then the final trip into the village for our amazing team. This morning, they split into two groups. Ellen, Diane, Caitlin and Cindy helped to prepare a graduation ceremony and lunch for the business class students. Working side by side with members of the community, they prepared rice and beans, chicken drumsticks, and fried plantains, with fresh melon for dessert.
The rest of the team stayed with the students for their final lesson, and debrief with the class. Our missionaries continued to learn about the individual businesses (farming, livestock raising, making/selling charcoal). They also talked some more about their own businesses, and how the basic principles the class has learned were successfully applied to help them grow and profit. The students were very proud of themselves for completing a high-school level business course, and were grateful for, and impressed by, the knowledge and expertise of their teachers. They are very excited for the opportunity to put their newly learned skills into action!
The graduation lunch was a wonderful celebration for the students, attended by the class and their friends and family, our team, the Leadership Council, and other members of the community. Our team was also presented a plaque, engraved to Nativity, showing the community’s appreciation to our team for sharing their time and expertise with the business students. Members of the class were given the opportunity to share their impressions of the experience, and to pray for their new knowledge and for our team. Many of the students talked about how they came to the class with hopes and dreams, and now feel equipped with the knowledge to put those hopes and dreams into action. They are grateful to God for this class, and for the future of their businesses.
As the celebration came to a close, there was a sense of sadness as our team prepared to leave the village for the last time. Through many tears and hugs, our missionaries were struck by how quickly the bonds formed with their new friends in Monarch, and were grateful for the opportunity to share their lives with our partner community. While this particular team does not know for sure when they will return individually, Monarch and Nativity once again separated knowing that a new team will return in 2018 to keep this relationship growing strong. In the meantime, we will continue to offer prayers and support from Timonium, and they will continue praying for us!
Wednesday brings another long day of travel, an early departure from Bohoc for the long drive to Port-au-Prince, for a 3:30pm flight. With another layover in Atlanta, our team expects to be back at BWI at approximately 12:30am Thursday morning. We can't wait to see them, and hear more about their amazing mission!