new shoes, a new start

by Kayla Raymond

This past week has been a blur. We have been running around, preparing for our first day of school, which is this coming Monday, October 1st. Webert and my emotions have been pretty high-strung, we have seen each other become quite stressed, and have had to be patient with each other. Today, I find myself wide awake at 5:30 a.m., knowing the day holds a lot of sweat and hard work as we clean and organize all the class rooms, doing all the finishing touches for the school. But, my mind is restless too.

This past week I was reminded of all the exciting emotions as you prepare for school. New books, new clothes, new shoes, a new start. The start of school means shopping and knowing you have to go back to school in style. “School shoes” were always a big deal, because you wanted the coolest ones to wear on your first day. I remember fifth grade, having a shiny new pair of adidas superstars and thinking I was a big deal, until I got to school and everyone else had a pair too!

I was once again reminded how blessed we are this past week too as I had numerous moms tell me their children were ready for school but they still didn’t have money to buy them new shoes. I was only able to give money to 3 families, because that is just what I can afford. Their faces lit up when they knew they were going to be able to get their new “school shoes”. My mind is restless this morning because I know out of our close to 600 students attending school on Monday, I’m sure only half of them have their new shoes.

I’m reminded I was blessed because I always got those new “school shoes”.

So, with my restless mind, I went searching in the Bible for an answer to this solution. I’ve thought about what I’ve wanted the purpose of my blog to be. I knew I never wanted it to be a place where I beg for money, but more of a place where I give purpose to my writing. I know I want to tell you about the good days, the bad days, the joyful things and the sad things. I want my blog to be a place where you know I’m doing okay, for that aunt of mine who worries about me so much (I think you know who you are, Rhonda?)

So, I found my answer in the Bible late last night. I opened to the book of 1 John Chapter 3 and verse 18 said “Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely talking about it.”

In this, I see God wants me to not only tell the stories of what breaks HIS heart, but give you, His disciples, a chance to help others. I know not everyone is called to live full-time in Haiti, or you haven’t been able to make the commit of sponsoring a child, but maybe that last pair of shiny shoes you bought has left you grateful and you want to bless a child with a new pair of shoes for his or her new school year.

I don’t want my blog to be repetitive, mundane or without purpose. God wants to give it a purpose.

So His word says enough talk already, there are children without shoes.

At this point, we don’t have space to ship 500 pairs of shoes to Haiti, so my vision is to receive the money, which can be sent to 205 Old Mill Lane Rock Rapids, Iowa 51246 (check can be made to Touch of Hope), with a memo note that the money is for shoes. After I know the total I have received, I will find the students who are in most need of a new pair of shoes, bless them, and show you a joyful smile painted on a child’s face who received new shoes. (If you are wondering how much a new pair may cost, this past week I gave 500 goudes, or 12.50 US for the mothers to buy new shoes for one child.)

Let the school year begin, posts to come about our first week next week! Keep us, the teachers and students in your prayers.

Love from Haiti.