This is a big week for Taking Shape as we have launched our first “official” mission camp operation. Up until now our mission camps and trips have consisted of our immediate family. Greg, the construction guy and Sammy, Beana and myself as the camp counselors and Luke and Brooklynne who came in December. This summer we have added 4 very AWESOME individuals to our Taking Shape mission camp team. Crystal, a dance studio business owner from Manassas, VA and a colleague of mine in our MTJGD coaching group. Then there is Beth and 14 year old Isaac who are a mother and son team right near me in Hardin, MO. They found out about us in the church bulletin and it is crazy that both of us are from the same small town area but our paths have not crossed until this trip. Then there is Arkansas Razorback college student, Ben, my incredible nephew who wanted to be a part of the experience and help us with the camp! We are here in Port au Prince, Haiti and serving over 75 children ages 2 and up in our summer mission camp which focuses on dance, games, sports, arts and crafts, bible studies and of course LEADERSHIP!
We all made it safe and sound and I will admit I was somewhat nervous with the protests and level 4
Our first stop was to Lephare Orphanage, the orphanage that Taking Shape has partnered
with since 2015 where we are completing an expansion and living quarters for over 23 Haitian children. The team was welcomed with open arms of the children who were excited about our arrival. Crystal, Beth, Isaac and Ben quickly became family to the children of Lephare as we spend the remaining afternoon playing, singing and dancing with the kids. We had a huge meal fixed by the hardest working ladies I know, the Haitian cooks! Our team got to experience the Haitian staple meal of chicken and rice, plantains and “french fries.” Meals are always topped off with a tall glass bottle of 7up or Coke, which I have learned is a delicacy and extra special treat.
After an afternoon of visiting the children at the orphanage we were chauffeured by the best chauffeur in all of Haiti, Brunet! Driving in Haiti is a mastered skill. There is not right or wrong, you just go. Think of it like a game of “Frogger” for those of you from the 80’s!
A quick stop at the “Stop and Go” which is the local grocery store to stock up on bottled
water and coffee. I would like to know the labor cost for the grocery store, there must be 30 employees in the grocery store with a couple people carefully watching every aisle. Couple of men outside with machine guns too! They guard their food very carefully!
We settled into the guest house which is located in Delmas, Haiti. I little quieter place up the mountain. Tomorrow we head to camp!
Taking Shape’s mission on the FAR front is to raise leaders who serve others. Yes, we are serving the Haitian children by hosting camps in an active, learning and healthy environment but more importantly the team that is here is truly growing in servant leadership and witnessing a bigger purpose in life.
For those that have asked how to help please visit our donation page at takingshape.care/donate