What’s the best way to mark the ending of a difficult year in Haiti?
With celebration and gratitude.
Despite a year that started on shaky ground from the political unrest of 2019, continued with a pandemic that shut down the country for months, and quickly spiraled into deepening economic troubles that meant hunger and worsening unemployment for many families, there remains deeply rooted in the people of God an unshakable reason to rejoice—the finished work of Jesus Christ.
This hope shines bright no matter what country you live in or how much food you have on your dinner table.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Yes, we saw trouble this year. But we remember especially at Christmas that God did not distance Himself from our troubles, but “put on flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) Born into the lowest of circumstances only to humble Himself further to an undeserved death on a cross, our precious Savior suffered with us and for us.
Because of Him, one day there will be no more hunger. There will be no more tears. There will be no more disease.
We have infinite reason to rejoice.
And so, as we wrapped up 2020 at Jesus in Haiti Ministries, we celebrated and we thanked God at four different celebrations.
School Christmas party
At Grace Emmanuel School, we closed out the year with a Christmas party on December 23 for all 377 students. The party ended with a gift of new clothing for every student, made possible by the students’ sponsors. (It is tradition to begin the new year in Haiti with new clothes and this gift makes that dignity possible for many families who could otherwise not afford it.)
Staff Christmas party & recognition
Two days later, JiHM had a great time celebrating its incredible staff on Christmas Day. Employees who celebrated work anniversaries in 2020 were honored and many of the staff took part in a light-hearted program that included jokes, games and dances. After the program, the staff was treated to a reception in the school cafeteria, where the tables were decked out with red, green and white balloons.
The kids and staff at the Lighthouse celebrated Christmas with a special party, complete with gifts they were able to help pick out.
Christmas at Victory Bible Church
Finally, Victory Bible Church held a special Christmas party for children on December 27.
There has been darkness in 2020. But in the darkness, the light shines all the brighter. We always have reason to celebrate because, as Pastor Derson reminds us, “God always has the final word.”
Thank you for keeping the light shining bright at JiHM this year through your prayers, partnership and generosity.