As we began to set up for camp two Saturdays ago, a few children began to trickle into Trinity House. The children were excited to be greeted by some of the US leaders they had met at last years camp. There were many smiles and laughs around phones as pictures of the children from last year were shared. And then, one of the US leaders picked up a guitar and began to sing some familiar camp songs. The sound of sweet voices began to fill Trinity House as the children eagerly joined in the singing. It was like camp had just begun a little early and what a joy it was.
That evening, as one of our Haitian partners, Maya, shared his story with us, he told us about the Rejoice program he had started. Children in the Rejoice program are restaveks (child slaves). Maya has worked with families who have restaveks to allow the children to go to school for a few hours on Saturday mornings and to also be allowed to attend the Fet Bondye camp. As we listened to Maya, we all began to realize that the children we had interacted with that morning were restaveks. The sweet children that we had shared smiles, laughs and song with were slaves. Their voices singing praise to God on that Saturday will forever be a memory. Going from leading VBS at Sheridan where we had 350 children singing praises to God in a beautiful, cool worship center to going to Haiti a little over a week later where 10 restavek children were singing praises to God in a very warm home/school for boys is an overwhelming experience. We live a short plane ride away from Haiti but our two countries are so different and yet so much alike. Children are eager to sing their praises to God in both of our countries and what a blessing it is to see God at work in the lives of so many.