All Eyes Were on Haiti at Mariners Kids “Wildlife Animal Park” VBS 2017
Haiti was the focus of Outreach at Mariners Kids “Wildlife Animal Park” VBS in late June 2016. For five days, 1,969 kids and more than 1,000 volunteers got to hear the story of Pastor Samuel Metelus and his vision for a premier private school. Over the course of the week, the kids raised $21,000 for this school.
In June, the Haiti Ministry had the awesome privilege of hosting the Outreach Station at Mariners Kids “Wildlife Animal Park” VBS (Vacation Bible School).
For five days, we welcomed students from preschool through grade 5 to Outreach Island: Haiti, where the colors were bright, the energy high, and God’s love for the global church was on display.
If you’ve never been to VBS at Mariners, it’s amazing! Here’s a look just at the numbers:
- 1,969 kids attended
- 1,050 volunteers served
- 323 kids said “I Believe”
- 48 kids attended the post-VBS baptism class
- Over $21,000 in offering collected for Haiti
That’s right! Over $21,000 was collected for Haiti. As the hosts of the Outreach Station this year, the Haiti Ministry was the recipient of all the money raised by the kids during their “Doug the Pug vs. Grumpy Cat” fundraising competition. Throughout the week, the kids were encouraged to host lemonade stands, bake sales, car washes, etc., while also completing daily challenges like “walking instead of driving” or “sleeping on the hard floor” to help them better understand what children in Haiti experience. At the request of our Haitian church partner, Pastor Samuel, we also encouraged the kids to bring in various toiletries for Sam to distribute to families in need living in the area devastated by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Check out what the kids donated, and what we’ll be taking to Haiti in August:
- 194 packages of hair accessories
- 489 bars of soap
- 64 bottles of hand lotion
- 626 toothbrushes
- 192 tubes of toothpaste
- 781 fine-toothed combs and picks
- 112 mirrors
- 194 sticks of deodorant/antiperspirant
The numbers say a lot, but they don’t tell the whole story. Photos do that much better! So please take a few moments to scroll through the photos below for a glimpse into our amazing week on Outreach Island! Our theme for the week was, “How I live my life shows others God’s great love for them.” Using Pastor Samuel’s 55 kids as our role models, we discussed what it means to live a Christ-like life at home, at school, in our communities, and as the Church. We also learned about Sam’s kids and the Glory Glory Center, Sam’s vision for a sustainable school, the impact Hurricane Matthew had on the communities in the south, and how we can support our friends in Haiti every day through prayer. For a detailed look at what we did each day, visit www.HaitiVBS.com. To learn more about the Haiti Ministry, visit www.haitiministrymarinerschurch.org.
Four outstanding students emceed the Haiti program throughout the week. Nicole Watkins and Samantha Ho spoke daily with kids in the kindergarten rooms, while Cali Watkins and Jack Light took on grades 1-5. Here, Nicole and Samantha talk about how far many children walk each day to attend school in Haiti.
Throughout the week, kids were encouraged to earn money to donate towards the construction of a premier private school in Haiti. Ali Morris, who on Friday spoke about the importance of supporting our friends in Haiti through prayer, did her part to support a VBS yard sale in Newport Beach.
We couldn’t have done any of it without the help of our amazing volunteers: (front row, L to R) Rachel Wang, Mordecai Njoroge, Samantha Ho, Jack Light, Nicole Watkins, Cali Watkins; (middle row, L to R), Sean XXX, Laurie Kelly, Wayne Chen, Jenna Hoggard, Emily Nguyen, Susan Watkins, Liza Kirk, Paul Han; (back row, L to R) Dave Watkins, Luke Hatakeda. Not pictured: Cheryl Elson, Margie Hausam, Luke Kelly, Ali Morris, Kyle Sharbrough, Steve Wulfestieg.
The Haiti Ministry and Mariners Children’s Ministry partnered to provide a petting zoo as part of the night’s activities preceding Tim Timmon’s concert at the Wednesday night BBQ. In terms of “wild life”, Haiti is known mostly for petting zoo animals like pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, and cows. You won’t find any pandas, rhinos, or elephants in Haiti!
Thursday’s highlight was Haiti Jeopardy, which saw the kids divided into four groups and tested on all they’d heard about Haiti, the Glory Glory Center, agriculture, transportation, education, Sam’s proposed school, Hurricane Matthew, and more!
This photo was submitted by London Struss’ mom, Rachelle, who said, “She’s had so much fun doing these challenges and has really grasped the reasons she is doing them! She is eager to share the story of how much Haiti needs our help and is filled with gratitude for the blessings in her life, such as running water, transportation and a beautiful school with walls.”
Laurie Kelly encourages kids to “leave their mark” in the form of a fingerprint on a piece of art that will ultimately hang in Pastor Samuel’s office at the Glory Glory Center. This piece was created during the Wednesday night BBQ, while four more pieces were created during “photo day” (Tuesday) on Outreach Island: Haiti.
More than 2,681 toiletry products were donated during the week, all of which will be taken to Haiti in August and distributed by Pastor Sam to members of the community whose lives were severely affected by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
To close out the week, Jack Light led all of the students in a prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. He prayed for the High School team that was in Haiti the same week, serving alongside Sam and the kids at the Glory Glory Center. And he prayed for God’s blessing for the school that is going to change the future for so many Haitian kids for years to come.
This is just one of the many prayer cards that kids submitted at the Praying Panda’s Pagoda during the week.
About the Haiti Ministry
Since 2010, Mariners’ Haiti Ministry has been working side-by-side with Pastors Joseph and Samuel Metelus of Haiti’s Church of God by Faith to rebuild after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince. In that time, we have helped build a “forever home” for 55 children who were orphaned in the quake, launched a church which now has upwards of 350 members, created jobs through a “piggery” and other sustainability initiatives, and provided disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. This summer at VBS, we raised funds to build a school in Haiti. This school will provide an exceptional education for more than 1,000 students, including Pastor Sam’s 55 kids. Revenue generated by the school will financially sustain the orphanage and the church, eliminating their need to rely on Mariners Church for support, while also providing for countless outreach initiatives in the local community.
To learn more about the school, visit www.haitiministrymarinerschurch.org/school.
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To contact us, send us an email.