Summer greetings everyone. The school year is over and the 6th and 9th graders have completed their final government exams and we are now waiting for the results. There is no school construction happening at the secondary school at this time. There are already enough classrooms for the coming school year even though we will be adding 10th grade. All our concentration this summer is going toward the farm.
The kindergarten and 6th grade graduations went very well as usual. The new very large cafeteria, though unfinished, is a huge blessing for these events as our class numbers are growing and more students means more family members wanting to come to the graduations. We had 135 three year olds register for preschool this Fall. We accepted all of them. This is 40 more than we have registered in past years. The architectural students from the University of Tennessee are designing a second level for the classroom building situated behind the church to provide more classrooms at that location. We will also need to hire a few more teachers and teacher assistants for which we would appreciate prayer.
Darwin, the farmer from Iowa, spent a couple months here and headed up the raising of the largest silo. Three smaller ones are being built by a youth group from Georgia. A small experimental garden has already been planted for testing. Another fifty acres is now being plowed and will be planted in the next few weeks. In the beginning it will be mostly corn being planted. The objective is to eventually daily feed over a thousand students. Some corn will be used in the feeding program, but the rest will be sold to enable us to buy other types of food to add to the corn. A lot of equipment has already arrived, but there is more to come. Please pray for the needed funds for transportation and the safe arrival of this equipment. We have ways of irrigating at the farm, but the local farmers must rely on rain which we are not receiving. Please pray for that also.
Jean and I do not have any travel plans until the end of summer. In the meantime we have the group from Georgia and after them two young ladies from California will be here for about a month. Besides building the silos, the Georgia group held a basketball camp for the younger kids. The camp was an amazing success. The children enjoyed themselves perfecting their dribbling and shooting skills and a few of the older ones practiced defense moves. The young people doing the camp came prepared to share Bible stories and testimonies with the camp participants. Those were also well received. At the end everyone was asking when we would be doing it again. We don’t know, but we will definitely do it again. The two young ladies coming have been doing ministry in Port-au-Prince and are coming out here to see what it is like to work in a rural area. On a personal note, this is the first summer Jean and I have not had a son coming home for summer vacation. Because of modern communication we are able to communicate regularly, but we still are adjusting to the fact that we don’t personally have anyone in the soccer games or coming in and out of the house with his friends. We miss that, but we are happy that all of our children are maturing well and working out their lives as adults. Yours in Christ, Joy Thomas