FROM ERIN: “I hope to be an extension of his work in the church by continuously teaching children how to love and respect one another as well as the environment they live in, and that doing so is showing love and respect for God. It is a simple ministry but I believe it will help the children become caring, Christian adults.” → SPONSOR ERIN NOW ← ABOUT ERIN FOLLOW HER PERSONAL BLOG HERE A Little Background I am a recent graduate from Nazareth College’s Master’s program for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I also have a teaching certificate in Childhood Education, grades 1-6 from SUNY Brockport (my hometown college). Between graduate and undergraduate studies, I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia as an English teacher in a small, rural school. During my two years in Micronesia, I lived with a host family in a village without electricity or motorized vehicles or any of the luxuries we are used to in America. Such an experience, I believe, has prepared me for living in Kenscoff, Haiti. I know what it is like to live without running water, to live with people who are not native English speakers, to teach children with little language background. Also, moving to the orphanage will not be my first time in Haiti; I have visited Haiti on 3 different mission trips which have provided me with some knowledge about the people and culture of the country. “What are you doing once you graduate?” “I’m moving to Haiti.” “Oh. Wow…..Why?” I’m no pastor or evangelist. I’m sure not a doctor or nurse. So I get the response above quite often when I tell people where I will be come January. My main reason for joining the Heart of God Haiti team is to use my knowledge of teaching English as a second language to improve the children’s language skills. Because tourism and government jobs may require proficiency in English, building up their English may help them in the future. Here’s a real life example, during a trip to Kenscoff in August with HGH we hired a local man to translate for us because of his exceptional English skills. His ability to speak and listen in English fluently provided him with income, even if only for a few days. Our children could easily do the same once they’ve grown if given the opportunity to learn and practice their English. One of my favorite things to do is read. When I leave for Haiti in January, I plan on bringing an arsenal of picture books and young adult chapter books to use with the children at the Heart of God Haiti orphanage. My hope is that reading aloud on a daily basis will help develop the children’s listening skills. Also, children need visual stimulation for their brains to develop to their full potential. The pictures in the books meet this need. Ministry Like I said, I have no background in theology. Even though I won’t be preaching about God’s word, I hope to be a model for the children what it means to live for Christ. Unfortunately the culture of poverty that exists in Haiti does not encourage people to love and respect one another. Lack of food and money forces people to live a hand to mouth lifestyle that often creates an “every man for himself” mindset. Pastor Justin and his ministry definitely seems to be building a community of love and support in his village. I hope to be an extension of his work in the church by continuously teaching children how to love and respect one another as well as the environment they live in, and that doing so is showing love and respect for God. It is a simple ministry but I believe it will help the children become caring, Christian adults.