Haiti (MNN) — Christmas might only be a memory for you now, but it’s still on the minds of hundreds of kids in northern Haiti.
Eva DeHart of For Haiti With Love says their staff and supporters celebrate Christ’s birth with a different group of kids each year. This year, “they did the food preparation at the headquarters and then loaded everything into the back of a pickup truck and everything was taken out a school in the countryside, where we had 500 kids,” she explains.
“These were all children who had never experienced anything like this before. Everybody got a full meal, full Gospel, toys and new clothes. Everything they get is brand new to celebrate Messiah’s birth.”
30 years of Christmas
Don DeHart – the founder of For Haiti With Love – began the ministry’s annual tradition in 1988. His vision was of lasting spiritual impact, not just meeting immediate needs.
“That was Don’s dream: to present the Gospel in [a memorable way] so these kids would really take something of value home with them,” explains DeHart of her late husband.
“It wasn’t [about] giving the same kids gifts every year, but a new group of children who could be introduced to Jesus and understand what the day was all about.”
This year’s celebration looked like a typical Christmas party in the sense that everyone got food and gifts. However, says DeHart, that wasn’t the point.
“This is a big birthday party for Jesus and they (the children) are all made very much aware of His gift to us. That’s the main thing that you want them to go away with; the tangible gifts are simply their memories of that day.”
For Haiti With Love’s ministry involves much more than Christmas parties. They also operate a food program and medical clinic. In addition, For Haiti With Love constructs homes for the homeless of northern Haiti.
Header image courtesy Sergé via Flickr.