I've never dreamed of being a rock star. Ask anyone who's ever been within ear shot when I'm singing and they'll know why.

But today, my first day in Haiti, I sure felt like one.

We arrived at Pentecostal Holiness School, sponsored in part by Star of Hope, with all 575 students waiting for us to to get there. Never mind that it was after school and that they all had other places to be.

Never mind that they were dressed to the hilt in crisp, colorful school uniforms.

Never mind that they's been waiting for us in the humid, tropical heat. They all seemed genuinely happy to see us.

A delegation of preselected students approached us with warm, open smiles and bright, shining eyes. They each shook our hands with their brown fingers lingering on our white, seldom-seen skin.

"Blanc, blanc (white)," they whispered with enthusiasm that was gaining speed.

"Blanc, blanc."

It became a chant filled with broad smiles and giggles.

"Blanc, blanc."

It was all for us along with hand-made banners and corsages made from red ribbon.

They were clamoring for us, reaching out for us, touching us -- just like a rock star.

It's heady stuff for three Catholics on a simple mission.

star team haiti, jennifer schartz

It seemed like all of the girls, especially the little ones, wanted to hold our hands and stroke our skin.

One little girl asked Jan (Frenzl) to take her home. I, on the other hand, scared a young boy when I took off my sunglasses. I'm sure he had never seen a blanc person with two different colored eyes.

We were paraded through different classes at school and some of the kids were brave enough to ask questions. Do you have children?

What are your parents' names?

Is it hot where you live? (Try explaining snow to a Hatian. It's kind of like trying to tell a blind person about color.)

We had fun at the expense of our host, Tony, who couldn't remember our names. Of course, they all start with the letter J, but we laughed and teased because all middle-aged white women look alike.

It's an odd feeling, being in the minority, but it's also a great one to be acknowledged without even having done anything. Barry Borror, our Star of Hope guide, says it's because they see the possibility in us.

The possibility that we can care enough to help.

The possibility that we'll share our story and that you will care enough to help.

The possibility that God will move us into action that will be beneficial to us all.

There are lots of hopes pinned on us and I am grateful and willing to accept the challenge.

I know with God's help, I can.

After all, I am a rock star. Today anyway.

 

Note, this in one part in a series, if you like read the series here.

Facts: Haiti
map_of_haiti250.jpg

Population: 9,923,000 (2009)
Government: Republic
Area: 210,712 Sq Mi
Capital: Port-au-Prince
Per Capita Income:  $790 USD (2009)
Currency: Gourde
Language(s): French and Creole are the official languages.
Primary Exports: Clothing, shoes, mango,cocoa and coffee
Religion: Catholic

Did you know that...

18 landerStar of Hope has projects in 15 countries around the world?


30000 barn

Also every day, more than 12,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope? Also, we touch over 30,000 children each day with services!

 

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