“Be strong and courageous,” that’s what God told Wimily, a little first grader who lives in Haiti. Her favorite verse is on her heart every day as she rises in her rural home to prepare for school. Her one blue uniform is sitting out as she and her sister dress for school before beginning their two-hour walk with their dad. Her favorite part of the day is lunch, because food isn’t so plentiful in her meager home.
So what is a typical day like for a child in Haiti? Let’s follow this precious child of God as she is hears those faithful Words resonate throughout her day. Wimily attends Lauture in Jacmel, Haiti, where she is in the first grade. Today they are sharing the story of Joshua when God told him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). This is Wimily’s favorite story. She may not understand
the whole story, but she understands being frightened, not knowing when she’ll eat again, and being discouraged as she trudges the two-hours between her home and school each day. Yet she is encouraged to know that God is with her even at her young age.
Shortly after math, the class lined up outside near the water bucket to wash their hands. Excitement came all over her, because she knew what was coming next – lunch! She hasn’t had anything to eat since lunch yesterday and her stomach is rumbling with hunger pains. After standing and singing the prayer with her classmates, she enjoyed her favorite corn and beans with amazing sauce. This one bowl of food was the only food she would get until tomorrow when she returns to school. Food doesn’t just nourish her body; it helps her focus and look forward to the remaining lessons that day.
Early in the afternoon Wimily, her sister, and three other friends began their walk home singing and skipping with joy in their hearts. So happy to arrive home and change out of her only beloved school uniform and back into her play clothes. But first she had to be sure her uniform was clean enough for the next day and help her sister wash the family’s clothes in the creek.
While she is at the creek, they decide to bathe before heading home with water for their home. It has been a busy day. She will need to study before the sun sets, and then sleep on the wooden floor with her family in their one-room, simple home.
Wimily’s school days don’t vary much, but she smiles enthusiastically as she tells her dad about all she has learned. She and her sister say their prayers with their family and thank God for all He has given them, especially their hot nutritious meal each day at school.