Our Christmas is going down the toilet. And it’s a good thing.
I’m always trying to figure out ways to connect with my 11 year old son. I made it through the Thomas trains phase, the Matchbox cars phase, the Dinosaur phase, and the Pokemon phase. Now we’re in some weird tween boy limbo. He recently asked if he can start hunting. Except for Star Wars, Harry Potter, and a very occasional chess game, we have little in common. Most of our conversations are me nagging him about homework and hygiene. It’s kind of sad.
On New Years Day when we voted for Haiti as our 2015 Family Compassion Focus, the kids all declared what they were looking to do there:
- “Something with kids!” – Greta
- “Something with chickens!” – Zoë
- “Something with toilets!” – Caleb
Over the next several weeks we got the laptop out at breakfast and researched the country and it’s hard history. We studied it’s weather, people, and natural disasters. We read aloud from more than 30 different websites to learn what different nonprofits are doing to love and serve there. We looked for options that included kids, chickens, and toilets.
We chose to work with Haiti Partners. They are about empowering and equipping Haitians to change their own country through education. They understand that sustainable, organic change is slow, and they have the humility, perseverance, and vision to stick with it.
This year’s compassion experiments have been so different. The move to Georgia messed everything up. No crafts have been made. The lemonade stand wasn’t once wheeled down the driveway. We gathered donations at birthday and going away parties for Haiti Partners but that was it. I dressed up like a Chicken. Chris ran some Spartan Races. And Greta and I got to visit Haiti in October.
But Caleb wasn’t excited about any of that.
When we visited the Haiti Partners Children’s Academy I found out that they have composting latrines. The process actually transforms human waste into rich soil for the community gardens. It sounds mostly disgusting, but somehow cool – totally Caleb’s thing.
I told him all about it when I got back, and that they needed funding for ongoing maintenance and repairs. He decided that’s what he’s giving Jesus for his birthday this year. That’s the grand finale of the Family Compassion Focus – we give Jesus a birthday present in the Matthew 25 way: Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Here is a video explaining how the composting latrines work at Haiti Partners Children’s Academy. I love how John Engle, the co-director of Haiti Partners, refers to the “simple technology.” Ha! I also love the music Caleb picked to go with it.
Caleb is donating $100 toward Latrine Maintenance at the Haiti Partners Children’s Academy. We only need $3000 more! He is going to research composting latrines and provide you with information about sanitation, Haiti, and the Academy from 11/19-12/19. Most importantly, he’s going to solicit poop jokes from everyone on the internet for me to tell on camera, while I’m eating dinner. The very thought of it makes his heart sing. All mom’s prissy dinner conversational rules will be broken. He wants me to make fart sounds on camera.
You can get the full scoop at our Haiti Partners fundraising page, Libraries & Latrines* at http://haitipartners.org/teamfritz You’ll see our goals, pictures, videos, information, and easy ways to participate. We are very excited.
This is what I prayed for. Ways to connect with Caleb. Ways for Caleb to care about Haiti in new ways. I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out. It was no big mystery. Caleb told me on January 1st. God only wants what I have, and what Caleb has, and for right now, all we got is poop.
[Please note, our campaign is called Libraries & Latrines because our lovely daughters are trying to provide every book needed for Pre-K through 2nd grade at the Academy. I’ll post more about that another time. For now if you go to http://haitipartners.org/teamfritz You will find wish lists to shop for Creole and French books. So easy! Happy shopping!]
- Libraries & Latrines Fundraising Page – http://haitipartners.org/teamfritz/
- Haiti Partners – http://www.haitipartners.org
- Haiti Partners Children’s Academy – http://haitipartners.org/about-us/haiti-partners-schools/haiti-partners-childrens-academy-blog/
- GiveLove – https://www.givelove.org/sanitation-crisis.html
- 2015 Family Compassion Focus – (how our family votes on New Years Day)
- Haiti Chicken Dance (our visit to the Haiti Partners Children’s Academy)
- Birthday Party (more ideas on how kids can celebrate Jesus on Christmas)
You are loved.
© Aimee Fritz and Family Compassion Focus, 2015