The air was full of expectation, like the night before Christmas, as the little children sat tightly together in perfect silence with their eyes wide open and their smiles stretching across their faces.

The tables were quickly covered with bright birthday tablecloths, and balloons were blown up and passed out. The table centerpieces were in place, and the big frosted cakes were on each table.

 During 2018, we will celebrate 653 fifth birthdays at New Missions.

During 2018, we will celebrate 653 fifth birthdays at New Missions.

Before the graduation party began, we had Kelly Lapp, the children’s pastor from West Normandy Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., give a devotional. She introduced herself and asked for their names to reaffirm God’s special love for each child, and to let them know God already knows their future. It was an inspirational time to have these precious, innocent children reach a milestone in their life—by reaching the age of five—and to get them ready for the next step of life by preparing them academically through their elementary school classes.

 The milestone of children turning five in the Third World represents kids surviving against all odds.

The milestone of children turning five in the Third World represents kids surviving against all odds.

 Kindergarten graduations are a special celebration as these children are loved by God and on the rise to be Christian leaders.

Kindergarten graduations are a special celebration as these children are loved by God and on the rise to be Christian leaders.

There was fun at the tables as the children ate their cake with cute little spoons, and not a crumb was left uneaten. They were adorable in their birthday hats, gifts of sunglasses, and playing with balloons. It was a party day—a bright day for them to mark their success and to be inspired for their next level of learning. We thank God for the gifts and faithfulness of the Haitian Christian teachers who are our heroes on this mission of raising the next generation. ~Jeanne DeTellis Loudon

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