The Alphabet School – A Literacy School for Adult

Five years ago, we first wrote about the “education triangle”, and we updated the original post in 2022 when we opened The Barefoot School. Speaking from experience, Mrs. tVM and I spent countless hours at the kitchen table helping our children with their schoolwork and encouraging them to complete it.   I say with 100% certainty …

The Children Are in School

Despite the gunfire and gang violence, we managed to complete semester testing at the Barefoot School in Cité Soleil in February.  I received the report cards for 149 students this week.  Regardless of performance, THESE CHILDREN ARE IN SCHOOL and are trying.  That is MOST important:  THEY ARE IN SCHOOL, which is a major accomplishment …

Prayerful Momentum

Many years ago during a trip to Haiti, I had the pleasure and honor of sharing dinner with Patrice Millet, a CNN Hero of the Year in 2011.  As we chatted over dinner, Patrice told me the final thing he did every day with the children and young people he worked with was to pray. …

Water, Children, and Angels

Water is essential for life on Earth as we know it. Yet how many times do we curse it as it overwhelms us with devastating floods… how many times do we raise our fists to the heavens as rain refuses to fall on the hard, sun-parched land? In America, we take so much for granted, …

Giving Something Up

Today is Ash Wednesday in Christianity, the day that marks the beginning of Lent, the season that commemorates Jesus fasting 40 days in the desert.  Often referred to as the three pillars of Lent, many commit to 40 days of Frankly, those are three things that every human should practice 365 days each year. Many …

Living & Learning with Mustard Seeds

Two years ago, I envisioned supporting our work for the children of Haiti exclusively with the agricultural project that I committed to with my friend Dwight.  Working in the excessive heat, limited water, and poor soil of the Sonoran Desert, we’ve learned another lesson that supports the ‘easier said than done’ theory. After a brutally …

Humbled by a Homeless Child

In Haiti, most children have a single set of clothes.  IF a child attends school, a uniform is a requirement.  Because the Barefoot School is open to everyone, we do not strictly enforce that requirement. As we prepared for the school year last summer, Justin’s budget included $4,500 for ‘uniform cloth.’  I was resistant to …

Revisiting the Rich Young Man

I was thinking about the story of the rich young man this morning.  You know the one… A rich young man asks Jesus how to get to heaven.  Jesus tells him to follow the commandments.  “I do!” the young man replies happily.  “One more thing,” Jesus adds, “Sell everything you have and give the money …

Core Message

Every Saturday morning, the Pray As You Go website presents an examen, a Jesuit tradition involving reflection on and moral evaluation of one’s thoughts and conduct.  I find this morning’s examen particularly inviting.  In it, I am asked, “If you had the chance to give just one sermon, what would be your core message in …