We are drained today, but in a wonderful way. We (minus Stephen and Billy) started the day off with an beautiful boat trip to the town of Preskul. This is an extremely poor fishing village with some wonderful children of God that we got a chance to love on. From the moment we stepped on the beach, we were greeted with smiles and many grateful hellos. In addition to that, the hands of sweet children immediately intertwined with ours, along with a few hugs. Within moments, I had a baby in my arms (which I tried to slip in my backpack, but got caught) and Kim was able to lead everyone in songs, a puppet show and a coloring session, while the guys lead some boys in a soccer game. THERE IS NO DOUBT that Kim has a gift with these kids and she is where she is supposed to be. The kids adore her and love her enthusiasm.
From Preskul, we went to Karenage (another fishing village) where we proceeded to do the same thing with a different group of people and the boys taught another group of boys how to play baseball…or a modified version anyway. This group was a little rowdier, but still very appreciative and friendly. While we were gone, Stephen and Billy worked on laying the foundation for the orphanage building, and so far that has gone well. Once we returned to The Mole, we enjoyed a yummy lunch (looked like…I can’t even describe it…but it tasted great).
Post-lunch, we got the opportunity to learn a “Haitian skill”. The boys learned how to make charcoal, and the women learned out to make a woven wall from palm branches. Stephen says, “Everyone should learn this before they leave Haiti.” Steve says, “I will never take for granted how easy it is to buy a bag of charcoal now.” I’ll let them expand on that when we return. NOT a simple process. After we learned our “skills”, the gals joined a women’s group at church for a praise and prayer service. We took a little dip in the sea, walked back to the mission and now we’re about to enjoy dinner and a devotion. It’s been another amazing God-filled day, and we’re anxious to find out what’s in store for us tomorrow as we head to the market to buy animals for the Mole.
Quick prayer requests:
1. Stephen has had a headache for 3 days. He doesn’t ever complain, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Please pray that God relieves him of this.
2. An Arctic cold front to pass thru!!!
3. Sleep / energy to do what God has in store for us.
4. A great night of sleep for Billy with no more mosquito bites!
Bonjour or Bonswa from the Savannah Christian Team in Haiti. Our team arrived late Saturday afternoon in Port au Paix. I am sitting here trying to find the words to best describe what a first timer, that would be myself and several other team member, are experiencing here. In short, the consensus is no words are enough.
Haiti is a series of stark contrasts of beauty and decay. Unfortunately, the decay is mainly what you see on the media fails to capture the true hearts and the love of the people. Yes, we were overwhelmed when we arrived in Port au Prince to a world that did not speak our language, smells not normal to American soil, or when we breezed through the stop signless streets to Tortuga airlines to catch our flight to visit Grant and Natasha, missionaries in Port au Paix. However, it is when you are at your most overwhelmed, it is when you truly see how God is working.
The love and kindness radiates from many of the people. When we were visiting with Grant and Natasha, the Haitian ladies insisted on making us eggs for our breakfast because they wanted to make sure we were fed enough. The love of Christ radiates through Grant and Natasha in the little seaside country town. People do not realize how much missionaries have to do so much with so little, but they make it work. Grant is a family man to his wife, the orphan children they are taking in as their own, handyman, carpenter. Name the hat he wears it. Natasha is a wife, mother, counselor, nurse, and the list goes on. Even there is a lot of stress, their is a love that speaks volumes for God and his people. I know for myself, and for others, we just don’t realize how much they do and are so dependent on obtaining such basics like toilet paper.
Americans run on time schedules, time for this time for that, if you are late, well there is consequences. As we waited four hours to take a twenty-five minute flight, it made us squirm. Haitians do not run on a time schedulem and it would drive the outside world bonkers. But, when you stop and truly look at it. How much are we missing when we are in a hurry. It is good to plan and make time for everything, but find the beauty in the present as we work toward the future.
Seeing the heart of Haiti continued as we arrived to The MOle Saint Nicholas on day three after a four hour ride on little rock roads on the back of flat bed truck. Jody and her husband Jose are the missionaries. The Mole is amazing with it’s crystal clear beaches and soft sand (not the Haiti you think of) Yes, there is abject poverty here and many social ills (child abuse, hunger,etc.), but there is beauty in the midst of this darkness. I simply thought it was polite to just say hello to the people first, but when Jody spoke to about what some of the neighborhood children are going through it made a difference. Most people have never had anyone look them in the eye or show them affection. Now, when I see people smile back with at us with a glint in their eye after we greet them, it has really hit home. Showing the love of Christ begins with the smile, take the time with them, appreciate who they are.
We are excited as we continue the week spending time with the mothers and children in The MOle and we look forward to updating you all about what we are doing.
Until the Whole World Knows
Savannah Christian Church Missions Team
Renee, Chris, Kristin, Nicole, Beckie, Dan, and Harrison