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.
People do not realize how much missionaries have to do so much with so little, but they make it work. 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 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 who run this incredible unique ministry.
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. Those who worship Christ as the strongest Christians you’ve ever seen. Their hospitality, kindness, and genuine compassion are unmatched.
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. Many people walk with their heads down, and often feel unseen.
I have watched their whole demeanor change when I greeted them and smiled. Their eyes brightened up right before me. If I had spent time talking with the team, and not looking around me, I would have missed the opportunity to show I care. 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