Today was a very special day for us. While Mark and Larry the Lamb and Joe and Raymond stayed to continue trimming the windows, the rest of us traveled across the cove to a local fishing village.
After a week in Mole St Nicolas, we had become accustomed to local construction, unpaved roads, and poor infrastructure; we were stunned and amazed by the village. Huts constructed of palm fronds, branches, and rope. No roads. This was a fishing village. The boats were tied among the rocks, where the boys swam in the shallow water. The entire community had congregated around a running game of dominoes among the men.
They welcomed us to their village with smiles and invited us to sit on a makeshift bench. We asked each other questions. They told us about how the families fish to feed themselves and trade. They told us how Northwest Haiti Christian Mission built them a cistern to collect fresh water from runoff, so they would not have to travel miles by trail or boat to get fresh water to drink.
They told us that education for their children was poor because they could not pay for a teacher. They asked if we fished (we said only recreationally). They asked if we could tell them how to be able to fish the ocean more safely in rough waters. They asked us when we would come back.
The children gathered round us, held our hands, and laughed uproariously as Kevin and Connor smiled and they saw their first braces! Over and over!! After walking through the village, we gathered in a gazebo — the kids and several of the mothers, Pierre our interpreter, and our entire group. We exchanged Bible songs (Pierre translated, but the tunes were remarkably similar!).
And then, as you might expect, Larry took advantage of the audience to share with the kids a couple stories. He told them about how Moses was protected by God and taken in by Pharaoh’s daughter and how his sister and mother cared for Moses in Egypt. Then he told the kids about obedience to God through the story of Jonah and the whale — a story with special relevance in a fishing village. As we departed, several boys swam aside our boat as we headed into the cove and back to the Mole.
On the return trip, we began to process what we had seen. The village stood in stark contrast to the Mole in terms of development, but the people no less hospitable. They appreciated our genuine interest in their way of life and willingly shared with us. They trusted us and trusted us with their children, whose faces beamed as they sang songs and listened to Larry and craned to see Shawn’s painted toenails (a parting gift from his daughter!)
Poverty is a rich world word. The Haitian people may not have a lot, they are rich in spirit and friendliness and hospitality. Many (certainly not the children) do not know why we are here. They just welcomed us into their world to join
them and share their lives with us. They have ministered to us this week, reminding us to appreciate what we have (contentness) and inviting each of us to look inside ourselves at what we value.
God brought us here to do a good work for NWHCM and for the people of Haiti, but we have been enriched in the process. God has a way of changing our perspective, allowing us to see ourselves, the people of Haiti — all people — as He sees us. With his heart. We have received more than we imagined we could and far more than we asked.
The two teams from Northside have made a difference here. With your help and prayers. With God’s protection for safety and friends to help us. We see it in the faces of the people in the streets, young and old. Jody and Jose have thanked us and graciously cared for us. And so our time will come to an end. But the work continues. On the homes at site next to the orphanage and in the lives of these people of this community. What a blessing it is to be part of Jesus plan for this mission!
Hey Hey Freedom Reigns fans! Molly speaking. Today is our last day here at the Mole. At the beginning of the week, we thought this trip would never end, and now that it’s almost over it seems like its gone too fast.
Last night was the last night of revival at another village. It was an outdoor church and the bathroom was a little shifty, but the people were great! As soon as we got there, we realized the church didn’t know that we were coming, there was another revival in the same village, and we started with only about 4 people. However, the pastor wanted us to continue. Before the first song was over we had every seat full and people were waiting at the gate. Praise Jesus!
The service was great and several people wanted prayer. The pastor blessed us and hoped to see us back again!
Today we traveled by boat to a fishing village nearby. Us newbies really got our eyes open to extreme poverty. We hung around there for a while and let the children color pictures and painted fingernails. We ended with a prayer for their village and headed back on the beautiful, clear, blue water. They had caught a 6 foot shark that we had to take pictures of as well. (made me question whether or not I should go to the beach again)
The rest of the afternoon was spent at the beach! (my fear didn’t last long in this haitian heat!) Our interpreters went with us and we had a nice day of just relaxing with them. We were so blessed with such great interpreters! (except we’re not sure what they’re saying about us most of the time) 🙂
Tomorrow is a day full of travel. We ride in the back of a truck to a landing strip to get on a nine passenger plane….nervous….Then a long wait at Port Au Prince Airport. Two planes later, we should be home around midnight. Pray for no delays. As much as we would like to stay, we’re also very anxious to get home. We miss you all!