This morning called for a little more energy as we pried ourselves from the sheets. Wiping the beach from our eyes and stretching our ripe red skin we greeted the Haitian morning. Waking up was easier with the excitement, knowing we were starting our rotations today. Avery and Caroline gave an amazing devotional about being a light and being obedient. This was the perfect way to start our morning with the right mindset as we enter this time of ministry.
My group is starting off the week with construction. Honestly, I just wanted to get it out of the way so I’m glad we did it. The Haitian sun is mean when you’re out there for 5 hours. Our project was to clear about an acre of rocks. Rocks. Do you know how many frock are in an acre of Haitian land? A Bazillion. This was incredibly humbling. The sun was hot, we’re sunburned from yesterday, and our efforts seemed futile. The mission asked us to do this to protect the orphans and help them begin the construction for their church they hope to build on the property. The orphans play in that land and if they fall they could get really hurt, it makes the work a little less painful when you know you’re protecting little feet. I definitely learned something in those few hours. I learned to see the Gospel in moving rocks.
I saw the Gospel in my team, unwavering and hardworking, never complaining, always lifting each other up. I saw the Gospel in the work we were doing. We didn’t sweat near as much as Jesus did when he was walking with the cross on his shoulders. We weren’t as hot as the disciples were when they were walking to the promise land. We had no reason to complain while furthering the kingdom, no matter how small we think the task is. God is big and he is better than our sweat.
Our group did our best to live like Jesus in that moment, even when no one was watching. I saw the Gospel in the man we were working with. I don’t know his name but he was like Jesus to us. Here’s the think, y’all, Haitians are 15 times faster and better than us at everything we do. I’m sure it was very difficult for this man to be patient with us, but he stayed calm when he had to show us what to do, where to take the rocks, and how to work with the tools. Not to mention our frequent water break and stops to put on sunscreen that delayed our efficiency immensely. I’m thankful for those little reminders of how patient the Lord is with us when we are so lost with what we’re doing.
Today was also the first day of the Youth Conference here in the Mole. However, it is the last day of exams for the teenagers. This put us in quite a predicament when we were an hour into the conference and only one girl was there. We decided to go into the village for the afternoon and invite people to the conference tomorrow when the exams ended. Something Jody always says is “if 100 people show up to hear the message then that was who needed to hear it. If one person shows up, that is who needs to hear it. “ This came true for us today. The 3 peeps who were giving the message gave it anyway. We sat in a circle in the church and shared the Gospel and our personal stories. She didn’t say much, or anything, but we’re praying that something spoken was something she needed to hear.
We ended the day in the town square playing games with anyone we could find; basketball, soccer, football, hopscotch. I found myself on the soccer field, a square patch of dirt with cement walls on the sides and tiny goals made of wood. The definition of this game was joy. We did our best to keep up and trash talk with the best of em but lets be real, we got creamed. The language barrier wasn’t an issue, for just a little while, we were just kids playing soccer. The day didn’t work like we planned it would. I think Jesus needed to just play a little.
Wow, what an exhausting day! We woke up, had a morning devotional, ate breakfast, then hit the road for the village Carnage. My group started the day with hut to hut evangelism. Our group walked up and down through the village, knocking on doors and praying for the people of the town. It was heart breaking to see the living situations of the families. The first hut we went to was so small, about the size of a kitchen in an American home, and only had three twin beds to sleep a family of ten. We talked with the women and children who lived in the hut about their lives in Carnage and also painted the nails of the women in the home. I had the privilege to pray for the women and babies in the home, which was so powerful! We walked to many other huts; painting nails, praying, and talking with the Haitian people. It was hard not being able to provide them with basic material needs (I had many people ask me for shoes to walk to church and was unable to provide them). I must rest in the knowledge that God will provide for his children and be satisfied with providing them with The Lord’s life giving word. My favorite part of hut to hut was visiting the children’s school in Carnage. I loved seeing all of the kids so eager to learn with the light of intelligence and knowledge in their eyes! The children’s never ending joy is so beautiful and sweet even in the face of poverty and destruction.
Today was the first day of the Youth Conference, but unfortunately many kids could not come because of exams at the Haitian school. We decided to cancel the first day of the conference and head into The Mole to invite people to the conference. We ended up playing football, basketball, and soccer with the Haitian children. I loved getting to throw a football around with my friends as well as the people of Haiti. My favorite part of the day was when a high school student approached me and asked if I spoke English. He was having problems with his English homework and I got to work with him on it! As a future educator this was such a fun experience and such a great way to show love in an applicable way.
Finally, as the sun began to set we had to reluctantly say goodbye to our Haitian friends and head back to The Mole. We ended the day with a large dinner, some worship, and a very eloquent sermon. I am so exhausted, but I sleep peacefully knowing I am being the hands and feet of Christ! That is all I have today, but come back tomorrow for more updates!
Please feel free to leave comments! Comments will be read each night at dinner. You may notice a delay from the time you post a comment and see it on the blog – since all comments must be approved! We were afraid we didn’t capture everyone in today’s photos so we took pictures of them eating tonight so that we could prove everyone was still here and doing well! 🙂