This morning we sat in on the church service at the mission while some of our other team members helped with the children’s church. Although we weren’t able to understand the message, it was nice to be apart of their worship and reminded us that while we may not look the same or speak the same language, we are worshipping the same God and that is why we are here.
After church we had a little bit of time to play with the orphans before lunch and then after lunch we split up to do various activities in town and at the mission. Most of our group did activities with the orphans like making bracelets, decorating frames, and playing with balloons. At the same time, people pampered the orphan mamas to give them a break and remind them how much they are appreciated.
Another group went into town to play sports with some of the local children. While those activities were going on, I got to go with a small group to two homes of children with special needs. Given my interest in special education, this was my favorite part of the trip thus far. The first boy we met was blind and cannot yet walk on his own. It was inspiring to see how loving his aunt was towards him and great to learn of the progress Emma and Susan have made with him in the past few months, including teaching him how to drink out of a straw.
The second boy we met seems to be autistic and suffers from seizures. He lives with his two brothers and mom in a one-room house with dirt floors, one bed, no electricity, and no plumbing. To know this is the setting in which his seizures occur broke my heart. Yet the love he had was amazing and my favorite part was the sweet kisses he gave to everyone in the room. Again, the strength of his mom was inspiring and despite how little they have materially, she is an amazing, loving women and it did not go unnoticed. Although it was our hottest day yet, there are so many ways in which the Haitian people touched our hearts today and we are excited to continue working with them the next four days here at the Mole.
Today began a little later than normal due to it being Sunday. Normally we’re up for devotions at 7:45 with breakfast going at 8. Because today was Sunday, It was self serve breakfast with church starting at 9. Some of our group hung out in the children’s worship service while I went with the other group and sat in on the adult one. I found it interesting that the women in the Mole wear skirts or dresses that are longer than their knees, but for church you also must cover your shoulders as a sign of respect. It is cool the amount of respect these women have for keeping their body covered. When we sat in on the service, it was all in Creole, which is the language they speak so we could understand pretty much nothing other than the words ‘hello’ and ‘God.’ Still, it was cool to watch them be so into the speaker and just really worship together.
Afterwards, I played cards with Malaya, the Castillo’s daughter who is ten years old. She speaks both English and Creole, so we bonded a lot and I learned about her life here in Haiti as a missionary’s daughter. After that, our team spilt off. Some went out to minister to the special needs families out in the community, and another group went over to hangout with the orphans, and give them special treats like bubbles jump ropes and picture frames.
Yet another group went in to pamper the mammas, who are the women that take care of the orphan kids. They scrummed their feet, gave them manicures and just overall gave them some love and attention. These women are awesome and do so much un recognized work, but definitely much appreciated. I went with Hans Wieland, Mr. Snivley, Jacob Richardson and Mikayla, (the Castillo’s adopted daughter) and Asher (the Castillo’s son) to sports camp. We took some translators and went out into the town to find some kids to play with us. Although our Creole is so limited, the translators helped us out and once we gathered a few kids to come play, many more joined in. I played soccer with a few translators and some small kids, who were all unreal with their foot skills. Hans said he has been to Haiti twice, and has yet to score on Haitian soil which made me feel so much better!!
One of the highlights from my trip so far was what happened during the end of sports camp. I wandered over across the road to see a mom holding her one month old baby. I have learned to introduce myself in Creole, so I found out that her son’s name was Sebastian. He was the cutest little thing I have ever seen, with the coolest curly hair. She handed him right over to me, and I fell in love. Mr. Snively and Hans came over, and a few more people from the house she was in front of came out. One of her friends staying at the house spoke some broken English and told us a little about their life.
From what we could understand, it was her mother’s house, and this was her first and only son, although she wants to have two. It seemed like she was a single mother, and she ended up showing us her nephew and the pack and play that was on the porch. The mother was so happy to see us playing with her new son, and she was able to tell us that she was afraid her son might be sick- so we proceeded to tell her about the clinic that is going on in our mission campus, and how she could bring her well behaved son over to be checked out. This was so cool just to make a connection outside of the campus we’re on, and I am interested in seeing if she ends up at the clinic tomorrow. It was a very hot day out today, so I am hoping that it cools down a little tomorrow!
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