Hello all you beautiful relatives of my amazing team, It’s Katie Wash! Yes, I know what you are thinking Mom and Little Gran, FINALLY RIGHT??
Well today was a rough one. Started off with all us girls waking up after a night of trying to find out who is snoring in the middle of the night and to all our beds being wet from the rainy day before. Knocked out some AMAZING pancakes and we all split up to do what we had chosen to do.
Of course, I chose hut to hut evangelism in the town. This time we stayed locally. But first let me give a little back story.
The three days that we had the VBS was absolutely extraordinary. I met my baby boys Piter and Bedson, 7 years old and 5 years old. Immediately they chose me and my heart chose them. The first day was getting to know each other, and it was quite awkward as they thought my creole was funny (even though I am actually pretty good and can actually hear and reply) but I just focused on showing them they could trust me and that I loved them just as the Lord loves them.
The second day was better and as I saw them coming in they gate a smile filled their faces and they screamed “ZANMIIIIIIIIIII !!!!!!!!” which is Friend in Creole, and a rush filled my body and I got to squeeze them in pure joy to see them again. Another VBS went by and we colored and talked about goats and they just always pulled on my hands or crawled into my lap. In this culture, many parents view children as “worthless” or “a curse from satan from past sins” or if they look a little different it is “from satan” and no love is ever going to them. They are only hated because that is just how it is here. That is just something I can’t understand, and that is something that you just can’t understand until you swapped shoes with me here in Haiti.
These little babies that my heart adores come to a VBS like ours because they know they can pull your hand and you wont let go. They can climb on your lap and wont get shoved off. They can tug on your clothes and wont get smacked to go away. They can look into your eyes and feel your heartbeat and know, this is what it feels like to be loved. All to show these beauties the love God has for us as his children, and to explain that the love we give them is nothing compared to the actual love God endlessly gives us.
The third day they came in the same way. Eyes wide, looking for me and smothered in joy to be here, them and I, as soon as we found each other. Another day like the last, lots of giggles and hand holding and forehead kisses and trying to write each others names with crayons. Saying goodbye was absolutely hard. Maybe more for me than them. I gave them both a string with a little cross and I told them that it was a gift from me for us to remember that we are friends forever. I added on that Every time they look at it, to remember God loves them, I love them, and that God and I both would be thinking about them in that exact moment that they would be looking at the cross….
As we went across the town, praying for people and saying hello to everyone, we came across Bedson’s house. Bedson was at school but his family invited us in and allowed us to pray for them and their beautiful family. I told her Bedson and I have matching necklaces so we can always remember each other and she said he put it in a safe place because he didn’t want to lose it. As we were walking back to the mission a bunch of school kids were running out of the school as it began to pour rain. The night before I prayed for pure joy of the Lord after the brokenness I have been seeing and feeling. In this moment as I was walking in pouring rain, my faithful God answered a prayer strictly from my heart. And Man, He is good.
My sweet Piter came running from the school with his arms as wide as his smile and the joy of the Lord completely made me forget that the rain was falling hard and cold at this time. Just to feel his love and embrace was exactly what I would’ve felt if the Lord would have ran at me. I was overwhelmed. I just sat there hugging him and then he touched my necklace to his and said “Never forget.” He asked if I had to return back to America, and I told him yes but I promised I would be back. I walked him back home again and this goodbye was terrible. My heart was hurting, and he just sat and watched until I was out of his sight. So today was rough saying bye to my babies, but overall there are absolutely no words or anything that could ever explained what it has been like over here.
Despite the sad stuff, I NEVER WANT TO LEAVE. My heart is in this place and these sweet babies have taken it over. I am not trying to cry anymore as I write this blog so I am going to leave it to my momma for the drive from the airport.
But as today is ending and I am typing this up, I am thankful for the friendships I have made over this week. Friendships that I am leaving here in Haiti and friendships that get to board the plane with me. Those friendships are God sent and all the glory is his. The way things have gone this week have just made sense. The way I would find someone sitting out and despite the language barrier, I would convince them to join the activity. The way that serving others brings light to the Lord and joy to my heart. The way that my heart would find someone out-casted, physically and emotionally and spiritually, and just out of the Lord’s courage would just go to them in hopes that the Lord would find the words for me. The way I would constantly search for a chance to serve in every situation without intention, truly showed where the Lord was pushing me to be with my trust in him. Everything felt natural and came naturally. The Lord just used me as a puppet and I followed whichever way He would pull me.
A lot of things in my life have never made sense and many things still don’t make sense, but this made sense to me. My servants heart is a part on the body of Christ, and this week God has truly showed me what that piece of Him through me really looks like. Every single thing that has taken place has been the glory of God, absolutely no reward for myself or my team. There is now way any of these things could have happened, prayers could have been answered, seeds would have been planted, or troubles would have been conquered if our good and faithful God wasn’t totally in control. I can not even type it in this blog to cover how great our Father is. I am dreading leaving and going back to America because the difference is going to be major but I believe the Lord has it figured it out for my team and I.
Lastly, HEY FAM BAM !!!!!! I miss you guys so much. I never thought it would be this hard, but the fact that I literally wished a million times that I wanted to pick up the phone and call you, momma and dad, it was hard. Thankfully, you guys were loyal in the blog posts. I can not wait to see you guys so soon, and Lilly and the TEN BABIES !!!!!!!!!!!! Yay !!!!! From squeezing babies to squeezing puppies, man the Lord is good. Mom, the team loves your puppy updates and Little Gran!!! I love you so much, and my team adores your sweet sweet posts. I can not even explain how much I want to see and talk to you guys, see you so so so so soon.
Love you to the moon and back,
Waking up with tears in my eyes, knowing that it was our last day, we were blessed with an beautiful devotion with encouragement from Romans 12, “Run your marked race and finish strong”. With pancakes topped with syrup (or peanut butter if you’re like me) to fuel us up for the day, we split up into our groups of where we could serve either in the clinic, special needs class, consrtruction, or hut-to-hut (my group). Once we walked outside of the missions gates, the hut-to-hut group decided to split up into two groups to cover more group.
Our first stop was within the house with three woman, two little girls, and once ridiculously cute baby girl. Ask we asking how we could pray for them, it was requested to pray for their health through out their lives. I can’t really describe in words how big of a blessing it was to be able to meet our sisters in Christ heart-to-heart and turn all of our hearts to our father. The next group we landed on was a group right outside of a bar and it was requested by one of the men to read all of psalms 27 and pray that over him and that same man ended up praying a very powerful pray over our whole group. We then moved on the a girl in her teens that came up to us and liteally asked “can you tell me about jesus? I hear that you guys are here to teach VBS”.
You can only imagine that all of our eyes were wider than the sun and couldn’t wait one more millisecond to share what we had to say. The rain came pouring down and that somehow only fueled our fire. A bunch of kids then just got released from school and got to run up to them and dance around in the rain. Not gonna lie, there was a moment were I stopped from my jumping around, soaking wet, and was one thousand percent content. We ran back to the mission a tad early for lunch because the kids had to get home. I decided to walk down to the beach, just needing to get by myself for a few minutes. It was beyond a blessing to return to the same place where I got rebaptized last year and reflection on what all the Lord has done within the past year in my life and heart. (Side story – a huge hobby and love of mine is running and have been really missing getting to go on a run during this trip).
So as I am sitting on the beach, soaking in the perfect creation our father created at noon today, four guys came running down the beach where we just exchanged a smile, a wave, and “bonjue”. A few minutes later they then turned around and our paths crossed again. They started to taking to me in Creole and tried to explain to them I really only know English and one of the guys reply “we do too”! I then asked them if they were on a run/what were they doing. They explained that they were indeed on a run and then I explained that I love to run aswell. They invited me to join them! How cool is that! It wasn’t very far or long till they had to leave, but as I sat down after, I just couldn’t control the smile on my face and in my heart. The fact that I got to share one of my favorite things with complete but loving strangers and getting to share the love of Christ with them was beyond what words could describe – I guess you could say it was a god-glorifyed, blessed moment. Returned back to the mission site (still soaking wet) for lunch and then geared up for our very last round of VBS.
Today we got to stay here on the mission site (because our truck was broken down) and serve VBS to the orphans that live here. It was SUCH a blast getting to spend a few very epic hours with the kids that mean so much to each and every one of us. I know it has been said a million times, but he smile and love on each face never fails to place tears in my eyes – Just like the unfailing love of and from our father. I love them sooooo stinking much<3. After we said our hard goodbyes, a bunch of the girls that are in sororities got to take some pictures together on the beach with the sunset (#panlove).
Our inner American stomachs were fulfilled with homemade pizza and chocolate brownies and of course a literal ice cold coke. We closed up he night with worship lead by Bullet. Jody then challenged all of us with the message to “Turn our backs and open our eyes to the need for Jesus in Lubbock”. For me (and I know I am fully speaking for the rest of our team on this one) it hit me hard, where I got to examine each area of my life and ask God “where are you needed”?
It hurts my heart to go home returning home from the place that has my heart for the second time, but I just cant wait to see the Lords faithfulness in igniting his glory, love, light, and joy into my personal and my teammates lives. And that leads me to where I am now, trying to lay out the 100% epic final day – all I can and will say it praise the Lord. Each one on our team I truly belive gave it their all and were a pure drop in the ocean I lord has made.
From the beginning of the trip where we didn’t really, honestly know eachother in and out, to screaming out red, blue, or green team color at the dead of night, to running with full joy back and forth between VBS to loving all others as hard as we could, to rolling on the floor laughing our you know whats off at dinner time with our team – I look at this tripand just see pure Jesus all over it- I see my teammates smiles that are purley fueled by wanting to shune the love, joy, peace, and friendship of Jesus. The peace that surpasses all understanding was truly enscribed on all of our hearts during this trip – amen.
The lord is sooo beyond good and I wish I could describe each moment on trip to where everyone around the world could really understand – but I am thankful for this blog to even get a chance to attempt start the spread of our jouney here in Haiti. We were asked sometime on this trip to name three things that we are thankful for each day. Mine today are running shoes, having my own copy of my bible, and the ability to go a second trip to this beautiful place called Mole St Nicolas.
May the Lord bless each heart that is reading this and know full that the Lord was exhaulted strongly an undeniably during our 10 day mission.
With all my love and and love always,
P.S. – To the Harvey fam in Cedar Park, I CAN NOT WAIT TO HUG Y’ALLS NECKS!!!