We started this morning with a devotional from mom (Telly) about whales and stars and how they sing praises so God, and so should we. Then we took a boat ride out to a small fishing village called Preskul. It sits on the very tip of the peninsula that comes out from the Mole. The water is more blue out there than any we have in the Great Lakes back home. I was told sometimes there are flying fish that can be seen jumping next to the boat but sadly, I didn’t get to see any. When we arrived in Preskul there were a handful of boats lined up along the shore. It is very far from town by land so the easiest way to get there is by boat. There are probably only about 20-30 homes, a church and a school out there.
We walked around and gathered a few people to meet under a large tree in the middle of town for a lesson and a game. A group of about 15 men and children joined us. We sat and colored and made bracelets for a few minutes to gather interest. There was a little baby who kept trying to eat all my crayons. Each time I told him they weren’t for eating he would just giggle and grab another one lol. He was so stinking cute!
Shelley sat down on a rock and read the creation story and the story of Noah from a children’s Bible. It was very well received! Honestly, I think anything Shelley teaches is going to be received well, she is so engaging. She even taught them sign language for “trust God”. After the story Lily set up a memory matching game and we played that with everyone. They seemed to have a lot of fun. Before we left we prayed together and passed out some trail mix. A few of the men sang a song for us. We took one more quick walk around the village before we boarded our boat to head back. The view from the boat was stunning. I was reminded of mom’s devo from this morning, everything around us sings of God’s majesty. The rocks and caves, the fish and birds, the plants and waters, everything.
After we got back from Preskul, we walked the winning team from camp (the green team) into town to celebrate their victory by picking out juice and snacks from the store. They picked out some assorted sodas and sandwich cookies, similar to vanilla Oreos. They also got a peanut brittle type treat called “tablets”. Imagine the roasted almonds you get at the ballpark but with peanuts and in a cookie form. We got a few extra so we could try them! It sounds a little odd I know, but trust me, they are so yummy. After that, we sat down for brown rice and hotdogs for lunch. It wasn’t quite as good as our dinner from the other day, (cinnamon rolls, donut holes and brownies) but it hit the spot for today.
After lunch we headed out to do hut to hut, which is what we call visiting and praying for people and playing with kids. It is always a delight to meet people in the town and be welcomed into their homes. We took two of the older boys and two of the older girls who live in the orphanage with us so they could also watch and engage as well. We split into two groups once we arrived in town. My group was Lydia, Lily, Shelley, me (Telly), Donley, Markendy, and Kenson to translate for us. We headed up to Calvaire and visited three different familes. We colored, played bubbles and played a great game of “Hot Potato” with several kids. Donley and Markendy helped kids do a word search we took with us also. Before we left each home we asked them how we might pray for them; It was so awesome to see the boys lead in prayer for the families. Already at their ages they are learning what it looks like to be Christ to those right in your own circle of influence. I was so grateful to be a part of this.
One mom was busy doing laundry when we arrived, but stopped and told us to pray that she would just…”remain in God”. I agree that can be all of our prayers no matter what we do or where we live. Another mom had four little kids under six and was so content to sit and watch the kids color the pictures we brought, and let us invite many other kids into her yard which was filled with bean plants, banana trees, sugar cane and egg plant. She didn’t seem concerned about her plants possibly being stepped on, yet generously let us play and laugh and run around in the game. I am always ministered to on these visits and this was another one.
The other group, which was Tom, Sharon, Emma, Abbey, Haylee, Hannah, and Taylen to translate went another direction through town to do their visits. hey told us they met a man who was a teacher in town. He knew French, Spanish, Creole and English. He was grateful they came to visit and talked about how God’s word is a gift.
On our way back we stopped in a store and Lydia bought us these chocolate covered marshmallow cookies that we shared when we got back to campus. Shelley got some matches from a lady selling them in Calvaire. She likes to collect matches from different places and was excited to find some. We also walked through the market as we came through town and returned to campus.
Before dinner we popped popcorn and bagged it in preparation for another movie night with the kids! Tonight’s film was Hotel for Dogs which the kids seemed to enjoy a lot based on all the laughter! It was a very full day but so delightful in so many ways. Miss Beth challenged us the other day in her devotion to say, “Wring me out”. Let God use every part you have to offer and everything you can give and hold nothing back. I love that challenge and hope I can keep that in mind as we head back to the states in a few days.
The stay started with the electricity out around 4:30am so they tell me. Oh my a first world problem with “no” fans running. So then the power came back on and then I looked at my phone and it was also dead. Ok, “does anybody really know what time it it is?” (Chicago 70’s). I decided to lie in bed for a bit and then must have fallen back a sleep until I hear Sharon at the door. And of course she said your busted for being late for breakfast.
The Sunday breakfast of choice in Haiti is Corn Flakes.
Headed off to church to hear Pastor Hens deliver an awesome message as always. Always love to hear the singing in Haiti but still recognizing the tunes.
Following church Haitian Spaghetti was the lunch item of choice. Did I say choice? Choice is take it or leave it but who would leave Haitian Spaghetti when in Haiti? Gotta love the tomato based sauce and hot dogs with a secret seasoning. Always a winner!!
Following lunch we to the globe fish we used for Ocean Commotion decorations and hung them in the kids rooms for a bit of new decoration. It was great being in the kids rooms and noticing how well they are taking care of their living and sleeping quarters.
We spent a couple of hours with the kids in the “shakoon” braiding t-shirt bracelets, necklaces, headbands and even jump ropes. Sweet little Fabiola sat next to me with a string of gold colored wire that I twisted into a bracelets for her and received the biggest “smile” ever for this little sweetheart!
Following our time with the kids we visited Pastor Hens house and family. Hens and Wildene offered us a cold beverage of gatorade and fruit juices. We loved spending time with this young family who has a great heart for ministry. We also spent some time in prayer: their ministry, Wildene and baby due in October and the interest in building a new home. Loved spending time with them on our final day here in Mole St Nicolas.
Some head off to the beach a bit early ahead of a bonfire, hotdogs, s’mores and devotions on the beach. During our time there we watch a group of local Haitian men cast their fishing net in the ocean in front of us and drag it back to shore. The operation took about 3 hours with as many as 10 men on the beach and another 6 men in a dory pulling, Heave Ho, Heave Ho to bring in the net. One they got the net close to the beach 10 or 12 of got in one of the boats and continued to drag in the nets. From our point of view the “juice was not worth the squeeze”! Very few fish could be seen from where we were.
It is always a blessing to be here in the midst of God’s wonderful creation, beautiful and loving Haitian community. I can say we all had a very impactful week. Yes, we came to minister to them and YES, again they impacted us more than we probably delivered. I can say this was an awesome team to travel with, endless energy and a wonderful heart to SERVE.
IF you have never traveled to serve on the mission field, I encourage you to do so. Check out NWHCM.org
— Mr. Tom
For all the dads reading this, Happy Father’s Day. You are so important in the lives of all the children in your life and the families where you are planted. Thank you for leading and following God’s heart.
A big shout out to Craig Ryan. You are an amazing dad and your desire to love and lead well is so admired.
Happy Father’s day Brian. Your dedication and love for our children does not go unnoticed. Please pass my love on to Grandpa, Papa and Dave. xoxo