Many people have asked what we specifically did there, so this post will focus on that.
We worked with a man named Pastor Theodore, who serves in a community filled with hungry people–physically and spiritually–near Carrefour. We went down there each morning for a couple of hours and prayed for the Lord to lead us. One thing I loved about our trip was that it was so Spirit-led. On Monday morning, we were split into groups of two or three, with an interpreter, and told to walk around the community and do whatever God led us to do. At first, it was quite scary! I am used to plans, details, specifics. But I quickly learned that allowing the Holy Spirit to work and lead is the best way to go!
We started out prayer-walking, and made our way down the main “street” in the community. We approached an intersection, and my teammate, Ola, felt compelled to pray right there, so we did. Our translator (Pierre Louis) told us then that intersections, or crossroads, are where voodoo practices often take place. Interesting that she felt compelled to pray there! We prayed for two people who were very sick; one of them, a man with TB, told us that he hasn’t been able to take his medicine because you have to take it with food. I had a bag of crackers in my bag, and I felt compelled to give them to him. When we saw him later, he was sharing those with his family–so precious to see him unselfishly sharing! 🙂
It was hard to look around the community and grasp that this was real…that this is their reality, their daily life, and they can’t easily escape.
We would go home for lunch (for two reasons: one, because we can’t just eat in front of them, but also to allow us a time of rest after working in the extreme heat). We would also prepare during that time for our small-scale Vacation Bible School that we did for the kids, which consisted of a group game and/or song, a story (that we would act out as it was narrated, because they loved that!), and an activity like coloring or making things out of pipe-cleaners. We had at least 150 kids each day!
Random memory: as we walked through one afternoon, inviting kids to come to VBS, I heard a girl singing, “Na na na na, you are the music in me”–which is from Disney’s High School Musical! Even in the poorest of countries, High School Musical has made it’s appearance. 🙂
Another random note: I ate goat meat down there–without knowing it. It was actually really good! I thought it was beef until the missionaries said, “this is the best goat we’ve had so far!” 🙂
Our house had electricity–when it was on. I quickly became so accustomed to flickering lights, or non-existent electricity that coming home to constant power has made me more thankful than ever for the simple things we enjoy.
Toughest moments: As we drove to our site each day, we drove past a section of homes in the median of the road…they have no where else to go, so they live in the five foot (my estimation) median in the middle of a busy street. Heartbreaking. The kids play in the space between the curb and the tires that their parents have set out about two feet from the curb.
We saw children who live with absolutely nothing, who make toys out of garbage. Oh the contrast to American children…
I had a child ask me if I could get him a passport so that he could come home with me to America…several asked me for food because they were/are hungry…
Yet, in the midst of this extreme poverty, the Haitian mindset is not what you would expect! The pastor told us that they essentially say “I know I’m hungry, and I know my house fell down, but I know that in Jesus I have everything I need.” Wow. They rejoice in what they have, not like the developed world which so often becomes “depressed” because of what they do not have.
“Your grace has found me just as I am, empty-handed but alive in your hands.” –Majesty, by Delirious
More to come…