We arrived in Haiti yesterday after a long day of travel. (I’m having trouble remembering that was only yesterday.) We were greeted with a band playing as we walked to customs and as we walked back outside, I was greeted by a man who wanted to help me carry my rolling bag, so he thought he’d hold the bag with me for a second. 🙂 We arrived to a friend of my Father in Law’s, Jean Alix Paul, in Kenscoff after a nice long ride up the mountain. What a sweet family and what great food!
Tuesday was a packed day of meeting people that Help One Now and Soma work with here in Haiti. Pastor Gaetan’s school was the first stop. Some of the children were on recess when we arrived and they immediately came to say hi and giggle and play until the bell rang. We were allowed some time with Pastor Gaetan to hear his heart and vision and ask some questions of him. He started by thanking us for giving time and money to his school. A man who has 30 children in his care full time and almost 200 being taught and fed was thanking us for all we do. I donated to Help’s fundraiser for a playground there and was excited to see the plot of land where the new playground is going to go.
Pastor Gaetan has such a heart for these kids and a vision and faith that is so humbling and encouraging in my own life. Before we left he prayed for us and let us pray for him. It was a truly sweet exchange.
We had lunch with Junior Bataille, a very smart, passionate man with a heart to see Haiti restored. He shared a lot about helping and hurting that missionaries do. It was good conversation, a lot to process, too much for this blog post. 🙂 We are not here to show the Haitians how to do things, but to learn, assist and support their growth and renewal.
After that we went to the International Lifeline Federation’s headquarters here in Haiti. ILF makes and sells fuel effecient stoves. 1 stove can save 6 trees and $234 dollars a year in cooking costs. My Pastor, Jacob, wants to be more I evolved in this for upcoming projects.
We then visited with Pastor St Cyr who pastors a church in the largest tent city in Haiti, it still holds 22,000 people now. He told us of his vision for his people, how God wanted his people to know that he did not send the earthquake for judgment on them. We were greeted with differing emotions driving through the tent city, understandably some people are just tired of seeing white folks driving through looking at their misfortune. Others, however were more than sweet and happy to see us. We had church right there in the tent city. We had some hoppin worship and the Pastor, Jacob and Barclay (one of our team members) shared and we were able to mingle a little with the church members who were so sweet. I forgot that I was standing in the middle of the tent city for a few minutes. It was crazy to see the tents up close, but it was great to have chruch with some Haitian family.
We finished the night out with more good food and a little slap happy Phase 10 where I learned the following things: that Jacob and Austin are more hilarious to be around than I even originally thought, I heart Julia, Brennan totally digs my playlist and though there are many things he doesn’t do doesn’t do, he will let dinosaur moths in the house to look at them closer and Laura totally gets the concept of Phase 10. 🙂
2 days in and already a great trip. Looking forward to the rest!