After a day where we were able to experience a sense of helplessness as we only contributed to one solution while visiting the poverty stricken Cite Soleil, today we were able to experience the hope that Healing Haiti has created for the children born in those difficult circumstances. Today we had the opportunity of visiting the Sweet Home Orphanage, which provides care and shelter for around 30 children, the Croatian Relief Services Catholic run charity which provides for around 50 children, and we were even able to switch it up a bit by visiting the artists at the Croix De Bouquet metal market. Our time at the orphanages was spent bonding with the children, teaching them how to make necklaces with bead crosses, helping them color white t-shirts that we brought them, teaching them new songs as we sang, laughed and danced around to the songs that coach shared with us, and we also shared snacks with them. The unique aspect to the Croatian relief services is that although Haitian law does not allow for the children to stay in orphanages once they turn 18, the Croatian Relief Services provide a separate center for those children who have outgrown the orphanage. It was at the Croatian Relief Services center where I met many of the kids and exchanged names asking them “kijan ou rele?” (Key-shjah oo rAlAy), or “what is your name?” The majority of my time was spent with my new little buddy Max, who is around 5 years old. At first it was difficult getting over the language barrier which even the translators spent some time trying to figure it out. One of the translators, Emmanuel, realized that the young boy was mispronouncing the name and that he was trying to say “ocean”, describing that design of a fish that was given to him to help paint his shirt. I enjoyed the quality time that I was able to spend with Max, as I outlined the design of the fish for him and he followed along connecting the dots. After our time at the Croatian Relief Services center, we headed off to Croix De Bouquet which is a metal market. On our there we passed cites of all sorts, as venders packed the streets, cars created chaos as the drivers had no fear of cutting one another off and inched the closest possible to the vehicles ahead. We also passed piles by piles of garbage and a tan-colored river probably used as sewage. The ride there alone was worth the trip but once we arrived to the market, we realized why our leaders were so eager to take us. We were welcomed by clanging of metal and greeted with a smile by the artists as we stepped off the tap tap bus and they guided us toward their shops. The sight of their work was remarkable and made it hard to believe that it was they who put in the work as they included such detail and focus. Looking at the day overall, it was full of love and beauty. It was truly a blessing to us on this trip. I am looking forward to many more cherished moments and learning experience. Blessings to those reading this and a special hello to my family in Arizona.
Glory to God,