Today started like any of our previous days. We had breakfast then found our seats on the Tap Tap driving out of the city to Titanyen. Our first stop was the mass grave where over 160,000 people were buried after the massive earthquake of January 12, 2010. This was overwhelming, gut wrenching and surreal. 160,000 people buried in a single mass grave. Our guide shared several stories about the earthquake. One that stayed with us was a story of a school that was buried under the rubbles. The parents went to the site and though they could hear their students’ cries for help the mothers could not help or save their children. Sadly, this went on for days until the cries for help came to a stop.
From the Mass Grave we proceeded to the Elder visits. We picked up hot meals, sodas and bottles of water and treats for the week. The first woman we visited was Ms. Charitable. She was very happy to see us. We gave her the food and then had a very intimate experience with her washing and massaging her feet and hands. We also sang worship songs and enjoyed fellowship with her. We also visited Ms. Elepil and did the same thing. One word that could capture the experience was humbling. Finally, we stopped by the visit Edmond who was ill. This was very touching as we had been informed that he was usually animated. On this visit, he was bed ridden and didn’t talk. We prayed for him and sung worship songs to him before we left.
Our next visit was the Fleri Bakery. We learned how the bakery was changing lives by providing employment, a gathering place for the community as well as meeting their basic needs for bread at affordable prices. Prior to the bakery the community had to buy bread that was brought in from Port-au-Prince.
Our final stop for the day was Grace Village, a very well-run orphanage, school, clinic, and community that is self-sufficient. They have their water and energy. The entire day challenged every emotion from sadness at the Mass Grave, Elder visits, the bakery to the orphanage that gave us hope for Haiti’s future.