Thursday, November 2, 2017

KCC D7: The Sabbath

Joshua 4: 1-7:  This passage is from the Old Testament.  The context is Joshua's message from the Lord to have the original 12 Israelites collect stones from the Jordan and place them in a memorial, as well as others who followed them.  The purpose of the memorial is because stone monuments usually outlive the people who erect them.  They keep memories alive long after the original players who could tell the stories left the scene.  We challenged each other "How many stones in your memorial?"  We used this as a background for discussion around our planned "reentry" back home tomorrow and ways to remember our journey here.

We began our journey of the day with worship at Grace Church in Titanyen.  It was beautiful to see the village adults and children turn out in their Sunday best.  They certainly take pride in their appearance and sang with vigor and joy.  We then headed north to a seaside resort called Wahoo Bay.  We relaxed at the pool, frolicked in the turquoise blue water, jet skied, snorkeled, played volleyball, ate burgers and fries and overall just rested as a team.  It was a perfect day to spend our Sabbath, rest from the work of our mission.

Our final worship time and devotion was bitter sweet.  Our worship was fantastic as always.  We have been blessed to have live music on this trip.  Thank you Adam, Sam, and Grace for your gifts.  We all acknowledged our excitement about going home tomorrow while being sorry about the "loss" of our daily devotional time together.  Nonetheless,  our words reflected not only our day of rest together but simultaneously summed up our week in review:

  • Lost (a metaphor for those we sought this week and a reality when Bill and I got lost on jet-skis!)
  • Accomplished (week)
  • Beautiful (beach today & all of Haiti)
  • Incredible (day and week/journey)
  • Sight (many filters removed and the opportunity to see things with different perspectives)
  • Firsts (many significant firsts for this member)
  • Gratitude (things all came together)
  • Family (development of unique family bonds throughout the team)
  • Hard (it being the last day as a team)
  • Fellowship (today's fun and team building throughout the week) 
  • Steadfast Love (we allowed 2 words here!) - throughout the week
  • Balanced (week)
  • Restored (in faith and discipline with God)  
  • Happy (day and week)
  • Trampoline (excitement that it was back at the resort)
  • Honor (compliment from a HH staff member regarding our team)
In reflection, our words of each day, through this blog, memorialize our mission trip and will outlast our long term recollection of our journey.  These words are the "stones" we collected for our Lord. 

From this blogger (and all my team), thank you for following our amazing mission to Haiti.  While we have tried to share some depth of our experience with our followers, words can never describe the bonds formed, the emotions felt, nor the impact we have made on the people of Haiti.  We know in our hearts that without God, our journey and spiritual growth would not have been possible. Please know that the love and support we have had from all of you at home has also sustained us this past week. 

In closing, Merci.  Glwa pou Bondye.

Day 3

Day 3.   We began our day as usual, departing at 9-ish (some parts of the world are more concerned about punctuality than others...).  We headed to "Sweet Home", an orphanage with whom Healing Haiti has partnered.  The buildings were very colorful and the dwelling was very homey.  We crossed the language barrier with paints, balloons, a small multi-colored parachute and bubbles!  The kids seemed to have a great time painting their creations and squealing under the parachute.  The orphanage accommodates 30 children.  Sweet Home is hoping to build another home on their property to accommodate 50 more children.  There is certainly more need than beds.

We also visited the farm that Healing Haiti recently purchased.  28 acres in size, they are growing all things tropical: coconut, plantains, bananas, guava, papaya, mango, as well as peanuts, okra, melons, squash, and more! The farm is tended by a couple of Haitians, with more to be added as the produce increases, adding jobs and food to sell.  Wildlife?  Hmmm...if chickens on the run count, then there was wildlife too.

Last stop for the day was Gertrude's, a home for disabled children.  Breaking up their day with a visit, we pushed children on swings, drew with chalk, played basketball and hopscotch, and held children on our laps, on our hips, or just held hands.  We trust that God is using these small gestures and efforts to demonstrate His love to the children, and simultaneously inch each of us closer to His heart.