Thursday, June 6, 2019

Day 4: Grace Village - Elders, Tours, and Pizza

This morning we set out to a nearby artisan’s market just a couple blocks from the guesthouse.  
We browsed the souvenirs and each of us came back with a bag of goodies (no spoilers as i think
some are gifts to some of our blog readers - wink wink).  Upon returning to the guesthouse, we
packed up the Tap-Tap for our long drive to Titanyen (tee-tan-yay) about 15 miles, but about an
hour driving. So rough roads were mentioned in yesterday’s blog - these roads take the cake.  
Large section of the roads are washed out, rocky, and have random holes throughout.
Fortunately, there are some nice paved roads for most of the drive that border the oceanside.

Once arriving in Titanyen, we made our way to Grace Village - it hosts a Church, a school,
an orphanage, and a clinic.  Its stucco tan and lavender buildings sit upon a hill overlooking
the Titanyen village with the Titanyen mountains to the East.  
Our first task was an absolute privilege for us to help with - we met with elders at their homes to
wash and massage their hands and feet.  We were excited to have Katie, the Elder care missionary,
join us with her guitar and songs. We met first with Guerline, a sweet woman expecting a baby boy
in August.  The scripture we read to her (as translated by Valery - our Haitian driver and guide) really
touched her spirit and we were all moved. As she requested, we prayed for her health and her baby’s,
and for general wellness in her life. Next we met with Sitiala, an elderly woman that asked we pray
for her health, her house, and her children and grandchildren.  She sung along with the songs we
sang in her front yard of her meager housing. We then made our way just across the street to an
elderly man, Lindor, who enjoyed his radio in the shade just outside his front door along with his
baby goats. I think he especially enjoyed the hand and arm massage, because he asked for just
a bit more cream for his arm. He asked that we turn off his radio so he could hear the guitar and
sing along.  He asked us to pray for his eternal life. And lastly, we trekked around the neighborhood
to reach Felicie’s house. She sat under her cherry tree in the only shade she had. She also enjoyed
the music and massage while the neighborhood boys picked cherries from the tree. When we went
to leave, she wanted us to take some cherries as a gift of gratitude. if you get a moment, please send
prayers for these lovely people.

The neighborhood boys clung on our tap-tap until we left the area.  We then went to Rosie’s - a
boutique of local artists and an ice cream shop.  After a few scoops of ice cream and a fun
shopping spree, made our way back up to Grace Village.  

There at Grace Village, we got a full tour of the facility. We toured the school, kitchen, classrooms,
gardens, orphanage family homes, and the medical clinic.
 The school hosts 400 students and there were around 60 orphaned kids that live in the family homes.
It is a beautiful campus with even more spectacular views.  We were so impressed with all the extra
attention to detail they take into account for the children and their education.

I think we were all definitely ready for the final part of our day - a visit to the bakery and Pizza
restaurant - Fleri, meaning “fourish” in Haitian Creole.  They now employ over 50 local folks that work
in the bakery and pizza restaurant. I have to say, it was my favorite meal yet! Fantastic pizza,
yummy appetizers, and several games of, what we call “cornhole” in Nebraska, but I understand
it’s “bags” in Minnesota.  I think Valery wins the champion player! Also, do not miss out on the
mango creme brulee - amazing!

The ride back to the guesthouse seemed much shorter than the ride there - i think traffic was not
as bad as it was in the morning.  We are all wiped out today, but are taking a chance to do
“show and tell” with all of our cool purchases from the shops today. (still no spoilers as we are
hearing what cool items are going to whom - guess you’ll have to wait until we return stateside).

In closing, its worth saying the town of Titanyen, which means “less than nothing” is anything
but… we found it all inspiring, spiritual, at times sad, but we saw the resilience of the people and
how they are growing and flourishing.  

In Christ's steps,
Heather Douglas