Thursday, September 12, 2019

One Reason Church - Day 4

If I had to put a title on today, I could use words like profound, love, grateful, exhausting, fulfilling, and many, many others but I'd say the word that best describes today is Honor! The day started well with breakfast that was well prepared by our Haitian staff and a few volunteers. We all prayed over our day and over our meal, had a filling and delicious breakfast. We gathered our water for the day and loaded tightly in the Tap-Tap.  Our transportation was fuller today as we had a couple of welcomed guests join us on our adventure. We traveled for about 40 minutes and ended up in a village named Titanyen which means "less than nothing" in Haitian Creole. There were hilly gravel paths between residences and people hustling and bustling, children walking and playing, and families just living their lives as normal. They all notice the truck full of strangers driving through their city.
  We were able to traverse the narrow paths and eventually stopped at four different places. We were there to visit with some of the elders of that village. What an amazing people! Even with their less than monetarily privileged lives, they still seem to find joy in living, loving, respecting and caring for each other. 
 We brought each of these amazing individuals meals, water, juice, and toiletries.
We washed their feet, massaged their skin and achy muscles, sang them songs, asked them questions about their lives, prayed over them and treated them with the honor they deserve.

 We all felt an amazing closeness to each of them and their community. We were able to paint the fingernails of one amazing lady that even sang us a song of prayer and worship.
The last person we visited was an elderly man who had a couple complaints about his living area and let us know right away how we could help.
We then proceeded to converse with him and in the process, we found out that he wanted to shave his beard. It looked as if he had not had a shave for a month or better. It is hot here and even though the indigenous people are acclimated to the climate, I can imagine that a beard makes them a bit more uncomfortable. We jumped at the chance to help this man shave. What an honor! To have a man feel comfortable enough with strangers to even ask for something like this, took me by surprise. The team members took their time and gently shaved all of his beard and the back of his neck, massaged his face, neck and shoulders, with lotion, and listened to the rest of the team singing songs while they worked.

He was a joy to serve and we all had so much fun with him.  We all spent time with these graceful souls granting them the honor they deserve and looking at them through the eyes of Jesus.

  Every morning, before we leave for our adventure, we pray the Holy Spirit opens our eyes and shows us what we are to see the way God wants us to see it. These spiritual moments are never to be forgotten. The deep loving stares from their large beautiful brown eyes are sure to consume and remind you how rich in faith and filled with love that these people are. 

We said our goodbyes and loaded into the tap-tap. We headed to another place to have a snack and shop.  Every place we stop and spend money, helps the local economy. We are all very happy to help in any way we can.

We gathered our things and loaded up again. We headed to Grace Village. This is a school Designed, built, and run by Healing Haiti. They employ all local people to teach. There is a very rich history of struggles and tribulations in the process of developing this facility but it seems to be flourishing and sustaining its self for the time being but we all know that this is a never ending battle here.

After holding and loving on a few of the kids and touring the school, we headed down the hill to Fleri Resto (Haitian for Flourish Restaurant).

They decided on this name to represent the growth you can encourage in a person by investing in them. The Manager, a 4 year, long term missionary from Minnesota, was very informative and truly believes in people.

We ate an amazing pizza dinner. 
We played beanbags, talked and laughed, and enjoyed each other. We were honored with the company of one of the elders we visited earlier in the day and she graced us with the presence of her 2 week old baby.
We sat around till 7:30 and then it was dark and time to leave. As we drove back in the uncomfortable dark, we noticed small fires along the side of the road, cars lined up for gas, people still living their lives as if the sun were still shining, Children still walking around and enjoying the evening air. Motorcycles with flashing blue and red lights on them for safety I assume.  After the 40 minute ride back, we finally returned home to the HH Housing and took care of the left over chores from the day. Our leaders discussed our agenda for tomorrow and we all decompressed with discussion and immense laughter and joy about our day. There are so many more details that I wish I could share but for most of you, you will need to experience this for yourselves to grasp the gravity of the situation here. Have a great night and tune in tomorrow. May God bless each of you fully and may you all remember his Love Surrounds you where ever you are!
By Matt