Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day Three: Water Truck Day!

Our Bible is our Weapon

Our Bible is our Weapon
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. -2 Corinthians 10:4

Today our team spent their third day, second full service day, delivering water. We visited three stops in Cite Soleil, the slums outside of Port Au Prince. Without spending time in the area, it is hard to put Cite Soleil into perspective, but we will do our best. It marks an area of roughly 8.5 square miles along the coast of Haiti. Within that area there are nearly a quarter of a million people, which means that more than 30,000 people live in each square mile. Even more astonishing is that this is not a developed area with high rises or multi floor buildings, but rather a population dwelling entirely at sea level. Being the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere, desperation for water and other necessities runs high, and the area is marked by gangs and violence. Serving there, you wouldn’t immediately know of the unrest, as you are greeted immediately with joy, smiles, and of course a lot of yelling of “Hey You!”
With no sewers or running water, the residents rely almost exclusively on water trucks to deliver potable water for drinking and cooking. Each week, Healing Haiti teams are lucky enough to be a part of this ministry. If you at home are wondering about the practicality of coming on a mission trip, here you are. The work done on days like this, and by the numerous other trucks that run throughout Haiti, is absolutely essential to support the life that our team interacted with today.
In order to effectively meet this basic need, our team tackled different tasks at each stop; both working the line to ensure the efficient filling of buckets and interacting with the community members. While you might assume that those filling buckets are doing the brunt of the physical work, you would be sorely mistaken. Climbing off of our Tap-Tap, we were immediately swarmed with kids wanting to be picked up, hugged, played with, and most importantly, have their picture taken. And when we say swarmed, we mean it (“I am already holding three kids, and you want me to pick you up how?”) It is so clear that these kids crave love and attention. Each stop is a blur of moving parts and ends all to soon with hugs and goodbyes. When the 40,000 gallons of water are gone, so is our team. Well wishes and
“God Bless Yous” are left with the buckets, but it is never enough.
Healing Haiti and the teams that serve play a crucial role in filling the needs of those in Cite Soleil, but the need is great. Our team was struck most by the much bigger picture that was shared with us today. After our first stop, we had the privilege of visiting Hope Church which stands on what was recently one of the largest trash dumps in the country. The church stands in the heart of Cite Soleil and is a physical reminder of the work that Healing Haiti has been doing for 10 years. The progress that they are making in this community is so evident for those who saw the area as recently as last year.
The strongholds, as you might imagine, in Cite Soleil are everywhere. Gaining trust and fostering relationships with the citizens, Healing Haiti slowly started their long journey. We were told today by one of our translators that the majority of those is Cite Soleil are not believers, and for many years, they have not had access to a church. Additionally, for most families, education is an opportunity that they are not afforded due to cost and distance. With the opening of Hope Church, and the upcoming inaugural school year, those in Cite Soleil will be receiving living water in addition to physical water (“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." -John 4:14) In America, we are used to having our pick of the lot when it comes to churches with one on what feels like every street corner. Here, it is a game changer. We were also told about the sharing of verses with the community. Our translator shared that many members were drawn to 2 Corinthians 10:4. He told us that “The Bible is our gun” has become a new mantra almost for many people in Cite Soleil. Best of all, they have taken it seriously and have been putting down their physical weapons in favor of the word of God.
We were so touched by the overwhelming outpouring of thanks for our work in bringing this dream to reality, and by the fact that all of the glory for this amazing opportunity was given back to God. More than once we were told of how difficult progress can be in an area like Cite Soleil, but thanks to God’s faithfulness and will for this project, change is happening. Our team will continue to pray over Hope Church, Cite Soleil, and Haiti as a whole for the wonderful progress that is being made. We also pass along the sincerest gratitude from the Haitian people for the work that has been done to make this possible. Being down here is certainly not the only way to make a difference in this country, and without the financial support, prayers, and compassion from those who have been backing this dream from the beginning it would have been impossible. Mesi anpil (thank you very much) for all that you have done and Ke Bondye Beni’ou (may God bless you)!
Filling Buckets

Water Line
Hope Church

Bath Time
Water Truck Line