Today started off with a beautiful early morning church service. We all got up at 5:30 to get ready for the 6:00 service at Church on The Rock. With sleepy eyes and smiles, we prayed and hopped in the tap-tap, ready for our first service in Creole since arriving. Us "blans" sat in a group, taking up 3 pews while sitting. I was amazed by many things: 1. When we walked in, the pastor was shouting in Creole-probably a sermon of some sort. It seemed so powerful and I wish I would have know what he was saying. 2. Every Haitian in the big worship building was standing up, hands in the air, praying and worshiping with joy. 3. People were so gracious to us when the service ended, shaking our hands and kissing our cheeks, thanking us for coming. One man even translated for us. The amount of joy and comfort in the Haitians was amazing. God is definitely showing us some amazing things this week.
We then departed for a home for sick and dying adults. Unfortunately due to traffic (if you think traffic in the U.S. is bad, think again...there are no stop signs/lights in Haiti), we made it there at the time that we were supposed to be leaving. Graciously, the sister gave us an extra half hour to stay and sing to the women, lotion them up, and paint their nails. We split up into two rooms, and asked each lady if they would like lotion or nails. Every woman was grateful for our time and extra love. Some even had fun practicing their English skills exclaiming, "THANK YOU VERY MUCH!" when we were finished with their massages. It warmed my heart knowing I was doing something to make their day or even week.
After that we were supposed to head over to the history museum, but due to traffic AGAIN, we didn't have time to see that and instead drove straight to La Loo, an orphanage. Traffic was so bad today due to the crowds of Mardi Gras. It was fun to see all the little kids dressed up with face paint and glitter, but the tap-tap was pretty toasty when we weren't moving. At La Loo, as soon as we got in the gate every person was "chosen" by a child. I was chosen by a little girl, who hung on me the whole time through singing, dancing, coloring, and arts and crafts. I can't imagine how the kids feel when we give them undivided attention- something they don't often get. Playing and comforting children has been one of my favorite things this week. Spreading joy and love is all we need.
Unexpected blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Extra time with friends during a traffic stop, gracious time to serve from a sister, a joyous smile from a sick woman, and the laughter of kids. God fills our hearts and souls with unexpected blessings everyday; you just need to look for the light in the dark.