To me, the children of Grace Village are my gift from God. The kindhearted, pure souls bring joy to my heart each time I see them. It does not matter how amazing water truck day was or how cool it was to visit new orphanages because visiting Grace and all the kids there will always be the highlight of my trip. Do not get me wrong, I love water truck day and I love going to see other kids at different orphanages, but I have bonded and built special relationships with the kids at Grace, and nothing will ever change that. One of the relationships I built was with a young boy named Rendy. I met him exactly one year ago during a sports camp. I hung out with him and we played basketball and swung on the swings, but I did not really think anything of it until the following Sunday. After the church service on that Sunday, Rendy ran up to me and gave me a small, folded piece of paper. Inside the piece of paper was the most beautiful, heartfelt note I had ever received. After having read it, I instantly fell in love with the little boy. Just knowing that I had done something for him made my heart smile. That day, I had made a promise to him that I would be back very soon. Recently this past March, I came back down to visit him, and I was given yet another sweet note from him, and I also got to meet his sister, Samone. Samone had told me that Rendy prays for me every night and that he would talk about me a lot to his family. Hearing that made me so extremely happy. Knowing I had made an impact in his life is something very special. It broke my heart every time I had to say goodbye to him because he is the most kindhearted person I have ever met. So today was the teams first day at Grace and the joy inside of me could not be contained. As the tap-tap rode up the bumpy road leading up to the gates of Grace, I had butterflies in my stomach because I was so excited to reconnect with my friends. The moment I saw Rendy and he saw me, his face lit up with a great big smile. I cannot get it out of my head. I spent most of my time with him today knowing it would be very hard to say goodbye. This will by far be one of my favorite days because I got to see someone who is very dear to my heart, words cannot explain how much I love this boy. It will break my heart when I have to see goodbye, but I am hoping to return soon to see him again.
Today consisted of sweat, aching arms, confusing conversations due to language barriers, but the most love and joy I have ever seen from kids who have so little. Some of us had a rough time waking up but we got to breakfast, which was made by the Haitian cooks who make the most delicious food, and hopped on to the tap tap and made our way to the first of three water truck stops in cite soleil. Before I even stepped off of the tap tap I could see the kids surrounding us waiting to be picked up. I stepped off and before I knew it there was a little girl in my arms and 3 more children grabbing onto my shirt waiting to be held. I saw just as many, if not more kids, surrounding the rest of the team members. The water started pouring and the line of buckets formed. Once their buckets were filled they lifted them to their heads and headed back to their homes with help of the Healing Haiti team. Once the water truck was empty we said goodbye to the kids clinging to us and headed to the second water truck stop. While we waited for the water truck to refill we stopped at Hope church which is in the center of cite soleil to eat and see Hope church that was built on an area which was once their dumping ground. We left the church and when the gates opened children were running towards us and leaping into our arms. There we hung out with the kids and gave water just like the first stop but the line for water was even more chaotic but just as successful. After the second stop we went to check out the new Healing Haiti farm and tried fresh coconut straight form the tree. After that we headed to our third and final water truck stop. When we got there, tired and super hot, it started to lightly rain which felt like a gift from God. Just seeing all the kids and people light up when they saw us made my day. The kids have more joy by just being held than most kids who have everything they need and more. We finished up our last water truck stop and went back to the guest house and walked to the pool at a near by hotel to cool down. Finished off the night with an incredible devotion. It was only my first full day in Haiti and I can already see God working through our team in so many ways. I can't wait for to see what God does in us and through us the rest of this week. Oh, and hi Mom!