Thursday, February 22, 2018
This is the twins, Manda and Shanda. Day four of our missions trip is coming to a close and we would like to blog about the happenings from this wonderful day today.
We started out with a bumpy tap tap ride (vans that are used for transportation here in Haiti) to the Mass Gravesite Memorial. It is a beautiful memorial that has been built in remembrance of over 150,000+ people who were buried there soon after the catastrophic 7.0 M earthquake that happened in 2010. Our interpreter and driver, Valerie, told us the story of that day the earthquake happened and expressed how sad and scary the day of the earthquake was and the days that followed. He made a point of telling us that there wasn't one Haitian that wasn't affected by the earthquake in a significant way. Many people died as result of the earthquake and the aftershocks that followed that measured 4.5 or greater. Death toll estimates are sadly around 300,000. Every Haitian knew someone who died on that sad day. It was an honor to pray for the survivors and their families hand in hand as a group at the memorial before we left.
After we left the memorial site, we were able to visit Grace Village and take a tour. Grace Village is a school and village that is about 45 minutes away from Port-au-Prince and our Healing Haiti guesthouse. It is an adventurous rocky ride that is surrounded by the mountains and ocean views. Grace Village was built in the city of Titanyen. This city was picked out by the founders of Grace Village because the name of the town, Titanyen, literally means a place of, "little of nothing." Originally it was just a rocky mountainside in the middle of the poorest city in Haiti. Now there's a beautiful, self-sufficiently run orphanage and school that has been built there! Not only that, a medical clinic that treats hundreds of people yearly is there and a bakery that makes delicious breads, cookies and pizzas is also located there! Due to God's grace and the generosity of many donors to the Healing Haiti organization, a beautiful place now exists in the middle of the mountains and it is helping to empower and love many children and adults.
After our tour of Grace Village, we were blessed to take warm meals and small care package to three elders that live in Titanyen. These lovely elderly women welcomed us into their homes and also welcomed us to love on them with song, massage and prayers. Seeing their faces light up from the love that we shared was very special. Their lives and homes are so different than our own because they are filled with hardships and very little "things", but we have to say that their hearts and love for God is not different at all. All three women confessed their faith to us and asked us to pray for them to keep following Jesus. It was such an honor to be a part of their special lives today and we thank God for them and our opportunity to be here in Haiti today and all of our days.
Let us close out this post and day with a nice blessing that our leader, Jessica, shared with us today.
"Sleep well tonight, knowing that all of heaven is on your side."
Manda & Shanda