Our kitchen staff cooked up an incredible breakfast this morning. We are so blessed to have full bellies when departing the guesthouse. We were priveleged to see the lush green country side on our forty-five minute ride to Titanyen, Haiti.
Our first stop was one that has left us all with heavy on our hearts from the second we got off the tap tap. We were on what is considered sacred ground here in Haiti at the Mass Graves. Mass Graves is a location whereby several thousands of Haitians were buried after the earthquake in January 2010. Our hearts were broken and tears flowed as as we heard the story of how that day unfolded by one of our translators. It was devastating to each and every person in the community, leaving them in shock, and having to start over from nothing. We heard of colleges, schools, and neighborhoods that didn't stand a chance for survival. It was absolutely heart breaking, we can't even beging to imagine how that must have felt, and we are so grateful our translator was generous and brave enough to share his experience and knowledge.
Next, we toured the ever-expanding Grace Village. Grace Village is such a unique place and the children that attend the school, and live in the village, are very well cared for and loved. The children live in family style homes, with appointed "mommies" (staff) leading their households. They are being taught amazing life skills such as gardening, coding, and being responsible for cooking at least one meal each night. It was such an incredible difference seeing the kids yesterday from Cite Soleil to the children today at Grace Village. You could see the hope and bright future in their eyes.
Next, the team toured the Fleri Bakery, everyone smiled as they entered the room because the smell was so good :)
A few years ago, what was once a room no larger than an average size American living room that held three bread ovens is now a full size bakery employing many Haitians. Fleri Bakery is tucked in the hills of Titanyen. Fleri is a full service bakery selling baked goods to the surrounding community, they get a lot of their ingredients from local markets, which helps build up the Haitian economy. We had a few treats and enjoyed visiting with our group, and our translators, and we were off to our next adventure.
In the afternoon, we were given the honor of visiting four elders who reside in shanties in Titanyen. Although the conditions of their environment is so very difficult, they smile when missionaries come to visit. We were allowed to wash their feet, give massages, sing worship songs. Although their physical conditions are hard to witness, they look out for one another. You can see on their face that they have lived a long life, with many obstacles and hardships, their hands and feet are calloused, but their smile is warm and inviting. They look tired, but also relieved to have company and prayer. It was so touching.
We ended up hitting traffic on our way home. It was VERY interesting to see the commute and public transportation in action on a typical "end of work day" lots of hustle and bustle, people running to catch busses "tap taps" and catching "motos" which are motorcycles that serve as Taxi cabs! It was a cool experience, but we hope we don't have to witness again, because that would mean an additional 30 minutes added onto our commute home ;)
We were able to hit up the pool again, and enjoy another wonderful Haitian meal together. We were blessed to have worship afterwards as our devotion with the other missionary leader, Aleisha. She has a beautiful voice, and we were able to sing along with her in our living area, along with convining her to give us an encore! We discussed the plans for our day tomorrow, and we are so excited to see how those plans unfold.
Please say a prayer for us as we plan to wake up by 5AM tomorrow for church service, we are thinking it might be difficult since we try to push the limits with sleeping. We are also planning on visiting Teen Challenge, the core values of their teachings are something that our group holds near and dear to our hearts. We ask the Lord to be with us as we share some of our testimonies, and hear some of theirs. We hope we can go in with open hearts and open minds, and that God will use us as his vessel to touch the lives of others and give them the hope and freedom that was once missing from our own lives as well. This should be an amazing day, we can't wait to update you all!