Thursday, April 4, 2019

Unbelievably Humbled

Radiant Life - Michigan/Minnesota

Today turned out to be another wonderfully humbling yet powerful day. We started it off again with a bumpy ride in the tap tap and made our way to visit some of our elders near Grace Village. There was some anxiety amongst the team on how this would look and how we would show up with love. To be quite honest, it was intimidating. But perhaps that was a good place for us to start. Each one of us coming from lives of excess in America in comparison to these elders in their dirt floor homes with leaky roofs (or no roof at all). And we’re the ones who are intimidated by the situation. It only took our first elder visit to remove all hesitation and bring all of us to our knees with open palms to serve. We had the privilege of washing 4 elder’s feet, massaging their shoulders, and bringing them a warm meal and a goodie bag. Not only that, we had the honor of praying over them as team with the elders’ specific prayer requests in mind. This was so unbelievably humbling. We saw Jesus in each of their faces today. And yet, we also saw Jesus in each other today. We laid bare our hearts, our insecurities, our fears… and allowed God to show us all his wonder. For many of us, it was a glimpse of what it’s like to take our hands off the steering wheel and just let God be.

After our elder visits, we went to a beautiful place called Rosie’s where we had a quick snack for lunch and bought some souvenirs. Then we drove back up the hill to Grace Village, where we met Caleb for our tour of the grounds. This village contained a clinic, a school, a huge garden, cafeteria, playground, and family-style living quarters. Children start school at Grace Village at age 2 and are able to go all the way to age 20. It costs $75 per year to attend, which covers all their food and medical supplies needed. The homes are set up as all-girl and all-boy homes with a “mommy” or “poppy” living in each home with the Grace Village children. Standing on the grounds looking out over Haiti and the ocean, it reminded us of the technology pod at Hope in Cite Soleil – while you’re there, you forget where you are for a bit. Rather than poverty, you see opportunity. Rather than despair, you see joy. We’ve seen immeasurable good being done in Haiti in our short time here. It is an honor to be a witness to it.

After sitting under the shade trees for a while looking out at the ocean and reflecting on the power at work in Grace Village, we made our way down the hill to Fleri bakery and restaurant. Fleri means Flourish, and it was such a great ending to a day filled with humbling grace. Jake gave us a tour of the bakery and restaurant and shared the history of how it came to be. But most of all he shared his love of the people there and how proud he is of the progress they’ve made. In his own time serving with Healing Haiti, he shared how his outlook on “serving” has transformed. Serving can mean so many things and look different for everyone. What matters is that we open our hearts – we lay them bare – to God and His plan and let Him take it from there. He can do far more than we could ever imagine if we allow Him. It is then, only then, that we may flourish together.  - Mackenzie

Day 4 - The is the day that the Lord has made.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24  Aksel J. Smith stated on his blog, "Each day is a rich and precious gift from God, with new grace and new opportunities.

Today was no exception!  What an incredible day of grace and opportunities! 

Waking up everyday here at the guest house has been a gift.  We have an amazing breakfast of fresh eggs, oatmeal and delicious fruit.  The staff that cook do an exceptional job and every morning is a delight!  We can't praise them enough for all they do to take care of us. 

We left around 9 am and heading to our first stop.  Now that we have had four days on the Tap Tap, I believe we have the hang of it.  We arrived at Rebuild Globally, what a treasure!  We saw the amazing work they do to recycle and reuse tires by making shoes, handbags, jewelry and various other things.  We loved learning about the philosophy behind the store and this amazing ministry.  We each left with some of their treasures!

The next stop was the "Metal Arts".  This place was dizzying yet inspiring too.  The incredible talent of the metal artists has no bounds.  I know we wished we had more room in our suitcases!  We got to see how they pound out the art and everyone was so kind and patient with us. 

Our last stop of the day was to Montfort.  One of  the two Deaf schools we had planned to visit.  This school is amazing! We arrived in the early afternoon to tour the grounds.  First we walked through the farm and saw plantain trees, papaya trees and morenga trees.  We saw the animals they keep for food and milk and as a treat we saw the ground peacock!   We went into a few classrooms.  One where young men were learning how to carve wood for bowls, furniture, and art pieces.  I cannot express how beautiful their work was.  It is something you have to experience.  The next classroom was girls sewing.  Some girls were practicing their stitches, while others were so advanced to do intricate needle work.  Just spectacular work. 

We then met some young men who also sewed.  They had made some really nice pants.  It was a treat to see the pride in their eyes for their amazing hand crafts!  After purchasing a few of those hand crafts we went to the school were the younger children were just getting out.  What joy to see all their smiling faces and to be able to chat with them.  These are the kinds of experiences that changes hearts and minds.   These young adorable school children will forever be in our hearts.

Back at the guest house we headed to the local pool and relaxed chatted and reminisced on the day.  After a few hours we headed for supper!  The ladies again gave us an incredible meal.  Spaghetti with meat sauce, which was huge hit. 

Now as we get ready for bed and the anticipation of an early start to see the sunrise, we will think back to such an incredible time and think. "This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."