Tuesday, September 10, 2019

One Reason Church - Day 2

Bonjour! Today was a busy day for our team in Haiti! We began our day with great conversation during a filling breakfast prepared by the Healing Haiti staff. Then we were off to Apparent Project which is a program started by a woman from the U.S. after realizing when she came to Haiti to adopt a child that he still had living parents who loved him. This program provides opportunities for parents to work and provide for their children.

We arrived at the Apparent Project outer gate, the concrete walls were divided by a heavy metal door and topped with razor wire in the hopes of keeping people out.  They allowed us entry and we were greeted by 4 local men that were there for security.  Our truck stopped and the 2 men from Healing Haiti's staff helped us out of the tap-tap.  After walking through the metal door, we immediately saw  smiling children waving at us excitedly.  Walking through the building, we were able to observe different classes taking place from early childhood to second grade.  It was an uplifting experience to see firsthand what Apparent Project has created for Haitian families.

After Apparent Project, we headed over to Papillon  (Haitian for butterfly) Enterprise which is a for profit company that branched off from Apparent Project. This allowed us to see Haitian Artisans at work creating products for sale. The employees were hand-making household goods and jewelry among other items. The detail and time it takes to create an item is incredible. We were given the opportunity to shop the store and enjoy some down time while eating at the cafĂ©. The Fried Plantains and Mango Salse were a local treat that impressed each of us.

We returned to the Healing Haiti guest house and regrouped. We dropped off all of our trinkets and valuables that we purchased from Papillon, then we split into two groups with one group going to the Home for Sick & Dying Children, while the other group "planned" to go to an orphanage with children who have special needs.

On our visit to the Home for Sick & Dying Children, we came away with so many different experiences. Walking into this hospital was such a mixture of emotions as we are so grateful to be able to help and hold babies and children that just want to be loved. This experience met us with another feeling of despair for these children. We also experienced hope with the knowledge that each of these children are being cared for by loving volunteers and are getting regular meals.  Our team was incredibly blessed when asked to take some of the children to a church service that was going on next door. It was good to hear and see the word of God in a Haitian church, the energy was amazing! People were not afraid to let the world know they love God and were overjoyed with his blessings. In a country that has so little, the people are overwhelmingly full of gratefulness and joy.  These children had such an impact on our hearts that it was difficult to leave and watch them yearn for more love, but God had more for us to experience. 

The second group had planned to attend the orphanage for the children with special needs, but didn't make it there.  On route, the traffic came to a stop.  We were told it would take 4-5 hours to make it to our destination. There were crews cleaning up some messes. The road was completely shut down. There were cars backed up for miles and people were not happy with the wait. We discovered that there is a fuel shortage here and people are lined up to get gas by the hundreds. They leave their cars for days at a time and take shifts watching that they don't lose their place in line.  We felt safe and well-protected in our tap-tap even with the unrest outside.  We had to make a different decision to visit another smaller orphanage. The team had to be flexible and adjust our schedule for another experience God had planned for us.   Although, we didn't make it to our original location, we observed so much in our travels than we would have and were able to experience the La Phare orphanage instead. This place houses 20 to 30 children who all seemed healthy and well fed.  The selflessness of the people that care for these children is absolutely amazing and has touched each of our hearts in ways we never expected. While visiting with the children, we had a few crafts and fun activities we were honored to share with them. We provided bottles of bubbles and made balloon animals. We drew on the sidewalks and other concrete surfaces with chalk.  We spent as much time sharing our love and experiencing all that God had laid out for us, as we were able. The joy and love that the children showed us truly warmed our hearts.

Stay tuned for stories from our next adventure!

Wendy, Elizabeth, and Matt