Monday 1/11/2010 - Haiti
Since it was raining all night, getting up that morning makes me remember the moment in Office Space, when the receptionist says "Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays." Though within a few minutes, we were all up and running. I led a devotion that morning on faith like a child. Sunday was filled with so many children, so many smiles, and seeing the trust they had in a group of people they barely knew. This is what is so special about children: For them, it is so easy to believe. Imaginations go further, dreams are expanded, and love is abounding. It becomes so clear that when the disciples ask Jesus "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus responds by calling a little child over and he says, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." We could not have asked for a more clear picture of this during our time with the children in Haiti. Mark led us in a time of worship. All in all, it was a wonderful start to the day.

I enjoyed a PB&J for breakfast - can't say I've done that too many times. We jumped in the back of the pick-up truck and left for Percin, traveling down the main road in Petit-Goave the short distance to the entrance to the small village. Our task for the morning was moving large rocks. They were heavy. They ranged in size, but we had the young and old, big and small helping with each one. Children volunteered their time to carry the biggest rocks they were able, while adults also pitched in. Some of the guys were extremely helpful - aka extremely strong. It was a strenuous job and due to the rain, there was mud everywhere. We didn't let up, working hard for over 3 hours - taking water breaks every so often. Trudging through the mud seemed difficult, but then when you looked behind you and saw a little child carrying his rock through the same mud with no shoes, it was hard to even consider complaining. That is one thing that I know struck me and probably most of the team pretty hard. Many of the children didn't have shoes, but the more difficult thing to see was children without clothes. Some had just a shirt. It's hard to think that some of these kids don't even have clothes to put on their backs. As if it wasn't clear enough already, it was just one more reminder that when returning home to the states, we needed to organize efforts to bring clothes and shoes back to Percin.

Matthew 25 34-36
Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Do you want to be one of those people who gave the hungry something to eat, gave a drink to the thirsty, invited in a stranger, clothed those who needed clothes, took care of the sick, and visited those in prison?

I do.

We went back to the campground we were calling home for the week and had a delicious lunch - spaghetti with meat sauce - that definitely hit the spot.

Our Vacation Bible School that afternoon was filled with fun songs and lots of smiles, which became quite expected everyday after Sunday. Our Bible story was Jonah and the Whale. The story is all about trusting God - even when it seems like what he is asking doesn't make complete sense to you. Jonah learned his lesson quite well after be swallowed by a large fish (later to be spit out and given a second chance to follow God's instruction). He then realized that God knew what he was doing, even when he didn't see the "light at the end of the tunnel." Again, this only proved more and more that God is real. The thought of how much this lesson applies to the earthquake is more than just startling and coincidental.

We played with the kids, and more importantly played football (yes, "soccer"). I had three Haitians on my team, and John Kirby had three Haitians on his team. Quite evenly matched if I do say so myself, but it sure was tiring! I slipped several times and of course my Haitian friend Blanc had a good laugh.

There was plenty of downtime after the game. We enjoyed sitting by the ocean watching the rough seas that night and feeling the cool breeze sweep through our campground. We may have taken some modeling photos as a team. May have.

Dinner was rice, beans, and beef - everything Madamme Michelle put on the table was delicious! We learned not to doubt her and her daughter's cooking skills. The evening was winding down and we were able to enjoy some time as a team and sharing our hearts that night. God was stirring our hearts in different ways, so it was great to be able to share with one another. Also, I can never forget what Blanc said to us - he told us that we are so loving and that we were showing everyone the same love. The children, the adults, the old and young, and especially each other - we were showing that love. He said that made a big impact on him. Well, what he said made a huge impact on each of us.

Took a few times to get this shot - but a very photogenic guy to say the least!

One of my favorite photos from the trip

I can't help but parallel this wall to the country of Haiti. This wall was standing, half broken, on a withering concrete floor - the was falling out from the bottom. After the earthquake, the wall no longer stood and the floor was only in worse shape than before. However, there is much to build upon underneath.



Mark's Mocking


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