Day Two - July 19, 2011
The scripture that came to mind as we delivered clean water to people in need was Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know that plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." One of the most humbling experiences was watching an astronomical amount of people stand in a uniformed line with buckets waiting for clean water just to bathe, cook, brush their teeth, and so much more. I held back tears watching elderly people, pregnant women, crippled men, and naked children enduring the scorching heat while waiting for their buckets to be filled.
Shortly after we'd finished our third round of delivering water, we took some of the children on a walk. Words cannot describe the devestation I witnessed. Close your eyes and envision a moment when you've stepped in dog poop while walking on a trail and how quick you wipe it off to clear the shoe of filth. Well, many of these children do not have that luxury. They walk barefoot through a field of pig and goat poop; glass; garbage; and dead animals every single day. They live in make-shift homes made of rusted tin, torn tent material, and rotted wood. The space is no bigger than a closet of a standard one bedroom apartment. Despite the conditions around them, they each had a smile on their face. They are immune to it. Life is just normal in their world. It's tough to fathom that there are men, women, and children subjected to a daily routine as such, but it exist...in Haiti.
When I got back to our living quarters, all I could do was sit and cry and reflect on how much I've taken for granted. I pondered over all the times that I simply "sweated over the small stuff". Now I'm asking myself the same thing my father would ask me: Will your worries matter in 5 years? If not, let it go. The majority of people in Haiti adopt the attitude of relying on God and not worrying. A true lesson to place at the forefront of our lives indeed. God has given me so much and it will remain a priority to use every tool and gift he has provided to the fullest. I genuinely appreciate my kids and having people in my life whom I love very much including the ladies on this trip. I will never miss opportunities to show and tell them that. It brings me comfort knowing that I'm here representing the Lord through an organization that genuinely believes in the words of Jeremiah 29:11 and are demonstrating it through ACTIONS not just broken promises.
Day Three - July 20, 2011
Our co-leader Jennifer began the day at breakfast with a very moving devotion. She was preparing us to be spiritually replinished as we faced the day. I did not realize how much it would come in handy. Thanks Jenn...you rock!
I'm so choked up by my experience at the home for sick children. The first sound I heard when I walked in was man man (creole)...sounds like ma ma. It was a little boy just under 2 pointing to me and calling me his mom. He simply wanted to be held and loved. The hardest part in doing that is knowing that many of these kids are not only orphans but terminally ill. Praise God for those who have been nursed back to health.
I observed lots of things that no human should ever have to see. All of your prayers were amazing because after crying twice, it was easier to embrace the moment and serve others in HIS name.
We made it back to our quarters safe and sound but there also appeared to be an elephant in the room. It was evident that many of us needed time to process the happenings of the day. Today was indeed emotionally draining but also a reminder that true healing can take place in any capacity if we rely on God; appreciate the family and genuine friends you've been given and show it by spending quality time together; and lastly that no matter what we are suffering from..God can and will provide hope and relief if we simply trust and rely on HIM. Until tomororw....Mwen Renmen Ou ( I love you)