Friday, June 17, 2016
This is Max Nelson and Ryan Stich blogging for Alpha Team tonight. We are both going to be Sophmores at EPHS and this is our first time on this trip.
We had an early wake up call ths morning and began our day at 5:30 to go to the morning church service at Church on the Rock. Church on the Rock is a large church inside of an industrial warehouse that inititially started as a tent church after the 2010 earthquake. As John B just called it as we are writing this; "Home Depot Jesus Edition", the church is not your everyday church that your would see in Minnesota. Side Note: We are eating knock off, Chinese, pop rocks as we write this and may or may not be severely distracted by the possibly non-toxic "Crack-Ups". Anyways, it was not your average church service and had many people up and moving throughout the entire sermon with a live band and people praying aloud.
A specific experience that Ryan remembered from today's service was very impactful for all of us. An older man with a walker tirelessly walked up and down the aisles of seats and makeshift pews even though it caused him pain. His determination and love for God remained unbroken as he inspired our entire group. When we think of praying, we usually think of praying for something to happen or to gain something from it but the pastor challenged us to think differently and we will do the same for you. Thank God for all that he has given you today and be grateful for what you have before you consider asking for something more.
After a brief walk home from the church service (and for John B, a brief motorcycle ride with two other Haitians after he decided to hitch hike down the hill), that we regrouped to split up for the morning. Half of our group went to the home for sick and dying adults and the other half of our group went on another water truck day. Jeff Gacek, one of the founders of Healing Haiti, had arrived the night before and prayed with us before we set off for today's events. Ryan and I (Max) both went on the water truck day for our choice and we were able to do two stops. We met a lot of great people again and hopefully made as large of an impact on their lives as they made on ours.
Both groups returned back to base for a brief lunch before heading over to Rebuild Globally to see their flip-flop manufacturing location. They make flip-flops from old tires and all of their materials are locally sourced. We had a tour of their complex and some of the team members bought some shoes and other little trinkets at the boutique. We then headed over to the Apparent Project where they also make products from recycled materials such as beads from cardboard boxes and statues from scrap metal. They also have a pizza place at the Apparent Project so we ordered a total of 9 pizzas and were able to finish all but one. (Yes you may applaud out loud right now, we know it is impressive, don't be shy. No I don't care if you are in public, start clapping.)
One bumpy Tap-Tap ride later and we were home for the night. We had our daily circle meeting and talked about our word of the day as we sat outside in the cool night air of Haiti. Overall we had an amazing day and we look forward to the rest of the trip with some amazing people.
See you all again soon!
Max Nelson and Ryan Stich