It's the Abby's aka (Abby Schroeder and Abby Turnquist), and today we did Water Ministry. We started off the day with a drive into Cite Soleil. You begin to get a sense of the poverty in this city just by the sights and smells along the drive. The first stop we did was at the pier. We drove up behind the big water truck ready to hop out and serve the people. We were greeted by children with open arms wanting to be held. Our group separated out to do different tasks. Some were involved with the water distribution, while others focused on loving up the kids. Eventually, we were all helping carry gallon size buckets from the truck to the people's homes, all while children followed closely behind trying to hold onto us. We noticed while in the slums how blessed we are with resources in the states. It was an eye-opening experience for all of us to see people relying on the sole fact of Healing Haiti and other organizations to bring them water. Having easy access to water is something we take for granted in the US. After the water truck left to fill up again, we went onto the pier with kids in hand, on our backs, and tugging on our shirts. One of our guides, Valery, led us in some Creole based songs which the kids really enjoyed. W got on the truck after that and had to leave the children behind. It was hard to leave them, but they're smiling goodbye hugs left us knowing we had brought them joy.
After we left our first stop, we made our way to stop 17, where hope church is located. Hope church was founded by Healing Haiti and was built on land that was previously a dumping ground. There we were able to take a tour and meet some of the kids who are involved in their summer program. We also found out that our water truck had popped a flat, changing our schedule. Our whole team did our best to be flexible as plans changed and shifted throughout the day. So while our water truck got their flat fixed, we got to go to a new farm owned by HH. Here we tried coconuts/coconut milk straight off the tree and took a tour of the farm. After seeing the fields, we re-connected with the water truck and headed out to our second and final water stop of the day.
We went back to stop 19, the community around hope church. We hopped out of the tap-tap and got to work after being greeted with open arms, hugs, and lots of smiles. This stop was a little more intense and aggressive as the heat of the afternoon was beating down and the need/want for water increased. Even though this stop was more intense and pushy, we did our best as a team to just love on and come alongside the people in any way we could. For some team members spreading that love meant carrying buckets and directing hoses, for others it looked like playing ring around the rosie while giving lots of high fives and fist-bumps. After our last stop we toured the building for Haitian Initiative, which provides kids with a hot meal and the chance to play on a soccer team; one requirement is they must be attending school to attend Haitian Initiative.
At the end of the day, we both agree that every team member each had an eye-opening experience in serving God in a way they maybe never have before.
-Abby Schroeder and Abby Turnquist