Thursday, August 3, 2017

Woodridge Day 4

Hello all! Today was our second water truck day! The first water truck day was very exhausting and so I was mentally dreading the day ahead, however it turned out to be an amazing day and God was certainly on the move. One of my favorite moments of the day was at the last stop that we made. A girl named Ashley approached me shortly after we arrived there and immediately put her arms up to be held. She was maybe 5 or 6 years old so it was heavy carrying her. I was initially regretting picking her up but she was so sweet I just couldn't put her down. It is important to mention that at this stop I also felt that I was suppose to carry as many buckets as possible, so I wasn't sure I would stay with Ashley for very long. That being said, she was able to find solution. With each bucket that I grabbed she would grab to the back of my shirt and follow me wherever I took the bucket. In multiple cases she would direct me where to put the bucket and then she would promptly climb back into my arms. At one point we were separated and after finding her she stuck by even closer. My arms were aching, but knowing that after I put a bucket down she would smile at me made it completely worth it. Although the stop was filled with people and children everywhere, I felt a sense of stillness inside me that contradicted the chaotic events transpiring around me. The rhythm of carrying a bucket while holding Ashley's hand and then picking her up promptly after made the stop a joy filled experience that I will always treasure.
        -Lizzy Pate
Today was day 4 in Haiti and we are thriving! It was our second water truck day of the week and it was hot! One moment that will stick with me for awhile is right when I walked off the tap tap at our first stop, and a mother handed me her beautiful baby boy. He was so cute and sadly very sick. After about 10 minutes of walking around and playing with him, he started to cry a heartbreaking cry. This moment had me feeling helpless and hopeless that I couldn't cure this Child of his sickness. I didn't understand why this incredible child was in this saddening situation, but later on today God put on my heart that he was weeping and his heart was breaking also for this child. He also showed me on later stops he has a plan for Haiti, and we are apart of it. God is doing amazing things here in Haiti, and in the pain and suffering we need to trust in him because he knows what to do. My heart now is filled with joy knowing God is watching over and protecting the people of Haiti, and the child I held on the first water truck stop is in the hands of Christ.
       -Annika Swanson
Last night and again this morning Shayla got sick which meant she had to stay home from our serving day. We are blessed to have the Orono school nurse Ann on our trip as one of our leaders and she stepped in and cared for Shayla last night and this morning. Our trip leader Lea stayed back with Shayla from our water truck serving today and I am happy to report that she has been back with the group all afternoon and evening. She says that she is feeling better. Please keep the health of all of our team in your prayers. Midway through a hot week like this is a time when people can get sick.
       -Drew Johnson
This trip to Haiti is my first time being in a third world country since living in Tanzania roughly eight years ago. So far, I have enjoyed every minute of it (with the exception of my bathroom trips) and will remember this week for the rest of my life. I am especially thankful that I can share the experience with some of my childhood friends, and I am also thankful that I could make new friends throughout the week as well. I have relearned the many troubles of third world countries, including the intense poverty and homelessness. However, there is also much joy in Haiti, and it is even present among children who have virtually nothing. Serving the elders and playing with the children in Haiti are both experiences that have influenced me as a person, and I thank God for the amazing opportunity. 

Today we went and visited the elders in their homes. They were super nice and comforting. One of them was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. She told me how she had lost her husband and son and after that she just lost everything, all her money and everything. It was so sad, I started to cry. It was a special moment. Also a big shout out to my mom, Catherine Mehaffey, I miss and love you. - Josh Mehaffey.

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