Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Harnell- Kench '17: Day 3

To start our day, we met at the breakfast table at 8 o’clock (the only time all day Brian was on time). Over pancakes and oatmeal we applauded Mike for putting up with all of our girl talk and Brian’s weird behaviors (again, love ya, dad). Shortly after breakfast we loaded up in the tap-tap to venture to Peace Cycle. And yes, venture is the right word because if you have ever experienced Haiti’s traffic you would understand. Jonas interpreted for us at Peace Cycle, which we all appreciated immensely because between the thirteen of us we can barely scramble together “hello”. We entered through thick iron gates into a courtyard filled with men and women working. Some were cleaning plastic bags while others were ironing and sewing. The manager explained to us each step that the workers complete. Peace Cycle is an organization that collects plastic drinking pouches from the streets and up-cycles them into usable products such as tote bags and wallets. Peace Cycle has been able to make a dent in the millions of water bags stranded in the streets of Haiti daily. By doing this, they have cut down on Haiti’s carbon footprint and been able to contribute back to the economy. Next stop was Papillon/ Apparent Project. Tricky (or Alex, or Brian, or Ryan, we all weren’t too sure) gave us a tour of the company. We were all amazed at how well run the operations are and just how lively the work environment was. Each worker was welcoming and proud to show off their work and accomplishments. Above Papillon was a café we ate lunch at. They arguably made the best smoothies we had ever had. Teresa made sure we all had enough to eat and shared her cheesy bread with us, God bless her. We then loaded back up in the tap-tap and grilled Jonas with questions. He told us 74 degrees in Haiti was when everyone pulls out the coats and we just about fainted. 74 degrees in Michigan is prime boating weather, right, Terri? After a brief midday break at the guesthouse we broke up. Ten of us went to Home for Sick and Dying and four went to Gertrude’s, both of which we were not allowed to take pictures at. At Home for Sick and Dying we arrived right at dinner time. After feeding the kids we were able to hug and play with the kids. At this point of the day the tears starting flowing because it was absolutely heartbreaking to put down and walk away from a sick, crying baby. Don’t worry kids, we will all be back soon. At Home for Sick and Dying we encountered many cases of malnourishment. Michele in particular came across a young girl of the age of 8 who was so sick and malnourished that you could see and feel every bone in her body. She was down to just bones, a sight foreign to our eyes. The pure hope in all of their eyes, though, was undeniable. Although the visit was emotional, you could not say that was the end. God was still using them for His purpose. God was everywhere we turned. The same girl Michele held was sitting in her crib alone. That particular area of the room was empty except me watching the girl. She finally began to eat and loud and clear I heard, “She is eating”. She is eating. Praise God. At Gertrude’s, a home for special needs children, there was a bit of a hold up. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic and the four people were only able to stay for roughly ten minutes. That was enough for God to show us what He wanted, though. What stood out to Jessie was how the wheelchairs being used were not your traditional ones. They were created out of tires and plastic chairs. For most children their wheelchairs prevented them from being able to interact and play with others. Lots of eyes were opened on this short trip. Group discussion led to an amazing discussion about everyone’s experiences thus far. I think it is safe to say that none of us are the same people we were three days ago when we boarded our flights. One thing I took away from today was that God uses each and every person on this earth. He loves us all and calls us to care for each other. We serve an awesome God.

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