Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beach & Sunburn

Today, we woke up earlier than usual. We went to Grace Village Church. It was a very empowering experience being a part of Haitians as we worshiped together. Along with us for the ride, were 15  neighborhood boys. As we attempted to sing along to the Haitian songs, we sweated through our nice Sunday clothes, with the fans not helping much. The live band filled our ears as the pastor chanted loud prayers to God. Our team managed to recognize some of the songs, so we sang along in English (and occasionally Creole).
After staying through one of three hours of church, we took a long, hot ride down to the beach in our tap tap. As the boys were rolling into the parking lot, we followed closely behind. With smiles and excitement on everyone's faces, we grabbed all of our goodies and painfully walked on the rocks down to the end of the beach, and right into the Caribbean Sea.
Astonished by the beautiful view of the mountains, palm trees, and very blue ocean, we noticed that despite the poverty of Haiti, it is a beautiful, tropical country with lots of potential. In the 100ish degree weather, we lathered on lots of suntan lotion-even though through endless applying, most of us still got burnt. All the boys thought our lotion was funny, as they waited for us to join them in the water. As we got in, the salt water began to burn our throats and eyes, but it did not effect the boys at all. They showed their appreciation and love to us girls by picking us up and carrying us around in the water, while playing catch with our boys.
After some time had passed, we paused our games and took a lunch break. Everyone gobbled up 85 peanut butter sandwiches- apart from Arianna, who is allergic to nuts. She ate lots of bread and beef sticks, yummmmm. Next, was prayer and picture time. Each neighborhood boy left with polarized pictures that said "Jezi ❤ __(name)__."
As we parted from the boys, we began our bumpy tap tap ride back to our house with our favorite driver, Valery. Once back everyone enjoyed a nice cold- since that is your only option- shower, and started packing.

During our last devotion session, we all reflected on the life changing and powerful week. We can't wait to return to all of our family and friends back home: see you all soon. :)
Please be praying for our safe travels back. Thanks for all your support.

-Elie Starfeldt and Tabitha Cornes