Monday, July 31, 2017

Nativity Day 7: Church & Metal Market

Due to our leaders being so fantastic, we had a very busy yet relaxing day. It started with our usual 8 AM breakfast and preparation for the planned activities. First on the itinerary was us heading off to a traditional Haitian church service. It was two hours of loud singing, children napping, and a passion-filled sermon. The congregation was moved by the Lord; with their eyes closed and arms raised. It was shocking how one can feel so uplifted by the words being shared, while not even knowing what was being said (the entire service was in Creole).
After the service, we had a quick snack then zoomed off in the tap tap for another adventure at the Croix De Bouquet Metal Market. It was about a 30 minute ride, which was maybe the craziest drive of the week! At the metal market, artisans lined the streets with their shops. The shop owners were very eager to welcome us into their livelihood. They were not shy and would come up to us making us promise to visit their place. For most of the group, it was our first time bartering. Even though we had a bartering 101 lesson the night before, some of us still struggled to get the hang of it! Despite this, we had a splendid time exploring the marketplace.

On our way home, we also got to take a trip to our first Haitian supermarket. We were greeted by a gust of cool air from the A/C, which was probably the best part of the grocery store visit. Our group wandered the long aisles filled with both Haitian and American food. Most of our group stocked up on spicy peanut butter. Team member John A. even bought some candy juice (update: 0/10 would drink again). After a long morning, a trip to the pool was a must. We enjoyed the refreshing water and each other's company.

We have been blessed by having a great week! Our team has bonded immensely over the last week and we already know that transitioning home will be difficult at best for our group. We ask for your continued support and prayers. In a few days from now, ask a team member how they are feeling.  In a few weeks, be sure to check in again.  In a few months, we will still need you to keep us talking. Emotions are complicated and there is not a set time to know how long it will take our hearts to heal, if ever.  We also ask for your prayers and support for Haitians, and all those who live on the fringes of society, that we remember to love and care for all, as we are called to do by Christ.

It has been such a joy to share our daily adventures with you all at home! Thank you for your support from the day we first registered for this trip ... all the way to the day it comes to an end and we return back home. We can't wait to see you all at midnight at MSP! Hopefully you'll recognize us ... even with our sunburns. :)

Paige, John A., Sophie A., Emily E.

Team Photo with Pastor Wesley of Grace Church
Metal from the Metal Market

Haitian artisan working on metal