Thanks for checking in on us on our 5th full day here in Haiti. We have had an emotion-filled trip thus far and have been so overwhelmed by God's grace and goodness. Our journey has brought many of us laughter and tears, break-throughs and revelations. We have had an incredibly powerful opportunity to bond as a team and grow as individuals. God is truly at work in so many ways.
Each day always brings a new adventure. Tonight as we shared our evening meal and expressed our "Word of the Day", the one that came to mind for me was "Provision". Often times, as human beings we forget that God is our ultimate provider and that He is already at the end of each day.
Our first activity this morning was another Water Truck day, which is a favorite among most teams. We stopped at District 26, only to find the streets extremely quiet in comparison to the usual chaos, hustle and bustle we always experience immediately upon arrival. No lines. No 5 gallon pails stacked up. No kids or moms with tubs, pots and buckets. A handful of parents did come to gather small amounts of water, but something was different. Distinct. There was a welcome calm in the atmosphere, and in the midst of it all, there was an unusual level of joy! Peace! Serenity! Kids played in the water, their faces filled with such a bright light that they were practically glowing. Those big, beautiful eyes and radiant smiles. We did our job and held the hose so they could fill their buckets and splash each other and dump water over their own heads. Their laughter still rings in our ears. It was moment we will cherish forever.
What an amazing God we serve. We learned that the reason the streets were so empty and the water traffic was so light was because it had rained yesterday in Cite Soleil. It had rained enough that each family in District 26 was able to gather enough water to provide for their families' immediate needs. Provision. Faith. Trust. Reliance. All words that easily roll off our tongues but ones we can easily take for granted. We learned today that the beautiful people of Haiti live their lives each day based on these words...they stand on these promises. For them, they are more than mere words; having faith in an ultimate provider is a way of life.
On our way home, we hit the busyness of Saturday traffic, and as is often found in Haiti, we also hit large potholes and inevitable detours. As we were literally backing down a narrow street for about an entire block, approximately 20-30 kids, and I mean LITTLE kids, surrounded the Tap Tap and began to sing to us! "Hey you...cho-co-lat! Hey you...cho-co-lat!" (Chocolate pronounced sho-ko-laht). They sang to us with glee. Sheer joy. Over and over and over they chanted! They were so happy to see the Tap Tap filled with a bunch of funny looking Americans who were overjoyed to see THEM, smiling and waving at them through the grates of the Tap Tap. They were filled with so much joy, they just couldn't contain themselves! PROVISION. God provides these kids with His love. They are overflowing with His peace and grace and mercy and love that flows from within. "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."
Since we made it back early due to God's provision of rain, we had a choice whether to go to an orphanage or a metal market. No one was interested in shopping for souvenirs. We are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus! So off to the orphanage we went. It was a organization we had never been to before, so we weren't really sure what to expect. Nor did we know it was almost an hour away! During the drive, we were blessed to experience a view of Haiti we hadn't had the opportunity to see before. SVCC teams have been coming to serve through Healing Haiti since 2014. Many of us have had the privilege of seeing with our own eyes how Haiti continues to progress. Provision. God never fails us or forgets about us. Provision. Progress may not happen in our timing, but we must remember God's timing is perfect. There is HOPE and HEALING happening in HAITI.
We arrived at the orphanage eager to serve. As I mentioned, we did not know what to expect. As we pulled into the complex, we were transported into a little world within Carre Four, another town outside of Port-Au-Prince. Provision. We all stepped off the Tap Tap and began our descent into the courtyard of the orphanage. The structure itself is impressive, with multiple levels and buildings. It has to be in order to house over 80 children. Yes, 80 children! Provision. God provided the vision to the person who saw the need. He put it on their heart to love the orphans, to provide an environment where they would be safe and loved and cared for. 80 kids now have a roof over their head, and a "Mommie" to look after them.
We were not expecting 80 kids! With our trip cut short due to Hurricane Irma, a Saturday visit to an orphanage was a little off schedule, but here we were! There were only 13 of us, so it was quite the task to give each child the attention they needed but we were up for the challenge! Since it was a weekend day, a few of the Mommies were not all there at the same time, and it also looked like some of the 80 might not have all been gathered at the same time. Again, provision. God gave us the ability to touch each child that WAS present - what a blessing! Everyone was gathered in the same area, a large and beautiful, shaded courtyard with trees that the kids and Mommies could sit under and rest in the shade. Provision. We played with some, and held others. Some of the older girls braided the ladies' hair, and some of the kids just wanted us to sit next to them. Others played hide and seek, some played hand games, while a few wanted to be spun around in circles. Love comes in so many different forms. But God is always at the center of it all.
It is such a blessing to be able to actually see God's provision everywhere. We choose to see what we want to see, but when we are intentional, it is impossible to miss His hand in everything around us.
Blessings and love from Haiti.