Saturday, January 6, 2018

Gainor / Harren Haiti Trip 2018 - Day 2 - In the Middle of a Move of God

Day 2:
            Hello! We continued our journey in Haiti with the team favorite: water truck day. Water truck day is where we pack into the “tap tap” and follow the water truck into City Soleil, Haiti. City Soleil is known as the poorest city in the western hemisphere. We had three stops. While there, we assist with carrying buckets of water as well as play with the many children. As we were driving in, we were greeted with the sound of children’s voices chanting, “Hey you!” This was not the last time we would hear this. We turned a corner and the water truck blared its horn, notifying the community of its arrival. Swarms of kids followed the truck, sprinting and yelling; their eyes filled with joy. I was not even able to get out of the “tap tap” before I had a child hugging my legs and looking up at me and this was the same for everyone on the team. At times, some of us had three kids hanging off of us, wanting to be loved.
            While a couple of team members manned the hose to the water truck, others assisted the community members with their buckets. One thing that astounded all of us was the fact that many people carried the buckets on their heads. Many of the buckets were five gallon buckets, which could weigh 40-45 pounds. We were amazed. The rest of us played with the children. We played a variety of games, while learning names. A favorite among the kids is one where you put your hands face up in front of you. They then put their hands hovering under yours and they would swoop their hands around and try to slap your hands. After a while, a couple of us got the hang of it.  At the third water truck stop, one woman had around 20 buckets that she needed to be filled. We all pitched in and helped her carry her buckets back to her home. She was so appreciative.
            In between the stops, we went to two places that are other areas of Healing Haiti’s ministry. The first stop was Hope School. They had to dig down into 40 feet of garbage before they could even begin construction. The name describes what it does for the community: it gives them hope. Looking over the fence, you could see trash and sewage in the bay.  The juxtaposition between the school and the rest of the city was very powerful.
            The second stop was to Fleri Farms. We trekked along a muddy path to see all of the amazing fruits and vegetables that the farm grows. While we were at the farm, the farmer took coconuts off of the tree and let us taste the water, inner, and outer core. It was very cool to eat the coconut while standing right in front of the tree that produced it. We also ate some mango right off of the tree. It was a beautiful piece of land with many crops.

            Overall, it was a very difficult day. It was hard for us to see the conditions that the people were living in. However, it’s amazing to see how God is working through the situation to reach others for Him. Although it might seem like we were blessing the people, the entire team left feeling incredibly blessed by the people of this beautiful country.

Gainor / Harren Haiti Trip 2018 - Day 1 - In the Middle of a Move of God

Day 1: Dear family and friends, We began our first day serving in Haiti with excited hearts and minds for the day to come. We boarded the tap tap, our mode of transportation, and traveled to our first stop of the day, being an orphanage. When we first arrived, the kids welcomed us with singing and dancing. After that, we started the morning by Kim telling the story of Daniel and the Lion. We had a Haitian translator help tell the story so the kids could understand. After, we made a lion craft with the kids using paper plates and colorful paper. When we were finished with the craft, we split up and played basketball, soccer, tag, and games with the kids. The kids even had a contest at who could do the best backflip! While reading the story, the kids were so respectful and calm, but when it came to playtime their personalities really came alive and they were full of energy! Some of our group members even learned (and won) a few games that the Haitian kids taught us! Our next stop was another orphanage, but smaller in size to the previous one. At this orphanage, we were again greeted by song. The kids came to each of us and sat on our laps as we made crafts with clothespins, and pompoms to make clip caterpillars. The kids really enjoyed clipping their hard work to their clothes, our clothes, and hair! We had a great time bonding with the kids by playing soccer, coloring on the sidewalk with chalk, drawing learning each other’s names on whiteboards, and climbing and racing up a sand pile! As you might be able to tell, soccer is a popular sport in Haiti! When we arrived back to the guesthouse, we decided to take a quick swim at a local hotel pool to cool off and relax. Driving to and from locations has been very eye opening to all of the team members as well, seeing the way of life of the Haitian people. As we wind down from the day, our hearts are filled with the love for Christ, our experience today, and each other.