The day we've all been eager for, water truck day. We proceeded to Cite Soilel to deliver clean water to the hundreds of Haitians at three different locations. At our first stop, we all experienced the overwhelming desperation of the children. Many of us had multiple kids trying to fight for their attention and touch. We all gave as much as we could to share God's love. Additionally, there were women and children desperately trying to obtain water for their families while the men stood behind in the background observing. A few of the first timers were curious as to why very few to almost no men help to carry these heavy buckets to their homes. This is an example of how status can still exist in the most poorest slums in the world. By far, this was the hardest stop of the day.
Close by was Hope School where we "thought" we were going to take a break but ended up getting bombarded by hundreds of children attending vacation bible school. As soon as the kids heard us coming they stopped their crafts and activities and stampeded through the gate and began to again, aggressively fight for our attention. We were exhausted but ready to show our strength by loving as many children as we could. No rest for us! We continued and walked to the second site to start again. This stop was a completely different experience. People were helpful, gracious, and children were aware of boundaries, respectfully walking along side us if our hands were full. Furthermore, there was more order with the buckets along the line. Despite being desperate for something we take advantage of daily, they were able to find order and structure in the process of filling and delivering buckets. By far best stop of the day! Then we got to experience the water filling where trucks line up to refill their tanks. We got a break and had some snacks. Some people decided to clean up a bit by running under the huge streams of water that fill the trucks. How refreshing!
On to the third and final stop of the day. Upon arrival, children were chasing us yelling with big smiles, "Hey You! Hey You!" Once the locals cleared the street for our trucks to park, people quickly came out of their homes with their buckets ready for the water. Desperation quickly arose again as they know there is only so much water to go around. Working the line at this site was difficult. The line is where we hold the hose, get the buckets in line, fill the buckets and get them out of the way as quickly as possible so the least amount of water is wasted. One tough job. We had to battle being strict with people trying to budge and being sympathetic to their desperate needs. I mean water is life. The team actually had to turn the water off multiple times to get some structure with the line. On another note there were great conversations with the people throughout the day. For example, one experienced a conversation with a Haitian English teacher that wanted to learn more about Healing Haiti. We shared how we love God and love all people. The team recognized that ministering to teens and adults is just as important as to the children, we all need God's love. Its amazing how those with little personal items find a way to put God first in their lives. "There is big difference between spiritual poverty and material poverty." These people are not lacking spiritually.
To finish off our day Cite Soleil we drove and walked to the pier where young boys swam in the mucky ocean water. We sat and enjoyed the ocean and mountain views while we processed all the emotions and thoughts we experienced today.
-Molly, Nikki and Savannah