Friday, August 10, 2018

Day 5

Hello everyone, today we went and did the water truck again but this time it was very different. I went into it with a different perspective because I knew what I was going into. It was a very hectic but successful day. During that time there was a little boy at the first stop holding onto me and he didn’t want to let go, he just kept saying hold me and it was adorable, by far my favorite part from the whole day and it just made me happy to see him so happy being carried. 

Friends and Family thanks for the endless support of our trip. Friday August 10th we started off the day doing 2 water truck stops in City Soleil where we helped distribute water and give as much needed love to the children as possible. Next we went to an orphanage that was home to older kids than we have saw the rest of the trip. There we did arts and crafts, and played games. To end the day we winded down and the pool at the hotel and it was a great way to cool down. If you could continue to pray for the safety of our group that would be amazing. Thank You!!! -Ashton

Where do you even start to describe what a day here in Haiti looks like but more importantly what if feels like and the emotions that you feel.  Here goes a very feeble attempt.  Most of us got up at 5:30 to get ready for church which started at 6 AM.  It is only a few blocks from the Healing Haiti complex so many of us walked.  We joined the other team that is down here this week too.  It was a great experience to see and be reminded of the fact that the Holy Spirit does not have language or location boundaries.  It was awesome to worship with people far from home and in a different language.  

After we got back from there we had breakfast and then set out to get ready for our next trip into Cite Soleil with the water truck again.  It is a surreal experience to drive into this area where they see you coming and the kids and some adults start yelling “hey you” as their way of   greeting your or getting your attention.  As we drove up to where the water truck was parked the kids start flocking in our direction with “hey you’s” being called out louder and louder to get our attention.  Before I could even get out of the tap tap there were 2 kids climbing up with arms open making it difficult to even get out.  There we were surrounded by a sea of kids with their arms up begging to be picked up and held.  It is hard to wrap my brain around being so desperate for human touch to go to a complete stranger as a little child and beg to be held.  It is such a sweet thing to be able to offer just that, a moment of touch and kindness and love. The words of Jesus instructing to love the little children literally comes alive in front of your eyes.  Here you are in the midst of the open arms of kids, some clothed, some with just a shirt, some with no clothing, and their only concern was human touch and a touch of love.  If you had a pile of clothes to hand out or a bunch of people with open arms you would see every arm full and the pile of clothes still there.  It truly is a blessing to be able to be used by Jesus in this way, to offer a moment of compassion to one of his little children.  Being like Jesus in this way is only one of the things we do while we are there.  There is a long line of people standing with their buckets waiting to get them filled with clean water for them to use.  It is striking to me that they are so eager for water that they come flocking when they hear the horn of the water truck sound.  Poverty is rampant in this area and there that any suitable container (bucket, basin, barrel, etc.) to hold water is enlisted in the task. Today I mostly helped with the process of filling the buckets with the hose from the water truck. There is not a good way to describe the chaos of this process when filling buckets for the people who are desperate for every drop.  Greed and fear are quick to take over.  Greed in that they want as much as they can carry to make it last until the truck comes again, and fear that we will not get to their bucket before the water runs out and their bucket is left empty.  As I was working in this chaos trying to keep things equal I kept thinking about what it would feel like to be standing in line and the water running out before they got to me.  Desperate is the word that comes to mind. The other important thing we do while we are there is to help them bring these heavy filled water containers to their homes.  A majority of the people who are getting the water buckets filled are children who are unable to carry the water themselves.  One of the things I struggled with is why am I helping carry water to their homes when many older kids and adults are just standing there.  Something that has really struck my heart with compassion today is learning about how many of these kids are basically slaves.  Kids who have been sold by their parents who were promised education for their kids, but that was an empty promise.  These kids are left alone and many sleep outside and are untouched and unloved. That unleashed a whole new motivation to get their bucket full to help them bring their water home just to show an ounce of compassion in their lives and make it easier for a moment.    

So water truck day is raw and filled with many emotions and more things to do than manpower or time allows.

After we got back from Cite Soleil delivering water and so much more, we showered and got ready to head to an orphanage called La Phare.  Such a blessing to be able to go to a well run place where the kids were filled with that love they crave and taught about the love that Jesus has for them.  It was great to spend time with them and just hang out with them.  We were able to bring some crafts for them to do and also some games to play.  It was and amazing reminder to me that kids of all ages need love and attention.  There was a 12 year old boy, whose toy was a stuffed Dory, who desired sitting on my lap to going and playing soccer with some of the other boys.  Each child is different and need attention and love in different ways.  What a blessing to be able to offer just that.  As we were getting ready to leave they gathered together to give us a treat. WOW I was not expecting this blessing.   They sang 3 songs for us and they were simply amazing!  I had goose bumps as I stood there listening to them sing with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. Thanks for sharing that special moment with me.  Something I will never forget.  

So that was our day, the important parts anyway.  Thanks for giving us this opportunity!  Life changing is the understatement of the year.

Day 4:

Thursday’s Blog:

Good Evening, Today we had the privilege to go to two different orphanages, the first being Sweet Home. This orphanage was a different experience then others that I have visited in Haiti, I was so impressed with the conditions of this place, the kids where very well taken care of with great living and sleeping conditions. This was remarkable to me because it showed what proper funding can truly do for the children, we had the pleasure to play with these children and do crafts with them. The second was Dios which is a orphanage for disabled children, this experience was a heart turner for me seeing these kids living with some very difficult disabilities in conditions that are the best that can be had but so far from our normal in the states, but being able to spend time and play and do crafts was such an amazing experience. Loving these kids up and being part of there day was a heart warming memory I will never forget. As a father on this trip with my two oldest boys I couldn’t be more proud of there hearts and compassion they have showed in ever experience that we have had these last few days how much they are turning into men that I’m proud to call my sons. My heart is overcome with joy to be there father!  
Sam Greenwood

Hello! if you are reading this, thank you for your interest in our trip and the things going on in it. Today was a mellow day, but still filled with the intense love we have brought to every task on this trip. We started with a pancake breakfast, graciously made by our healing haiti staff. Soon came time to get on the tap-tap (our mode of transportation), we set out to “Sweet Home”, which is a orphanage that had kids from age 2-7. We shared our love with the children and it was returned whole-heartedly. Our next stop was “Dios” which was an orphanage for children who are handicapped either mentally, physically, or both. We did many things with the kids such as make bead necklaces, color transparent crosses, and kick around the soccer ball, or as the Haitians would call it, fĂștbol. The time spent with the children taught the team how valuable expanding your horizons can be. It also taught me personally to remember the golden rule, treat others the way you would like to be treated. 
Austin Greenwood