Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Day 2: Water Truck and Hope Church

Greetings friends, family, and supporters
Day 2 is coming to a close for the three teams here in Haiti. Its exciting to be here with two other teams and hear about all the great experiences...the energy is really high at the Healing Haiti Guesthouses.

For our men's team, we started the day with a very filling breakfast prepared by the wonderful ladies that run the kitchen here (with some help from a few of the guys), these ladies take amazing care of us. Around 9 am, we loaded into the tap tap to begin our adventure. Our men's team was fortunate enough to get the water truck for our first full day in Haiti.  Most of our team has been here before, but three of us were about to enter a new experience that you really can't fully put into words (I'll do my best).

After a brief stop at Fleri Farms to learn how this organization is teaching the Haitians to be responsible stewards of their land, we entered the heart of Cite-Soleil. You quickly realize you are in a place unlike anything you've ever experienced and its a full sensory experience. As our tap tap pulls into the neighborhood, the city comes alive. Children running down the streets with buckets yelling "hey you, hey you, hey you" a call that the entire city knows when Healing Haiti comes rolling through. The tap tap is swarmed by women and children desperate for both our water and our attention.

As I got out I grabbed the outstretched hand of a young Haitian girl in all red who was about 8. I picked her up and she clung desperately to me as I took in the site. Orderly chaos all around. It took me some time of just holding the girl to realize how important this work was to the people. They live inside homes cobbled together by scrap metal, old port-o-potties, wood, and anything else they can find. Their floors are dirt. They have no water. Let that sink in. Some kids have no clothing. The streets are covered in trash. After an hour of carrying buckets down streets and small alley ways between the metal shacks and then walking back with 1, 2, sometimes three kids in our arms, we run out of water. The horn sounds and its time for us to move on.

Next, we had the opportunity to visit Hope Church (which was right next to our first stop, 17), a place my home church, Eagle Brook Church, played a huge role in making a reality. Seeing it in person brought feelings of pride into my heart, what a beautiful place. The views from there take your breath away, but not in a good way. This town extends as far as you can see. The water is filled with trash, the impact of the hurricanes and earthquake is still very much a reality for this community. Hope Church (its a church, a school, and now a clinic) is going (and already is) to change the very foundation of this neighborhood. I left feeling this tremendous urge to help ... there has to be more I can do to help. As I got to the tap tap, I found the little girl in red and gave her a huge hug.

We had similar experiences at the next two stops, though each neighborhood had a different feel, a different energy. I'll never forget the faces of some of the children I held. Their smiles and their laughter kept me energized as my muscles ached from carrying water and children all day. We left Cite-Soleil and I felt this feeling of frustration. Why can't I do more? Why is this city the way it is? I wish I could understand them and communicate with them? But more so, I left feeling hope. Cite-Soleil is going to look different one day. The work Healing Haiti is doing is making an impact. Tomorrow we go back ... I can't wait!

- Trevor and the second annual Men's Team