November 22, 2019
6:00 a.m. We leave to go to a neighborhood sunrise church service at “Church on the Rock.” A gate entrance opens to a huge open-air church that seats approximately 300 people with many attendees walking through the rows of chairs and aisle issuing in the presence of God. When we seek God early, he will be with us throughout the whole day. There were lots of people and others still coming in. The musicians and singer moved us all with their praises. The singer sung in both the native Kreyol and English occasionally. After several selections by the singer, there was a call for the offering and ended with the pastor preaching from the book of John. His message to us included a word that this week would provide each of us an experience to see those with differences in a better light and challenge us to positively encourage them. We were able to briefly meet with the pastor to express our gratitude for the service. It was an awesome way to start the day.
After church, we returned to the guest house for breakfast. We have had great breakfasts that include fresh avocado, banana, mango, oatmeal, French toast or pancakes, and eggs.
Each morning before going out to serve we have a brief devotional meeting. Our co-leader’s morning message was to inform us of the fruit of the spirits (love, joy, patience, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance) that we must have as we serve. We load the tap-tap bus to head back to Cite Soleil and Hope Church. When we arrive, we are greeted by Alicia, the administrator of the health clinic. She shared with us the number of doctors, dentists and nurses that work at the clinic and the main services being treated at the facility. On a normal day, they serve approximately 70-100 patients a day without appointments and based on the critical nature of their ailment. The cost of the services to the citizens of Cite Soleil are reasonably priced based on the economy of the residents. Many residents would not have medical care without the support of the Hope Medical Clinic.
Afterwards, it was now time for fun with the kids outside the clinic. They were waiting for us with chants of “Hey You” and the desire for us to pick them up. Some of the team can pick up two kids at one time. With jump ropes and soccer balls in hand, we head out to a playground. All the kids wanting to be picked up can be overwhelming. Seeing the joy of smiles of playing children is so warming. It was so hard to stop playing, but we had another group to serve.
The pastor of Hope Church has gathered approximately 15 elderly men and women to be served by us. We were there to perform a foot washing and massaging of hands, feet and back. We were grateful for the opportunity to show God’s love to each of them. Some of the women got their toenails polished. Our team circled around the elderly group and connected our hands as one to offer a prayer to God for their health ailments, there family and the future. The elders left with a small meal and appreciation for being served.
Our last stop at Hope for the day was to receive an overview of the computer center by Ash, who works in the Tech Pod. The top of the line computer technology that is being used to train the children is the only one in the country. When training is started at an early age, cycles and strongholds of educational deficiencies can be broken. One of the challenges mentioned was that students speak Kreyol at home, trained in French and then the computer technology is in English. Students have very little opportunity to become fluent in French since they return home every night to Kreyol speaking parents. Education is power.
The day ends with a dinner meal treat, Pizza.