Thursday, December 12, 2019

An Elder Celebration

The walk to the courtyard was slow and laborious.  Many walked with a limp and some required assistance.   The elders in the Healing Haiti program have been looking forward to today: the annual Christmas party celebration.  They entered displaying a stoic demeanor as they often do.  They sat together around long tables and were welcomed with a meal and friendly conversation.  One can only image the challenges that they have faced and the hardships that they have had to endure.  They sat quietly in their fine clothes displaying little emotion.

That all changed when the worship praise music began.  As I looked at them, I saw their shoulders relax.  I saw their smiles as they started to sway with the music.  Some started clapping and some raised their hands as the music flowed through the room.  I looked at the other Haitians and at our fellow teammates.  All were lost in the music.  It's power and fervor enveloped us.  As I watched them,  I realized that the praise music had united us.  It didn't matter if we were Haitian or American, black or white, young or old and it didn't matter which language we spoke.  We all had come together as a family, if only for a little while.  In the faces of the elders, I saw love, acceptance and hope that they felt through the power and message of the music.  It was incredibly moving and I could have listened to it for hours.

With the recent days of relative peace, we were fortunate to be able to come to Titanyen and participate in this event.  It's an afternoon that I'll remember always.

" We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives.. Some lessons are painful, some are painless... but all are priceless."                Unknown

Dios, LaPherres and Home For the Sick and Dying

The day started with a great challenge from Matthew 6 to seek 1st His kingdom and not our own. We definitely got to put that challenge into practice as our "well-laid" plans were adjusted throughout the day. We went to Dios orphanage and were so lovingly welcomed by these special-needs children. We did some coloring, bubbles, jump rope and kicking the ball around. "Seek 1st His kingdom".  We couldn't go to the next orphanage yet so we just came back to the guest house and "hung out" for about 2 hrs. We then loaded the tap-tap and set off for La Phare's orphanage.  The "planned" activity was to share the wordless Gospel story using the 5 colors painted on their finger nails.....except we forgot the nail polish! Thanks to Valerie's great interaction/enthusiasm while interpreting, and the kids great attention and response to the questions asked, it went well anyway. "Seek 1st His kingdom". Katie and Valerie then led us in some songs (Creole and English) and then the children sang to us.  Beautiful worship!! We were so blessed!!  We wrapped up our time there coloring, shooting baskets, jump roping and hop-scotching--fun to see our team members reliving their childhoods!  Our last stop of the day was at the home for sick and dying babies.  It was much calmer this year than some of the previous years I've been there. We each ended up with basically 1 child the whole 1 1/2 hours we were there.  We were able to feed them and just hold them as we walked around in the outside courtyard.  They are so tiny and it''s hard to guess ages but many are 3 or 4 yrs old but the size of infants.  The love of the caregivers there was encouraging to see and we know that our many hands made their load lighter today. "Seek 1st His kingdom".

I am definitely blessed and humbled to be part of this team!!  The willingness to accept changes in the schedule, our vulnerability with each other and the fellowship of sharing our "Christ-stories" is something that only happens in the body of Christ.  Thank-you to you who are back home lifting us up in prayer and having an impact here in Haiti because you are part of that same body of Christ.
To God be the glory!!

P.S. Ashley has been able to be at both Hope and Grace clinics doing ultra-sounds. Pray for her amidst the challenge of having medical "lingo" correctly interpreted and her effectiveness in training the nurses here. It can be frustrating and hard but her attitude was "Seek 1st His kingdom" and trust.

Peace - Diane