Tuesday, January 7, 2020

EBC Day #2 - Water Truck!

1/7/20 – Day 1 (Water Truck)

I am exhausted from the previous travel day, but have a nice restful night of sleep. I wake with excitement and energy for the day. We enjoy a nice breakfast prepared for us by our Haitian team members. The best oatmeal I have ever have! During breakfast we learn that it’s a Water Truck day in Cite Soleil! Everyone is cheerful and excited! From what I have heard in the past – this day is the best! Our fearless leader gives us our jobs to get prepared for the day and we are all outside prepped and ready to go. We enjoy a quick time of instruction and prayer before we climb into the “Tap Tap” and depart the guesthouse.

As we approach Cite Soleil, I notice the conditions turn worse and worse, more trash appears in the roads, less concrete buildings and more tin made houses I see. As we arrive in Cite Soleil, and begin driving down the road – I see children naked and my heart is absolutely crushed. Again, unlike anything I have ever seen – the conditions in Port-Au-Prince were nothing compared to Cite Soleil. All of sudden as my heart has been touched and filled with mourn I hear “Hey You!” I again look outside and it’s a child yelling “Hey You”, waving with smile while on the side of the road. The “Hey You” turns from one child to many children running on both sides of our Tap Tap and while my heart is still hurting I can only smile! Smile with joy as these kids have nothing, but know what is coming and are so excited! 

We arrive at Hope School and it’s an amazing facility! Again, there is a quick introduction of who will be helping us during the day. We go over the what to expect while we deliver water and its time. The first stop is just outside the school. The children surround our Tap Tap yelling “Hey you” as I step out all I can see is the Tin Sheds staring me in the face, while children with arms stretched out wide looking for someone to pick them up. The first child I pick up I ask what his name is in Creole – which he responds with James. I give him a high-five as his face is shining with a smile! The water begins to come out of the truck and I dive into help carrying buckets to the Haitians houses. Children continue to surround us all – chanting, jumping, smiling ear to ear while enjoying our company and the water. I help carry buckets for a while until a child jumps on my back and another jumps into my arms. I am going to have to hold off on carrying water for a little bit. They are both hugging me and speaking in Creole – which I cannot understand at all, but I hug back and am overwhelmed with love. Time flies by as I take it all in – my surrounding, the children’s smiles, laughter and joy – it has been a great afternoon for this community. We head back into Hope School as we wait for the second water truck. We are given a tour of the school – which is unbelievable. We get to see the lunchroom, the classrooms, and the schoolyard. In addition, we see the “Sewing Room” – where ladies are being trained on how to sew. Last but not least, we walk into the “Innovation Room” – which is a room full of TV’s, Ipads, and a variety of technology. I believe for our whole team this was a monumental moment to understand how Healing Haiti is changing this community. Considering just 300 feet from these doors there are families living in tin sheds with no water.

Water truck 2 arrives and we are off. During the second stop – we all have experience now as a team and know what to expect and how to handle the situation. The children are all full of smiles and joyful we are there. We finish Water Truck 2 and as a team we have grown closer, made some new Haitian friends and are excited for our final stop of the day. Our final water truck of the day is next to the ocean on a pier – it is an unbelievable view of the mountains, however, as your eyes sink closer to ground level my eyes set on the people of Cite Soleil and the conditions they live in – my heart sinks again until….another joyful child jumps on my back and starts singing the ABC’s! Unfortunately, it’s time to go again. I give high-fives and hugs and climb into the Tap Tap filled with a heart full of joy as these children are the strongest and most joyful kids I have ever met. So full of joy and love for others while still living in the worst of worst conditions from my perspective. 

To wrap this up as I could continue to write forever about our first day I am going to conclude with a quick thought. I came down to Haiti to have my world shifted upside down and to have the country I see on my computer or TV back home in my face. I can tell you from this first day that I saw God out there and how he loves us. There was a brief moment when I was holding two kids in my arms - they looked at each other smiled and then both turned to me, smiled, and hugged me looking for that love they deserve. In that moment I felt the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstances we are facing – we can always find joy in the moment and love on others. That is what Jesus did and what he wants for us. To love one another. I am so excited for what is to come tomorrow. Our team has now had a whole day of serving together. We are strong and ready to bring love to the rest of the Haiti community we touch!

-      Jadde Rowe

EBC Day #1 - Travel!

1/6/20 – Travel Day

2:00am and I arise for the day. At 3:15am we arrive at the airport and are united with our team. For myself most of the team are strangers. We navigate through security and depart for our flights to Port-Au-Prince. As we fly over the city while arriving we get a quick glimpse into the place where we will be serving for the next week. It’s unlike anything I have ever seen! I see tin sheds, concrete buildings, and tarps for roofs. Next thing I know we have our luggage, meet are Healing Haiti Haitian team members who help us navigate to one of our trucks known as the “Tap Taps” We leave from the airport. As I look out all I can see is backups on the road and from my perspective no real traffic system. There is trash on the side of the road, people who are running barefoot, and others carrying water and food in buckets on their head. 

We arrive at our guesthouse for the week. We get a quick introduction from our hosts and our shown our bedrooms. There are house staff making dinner for us already and it smells AMAZING! I settle in, our team has some time outside together playing bean bags and exploring the rest of the guest house. We pray as a team before our first dinner together and I can feel we are already coming together, opening up, and starting to be more comfortable as a team. We have a quick meeting and are informed that tomorrow’s agenda is up in the air. There is no hesitation as we are here with open hearts, and ready for whatever God plans for us. We end the night in a prayer and although we were all strangers this morning – we are now friends united for what the Lord has in store for us tomorrow. Time for bed! Good Night!

-      Jadde Rowe