1/11/20 - Day #6
Hello from Sophie, Christian, and all of house dogs (they wouldn’t leave us alone),
We both can definitely say that this week has been a whirlwind of emotions. Each day we were physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually challenged. As many of you have read the previous blog post we started off at Cite Soliel, which broke our hearts because of the conditions we saw the people living in. Today was different, we were taken to a community further out of the city, way up in the mountains. This opened our eyes to a different side of this country.
The morning started off early for us, leaving out promptly at 8AM or you were going to be left, we were on our way to the luscious green mountains of Haiti. This, however, was no quick 15-minute trip to the next city over, this was a grab your snacks and backpacks, let’s go “road trip”. The ride in the tap tap was so long we needed to stop halfway for a bathroom break. The generous pastor welcomed us into his home to use the restroom. Immediately when walking in, you could see the difference in housing. None of the houses in the busy city have a kitchen, much less a bathroom. We knew something was different about this community and could sense that “no one was left behind or forgotten” (Stitch, Lilo and Stitch).
After the quick bathroom break, we hopped back into the tap-tap and headed up the mountain to the community meeting space. The space is a safe place for the kids to come after school, or during the times when their parents are at work. We were broken up into three groups. Two went off to assist with the elders, and one team stayed back to hang out with the kids.
I (Christian) stayed back with the kids. Right away I noticed these kids were not running up to us to want to be picked up and given attention to. What was made known from the president of the community committee is the leaders were very much involved in making sure the community was supporting each other. The kids were very well behaved, which allowed us to perform a little skit. Thanks to our translator Maxime (Maxi Taxi), we were able to let the kids know that they were loved by Jesus, and His Father created us differently for His Purpose. After the skit, the kids were off to coloring their picture frames, which they would be able to hang with a Polaroid photo of themselves in the middle.
As I mentioned earlier, these children were well behaved, really respected each other, and the adults in charge. While they were coloring, my team and I make sandwiches and took lots of photos with the kids as well. While they were eating, this allowed me to take a step out of the ministry moment to take in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of the mountains. It almost seemed unreal that I was still in the same country of Haiti. Before coming I never would’ve guessed these views existed in Haiti. Seeing the mountains for me seemed like another reminder from God to me of Mathew 17:20, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
I (Sophie) had the pleasure of serving at the hands and feet of Jesus today (literally). My group went out and walked through the city to two elder homes. As we arrived at the first home we were immediately greeted by the wife of one of the elders who Healing Haiti sponsors. She then left us momentarily on this beautiful little enclosed porch near her house as she went to the garden to get her husband. When he arrived, we had him sit down on the bench, let him take his jacket off, and jumped right into washing his feet, hands, and giving him a back rub. As we were taking care of this incredible strong man, we began to notice his wife in the distance covering her head with her hands. She said to us she was ashamed of how dirty her feet were. We immediately offered to wash her feet as well. We saw her walls break down as she took off her jacket and other layers. She became unashamed of who she was and accepted how beautifully she was created in Gods image. We were all in awe of how strong and hardworking these two individuals were. At the age of over 60 they still go out daily and work hard to provide for themselves and their families.
Next we made the trek to the next elders’ home. As we entered, we let her settle in her chair and take her socks off. She only wanted lotion, so we began massaging her hands and feet. She was so thankful to have us there with her, as she was also surrounded by her daughter and grandchildren. Her daughter politely asked if we could also massage her as well, without a thought we began massaging her hands and feet. We prayed over her and her family and asked God to provide them with what they need, including access to church each week. It was so humbling to be able to meet these wonderful people today and even get to be Gods servant to two people we weren’t expecting to meet. I could see Jesus’s love pouring out of this community. Since these people live in the mountains they do not get visited often, so it was an exciting opportunity to be able to serve them.
For the both us, and our entire team, the serving opportunities were just the beginning of the adventures for the day. It was time to hop back into the tap tap for another 30-minute extra bumpy ride up the mountain for our hike. The younger Haitians lead the way to the waterfall that was in the mountains. The both of us can say, that although the terrain was rough and Sophie came out with a splinter, the views made up for all of it. It was very cool to learn that the people who live in the mountains really take advantage of the land and grow their own produce, such as pineapples, bananas, potatoes, lettuce, beans, and coffee beans. The coffee drinkers of the team were much more excited to know that there was fresh, straight from coffee tree, coffee being brewed up for them at the end of the hike. We will just say that all the coffee drinkers in the group bought all the coffee the Haitians produced.
After a tough hike and a coffee tasting, it was time to get back into to the tap-tap for our long (two hour) ride back home. The mood inside during the ride was like no other. Just about everyone was asleep, and a few got a little motion sick. In the end as we gathered around for the word of the day, this was the only day in which all the words were positive. We reflected on the beauty of God’s creation through the mountains, to the people we interacted with today. We look forward to our last full day in Haiti with the wonderful team we were able to be apart of.
With love, Sophie and Christian (oh and the house dogs)