Tuesday, August 17, 2010

From St. Louis du Nord to Bonneau, Haiti...

My people:

I fell in love with a little boy who's name I did not know. His name did not matter, just the feeling in my heart and the immediate love God wanted me to show. I played with him at an orphanage until it was time to go and I was amazed at his strength because he was the only child who did not cry.

There were many children reaching out for love, some fought to hold our hands, some stood back and stared.  We picked and poked and tried to bring smiles to everyones face, but it wasn't until we sang and danced that they all had smiles on their faces.

Little girls and boys did not have underwear - many of their bottoms stayed dusty and bare.
They begged for food and water, but we had none to spare.

(bare with me on the rhyming...it is so unintentional - I think God is prepping me to write something to share at a church I will speak at next week on this experience)

When we did share all of our water, we ran out before the days work was done and had to do an hour drive back to the mission. We stayed dehydrated... I think I had to use the bathroom (#1) maybe once a day.  I drank everything in sight... even warm water. One day the mission had no water.  We took bucket baths and leaned on our own supply from America...then that ran dry.

The conditions which we lived in were not near as bad as they could have been.  We had 3 meals a day. Devotions twice a day. Small mattresses to sleep on. A roof over our heads to shelter us from the rain.

There were little boys who made bracelets and sold them for $1. We all bought plenty, but it never felt like enough.

We broke ground in Bonneau, Haiti and drove each day 1 hour from our mission to work side by side Haitian men who worked before we got there and after we left.  We dug an entire hill out to somewhat of a flat surface. It was HOT! Children came out from the trees and mountains it seemed to watch and some of us took breaks to play with them, sing with them, and dance with them. "It was a wonderful feeling," a man said, "to be working and too tired to continue shoveling, but to fight past the exhaustion when all you could hear in the background was the laughter of children."

Laughter is a universal language...smiles and hugs too.
Laughter is a universal language...smiles and hugs too!

I signed jokes back and forth with the deaf men of Haiti that came along with our team each day. I can only do the alphabet in sign language, so they eventually pulled out paper and pen and we wrote sentences back and forth.

One thing about the people of Haiti is most of them pick up bits of English very well.  All of those who translated for us, teens to adults, the security and all spoke Creole, English, Spanish and some French!

The youth from 18-20 talked in depth with me about their dislike for America & values on life...
Nephtalie, Baradina, Me, & Lynn - (interns from Haiti)

"I don't like America.. I never want to go... you all don't love one another as we do here in Haiti. You don't even know all of your neighbors first and last name and you don't hug them all each day as we do."
-Baradina Garcon (age 19)

"I was raised between Haiti and Baltimore, MD.  My parents live there now with my sisters and brothers. I love Haiti. I have to go to America in January 2011 because I start college at University of Maryland - College Park. I do not want to go.  My friends there don't love me like my friends here in Haiti."
 - Nephtalie Eimeus (age 17)

"I do not have a girlfriend. I have a dream... I want to be a doctor and I have no time to fulfill a womans needs until I have fulfilled mine and can provide for a family." -unknown (age 19)

And that's all for now! To be continued... with many more pictures & video very soon!

Here's to Haiti

My apologies for the delay in updating...  I'm back!
Shaun King posted a note via the web that read, "it feels like we left the children of Haiti in a burning house."
I couldn't have said it any better myself.  Though we did what we went to do and we left with smiles on our faces and in many of the Haitians hearts, I still feel as though I didn't do enough.  There's nothing I can do about that feeling in my heart, but pray that the new generations of Haiti, the youth with such knowledge and bright futures that I spoke with will be strong and help bring change to their country.  There will be many trips back to Haiti with the Courageous Church, however, I do not see it in my timeline in the near future.

For me, Haiti was placed in my heart simply for the experience. I say that to say this... on my first day in Haiti I had something like a nervous break down.  I questioned my being there. Was I selfish in coming?  I did not feel that sadness in my heart as many people did.  Quite honestly, I was ready to come home! I spoke with my mother who calmed me instantly and I sat down a table with random missionaries (not from my group).  We exchanged a bit of conversation and then I broke. They gathered around me and asked if they could pray for me.  In their prayer they asked God to ease my heart and to open my mind. Long story short, we began to talk again and I could feel the bitterness lifting up out of me as if God himself stuck his hand down my throat and pulled it out of my heart.  They talked about past mission trips and how their most memorable moments were from UGANDA!!! To brief those of you who are unfamiliar with my story - Kampala, Uganda is where God lead me to before Haiti.  No matter what I've done, refused to do, ignored in my spirit... God always brings me back to the mission he placed in my heart for Uganda. I am grateful for my experience in Haiti and maybe it will be for me to return some day... until then I am still raising money for October's trip to Uganda.

I wish I could've updated while in Haiti to share my experience in depth with you, but I did not have access to a computer. However, I will give you the quick version... next post!

Blog Archive