On our second day in Haiti we got to do something new to most of us called a treasure hunt, which is a unique experience. We started the morning by spending time in prayer for specific things and characteristics of people to pray for. Only Pastor James, the missionary, knew anything about the area where we were going afterwards.
It seemed crazy how many strange and obscure characteristics we individually felt were present in that area and in the people of that area. It was also remarkable how many people came up with the same words when we compared notes. For example, some words a few of our team members felt were “fountain, statue, sister relationship, arched doorway, and Janet.” Yes, Janet. A name that is never heard of in Haiti.
It was time for God to show up and amaze us – which He did. We had just left a plaza in front of a cathedral, which of course had fountains, statues, etc., and we were walking down barren streets when someone said “Janet!” There it was, written in marker on the side of a doorway with two sisters standing under it. At first they were a bit standoffish but it wasn’t long before they were welcoming our prayers and thankful for the grace and love they felt. Similar stories from that day could fill many posts.
Later that night we had a prayer session and a local boy, Roby, decided that he wanted to come with us to get prayed for. Both of his parents had recently passed away, and he ended up homeless and alone in Gelee Beach. The missionaries at Arise Haiti had been helping him with food and a place to sleep, but he was very reluctant towards prayer and Christianity before that night. He declared that he wanted to live for Jesus and it was a very special and emotional night being able to pray with him and see the joy on his face.
On the third day, Jesus rose again. On our third day we did some pretty amazing things too, but nothing that awesome :-). Two crews were chosen for two drastically different projects. One was scraping, painting and filling part of the main activity building’s concrete wall and the adjacent gazebo on the beach. The different strengths and skills of our team melded well as we completed the work. A few of the local kids even joined, which was really sweet to see their helpful hearts.
The other project was for health care workers on our team to help in the on-site clinic. The morning brought sick Haitians of all ages to our team. One could easily tell how hard their lives are and the toll it has taken on their bodies. You truly begin to realize how much we take for granted when you see how few of their immediate needs are met on a daily basis. Things as simple as sanitation and clean water supply (which are rare here) can be the difference between life and death. That’s not even mentioning food, access to information, education, and healthcare. Your heart goes out to the people of this country who are doing the best they know to get by.
The afternoon was a joy like no other. We did well-child exams for the children in the Unveiled program, which is 70 kids in all. The kids had their vitals taken, got chiropractic adjustments, de-worming medication, vitamins, and a goody bag with t-shirts and toys. After watching a few of their peers get adjusted, the kids needed no direction and jumped up on the tables ready to go! They’d generally respond as a little bit shocked at first which gave way to a big smile and laughter.
It’s so great to see how our different skills and abilities can be used. The day brought glory to God on many fronts while also serving very practical needs. Well done, Radiant Church, and thank you, Arise Haiti for your presence here and the opportunity to serve.