On Friday morning, we all woke up at 4:00 AM to get ready for the long drive to Titanyen. The construction team, which consisted of Brian, Greg, and Layton, had worked so hard on constructing ten bunkbeds for the last three days. And now we were getting ready to transport them to the orphanage in Titanyen. The drive would take about 4 hours, including both long windy mountain passes as well as stop and go congested Port au Prince traffic. Some of the guys had to ride the entire way in the back of the lumber truck and others rode in the back of our pickup truck. It was a sacrifice for all, as even those inside the truck were pretty wedged in with very little room. But it was a sacrifice we were all glad to make knowing that the Lord was pleased with our efforts and that the kids would be so incredibly excited to have beds.
After the nearly 4 hour trip, we arrived at the orphanage. There were only a few kids there at the time because most of them were in school. The Director, Oscar, told me that the kids were begging him to stay home from school so that they could be there when the team and I arrived. I’m so glad that he denied their request and made them go to school. One of the girls, Felancie, came home early from school stating that she was sick, but I think she was faking just so that she could spend more time with us because as soon as she saw me and the team, she didn’t complain of any problems, but was busy hanging all over us. Soon after, school was over and all the kids came rushing in giving lots of hugs to all of us. The team loved these kids!
The kids were so excited to see their bunkbeds being built. For most, if not all of these kids, this was their first bed that they have ever had. They were more giddy than I have ever seen them. Each kid got to choose their own bed as well as which sheets they wanted. I think they probably all wanted to go to bed as soon as we left even though it was only 2:00PM! So, our time with the children was wonderful. We laughed, played, prayed, and gave lots of hugs and kisses. I am so excited to see how the Lord is providing and unfolding His plan for this orphanage. We have a team coming in July that will be putting tile on the floor throughout the orphanage. We’d also like to get the concrete work finished off on the inside and out so that we can paint it and decorate it. My desire is to see that place look like a home as much as possible.
On Saturday, seven of us went into some very remote villages outside of Marigot to visit the homes of three of the sponsored children in our program. The other three women stayed back with Maria for a fun day. They went out to a restaurant for lunch and then got daring by taking a moto taxi to the beach. They all had a wonderful time together. The other seven of us drove way back into a village called Peridot, which is about 30 minutes beyond Marigot where our school and feeding program are located. We wanted to visit with these children and families in their homes, spend some time getting to know them, and help provide for some of their needs. We delivered water filters to them that had been given to us through our partnership with Islego Missions. These families were very happy to receive these filters. Now, they are able to have safe drinking water. What a blessing!!!
What we did on Saturday is really the heartbeat of our mission work in Haiti. It was all about relationship. We did not have any major programs planned. We did not have any real agenda. We just visited with these families and spent time at their home building relationships. And in that time that we passed with them playing soccer in a seven foot radius, drinking coconut water from the coconuts that they gave us, praying for their needs, and sharing the truth from God’s word with them, we were making a kingdom impact. We were showing them the love and truth of Jesus through our words and actions. We were showing them their value to God by sitting with them in their homes and just passing time with them.
It was wonderful. At one point, we had so many different things going on at the same time, and each one of those things was an expression of Christ. We had Carl, the Biltmore Team leader sharing the gospel with a guy that had passed by on his way up to the mountains. Fenel was translating and Carl and this guy were able to talk for quite some time about the truths of the gospel. While he was doing this, I was sitting with Roseline Petit, the girl that is part of our sponsorship program. I had given her the John Piper booklet “For Your Joy” in Creole. I was having her read some scriptures and we were talking about the importance of treasuring Jesus above anything else. Her other family members were also gathered around listening to the truths of God being expressed. And while I was doing this, Francie and a few other team members were starting a game of limbo and hopscotch with some of the other children that had come to hang out. It was just so cool to see how the Lord was working.
Upon leaving, we prayed for the families that we visited with and thanked them for allowing us to spend some time with them. Carl’s new friend who he had been talking with came running down to our truck with a gift in his hand, a huge stalk of plantains that he wanted to give Carl as a way to show his friendship. It was beautiful. And to me, that is what the gospel is all about; investing in people, building realtionships, and sharing the amazing truths of God’s word through our speech and our actions.
The team left early Sunday morning after spending an incredible week ministering the love of Jesus to many. I know that many seeds were sown for the glory of God.
After dropping the team off at the airport, we went back to Titanyen to spend the day with the other Global Outreach missionaries who have a base in Titanyen. It was great to see our friends and share some time with them.
Today, we went back to the orphanage and took care of some things. We went with Oscar to a mission clinic down the road and asked them if we could start bringing the kids there for treatment on a regular basis since we have some of their sponsorship money reserved specifically for medical care. They agreed to see the children, so Oscar will bring several of them back on Wednesday to have them all checked out. We also gave them all de-worming medicine since it looks like some of the kids there have developed ringworm. We brought one of the kids with us to the clinic and had the doctor there confirm that it is ringworm. So, we got a prescription and we will have each child brought in next week to be checked out.
Now, we are about to board the plane to fly back to Ft Lauderdale. We will stay there through the weekend as we have friends that we plan to visit. One of our good friends is putting together a big gathering on Friday night for people to come and hear about our mission work in Haiti. And then I will be preaching at their church in Ft Lauderdale on Sunday morning sharing also about the great things that the Lord is doing through our ministry in Haiti.
The Lord is good. We have been carried by His grace. It has been a great week, yet at the same time we have wept every single day as we grieve the loss of our daughter. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere. Just this morning, I was getting out of the shower and drying myself and all of a sudden I just started crying. And I finished crying, told the Lord that I miss my little girl so much, and then I got dressed and continued on my way. And that’s what the Lord is allowing us to do. We are grieving well and I thank Him for that grace.
By the way, I think that I am going to write the book. Please pray for the grace, wisdom, and knowledge to go about this mission. If the Lord can use this for His glory and reach many more people for the Kingdom of God, then it will be so worth it. To think that Susana could be used by God in such an incredible way like that gives me even greater desire to take on this project. We will use any proceeds from the book to further our mission work in Haiti which will be another way that the Lord would use Susana to reach many for the Kingdom. So, please pray for me as I try to figure out where to begin. May He receive ALL the glory throughout all of this.
Pics of Haiti trip on next post