Ok, I am totally totally beat right now, so I am not going to be creative in my writing. This is just an update so you all know what has been going on with us.
We have a team here from Dothan, Alabama. There are 14 of them and they are doing some great work. The team was supposed to come on Sunday morning, so after me leaving at the crack of dawn from Jacmel to go pick them up in Port au Prince, I received the call that the flight was cancelled and that the team would not be coming until the next day. Well, that meant that I had to stay the night in Port au Prince because I wasn’t about to drive 3 or more hours back to Jacmel and then have to drive 3 or 4 hours back the next day. So, I’m glad that Isabela was with me, but my wife stayed home. So, we spent the night at the Global Outreach base in Titanyen (near Port au Prince). The great blessing that it turned out to be was that it enabled me to visit the orphanage that we oversee in Titanyen and spend the whole day there with the kids. It was awesome!!! Isabela and I had such a wonderful time hanging out with the kids. I really really love those kids. It was great to see Oscar, the Director, and spend some time with him.
One of the highlights of my time there was when we were there in the evening to watch a movie with the kids. It started raining like c-r-a-z-y and we just sat inside with all the kids listening to the rain pound like nails on the metal roof. While the kids were watching the movie, Oscar and I, along with one of Oscar’s friends, started a conversation that theologians have been debating over since the beginning of the church – Arminianism vs. Calvinism. It was awesome to spend time digging into God’s word with my good friend and search the scriptures seeking to know the wonderful mysteries of God. We read Romans chapter 9-11 verse by verse. We concluded the matter just like Paul does at the end of chapter 11 – how unsearchable are the ways of God. It is a glorious mystery.
Isabela and I met the team at the airport the following day. Praise God that their flight was on time and everything went okay. We made it back to Jacmel in about 3 hours. The team was pretty tired by the time we arrived in late afternoon. They enjoyed a great meal of Haitian spaghetti and then spent the rest of the night visiting with some families whom we minister to on a regular basis.
On Tuesday, we all hit the ground running. The team is broken up into 3 groups – Carpentry, Construction, and Orphan Care. The carpentry group has been building benches, book shelves, and cubbies in the driveway of the mission house. They have built benches for the mission/discipleship house so that the orphan kids that come for a discipleship program now have a place to sit. They are building large cubbies for the orphanage so that the kids will have places to store their clothes and linens. And they will be building some book cases for the school that we work with in Marigot. They have been doing awesome! The construction crew spent the first day helping a missionary friend of ours move from one home to another. They worked hard cleaning, taking apart bunk beds for 23 orphaned kids and reassembling them in a different house, and just being the hands and feet of Jesus. The Orphan Care team went with me as we visited Marie Rene’s home, one of our families in our sponsorship program. We took some of the sponsorship money and bought a bunch of food to deliver to the “mom’s” home. She was so excited to receive the food and she told us that just that morning, she was anxious because she did not have any more food left to give to her children. I used that as a teaching opportunity to show her that the Lord knows her needs, and that He will provide for her as she simply looks to Him. I then told her that we will be building some benches for her table so that the family will have a place to sit. Then, I took the group, along with the children, down to their school and paid off the remainder of the children’s tuition for the year. It was wonderful to spend some time with the Rene kids.
In the afternoon, the Rene kids, along with several other orphaned kids that are part of our program, came to the mission house for our discipleship program. The team taught them God’s word, sang some songs, and then made tye-dyed shirts with the kids. It was great!
Then, after another great haitian meal, we headed out into our neighborhood to have a block party with some families near the mission house. We had bought them food earlier in the day and told them to cook up a feast for all of them. We basically just hung out with them while they ate and we set up our projector and showed Tom and Jerry cartoons. We had such a blast!
We ended the night by giving praise and glory to God through having a devotional and a time of worship. It was wonderful to reflect on what the Lord was doing.
Even though it felt like 110 degrees in the house that night, everybody slept really good…that is…until 3AM when I woke to the sound of a huge crash on my floor. Isabela had fallen off the top bunk and landed on the tile floor. Maria and I were freaked out. Thank God, after several trips to different doctors the following day, we learned that nothing is broken, but she does have to wear it in a sling for several days.
The team has been having a great time and we have really really enjoyed having them. I’ll update again soon about what we did today. Tomorrow, we will go to the beach a half day and relax and reflect on the goodness of God in our midst.