Wednesday, Feb 10
We said a fond farewell to the Firefighters for Christ this morning. Two things stood out in their visit here. First, they were extremely industrious. They worked from morning until night in very hot and humid conditions. They built a tent shelter along a wall on a piece of property that the owner has offered to people who have no place to stay. There are new tent cities all over the city, and the Firefighters took this one on. The shelter they built must be one of the most durable tent structures in all of Port-au-Prince.
Second, the Firefighters consistently lift up the name of Jesus. In all they do, they want the name of Jesus to be proclaimed... not just the name of God but the name of Jesus.
In the afternoon, I went over to the girls' home because I heard that Katianna was going to be preaching the message at the feeding program. She was busy braiding her younger sister Katrina's hair, so I told her I would wait until she finished. Chedline brought me to the back of the house. She was cooking lunch for herself, making soup in a tin container over a small fire made from slow-burning kindling. I was fascinated by the process. I didn't know all the ingredients she was using, but when she let me taste it, I was very impressed! I told her that if we were in a restaurant, I would order "Chedline's Sauce" (that's what she named it) and gladly pay for it. Ashley, one of the nurses on staff, wandered in, and we all made a deal that Chedline would make us lunch, and we would pretend that it was a restaurant. That should happen in the next few days. Who knows? Maybe someday Chedline will have a restaurant, and we will be able to say that this is where it started. :-)
Then Chedline said she wanted to make something else for me. She, Love-Mita, and Adeline demonstrated how to break open the almonds that grow on trees all around the area. You use a rock and chip away the outer nut until you get down to the nub, and then you crack open the nub to get the nut out. There is a definite skill to it. I kept getting down to the nub and then having to hand my almond to Adeline to finish the job. All the girls laughed at my clumsiness at opening up almonds. Katrina saw me opening almonds with the others and said that I was being a girl. Later I found out that opening almonds is something men do too.
With a bowl full of almonds, we went over to the guest house, and the girls -- now joined by Renise and Katianna -- made what they call Tablet. It is carmelized sugar with nuts. Delicious!
By the way, Katianna and I met before she preached. Dana has asked me to mentor the kids who are preaching, so I offered guidance to Katianna on speaking in front of people. I also did my best to impress on her how proud I am of her. I love seeing these kids step up! She did very well in her first Feeding Program sermon! Her message was to be thankful in all things. What a perfect theme for these days in Port-au-Prince!
Today was a day to recharge for me. God gave me the gift of seeing a little more of Haitian life, at least from the girls' perspective. One thing I have noticed is that you wake up in the morning here and present yourself to God, and then you see what comes your way. Few plans are realized the way you anticipate, and often God leads you down unexpected paths, some of which are gut-wrenching but others of which melt your heart all over again.