Tuesday in Haiti -- visiting families and other adventures

Tuesday was a much better day than Monday. Our whole team felt like the blessings of Tuesday made up for the trials of Monday.

In the morning we interviewed Lena, a Haitian woman who lost her house in the earthquake. She is married and has four children, and they are currently living in a tent city in another part of Port-au-Prince. Her name got passed to the Manasseros, and she is at the top of the list to receive a prefab house. This is one of the things we came down here for. Funds were donated for us to hire Haitian work teams to build two houses. Lena is supposed to be the recipient of the first one. At this point we don't know whether any building will start before we leave, but at least we got to meet her. We mentioned that at different times in our lives, all of us need help from others. In other words, we didn't want Lena to feel embarrassed. We could imagine how hard it must be if you lost your house, and your husband lost his job, and most of your things had been stolen. We didn't feel like we were riding in on a white horse to save the day. We just felt fortunate to be able to be the bearers of good news and someone's extreme generosity. We are hoping to get to the property to see where the new house will be built and meet the rest of the family.
With my friend Rosena at kindergarten

Before lunch, Andrea, Jim, and I helped in the kindergarten class at Maison de Lumiere school. The class is taught in French, so we were of marginal use. However, since the kids were learning about the letter "a," we learned that "a" is the first letter in "anana," which is pineapple. The kids were chanting "a-a-anana." Now the three of us can't get "a-a-anana" out of our heads. :-)

Mother and her sick child, praying
After lunch we visited a family that has been on our hearts since our last trip. The parents don't work much, and they have six children. I do not believe any of their children are going to school. We wanted to pray with them, and we are investigating how much it would take to sponsor their children in school. School means education and meals. Both are huge needs. These children are receiving neither education nor proper nutrition at this point. In the photo, you can see the child has light-colored hair, which signifies malnutrition.

And yet when we came to their door... well, a plastic sheet that hung in a doorway of their one-room block house. Anyway, when we came to the door, two of the children came bounding out and jumped up into the arms of some members of our group. The oldest child present, Mary-Paul, sat on the mattress. We gave her a little Haitian money, and she went out and bought bags of water for the family. The youngest, a little girl, was sick and unclothed. We talked for a few minutes, thanking the mother for welcoming us into her home again. We prayed for her and the kids. Finally, mother and toddler followed us to the medical clinic where she got medicine for the little one. It would be great to help these people get on their feet. We'll keep working on it and see if a way opens up. To put the kids in school would amount to over $2000/year.

Following that visit, Jim Quayle and I went with Alicia Simmons to take medicine to another sick girl who lives over by the Claireville Ravine. The family lives temporarily in a prefab house made of cement floor, 2x4 framing, plywood walls, and a corrugated tin roof. It actually felt pretty nice. This family is familiar to me, because their daughters have gone to the feeding program, and they are now in the Maison de Lumiere school. This is what I love about our school. Not only are we educating our orphanage children, but we are also bringing in kids from the neighborhood who would otherwise not be going to school. That is good!

Alicia, Jim, and I sat with mom and kids for a little while. We talked and then prayed for Daphka, their daughter who was sick, and also the whole family. Other than little Daphka burning up with fever, it was a very enjoyable visit. By the way, Daphka showed up at the feeding program today. The prayer and medicine  are taking effect!

Mr. Michel at the house he is waiting to rebuild
Mr. Michel then showed up. We talked about the prefab house for a while, and he invited us to go and see his old house that was damaged in the earthquake. We walked around the back edge of the Ravine, and that's when the kids spotted us. Next thing we knew, there were about twenty kids following us. Very fun! About five of them accompanied us all the way to the other house. It was a small block structure built into a complex of similar structures. It is standalone, but it's very close to the neighboring houses. Mr. Michel is slowly storing up materials to rebuild his house.

After dinner, Jim and I led a discussion at the Bible study for the 12- to 15-year-old boys who work at the feeding program. We talked about devoting one's life to Jesus, and then the boys asked questions about marriage. We enjoyed the conversation a lot!

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