Monday in Haiti

Since blogging time can be hard to come by, I want to do a quick recap of yesterday and a little longer recap of today. Yesterday (Sunday) we got up, ate breakfast, and went to church with the Manasseros at Port-au-Prince Fellowship. It is a church with a mixture of ex-pats from other countries and Haitians. We heard a sermon about not growing bored with the basic good news of being reconciled to God through Jesus. After church we came back to the Guest House, ate lunch, and had about a two-hour block to take naps and chill. After a grueling travel day on Saturday, the rest time was a tonic for the soul!

Sunday afternoon we finally got to see more of the kids, as we rounded up the girls and boys and went to Quisqueya Chapel and played soccer in their open field. For those of us who have been to Haiti before, this was a time of many happy reunions with Maison de Lumiere kids who are dear to us. For newcomers, the process of meeting people began. Sunday afternoon was sweet in its laid back simplicity. Go to a park (of sorts) with a bunch of people and play.

Erick cleaning out smelly, slimy muck
from a firepit
Today (Monday) has been a day of opening our hearts to see what God wants to do. The theme has been to ask and expect God to give us away to the people of his choosing. It's easy for us to approach relationships in a controlling way, interacting with this person and not that person because we want some kind of return from our social interactions. Instead of being relational consumers like this, we prayed this morning about opening ourselves to let God give us away for his purposes. The story below about Yveline, the young single mother is a huge answer to those prayers.

Dafka. Miss popular!
The first half of the day, we did projects while the kids were in school. Some people repaired a table. Others swept the roof of one of the houses (a very hot and dusty job!). Pam got to do her favorite thing -- go shopping for supplies with the American ladies who live here.

For me, one of the personal highlights was seeing Roseline and her siblings and cousins. Those kids from the Ravine are so sweet, and seeing them is enough to make your day all on its own. The kids kept asking Erick and me to come to their house. I kept saying, "We can't do that now." But we wanted to!

The feeding program provided highlights for just about everyone on the team. Bret held a toddler boy who was tired and weak. Hannah held small ones as well, sometimes having a child on the front and a child on her back at the same time. If the feeding program had a circus, Hannah should try out for it.

Derek, Hannah, Bret, and their new friends
Derek had kids in his arms. So did Rose and Jim. Pam showed up toward the end of the feeding program to soak in the scene. Dafka, the favorite of many people, somehow ended up in my arms. I didn't realize it at first, but I have known Dafka's family for a while. Five girls, and they are all sweet. I've been in their house with Ashley Hapak, praying for Dafka and the other girls.

For me, one of the things that caught my attention was seeing kids who are looking healthier and livelier than I have ever seen them. One of them, my young friend Lizyanna, absolutely amazed me. She is a youth worker at the feeding program now, and she has really stepped up. The girl worked hard, and she did everything with a smile on her face. America (a disabled girl) looked better. Valencia, another youth helper the same age as Lizyanna, looks like she has matured two years in the last six months. In our team meeting tonight we shared stories about several of the kids who seem to be better off than they used to be. Praise God! It isn't all Child Hope doing this, but Child Hope gets to be a part of God's grace. This ministry is making an impact in the local neighborhood, that's for sure. This area used to be a haven for kidnappers and bad guys. Not so much anymore. God's light is shining here in Delmas 75!

Okay, I am going to write a different post about Yveline. You don't want to miss that one!

With Lizyanna and a friend


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