Good morning, Haiti! I'm still here. I think that kind of surprised me this morning. It took me so long to get to sleep last night and my cot was so uncomfortable. Before it was light outside, there was a smell of something burning. It was a horrible smell. The sounds are extremely loud again. There is no coffee. I heard the first rooster crow this morning. My throat is sore.
I don't know how they do it. I miss quiet and pleasant smells, yet I'm reminded that when my feet hit the street this morning on our prayer walk, I will again love the people of Haiti and none of that will matter.
I'm wearing a rubber band that Evanson gave me yesterday. That boy is special. He sat down beside me and said in English, "What's your name?" I said, "Mandy, what's your name?" He said, "Evanson. You my friend?" I smiled, grabbed his hand and said, "Yes. I'm your friend." He smiled so big. I loved him!
Today, we are going on a prayer walk, then to the tent city. It's going to be a heartbreaking, painful day. They say there will be no orphanage visit. I'm praying that somehow, some way, we get to go to one. Somehow, some way, Lord.
Last night, Marcio (our AIM leader) shared his testimony. It was really his life story. It was quite amazing and fantastic. He was here on his first mission trip, when the earthquake happened. He was on day 2 of being here.
The other teams have come under great attack. I'm thankful that we've been spared, but I also wondered what is happening at home that I have no idea about. It sometimes overwhelms me.
I have also struggled a lot with feeling like I'm not doing anything. I've taken a very back seat spiritually and physically on this trip. I feel like that's how I've been led. I just don't know why. I will say that I've seen huge changes in others though and I can't help but to think that has something to do with it. I feel like I'm going to go home and not have a lot to tell people (in retrospet hahahahaha), yet God keeps telling me not to despise the small things. I struggle with obedience there though I work very hard.
I could use a big cup of coffee right now!
LOL 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Wow Verse 7 is the scripture Marcio quoted last night when talking about the woman that her two year old died in the earthquake. She said, "He brought nothing into this world, and he will take nothing out," and laid him in the sea, immediately after he died.
Contentment. Today I will be content.
God is good. It's hard to look around Haiti and to think they could grasp the idea of a good God. They do though. Their friends, neighbors, children, parents, etc. died by the earth shaking terribly for days. They live in the midst of filth and chaos, but they still see a good God. They worship and praise Him as a good God. They, a large, large group anyway, comprehend His goodness, even when I struggle with it, looking at them. As I walk the streets, I make eye contact and say hello ("salude", "bonjou" or "bonswai") often. They are warm, responsive and inviting. They welcome us readily into their homes and speak openly with us.
I wish I could sit and talk with Rony for hours and gain insight. I'd love to know how the Haitian people feel about how they live. Do they know there is better? Do they desire better? God wants better for them, but most of all, He wants their worship. He wants their hears. He wants all of them.
Today, I will set my mind on things of Christ, not on earthly things. I will give freely and be content in what God gives, physically and spiritually. You've called us for such a time as this and I pray for Your will to be done. Thank you, Lord, that You are a good God!
We hit Ft. Lauderdale Friday at 12:35pm. I can't wait to make that first phone call!!! I just can't wait! To hear his voice again will be amazing!
This morning, we went for a prayer walk. It was awesome! I loved it! Before we left, I felt led to pull out $20 and take it with me. The first house we went to, there was a woman that asked for prayer for money. No one has ever asked us to pray for that. When we got to the street, Deonne stopped us and asked about giving money, I told them I'd been led to bring money and Rony agreed that it would be, so I got to give the woman $20 and hug and kiss her.
We got to pray with many more and it was awesome! My role here is definitely supportive.
Fun during our prayer walk! Rony was always trying to balance things on his head like the women do. I'd catch him doing it often. Him and Camille mastered it on this occassion. :)
Ah coke again. How I love thee!
I love Haiti! Oh my, how I love Haiti! I've never been any place that I have loved so much. The youth were just on the rooftop worshipping. They started singing, "Merci Jesi" (Thank you, Jesus). The people on the streets began to sing. People came out on their rooftops to sing. It was all so overwhelming. I cried. I will miss this so much! The love, community and welcoming spirit is so amazing. They love each other well! Haiti is a Christian nation. Most Haitians know and woship Jesus. They believe that God is good. In the midst of everything I've seen, they believe God is good! That just blows my mind!
I'm not sure if you can see it in this picture, but this was a man across the street that came out to worship with us!
We delivered 4 large trash bags of medical supplies to the medical clinic today. They clinic was clean and orderly. It was impressive by Haiti standards.
Surgery room - I can't remember what they said but there are only like 4 major surgeries (like heart transplants) that they don't do here. Everything else gets done right here!
These pictures are the entire stash of medical supplies that they have.
Then we went for the prayer walk.
After lunch, we went to the tent city. It was beyond words. People were hot, hungry and hopeless. They welcomed prayers and were thankful. The stories of people we've met could go on and on. There are so many stories! There was one girl in a yellow shirt that followed us from afar. She stayed back and snuck a chance to touch my hand once. I would look at her and smile and she would light up, but stayed back. She followed us for so long. Right before I stepped on the bus, I slipped the bracelet Kristen gave me off (It was a bracelet that she got from VBS that says "Watch for God" and has eyes on it) and slipped it on her wrist. I got on the bus and looked back at her. She was beaming and skipping. She showed her friends and came by the window and smiled and waved and blew kisses. I'll forever have that girl in my heart.
I'm so torn. I miss my family and cannot wait to get home, but I don't want to leave Haiti. I'm leaving part of my heart here. I love it here so much. Right now they are having church downstairs. They've been singing and now they are praying, even in the streets. God is alive in Haiti!
Back to the tent city, it was impossible. There are no jobs, no food, no school, no medical help and no homes. It's hot and oppressive. There were so many pregnant woman. So many! The children we naked and had rashes. It was just so overwhelming.
Side Note: Here are some stories that we heard that I didn't include in my journal.
One woman said she had gone to church before the earthquake, but since the earthquake, she doesn't have the clothes to go, so she cannot go. Another family said that they didn't have a place to live even before the earthquake. We prayed for a pregnant woman laying outside her tent that said she was hungry. Amber got to hold a newborn baby that wasn't wearing a diaper and had pee all over it. The tents are all stacked side by side and there is no ventilation. Haiti is hot. Hotter than anyplace I've ever been. Homes are ventilated. Tents are not. Grown women were bathing naked in the street. Groups would congregate and though people were nice, it was a bit scary. There was sometimes a bit of hostility in the air, though no one treated us poorly. I felt like a tourist, wanting to do more than pray. We'd come with 10 new, nice tents, but there were about 400 tents on this location. How would we choose 10 people to give them to? If we brought food, how do we choose who to give it to? That is much of the problem is Haiti. The need is so great, how do you choose who to help and who not to? The tent city was no joke. It is this right here that makes me cringe when I read facebook statuses that speak of the homeless in America and veterans without benefits. I agree those are real needs, but you've not seen devastation until you've seen something like this. Homeless Americans cannot compare to a family of 7 living in a tent in a tent city in Carrefour, Haiti.
Street on the way to the tent city
Amber holding the baby
The little girl in the yellow shirt
See how close together they are. How would you like to live that close to someone else and their family that doesn't have a job or food and smells as bad as you do.
Tomorrow, we are doing a team building exercise in the morning, then hopefully going to the orphanage. The majority of the team is going to the beach. I'm really not even interested in the beach. I pray the orphanage will work out.
Well, church will go on forever and I'm not going to sleep any time soon, but I think I'm done writing. Good night babies. My heart aches for you. I miss you so much!!! Good night babe! I'm overwhelmed right now just thinking of your arms embracing me!!
Ahhhhh, we just stood on the balcony and danced and worshipped as they danced and worshipped in the streets.
I love Haiti!