For the love of Haiti

When we arrived on Sunday, none of us knew what to expect.  We each came from different locations, most of us strangers, and all at once the best of friends.  We were greeted with huge smiles and immediately began helping one another with luggage and sharing jokes and the anticipation of this journey. 

Pastor John, our contact here in Haiti, brought us to his home, high in the hilly terrain of Merger.  We shared laughter over a wonderful meal of fried plantains, potato salad, turkey, and a spicy slaw.  The evening was spent watching a soccer championship game.  At the game, the children surrounded us with huge smiles and laughter. It is amazing how talented the children are here with their athletic abilities.  Although we were limited with our language barrier, we communicated with play and laughter. 

The sun was setting when we came back to Pastor John’s home.  The view from the rooftop was incredible.  The village gave way to the amazing ocean ahead.  We slept on the roof so we were able to feel the air.  Haiti is intensely hot, but we were all energized with the anticipation of the week ahead. 

This morning, (Monday), we unpacked and planned out our skits and games for the Vacation Bible School that were taking place this afternoon.  We decided on the story of Jesus meeting Simon Peter in his fishing boat, and telling him He would make him a fisher of men.  We chose the bible verse Mark1:17 as a theme for our first day with the children.

Later this morning, we split into two groups, and along with our translators, we began a prayer walk through the village.  We visited homes, prayed for any needs that the people requested prayer for.  We laughed and listened to stories about the lives of the people here.  We visited an orphanage and were surrounded by smiling faces.  The children reached out for us to hug and hold them.  We shared candy, coloring books, kisses and smiles.

On our way to VBS this afternoon, we were greeted with a hill that seemed to go straight up and never end.  The terrain in Haiti is a true test of endurance for the most athletic of individuals.  When we reached the top, we were greeted with huge smiles and hands reaching for the gifts we brought to bless them with.  Many of the children were covered in stickers and gathered around for photographs.  We played soccer, sang songs together, and played games with a parachute. 

In the evening, we made the downward trek toward the church where John would be giving a message.  When we arrived, the room was alive with the sounds of intense worship.  A small, elderly woman was dressed all in white at the front of the small room.  Her genuine enthusiasm for praising God was contagious.  The music moved us to tears.  Although most of the songs were in Creole, we understood the universal language of praise and worship.  Pastor John introduced us and invited us to speak to the congregation.  We each shared our appreciation of the hospitality and our amazement at how beautiful Haiti is.  Pastor John gave a message about Zechariah the tax collector, and how even though we may feel small, God sees each of us.  Even though we may have made unwise choices in our past, God sees our heart.  The people repeated a phrase over and over that we didn’t understand.  The man next to me grabbed my hand and spoke the words over and over to me, "pa gen anyen ki enposibak Bondye."  Pastor John looked at us and translated, “nothing is impossible with God.”  Indeed.  None of us began this journey knowing what was going to happen, but we are assured that anything is possible through Christ who gives us strength. 

Tonight, as we prepare our bedding on the rooftop, we grow closer to one another, and to our wonderful Creator, who makes the world a very small place when we see that even across the world, each of us are the same.  We carry different struggles, but we are brought together with the knowledge that we are all His children, fearfully and wonderfully made, regardless of the color of our skin, where we were born, or the way we grew up.  The week will fly by, but we’re all soaking in His marvelous glory and we’ve been brought together for His purpose.  It is well…

Amanda Williams 7/28/14