Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Haiti Journal, July 1, 2008

I love sitting under the pavilion looking out at the sea in the morning waiting for the sunrise. There's no time for my journal now. Right now I am going to talk with God.

It's now a little after 9pm and the generator has been turned off. There is a raucous gathering across the way on Mike & Scott's screened porch. It sounds like lots of fun but I want to get my thoughts of the day down on paper before I go to bed.

The day started with a mile and a half walk to ConCrab for VBS. I said I was curious to see what Bible school was like here. Boy-oh-boy is it different. Whitney (the bgm Missions Director) said it was a week of VBS crammed into an hour. The way it works is amazing.

VBS runs from 10am to noon for about 100 children. Half the kids were sent to the Big Room and the other half was divided into 5 groups of 10. Each group of 10 went into a classroom to hear a Bible story and do a craft. So you have 5 classes that last 10 minutes each. At the end of the 10 minutes a whistle blows and the small groups change classes until each group has attended all 5 classes. Unfortunately we could only handle about 100 kids per day so there were children, and adults, watching through the windows and doorways. They wanted to participate so badly.

While half the children attended class the other half was in the Big Room playing games, singing, and learning the Chicken Dance and Macarena. The kids LOVED the Chicken Dance. It was SO much fun but my word, I think I sweated 3 gallons. I literally soaked through my clothes. It was gross but no one cared. In fact, we were sweating so much that when we linked arms to swing each other around I almost threw a little girl into the wall because we slipped right off one another. Oh, the fun! If only that sweating equaled pounds lost.

After all the relay races and dancing the pastor at ConCrab presented the gospel to the kids. What a great spirit in this man.

We returned to the mission to my FAVORITE meal from the March trip. I was so hoping to enjoy this dish again. It's beans and rice but what makes it so special is the stewed veggie topping. I don't know what all veggies are in the mix but it is cooked and cooked and cooked until everything melds together into a thick, delicious medley.

Following lunch we divided into several different teams. One team went back to ConCrab to hand out tickets for the rice feeding. Another went to LaSalle for door to door evangelism. My team went to Bord Mer LasSalle to host a medical clinic for the children.

Several things happened between the groups. The ConCrab team got mobbed by the people and things turned a little ugly. The pastor lead the Americans to the church and shut them inside. Once there they waited a little while until the crowd dispersed a bit, then they returned to the mission. They weren't able to hand out all the tickets because of the commotion. They related that it was slightly scary but mostly sad because of how hungry and desperate the people were.

The LaSalle team led two people to Christ while going door to door. One gentleman converted from VooDoo. Mesi Jezi.

Finally, my team returned to Bord Mer LaSalle with Jenny for a clinic. I acted as the pharmacist for Jenny just as I did in March. However, this time the clinic wasn't as chaotic. Jenny said she is learning how to better run a field clinic and it definitely showed.

Jenny appointed Kelly to act as the check-in administrator. Kelly Mills (a bgm girl), with Nika to interpret, did a great job keeping things organized. Tim Jennings (from AZ) was in charge of crowd control. He was wonderful at keeping the flow moving with a constant smile on his face. Brent Madden (from SC) was equally as great in this endeavor. And we had several young ladies, Hallie, Mallory, Beth, and Laura Grace that played with the children who had gathered around to see what was going on. We also had several guys that played soccer on the beach with another group of kids. All in all there was plenty to keep the kids occupied so Jenny was able to treat her patients without a crush of curious bodies. It went well.

When the clinic was finished we sent our team back up the beach to the mission without Jenny, Nika, Kelly, TJ, and me. The five of us went to LaSalle to see the preemies we 1st met on Monday. The mama is still in the hospital but the babies were sent home.

We visited with the grandmother and her little girls. Jenny looked the infants over and asked Grandma lots of questions to ascertain the care they were receiving and what assistance was needed. We left lots of formula and bottles with preemie nipples for the belle tifis (beautiful little girls).

(Notice that Jenny's finger is bigger than the baby's leg.)

We were late for dinner by the time we returned to the mission. We ate yummy macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad, and sweet bread. I have to say that I am so glad we walk several miles each day or this food would be the death of me.

Later, while we were having devotion, a strong storm rolled through and soaked us. Devotion was in the screened dining room. However, with 40+ people it is quite crowded and warm so 5 or 6 us us sat outside and listened through the screens. Then the wind began to blow hard and the rain fell. It felt so good and cooled the air. We also had a fabulous lightning show.

God, thank you for this amazing day. Thank you for the unconventional approach to VBS. What a great reminder to think outside the box. Thank you for the opportunity to help so many children with a medical clinic out of a suitcase. Thank you for sustaining such tiny lives in such primitive surroundings. Thank you for bringing us comfort in the form of wind and rain. Thank you for the magnificent display you presented to my enjoyment. And Lord God, thank you for loving me. Thank you for the hope I see in Haiti.

I'm tired. Good night Lord.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Again....Wow! I am in awe of God's goodness....and wishing I were there with you! I am so thrilled that you had this experience! Keep it coming!

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