After I finished my journal entry last night I went to the pavilion to look at the stars and listen to the waves. I didn't get into bed until after midnight. A small lack of sleep is worth capturing these magical moments of peace.
At 9:00 this morning we walked to the mission depot for the rice feeding. When we arrived someone was calling my name. A message was being yelled across the yard that Nadia was at the office. Maclane had told me he wanted his picture with Nadia so the two of us started walking toward the office. As we approached Nadia walked through the gate and met us at the road. She was smiling from ear to ear and said, "Tauna! Tauna!"
I just about melted. The same shy, beautiful girl that barely spoke to me in March was smiling and calling my name. We stood in the gateway and hugged each other. Mesi Jezi!
I introduced Nadia to Maclane. Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for her to be there so early so I had to ask her to wait while I walked back to the cabins to get the gifts I had for her. Maclane went back to assist with the rice feeding and Colby MacDonald walked me back to the cabins.
When Colby and I returned to the office Nadia was gone. We were told she left but they were sure she didn't go far and would return. I still don't know where she went because she lives a long way away. By the time she returned we didn't have much time to visit because I had to get back to the rice feeding. I gave Nadia the card and money from Melissa as well as some pictures I took of her last Spring. There was a cute picture of her and her brother.
I asked Nadia if she would walk over to the feeding with me so we could get that picture with Maclane. We also took a photo of Nadia and Missy. As we said goodbye I gave Nadia a few bucks for a tap-tap ride home. She had traveled alone this time and I wanted her to get home safely. I wish we could have visited longer.
(Beautiful Nadia wearing the necklace I made for her.)
The rice feeding went well. We fed over 200 families and the leftover rice went to feed Bord Mer LaSalle. I saw a lot of humility on some very proud faces as they accepted the rice. There was one older gentleman in particular that captured my heart. He stood with his bag of rice and waited as we were about to pray over his group. I could see the pain and gratitude in his features. The beauty of it made me turn away. I couldn't allow anyone to see the tears filling my eyes lest he or anyone mistake them for pity. There was no pity, just compassion. I admired than man.
(A side note: My stomach was growling out loud as we prayed over the hungry families with their bags of rice. It made me realize how hungry I wasn't.)
For lunch we hosted the sponsored kids. It was so amazing to see the kids with their sponsor families. Kerri Forbus got on her knees and hugged her little boy as she met him for the first time. I'm so happy I witnessed that introduction.
Watching the host families give presents to their Haitian families was such a blessing. And getting to see the children playing with their American families was priceless.
(Scott & Kelly Mills with their son Wednell.)
(Schnieder is the son of Chad and Whitney King.)
This trip has been about building relationships for me. The March trip felt like an introduction. An introduction to the land, the culture, the people and particular individuals. This time around we have been able to move beyond the surface and begin the journey to something deeper.
I pray God will allow me to return to further develop what He has started. I hope to continue with the friendships I've initiated here with the Haitians and Americans alike.
After the sponsored children went home we went to the pavilion to watch the soccer game between the Haitians and Americans. We all laughed when John Mark, Yaguel, and Alan took off their jeans and they were wearing long, soccer shorts underneath. Nika also played and represented the girls very well. She was quite the little goalie. We had a great time watching and cheering.
Around 4:45 we loaded onto the flatbed and rode to Biree to see Madame Bolo and her daughter Suzanne. Madame Bolo is in her 90s and blind. Last year Madame Bolo accidentally burned down her house on the beach (made of twigs). Sonny (remember him) saw the smoke and saved Madame Bolo. Brent Gambrell's family built her a new house in a new village and we were going to see it. Last March the house was just a foundation so we were excited to see the new 3 room home. We had a sweet, albeit short, visit before we walked back to the Mission.
It was fun walking back through Neply. Since I've only ever ridden through it was fun to get to walk with some of the children rather than just wave to them as we passed by. As we walked through we said our final goodbyes to John Mark, Alan, and Yaguel who all live in Neply. Then we rounded the corner for home.
By the time we had devotion under the Mango tree my head was hurting badly. I ended up going to bed at 8:00. What a bummer! I've been enjoying sitting out at the pavilion after everyone is in bed. I hated missing that.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot Dyllan and his machete. D cutt the tail off of a lizard with his machete. Then as the tail lay wiggling on the ground he chopped it into pieces. He is truly "Wild at Heart." I can't wait to see what God does with his life.
For that matter, I can't wait to see what God does with mine.