Monday, July 14, 2008

Haiti Journal, June 29, 2008

We went to church in Santo today. The church was much smaller than the rum factory church in March. It had many fewer people, at least when we arrived. It didn't take long for the word to get out that we were there and people starting filling the seats. Soon the church was packed. A couple of guys even took the benches out of the back of one of our trucks and placed them at the back of the church for additional seating. (Riding in the back of the trucks is always so much fun, even if it leaves you with a bruised bum.)

The building is incomplete. The doorways and windows are open holes. Our missionary Charlie explained this by telling us the pastor had blown the budget on the church on three separate occasions.

However, I must say the lack of completion made for a much cooler service. The open, airy, albeit unintentional, design allowed for a breeze to sweep through with welcome comfort.
We sang "Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord" in Creole and English. When we sang in English the worship leader sang, "Open Your Eyes of My Heart Lord." What a beautiful "mis"interpretation. I think I will carry that rendition with me forever.

Lord, please open Your eyes to my heart while I am in Haiti. Show me why You have brought me here. Quiet my heart with Your love (Zephaniah 3:17) so I may hear You speak.

After church we headed back to the mission for lunch, which was delicious. We had BBQ chicken, mashers, string beans, corn, fresh bread, watermelon, and homemade (of course) chocolate cake. Yum, yum, and YUM. I am going to gain 10 lbs while I'm here.

When lunch was over we finally took the tour Charlie promised everyday last Spring. He walked the office grounds and gave us a bit of the New Missions history. (Editorial note: I would encourage everyone to check out New Missions here to learn more about this amazing organization.)

Following the tour we donned our water shoes for a trek up the beach. Mike wanted to show everyone the villages of Bord Mer LaSalle and LaSalle. Along the way we stopped by one of the mission's neighbors so Jenny could look in on one of her patients. (Jenny lives in Manhattan but was on her 3rd of 5 trips to Haiti with bgm.)

The grandfather of the neighboring family has a machete wound from last November. When were here in March we stopped twice so the nurses could care for the wound. Even now, almost 8 months later, it still has not healed. Jenny said it looks like a diabetic ulcer and that is how she was going to treat it.

The same family has two little girls that we met last Spring. One girl's name is Angela and I didn't understand the name of her cousin. I must get her name before I leave. The girls, along with their brothers, sisters, and friends followed us up the beach just as they did the last time we were here. What precious gifts God gives.

It was a long walk today. We left late and the tide was much higher this time of year and there were a few places that were quite difficult to maneuver. We had to pick up the smaller children and carry them through the tide surges.

While we walked through LaSalle it began to rain. The rain was so cool and refreshing. The temperature dropped and the rain washed away the sweat. Unfortunately it also washed away bits of our path as well. Not only were we traipsing through mud (made of more than dirt and water), but my shirt was soaked. Note to self: thin cotton may be cool but it doesn't go well with the rainy season. So much for modesty.

Dinner was sub sandwiches and fresh squeezed lime-aid (yay). I tried picklese for the first time. Picklese is a relish but it looks like cole slaw. It is spicy and adds a kick to your sandwich or whatever else you add it to. I thought it was pretty good. It gets its heat from habanero peppers.

When dinner was over we had some free time. I went down to the beach to get a shot of the sunset in the storm. I wanted to get a photo of the lightning in the distance over the water but I never got a good shot. I'll share my photo and one from Brent Madden. Brent captured an amazing picture of a triple lightning strike.

Just standing on the beach watching the storm in the distance was beyond spectacular. Is there a better word than beautiful? If so I'd like to use it now.

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