Our morning started off early today, our final day in Haiti. Ashley decided she would like to be baptized before we left for the airport. So we all met out on the beach at 6:45 this morning to hear her testimony and how God has been working in her life. Her faith and total dependence on God was amazing to hear about, especially from someone her age (Ashley is 11 1/2 years old). Initially, Ashley wasn’t real sure exactly why God was pulling at her heart to come to Haiti. But this morning she shared that being there had given her a whole new perspective and humbled her heart. Her dad had the honor of baptizing her in the ocean and she said that he had really encouraged her by telling her that God has a plan for this trip and reminded her that he was in control.
After breakfast it was time to go say our goodbyes to all of our friends at the orphanage. This is never the highlight of the trip. The more we come on these trips, the more these kids become like family to us. It isn’t unusual to see several of our team brought to tears at this point, but today was even harder than usual. The children clung to us in tears not wanting us to leave. We joked with them and tried to put them in our empty suitcases… but in our hearts, not one of us was really joking about wanting to take them home to our “la kye”. The children have learned however that we are coming back... so they look forward to our return. They have told us before that it’s not “goodbye”… it’s “see you later.”
We all came on this trip with different expectations and ideas. One of the questions in the minds of our team upon arrival was “are these people happy here in the middle of their circumstances?” We found out that in the midst of their poverty, what they really crave the same things that we all want – to be loved and accepted, to feel worthy and valued. And in some small way, we believe that when we show up to serve these people, the poorest people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, they feel loved, valued and worthy. When we come to provide them with an elementary school that they can be proud of, a medical clinic so that we can care for their children, jobs for their single moms, and all the other ministries that are in process in Montrouis - and when we establish friendships with warm smiles and hugs, we are opening the doors for them to believe and to understand that they are valuable to us and to God. And like us, when they can come to a correct understanding of who God is and how He feels about them, how much he loves them, then all of those other circumstances become just that – circumstances.
We drove away in silence today, but each of us were already conceiving ideas as to how we are going to come up with the estimated $10,000 to rebuild the school in Kalalun when we return in May, and how we can continue to minister to the people of the village during that trip. We have been sharing our ideas and making plans already and we can’t wait to have each of you be a part of our big plans. We know that God can accomplish his will down here and we can’t wait for the next chapter!
We are sitting in the airport (flight delayed of course!) tired, but excited to see what He has planned for us.
Job titiles we earned while in Haiti!
Hair stylist and manicurist
Concrete batch plant workers
Womens health technician
Women at the well
Judge (don’t ask)