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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections of Haiti Part IV

Day 4 in Haiti was Sunday, which meant one thing... church!  My experience at church was astounding!  While I didn't understand a single word said the entire 2+ hours we were there, it was a very moving service. The songs and preaching were absolutely beautiful.  The emotion and effort put into church was something I have rarely experienced here at home.  Church began at 7 in the morning and like I said, was a little over 2 hours long.  The people who were in attendance appeared to be dressed in their best clothes and all came on foot!  When was the last time you put on your best outfit and walked to church down a "street" covered with filth and mud puddles?  During one of the songs, the Haitian people lifted their arms and swayed them back and forth.  This represents their freedom from the bondage of Voodooism.  While Christianity can be found in Haiti, Voodooism is the dominating religion.  What a great thing that these people have been saved from Voodooism and will be in Heaven with me!

Sunday afternoon we began making cookies for our luau party that night with the girls.  What a challenge!  Much like the brownies, making cookies was not an easy thing to do.  I had to laugh when the back of the package said to soften the butter in the microwave...obviously that cookie company has never made cookies in Haiti! 

We actually ended up making chocolate chip brownie bar type things because the cookies were just too runny.  We had to use the eggs and some other things in the Pastor's house but we didn't have a key for it so...Walt just broke into the Pastor's house.  What's a mission trip without a little breaking and entering?

That night we headed to the girls' house and had the luau party.  The girls seemed to have warmed up to us a bit and seemed to have fun.  For their dinner, they were treated to fruit cocktail (a rarity) and teriyaki chicken sandwiches. 

What a HUGE blessing this night was to the girls and us!  I think this successful event was able to give us all much needed energy and encouragement. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reflections of Haiti Part III

Day 3 in Haiti brought about some realization of needing to focus more on God.  We had power from 6 pm- 6 am thanks to a generator everyday.  I woke up this morning wanting to send out a quick e-mail to a family member.  Not paying attention to the time, the generator cut off before I was able to complete the e-mail and send it.  At first I was disappointed but then I quickly reminded myself that my family knew I was okay and what I had typed was insignificant compared to the fact that I was letting God's beauty of the Hatian people go on around me unnoticed. 

The biggest thing we did was clean Pastor Andy's house this day.  Cleaning a house in Haiti is not an easy process.  In order to clean the floor, we had the opportunity to use a handmade broom.  No vacuum was available, but we didn't seem to notice.  In order to mop and clean the bathroom, we had to go out and get buckets of water from the faucet located outside.  We were thankful for the breeze coming through the limited number of windows because that was our only ventilation since A/C is nonexistent in Haitian homes. 

The big thing I take away from this day is the fact that the children here have very little but make the best with what they do have.  Some of the boys have mastered the art of making kites out of trash.  I was amazed at how they could look all over the compound for materials and after a short period of time craft something that actually worked.  I took this situation and thought about how spoiled my own children are.  I am sure Landon would not be able to make a toy to play with if I gave him a pile of what looks like trash.  I am challenging myself as a parent to downsize the amount of "stuff" my children have and make them more appreciative of what they do have.