NOTE: We lost Internet access the other night and weren’t able to update the blog until we got on the plane ride home. We are all fine, tired, but incredibly blessed by the trip we were fortunate enough to experience. Here’s what happened yesterday and today!
It’s our last day! And it was a busy one~
We got up at the rooster’s crow and had a delicious breakfast before splitting up into three groups. The first group (Tamia, Jennifer and I) headed off to help the wonderful ladies of the Lord’s Kitchen…
The second group (Peter, Angel and Ronald) went to wheel-barrow supplies back and forth from the office to furnace disposal area…
And the third (Corinne and Sandy) went to serve at the medical clinic.
Everyone had a blast serving: it was hard but rewarding work. The Lord’s Kitchen crew started by cleaning every pot, pan, and utensil in the kitchen. After everything was prepared, we peeled, chopped, and prepared vegetables and got ready to serve heaping servings of homemade spaghetti. The kitchen “mothers” prayed over the meals they made, made us laugh and were nothing short of fantastic. Today, the Kitchen was geared to feed the sponsored children of Grace International (and the rest of the week was paid for and dedicated to feed the rest of the children in the neighboring villages).
Meanwhile, in the Clinic, Sandy and Corinne performed routine check-ups on local families, and helped children battling fevers and sicknesses. After the line of people from the Clinic were all served, they moved on to organize, update, and restock the Pharmacy with all of the donated medical supplies that were sent with our team.
And finally, the men were sent to perform some hard labor out in the field. They wheel-barrowed boxes of supplies in the sweltering heat, to safely dispose of potentially hazardous materials. By the end of the session, they had soaked through their clothes with sweat and dust, but they finished what they started and did amazing work.
After lunch, it was time for the Lord’s Kitchen. Some of us focused on giving away the rest of the donated Crocs to the students and the staff’s children while others entertained and got to know the children that came through the gates.
We began to run low on food as the last 50 children arrived, and the women who work the Kitchen put in their own food (which they were saving for their children/families) to make sure that everyone got fed. When we saw their sacrifice, the team pooled together funds and gifted what we had in our pockets for each of the 5 mothers, in thanks for what they did.
The children were bright, grateful, and full of potential and it was a blessing to serve them.
After we washed up, we jumped onto an open truck and held on for dear life as we whizzed through the streets of Haiti to visit Grace International’s new Grace Village. When we arrived, we were greeted by a swarm of children, who grabbed our hands, climbed onto our backs, and proudly escorted us through their neighborhood.
Grace Village is a rural campus that Bishop Jeune purchased in an effort to relocate and better families that used to live in the tent communities at Grace International’s medical campus.
These 70+ families are hand picked to live there. They have jobs, families, and are taught how to build the houses they live in. As we toured the campus, residents proudly showed off the humble homes they lived in, and we were humbled by their hospitality and bright demeanors. At first glance, all we saw were tiny, over-heated homes, with very few belongings…but when we saw their joy at having their own place to call home, we felt at home as well.
After the tour, we were given the opportunity to play with the children and hand out the hundreds of candies we brought with us. Children were overjoyed, but desperate to collect as many as possible, and many of the members were overwhelmed by the helplessness they felt at what they saw. The children had tattered clothes, most were shoeless, but all were full of love and joy. It broke our hearts.
As we boarded our truck to head on back, the children asked if we could take them with us…and that’s when several of our team members broke down. We quickly drove away, and the feelings that welled up in the hearts of the team burst. On our way home, tears were shed, people were heartbroken, and when we got back to the campus, we had a serious discussion on what we just saw.
The sadness we felt was righteous sadness. The poverty that we saw broke our hearts because it broke God’s heart. The anger we felt was righteous anger because children SHOULD NOT STARVE.
It was a painful but eye-opening experience for everybody, and we are all better for it.
Before we left the campus, we had the opportunity to visit the schools at Grace International and give a little speech to the children. Bishop and Madame Jeune prayed over us and we were on the road home!
The ride to the airport was certainly bittersweet. Everyone left with a child on their heart and a mission in their spirit. Several of our members were even able to sponsor a child that they met. What a blessing it was to leave our hearts in Haiti!
Thank you to all that prayed and financially supported us! We can’t wait to organize the videos and photos we took and post them for all to see~
Love your faces. Bon nwit!