Things keep getting better and better.
But it started off as incredibly difficult. Last night, our group agreed that we had experienced the longest night ever in our lives. I remember waking up more than ten times throughout the night, and each time I did, it felt like I had already slept for 7 hours. And when I went to settle myself back to sleep, I would notice that another team member was also awake and passing the time by reading, praying, or just sitting up in bed.
There was a dark spirit that came in the night, and our team felt it. So we all battled in the Spirit against the darkness until we fell back asleep. I remember having dreams of people (that I cared about) telling me to stop talking about God so much in my blog posts on Haiti. And when I woke up in a cold sweat, I would repeatedly denounce that spirit of discouragement and go straight back to bed.
Later that night, I abruptly awoke to the sound of voices and worship outside the window. I later found out from Michael Jeune that within Grace Village, there is a group of people covering the campus in prayer at every single hour in the day, to battle against the secretive gatherings of Voodoo and dark spiritual worship that take place at night behind closed tents. How amazing is that?!
So when it was time to actually get up (around 5:30 am, to the sound of roosters crowing), our group gathered to worship, pray, and read the Word out loud to do our own battle.
The verse that ministered to us the most was in 2 Corinthians 4:4-12: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So the, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
And so our little group spent the remainder of the day walking with the peace and light of God within us, and I know that I was at peace for the rest of the day.
We started off by working with the amazing women of Grace International, removing pebbles and dirt from bags of beans, taking the husk off of garlic cloves, and doing dishes. And then, the Lord’s Kitchen was open!
If you remember the last time I wrote about the Lord’s Kitchen, you know how defeated I was and the despair that I felt.
Completely different this time around. Completely.
The people at Grace International did an amazing job when it came to organizing the Lord’s Kitchen! Now, they created a system where the kids bring in their bowls to be filled, with the youngest of the children being fed first. The children would file in, line up, get their food, and leave the gates to bring the food back to their families. And with the amount of money that was donated by the New Mercy Project and by Bridgeway Community Church, we fed every single child, pre-teen, and teenager that had been waiting outside the gates in the line.
That was almost 500 children. We even had enough leftovers to feed some of the elderly. And we knew that they were also bringing home back their food to share with the rest of their families. If we assume that 3 people were fed off of one heaping bowl of food, a portion of the total donations therefore touched the lives of 1,500 people.
And there’s still enough money to feed the kids for every single day this week.
My lovely readers, do you see the impact that you’re making in the lives of these children? You’re feeding them AND their families. Let’s continue to donate and spread the word, so that these kids can eat like this every day of every week of every month of every year!
I saw the compassion in the eyes of my teammates, who were witnessing the Lord’s Kitchen for the first time. The intimacy of touching every child that came into the compound, to even having touched every bean that went into the food was enough to bring them all to tears as they worked, and I was reminded of that day almost 2 years ago…
But this is just the beginning. The beginning of something amazing. And you all have a hand in it.
We got to go to the Boy’s Home and drop off the donations of candy, soccer balls, and stickers that were brought by our team. And I was able to find another friend. 15 years old, and looking more like a man than the boy I remember…Wilkins! He is so tall now!
What a blessing to recognize old faces and see progress and growth in their lives. I even got to bump into my favorite Grace International driver, Kibe. That man knows how to barrel down tiny roads filled with crowded people at 50+ mph without braking, while simultaneously waving at everyone he knows (which is LITERALLY everyone) and honking the horn non-stop.
As a funny side note, the other team members were nervous at Kibe’s seemingly reckless driving, but I have to say…if I had to trust my life to any man in Haiti (when it comes to traveling on the road), it would be Kibe. Man can drive through Haiti blindfolded with no hands and backwards.
There are so many stories from the women and men working here that we heard today. And I will write about them more in detail tomorrow when the rest of the team drives up to Gonaives and Tracey Tiernan and I stay in Grace International. I have the honor of working one more day with the ladies at the Lord’s Kitchen and I am already feeling a bit sad about having to leave on Saturday.
Again, thank you all for your prayers and covering. Please keep Amy, Tim, and Sharon in extra prayer tomorrow, as they will be taking a 3 hour drive through the rural areas of Haiti.
And as usual, I love your faces. And I hope you all can come with me next time to see first-hand how great our God is and how much your generosity is changing lives.