Today was our second day at Haiti Arise, but our first day doing work projects and getting to start serving! We started our day with a tour of the compound, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we were in awe of what God has done through Haiti Arise to bless the people in Grand Goave. It's so neat to hear the people here at Haiti arise share their hopes and dreams for the future of Haiti Arise, and it's inspiring and humbling to hear them speak with such great faith that God will, and always does, provide. </p>
Before I begin, here is a little background info on how some things run at Haiti arise. When we first got here, the founders of Haiti Arise talked with us about giving out food and things to people in the community. They explained to us that giving a kid food or a mom money doesn't help them in the long run. The vision of Haiti Arise is that people would not become dependant on other people to meet their needs, but would turn to God as the source of their hope. By investing in long term relationships that Haiti Arise has built, and not looking for short-term fixes, we are doing more to help the people of Haiti.
This afternoon, a group of us worked in the guest house doing painting and varnishing. One little guy from the community, Robinson, got into the gated area where we were working and started chatting. I was so surprised to find that he was actually speaking Spanish! I was absolutely stoked because I know Spanish and got to chat with him for quite a while. As we were chatting and I talked with his family, I realized that he was really hoping that I would give him somthing like shoes, clothes, water, etc. Although I made some jokes with him about how my shoes are too girly for him and my clothes are way too big for him, it hurts your heart to hear and see. As a team, the overwhelming need and desperation here in Haiti weighs heavy on your heart. You want to give every shoeless kid shoes, and every pregnant mom money - so its an internal battle that you're constantly fighting through. However, we are comforted by the fact that any money, clothes, or things we give them will just pale in comparsision to offering the greatest gift of all - the gift of relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the living water that will quench their thirst and meet all of their needs. In this place where there seems like so little hope is to be found, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is their source of hope and comfort. As a team, this is something that we've really delved into today. We've all been so impacted by the poverty we've seen, but we can find comfort in the fact that they are known, loved, and cared for by their good, good Father.
Lastly, tonight we went to a Haitian bible study. This was something that really blew me away. Naive as I am, I had assumed that many of the people in Haiti would be newer Christians, and much of the church services would be "seeker-friendly" and focused on the hope and peace that God can offer them in their helpless situations. Instead, we sit through an extrememly deep and intensive study of a part of the book of Galatians. Although I have some Bible school under my belt, I'll admit that even I had trouble following parts of the exegesis that this pastor was giving of the chapter we studied. I was amazed, honestly - and so, so humbled by the way that they just devour the word of God and dive so deeply into scripture. As I watched, I prayed that that hunger would be something that we take back to the Link and something that God stirs up in the hearts of Linkers!
Of course, I had to have a bit of a teary moment (those who know me are not shocked by this!) when they wanted to pray for health and safety for our team. In an area prone to malaria, dengue, zika, cholera, etc., they wanted to pray for OUR health and safety. I hope that reading this, you can understand the gravity of a group of Haitians wanting to pray that you will be blessed, safe, and healthy. Wow, so humbling.
That's it for today! Trust me, I'll probably be back on here blogging again. So much happening here, and so many God-filled moments to share!