It was a great day today. We started much earlier than we like to with Sunday school at 7am and the service following at 8am! But what better way to start your day than listening and watching the Haitian people as they worship. Their sole hope is found in the Lord and their singing and praying is evidence of that.
After lunch, we had the privilege of meeting Shanda's sponsor child as he came to the compound to receive a goat she purchased to bless him and his family. There were 3 goats to choose from and he got to pick the one he wanted. Shanda took the most precious picture of Nashly and his sister leaving the compound, goat in tow, looking over his shoulder at her with the biggest smile on his face. I am not sure who got the biggest blessing in that exchange...Nashly or Shanda!
The gifting continued as most of us headed off into the community to deliver a goat and 2 roosters that Steve Frey and Bill from Brooks had purchased. Bill led the goat and Steve cradled the roosters in his arms like a baby as we made our way to the home of an elderly lady in great need. She was very appreciative and we were blessed to be part of such a tangible act of love.
Later in the afternoon everyone who was able to fit in the van was off to Tapion, a small church comprised of nearly all children. Today there were just under 175 kids in attendance. 175 beautiful children. I was so touched by the message the teacher shared with the kids. He asked them if they had pain in their lives and almost all of them raised their hands. He told them that it didn't matter if they had a mother or father or a home or food and that God still loved them and cared for them and had a plan for each of their lives. He especially encouraged the girls 13 and under to stay pure for God even when tempted by young men that may try to lure them with the hopes of food. I was broken at the thought of what some of these kids endure. And yet the presence of the Lord was so heavy here in this little church and I couldn't help but think that God must be so pleased with these little ones faithfully coming to learn more about Him each week.
While we were having fun in the mountains, the men back at the compound were having their own entertainment as Marc took them into the streets to hand out candy to the kids. What started as a lot of candy and a few kids ended up being no candy and a ton of kids! After the 'blancs' generosity, we are expecting VBS will have record numbers tomorrow!
Then it was off to goat and coke, the local Haitian restaurant in town. It was an interesting dining experience as city power was off and we couldn't see a thing. Vernon from the Saskatchewan team rigged up a lamp out of a bottle and his flashlight for our table, but only after we had finished eating our meal in the dark. Maybe that was a good thing! Sometimes its better not to know what you are eating here!
Our time in Haiti is almost finished. Just 2 short days and we are on our way home. We have had a great time serving and getting to know the other teams and have been so grateful for all of your prayers. It is our prayer that we come home a little bit different than when we left...a little more thankful...a little more attentive to those in need around us...and a little more broken by the things that break the heart of God. See you soon!
Steve and Tan