Greetings from Grand Goave! Sandra here. It's so lush and green on this 7 acre campus! It's also teaming with interesting wildlife. We have our team meetings on the roof of the mission house. Last night, a leaf bug flew into the group and was drawn to my flashlight. We were able to have a good look at this critter that looked exactly like a green leaf. We also have "spiders" here that are a somewhat smaller version of a tarantula.
Last night, there was one such spider in the girl's room, in company with a cockroach. I screamed for a man to come so Cody and Levi came to the rescue. The spider was on the ceiling near my bunk! Cody sprayed it with mosquito spray and it ran fast. I gave my shoe to Levi and the grade six hero smacked it to goo! Then he whacked the cockroach in like fashion.
Greg also had a similar encounter in the middle of the night which explained the spider corpse lying in the hallway surrounded by ants. By morning, Levi was feeling invigorated so when he spotted a coconut tree, he climbed it like a monkey. We all watched and cheered him on! He reached the coconuts and knocked one down! Woo hoo!
Yesterday was a workday but today was different for some of us who went to the local market to buy goods for VBS: namely peanut butter. The market is mostly produce, rice, and beans. They also sell some things that you would see at the pharmacy. I gathered that many of these items are sent over as donations and are then sold by the locals. Even when I packed for myself before I left, I removed all packaging of new items in order to reduce the size. At the market I saw pills in blister packs for sale with no box. When I got back to the mission house, I asked about this and was told that they don't seem to really know what they're buying or selling.
I noticed people covered their heads with just about anything, including toques! That looked pretty hot. I suggested to our leader that we take a tap tap (taxi vehicle) back home because we were hot. She told me that walking is good for me. It wasn't too bad actually and we made it. :)
In the afternoon, we went evangelizing in the community and gave out hygiene kits. These kits also included the gospel of John in Creole. We had a really enthusiastic translator with us and we were grateful for him. I spoke to a group of young men, about age 18, and I told them about salvation and I read Romans 10:9 to them. I held up my Bible to them and asked them if they had a Bible. They said they didn't. I then made an unwitting mistake. I told them if they came to the mission they could get Bibles. They asked, "Where do we go to get a Bible? Who do we ask? Who do we talk to?"
I said, "Just come to the mission and ask anyone who's there and they will give you a Bible."
I heard some rustling beside me. Marilyn and Anne were quickly opening the hygiene packs to get copies of the gospel of John, which they gave the men.
I was then reminded that I must be careful about what I promise and to whom I promise it. I talked to Wade, the missionary who hosts us. He said that just passing out Bibles can cause a swarm in need of crowd control because people are interested in receiving something from a white person. Fortunately, he said that Haiti Arise is an official Gideon outpost and drop off. He said there are about 230 Creole Bibles here and we have three boxes of the gospel of John.
Wade also suggested that I make sure a person is literate first. Only 50% of kids go to school and only 2% of them finish school.
Back in the village, where we were evangelizing, we were able to ask people, through our translator, if we could pray for them. Everyone said yes. "Non problem", they said.
We invited the children to vacation Bible school tomorrow, which will be for two days. (peanut butter will be had!) We invited the adults to church which is on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Many people said they already go to the church. We came across the church ladies group having their meeting. They stood outside in someone's courtyard and sang beautiful worship songs with their hands raised. We listened for a while. Our translator told us what they were singing. One lady came with her Bible and I could tell it was well-read.
One man was taking out a stump bit by bit with a machete. It looked like a very slow process. He asked us to pray for him because he had no place to live and he had seven children. Cody prayed a beautiful prayer for him.
We prayed for a little boy in a wheelchair who couldn't talk or walk. He was given a hygiene pack and he squeeled with delight and smiled big. It was a wonderful time. Marilyn was told she should be a preacher! Her outgoing personality was great in the community! :)
Our time on the roof tonight was great. We sat in a circle together with the team from Kingston, Ontario. We have joined together as one team and we get along famously. Then there's Roy, from Peachland, who's a contractor. He works hard and is a funny guy who reminds me a lot of David Nadeau. The difference is that Roy's beard is Duck-Dynasty long! He keeps me company at meals because I always have a second helping and he's so busy talking it takes him a long time to eat.
On Tuesday night after supper, there was church. Roy and I were still in the dining room when everyone else was at church. I tidied up quickly and told him I'd see him there. I thought he'd be right behind me. I went to the church and slipped in the back row. The sermon was very, very long. Anne got worried about me and wondered where I was so she got up to go and look for me. I saw her leave the church and I wondered what she was up to. She went back to the dining room and asked Roy if he'd seen me. He said, "You mean the little one? Yeah, I saw her go down the trail to church." haha! After that, I have been sure to always let Anne know where I am.
Well, I'm a half hour past lights-out so I should get to bed. The Septs are playing cards with Greg and Roy so we'll all have to shut 'er down.
God bless you all and thanks for praying for us!!!
I really like it here and I feel comfortable.