Today started off with delicious breakfast by the amazing staff at Haiti Arise – the best pancakes ever! As you can imagine, they don’t have maple trees here, but they had an amazing sugar syrup with a hint of licorice taste. These ladies love to sing in the kitchen and they work super hard to serving others – definitely set a good example for us as we started our day.
Next we went on a tour and got to see what all the folks at Haiti Arise are involved in… it’s a lot! Our informative tour was led by Pastor Wade and included the technical school, the elementary school, the children’s village, the goat farm, the medical centre, the local farm and the beginnings of the bakery. During this walk, we walked through part of Grand Goave, where children would run out to greet us with big smiles and genuinely enjoyed the brief interactions we were able to have. A few of the young girls came up to me (Debbie) and wanted to hold my hand or one little girl wanted me to be her Mom. We were told this isn’t uncommon as Haitians can have the belief that “blancos” – ie white people, can be a way to escape their poverty. We are glad that Haiti Arise tries to address this problem by being present in the community. It is clear that trying to adopt all of the children is not an option, so we are glad to partner with a ministry that tries to address poverty in a practical way. I (Debbie) must admit that it was quite difficult to say no, as this child was jumping on me, asking me to be her mom.
In the afternoon, after a great lunch with lots of fresh mangoes! - we helped out with a painting project at the technical school shop. Definitely a little different than painting in Canada but with many hands we got a lot accomplished and we are hoping to be able to put the finishing coat on that area next week. Another highlight at the compound is just hanging out with some of the kids that are around and playing soccer in the yard.
Tonight Mark and Lisa shared their story and vision for Haiti Arise. It was inspiring to see how much of it has come into fruition, especially in the last 7 years since the earthquake, and we are excited to see what God does here in the future!