Welcome to the Healing Haiti + Eagle Brook Mission Blog. We invite you to follow mission team members as they experience what God is doing both through them and in them while in the mission field of Haiti.
'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Friday, August 10, 2012
Day 4 - A Visit to the Elderly
The day begins with a delicious breakfast as always! I feel like (or rather I know that) I do not begin my days back home nearly as nutriously as this...but, it's for good reason. The days in Haiti require an exhorbitant amount of energy, both physically at times (like when riding in the TapTap), but more so emotionally and mentally. Most of the sights, sounds and interactions with the people of Haiti will make a tremendous impact on ones heart and soul. Today will be no exception I am certain. The agenda for the day is to visit the mass grave and several elderly or disabled Haitian citizens that are on the Elderly Care program at Healing Haiti.
After our inspiring morning devotional (provided by Donna), we are loaded into the TapTap (pronounced "Top Top" if you haven't been privy to this information as of yet...and which is basically a small straight truck with a cage on the back and a couple of bench seats inside - it's our beloved main method of transportation while here...other than by foot) and are off down the road. This turns out to be the longest trip we've been on so far...however the roads aren't too bad for the majority of the trip (SPECIAL NOTE: This is HIGHLY unusual).
January 12, 2010...an extremely large and devastating earthquake ruptures the country of Haiti. 300,000 plus people perish...both during the event and subsequently in the aftermath. Our first stop today, the mass grave that was made due to the lack of places to properly put to rest such a large quantity of loving souls. Junior, one of our translators and sometimes pilot of the TapTap, tells us the story as we gather around the memorial they've constructed on the site of the mass grave. It is a black tile circular monument with a large stone set atop and a plaque inscribed with the historic date and the words "We will never forget". It is a very touching moment for all, some more so than others. I can hardly imagine the pain that some of our guides/translators/Haitian friends we've come to know go through each time they come here and remember that horrific day two and a half years ago and the agonizing days that followed. Loved ones unheard from, hoping they are still alive...and sometimes, more often than not, the bad news arrives. We are all very moved. Some of us take a hike up the mountain to look at the crosses and memorials set atop of the hill overlooking the grave site while others stay down below to hear the heart wrenching tale told first hand of a loved one never to return. We are all moved to silence. It is just too much for the mind to process. After some time passes we load back up into the TapTap and make our way to Titanyen and Grace Village where we will pick up the leaders of the elderly care program, Carol and Jonas.
The first glimpse we get of Grace Village is as we approach it from below and my immediate reaction is "Absolutely amazing! How great is our God!?!" It is truly an awe inspiring and beautiful sight to behold! A literal oasis in the middle of a desert. What they are doing here can only be described as a gift from God. Inside the gate is a bustle of activity. The Haitians are busy constructing a clinic on site and there is a team working on the Aquaponics as we get a brief tour of the Host Family lodging. There are other buildings up already, and we will learn more about them tomorrow, but right now our attention is focused on Rob and Jennifer and their family, the Host Family who are on a 2 year long term mission trip here at Grace Village. They tell us their story and we are all moved by their tremendous act of giving, not just in time and tithing, but in true missionary service work here. It had a profound and deep impact on at least a few of the members of our team and I'm certain I will hear similar stories of such selfless serving from at least a couple of our very own team members in the future. God is at work in us already!
After we gather the group back together, we load into the TapTap and travel to our first stop, Edmond, a 77 year old blind man who lives in little more than a lean to with a cot. We bring him some food, water and love, of which he willingly accepts all with grace and reciprocal love. He tells us his prayer request in between bites of the peanut butter sandwich we've given him...and sadly his request is just outside our reach. He wishes to see again. I know he will one day though, when he returns home to our Father. As we leave he is eating his applesauce and we are off to the next person. We make 4 other stops today, each time bringing a care package and love to each person. We are blessed to have Jeff from our team and Junior to play guitar and sing worship songs at each stop. One thing I notice is the love, openness and welcoming of all the people as we visit each home. They invite us in, the kids come up and say hi, the younger adults smile and wave and are just so friendly! It is truly a loving atomosphere everywhere. It is a gift from God to behold such loving kindness.
At one stop, Jeff and Junior play Amazing Grace as Lauren is rubbing lotion on an elderly woman (Mirolen) and Chris is treating her neck for the soreness she is experiencing. The song moves me to tears and just seeing our team come together and interact with these people is both inspiring and encourging that there is still hope and love in the world...even if we have to travel halfway around it sometimes to find it.
When we return back to the guest house and reflect on our day, I can't help but wonder...maybe God cracked this land to let His light shine on it and show the rest of the world all of the love that is here...