It has been an amazing seven days here in Haiti. Throughout the week, it was very humbling to see the hope and joy in the Haitians and the way the Lord has been working through them.
When we arrived on Sunday, locals were gathered by the doorway as we walked out. After we moved through the crowd, we immediately met up with our translators and crammed into the tap-taps. It was about a 30-45 minute ride from the airport to the guest house. Driving through the streets of Haiti really opened my eyes to the struggles that Haiti has gone through since the earthquake as well as the hope that they still have. Pulling up to the guest house, we saw Pastor Moise's wife and daughter there ready to greet us. The overwhelming happiness and excitement that came from the Vaval family made us all so happy.
Waking up Monday, we headed out early to go to the museum In Petionville. The knowledge that the Haitians have about the history of Haiti and the significance of its leaders and accomplishments is unexplainable. Every single thing in the museum is treasured deeply. While we were walking around the museum, we got to see two different groups of kids from school that had come to see the museum. Even though we didn't directly talk to them and only waved from a distance, it was so sweet to see how happy they were to wave back and exchange smiles. After the museum, we went to eat pizza at a place in Petionville. Once there, the two founders talked to us on how the pizza shop began. They explained that while they were in New York, they had pizza and really enjoyed it. They then continued to explain that because they really loved the pizza in New York, they wanted to bring it back to Haiti so the Haitians could have the same experience that they both did. It was really cool to be able to hear about the different things the Lord has called individuals to do and how much those two gentlemen care about their hometown and want the best for the people in Haiti.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we spent the day at the Source de la Grace orphanage with the children. When we arrived at the orphanage, the kids ran right up to us and gave the hugs that just melt your heart. From that moment on, the language barrier was no longer there and right then, I felt as if we were all one family. The kids walked us into the gates and right away asked us to sit down. The children absolutely love to take pictures and they sure do have many poses! It's so humbling to see them have no problem with sitting down right next to us, not being able to carry on a conversation, and for them to be so happy. I would definitely say that seeing them so content with the little that the have completely opens my eyes to the overflow of love from the Lord along with the overflowing of love from them. On Wednesday, we painted the beginnings of what would be a beautiful mural. Before we started, the wall was grey cinder blocks stacked up. We started by painting a base coat of white and then painted a beige color as the background. On Thursday, one of our translators PG, and his brother Wesley, got to the orphanage early to begin drawing the design part of the mural. Instead of going straight to painting, PG and hist brother drew the picture out with chalk. They then handed us some paint and brushes and as a team we finished the mural. Looking back at the wall before we painted it and seeing what it looks like once finished, amazing to see how a little paint on the wall can make such a difference in the feel of the place.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we had the opportunity to spend time with the Source de la Grace youth group. On the first day of meeting with them, both them and us were pretty shy to begin with. We broke the ice with a game where we went around and said our name, age, and either a fun fact about ourselves or we had to do a dance move. Of course I couldn't think of a fun fact, so I had to dance (and also John was wanting us to). I am definitely not a dancer, so it was pretty interesting. For the rest of the time, it was just smiles and laughter. After the meeting on Thursday, we had ice cream and talked and played games. The excitement and joy that comes from the youth group is so contagious. On Saturday, we got to hang out with them for one last time. We met about two hours before the actual meeting to jump rope and hang out. Those two hours sure did go by really fast. Saying good-bye to them was rough, but it was hopeful knowing that we could still possibly talk to them through Facebook.
Today is Sunday, which means that today is the day where we head home. It is bittersweet leaving- I am going to really miss Haiti and the kids, but at the same time i am happy to see my family. It's been amazing seeing how the Lord provides for everyone and how his love for everyone is so evident. I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to come to Haiti this year, and I am hopeful that I will have many more.