Another day in paradise, that is what we jokingly say this about Haiti. However if you’ve ever been here you know the sense in which this is a true statement. Waking up to the sound of roosters and a few Creole voices is one or the best feelings in the world.
Today began with an early morning look at the old girls dorm where work continues on adding a roof. The trusses were set throughout the day by the Calvary Fellowship team. During the day the entire roof trusses were set in place with half of the metal sheeting complete.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team headed to Mirebalais to begin buying the plumbing supplies for the new Mission House, formerly the girls dorm. The house once had a shower which didn’t work, will now have three full baths available for future teams. We are excited about the possibility of accommodating larger short term mission teams.
But the truth is, work comes secondary as relationships are built. The team worked on the dorm among the boys of the dorm. Bonding takes place in explainable ways. No translators build the relationships through speaking, but simply spending time together. They laugh together, and when we have to leave early Friday morning, the teams will cry together.
How do you explain the way a day goes by in heat, sweating, and being worn out? Bob Roskowske explained it simply with one word: Content. No matter how much or how little work is done, at the end of the night, we sit together and sing. It gets no better than simply living life together.
And yet, it goes further. Eleanor Conley, who is on her first trip to Mountain Faith Mission and Haiti, shared she is overwhelmed with the sheer friendliness of the Haitian people. As she sat in Mirebalais today, her skirt got a little dirt on it. As she stood up from the ground, before she could begin to wipe it away, Ylisna, one of our girls from the children’s home was already at her ankle cleaning her skirt. As we drive through the country and villages, Haitians wave and smile. This is completely opposite of the media attention Haiti often receives. But the Haitian people are simply the nicest, most sincere and caring people in the world.
So how do we respond? As Matt Fox shared, it’s simply love. No matter how tired and exhausted you are, there’s never a moment you’re too tired to spend with the children. The kids make it worth the entire trip. In fact, as I type this, we are all sitting on the girls dorm porch, laughing and singing together. There is no frustration. There is no fatigue. There is simply joy.
Their joy is contagious. The smiles we each have on our face is not from a joke, or something funny, but it is from mutual love. The true picture of what Christ commanded as we love God and love others is found in Haiti. But as we all agree together…you won’t understand the statement until you experience it in person.