Wednesdays in Haiti are great. During the day there is the market and at night is church meeting. Most of all it is about being able to just spend time in Haiti.
Work has continued on the short term mission team house. The roof is completed and plumbing for two bathrooms has begun. The walls have been repaired and painting will begin tomorrow. The goal is for the house to accommodate 20-25 short term mission team members who are visiting Mountain Faith Mission in Saut d’Eau.
One of the things that I wanted to do today was to take some of our girls in the home to Mirebalais to the market. In Haiti teen boys have opportunities to work for money though in small amounts. Unfortunately it is harder for the teenage girls to find work. With that being the case, it has been my goal over the past couple years to take as many of the girls as possible to the market. For around $35 US dollars, the girls are able to shop and possibly buy a new outfit for church, underwear, and a nice pair of shoes. For them it is the equivalent of going to the mall and shopping..
Instead of shipping in clothes and shoes, I always tell short term mission team members to bring money. This allows the girls (or boys) an opportunity to shop for themselves, get what they want, and make a field trip out of the day. They greatly enjoy getting out together, and I enjoy it just as much.
Not only this but Dr. Charles, our medical doctor and pastor in LaBoul is directly impacted by the clothing purchases. His wife owns a clothing store in Mirebalais where we always go to shop.. Through buying locally, we greatly impact the local economy and let the girls have a great day. The boys told me that they would rather go on their own time and not in a group to shop. I guess boys in Haiti like to shop as much as boys in America.
Today, fourteen of our girls were able to purchase new clothing. I made two trips to Mirebalais. The first, I took Steve, Nicole ,Casey, and Eleanor. We were able to take Lotanie, Julie, Chilove, Edliene, Ismene, Carmelita, and Rosemita. Hermithe, who I claim as my sister in Haiti, shopping and cover the cost for their purchases. The second trip was just me and Hermithe, with Chantale, Fairlinthia, Vyegenie, Rose, Lovena, Rosmie, Yliana, and Esthe. And in case you’re wondering, you can fit 13 people into a Dodge Durango.
Tonight, we had church. And the truth is, church was so much more for our team than for the Haitians. One team member, and one of my best friends, Jamie Harger, felt called by God to preach his first message in Haiti. And he did a wonderful job. As we prayed at the end at the altar, five Haitians came around us to pray over those of us at the altar praying together.
Humbling does not begin to describe it. It has become so cliche to claim that we go on missions trips to be a blessing , but we end up being blessed instead. The truth is everything that happened today has just further made this a part of my life that is so impacting. From spending time with the kids, to watching my friend preach his first message, to seeing another respond to the first message…Haiti changes you. Not in a way that you would imagine. Your faith grows. Your love grows.
God moves. God impacts. God supplies. God speaks.