Our last morning in Haiti we got to see our first sunrise and it was glorious. As the sun rose onto the valley I could not help but think of God's amazing power and love for his kingdom. I thought back to the countless blessing that he had poured upon our team, the camp, Haiti's children, and our travels. It was also in that Haitian sky that I thought about Haiti's suffering, oppression, and brokenness. I prayed for Haiti's restoration.
Haiti, an island were suffering is visual ever day. One day we were walking in the hills and we looked down into the valley to see four men working their land side by side. The land seemed monstrous, almost endless, and then you hear the men singing in unison and swinging the pics. I saw suffering. Suffering in the hands of men that will never know anything else but working the fields and trying to get a days work to feed their family. Suffering in a mother's eyes as she talks to you about how her child can no longer see and is loosing his hearing because of a massive growth that is forming on his neck. Suffering where there is hunger and drought. Suffering in the eyes of a child who craves an education and the ability to read. Suffering in the broken feet that walk 2 miles to fetch 3 gallons of water, three times a day. I found silence in that moment watching them. As they worked the field I thought about that day that suffering would be no more. I thought about that day when sweat would no longer fall because our kingdom would be restored. I thought about a new Haiti and I smiled.
This is the pinata before the riot. Below is the picture of the candy riot.
In the picture on the left we are playing musical hula hoops.
The 3rd week of camp we worked with the youth. The ages of the children were 13-15. This was the neatest week because the colors and activities became so alive. One day Caitlin worked with the children and the activity lasted for an hour. It was as if the children had stored images and ideas in their minds, but were unable to release them prior to the camp because they were without paper, pencils, glue, and paint. I had the opportunity to read this quote in a book while I was in Haiti. Everything about this quote cried Haiti. We were able to watch and it was the neatest experience I think I will ever embark upon.
Behind the walls of poverty and neglect live real children who laugh and struggle and dream and hurt and love. Just give a kid something, a microphone, camera, paintbrush, and watch what they can do. Just watch.
With each activity something new would unfold. It was also a week of trying new things. We had tie dye with the children. We also introduced the game of football. They had heard of it, but did not know how to play. After 2 days of practicing we got the hang of it. We also created a pinata and were able to rig it over the rafters of the building. The children loved it. When it burst I thought that we might be facilitating a riot, but they loved it. At the end of the week the children decided to sing for us. We had a group of boys serenade us. It was a precious gift. The week came to a close and we realized that we were done with what we started, Camp Hope. This camp was a blessing from God. He blessed us daily with supplies, hands to help, patience, and love. He continues to AMAZE me.