The morning was quiet, Ryna and I took some time to read and had the thought of heading out to get some lunch and check out a place that makes flip flops in Haiti. We were supposed to head into Cite Soleil in the afternoon. Everything went not as planned. I have learned to not schedule in Haiti. God teaches me patiently enduring every time I am here. Today we were sitting and waiting and felt like God said,"Just wait, be patient, let me work in my timing."
We headed to lunch and it was actually very hard to embrace. Went to another hotel to get lunch with a friend. Walking into the hotel, the restaurant, the people, the smells, everything about it screamed, "I feel so guilty being here." The wait staff brought us a glass, poured our water. In the distance a man was smoking a cigar, the smell made me want to vomit. Not because I couldn't handle the smell, but because with the smell of that cigar I thought about the money that was poured into the cigar, their lunch, our lunch, the hotel, the pizza we ordered. As I sat there, had the hardest time enjoying the pizza. Thought about our friends in Cite Soleil, the food they would not eat, the education they would not receive, the church they could not attend. I got home and had to brush my teeth. I told Ryna, it was like, "brushing away my guilt." Hard moment of the day.
We thought we would get into Cite Soleil and ended up staying at the hostel and having a meeting with the man that we work with in Cite Soleil. I left it humbled and amazed by the strength that God has given him. Humbled and encouraged as I listened to this man's passion for his people and city. I wish I could have recorded it and played it for you all. It is so hard to communicate through words. You listen to his heart, hear his burdens, and listen to his dreams, and you are humbled at his perspective of it all.
Today we talked more about the children living on the streets. His vision to raise leaders in the community of Cite Soleil. My head hurts from all the thinking and my notepad is packed with notes, but the meeting was God. That is the only way to explain it. I feel like he moves every time we sit down and talk together. I wish I could write all my notes out because my brain is going a thousand miles a minute, but I will save you from that. The neatest thing we talked about today was looking at land in hopes to build a "home." The reason I put home in quotation marks is because we talked a lot about the actions of a child living on a street. We talked about how it needs to be a choice for the children living on the street. It needs to be a haven, a place of refuge, a place where they learn to trust you, and then THEY WANT TO STAY. They will not stay if they don't trust you. He had the neatest idea, "What if we had a bus that could pick up street kids, bring them to the home and then bring them back to the streets at night." It is a safe place, a haven, they learn to trust you, and when they have gotten to a place they let go and trust you completely, THEY STAY. Neat to visualize a bus picking up kids and bringing them to a place, a haven, a home. Street ministry in full effect and a hopeful true transformation as you begin to walk life with these children and youth.
That was an earfull...sorry about that. This might be debrief time for me. The day ended with smiles and another night of FLAN. This flan thing has become a running joke with us here. We are staying at a hostel and this is the fourth night we have had flan. People are now mocking me for it....makes us laugh. So the day of thinking, guilt, patient enduring, ended with a smile and FLAN.