Saturday, July 28, 2012
Another day for the books….had a friend ask if we could visit a school/church that he works at in the mountains. Maybe I should have know the route would have been that intense when my friend asked if we could pray before we left..hahah. About 30 minutes into the trip and then we took a left and started to climb. We climbed for about 40 minutes, some place we had to get off the motorcycle and walk because it couldn’t carry 3 people and climb the mountain. Literally we were in the middle of Haiti, climbing a mountain with a motorcycle…it was almost comical. At one point we were walking and Ryna and I were saying and thinking, we are going to die on this trip, but we love this..hahah. Have to laugh…the transportation here is always the hardest. But always remind myself that the driver doesn’t want to die either…it is my comfort, that and I pray the entire ride. Hahah. We climbed and climbed, some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. It got greener as we got higher. We finally arrive to the place that we were working to get to and you could see in every direction, you could see the ocean to the North and the ocean to the other side. We came to this church that was made out of wood beams and had a tarp roof. It is a very impoverished community, mostly because it is so high up and so far away that resources seem limited. We walk into the church to find about 100 children there to greet us. Many seemed a bit scared, but they sang and we prayed together. My friend was hoping to see if we could do camp with the children next year. Good to go visit, but also hard as you wonder how many more villages in Haiti are in this same situation. The school that they have created is provided to 200 children. They function the school in the church, with the tarp roof and in a persons home down the way. 50 children work in the house and 150 in the church. They have 5 teachers. My friend said it is 30 Haitian to go to the school, that is about 4 American dollars, but yet parents still cant pay the fee. Makes you frustrated about a lot of things…why isn’t the government doing anything, how does something like this exist, I spend 2.50 on my coffee everyday, makes me frustrated with myself. I wish children in America could see this at a young age. I think about how many children say they hate school, they hate to read, they go to a poor school….I know it is two different worlds, but struggle with so much here. Don’t know what the Lord will do with today, but such a neat place and hard to not think about it once we left. Last week of camp next week, Ricky comes next Monday, another volunteer. Pray for his travels, he leaves for Haiti tomorrow and then I have to find him on Monday. Pray for our energy, we are tired. Pray for the last two weeks as more people are coming in. Pray for my sister who will be painting in Cite Soleil in a couple of weeks, pray that it would be another time for the community to come together and the spirit to move. Pray that Ryna and I keep laughing in the midst of exhaustion..it has worked so far. Pray that God’s spirit would continue to break through. Moments of great laughter: A bat flew into the kitchen. We all hit the floor. I was the closest to the light so I shimmed my way to turn it off, whilst covering my head with a Tupperware. Then we all freaked out and turned the light back on…Ryna ran saying, “I don’t have my rabies shot.” Leah holding a machete trying to kill a mouse. The other hand holding a broom closing off the hole that it could possibly go into. Yes, I lost that battle…the fight is still on. Ryna buying a machete at the market…don’t know it that is funny or just crazy. Me taking a digger in slug water while we were trying to clean the bathroom. There have been so many more, but those might be the best…never know what you will find in ayaiti. We have learned to roll with it and keep smiling. Carrying Ryna because she was supposed to be the cow that was going to be sacrificed in the story of the Prodigal Son. Her “mooing” when I dropped her to the ground. Acting out health lessons and having to pretend that I had diarrhea and wasn’t going to wash my hands. Used glitter to show how germs get around…kids said I had diarrhea for the rest of the day. Awesome: )
It is 2 in the morning, and somehow the night has gone so fast. Sometimes in Haiti all you can do to process a night, an obstacle, a moment…you write. So tonight as I unwind, try to enjoy some of the cool night air, I write. Headed to the hospital with Ryna at about 10:30 as the guard from the hospital came to get Ryna. They said they had 5 people vomiting and having seizures. Ryna explains as we head to the hospital, you never know what you are going to get when you get there. Sometimes it is worse than they make it sound, sometimes it is just a headache. I went for moral support and extra hands. This place often wakes you up, slaps you in the face, or quickly refreshes your soul. Tonight it woke me up as we walked into the hospital to find 5 children, 1 woman laying on the beds. One child had already been having seizures before he arrived and the others where sitting so quietly just observing. The woman was having seizures and vomiting. The father was trying to explain what he thought happen, they were eating rice and a bit after this happened. AS he exited the room we heard a crash, as the father, too feel to the floor and started convulsing. It is this moment of what is going on, I feel helpless, is this really happening, where are we? Kind of found myself sitting with this little boy named Benti who was having seizures maybe every 30 minutes. As he seized I couldn’t help but look into his eyes, they just seemed to cry for help. Never seen a person seize before, let along a child. Just hurts your heart, then to see all his family members around him embracing the same thing….makes you sick. Humbled every problem I “think” I have every had. What “problem” of mine can even compare to this now? Never seen a boy fight so hard. The seizures didn’t seem to stop, but somehow he kept fighting. At one point I looked to the floor, it is so interesting what you notice in moments where you seem to be focused in on one thing. He just vomited up blood, and on the floor was an almost perfect heart from his blood, about the size of a small greeting card. Just stared at it for a bit and this verse came to my heart, a verse that has been beating loudly on this trip: Ecclesiastes 4:1 Again I observed all the oppression that takes place in our world. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with NO ONE to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and the victims are helpless. See such oppression here that it begins to frustrate you, hurt you, make you want to weep, make you want to move here and fight for these people, make you question all the things you wanted in life, make you go deeper with Christ because you can’t make any sense of it. Benti, fought like no other. At one point his blood pressure seemed to get lower and his heart beat was slowing, but Benti kept fighting. Children can fight, it is amazing the strength they have to fight. He seemed to be coming out of it when I left and was struggling with pain, which could be a good thing as he was coming out of it. Just laid my hand on his head and kept trying to pray for the little kiddo, can’t say my prayers were strong as I was trying to focus in the midst of trying to comprehend the night. Fought back the tears and thought of the verse in the bible where it speaks of God knowing our prayers through our tears and how he holds them all. After the father went down, his brother sat with him and just silently cried. Feel like it is not often you see that in Haiti. You often hear wailing from family members if someone dies, but I have never really seen a cry like this. He looked so scared, helpless. My heart just broke for him, here he was watching his brother and nieces and nephews fighting life….with the potential of them all dying in the night. Made me think about my family…Lord, I think I would have lost it if I was watching something like this unfold with my family members. Here I am at 2 in the morning, have to get up for camp at 7….but found Silent Night on my computer. I know it is a Christmas song, but somehow it seems like the perfect song for the night. Silent night, o holy night….maybe it is the peace behind the song, maybe it is the prayer that Benti can sleep a silent night and wake up feeling no pain…I don’t know…but it is a comfort. God is moving in this place. As much as I see oppression, tonight I got to watch two wonderful nurses who have come to Haiti to volunteer their time to serve this place, these people, our God. I watched them work under pressure and come together to support the family and each other. So neat to see what God does here. Without those nurses tonight that family would have died I often say that Haiti will make or break you…I think it does both. Asked God to break me in a different way on this trip…not really knowing what that meant, but feel like tonight in the midst of the chaos, unknowing, God once again broke throw and showed his power and broke me in a different way. Once again broke my heart for the things that break his heart, revealed his power, and helped me to get out of my self. Posting this a day after and have to say that the Lord moved last night. The family is doing well. The boy that was doing the worst, is up and talking and eating. Many of the Haitians said they should have died; it was that bad…but we serve a mighty God. That was the Lord last night. I know there was medicine and doctors, but God moved through their hands, he moved through those people, and he put a fighter spirit in that boy. Never seen a child fight so hard…so grateful that we serve a living and powerful God. This morning I was sipping coffee and this verse was on my cup,”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. “ Brought a peace to my heart…. Thanks for letting me write, helps to process. Love you all, continue to pray for the hands that have committed their lives to this place. Pray for strength and endurance, this place is hard and exhausting. I am only 4 weeks in and exhausted, can’t imagine someone that has been here for months or years. Pray for little Benti that his lungs and heart would get the healing in the night and weeks to come. Pray for his family, that they too would get better. Pray for rest. Love you all and am so grateful for how you have supported this ministry…we could not do it without you all.