So yesterday morning we went to the girls orphanage and played with them and talked with them. I got connected to one little girl who was 12 and her name was Katrina. She spoke really good english so it was nice being able to have a flowing conversation with one of the kids. We worked together building a doll house out of cardboard and rocks and old woods, which turned out to be awesome! It was such a great time. A lot during this trip i've been comparing Africa to Haiti. In Africa I think since it was my first real mission trip out by myself I was very reserved and stayed quiet around the kids. It was almost as if I was afraid to mess something up. So when I left Africa all my team members had a special connection with a kid and felt like they really accomplished their purpose of showing Gods love and I feel like I was almost defeated by that and so I really have been praying for the courage to bravely and boldly go out and build relationships with these children even if it means embarrassing myself for not knowing their language and accents or doing something that I shouldn't of done. So that's what I did and God has blessed me so much through that. Later we went to the boys home where they have a food program on mondays and wednesdays where they feed children from the street and orphanage. It was so much fun, I was being crazy with the kids skateboarding and playing basketball. The ministry was amazing. They had a little Bible lesson and worship and eating and then playing! It was just a great time to love on these kids who may not get much one on one attention.
Day 3 : My Birthday!
So today is fresh on my mind so I may go into some detail. Here is some background information for you. Mike who is leading the team today has already been to Haiti 2 times right after the earthquake happened and on one of the trips he found this tent camp and used money that was donated to him to buy 1500 pounds of rice and beans. He has kept such a heavy heart for this camp so he wanted to come back this time and spend a day helping this camp. We had talked to the missionaries here about it and they discouraged us sending food because of the long term effects giving has on places like these. They say that it results in a dependency on the gifts they receive and don't learn how to provide for themselves. I completely agree with them but I think we were frustrated as a team because we wanted to give a gift from the love of Jesus and we believe that short terms do good. So we decided to go to the camp to see what we could do to help.
Mike found us a translator and driver to take us to this camp. The driver pulls up in this old station wagon which we fit 7 people in. There is no air conditioning so i'm squished in the back bent over in a hot car with gas fumes from the other cars in front of us. At one point the car started smoking but we kept on going! After a lot of driving around we found the camp and the girls waited for Mike to give us the okay to go in there. We walked through there to this little shack and had a meeting with all of the camp leaders. Mike and the men talked and he asked what their vision was and how things have been improving since his last visit. The vision was to rebuild their homes where they had been... it was refreshing to know that they didn't want their living situation to be permanent. Because many of these tent camps are turning into permanent residences. We asked for more practical things they needed and what they said to us was a primary school and a wall built. Huge things. Things that is not possible for us to do short term. It's great to see that these are the kinds of things they need but it's frustrating not being able to do anything. After the meeting we were able to hand out candy and toys to the kids. At first there weren't many but after a few minutes there were a ton of kids surrounding me sticking there hands out asking for a balloon or candy. It just made me realize the greater need for this place because they were so intent for something so small. By the end of it I was pushed up against this dirt wall being pushed around for the things I had. It was still nice being able to give something. I just pray that God was seen through the whole meeting with the camp leaders and with giving out things to the kids.
I'm frustrated. My heart is heavy. I don't really understand why i'm feeling like this. I've decided Haiti is a harder place to be in. There is not a great big hope that you feel the instant you start a conversation with someone or even look at some one. It's a sad place, with a greater need. A great need of prayer. Please if you are reading this, stop and pray for the people of Haiti, the government, the missionaries. Only God can help restore...