We started the morning with a devotional led by Mark, our leader. He had very wise words for us to think about for this trip. There is a circle, and in the center of the circle is the Cross. Some people are in the circle – these people know God and have been saved. The goal is always the center of the circle where the Cross is located. Unfortunately, some people are outside the circle – these people do not know God. Everyone in the picture is either moving towards the Cross or away from it. Our goal is to nudge people towards the Cross. For those that are moving away, maybe that means stopping them in their tracks or even turning them to head towards the Cross.
Church was suppose to start this morning at 9am. We got there early, so Mark and Ephesian took us to see a water pump. Haitians pump their water, and whatever they can carry home with them is their water for the day. This task is normally left for women and children. It was amazing driving down the street and seeing people carrying these huge buckets of water on their head! A few of the girls just had to try out the water pump. I'm sure the man with the bucket was very grateful for our desire to try to pump water! Boy, what an arm workout!
Church was quite an experience. They were speaking in Creole, so I wasn't too sure what the topic was but you could feel the love in the room. These people really love Jesus. They introduced us and had us stand up in the front of the room. All of a sudden, people started walking forward to shake our hands and lead us to a seat. One of the leaders asked them to "find a friend" to sit with during the service. It definitely helped me personally feel welcomed to their church.
Rick and Evelyn’s baby, Fletcher, was dedicated today and a young woman was saved – what a day to be in a Haitian church! This young lady met someone at the well this morning and they invited her to church. She then accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior! WOW! That one small interaction at the water well changed this woman's life for eternity!
Michael gave a wonderful sermon to the Haitian people about discipleship which had three main points: service, prayer, and eternal focus. His wife, Marissa, led us in worship playing her guitar and singing "10,000 Reasons" and "Revelation Song". She's a rock star! Both of them were. What a team!
After church, we returned to the mission house for PB&Js. After our little hour break, We took off for the children's home. I really had no idea what to expect when we got there. I'm a teacher and obviously have a heart for children, but I didn't know what walking into a children's home would feel like. I work with children all the time who just need love and attention, but I felt like this would be different. Big surprise – it wasn't! The second we drove through the gate I could see tons of smiling faces! They were so excited for us to be there. We jumped out of the truck, and I received hugs, handshakes, and 'bonswa' from each child. As we started walking around to the back of the house, one little boy grabbed my hand and started walking with me. We quickly became buddies and began a game of Uno together. There was the sweetest little 4 year old there. She had been dropped off only 2 short weeks ago, and you could tell she was scared. Sweet Julia was placed in my lap to hang out with me, which I gladly accepted because she was adorable! Still very involved in my Uno game, I felt this little girl slowly lay back and then all of a sudden she was passed out! Could it get any cuter than that?!
Coming here, I was very worried about not being able to communicate with the people. But did you know that love doesn't have a language? I learned that very quickly today. Spending time with these kids, a hug, a smile, or even a game of Uno speaks louder than any words I could speak to them.
We separated out into three small groups. Girls over 13, boys over 13, and the young kids. Older kids were given lessons on how to be a Godly man/woman and the little kids had VBS lessons and crafts.
We ended our time at the children’s home playing duck duck goose and a friendly game of soccer. These kids are good! I'm pretty fast, but one little boy was dribbling a soccer ball and still beating me! He even had some awesome soccer moves and kicked it right through my legs while he ran around me! It absolutely blew my mind! I held sweet Julia again for awhile, and I had to remind myself not to get attached because I'm a short term missionary. (Mark provided us with an article before we came about missionaries. Thank goodness because I definitely needed to hear the lesson in that article). I understand a relationship I form here is short, but a 4 year old won't understand when I leave in 7 days.
It amazed me how the children took care of each other. Before the lessons, the kids had dinner. The older girls cooked in a little shed out back over coals and served up beans and rice in big bowls for each kid. I'm pretty sure that place could run itself without any adults around.
Before I knew it, it was time to head back to the mission house. I can't wait to see what's in store for us tomorrow!
– Ashley Grissom, Mission Haiti 2016