Yvrose, (a real life Proverbs 31 woman) runs the orphanage here in Jeremie. She's a beautiful, stately, Godly woman of God, with a passion for the lost. She's grown up in a hard place, but loved Jesus. She also loves His children, especially those with out a mommy or daddy. She is also a leader at her church, but we witnessed Sunday night, she affirms and supports the young men who lead her church. It is likely a cultural thing. If it were not for her vision, there is no telling where these children would be. As an affluent American, it is difficult to see clearly the powerful ministry that God has given her to lead. Because, I tend to look at externals... how clean is the floor, what do the kids eat, what are the conditions like? In this culture, we can't look at that through our American lenses. It's nearly impossible to see clearly what God is doing, because our tendency is to see the "unfit" conditions. That is called self-righteousness folks, and in order to see God's movement more clearly, I believe we need to repent of it! I have been! Pray for me!
The most heart pulling thing I've experienced here is a child's desperate need to be touched! Many of the children will climb up on your lap, hold your hand, or be squeezed until your eyes pop out! It's amazing to touch a child, pick them up, or poke them in the tummy, and they radiate a smile that would light up a city! Or expose coldness in one's heart, if one feels like confessing that! I've been especially befriended by a little guy, his name is Shasha. He came up to me as soon as we walked into the orphanage. I spoke my best Creole to him, which is actually pathetic, and he smiled and responded with a big hug. There'll be more about him on Thursday! Let me tell you he makes his way to me every day so far. So have several other boys, I think they think my large, pink, bald head is funny! Kind of like a lot of theirs...at least the shaved part!
Today the ladies, (Lisa, Brittany, and Debbie), stayed at the orphanage. Sorting some uniforms that had been donated and giving and placing some of the supplies we'd brought. There was an older homeless gentleman who hobbles into the orphanage almost every day, whom many people mistreat, so he'll come by for a scrap of food. and he'll sweep the driveway. He was given 2 hygiene packs and he was so proud of them. As he walked away I saw his lips utter, "merci" (Thank you!). They also spent and prayed with Yvrose, and had a sweet prayer time with her.
Ron and I headed up the same mountain we came in on with Gene Pollic and Adrian. We had a little difficulty getting there as our truck stopped running about half way there, due to water in the fuel. While we waited for help to arrive, dozens of school children passed by in bright yellow and blue school uniforms. Many of them stopped by curiously, to see what these strange looking white men are doing out here. On Sunday night, Gene Pollic, our team sponsor, initiated all of us as "fishers of men." We made bracelets out of fishing leaders, to wear as reminders. As the children were standing around looking us over, one of them tugged on my bracelet asking, as best as I can tell, what is this(?) So, in all my infinite wisdom started doing fishing motions and making sounds like a fishing reel makes. (because my creole needs a little work) They look at me like I was crazy! So, I saw Adrian, our driver, around the other side of the truck, and I hoped he could translate for me. I thought I'd better sieze this "divine appointment"! As I pointed to my bracelet, explaining to him that they were asking what it meant, he held up his hand, and held his wrist next to mine and took off explaining to them that we were both fishers of men. I couldn't tell you a word he said, but I knew exactly what he was saying! As he spoke, he reached out his hand and touched several of them on the cheek. I did recognize that he was telling them God loves them, and we were fishing for men. It was a beautiful moment, I don't know if any of them were "saved". but I do know that they heard a brief version of the Gospel that day!
After we got back on the road, we went up to a church in a village called St. Charles, to look at a roofing project to do. That will be tomorrow's work. Keep us all in your prayers, and stay posted!!!