Friday, April 1, 2011
Photos and stories can never express the beauty or relationships found when you travel. I believe that is especially true when you're travelling in the name of Jesus. Even though photos and video can help, it's never as good as the real deal! Because you can't reproduce the smells, the air your breathing, the touch of a friend. That's the sad part. The good news is that at least you can indeed lock images away digitally, and in some strange way with just a look, months later, you can be transported back to that place.
Yesterday Ron Ayers, Giles and I set out to finish the job we started on Wednesday-to prop the roof up on a church that was collapsing. Seems that the Haitian contractor that did the job did a very poor job, using nasty lumber and low skill level. It was about to come down. We didn't finish the job on Wednesday, but went back yesterday morning. As we were travelling along the beach east of Jeremie, we came upon a road block! They were replacing a huge tile that allowed water to drain off into the ocean. In prior trips across there we had seen dozens of children swimming in the mud hole! Why not the ocean? Well it's likely for several reasons: the ocean is very deep off of this particular coast, maybe some pollution, and sharks! So, we turned back and decided we would come back after lunch, which we did. We had left some tools up at the church the day before and had to go back. The ride was a hair-raising 1 hour drive through the villages and construction zones to get to the top was quite a journey, not for the faint of heart. I told Adrian our driver/translator, this is better than any amusement park ride I've been on!
We managed to get the roof done as the girls stayed back at the orphanage and loved on kids and helped with a feeding project. I had mentioned a new "bud" I've met on this trip. His name is Sha-sha. He attached himself to me as soon as we arrived at the orphanage. And every time we went over there, it wasn't long before I was accosted by he, and two or seven of his friends. I think most of our time together was spent having him sit either next to me, or on my lap and squeezing him. I just sensed he needed that. It was precious, I'll never forget it as long as I live. I found out he is eight, and his sister Ginney also lives there and she's 14. She actually knew a little English, and with the tiny bit of French I know, we talked for a while. The life they live here is tough by any standard. Kids without parents in any world is difficult, but the needs here are even bigger in some ways because of the poverty. Sha-sha is a happy little guy, as most of the children appear to be. The orphanage here does the best they can with the resources available. But, as you can imagine another one of the things that they have a great need for is just human touch. They get some, but not enough for some. He's a typical little boy, gets in scuffles with his pals, tries to manipulate a situation by poking his bottom lip out and pouting. I asked Adrian what the policy was on adoption, and he said they'd really like to see their children grow up and be a positive influence on their nation. The will be! They educate them on sight, as well as show them the love of Christ.
Last evening, they put on a program for us as it was our last night here. Team #2 should be on their way here as I write this post. I pray for their safety today and throughout this next week. Anyway, the program featured their singing, and my can they sing! Then their band performed! What a hoot! They were excellent! It is all done right here on site! After the program, Yvrose Alexandre spoke to us, giving thanks for Americans and the Churches. They also spoke of the vision that keeps them going. It's a Christ centered vision to help those that can't help themselves, and it was started by Yvrose's father. They've also started many churches, one of which we put the roof on yesterday!
That's all for now! Stay tuned as we'll be attempting to post up some of the stuff from next weeks team. I hope to see you this weekend!!