Today has easily been one of my favorite days in Haiti. It is always a great day when you are serving next to people you have come to love and adore. I'm not sure I could have survived the difficulty of these Haiti trips without my dear friends at Victory Compassion. They have been a refuge and strength for us as friends in Christ.
The team that is here went to unbuild (yes, unbuild) two homes that Victory Compassion (VC) put up over the summer. This place was given three but have only been using one. Because of an emergency, the houses will be rebuilt in a different spot so 34 Haitian orphans will not be homeless. The orphans were being taken care of by a husband and wife who changed their mind after his mother tried to slit the throat of one of the children. Yes, she is crazy. They had to move immediately, so it was a work of God that the team couldn't put together their playground for CAD (another orphanage, because the playground they were installing is stuck in customs). This allowed them the time and focus to help these children in a different capacity.
Laurel and I decided to go with Pastor Rod this morning to drop off Nick at the airport with translator, Frank. I met Nick when he was in Haiti with a team in June, then he came back from August until today as staff at VC. When I met him we ended up talking about a girl he was upset about. I told him I was going to mail him a book in July when I get home about relationships. Well, I never ended up sending it to him in Arizona and that’s a good thing because he was here anyways. I brought it for him this trip.
First, we stopped for propane, then at my favorite pit stop - the Marassa Market. The Victory Compassion folks know the owner well too. We bought a variety of groceries and discussed possible toys with him. Yesterday, Pastor Rod got a call that someone donated $3,000 for toys for Haitian kids for Christmas. Amazing.
Headed to the airport to drop off Nick. He is only 19 and even during my short time with him during this trip, I could see a huge change in him. Pastor Rod gave him a great word in the giant box truck and we all hugged him goodbye.
Afterwards, the four of us went to pick up Frank's new furniture. He lives in one of the houses that Love A Child built near the border and now that he has been working for VC, he has enough money for furniture. We went to Delmas 2 near Jean Jacque Blvd to a very small store to pick it up. The pick-up went quickly and I was relieved to get out of the area... a little too congested for my liking. Pastor Rod even told Laurel to put her camera away by telling her she could have her Kodak moment later.
One of the reasons I liked today so much was just riding in the box truck with Pastor Rod and Laurel. He is a true visionary and it is fun to go back and forth with him. Pastor has some incredible stories and words from God. He is in the middle of a 40 day fast and has had some mind boggling insight into Haiti and his plans for their team. In January, he will take over as the Director of World Missions for the Victory Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Check out these statistics... At their church 35% of the budget is for missions. They support 200 missionaries worldwide and have over 1100 Bible Institutes.
Pastor Rod also shared some other facts:
- Did you know if you eat 3 meals a day for 3 weeks you are among the top 15% of the world.
- Most of the world lives on $2 a day, Haitians live - on average - on $200 a year.
- 15% of the world holds 80% of the wealth.
Starting in January, their team will move to a new place and start a few new projects. Everything is not finalized, but the plans are exciting!
We headed to Croix-des-Bouquets (CdB) to meet up with the team building the two dorms. It was only 1pm, but they had started at 5am, drove into town, took down both buildings, drove to CdB and put them both up in that time.
A Spanish lady will be the head of the orphanage and she explained to me their plans while Laurel played with the kids. Someone gave them 1 coke to share between all of them and they didn't fight. They shared like loving brothers and sisters.
Dropped off Frank's furniture and headed back to the compound. We rested for 45 minutes then a group of us headed to another Kidz Club. This is Laurel's favorite place to do them, she said it is because this village is like the inner city kids. Even the Moms come out to watch the show like it is soap opera hour.
Of all the Kidz Clubs I’ve seen, these kids are the most into it. They sing all the songs and do the motions, the games are very competitive between the boys and girls (they let me lead it today with a translator and a fight between 2 small girls broke out).
Had dinner with the team, helped Mary do dishes, took a shower.
I was laying in bed in Mary's trailer and Laurel came over, so I got up and the three of us played cards. It was my family's version of the game Peanuts but at a MUCH slower pace and Mary called it Heaven while Laurel called it Nerds.
I've been having a little anxiety about this trip, so Mary shared a verse with me - 2 Timothy 1:7. I’ve heard it plenty of times, but sometimes you just need a reminder.