Sunday, April 1, 2012

Haiti: March 11 & 12

March 11th

After almost 10 hours of deep sleep, I was wide awake at 6:30am! I got up with Meredith and Kathryn, and I had a quiet time before breakfast. It literally only took 8 minutes for me to eat breakfast before I went downstairs to take a nap before church.

Church was incredible. It was inside a military white tent. There were windows and a breeze with palm trees in the background. We sung at least 5 songs a cappella in beautiful Creole. God spoke to me throughout the worship although I only understood the word "Jezi," Jesus. Taylor Noone preached about being the body of Christ as a whole church, community, and nation. It was beautifully preached, and there was incredible communication with his non-verbal language.

That afternoon, I was still feel exhausted from the days before. I took a 4 hour nap to recuperate from the physical sickness. Later, I played some cards with Meredith, but I mainly took the entire day to prepare for the following week. Jody explained that Sundays were the sabbath, and we were just to rest the entire day any way.

March 12th

After coming to Haiti last year, Josh and I (Elise) decided to raise money through our wedding to build a cistern for a fisherman’s village. Instead of giving us a wedding gift, we asked for our friends and family to support the ones in Haiti that we met the previous year. I was heart-broken when the people of the fisherman’s village told me the lack of water that each family received each week. Each family shared a half-gallon of water for every 3 days. I know that I waste water brushing my teeth, warming up my shower, and cooking on a daily basis in the U.S. The fact that the entire population of the fisherman’s village barely had enough water to survive on created in me a desire to raise support and build a cistern.

My group left at 5am for Ka Pa Fu, a small fisherman’s village, from the Mole. We loaded into a motor boat that fit our group perfectly. I filled the group in about all of the statistics and information that I found out last year visiting Preskul. I even pointed in the direction where Preskul was. About 30 minutes into the boat ride, I realized that we were veering left, which was not in the direction of Preskul. I asked Jose, and he told me that we were Ka Pa Fu, another fisherman's village. I felt immediate devastation, honestly. I started crying for the people of Preskul at the thought of these people. I was upset at the miscommunication or that I didn't realize that we were revisiting the same village from last year. I couldn't calm myself at the thought of praying for this village for an entire year and not getting to build them a cistern. I found out later that Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO came in July of 2011 and again in January of 2012 to build Preskul a cistern. As much as I thought only Josh, I, and the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech could build Preskul a cistern, God reminded me that he is doing His work whether of not we are being utilized by Him in other countries.

When we arrived in the village, all of the school-age children had already left by the time we arrived at KaPaFu. (It takes them 2 hours to walk to school each morning.) We started our visit by gathering large rocks and buckets of sand from around the village. I learned how to carry a bucket of sand balanced on my head for 50 yards and carve a fish with poisonous bones. After the foreman of the village started using string to measure the size of the cistern, we started digging dirt out of, what was soon to be, the outer border of the cistern. Each border had to be 2 feet deep, and each corner had to be 3 feet deep for iron support rods. All the borders and corners were 1 foot wide.

After an hour of digging, the village people took over to finish the border. During this time, 2 different groups went into 2 different homes. The home that I visited did not have any mattresses, pillows, bathrooms, or a kitchen. All of these rooms were combined into two rooms. The huts were made out of palm leave roofs, bamboo interior, woven leafed exterior, and dirt floors. We were told that 5 to 12 people can live together in one hut as a family. The woman who showed us her home was proud to live in a house where she had a beach-front view, shelter to protect her family, and a front door to complete her home. We prayed for the baby in her womb, the 2-year-old that clung to my skirt all day, and that the cistern would be a daily reminder that Jesus is their Living Water. After sweating all morning digging holes, carrying sand and rocks, and spending time with the people of Ka Pa Fu, I know that we boarded that motor boat departing our Haitian family – not the strangers we met at 6:30 in the morning.

Later that afternoon at the youth conference, there was a time confusion. It was supposed to start at 2pm, but we ended up starting at 3:45pm. The topic was about the importance of community and accountability. During the small group time, the girls were a little timid. We mainly discussed forgiveness and gossip, but we ended our time talking about how community can shape our relationship with Jesus. Today was difficult, because we only had one interpreter and about 30 girls along with 15 Americans.

Overall, this day was incredible and extremely challenging.

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