Standing in front of a run-down cot with grimy walls looming about sat a woman. The interpreter stood near, and I asked her how she was doing.
“Fine,” was all she said at first. I then asked if she was in pain. “A little,” she shrugged her shoulders.
I looked at Jean, the interpreter, and asked him if she had lost her baby. He asked her, and she said yes.
No one was around to comfort her. No husband. No father. No mother, sister, or brother. Not even a boyfriend. She was alone, and she just had her dead child removed from her womb.
With my heart crumbling to pieces, I prayed for God to give me strength.
“Can I pray for you?” I asked.
She nodded her head yes. After praying, I so badly wanted to be able to speak with this woman. One on one. Tell her about the God who loves her. Encourage her and admonish her. Stand by her side.
But my eyes were all that could speak all the mourning thoughts in my head, and we moved on to the cot beside her’s to pray for the next hurting woman.
This was one of the most striking moments for me during our time in Haiti, when we divided as a group at a maternity
hospital in Port au Prince to pray for the women there. Check out Adam’s blog from Monday to read more details about it.
Today was out last full day in Haiti. We began the morning with breakfast and a devotional. Patterson brought several copies of the song “Nothing but The Blood” in Haitian Creole, and we sang that as a group with Adam leading on guitar.
Following that, we discussed the passage of Acts 17:16-33. It was about how Paul was in the city of Athens, and noticed the false idols in the city. He boldly preached against that and for God. Not just in front of a few people, but in front of an entire council of philosophers…no easy feat.
We prayed over the person to our right, for the need they had and for each of us to see a need today and have the boldness to go and do our best to meet it.
We walked over to a store called Apparent Project. It is a ministry and business combined into one. Parents who would otherwise be unemployed and unable to take care of their children (meaning the children would otherwise be orphans of poverty) make products for the store.
They make a variety of beautiful items: pottery, jewelry, key chains, purses, wallets, cards, clothing and woodwork items.
After visiting that store we came back and Lorrie picked us up. We headed off into a different region of the city. This area is reputed for danger and violence, and you don’t want to go there if you don’t have business to do.
This area, Cite Soliel, was a pretty bad area. It’s like the slums of Haiti. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of tin shacks slinking on scorching ground among mini rivers and ponds of muddy sewage waste.
The heat was so intense that sweat was pouring down people’s faces and soaking through shirts, if they had a shirt.
We arrived to serve food with Lorie from Outside the Bowl Ministry. There are many gangs in this area, but because they know what Outside the Bowl does, they let us in.
We were there to serve the elderly community. Upon arriving the people were already sitting at the tables and benches, hungry.
It was going well, feeding everyone that is, until we ran out of plates about half way through serving everyone. After that, it got a little crazy. People started to give us children’s play buckets and pitchers to fill up food with. Once that ran out, everyone crowded the table that food was being served from.
A little crazy, but it could’ve been worse.
With one more hot and sticky ride back to the guesthouse, that completed our second adventure of the day.
After a bit of relaxing and prepping gifts for the kitchen staff and house managers who have been hosting us this week, the guys headed off to watch Lorrie’s son, Louis, play in the championship game of local schools in Port au Prince. Sarah and I went over to the orphanage to hang out and play with the kids.
For most of that time I sat and talked with a 13 year old girl named Katrina. Her English was very good and it was fun talking with her. We talked about what it was like for her to go through the earthquake, why she couldn’t live with her mom (she’s an orphan of poverty), and what she wants to do when she graduates from school.
She has a genuine smile and joy in her heart. It was wonderful to just get to sit and talk with her.
Later on the team went out for pizza with the Tugwells, and Adam and I went to dinner with his great uncle who happened to be in town. His uncle, Dwight, is in charge of overseeing missionaries in several different countries. The missionaries he was checking up on, Richard and Carol, hosted us for dinner.
They were very kind and had a variety of exciting and terrifying stories of their many years spent in Haiti.
This trip has been impactful for the community, and of service to the Tugwells, who are here day in and day out working in this intense land and heat. Keep them in your prayers.
I came to this trip wondering and doubting a bit as to how effective and impactful short term missions really are. Praise be to God, I’ve learned many ways of how they are effective:
- Teams can encourage and admonish the long term missionaries. They don’t have someone there by their side everyday patting their back and telling them what a great job is being done. It’s great when teams can come in to serve them and encourage them with the work they’re doing.
- Short term teams have lots of energy to give. It is a breath of fresh air for a group of people who have lots of energy to come in and play with all of the kids. Long term people don’t always have the time or the energy to do that, so it’s sweet and helpful to them when that is done in an appropriate manner.
- Lastly, teams that come in can do projects in a short span of time that would take the long term folks months to do. Additionally so, it’s helpful so that the long-term people can work on building relationships and discipling others, and not have to worry so much to paint the inside of a building. A team that comes in can get that done in a day or two no problem. Short term teams are very helpful in terms of completing projects (painting, construction, or other needs that must be met).
I am grateful to have gone on this trip. The Lord has worked in many ways, and it was effective in bringing His Kingdom closer. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel back tomorrow. We are expected to arrive very late on Saturday night!
Written by Bekah Harvey