3 weeks ago, I felt burdened by the many changes that were whirling around me. I knew God would pull me through, but I felt alone. I wanted to feel God's presence. I know God promises to always be with us, through life's trials and joys. I needed to trust in that truth. I was going to church and my heart felt so heavy. When I arrived the church was packed. Every pew was filled. In Haiti, people sit close together, packed like sardines. Some sit in the aisles and others stand on the sides and back of the church. I squeezed next to a man on one of the benches. To my surprise a young boy, followed me to the pew. As I started singing the worship songs, he looked up at me with big brown eyes, reached for me hand and held it. He smiled and sang with me. When we sat down, he continued to hold my hand and rest his head on my shoulder. This boy was a blessing to me. He showed me Christ's love. When I am going through a difficult time, Christ is with me. He is holding my hand. He is giving me rest and comfort. This boy was a beautiful reminder of Christ's love.
2 weeks ago, the same little boy found me in church and squeezed next me. He again reached for my hand. When we sat down, he climbed into my lap.
Last week, the same little boy found me in church again. He sat in my lap and looked so comfortable and peaceful in my arms. He is a constant reminder that in the midst of a storm God is with me. This boy has shown me such great love. After church he asked me, "Ki jan ou rele?" (What is your name?). I asked him the same. His name is LeLe. After church he continued to hold my hand and walked with me everywhere I needed to go. All of the families had left church, but he was still holding my hand. I asked him, "Pou ki sa ou la?" (Why are you still at church?). He told me he wants to stay with me and hold my hand.
Yesterday, I went to church wondering if I would see LeLe. I walked in the church and didn't see him. I started singing worship songs. We prayed and I bowed my head. After the prayer, we sat down and I reached for my Bible that I put on the bench. It wasn't there. I looked around, and there was LeLe. Holding my Bible next to his heart. He smiled and handed it to me. When it was time to read a scripture, I opened it to the correct place and handed it to him. He took his pointer finger and slid it under the English words as the pastor read the scripture in Creole.
I wonder if he will find me in church next Sunday.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Visiting Another Orphanage
Last Saturday, 14 of our children went on an adventure to another orphanage. We rode in the tap-tap and sang worship songs on our way to La Plan. It was about a 20-minute ride. When we arrived the children greeted us with a welcome song and were so excited to see us. We all sang worship songs together and learned about the importance of reading the Bible. Pastor Wesley shared with the children that the Bible gives us wisdom. To our surprise, the orphanage did not have any Bibles and the children had never read from the Bible. Yet, they believed Jesus died for their sins and that God will provide for all of their needs. It was beautiful to give them 7 Bibles when we left. The director of the orphanage was so thankful for the Bibles and was eager to read the stories to his children. Friendships developed between the children. On the way home, many of the children asked when they can go back to visit their new friends.
I invited two boys that have been great listeners and very respectful to come to my house for a special activity. They walked through the door with wide eyes and anticipation. I had watercolor paints and paper on the table. They quickly sat down and started painting. They used all of the colors and had big smiles on their faces. It was so fun to spend quality time with them. We drank juice and ate pretzels as we painted together. What fun!
Two boys came running over to me and said they wanted me to come see their house. I followed them across our soccer field and behind an old water truck. At the rear of the truck was a small wooden structure that was about 7” tall. These boys are so creative. They found wood scraps on the ground at Grace Village and built the wooden house that is pictured above. One of the boys said that when he grows up he wants to build a house that he can live in…just like this one. He even showed me how the small wooden piece on the right side opens. This is the door. In Haiti, it is common to see homes built just like this smaller version. Often people use many small pieces of wood and piece them together to form a shelter from the wind and rain.
One afternoon Junior, one of our older boys, came running to me and with a smile on his face said, “Katy, vini.”. Which means, “Kathy, come”. He continued to explain to me that he has a surprise for me that will make me very happy. He led me to the flagpole and flying high at the top of the pole was a silk handkerchief of the American flag. He put one hand on his heart and his other hand in a salute, while I sang the Star Spangled Banner. He tried to sing along too. Other children joined us with their hands on their hearts and we all hugged and cheered at the end of the song. I am thankful for all of the people who have protected our country and fought for our freedom.
Shortly after sunrise, we brought some of our teenagers on a hike up the mountain. The children walked two by two in the rocky gravel on the side of the road. Some chose to jog and others walked. We climbed all the way to the top! What a beautiful view! As we looked down into the valley we saw rolling hills, people riding donkeys, people carrying their produce to the market, farmers walking with their machetes ready to cut down plaintains, children with large buckets going to get water at the well, and ladies carrying baskets of clean laundry home. We had a beautiful hike. What a great way to start the day!