24. June 2012 13:20
by Lisa Sheets
Although this is my first blog, the event that has caused me to reflect the most is our trip to Onaville. Onaville is a “city” of 500,000 people in an area of approximately 20 square miles. It was a place of refuge for the survivors of the earthquake and flood. It was meant to serve as a temporary camp—but has become a village within itself. The village has no political infrastructure, and no working government of its own. There is no electricity, no plumbing, and no running water. The people living there have nothing more than a tent or a lean-to, and have no food or means of employment. We went with another team to demonstrate and distribute personal water purification systems. The people waited anxiously with their tickets with the hope of now having pure drinking water for their families. Before showing the villagers how to operate the systems, we first showed them the importance of hygiene. A simple demonstration using glitter and hand sanitizer showed the villagers how to keep their hands and their water clean and free of germs. It was incredible to see their faces light up as they grasped the concept of germs.
After distributing the systems, watching the women of Onaville make their baskets, and saying our goodbyes, a woman started tugging at my sleeve. She was speaking to me frantically in Creole. I couldn’t understand what she was saying; but she led me to one of the purifiers, pointed to it, and then pointed to herself. She wanted a purifier. She had three young children with her and immediately I thought of myself—a mother of three children. She didn’t have a ticket for a purifier, so we had none left to give her. My heart instantly was breaking. To see the frantic way she was trying to get our attention as we started loading the tap tap, made me start to cry. How would I react if I was so desperate for clean water for my children? As we pulled away, I watched her standing there with her children. She was speaking to the pastor—so my hope is she will get a ticket for a purifier in the future. Hopefully, she will get a purifier. I pray she will get clean water for her three children. But what hit me the most was the question I posed to God….”Why her?” Why did God choose to place this wonderful woman and her three children in a place of desperation and poverty when He chose to put me and my three children in comfortable Bluffton, Indiana? Even though I couldn’t understand a word she was saying to me, my heart understood her desperation. The love she had for her children was written all over her face.
I felt God work through me in ways that day that I can’t even explain. I felt as though two mothers’ hearts connected through a terrible situation. I am so incredibly thankful for what God has given me.