I simply take notes at our evening debrief times and the most amazing stories come out. The team is doing great. All remain healthy and hydrated. The temperature was 99 degrees today with at least 70% humidity, which puts the heat index at about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Staying hydrated takes gallons and gallons of water! Here are a few stories from today.
Melanie, our nurse practitioner, gave her first ultrasound today!! She was more than just a little excited. A 19 year old girl is 6 months pregnant with her third child. The girl didn’t know was pregnant as she was breast feeding another child. Melanie has a deep passion for life and helping this Mom see her child was a tremendous joy.
Meet Bueno Bob and his painting entourage.
Besides running the clinic today, our other assignment was to prepare Myerta’s house for her to move in tomorrow. This included hanging the front door, painting big portions of the house, and installing a gate in the front porch. The day was amazing…not only did the work get done, but kids nails got painted, soccer games took place, a game of ultimate Frisbee was played, duck duck goose, the hokey pokey, kids were held, hands were held…it was amazing everything that happened.
At one point, Bob found himself alone painting, Before long a couple of the littlest children came over to Bob and wanted to help. So Bob put them to work with the paint brushes the rest of the team abandoned. Pretty soon other kids wanted to help…and then some of the older ones. Before long, Bob found himself supervising probably eight kids painting Myerta’s house. We like to call him Bueno Bob and his Haitian entourage.
Dashka’s Mom Paints with Us
When the first Grace medical team was here in late February and early March, we met a young Mom who had a very sick baby girl named Dashka. Dashka is looking great and growing so fast! She is beautiful! After lunch we decide to paint some shelves that are inside Myerta’s house. Diane communicated to Dashka’s mom, without the benefit of spoken language, that we needed to clean the shelves and asked if she might have a rag we could wipe the shelves down with. She not only went and brought us a rag, but proceeded to paint the shelves with us. When other team members needed a break because it was so hot in the house, she kept painting right along.
Erica’s Cheering Section
As the day wore on, the feeling started to shift. We came as people who were going to do something for the Haitians. We were going to finish the house, and we were going to paint finger nails, etc. By the end of the day, it felt more like a family reunion. One story sticks out a bit. Erica is a high school student who is a pretty good soccer player. She joined in with the boys, most who don’t wear shoes, and played soccer for a huge part of the day. In the afternoon, a number of the younger girls clearly didn’t feel like they could play, probably long-time victims of the boys exclusion. But they learned Erica’s name, and every time she would touch the ball, they would yell from atop the grave pile “ER-I-CA! ER-I-CA!”
If only she hadn’t of blown that wide open goal I set up for her. Kidding!! I am only kidding. She was awesome.
Chicken Dance, Hokey Pokey, or something fun
The True Haitian Experience
At the camp in Chambrun today, we had one of the guys ask if we could take the translators back with us to Port-au-Prince with us because all the other vehicles were gone. I said sure, not problem. Back in March we always took the translators with us when we ran the clinics. I didn’t know there were going to be close to forty people! We tried to count, but it was hard because we were packed so full. Our best guess was about sixty people were on our bus. Did I mention it was a mini-bus? We had a good laugh thinking about getting pulled over in Hamilton county with that many people on our bus. We got to live the joke that Pierre told us last night…”How many people can fit on a tap tap?” We think the answer should be “at least five more.”
...it got more than a little crowded.
One of the translators told a couple of our teammates his story on the bus ride, and it was powerful. We prayed for Jimmy tonight. Jimmy lost his mom about three years ago, and then lost his dad and grandfather in the earthquake. He also lost his house. Jimmy is 27 years old, has eight younger siblings, and a daughter. They live in a tent in one of the IDP camps…all ten of them together. He works as a translator at the camp. Pastor Pierre met him a few months back and invited him to come to a training conference with him in Jamaica. It would cost him $1,000 US dollars, so Jimmy dismissed it because he would never have the money. Pierre challenged him to have faith in God. A few weeks went by and Pierre ran into him again, and asked why he had not heard from him. Jimmy thought it was just not possible because of the money, and Pierre reminded him to have faith. Well, Jimmy’s friends began to hear about this opportunity, and, wouldn’t you know that God provided the entire sum. He went and experienced an amazing conference in Jamaica. He is now also a worship leader in his local church and has so much hope for his future because of his experience of God’s faithfulness.
God Lives Here
One of our team members summed up his experience in Chambrun as he wrote in his journal last night with three little words: God lives here. After spending time in Chambrun, meeting the people, seeing the hope and joy, seeing the potential, feeling the love and faith…his only conclusion that he could come to was simply…God lives here. I think our whole team would have to agree. - Submitted by Pastor Aaron Elliott