Today is a day of rest, and it comes not a minute too soon.
This has been a very productive week, a very busy week, and a very challenging week. With the recent issues in Haiti playing a bigger part than usual. The lack of gas, the tension in the air, the feeling of being alone, especially here at M25 where there are usually dozens of missionaries headed to or from their ministries here. It is quiet and peaceful this morning. You can hear the birds. No dogs or roosters or even cars on the road out front. Fewer cars due to less gas. Fewer missionaries due to the political tension. The civil unrest is quiet now, but as Jovenel mentioned yesterday, it is just under the surface, and could explode once again at any time. He also told us that going to Cite Soleil can be quite dangerous, but we felt very safe there on Monday. Trusting God, our driver, and our host to provide the protection we needed. We were blessed to be there.
The quiet is a blessing from God. It gives us a chance to prepare for the long flight home and to hear the sounds of Haiti. The owl in the tree next to our room. The street vendors walking by chanting, encouraging you to purchase their wares and services. 'I'll shine your shoes', I'll fix your squeak', 'I have a hammer', 'brooms for sale.' You can buy just about anything if you wait by the street. Water, coke, toilet paper, oil, souvenirs. It reminds me of the vendors at the Rose Parade, traversing the parade route selling trinkets. The difference is they sell things you don't need, but here they sell absolute essentials.
The silence is broken by the soccer game next door. The constant chatter of players calling out to one another, yelling instructions, complaining about a missed pass or a missed block. They are playing on a hard patch of dirt, but feel blessed to have this patch of soil. Throughout Haiti we have seen same scenario play out on dirt patches, some not nearly as nice as this one. They play in the streets, alleys, and open patches wherever they are. They play with balls when available. They play with rocks when not. They play in shoes and they play barefoot. They play with nets and they play with two rocks as goal posts. They play for the joy of the game. They play for a respite from their life in Haiti.
The other day, I took the group in Leveque for lunch. Chicken wings, frites, and Haitian pizza. When we arrived, they all took their seats and stared right over my head. There was no sound, but I could tell, there was a TV over my shoulder and a soccer game was on. Too stiff to turn around to see who was playing, I asked them and their response was 'it is not us'. So why the excitement about the game? It is soccer.
Question. What is it that you need respite from as we enter into Holy Week this week? What is it you have no control over? Will you trust in God and allow Him to help you?Thank you for taking the time to read this post. May God bless you in a special way this week.
Quite a day today. Slow start, lazing by the pool, a couple of dips to cool off. Good food, great company. FanFan and his wife Adele, Anaxe, Jovenel, Bellegarde, Jimmy, Josy, Myalla, Dalica (Bellgarde's sister), and another LCS graduate who is in her fifth year of medical school, all joined us at Visa Lodge. A good time was had by all.
I sat with FanFan for 6 hours and we were able to discuss other aspects of BonZeb -- the farm, the partnerships, the student internships with NDUH and more. I Got to discuss factory plans with Dalica, who is an architect. She and mom spent the better part of an hour talking about the office, bedroom, and bathroom. The students stayed in the pool for at least three hours. Nice place to be on a 91° day.
The sun has finally set on the soccer field. It has been going nonstop for eleven hours. Every age group had a chance to play and train. Storm clouds once again moving in, but will it rain?
Mom and I are both exhausted and even though we want to get home we are dreading the trip. We say goodbye to Haiti and Matthew 25 in fifteen hours. We will be home in thirty two hours. Need to see if we can store up some Zs overnight.
Thanks for the prayers and well wishes.