On our fifth day in Haiti, what we had planned changed and we learned to be flexible. We arrived at Myan first. They gave 5 of us shovels and gardening rakes. We split up, climbed to the roof of each building and scraped them clean of rocks. It was hard work in the burning sun. With no breeze and very few clouds, we had to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. I started to feel bad that we all needed to take so many breaks, but it was necessary to keep going. It’s a lot like prayer and reading the Bible. Your spirit man requires them to keep going and to stay fresh.
While we were doing that, another group gathered the children together on one of the porches. They sang with the kids and did a Bible lesson for them. It was great to be up on the roof watching as they held those kids during that time. We weren’t just meeting their spiritual needs, but that team was meeting their need for love and physical contact. By holding those children, they were showing them that they are accepted and loved. Most had one or two kids in their laps and others on every side up against them.
Another team went inside the building we have been painting all week. They were able to go in and paint all the accent colors on the walls, window sills, door jambs and columns. It’s a night and day difference with the new colors. Their cafeteria / meeting room will be a relaxing place where they will enjoy good food, great company and experience an all mighty God. I kept imagining all the children who will go through there and be feed physically and spiritually. To be a part of something so small is a big deal. We all want to do great things for God, sometimes those great things look like insignificant things.
While all of that was going on, another child was brought to us. They were asking if we could take him. I didn’t get to hear his story from where I was working. What I did see was them introducing him to a group of children in the same boat and those kids welcoming him. There were smiles all around as if to tell this boy he just hit the jackpot without even knowing it. He won’t have to worry about where his next meal will come from, if he’ll be able to go to school, where a clean water source is, where he’s going to live, if he can afford medical treatment or if he’ll be able to get a job one day. When you take those worries away, by doing what we do, he has the chance to just be a kid.
We left mid day to come back to the guest house to pick up cupcakes that several of our team members made and presents. We went to the Gonaives orphanage with them and celebrated birthdays for the kids who had one in March. Each child that had a birthday this month was brought out front. They were asked how old they were and what would they like from God this year. We then prayed and asked God to give it to them. After prayers, we sang “Happy Birthday”, handed out cupcakes and gave them each a present. It was beautiful to see these kids beam with pride as we honored them.
We went next door to play basketball while the orphans watched and cheered us on. We then headed back home, ate dinner, got more cupcakes and headed back to Myan. The local children we’re let into the orphanage and our team had double duty on loving children. We went into the building we had been painting all week and celebrated birthdays there with cupcakes and a movie night. As the movie went on, one by one the kids fell asleep until there were only a few awake at the end. We sent them to bed and rode home looking at the stars in such a remote place.
There is a lot of poverty here, but there is also great beauty. Each day as we work, I’m reminded of the work God does in our lives. We don’t always recognize it or know what He’s doing. Everything He does though, is for our good. Sometimes we need the rocks cleaned off our roofs so He can grow us and take our lives to the next level. Sometimes he gives us a fresh cost of paint. He makes us feel good inside and that reflects on our outside. Other times He simply loves on us, holds us and let’s us near Him just so we can feel loved and know we’re free to be His children. Each of us were spiritually orphaned and have the ability to be adopted by God. Instead of it being His choice, He makes it ours. We have to accept His love and offer of adoption. When we do, we become joint heirs with Christ, His son.