I love Haiti. It's so interesting that for a week, it feels like two days and four weeks all at the same time. Each stop, each activity, each piece of the day feels like an entire day. And yet? At the end of a week, I'm always wishing for more.... If my kids could only be down here at the same time... The temptation to stay would be excessively strong, regardless of the logistics.
Today was a mixture of things. We started the day with a trip to Titayen for the Grace Village tour. Grace Village is the- I'll call it a ministry center- for Healing Haiti there. There is an orphanage. There is a feeding center. There are ovens. There is a clinic. There is a school. There is an aquaponic system. They're building additional buildings so the elders can come live there. We did a tour, with Bianca providing a great synopsis of what each building is for, what the intent is, and the potential plans for the ministry and the local outreach. I love Grace Village. It is so well built, providing opportunity for a better life as can be had as an orphan here. The view is beautiful. The colors, the design, the layout are really great.
Next was visiting those that are in our elder care program. Elder Care is honestly not my "sweet spot" with Haiti, but this amazing ministry of Healing Haiti. The elders are supported and cared for through food and water deliveries, as well as medical care at the clinic at Grace Village. The support comes from sponsors back at home. Today we brought food and juice to them and rubbed them with lotion on their hands and feet. One of the ladies on the team found lavender oil for their hair and they worked together to rub it into their scalp. We also had packed nail polish as a way to pamper them somewhat. We visited five different elders, with varying health statuses, home conditions, and family available to them. Their faith blows me away. Their reliance on God is unprecedented. Their perseverance is an example to live by. I am so blessed to be able to spend the little bit of time with them.
From there we went to Juno's orphanage to complete the same craft with Jesus written on the kids' hearts-- the project was well received and there were some special connections made with those on the team.
The word today was change. There is a pot hole in the road near the guest house that we drive past/ over every day that has been here for the last three and a half years since my first trip. Change- the pot hole was fixed today. There has been other road construction including an actual detour- not just a patch. Awesome. The change in Haiti from that first trip down- the cleaning up, road work, improvement as a whole. Change- the change for the orphans that we were able to touch their hearts and their day in bringing a project for them. Change- For the many resources now available in Titayen due to the building so that there would be better care for the Elders as they are. Change. Sigh. Three and a half years ago, I said I wasn't sure if I was going to come back because it was out of my zone. I built houses so LA would be a better rebuild for me, right? Or REALLY? Anything BUT coming back to Haiti was where I was less than qualified to do any kind of fix. Today? Change. A peace that surpasses understanding struck at Grace Village. I'm not saying I think God is doing anything or calling me to anything.... but the peace came at the time someone made a comment to which I responded, "I could just live here." I didn't panic. I didn't make an excuse. I didn't say it for anything but what it simply was... an admission that if God had it in mind, my heart was open to doing more. I made the comment to the team that there are many more qualified and worthy of the position and calling than what I am.... But if God wanted me to, I would give up winter for Him. :) Haha.
In all seriousness? Haiti is in the business of change and heart work. We come down here to serve and end up changing ourselves. The song I played this morning was Beautiful Things by Gungor and one line says "You make beautiful things out of the dust; You make beautiful things out of us"... Regardless of the direction that God calls us to and impacts us for after Haiti, He alone is the one able to make the heart change while we are here, and as we start to prepare to go home. I'm not ready to go by any means yet. We still have things to do, places to go, people to see, hearts to be touched. In the midst of the dust and dirty and hard days, God is making something beautiful in the changes. Onward.