Day three had us off to work on Pastor Odmy’s house early in the morning and it felt like we got a lot accomplished. Our attempts to clean up the floors of the new home with homemade brooms might have amused some of our Haitian coworkers, but the walls are all constructed about 2/3 of the way up now, and were awaiting cross beams to strengthen their structure. I know many of us are excited to see what was accomplished after we left the site around noon. After lunch we visited one of the many orphanages that Lifeline relates to. Many in the group shared their mixed emotions over a trip like that one. It’s easy to have our hearts filled with joy when you see smiles on the children’s faces and the hugs that they freely give, but that joy can quickly be over shadowed when we come to grasp with their reality.
Scott Tilley journaled today about some of his feelings since being here, and I’ll close today’s blog with some pictures of our day.
Thanks again for the continued prayers. We are all well.
-Tim, for all.
Psalm 121: 1-2 says “I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!”
I have discovered that while here in Haiti it’s sometimes easier to look up. When I look up I can quickly be taken away by the beauty of the mountains, the lush green on the hillsides, the beauty of sunrise and sunsets… I’m reminded of God. When I look out in front of me, I can’t escape so easily from the realities around me. I also see beauty in the people, but their living conditions are saddening. It causes us to wonder where their help comes from? When I look out around me I see poverty as I’ve never seen before. I see little children starved—literally—but also begging for love, affection, safety and hope.
Today was mixed with building in the morning, before the unbearable heat; and visiting an orphanage in the afternoon. After playing Frisbee with a young boy named Mark, I stepped away to check out their housing situation. Although it was fairly clean, it was basically two rooms—one for boys and one for girls—with rows of bunk beds…. nothing personal, nothing noteworthy, just multiple beds, all looking the same. I was quickly reminded that these children are orphans. They have no one to sing them to sleep. No one to cuddle them when they are sick or afraid.
And yet, these children still shared infectious laughter, “Colgate” smiles, and kind, loveable spirits. The ladies on our trip had put together “Love Bundles” to pass out. Each contained a jar of peanut butter, a musical recorder, some underwear, a couple pairs of socks, rubber bracelets and some candy. These items were all neatly wrapped in small blankets, fastened with safety pins. As the children opened these bundles, one would have thought it was Christmas! The children’s faces lit up and the raw attempts of playing the plastic recorders began. Certainly a highlight moment!
I’m struggling to reconcile all that I see. However, I know one thing is true, when these Haitian adults and children look to the mountains, their help also comes from the Lord. He is the only One capable of bending down to hear their prayers—and the prayers from all of us for them—and helping us know how we extend hope and love beyond their surroundings. – Scott Tilley