I don’t think anyone on the team would say we’ve had any emotionally “easy” days this week, but today seemed especially difficult. Today didn’t have much time for project based work, but instead we started off with a prayer walk, before heading into Port-Au-Prince for a tour through the city. Emotions peaked as we trekked our way through the slums on our bus. JoEllen said there was a time where they used to let teams off the bus in that area, but it was no longer safe. The desperation of area far surpasses anything in the village around where the Lifeline compound is located. Stenches, purely chaotic traffic, heaping trash piles in the middle of water sources, and the diesel smog that greeted us as we entered the area was enough to make many on the team speechless.
The second stop on our tour was a Haitian history museum in Port-Au-Prince. This was a brief overview of Haiti since its founding. It’s evident that this country has been plagued with violence and corruption amidst extreme devastation for a long, long time. After a stop at the souvenir market, we made our way back “home” with a final stop along the way. January 2010 was the devastating earthquake that claimed over 300,000 lives in a single day. Our final stop on the way home was to the mass grave where these bodies lay. In the days following the quake, bodies had been stacked on the streets until they could figure out what to do with them. The site was a very humble tribute to these people. Amidst handmade crosses laying here and there with the occasional flower, a small monument sits in the middle of a large open area of rock and weeds at the base of a mountain. The landscape was fairly obvious where the government had come in to dig out space for these bodies. One of our translators, Dav, shared his experience on the day of the earthquake, but it was still very difficult to wrap our heads around the devastation of the day.
I’ll leave you with some images from our prayer walk, and our tour of Port-Au-Prince. I’m constantly finding that the children make such beautiful subjects for photos. Their eyes and smiles speak so many more words than language could ever need to. Denny Overholser also shared a journal entry about his experiences today and this week.
Many thanks for continued prayers.
Tim, for all.
As we near the end of our week in Haiti, several thoughts come to mind.
1st, as we made our way through La Digue on a prayer walk today, I was joined by a young Haitian named Addison (10 years old). As we walked holding hands, Addison asked me if I was his Friend, I said I was. We seemed to bond quickly. We then met Madam Baguette who was ill. She had 2 living children and 50 grandchildren, and she wanted to kiss everyone she met. We prayed with her and continued on the walk, praying for several others. What a blessing to do this.
2nd, as we have been to orphanages, and visited many villages and markets, I have had reoccurring thoughts that every person I saw and communicated with, irregardless of their living conditions, economic or social environment had much in common with me. We both were conceived in the image of God and our soul will live forever.
In conclusion, even though I have struggled emotionally it has been such a privilege to serve the Haitian people being an ambassador for Christ. -Denny Overholser