It’s hard to believe that we’ve all just come in from putting the finishing touches on our Friday! So much has been done in the last three days, it’s hard to decide where to begin.
The last three days have been full of hard work, improvisation, and love. Two tangible projects have seen major advancements come to light since our last update. Several men, along with a very enduring team of Haitians, have gotten our water project to a nearly complete state, and tomorrow will allow for many final steps to be taken to facilitate clean water for the village.
There are several points of interest on this project to note. As with any project, the unknown always has a way of making planning difficult. The right people are here, not only on our team, but with our partnership with Fountains of Hope, Lifeline, and the Haitian men putting many sweat hours into the project (some, voluntarily). This led the project planner and head of Fountains of Hope to say that the system we’re installing (of the hundreds he’s done) is one of the most intricate systems he’s ever done. It’s a very impressive feat and we are bubbling with excitement for what it means for the village. At a meeting tonight with several people in the community, the project was explained, and resulted in an ovation of sorts. It’s clear we’re not the only ones excited about it.
The solar lighting project is almost all complete now, and last night several of us went out in the evening to see what activity was resulting from the installation. Kids were out in swarms! Playing games, watching each other play, interacting, etc. We can only hope that in the future it will continue to grow into a gathering place for people to come together and extend their productivity and days.
The women had their final gathering together as a bible study yesterday to a full church crowd. There were project lessons, activities, songs, and the women who came seemed very grateful for their time together. At the end of their session, the ladies were presented with a gift of some things that helped us show them that we care about them and that they’re not forgotten, as many Haitian women can feel.
Many of us have had opportunities to go to at least one, if not more than one orphanage over the last couple of days. Living situations for children in these orphanage settings vary greatly, depending on where they are at. At some locations we visited, it was obvious the kids were cared for, loved, and looked forward to our presence. Unfortunately at one we visited yesterday, we had quite the opposite experience, a very stressful and difficult situation that left many of us feeling defeated, overwhelmed, upset, and frustrated. We have committed that location to much prayer, and specifically the man in charge of that location, that his heart may be convicted to take better care of the children he’s responsible for. Today he was brought to our group at lunch, to apologize for how our visit went. We continue to pray for him, and his ministry.
Today also provided us an opportunity to visit two additional orphanages, and distribute the wonderful KidsWorld supplies that had been collected over the Christmas season. It’s hard to explain to you the pure joy that radiates from these children when they are given these “goodies.” Adorable voices saying “thank-you,” “I love you,” and “you are my friend” just melt your heart. They’re each so precious.
Many other projects have been accomplished too, from adding additional solar lighting to dark stairways, to fixing screens in windows, caulking gaps in the window frames, screening in one of the feeding centers, fixing computers, applying stucco to a new dormitory at an orphanage, and fixing the block making machine to get it back to a good working order. It is the end of our Friday, and a lot has been accomplished. Tomorrow we will put the finishing touches on many projects. Many team members will take tours of a local market, and of Port-Au-Prince, to witness what life there is like for many Haitians that aren’t touched by the hands of Lifeline. For those of us who went before, this is a touching excursion that really puts into perspective the extremes at which poverty in a third world countries exist.
Sunday we look forward to spending time together in worship at the church here at Lifeline, and then venturing off to the beach for an afternoon of relaxation after a week of hard work. That afternoon can tend to be a difficult one to let ourselves indulge in, but it remains a valuable part of the trip, to remind us that there are so many beautiful sides to this nation, past the hardships that are faced daily. And Monday we travel home, already!
I will hope to update at least once more before we depart. We continue to appreciate your prayers and notes of encouragement. We pray you all remain well at home too.
-Tim, for the group.