What a week we continue to have! We all continue to do well, and after another full day of work and excursions, we’re winding down now with a surprise birthday celebration (Happy Birthday Linsey!), cold showers (it’s still hot!), journaling, and some fun card games.
Thursday was another productive work day. We spent time continuing our work on bench building, warehouse cleaning and sorting, and various other projects. We also were able to visit the new orphanage that Lifeline built, and see the interior. As someone said, it seems appropriate that the nicest place in the village is the orphanage. It’s a beautiful space, and we spent some time today assembling cribs and cleaning it to prepare it for future inhabitants.
Yesterday was a bit of a change of pace, as we spent the morning at an orphanage giving them love bundles, playing with the kids, and doing a skit as well. It was a joy for some of us to visit another orphanage we’ve been to, see familiar faces, and note the changes that have been made on several of these trips. Its always nice to visit orphanages that have such wonderful caretakers, where you know the kids are shown unconditional love. We finished our day yesterday at the beach (Wahoo Bay), which generally is a luxury reserved for the last day, but do to our schedule, it worked better to do on Friday. It was nice to have a break in the week to relax a little, and restore some energy for our final work day, today.
We started the morning with our tradition of devotions up at “The Rock” and used the remaining time until lunch to tackle the last remaining projects set in front of us. Yes, there were things that weren’t accomplished entirely, so we know that there will be plenty for the next group to dive into when they get here. After lunch, we set out for the market, which was like night and day to those of us who have visited before. Unlike past times, the vendors were spread out, and the new market building is finished. Despite it being a seriously 1st class facility, it’s not in use yet, and no one seems to understand quite why that is. With as fast as it went up, we’re all hopeful it will be quickly inhabited too. None the less, the experience was far less daunting than it was the first time. Many from our previous teams reported the market experience as one that was somewhat scary, or at the least, uncomfortable, but this time we were far less fearful about our surroundings. (The charcoal pit is gone, and moved elsewhere.)
After our trip to the market, we stopped at yet another orphanage that was simply beautiful. There seemed to be a huge plot of land that it sat on, that Joe, the house-dad said he was able to get nearly all his food from the property. Joe was a very friendly man, who spent time in New York for school, before returning to his calling at the orphanage. His english was very good, and he also showed his love for the kids quite clearly.
Which brings us to now. It’s surprising how fast the week has gone. I think we all feel like a lot of good work has been done, but the common feelings of excitement for the future have come flooding in. It’s not uncommon to hear a group member ask another when they think they’ll be able to return. These trips are life changing. The relationships we build here aren’t surface level, they’re investments, and many look forward to seeing friends when the chance to return presents itself.
Tomorrow we’ll spend time at church in the morning, and tour Port-Au-Prince in the afternoon. It’s hard to believe we’re heading home already, but we know we’ve given our all this week. Continue to pray for safe travels. We look forward to seeing you all soon, and sharing more personal stories about our trip with each and every one of you.
Tim B, for all.