It's an early blog tonight at the Orphan Transition Village...but i couldn't ask for a better moment to write. It's raining in Croix de Bouquet this evening and the kids are playing under the veranda while this shower takes care of the heat in our rooms. This weather is amazing. Not quite as great as it was in Haiti in January, but pretty close. There are naked babies taking advantage of the bathing opportunity and the team is scattered on the long porch of the second floor listening to it pour. I feel seven.
We woke up an hour early this morning to eat breakfast (toast and hot chocolate..that's right.) before we loaded in the back of a pick up to head out for the hour drive into the heart of Port au Prince for worship at Pastor Mois' church. My alarm was extra ridiculous this morning as I spent most of the night adjusting around my sunburn and instigating a massacre on about 50 june bugs that made the mistake of coming too near my bed. They didn't know.
It's so strange driving through Port au Prince having made the drive several times before the quake, evacuating from the quake, and now after the quake...a lot is different, but not a lot is different. Of course there are buildings everywhere collapsed, shattered, and representing the tomb stones of so many who were lost. And tent cities are everywhere, ev. ry. where. And those who must live day in and day out can testify to the completely different worlds that they now live in with loved ones gone, forced homelessness, and amplified orphan count. But if you are just driving through...Haiti very much looks like Haiti. The widespreading food market that has the distinct smell of rot which had pretty much all fallen in January, is standing again... shaky branches and old tin leaning against each other. The trash is still everywhere, showing years of disregard or weak infrastructure. More organized in some places. More distraught and multiplied in others. The roads tell a long story that undeniably leads to a world that must stick around long after the fade of the media in order to see her renewed.
We got to Pastor Mois' church, and time stopped. I will never forget today. I hope I never, ever forget today. His congregation helped us off the truck in the middle of surviving Port au Prince and led us to the front of the church (which is custom for their guests) and the building...which is only half together, half made with tarps donated from relief groups...was packed and overflowing with people who braved the heat and overcrowded area to stand together in praise of a good God. And I just stood there trying to pick up little bits of Creole here and there in their music, watching the hands reaching for the heavens across the pews in desperation and gratitude to a God that loves people. There are few things more beautiful. Is there anything more beautiful? Is there anything more beautiful than when the broken worship? God....I am amazed. I watched a woman, probably in her 80s, who was suffering from a bad headache who told us of how she had lost many teeth when her house fell on her, stand on the front row and spend herself in desperate prayer and praise to her Jesus. And I thought about all she has seen. Living through two Duvalier Regimes, oppression and poverty, hurricanes and gang violence, and now a massive earthquake... There is something mysteriously perfect that happens when the survivors of the deepest suffering love on God.
I wouldn't have traded today for anything.
When they told us to open our Bibles, we couldn't tell what scripture they were pointing us to, but one of our team members, Wayne, thought they said 2 Corinthians 5....and I'm still not sure if that was the one we were supposed to read, but I know that that was the scripture we were supposed to read:
"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us to the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight....If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God, if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
Rojelin is sitting up here with us under the long porch listening to one of the team member's ipod and singing praise songs with his eyes closed. He's alive because his momma sent him out with two dollars to market just a few minutes before the quake hit. And he sings. Pastor Mois has not slowed in his relentless efforts to find the newly orphaned and place them, though he is still surely grieving the loss of his son whose body was discovered in the excavation of a building some weeks ago. And he sings.
Dear world, watch Haiti. She believes in a good God while she marches broken and bloody through long suffering and loss. She is rich in joy and gratitude. She will not be quieted or easily shaken. She lives on deep breaths and codependent relationships. I want to be like her when I grow up.
One last full day tomorrow for this go-around. Two more roof top debriefings and another day of soccer that I've learned I'm really good at. And by that, of course I mean when I play with a 4 year old, and just us, and just kicking back and forth, and not hard. At that, I am golden. They don't let me play the other way.
To days when time stops,