Thursday, July 29, 2010

“Darivaje ees yoh home…Welcome!”

Today was full as we started the morning finishing up painting and taking weights of children at Bighouse. Then after lunch, we all piled into the Pajero and the back of the pickup (which seems overly packed until we pass another truck, even smaller in size, with ten extra Haitians in it), and we headed to meet the children at the new orphanage, Derivaje, about twenty minutes away…give or take, depending on how much mud and how far we walk after we get stuck.

We woke up this morning and Mrs Virginia and the ladies had pancakes with mango syrup ready to greet us. So we ate, coated in sunscreen and bugspray, grabbed our packs, supplies, and coolers, and headed for the 20min drive, 20min walk to Bighouse. The kids are getting more and more familiar with us (as what usually happens by day 3). How they know we’re there is beyond me, but they always greet us before we even cross the tree line with hugs and laughter and running and “BONJU, Breetnee!” “BONJU, Aleesahn!” “BONJU, Gront!” “BONJU, Annah!” We hug, and hug, and hug for about 15 minutes before we can even officially get on orphanage property. Peter…who I’ve now started calling Peter “I fell on purpose so you’d hold me” Leore….did the obvious and, well, fell…started weeping, and found his way into someone’s lap, miraculously healing all recent injuries. And some of the older boys brought us bracelets they had made. Some people got bracelets that said, “Haiti Cheri” and “I love you!”…I got a bracelet that said “Kaka.” The translator said it’s for a Brazilian soccer player that the Haitians love….I’m not completely confident that it doesn’t just mean “Kaka.”

It happens about the third day every time when one of those “time stops” moments hits me at Bighouse, and I quickly and unintentionally pass over the reality that this trip also ends. I want such wonderful things for their lives. They hit deeper parts of my soul than I knew I had. This country is not glorious but her people will change you forever. And the intimacy of doing life with people is found when Obnese helps one of us tend to the younger kids…when Herby sings “Jesus loves me” in our ears even though the sores in his mouth hurt so much he can barely move it…when the soccer games go on for hours and no one even realizes they’re tired and thirsty and have no more to give, but it doesn’t stop them….when questions are asked about how this can be done better, and creativity and wisdom become the vessels in those conversations where God radiates and mends….when a well is fixed…when solar panels are discussed…when the children sitting with us tonight on the roof at debriefing can’t understand a word we’re singing but resound in Hosanna’s with us as we watch the stars….when a child weighs in 35lbs heavier than he did this time last year…when you can say, “This is life” and be completely confident in the statement, and therefore completely joyful. Who are we to get to be a part of this life? Grateful indeed.

I cut my finger open with a new pair of scissors last night. Bled all the way up the stairs, on the table, and all over the bathroom. Completely panicked at the thought of needing stitches in Haiti, and have been cleaning and wrapping ever since. Think it’s going to be fine. May leave a scar, but I’m just going to let the story be, “I got this in Haiti…” Because “I stupidly cut myself with scissors because I think felt can’t be broken through” sounds slightly lame. Leave more to the imagination.

Darivaje Orphanage was beautiful, and peaceful, and calm. The kids and the pastor were so welcoming and grateful. Humbled and illuminated when we told them that a large group of people back home have committed to being their village sponsors through Global Orphan Project just like at Bighouse. And they said, “We have been praying that you would come for months and months and now God has sent you. Tell your people that we pray for them. And that Darivaje is their home.”

I feel that that is true. I cannot wait for us to get to know this new part of our family more. Teams will start coming to both orphanages when we make trips down and we will help meet the needs as best we can for all the kids at the two sites. First and foremost, at Darivaje, being a well. They have no water source and have to go to the main road just to fill barrels and bring back to the children. So we’re gonna get the money and build them a well. Somehow. And soon. Because everyone deserves clean water.

Had goat for supper, mango smoothies for a late night snack, and now are wrapping up the night…resting for a full day at Darivaje Orphanage tomorrow.

Pray for the travels of the two teams that are switching out on Sunday. Pray for Judelain, a boy at the orphanage with a huge hernia who we are trying to schedule a surgery appointment with a good surgeon before we leave. Pray for health and energy and creativity and wisdom that ask the questions that make life better for others.

And if you’ve read any of these at all, thank you for sacrificing your time…your connections and prayers keep us going and grow the efforts.

Love from Ayiti!

1 comment:

  1. I never thought your eloquent wording would bring me to tears. I am praying for you all! I am so proud of you and your love for Haiti and how you have inspired so many people far away that have developed a love for Haiti also. Give my love to "Gront"!