It's a little draining to be typing right now, as I've been fighting a solid battle with the first symptoms of a decent head cold since about 1am last night. Sarah is doing the same, so she, Tim, and I came back to the Guesthouse after lunch today, missed the afternoon at Darivaje, and slept. Still super drained, throat not burning as bad, nap was appreciated and surely did something positive...but alas, this blog has the potential to be very short. More tomorrow.
Debriefing/devotion time on the roof with the August team was sweet last night, as Tim (with only a 30 second warning) was asked to share with us. And he offered us a message that has been growing in his life for a while about community, and the power that we have when we are together in the name of Christ to bring joy, and full life, and restoration. It was beautiful.
Went down and made a collective effort to cut front slits, head and arm holes into 122 paper bags for the VBS story today. Which were donated by Piggly Wiggly in sweet Haynesville, LA. Which soon became (after a little bit of messy paint) a "coat of many colors," just like in the story of Joseph, for ever child at the orphanage. Can you picture it?? Eighty children waddling around with oversized, painted brown-paper-bags on them....laughing, painting each other, confused as to how to get their arms in them, showing off how they put their name with flames on the back... If you're thinking that it was probably the cutest thing in the entire world, you'd definitely be right. It was in fact the cutest thing in the entire world.
And while half of our team did crowd control with all the little bagged Josephs...the other half sawed boards and assembled new desks for the new classrooms at Bighouse that were built in April, that last week's team finished painting. Construction is never easy in Haiti. The tools are borrowed, the donkeys bring in the concrete mixture, the rocks are carried by hand, and it can be best described as primitive. Thankfully, we had a group of guys that knew what they were doing, headed up by Mr. Bryan, and much was accomplished. And surely much more will be tomorrow.
While the building continued, and the paper-bags got hot and began to be shed, Michael, Nic, and I made the first official Croc drop in one of the back rooms. We organized them into three piles in the room beside the outside kitchen, and had the kids line up, coming in one by one to get sized for their new shoes. You should have seen the smiles and the dancing that took place as soon as the old worn pair was tossed and the new Crocs were sported out, only to be shown off to those less fortunate to be at the end of the line. A pair of pink Crocs have never looked so bright and new as they did at the end of Benji's old and dusty outfit, worn and torn by many months of play in the orphanage's playground. And her little body walked a little straighter with a little more energy as she buried her head in the side of our legs, grateful to feel pretty today.
Every child and orphanage "mama" passed through with a new pair in hand, (except for a handful of little-feet that we have to attend to tomorrow). Then we ate lunch (beside a rather large spider, that the boys in our team just couldn't leave alone), and headed for Darivaje.
On the way there was when the three of us were dropped off at the guesthouse, so I have missed much of the story from the afternoon. (Ughhh, I loathe being sick). But I hear it went very well. Cassie (with the August team) said that they are "so welcoming there." Which is the very best way to describe Darivaje. They sang songs, played games, and told round two of the story of Joseph, complete with the brown-bag-fashion show. The pastor and his wife, as sweet as they can be, rode into town just to check on those of us who have felt a little off today, and said that they pray we will feel better and that they will see us at Darivaje tomorrow:) So sweet.
Cabrit Dinner tonight (le goat), and organizing supplies for our last day of VBS, the Croc drop for Darivaje, more desk assembling, and the clothes drop for both orphanages tomorrow. Michael and Carrie leave with a translator, Pastor Jean, and Judalain leave at 6am in the morning for Port Salut to have Judalain's lab work done for his hernia surgery.
Grateful for your prayers for our team, our health, these children, Judalainls surgery, and our last 3 days in Haiti!
Mesi ampil, ampil, ampil,