Barren lands and rice fields; azure ocean and mountainside slums; French and Creole – Haiti is a land of many paradoxes.  But the greatest paradox I’ve seen is the HATS-Haiti compound at the edge of a canal, sitting next to villages where there is no evening light and I am reminded that Jesus is the Light of the world; that He, and He only, can bring a nation out of darkness.

Ocean

 

Mountain slums

Seeing “tap-taps,” crowded markets, rolling mountains, azure oceans, welcoming smiles and children

Market

 

Children

Hearing children singing, roosters crowing, goats “baa-ing”, a rice mill grinding and generator working

High school student singing

 

Goat

Tasting fresh mangoes, “mini” bananas, pumpkin soup, rice with sauce and veggies I can’t pronounce

Bananas (called “figs” in Haiti)

 

Papayas

Smelling food cooking, charcoal burning, and yes- sweaty smells from working in the intense heat
Touching children’s braids, hugs from a child, kissing the cheeks of our cooks, net-covered bed

Djemima

 

Mosquito net

Feeling joyful, thankful, useful, and humbled. In Haiti, people will build “with another” level in mind; in case they want to add another floor.  I am reminded  that we, as Christians, need to build with another level in mind; meaning to not only lead people to Christ, but then teach them and grow them- to become disciples.  HATS is striving to do so, as they teach the next generation about the gospel; even as they learn their reading, writing and arithmetic.  It is our privilege to be here and so, we’ve been painting; a lot.  Lovely colours are being rolled and brushed onto the walls of a church built by Haitian contractors.  Another team will paint the outside and those who are waiting for the colour scheme, with bated breath, will have to keep waiting.

Church

~Francine