Last night we were treated to a spectacular show. There was an impressive lightning and thunderstorm above us. The rain cooled things off a bit which helped us get a better night’s sleep. We awoke with excitement and again some grogginess wondering what this day would hold for our team.
We again woke early so we could get to the school in time for morning chapel. It was lead by an inspired worship leader who rallied the kids in chants and songs to God. We couldn’t begin to describe the decibel level created by hundreds of children enthusiastically praising God, in a room with a concrete floor and low, tin roof! After chapel the children gathered in the courtyard to sing the Haitian anthem and raise the national flag. Today was the last day of school so the kids were particularly excited.
|Morning devotions at the school|
We then had breakfast while having long discussions with Karen about HATS, its vision and future plans. We pondered how Brentview could better partner with this mission and this community. It was fun to have so many creative minds and passionate hearts at the table to think together about what the future holds for this ministry. But God (through Karen) has the answers and we just need to be good listeners!
After breakfast we had a couple of hours of downtime. This was a great chance to read, pray and catch a nap. While we rested we could feel the heat gradually increasing along with the humidity. This is the downside to last night’s refreshing rainfall. We think it was hotter today but are feeling more acclimatized to the heat. Well only partially acclimatized, because it still feels hot!
|Morning rest time|
|Also morning rest time|
After lunch we went for a tour of two of the nearby towns. This was a great chance to see what life outside the orphanage is like. It’s hard to make sense of it all as there is a wide spectrum of situations and living conditions – all poor by North American standards. Despite this, there was much beauty to be seen. There were colorful murals, shop fronts and buses. There were kids giggling and singing in their sharp-looking school uniforms, no doubt glad school was done. There were other people hiding undercover trying to escape the sun’s heat. We were in the back of a pickup truck burning up while trying to get a few more photos to share with our friends and family. After coming back we rushed to find fluids, shade from the sun and a cool shower.
|Four Canadians in court house in Verrettes|
|Always looking for a way to cool off|
|returned to mission from touring around a little|
Later in the evening we had a chance to play with kids and enjoy their company. We have learned to love them already and will miss them when we return home. A couple of the kids received birthday gifts from their sponsor families and the other children gathered around to participate in the excitement. Finally, we all had a treat of melted “Big Turk” bars. Yum!
|Skipping fun – Djemima in the air|
|Play time with the kids|
|Beautiful Ti Fi|
|Ti Luc arm wrestling with Steve|
|Treat time with Darren|
After dinner, it was time to become radio stars. We were asked to take a one hour slot at a local Christian radio station. Steve was not sure why he was chosen to sing on the radio but he went with it and sang beautifully. We talked about music, our countries and local worship in our homelands. Steve and Pete talked about Ireland and played a couple of Irish worship songs. Darren was a spokesman for Australia and Grant for Canada. We sang three songs as a quartet which we were told were recorded so they could be replayed over and over. We hope they are okay but we were told they were great. To our surprise, we were asked to come back and perform again in the future. Should we quit our jobs? Probably not! We were fully blessed by the experience and even entered into worship ourselves.
Now we are back at the orphanage, preparing for our departure tomorrow and have already said our goodbyes to the children and the Reimers. We are thinking about how much we have been blessed and encouraged by all those we’ve met. We’re delighted to have strengthened Brentview’s
relationship with our brothers and sisters at HATS. Our church is blessed to have such great, Godly friends abroad. We will long remember
this trip and the people here.
Blessings to HATS and Haiti!