Must be the altitude!
June 14, 2015: Laura Nicholson and Jake De Ruiter
There’s nothing better than hiking up a mountain with my mom! We rose early, for once to the call of the roosters, to begin our journey up the mountain. The hike to the top was filled with encouraging words, a great lesson in teamwork and ended with a beautiful sunrise. We were all glad we had gotten out of bed this early to witness God’s breathtaking creation. One of my favorite memories of the climb was hearing Kate Van Roekel laugh every time she slipped or broke a walking stick rather than yell obscenities.
We headed out around 9:00AM for our church service out in the country side. After riding for half an hour we arrived to the church that consisted of branches and bed sheets for walls and palm leaves for a ceiling. The service then began and although we could not understand some of it, while the other portion was translated by the Pastor, we all could sense God in this place. The whole congregation singing in Creole made us realize that no matter the language barrier, we all worshiped God the same way. The Pastor preached about Samson and Delilah, and that no matter the circumstance, God is in control and is the one that gives us strength. The morning was filled with joyous singing and praising God in both Creole and English. Once the service was over, the team headed back into Pignon to eat at a quaint restaurant. Our meal consisted of rice and beans along with a chicken leg. It was a wonderful experience to eat in a Haitian restaurant.
Coming back from the restaurant, we packed five food packages for poor families near the airport. This experience was very personal and we found ourselves praying for each family for their needs to be met. Along with the food, we were able to bless the families with pillow case dresses for the girls, toys and t-shirt diapers. This was a very moving experience for everyone as we got to see close up the condition some of these people live in.
Once we had delivered the food packages, we traveled out to Bill and Jennifer’s orphanage where the boys enjoyed a casual game of soccer. While they were playing, the girls went to paint nails, blow bubbles, and swing with the kids. The orphanage is definitely a blessing to the children involved, where their mission is to teach the children English and Creole. This, however, is not an adoptive orphanage but instead one that prepares the kids to give back to the community once they are adults. It was a great experience to play with the kids and see how they interact with one another, always wanting to bless one another and us.
After a short spell of motion sickness due to swinging kids around, and following a great evening at Haitian “Olive Garden” (Craig and Christi’s spaghetti), some of us went to visit friends at the hospital. We prayed for patients with newborn children and those suffering from ailments. Overall, we had a very long, productive and emotional day. A great start to the week!