This is written by Pastor Shledon and Phyllis Stam of the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella, IA, on their trip to Pignon, Haiti.
To Read Day Three -Written by Collin Ashman and James Verhoef
Wow, what an amazing day again! We woke up to the sweet singing of birds…NOT! That stupid rooster has got to go!!
It was wonderful to hear the singing coming from a number of different churches as we prepared to go to church ourselves. We attended Zeke’s church which was having a harvest festival with a large number of visiting choirs and representatives of various churches. The singing was wonderful, even though we couldn’t understand what they were saying, we could rejoice in being with these brothers and sisters in Christ. After Sunday dinner (fried Spam, cole slaw and tomatoes), some of us walked to what used to be the spring. Unfortunately someone upstream had cut off the water, and now there was just a little stream where two women were washing the guts of butchered cows. The entrails would then be sold at the Market. Just a reminder, this water will flow downstream to the river where everyone else is bathing and washing themselves, their clothes, and their buses!
Next we walked through the streets to go to the Haiti Home of Hope Orphanage. It’s called an orphanage, but many of the 40 children there have parents, but their poverty is so extreme that they give up their children so that they will have a chance of a better future. It was very touching to hear two blind brothers, a 14 year old who looked 10, and a 9 year old who looked 4 or 5, sing a song for us. It is hard to see this, but we rejoice that at least 40 children have a safe place where they are loved, fed, and cared for.
This evening we went to the hospital to sing for the patients, pray with them, and deliver packets including toothpaste and toothbrush, soap, and shampoo. It was heart-rending to see some of the babies who were just born but who don’t have a good chance of leaving the hospital, and seeing the weariness and pain in the parents who stay with them at the hospital.
We began the day with worship, and we ended the day (as we do every day) worshiping God together as a team, sharing thoughts of the day, singing and prayer. We are very blessed to be able to be here together, and are grateful for a church family that is holding us up in prayer. It is our prayer that this will be one of many trips to Haiti that members of our church will be able to experience.
With the realization that we are halfway done with our stay in Haiti it seems like we just got here and yet it seems like we have been here forever. We have packed so many experiences into each day. It no longer seems strange that from the moment we step out of the gate of our home here we are surrounded by our “friends”, or that when we walk down the street to be followed by kids wanting to hold our hands, or the 90 degree weather, or the mosquitos buzzing our ears at night, the cold showers, our dirty feet, brushing our teeth with bottle water, using germ-X constantly, and, I thought we were getting used to the rooster….but apparently not!
We had the blessing today of worshiping with the Haitians during their Harvest Festival. Even though we couldn’t understand what was being said we knew we were praising and worshiping the same God together. They all looked beautiful in their Sunday best, we stayed for two hours and who knows how long they were there.
Visiting the orphanage was a highlight for me. Interacting with the beautiful children, hearing their laughter and seeing their smiles was delightful. Hearing some of their stories was powerful and showed what a great work the dedicated and passionate directors are doing.The two little blind brothers were so precious. As they sang for us it was impossible not to feel deep emotion. God is working in Haiti and this orphanage is raising these children to become Godly leaders here in this country.
As we sang tonight there truly are 10,000 reasons for my heart to sing, even here in Haiti. Pray that the country of Haiti does raise up the Godly leaders in the high places it so desperately needs and that Satan is bound and Jesus’ name is known throughout this beautiful country.
Believing that Jesus reigns.