Written by Greg Ver Meer, a member of the Christ Family Church team from Davenport, IA

2015-06-21 CFC

As a group, it just dawned on us (including me) at 8:30pm that today is Father’s Day. So as the only Father on the team, it is fitting that I (Greg) write the blog.

We woke this morning around 7:30. Our hosts, Craig and Christi, made French toast for breakfast. We had devotions and got ready for church. It’s strange to get dressed up for church, hop in the back of a pickup and hang on as we drive over mud roads that aren’t particularly smooth. We sat in the front and were recognized by name. It was wonderful to worship with the people. It was heart warming to know that people all over the world are worshiping today to the same Lord and Savior in multiple different languages. The service lasted about 2 hours. The dog lying by my feet didn’t smell good, but I tried to ignore it. The choir was incredible and there was an English translation for the message. Afterwards we went to a restaurant. The menu was rice and beans and chicken legs. After my day yesterday (not good), I wasn’t sure I was ready for rice and beans again, but I was…and it was good! We also had cold Cokes and lemonade.

We then set out to bring food to 5 different families. We presented the food with the help of a translator and asked them what we could pray for. Nearly all of them answered that they wanted prayer for the well being of their family, that their children would grow up to know Jesus and get an education and be successful. They also wanted us to pray for the safe travel and well being of our team. Here we were visiting with people with such need and they wanted to pray for us!

The team went and shared food with the neighbors in need. Kyle is quickly becoming Haitian!

Next we went to an orphanage that is affiliated with the church that we worshipped at. It was so fun to interact with the children. They are so lovable and affectionate!!! We blew bubbles, the girls painted nails, we kicked soccer balls and just held kids on laps. The kids love taking selfies with our phones and seeing videos of themselves. It’s amazing how you can get 15 kids within 3 square feet with a cell phone shooting a selfie. You just gotta make sure you hang on to the phone. I was pretty actively playing with the kids as a group until one little girl sought me out and hung out with me for the last half hour, just sitting on my lap. Breanna had a little boy captivate her as well. The swarms were after Jack and his soccer videos. What a joy just to watch these active, loving, appreciative kids having a great time. I can’t believe how many adoring eyes look up at you with a hand held up for a grasp, where ever we go. Also, as we drive down the road in the pickup, little kids yell “blanc” repeatedly since it’s so unusual for them to see white people.

Terri and her friend at the Haiti Home of Hope orphanage on the edge of Pignon. The team and the kids from the orphanage! Many new friends were made with the kids at the orphanage. Jack was a hit sharing pictures and videos on this phone.
Andrea and Cadena taking a cool selfie with many friends.

Andrea and Cadena taking a cool selfie with many friends.

After the orphanage, we hiked about half way up Mount. Pignon to where there is a huge sign overlooking the city that says “Pignon” 2 little girls adopted themselves into our hike. They were sweeties and even though we couldn’t speak the same language, we were able to love and be loved by them. The view from the sign was incredible and it was interesting to see a bird’s eye view of the layout of the city that we have been driving through for the last few days.

The view of Pignon from the Pignon sign on the mountain. This was taken from the dormitory by the airport, using a mega zoom lens! The team on top of the Pignon sign! Just like Hollywood. Except in Pignon. And a bit different scenery. The panoramic shot.

After the hike, we went back to the dorm. It was about 6:45pm so we were getting pretty hungry. The cooks have Sunday off, so Craig and Christi treated us once again; this time it was spaghetti with garlic toast. It was great! We finished the day with devotion time. I’m very impressed with the spiritual maturity of the kids in our group. They are able to articulate their knowledge of the Word incredibly well and are able to express their faith and are sharing Christ’s light in amazing ways this week. I am proud of them and you should be too if you are a parent or mentor to the members of this team.

Abigail wants her Dad to hear “Happy Father’s Day” and the rest of the team wanted that blogged on their behalf as well.