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The second day of the trip was amazing. It began with a short truck ride to a dirt trail. Once we piled out of the truck, we headed down the trail about 200 yards to a small block home that had a dirt floor. In Haiti, the homes often have dirt floors. It makes it very hard to keep them clean. The children sleep on the floors of the home and pick up all kinds of bacteria, diseases and parasites from the unclean floor. Our job for the day was to come along side a local construction crew and provide them with “Many Hands.” The goal of MH4H is not to take jobs from local people, but to provide them with jobs and then to make their jobs easier by allowing the visiting short term missionaries the chance to help with their loads. We get to be the literal hands of Jesus, toiling in the heat on a difficult task in order to bless another person or family. We mixed concrete, shoveled it into buckets, moved the buckets by handing them down the line to where they were needed and then helped clean up when the job was done. We helped add 4 concrete floors to a home that housed 5 adults and 7 children. The floors will now be easy to clean and sanitize. This will significantly cut down on the risk of disease and parasites. Kenny prayed for the family at the end and asked Christ to bless this family.
Another highlight of the day was being able to play with the children. When we first got to the house, both the children and our group smiled at each other shyly. We brought some tennis balls, chalk and hot wheels down for the children. As soon as we passed them out, the ice was broken. Tennis balls were tossed back an forth, often multiple ones at a time. A stick was used as a bat and balls flew over the house. The little ones drew on the the palm tree and house with the chalk, and the hot wheels raced down a discarded strip of tin roofing. As much fun as they were having, we were having more. The smiles on their faces reminded me why Christ himself was so fond of “ the little ones.” We also learned some hand clapping games that seem to be pretty universal down here. Over all, the morning was an incredible experience.
After lunch, we went to a community gathering area near the air strip in town. We played some dodgeball, spikeball, some frisbee, some soccer, some volleyball, drew with chalk and played the hand clap games. We spent a couple of hours there and were exhausted and sweaty when it came time to go. Through it all, there was laughter and smiles. As we drove back to the compound, we all felt that we had been blessed by God with the chance to bless others.
At the compound, showers were a must, and most of us took one. We had goat for dinner with plantains, rice, beans and pumpkin cake made with a pumpkin we bought in the market the day before. After dinner we had our nightly devotional from Jack about the Great Commission and how we are called to go into all the world and serve. Finally we sang “This is the Day” in creole as a practice for leading it in church on Sunday. I pray that we continue to be open to Christ’s calling and the plans that He has for us and the people of Haiti in the coming days.