Days 1 and 2 in Haiti:

Bon Jou! The sunsets from the roof of the new Many Hands for Haiti campus building are amazing! We just came down and God is fresh on my mind and heart from the visual experience. Our Lord is on the move in Haiti and it is a pleasure to visit this island nation with a group of people who are fast becoming dear friends.

Yesterday (7-22) we began our service by helping pour a concrete flour in the home of a sweet family. Many relatives were on hand to assist the hired help and the seven of us were used as a bucket brigade; we passed buckets of sand, gravel and concrete between the mixing sight and the home. Spirits were high and we had lots of fun. Later, we visited five Haitian homes to give parcels of food. Each home welcomed us with joy and shared conversation and prayer. We were blessed and we hope they were as well.

Gary’s newest friend

Another aspect of the joy for Ken and I has been spending time with our daughter Liz and meeting all the Haitians she now considers a part of her family here. Everywhere she has gone, we have met people she cares about and they have accepted us because of her. We are proud of her and her love for God and others.

Today was another fun one for our team. Remember the new campus building I spoke of earlier? Well, construction can be messy, and our group helped clean up in and around the agronomy training center which has been the hub for that project. The highlight of that event was the appearance of a tarantula whose slaughter produced an army of baby tarantulas to be dealt with. I am still thanking God that I was nowhere near to see this or I might not be sleeping tonight!!!

Later we divided into two teams: one worked on finishing up varnishing in the group housing while the other painted the front gate area. I believe our afternoon walk up the road into the Sylvan area was the favorite thing we did today. We walked with several of the Many Hands for Haiti workers to meet lots of the families who participate in its many programs. Little children came out to join us and our parade grew larger as we went on. I felt like Liz was the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Everyone in Haiti is so happy and friendly. It was such a fun experience dodging motorcycles and donkeys as we joined hands with our new friends and walked along.

Liz with three siblings from the neighborhood

We did a hospital visit after that to encourage an older woman who was recovering from a recent surgery. Seeing the medical facilities in this country was eye opening. We have been so richly blessed in the U.S.A. and should be especially thankful.

I would be remiss if I closed without mentioning the wonderful beet salad that was a hit at dinner tonight. We have two cooks named Evenie and Beatrice who cook up a storm and laugh and dance with us. They have been wonderful to us all on this trip.

Tomorrow is the traditional climb up Mt. Pignon, so this tired but happy traveler is going to bed. We have a 5 a.m. wake-up time and I do not want to miss a moment! Bon Voyage from Haiti. May the Lord bless you and keep you until we meet again.

Monica and Ken Clarke

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