Submitted by Marcena Schwab who is currently in Haiti with the PFH/HELP team in Pignon. This is Marcena’s second time to Haiti.

Greetings from Pignon! It’s Tuesday evening, at the end of another day of work, fellowship, and blessings…flowing from us and to us.  Flexibility is key to any venture in Haiti, and the last couple days have required a fair amount of that. 

Marcena Painting at Rocky Mountain

On Monday, the plan was that part of the group would go to Pella Christian school to distribute gifts of school supplies and fellowship with the kids.  That part went fine.  The other group would go to Salt & Light school at La Belle Mere to take photos of sponsored children in the morning and paint in the afternoon.  That was Plan A.  But we learned that the river was too high for us to cross so we couldn’t go to Salt & Light.  We would go to Sonshine school instead, to do the same things.  That was Plan B.  We finally got to Sonshine (in a rented pickup with no suspension system and every light on the dashboard lit up) and realized that the computer program we needed to take photos of sponsored children was missing.  <Sigh>.  So…let’s go back to Meredith school (where we had painted a couple days before) and take photos of sponsored children there, and then come back to Sonshine in the afternoon to paint.  Ok, that was Plan C.  So we backtracked over the rough road to Meredith and finished our morning taking photos and handing out the Book of John booklets to each child, along with a bookmark.  That was fun!  It’s always fun being around the children.  Their favorite phrase (and maybe the only one they know) is “Give me a dollah”.  When we were done there, we loaded everything back

Pam Vermeer painting at school

into the pickup and drove back to Sonshine.  The gate was open, but the doors to the classrooms were all locked.  <Sigh>.  We had told the principal we would be back, but now we were locked out.  Were we doomed to going to Plan D?  We spread out our lunch of granola bars, trail mix, cheesy crackers and sour gummy worms for dessert, and each of us silently prayed for God to send the key for the locks.  Bev told God that He had five more minutes or we were leaving, and lo and behold!!!  The gatekeeper showed up four minutes later!  Woo-hoo!!!  We were able to get into all the classrooms and paint number lines, alphabet lines, multi-colored shapes and other stencils on the walls.  The chalkboards all got a new coat of paint, as well, so the teachers and students would be thrilled when they got to school the next day!  It 

all comes together in God’s timing!  It ended up being a day that we got a lot done, but it was all on Haitian time. 

 God is definitely here in Haiti, but that doesn’t mean that He has made things comfortable for His believers.  It is very difficult to live in Haiti, with many homes having dirt floors and walls made of sticks and mud.  People walk to get water, and carry it back in buckets on their heads.  Everyone on our team comments on the joy that they see in the Haitians that we come in contact with.  Has our society, with all of our advances, destroyed our joy and replaced it with hurried schedules, too much stuff to get done, and too much pressure to succeed?  I have not heard anyone on our team say, “I really miss my cell phone.”  We even commented that no one had the “end of the weekend blues”, when you know you have to go to work on Monday. 

 We’re all working hard, whether it’s working at the schools or making school desks at the compound to be delivered to the schools.  But we are having so much fun, getting to know each other, letting our vulnerabilities show, supporting each other as we wrestle with all those emotions that go along with serving on a mission trip.  We have time in the mornings and evenings to gather together and really commune with each other.  What a blessing it is to be a blessing to each other!  And we’ve had some rip-roaring games of Catch Phrase!  Next time you see Denny, ask him what the past tense of “tooth” is!

 Blessings to all of you that support the mission in Haiti.  Great things are happening, and your support is all-important to that.  See you in a few days!

 Marcena Schwab