The Haven team was thrown for a loop when their own plans fell through. This didn’t stop the group from going with the flow and opening their hearts to everything God had in store for them in that moment. By doing so, they discovered the blessing in the unexpected waiting.
Click here to read the team’s previous blog.
Saturday February 15 2020
There is a phrase you hear often here in Haiti : “Degaje” which in English is translated “make do”…and with an American spin we say, “go with the flow”.
Today was a day where God said to us…”Degaje” and I’m so incredibly thankful He did.
Rebecca and “her men” (shown below…she was clearly the photographer!) got up bright and early to hike Mount Pignon. It was an adventure for them for sure! A difficult hike that challenged them physically but also provided some amazing moments to gaze on the beauty that is the landscape of Haiti.
Abby, Lady and myself stayed back to prepare breakfast (our cooks have the meal “off” so they are able to head to the market to purchase the supplies needed for another week here on campus)..or let’s face it…we took full advantage of a few extra hours of sleep 🙂
After our meal we headed out to the Saturday market – a much different scene than the one we witnessed on Thursday. Saturday is the main market day and with culture guides and our MH4H staff to guide and protect us we headed off to experience something none of us could forget. As you can see in the picture below, the market is extremely busy and packed full of vendors selling everything from animals (pigs, goats, donkeys) to nail polish, hair supplies, shoes and clothing – to fruits, vegetables, starches and raw meat. You have to stick together and as you try to not lose the person in front of you, you gaze out and see evidence of a culture that is so completely foreign to us.
For many of the vendors in the market, this is their one and only opportunity throughout the week to make a wage to support their family. For many, their product is one of probably 50 others that is being sold. I wonder how many of them will return home with nearly the same about of product they came with. As a team we reflected on the experience as one that made most of us uncomfortable. We were so thankful for the opportunity to see the heart of the “economy” of Haiti, but it there were moments of feeling completely out of place (both in skin color and height for some) but also the gravity of the poverty was shown in the amount of waste lurking all around the market and the desperate need for so many to try and make just enough to survive this coming week.
We returned from the market hot and sweaty and ready for a small meal. We then prepared to leave campus again for a tour of the bottling factory that was located in Savanette (a town just north of Pignon)
It was on this adventure that God clearly said “Degaje.”
We arrived to the water bottle building to find it locked and the contact person not sure when the person with the key was going to return.
For a bit we stood around the truck waiting to see if our key would emerge…and as we stood (as is typical when white people are around) a crowd of kids began to form. They didn’t seem as approachable as some of the kids we have seen at the Many Hands campus or around Pignon – they were definitely more reserved. We had a few moments of staring at them and them at us and we honestly weren’t sure how to break the awkwardness of the moments.
We looked across the street from where we were standing and saw what looked like a play area…it had a few basketball rings and a gazebo and large concrete pad where a few kids were running around. We asked Micah if it would be okay to walk over there and check it out and she agreed we could.
It was that moment that our day took the turn that could have only been orchestrated by God.
For the next two hours we engaged with the local people in a way that was unplanned, stretched us out of our comfort zones, and blessed us in a way many of us will say was one of the greatest impacts of our trip.
Thanks to Clay and Nick’s bravery (and their apparent need for a haircut!), and our continued waiting on the key to the bottle factory, we got 2 unexpected hours of fellowship with kids, teens, and adults from the community.
See there was this barber shop right next to the recreation area and both Clay and Nick decided it would be a fun experience to get their haircut in Haiti! We were clearly on “Haiti time” as their barber took great care (and time!) to trim them both up…this was no Great Clips folks!
But it was in these moments of unexpected waiting that we were able to meet people, interact with them, learn about their lives, and sing and laugh together.
Degaje – may we live like this more…thank you God for Haiti and for the many people we met today. You know each of them by name…they are Yours.