Christi Gabhart serves in Haiti full-time as the US Lead of Ministry and Benevolence with her husband Craig, who is the Operations Officer in Haiti You can read her previous blog here.
God is ‘in the EVERYDAY of it! As you read this passage, speak aloud the second part of each verse…. His steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136: 1-16, 23-26 NIV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who place the earth among the waters. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights– His steadfast love endures forever.
the sun to rule the day, His steadfast love endures forever.
and the moon and stars to rule the night. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt. His steadfast love endures forever.
He brought Israel out of Egypt. His steadfast love endures forever.
He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea. His steadfast love endures forever.
He led Israel safely through, His steadfast love endures forever.
but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness. His steadfast love endures forever.
He remembered us in our weakness. His steadfast love endures forever.
He saved us from our enemies. His steadfast love endures forever.
He gives food to every living thing. His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven. His steadfast love endures forever.
God is in the EVERYDAY of it with us. No matter who you are, where you live, what you do…GOD IS THERE WITH YOU! His steadfast love endures forever.
The everyday may look different in your part of the world. I hope you can imagine a bit of the everyday that is experienced here at this time in Haiti’s challenging history.
Christmas time in Haiti is a time where those that practice VooDoo work to combat the celebrations of Christ’s birth. Since December 22, we have had ALL NIGHT voodoo ‘celebrations’ going on down the road from MH Campus. ALL NIGHT music each night.
This is a voodoo sacrifice area in a local cemetery (above).
This year it seems to be more so pre-recorded music rather than live drumming and singing. From the time it gets dark, which is about 5:30 PM at this time of year, to past 6:00 AM, the music ‘fills the air’. It is kind of odd what one can get used to. One night, I WOKE UP…when the music stopped for just a few minutes!!
There are people fleeing the city of Port au Prince because of the gang violence that continues. I saw on the road recently… a ‘moving van’… two OXEN with a cart!
Also during this time with the gas crisis, gas continues to be sold on the street out of plastic jugs rather than at the pump where the price can be stable, the term ‘Mache Nwa’ is used… Black Market. A recent sighting…a gas station with an estimated 50 vehicles and 200 motorcycles lined up, waiting, hoping to buy a few gallons of gas at a reasonable price. I think the waiting continues.
Currently on the ‘Black Market’, gas is almost $12 US per gallon. Because gas is so expensive, the people that provide transportation of goods and people for hire load their vehicles to the brim and overflowing. On a recent trip to Cap Haitien I would estimate seeing 15 vehicles broken down on the road with flat tires. TOO MUCH being carried on a road that really shouldn’t be called a ROAD.
And not just vehicles are overloaded… Motorcycles are pushing the limits terribly.
Yes, there is a motorcycle under all of this load. You can see the driver and only one passenger.
There are moments I could think, ‘this could be the most spectacular of circus entertainment or the most death defying feat of an Evil Knievel stunt’ BUT here it is in the everyday of it. Picture a motorcycle carrying a load of large sacks bursting at the seams, tied crossways on the seat, hanging low over the right and left and piled high. THEN a woman sitting on TOP of the load. Probably seated at the height of the motorcycle drivers shoulders. Just in the everyday of it.
Another spectacular moto feat… FIVE 55-gallon drums, granted they were empty, but the mass of it alone… one was lengthwise secured to the seat with 2 drums upright on the right and 2 on the left. I saw a public transport ’18 passenger’ van carrying four drums on its roof and that was a full load. On the road home from Cap Haitien there was a moto. The driver had a large piece of luggage balanced on the gas tank and handlebars in front of him, with 3 passengers each with some bags of their own AND a large suitcase tied behind the last person. And this also is on the road that really can’t be called a road. Three passengers plus the driver is the norm. The limits are being pushed even more. We are beginning to see four passengers plus the driver. More passengers bring more fare to pay the price of the ‘Black Market’ gas.
This road that can’t be called a road has the remains of one 18-wheeled semi and one gas tanker truck that have slid off the road down into the ravine below in the recent weeks.
EVERYTHING is more expensive including building materials. Another in the everyday of it sighting… a TIN CHURCH. I was with MH depot manager, Yves Garard at the time. He said, “Tol anle, tol anba. Bo midi li tankou yon fou!”… Tin on top, tin on the sides, by noon it would be like an oven inside!
The reason for the trip to Cap Haitien was to purchase supplies to stock the new MH school kitchen that will be in use after the Christmas holiday school vacation
Above is what we purchased for the school kitchen.
What is in the news concerning Haiti is always what’s reported from Port au Prince where nearly half of the Haitian population lives. I read an article that said the people aren’t living, they are trying to survive as they are essentially being held HOSTAGE in their own homes. The whole journey to Cap Haitien, there was no trouble, no sign of trouble. I can say the same for Hinche which is just 15 miles from Pignon as well as Mirebalais which is 2 hours south of Pignon. No trouble, no sign of trouble. We are still cautious.
While traveling, the thought that was in my mind… how could every person from Port au Prince just abandon the city and reside elsewhere because it seems many other places in the country desire to continue to try to LIVE and not be held hostage in their own land… DISSOLVE the city, leave the city to the gangs in the every day of it and move on. I am not looking for this to ever happen BUT with GOD nothing is impossible in the every day of it!
Many of the recipients have a relationship with Many Hands already. Two of the recipients have houses that were part of our Safe Homes building program. One is a mobility cart recipient. One food recipient HOPES to get a mobility cart. One was listening to an Audio Bible given by Many Hands.
Madam Richardson is pictured above with her audio bible. She says she can’t sleep without it.
Another recipient of the gift of food is an old man named Annidas, who in the past has made charcoal which he has sold to MH. Yves purchases charcoal that is used to cook the daily First Thousand Days and school meals. Yves has talked to Annidas on many occasions about accepting Jesus as his SAVIOR. During our visit, Yves again encouraged Annidas to come to know Jesus as his Savior. The response from Annidas was, ‘no, not now.’ We are in the everyday of it. Yves will speak with Annidas AGAIN. It is all God’s Plan. Below is Yves praying for Annidas, thanking God for providing!
Yves praying for Annidas.
Everyday there is beauty in the sea and the sky that surround this tropical island.
The country of Haiti is part of a beautiful tropical island BUT nothing is easy, nothing is convenient, and nothing is comfortable. There is MUD in the everyday of it half the year and there is intense DUST in the every day of it the other half of the year. One recent morning in our staff devotions the staff was encouraged in the everyday of it… “Take on the MUD with courage – put BOOTS on your feet – push your wheelbarrow with COURAGE!”
This pile of dust is the fine dust brushed off the screen door.
Just in the everyday of it!
More transportation trucks and busses have an expression adhered on the windshield. One truck windshield says, “Pa gen Kanara san deze”, “There is no Canaan, Promised Land, without the desert”. This is such a solid reminder that in the EVERYDAY of it, we will experience trials, challenges, and suffering. We must have time in the desert before we can experience “The Promised Land of Canaan!”
Remember to speak aloud… often…His steadfast love endures forever.
Wishing you a New Year filled with Blessings beyond measure. We hope you will await Part 2 of ‘In the Everyday of it’
Here is the group of supporting pastors who will continue to walk in step with these couples.