Written by Catie Brand, member of MH4H team
Friday started with a delicious breakfast of pancakes and pineapple. Being here during the summer means terribly hot temperatures, but the tradeoff is all the fruit. There is nothing better than having a fresh pineapple or juicy mango picked from the tree. After breakfast, the team headed out to work on the cement floor of a house in the country. During the truck ride over, we passed a young boy on a cart that was pulled by a pair of oxen. That was a sight that I had not seen in Haiti before, and it was impressive to watch the boy direct the strong creatures along the extremely difficult roads. Little did we know that the boy was actually headed to our worksite. To complete the project, he made several trips up and down the hill with dirt, rocks, and water to help mix the concrete. Some of our group headed down to meet with the kids in the community and the other half stayed up to work at the house. The guys from our team used shovels and hoes to aid in this process, taking shifts while the Haitians worked tirelessly. The rest of us formed a bucket line, swinging the heavy cement from person to person and handing it off to be poured onto the rocky floor. It reminded me how many hands truly do make light work.
A favorite moment from working on the house was during a break time. Water had to be fetched to make more cement. We were standing in the shade trying to keep cool when a woman walked up the hill carrying six chairs—four on her head and two others—and set them in front of us. There were six of us and she gestured to sit down. We weren’t sure what to do. We didn’t need to sit down and almost felt back for doing so. But it was her way of showing us hospitality and saying thank you for completing the house. No words were needed. Her actions said it all.
Some of the group had headed back early to help with the Thrive for Five program. We finished the rest of the cement floor and met them back at the mission house. Cassidy and her family were there also, and we enjoyed hearing about the English class they had taught that morning. We were all able to share a meal together for lunch (with more mango) and shared with other team members our favorite parts of the morning.
During the hottest part of the day, we had a little down time to rest, read, or for most of us, play games. This is certainly a game-playing group. Whether we play cards, Farkle, or Head’s Up, the laughing and joy can be heard all around the compound. The team has gotten along so well, and we continue to make the most of every moment we are here. Around 2:30 we walked over a mile to Pella Christian School in Ba Savanette. It is in a beautiful location, and even though school was not in session today, we had quite the group awaiting our arrival. We played soccer, painted nails, took photos, blew bubbles, but the highlight was Perry bringing his guitar so we could sing songs with the kids. Woody led song after song in both Creole and English, and we praised Jesus together in a paradise-like setting.
I think all of us felt “full” from our afternoon at Pella Christian. Many of us got emotional during our sharing time after dinner. For some, it’s their first trip; for others, they’ve been here a time or two, and some of us are starting to think of Haiti as a second home. Yet, God has the ability to speak to all of us through our work here in Haiti. We bring our different stories from back home and become part of the Haitian story. As we sat on the roof to reflect, we were asked to pick a hypothetical chapter title for today. Mine was “Little Moments” because there were so many special details – a smile, a song, or even a chair—that helped write the story of God’s love.