This is written by Tim Wilson and Kris Van Gent, Central College students currently in Pignon, Haiti.
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Bonswa friends, family and supporters!
Day Three began as Kevin’s (the peacock) cries rang out over the compound. However, the sounds of the chickens, ducks, goats and peacocks don’t keep me up as much as they used to a couple days ago.
We woke up to a breakfast of French (Haiti) toast, mango, and white pineapple. On that note, I would like to add that the food here has been AMAZING! We have been blessed with great meals with dishes of rice and beans, beans and rice, spam, mango, pineapple, coleslaw, tomatoes, spiced chicken, tuna, Haitian beef stew, and many’s favorite: SPICY Peanut Butter (Kris will talk about this more later). Mix it all together and I am literally salivating thinking about it. The cooks are Haitians who have also done some of our laundry. Great people to have around!Creole lesson, courtesy of Tim and Kris. Click to view.
One constant thing on this trip besides God has been our ability to be flexible and patient. This was again the case this morning as we had originally planned to help build a couple of houses for people in a nearby community who currently don’t have a house until we found out that the building site was not ready. One of the families was a couple whose house was washed away in a recent flood while the other is a widow who also doesn’t have a house. At our morning devotionals, which have been a great way to get focused for the day, the video series today talked about the disparity between the poor and rich. This is something that I never would have thought of by myself, but it is highly relevant here. Something that we tried today was to choose a notecard, which had the challenge on the back. For example, mine was to pray that God’s name would come to wherever we were every time God was mentioned. That was very encouraging to me throughout the day as it helped me feel God’s presence more throughout the day.Ebens and his mother.
With the building sites not ready, we went on a tour of Pignon. With Ebans as our guide, we went to places such as Ebans’ house, the river, and the catholic church. Then, we went to a nearby school which was built by Pella Christian. We started with a tour of every classroom, where the children welcomed us with a greeting and a song. We, in return, sang the only Creole song we know, Bondye si bon along with other English songs such as Amazing Grace and Jesus Loves Me. After making it through all the rooms, Kris and I helped act out the story of David and Goliath with the help of some of the kids.Kris organizing a soccer shoot-out game.
Afterwards, we broke out the bubbles, soccer balls, Frisbees, and smiles. One of the coolest things for me throughout this whole trip has been the opportunity to play with kids and try out my limited Creole in the process. Even more enjoyable, though, has been the opportunity to see everyone else play with the kids as I have honestly seen God through every member of the group. Whether they are playing follow the leader or organizing a game of soccer, everyone has been great.
Also, as an FYI, there is a Haiti Photo calendar that will be coming out courtesy of us, the Mission Trip Men, that we started working on today. With action shots of life in Haiti, from catching mosquitos to sunscreening up, you WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!
Keep up the prayers, they mean a lot. A fellow soldier in the war,
I begin the blogging process to tonight in unbelievable thanksgiving. I have been blown away by God and my fellow group members many times already during this trip. I will help my fellow mission-bro, Tim, finish out the recap of today as he covered everything up till lunch. Speaking of lunch, WOW! The Haitian ladies Many Hands has hired for taking care of our meals are incredible. Let’s just say the suitcase pocket I packed full of Cliff bars has hardly been touched. There is a new level of freshness to the food here, the chicken we ate today could very well have been the same one we nearly ran over on our way back into the compound yesterday. And to top it off a simple “Mesi” (thank-you) as we turn in our cleaned plates they turn back a heart-warming ‘Pade qua” ( Pad-a-kwa, your welcome).Woodson – of the Woodson and Fransley duo.
After lunch I experience the best afternoon I have had yet in Haiti. It started with a simple game of Up Jenkins with two local Haitians, Fransley and Woodson against Tim and I. A fairly new game to them and myself it is simple but brought tons of joy. I can tell during the game this is a rare opportunity of care free fun for them. Before I knew it I was overwhelmed the with contagious joy of their smiles and nearly the whole mission team was enjoying their company. My relationship continued to grow with these two Haitians throughout the day. We had a truck ride ( by truck ride, I mean siting 10 people in the back of the truck traveling 5 miles on less than level B roads for half an hour!) to the nearby school for our next project. As a group we were able to ask Fransley questions about life, culture, and his relationship with God. He is a ball of fun, and great at English-thank goodness. At the school we teamed up with the Haitians hired by Many Hands and some locals to paint the inside and outside of a school building. We finished right as the dark clouds brought in a light rain which turned to a harsh down pour as we walked back into the compound. As some sat on the porch and enjoyed being dry, others spent time under the rain as God watered the earth. It also reminded me of all the self-constructed, hole ridden Haitian homes that are were probably sopping wet. It is yet another problem I mostly will never have to deal with back home.
As the night moved on, we had supper and enjoyed yet another night of fellowship and discussion among each other. This group has been absolutely fantastic. They are open, joyful, and motivated by Jesus. Bottom line, Relationships are the thing I have enjoyed most in life, and the aspect of this trip this trip I am loving. I hope to continue to grow these relationships with the Haitians and look forward to having lasting relationships with the other members of this team.
There is so much more I could say about today and the whole trip, but my words would not compare to the things God as accomplished through us and others in Haiti.
God put us on this world in the companies of others and in the presence of Him, therefore we are never truly alone, and I thank Him for that. Thank you all for your prayers and blessing.
-In Christ’s name-
Kris Van GentSinging for the kids at Pella Christian School Lots of joy and laughter playing with the kids at the Pella Christian School