It made me wonder how many connections Many Hands representatives have made over the years. How can we begin to count the number of lives that have been touched and improved because of the work God is doing through Many Hands?
On Friday the team was helping with a concrete floor. Throughout the morning, we had seen a few women going back and forth from the house to a water source somewhere, coming back with jugs on their heads full of water for the concrete. I decided to go with the women so I could get a feel for how far they had to go each time. We followed a winding foot path down a hill and through the weeds to a watering hole. They filled their water jugs with the brown water, then helped each other get the jugs onto their heads, placing a wound up towel between the heavy jug and their head. I’ve always been curious to try the “balance it on your head” method, but have never asked anyone to show me. I wasn’t going to try it going back up that hill, that’s for sure. So I carried one of the jugs in the conventional way, but had to stop halfway up the hill to catch my breath. We were chuckling together about my lack of stamina. We finished the climb and walked back to the house to deposit the water.
Before they dumped the final (smaller) jug into the barrel, I motioned that I wanted to try carrying it on my head. I think they thought that was kind of crazy, but they played along. We placed a handkerchief on my head as a cushion, then they raised the jug up over my head. Honestly, given that they start doing this at the age of about three or four, I can now understand why that is their preferred method of carrying. Certainly it didn’t work well for me, but I’m a bit past the optimal age for learning something like that. I used one hand to balance it, and walked around a bit. The water that splashed over me from the jug did feel very refreshing, but I don’t think I was supposed to spill that much. A few of my teammates tried it as well, and it was a great time of fellowship with the Haitian ladies, and a way to share laughs even with the language barrier.
As an employee of Many Hands, I get the privilege of working for the good of the Haitians in our program every day. I simply cannot overstate the level of satisfaction I get from my job. There are things I know without a doubt: children are healthier and learning better at a young age, which will make them better learners for the rest of their lives; parents are better equipped to provide for their families; lives have been saved with basic medical care that we take for granted in the States; short-term team members’ lives have been changed by spending a week at our campus in Haiti; hundreds of Haitians have given their lives to Christ and will be with us in heaven for eternity. I work with self-sacrificing people every day that are listening for God’s will if every decision that is made in the organization. What a God we serve! It’s incomprehensible that He would grant such a gift to us to be able to be used in this way.