The Market Rewards team visiting Haiti from Spencer, IA is made up of both newcomers and old friends. The joys of such a team is in shared perspectives and relationships. The first-time visitors remind the “veterans” of the wonder of Haiti while the returning members can introduce the team to relationships that have been years in the making. Such is the case this week. Read below to see their experiences.
Click here to read the team’s previous blog.
Today we grabbed shovels and buckets, donned our work gloves and blessed two families with concrete floors. Kurt, Kim, Emily, Abby and Caitlyn Weeks went to one house, and the rest of the team went to a larger house. The Haitians mixed the gravel, cement and water, then we passed buckets like a fire brigade. Most of us aren’t used to that kind of physical labor, but we dug in and switched places when needed. Some ibuprofen may be needed later! The concrete floors are so necessary, keeping dirt and bacteria out of food that is sometimes stored on the floor. We always pray that the concrete will give the family a physical foundation, and be a reminder of the foundation we can have in Jesus Christ.
After a delicious lunch…and may I just say, if you haven’t been to Haiti because you’re worried about the food, you are missing out! The cooks, Beatrice and Evonne are fantastic! So, after lunch, we loaded up and headed out with food and gifts for some of the families with which our team has special connections. Calista made friends with a little girl, named Mozena, 10 years ago. Every trip, Calista brings food and gifts, and reminds Mozena that God loves her. Calista keeps a photo album with pictures of their hands together, and it’s a visual reminder of their relationship, as well as a “growth chart” of sorts.
Next we visited Elianne, another old friend. We gave her rice and beans, cooking oil, beef buillion cubes, spaghetti and soap. She is 70-80 years old, mostly deaf, has a bad foot, and is the happiest person I have ever met. She hugs and kisses every member of the team, and shouts to the skies, “Praise God for my visitors!” We prayed for her and her daughter, and at the end, she waved her arms enthusiastically, shouting “AMEN”! Our intent was to bless her, but I walked away feeling like I had received the blessing.
Lastly, we visited Jack-Nayson, a 4-year old being sponsored by the Weeks family. This was their first face-to-face meeting, and it was so fun to watch the introductions. Clothing, shoes, and toys were presented to Jack, as well as food for the family. We all prayed together, and it will be exciting to watch him, and their relationship, grow.
Establishing these very personal connections, makes the trip so meaningful. These are friends, even extended family, to us. To be able to give them food and pray for them, is why we’re here. But knowing that many of them are praying for us, too, is a blessing beyond my ability to describe.
Thank you for your continued prayers. We’re tired, but we’re healthy and safe. May God bless us all.