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Fruits of our labors 

Another sunny day in Haiti! We loaded up the trucks with shovels and buckets and headed to a nursery. We picked up dozens of saplings that will grow into mango, papaya, cashew, coconut and citron trees. Families who participate in the First Thousand Days Program (aka PMJ – Premye Mil Jou) are eligible to receive these trees. We planted ten trees at 5 houses, which was hot and buggy work, but thanks the rains last night, the ground was easy to dig up! The papaya trees will be mature enough to bear fruit in just 6 months, and feed their family for years! We prayed at each house that the trees would mature and bear fruit, and that the families would see God’s hand right there in their backyards.

A second coat of paint for the trim was needed at the new school, so the team finished that project this afternoon. Many hands donated money, supplies, and labor to Many Hands to see this project to completion. It’s exciting to think of the students that will be using that building this fall!

We loaded the trucks with treats and toys and went to visit our good friend, Pastor Francois. He heads a church, a school and an orphanage in Pignon. He is always so gracious to receive us in his home, and share his thoughts and wisdom. Then we played with the kids! Carol blew bubbles. Maddie painted little girls’ fingernails. Mike played ball. Clayton played tic-tac-toe. Karmen and Calista twirled the jump rope. Christi rode her unicycle! And the kids laughed and played and hugged and smiled for all the cell phones cameras! Curt and Mike had little ones fall asleep in their arms. It might have been the happiest hour of the week.
Tonight at supper, we admitted that we’re tired and sore. We’re a little homesick, and looking forward to heading home soon. Most of us have done more physical labor than we’re used to, and since several of us do qualify for AARP benefits, it’s no surprise that we’re a little tuckered out.

But I know why. Because our bodies are sore and tired, we’re ready to get back home. Back to our normal schedules, our Sealy Posturpedics, and our familiar surroundings. If our backs weren’t sore, if our knees weren’t stiff, our hearts couldn’t bear the leaving. To visit Haiti is to love the Haitians. In addition to fresh paint and new trees, we’ll leave behind pieces of our hearts.

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