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From market to mountaintop with rainbows and reminders:

Saturday is Market Day in Pignon! Picture a huge flea market and farmers market rolled together. With clothing and housewares, fresh fruits and vegetables, livestock, fresh bread and meat, all sitting out in the sun. You pass a stall with fresh spices and the aromas make your mouth water. The next stall has freshly butchered goat, complete with the skinned head, and the aromas make your eyes water. I’m exaggerating a little, but it is a very different way to buy groceries. Laundry soap is sold by the scoop from a big bowl. Rice and beans are scooped out of huge bags. And since many come to the market for the day, some stalls served food, prepared on site. Kind of like food row at the county fair. Kind of. It’s a great way to understand more of Haitian life, and interact with the people. It’s also a good reminder of how incredibly blessed we are, with huge, clean grocery stores, with none of the food being sold off the ground.

As we were leaving the market, we ran into a friend of Maren’s, a man named Dodo. He is a PET cart recipient, and Maren met him in 2014. They have kept in touch through Many Hands, and have prayed for each other since then. We heard he was getting baptized on Sunday, so we brought him a new set of church clothes. We’re going to attend the service tomorrow, and we’re very excited to watch his public profession of faith.
Next, we packed a picnic lunch and went to Basin Zim, a beautiful waterfall. Along the way, we drove over brand new stretches of road, one part actually had asphalt! Better roads will definitely make life in Haiti better, and it was a much smoother ride for the Iowans riding in the back of the tap-taps! Most of the team climbed up the mountain to see the waterfall from above, and found an area where they could escape the heat under a smaller falls. The cold water on the freshly sunburnt skin was breathtaking! As was the view. Due to recent rains, the foliage was thick and green, and the sunshine made rainbows in the water spray. In the midst of the sadness and poverty, God’s artistry and presence was in living color before us. Many local young men were waiting to earn a little money, and help with the climb up the steep mountain. Before we left, one of our helpers asked if we could pray as a group, and he led the prayer. It was a wonderful moment, at the end of a wonderful afternoon, with the reminder that we aren’t bringing God to Haiti. He is already here.
On a personal note…it’s less tragic than losing your passport, or your wedding ring, but it’s still pretty upsetting to lose your cell phone. Mine was not new or fancy, but I had just finished the 2-year contract, and now I’ll have to ask for everyone’s phone numbers again! First world problems, right? The tragic part is losing the pictures I’ve been taking here in Haiti. Several on our team are taking pictures, and I know they’ll share, but you know…it’s not the same. On the ride back from the waterfall, I quit crying about it, and tried to process it from a practical point of view. I’ll call my husband and have him contact Verizon to cancel the line. I lived for 34 years without one, I can survive another week. I have the means with which to get a new one. Ok. Not tragic. Then I wondered, would I have been as upset if I’d lost my Bible? I own several, all with sentimental attachment , but if I’m honest, I don’t know if I would have cried. Please forgive me, Lord. Thank you for this reminder of what to truly value.

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