Bonswa brothers and sisters,

Today was a very tiring day in Haiti! Our day began at 4:30-4:45 AM when we prepared to leave the dorm to head to the bottom of Pignon mountain. Our plan for the morning was to climb Pignon mountain to see the beautiful sun rise over the mountain and illuminate the plains between the surrounding mountains. Our hike began roughly around 5 AM when we met up with our friends Woodson and Fransley, two Pignon teenagers. And so our hike began! It was much more of a workout than I think most of us were expecting, especially while wearing jeans and long sleeved clothes to protect us from the overgrown vegetation on the mountain. We finally reached the top of the mountain about 5 minutes before the sun rose. We found ourselves standing in awe at God’s creation laid out before us. I thought it was interesting that even Woodson and Fransley stood still admiring the view, like it was their first time seeing it, even though they had climbed the mountain too many times to count. Placed at the top of the mountain was a small cement hut that held machinery for the radio towers for the surrounding towns, which gave us an even better vantage point to view the beautiful sunrise.

The mountain climbing team

Slowly, the sun crept over the mountain, and we all sat in awe. This week, we had a conversation that revolved around God making every sunrise unique and perfect. I think viewing a sunrise on the top of a mountain really allowed that to sink in for all of us in the sense that we were viewing a perfectly made gift from God that would never be recreated again in the same way. How awesome is that! Once the sun had fully broke free from behind the mountain, we did our daily devotions on top of the same hut, and then we just spent a little bit of time talking and spending time with each other. Then came the descent! I felt that this was possibly my favorite part of the hike besides the sunrise because we really got to see Woodson and Fransley’s personalities come out! We played music on a speaker as we walked, and the two boys were dancing and laughing at the rest of us that weren’t as rhythmically coordinated as they are! It was so much fun, so I was slightly sad when we reached the bottom of the mountain.

Next, we traveled back to the dorm to eat breakfast and prepare for a trip to the market. I was apprehensive about the market because I didn’t want people pulling and shoving me, also I really had no idea what to expect when I got there! When we reached the market, I’m sure my face looked like I had seen a ghost. Christi and Craig had warned us that there would be a lot of people everywhere, but that didn’t even begin to cover what we saw. For as far as I could see, huts, tarps, and Haitians filled every nook and cranny. This was the first time in a very long time that I felt helpless. People with wheel barrows were trying to push through the streets from both directions, so I often had no where to go, but us stopping in the middle of the street only backed up more people which created more tension. The Haitians were trying to tell us what to do but we could not understand them, which made me feel helpless. Many unusual sights were also seen at the market, which made the trip even better. People sat on the ground with their goods piled around them, meat lay uncovered in the hot sun, and full pigs were butchered on the spot. All in all, the market was a great visit! It is so different than anything we get to see in the US, so I was enthralled.

Spices at the market

As we were coming down the mountain, we saw a family living in a small hut near the bottom of the mountain. Fransley talked with the father of the household and found out that he had been a witch doctor, but recently found Christ and was attempting to become a pastor. We wanted to encourage him and his family to keep striving to follow Christ, so we wanted to do something special for them. While we were in the market, we bought food and walked back up the mountain to deliver it to their home. The mother and father were gone collecting water and washing clothes in the river, so we prayed with the kids and left a message with them for the parents. This was really cool because the parents didn’t need to thank us for the food, but instead they could thank God for the food he had provided.

Note left at the family’s house which says, “God can provide for you.” The food left at the house The team leaving the food at the house

At this point, I’m sure you can imagine, we were all extremely tired and ready to relax, but our work wasn’t finished! Our next project was to go to the Many Hands office to unload a large order of food that will be distributed to needy families by the the next group that stays with Craig and Christi that arrive the day we leave, on the 31st. We were all very fatigued, so we had to get each other pumped up again for one last job! By working together, we made the job get done relatively quickly, which was a great feeling!

Unloading the rice and beans to be distributed next week

Finally, our work for the day was done, but we soon realized we hadn’t had any food for lunch yet. By Craig’s suggestion, we ate at a local restaurant that was literally made in someone’s house. The food was great, and it gave us a great opportunity to spend time together to talk about our day.

Lunch after a hard days work

The rest of the day consisted of painting chairs and stools for the dorm and just relaxing! I think the best part about today was the lesson we all learned which was that when we think we can’t do one more thing, if God is willing, he will give you the strength to keep going! And how amazing is that!

Na we pita,
Taylor Anderson