Written by Dan Popma, member of The Way Church in Newton, IA. Insert by Christi Gabhart, MH4H Operations Manager.
Yesterday was a day of emotional overload for most of us. It can be difficult to understand, and see such beautiful people in spirit, with so very little. Last night I came across Proverbs 3:1-6 in my Bible reading. It gave me courage and comfort.
Our morning adventure was a tour of the Pignon market on market day. Wow, I have never seen anything like it. It was shoulder to shoulder with many venders. We did some shopping, including some extra supplies for some of the special needs we discovered yesterday. The ladies bought a skirt, top, and shoes for a lady that said she couldn’t go to church because she didn’t have church clothes. Beans were bought and delivered to others in need.At the market, the produce section. The market, some cabbage for sale. The animal section at the market. Chickens for sale at the market. More chickens for sale. The team purchased bags to deliver the beans to needy families. Delivering the beans to the needy families.
*Insert by Chrsiti Gabhart*
Friday afternoon the team had food to deliver to some families around the area. Ebens prayerfully planned where the team could be a blessing to families in need. At the first stop the team discovered an elderly woman in bed. Her family said she had not been out of bed for a month because she had been sick.
Friday evening after the evening meal the team was reflecting on the day and began to wonder if there would be more they could do to help the woman. The idea came up that we should bring her something very nutritious to eat because she really seemed weak and needed to gain her strength back. Someone suggested soup. We asked Beatrice and Evenie, our cooks, what kind of food would make a person strong after being sick. They had a recipe for soup that they thought would be the best thing. We wondered if there would be a place to buy the soup already made somewhere in Pignon. They said no, the only way would be to purchase the ingredients and make it.
We began thinking of other ideas but right away, Beatrice and Evenie said they would make the soup for the woman that was sick if there would be ingredients available. In no time the cooks brought a list of things that could be purchased at the Saturday market in Pignon. The Creole name of the soup… “Soup Malad”, translation…”Sick Soup”. 🙂
Saturday afternoon the ladies were busy cooking this wonderfully nutritious soup. At 5:00 PM Beatrice, Evenie and several team members went together to bring the “Sick Soup” to the sick woman. Evenie dished up some of the soup in a bowl and gave it to the woman. Without hesitation, the woman raised her hand, said “Mesi Bondye” (thank you God) and started eating. The team stood in amazement as she ate the soup as fast as she could. It seemed to be that she was literally starving.
We hesitate to say but the possibility is there that the family has not offered her food to eat. What if the family decided there wasn’t enough food to go around so the elderly woman was left out at meal time?
Beatrice and Evenie were troubled by the situation as well. They said we need to bring the woman food every day because she is so hungry and weak. They offered to keep cooking for her if we could provide the ingredients. How cool is it that these wonderful women are willing to give their time and energy! Bondye Bon, Toutan! God is good, all the time!
Hmmm, what if we call it ‘Meals on Wheels’? 🙂
*End insert by Christi GabhartBeatrice, Evenie, and the sick woman who has been bedridden for a month. The sick lady, devouring the soup that was made for her.
Some of us men spent the afternoon on a Many Hands home building project. We helped build the rafters for the home, wishing we had our power tools from home. No power, so all cuts had to be done with a handsaw and a machete. It was an adventure, but very rewarding!This is the house that MH4H is rebuilding. The husband passed away last year and the mother of 8 had no way to support her family. This is how they lay out trusses via strings. Putting the rafters together. Doug and Dan helping cut the wood. Mixing the cement by hand for the house. Dan, admiring his hard work of building trusses for this house. The family who will be the recipient of this house, with Burn, MH4H Construction Coordinator.
I can’t say enough about Craig and Christi and the entire Many Hands staff and driver. They are doing an amazing job of shepherding us through this amazing experience.
Please continue to pray for us and the great work God is doing here in Haiti. Tomorrow we get to go to church. We are excited!The team hanging out at the dorm enjoying some cold drinks.