Pastor Jeff Gargano shares his final thoughts and insights on the Tarrytown team’s week in Pignon.
“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life”
They are ubiquitous in Haiti, but then again … not really because there aren’t nearly enough. Wells that is. Water. For cooking, cleaning, growing, grooming. Up and down the road there they are, often with a line two or three deep, usually women and girls, priming the pump, filling their buckets, lifting them to their heads, and walking home along a pocked road, eluding trucks and motorcycles and donkeys. Trudging home… to cook, clean, grow or groom. I wonder how many times a day a mom or a daughter repeats this effort. How many times are they sent back to the well? How much time every day does it take for something so taken for granted in my world. You know, lift the handle, out it comes. Turn the knob, wait for the heat, step into the shower. Or flush the toilet, or water the lawn, or wash the car.
I wonder how many gallons of this precious resource we have drunk this week? It’s hot in Haiti. And dusty. And the work is hard … mixing cement, carrying 50 pound pails of the stuff, digging up banana trees, and planting them again in a home garden. It maybe doesn’t sound so, but try it sometime… sliding a shovel into a heap of rock, digging in earth baked by an unrelenting sun, six or seven hours in that same relentlessness. We sweated gallons of water, and were replenished by many more gallons.
And while the importance and value of this resource cannot in anyway be minimized, this is actually not the water I want to talk about. No, I want to talk about Living Water. I want to talk about how Jesus took nine unsuspecting teens, and an even more clueless pastor, and served them up a huge draught of the real thing this past week. It isn’t everyday unfortunately, that we are so attuned to the work of the Spirit that we recognize that aching back, those sore feet and blistered hands and parched lips are the external indicators of Jesus working in your life. Maybe it was praying ceaselessly. Maybe it was singing out of tune. Maybe it was the gracious hospitality extended to us. Who knows how God makes things come together? He just does!
We finished our work and learning today. Over the last two days we visited perhaps the most important and dramatic historic site in Haiti, called the Citadelle, completed a concrete floor in one home, and filled five home gardens with five banana trees each.
Drive through breakfast in Don Don The Citadelle
The boys are smitten with the statue of the goddess Having lunch at the Citadelle Owen digging holes for Banann trees Neighbor kids helping with Banann trees The group that planted Banann trees Just driving around the neighborhood
Almost too exhausted to talk anymore we just kind of sat together tonight appreciating the way that God has used us … to love those we’ve met, to love each other, and to experience His love. It’s funny how you get offered that glass of Living Water when you didn’t expect it. It’s remarkable how it gushes into meaning and purpose and life.
Here’s another one …
“They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season”.
That’s how this clueless pastor thinks of those nine unsuspecting young adults. All the while Jesus was filling them with Living Water, they yielded fruit… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and yes … even self-control.
We are so thankful to God for the ways He has worked in our spirits. And thankful too, to Christi and Craig, and the amazing team with Many Hands for Haiti. We pray God’s richest blessings on your lives and your ministries.