Written by Liz Clarke, Mango Tree store manager currently serving in Haiti for the month of January

So, another week has flown by in the land of Pignon, Haiti. I’m technically living in La Coste, which is essentially a suburb of Pignon, but it can sometimes be hard to tell when one city/village ends and another begins. At least for me. The Haitians don’t seem to have any trouble navigating their territory!

It’s peaceful out here on the edge of the city, but there does seem to be a LOT more donkeys, dogs, roosters, and other noises out here than there are in town. Without fail at 9:00 pm (and other odd hours of the night/morning) the dogs start barking and will go on for quite awhile. Depending on the night they bark anywhere from 15 min to 45 min. Woof! Your prayers for Patience and Peace have been answered as no dogs yet have met their demise by my hand, despite the incessant barking! *wink* As well, the rest of the 5 P’s we asked you all to pray for in last weeks blog have been popping up in fun ways all week!

Last Friday we all took a motorcycle ride into the countryside. Beautiful views brought us to this amazing swinging bridge!

Motor cycle rides!

Our journey to and from was so peaceful and as we climbed hills and coasted into valleys. The luscious scenery prompted me to ask Burns, my co-worker and trusted motorcycle chauffeur, “Is all of Haiti this beautiful?”
His simple and sure response, “yes”, also carried an “isn’t it obvious” tone, which left me feeling idiotically awestruck. Well, of course all of the Haitian vegetation is gorgeous, that’s how God created it to be! However, the overwhelming poverty that allows for the horrendous living conditions, rampant disease, and lack of education isn’t as beautiful. Regardless, I couldn’t stop thinking that I would be willing to give up endless amounts of frivolous amenities to live in this tropical paradise.

But maybe that’s just the “loves to be outdoors, needs copious amounts of vitamin D to feel good, could live off of coconut, avocados, mango, & rice and beans” side of me talking. Let’s hear from the “it seems like everything is filthy no matter how much I wash it, can’t sleep because the dogs, donkey’s and roosters are at it again, and my guts haven’t been quite right the entire time I’ve been here” side. Insert Perseverance here. God gives us strength to get through each moment of each day, no matter were we are. And guess what? Even though we won’t always feel or recognize it, as we keep plugging along in obedience, we’re actually gaining strength!

The swinging bridge over a ravine Liz in the Mango Tree The views of Haiti are gorgeous.

 

Cut to Saturday morning; enter, Persistence. Christi and I braved the mountain again, this time alone! Despite being wrecked the first time I tackled this beast, I vowed to continue climbing it once a week until my departure. Three weeks in, I’m meeting my goal and looking forward to finishing strong! A neighbor girl and friend Sankara, has never climbed it before and she has said she would like to join us on our last hike! Thank you Lord for budding relationships and opportunities to build them 🙂

Liz and her new girlfriends, including Sankara.
Liz and Christi on top of the mountain

Liz and Christi on top of the mountain

Liz buying ingredients at the Market.

Sunday we enjoyed a group meal with the MH4H Staff. Just as Christ pursues us, we felt led to Pursuit of a team building activity where we could share a meal (including cake), let the guys know that they are important to us, and also allowed Craig, Christi, and I an opportunity to try our hand at some in depth Haitian style cooking! It was fun, but probably won’t be happening again. See photo below to understand why!

Craig cooking up the food The team enjoying the meal together The mess we left afterwards that we cleaned up.

 

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning we said goodbye to Sara. We will surely miss her and are so thankful for God’s Provision in the role that she will fill with Many Hands. She is a wonderful addition to the team! Later the same day, we were blessed with another Provision of 9 mattresses! We were especially excited that we got them in Pignon and were able to “shop local”. We feel that it’s just as important to our community here as it is back home to do what we can for our neighbors.

Sara Anderson, the newest addition to the MH4H team! Mattresses – Score!

We Thank God too this week for His Protection throughout. No major illness, injury, or the like has affected us.
Thank you again friends for your prayers and please continue to pray for us as we navigate life in Haiti, one step at a time. As God continues to Provide strength for Patience, Persistence, Perseverance, and continues to Pursue us even though we are imPerfect 🙂

Classic Liz, eating a stale and chewing Casava.
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