Written by Matthew Rossler, Tyler De Bruin, and Lauren Peters, on Friday January 9, 2015
We started off the day by splitting up into two groups. All of the women plus Steve Rossler went to a women’s ministry on a fellow MH4H worker’s land. Appolon is the name of the man whose land it takes place. Tyler, Keith and I (Matthew) went to CBP farm to unload boxes of Meals From the Heartland. Because I have packaged those meals before in the U.S. it was so incredible to be on the other end and help be apart of the distribution. We unloaded each box from a big shipping crate and made piles outside on the grass. Each organization and school in the surrounding area of Pignon got anywhere from 15 to 40 boxes of meals. Someone from each organization came to pick up their allotted amount of boxes, which we helped load into their trucks. The joy that the meals brought was palpable.The boxes of meals in the MH4H container.
As Matthew and I (Tyler) took a short break in unloading the boxes, a young woman by the name of Mathawitch Remy approached Matthew. She gestured to Matthew to raise his hands up, and proceeded to teach him a classic Haitian hand slapping game. After we quickly caught on to that game, she challenged us even more with different versions of patty cake. Lastly, she taught us several different games with rocks. One similar to tic tac toe was named se-tato. It was amazing to see the joy she got from such simple games. It truly was a great experience for the both of us.
After a lunch with the women’s ministries ladies and buying goods from the market ladies that Lauren will talk about later, we split up into two different groups again. The boys (Keith, Steve, Tyler, Matthew) ventured into downtown Pignon to buy a Coke while the women ventured to the Sewing Hope program site. Once we trekked into town, we soon realized that us blancs (Americans) would be taken advantage of. The first woman demanded $5 for one Coke! We walked away and soon bumped into pastor Pierre, a local to Pignon who helped us negotiate a more fair transaction. After this we ran into more local Haitian boys and explored the river and a rum factory. The conversations we have with these Haitians are such a blessing. It is so eye opening to get to know these people and their culture. Leaving them behind will be no easy task.
Lastly we wrapped up the day with watching the Lion King back at Appolon with neighborhood children, and the turn out was great. All the people watching thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and we sang songs on the walk back to the compound accompanied by a beautiful canvas of stars.
As mentioned earlier, we split into two groups in the morning. All the women and Steve Rossler went to the women’s ministry on Appolon’s land. There we began with some songs sung by the Haitian women. It was very moving to listen and watch the women sing. They had so much passion and emotion while they praised the Lord. Then Lucia with the translating help of Appolon gave a message to the group of women. She talked about how everyone has a hole in their heart and that hole can only be filled by the love of Jesus. Then we handed out little paper hearts to all the women and gave them time to think about what they try to fill their heart with. After all 54 women shared what they were filling their hearts with they ripped the paper hearts in half to symbolize the forgiveness God provides. The Lord’s presence was very apparent when this activity took place. Afterwards, we ate a delicious meal prepared by the people of the women’s ministry.
That afternoon many of the women of the group went into Pignon to attend a meeting of Sewing Hope. This group is meant to empower women and give them skills in order to provide for their families. They attend sewing sessions for 3 months and then graduate with the privilege to come back and use the machines of the facility. Here Lucia talked to them about a women’s heart and how everyone has an empty spot that can only be filled by Jesus’ love.
Also this afternoon we attended the market to buy some wonderful Haitian souvenirs. They had necklaces, pots, art, bookmarks, metal work, and even machetes. The women were very persistent to have you look at their goods that they were selling and it was slightly overwhelming. However, it was definitely a good experience to barter with the women, giving us a great opportunity to interact with the Haitian people.
Overall it was a very productive day with the Lord being very present and we all can’t wait for the rest of the week’s activities.