Bon Jou! I cannot believe that it is already Saturday! This week has flown by and thankfully Rhiana was able to get a post up the other day to catch up our readers. While the week was jam packed with meetings, baptisms, construction, school visits, and planning sessions . . . yesterday proved to be one of those days where we could have used another 10 hours of daylight.
Since we started this mission out with no internet and in some cases no power, I spent the early morning hours catching up on the business side of our organizations. Then, we had our daily strategic planning meeting over breakfast before breaking off to “officially” start the day. The girls did school while Rhiana and I sketched out more designs and layouts for the Maison micro-farm. I’m already boring you to tears with blah details of actual missionary life so I will skip the rest and move on to the more dramatic stuff.
One of the boys at the orphanage has been experiencing extreme discomfort in his abdomen. It was so painful to witness. A doctor was brought to the property and diagnosed it as a simple stomach ache. We knew that this was not the case as the boys here are resiliant to pain and a stomach ache wouldn’t bring this kid to tears. We reached out to some local friends to see if a medical team was in the area and comforted him as best as we could while we waited for a response. Gastin is almost 5 feet tall so I was the only one that could really craddle him, which I did during a major bout with pain. We called on the local pastor and nannies to come in and pray over him with us. It was an amazing moment when the boy finally fell asleep. Eventually, the executive descision was made by the orphanage to get him to an area hospital. This was amazing news even if his ride there was a moto. For anyone reading this who is unfamiliar, a moto is a dirt bike motorcycle that is used like a taxi in other countries. Remember when I said that these kids are resiliant? He climbed on, wrapped his arms around the driver and off they went. We are still waiting to here what the doctors say and will post an update as soon as we have one. We ask that you pray for Gastin.
Even in dealing with all of that, we were able to get a good bit of work done on theHarvest107 micro-farm project. We scoured the property and gathered up any discarded items that could be used for the project. We lucked out and salvaged some wooden shipping pallets that were left over from the 30 Abes food delivery. Those are being reconstructed into elevated platforms for peas, lettuce, and other vegetables. We also gathered up some cinder block, old paint cans, and baby formula tins to plant in. I found some PVC pipe that was not being used and am constructing different configurations which will provide more planting areas. While it doubles the work load, I am so happy that we are repurposing materials for these projects. Trash is still a huge problem here. It is, for lack of a better term, disgusting. We are working to change that as well as all of the other NGO’s on the ground here. One day this beautiful country will shine again.
As we headed back to our home base, I remembered that it was Halloween back in the states. I asked my favorite Haitian in the world, Franckis, if he would mind dropping me off at the grocery store so I could get the kids a treat. It is a simple life, but it’s an exciting one. Did you have shotgun yeilding gaurds greet you at the candy store? We did! It is no longer foreign to us, we are right where we are supposed to be. Proof of that is when we got home and received a call from some of our American friends that they were in the neighborhood and wanted to stop by and wait out the rain storm before making the almost 2 hour trek back home. We were so excited to see them! The house was buzzing with energy. We had our kids, their kids, and kids from the orphanage, all enjoying each others company. It was in that moment that I realized something significant. Our Pfamily has more friends here than back in Georgia and Tennessee. I don’t know if that is because what we do is so different and almost incomprehensible to most people back home or what. Either way, the girls (and us) got to have our own version of a Halloween party. Come to think of it, we are beginning to show a trend in how we spend this day. Last year, we spent Halloween in my truck traveling back from an event in Chicago. That sentence alone may sound depressing, but it turned out to be an awesome night. Even though that trip was centered around the girls seeing their favorite band play at The House of Blues, I felt like they still needed the chance to trick or treat. I randomly stopped off an exit and ran into Walgreens. I got back in the car and didn’t let them know what I had picked up. They asked and I said, “it’s personal.” That works every time! I drove another few exits and said, “Say trick or treat.” They both gave me stink face and went back to whatever they were playing. I asked them to say it again. This time, Clover said, “I’m not going to say that” and Gracie said, “Dad, quit being a freak!” That’s when I unleashed the fury and started launching little candy bars into the backseat. The look of total, innocent suprise was priceless. They gathered up the goodies and being the most amazing kids ever asked, “Can we eat one?” Rhiana and I laughed and said, “Of course! Eat them all!” We spent the rest of that drive telling jokes, inventing “tricks” you could play on someone for fun, and of course eating candy.
I will never forget that Halloween, nor will I forget the one we had yesterday. Different is good and I encourage more people to break out of the “norm” and live their life. Not the one as advertised by everyone else. You won’t regret it.
While most of our readers will be watching football and recovering from trick or treating, we are heading back up on the roof to continue the installation. I’m remaining positive that we will get everything done before we have to leave again. Our initial goal was to stay for 3 months, but we had to surrrender those plans for what was finanically feasible. The work serves a greater good and changes lives for the better so I am confident that it will recognized and supported tenfold as we progress. If you are in a place to support our Pfamily’s mission to provide aid without any hidden agendas, then please do so here. We really need some monthly supporters to keep us in the field. We are hoping to expand our programs in 2015 to make it possible for you to come work on a project with us.
Our final prayer request is for us tonight. It is All Saints Day which may mean a sleepless night for us. This holiday is a day for people to honor and remember those who have come before us and passed away. Some people here take that to extremes and many voodoo ceremonies will be taking place tonight. Pastor Peirre and I have discussed this and we both have vowed to stay up all night “fighting” in prayer if this is the case. We ask that you keep us in your thoughts, pray for Gastin’s recovery. Tonight is also the worldwide prayer for the persecuted if you feel called to participate.
Have fun out there!