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07 August 2009

Haiti Day 4

Haiti Day 4

We said goodbye to the group from North Carolina as they left to return home around 6:30 or so. Gonna miss them.

Dave and Tom and I talked about praying over voodoo temples/houses before we left for the village of Titanyen (pronounced "TEE-ty-an" and means "less than nothing" -- dead bodies from Port au Prince were delivered to this village in past times. I'm going to have to dig into this history a bit). Friday is market day in Titanyen, but today we'd be walking around village instead of driving through it (as we did in Cabaret yesterday).

JR, our interpreter, took us past people selling canned goods, shoes, and hundreds of other things (the smoked fish was the first "Wow" thing for me, because I can't imagine buying open-air fish in 90-100-degree heat with dust swirling all around, to take home and eat), while wheelbarrows filled with live chickens were wheeled past us and people walked by with their wares balanced on their heads. It was all pretty unusual. Definitely not the mall. 

JR led us down a side road where we were stopped by a group of guys who wanted sponsorship for a soccer (football) team: balls and shirts. We (well, mostly Sarah) talked to them via JR and after they asked us if we could show up for a game. Not sure whether or not we'll do that, but the games we'd be most likely to make are on Monday at 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Ot would be in the village. To be quite honest, I thought they were a gang trying to extort something from the white people; obvious "not from
around here" types. (But I was wrong. They came by the mission around 4:30 today and picked up a soccer ball that Sarah had said the mission would supply.) 

We walked further and JR took us to the home of an elderly lady, "Madame Chief," who lovingly embraced JR and Sarah and then each one of our team. She loves the Lord. Her neighbor (Angeline) was an elderly lady in a wheelchair, sitting in her front door on the adjoined porch. I had the privilege of praying for/with her, that God would give her joy, strength, and physical healing.

Before we left, Julia prayed with Madame Chief, for her son to be able to find work, for blessings, etc. As we exited her house, a man from across the way stepped into our path and knelt down in front of us. Tom and I both turned to JR to ask for his help in translation. JR approached and asked the man what he needed. After an exchange, JR looked at us and said, "He wants to save." He wanted to be "saved". Tom and Dave talked to the man through JR. Tom asked what he wanted to be saved from (to start with a frame of reference -- not to be anal), and Dave asked if he knew anything about Jesus. So, starting from the ground floor, Dave and Tom took the man, named Ricardo, though the story of creation and redemption. The man resolutely wanted to follow Christ, and they led the man in prayer for salvation. The mission will be following up with a Bible and in discipling him.

In the meantime I'd met a 16-year old named Jean Louis, with whom I'll be hooking up on Facebook. His English was excellent. I'll have to say something at some point about my horrible attempts at Creole, which seems to be an offshoot of French. 

We continued through the market area and the village, noticing vendors who were selling some very cool jeans, and right next to them some vendors who were taking a meat cleaver to a freshly-killed (?) and skinned goat. The goat skin was in a pile next to the table. That area didn't smell good.

After walking around the village for a while, we went to eat lunch down the road at Gwo Papa Poul (Big Daddy Chicken) in the village of Source Mayle (pronounced "soo-SMAHT-la" and means "source of water").  

Side note: restaurants sell both Coca-Cola and Pepsi products. Both are bottled at the same place! Every soda seems to be served in a glass bottle, which is odd because so many plastic bottles litter the streets and garbage areas.

After eating, we headed to a village outside of Cabaret to go on what's called "The River Walk." I'm not sure I can describe this well enough. We went to walk on a path around a river -- maybe a couple of miles. Kids play in the river, animals go poo in it, people wash their clothes in it, and I think some people may drink from it. It's shetered by a beautiful, lush vegetation and crops that the locals plant. 

We started the walk and rather quickly a couple of children ran up and grabbed Julia's and Sarah's hands, then Dave's and Tom's and mine. Maybe JR's, too, but I can't recall. We walked through wooded areas with mango trees, banana trees, polo trees, and other vegetation. Along the course of the walk, we picked up probably 30 children who joined us walking. It seems the mission groups that go on this walk usually take candy to give the kids, something that we forgot. I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to do this for them, but when we got back to the truck, JR began to hand out lollipops.

By the way, Sarah the Haitian Expert says, "Kids here like to lick white people for some reason." That helped make a little sense of the day.

Everyone crashed after we got back from the walk except for me, so I was able to walk down to the front entrance with JR to take the aforementioned soccer ball to the guys from Titanyen who'd shown up to get it. While we were near the mission's orphanage, JR gave me a short tour and I got to hang out briefly and take some photos of the rooms and the courtyard.

Tonight is movie night at the orphanage! I noted with interest that even out here in a rather desolate area with very, very little technology, there were no adults setting up the projector. 10-12 year old boys handled all the tech stuff. They show movies on the outside wall of the orphanage.

Off to try to get some sleep. Hopefully I can quickly summarize the adjustment to sleeping here. It's just hot and humid with no air conditioning. Sleeping in a pool of sweat just takes a little getting used to. Not bad at all. Even helped me the first night -- I'd wake up every hour and a half because of the heat, look at the clock and think, "Yes! I still have HOURS left to sleep!" It was difficult to be as optimistic the second and third nights. We shall see how night #4 goes...


Jan said...

God bless you Dean. I'm loving reading about your adventures. Praying God will bless you mightily.

Ryan said...

It sounds like this is a wonderful eye opening experience for you and the team.
Its inspiring to me, and I hope that God keeps using you all for great things. Keep working on the Creole, and I think you should go to the soccer game. It'd mean a lot to the kids and might get them back to the mission more...just saying.

I'll keep you in prayers! Good luck, team!

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