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10 August 2009

Haiti Day 7

I woke up today around 4:30 (about the same time I've been waking up other days), asking God to change my thinking and to take away whatever spirit of fear I might have. To be totally honest, I've felt like Americans are generally despised around the world -- blame it on a left-wing press or whatever. For that reason, the poorer the area we visit, the more I'm inclined to think there's negative sentiment for us due to the wider economic gap. I have not seen that played out in real life, but it's very hard to stop thinking a certain way (which is why I was praying about it). We're supposed to be heading to the poorest of the poor areas this morning.

Speaking of morning, every single morning here has been absolutely amazing. Beautiful sunrises, clear skies, the occasional gentle breeze. Haiti is a beautiful place (it just needs more trees! Deforestation is a big problem. I think I've mentioned that already.)

The four of us have packed a large suitcase full of clothing to give away in the poor areas we'll be visiting today. I'm definitely looking forward to that.

Oh, yeah... I've had three or four boys, here at the mission and abroad, ask me if I'm friends with Superman after seeing a couple of my shirts. I thought it was funny at first, until I realized they may have been serious. I told one about a letter I'd written to the Superman comic book a few years ago (but I probably said "A letter to Superman") and won some posters, and the boy asked if Superman wrote me back. Early on in the conversation I said, "Superman isn't real," and one looked at me curiously and asked, "He isn't real??" I immdiately followed up with, "Well, I don't know him."

We went to good Samaritan orphanage again, this time with Tom Osbeck, who runs another mission near Souse Matla. He keeps the orphanage stocked with water and we made the water run with him (in the middle of Cabaret on market day again -- M, Th, Sat). Made me slightly uncomfortable to stand there, to be honest, while the guy in the Culligan franchise storefront filled up the water jugs.

We stopped by Tom Osbeck's mission location, where he told us about the destitution that he and Fondie (a young Haitian gentleman who now oversees the mission) "discovered" in Cabaret several years ago. Homeless, naked people who needed food and clothing. This effort resulted in the establishment of Grace House, a homeless shelter and very soon a free (!) school (Grace Emmanuel School) for its youngest residents. Now the school accommodates 100 students.

The students must be sponsored for $30 a month, which includes school, a hot meal, and a snack. This is very, very similar to the sponsorships at Mission of Hope.

We headed to Grace House and then the dump, with our guides: Widmark, Pierre, Johnny ("Mr. P"), and Wesley Snipes (his name is Wesley, and he looks like Mr. Snipes). We took a suitcase full of clothes and gave the clothes out while there was a relatively small number of people there (so we wouldn't get mobbed).

After Grace House we ate at a restaurant in Cabaret. I had Haitian pork for the first time, and it was very good!

Our next stop was very troubling. We went to a garbage dump near the city of Bon Repos, where Tom Osbeck's team will be installing a cistern for the roughly 90 men, women, and children who either live there or find their meals there. We took the remainder of our clothes into an enclosed area to give to several of the leaders to separate and distribute to the people there. Things started to get slightly out of hand (but were put to rest quickly by older residents) when people started trying to push through the gate of the enclosed area we'd met in. One of the older men from the community grabbed a police billy-club and went to the gate to keep order. His appearance with the night stick worked instantly.

Which leads me to ask... can "billy club" and "night stick" be used interchangeably? I don't feel like Googling for it right now because I'm writing.

After that we went back to Tom's house and got to meet many of his 19 adopted children. His house(s) are *beautful* and we had a fantastic time singing together. We sang some songs of worship, some praise songs, and some generally fun songs. Some words were in creole (by them) and some in English (by all of us). Oh, and Johnny (one of our guides) gave me his shirt!! It was a remarkably cool-looking shirt and I'd offered to trade with him. Instead, he just gave it to me.

After this, Wesley (Altime, as he's known -- his last name), one of our translators, took us to a soccer game in Titanyen. This was played by the teams we'd donated a ball to a couple of days ago, and it was *huge* fun! It was a dangerous field -- trees and barbed wire were there in a few places -- but no one was hurt. We got to see many friends we'd come to know over the past week, and got to see Wesley's house. By American standards, it would be called small. However, not only does it meet his needs, but it allows him to entertain guests, something he'd specifically asked God to provide. Wesley also told us the account of the salvation of his dad and uncle, both of whom were voodoo masters, and his mom, too. Amazing things.

Please ask one of those on our team to tell you about evil spirits here, and about how voodoo is a part of the culture. God is moving here, and Satan is opposing Him at every opportunity.

Looking forward to seeing my family tomorrow!!


. said...


Yesterday you left, you were the tops,
Today I walked through bunches of crops.
A new group arrived, only 4 there were.
But I like small groups, just like yours, SIR.
The hill is still long without many trees,
My 4 wheeler climbs it with (some) ease.
If it keeps raining there will be a moat,
So bye bye for now, that's all she wrote.

Also, I opened the card and am so thankful for the encouragement received from new friends. I am planning a trip to Huntsville from Nashville. I've never been to Alabamamamama.

Dean Lusk said...

You graciously ignored my typos! I'm going to have to edit this post.

Thank you for the limerick! I'm sorry about the rain. The one day of rain we had at the end of our stay surely made the evening a little cooler.

I hope that Group of Four II isn't as awesome as our clique was. :-) I actually think I'm one of the most privileged believers ever because of the Christians God lets me hang around with.

When will you be heading south??

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