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Haiti - Day 2

We woke up at 6am and, having showered the night before, were ready and on the roof by 7am.  We prayed, took some pictures in our church attire and then went downstairs to go to breakfast.  



Breakfast was scrambled eggs with onions and spices.  There were fresh magoes and the best pineapple I've ever had  We also had some bread and peanut butter and the sweetest coffee on the planet.  

After we ate, we went to church.  The children were still in their service so we watched them sing.  It was amazing how well behaved they all were.  They listened, participated and recited bible verses from memory.  After church, we played with the kids for a while.  Candice gave out a handful of candy.  Mark, as if in slow motion, made the mistake of pulling out a whole clear bag full of candy.  The kids flocked to him and in a moment he was over run.  :)

The church

The kitchen just outside the church were all of the meals
for the feeding program are prepared

We went into the adult church.  Haitians know how to do church!  They all sang and participated.  They were excited to be there.  They even sang a song in Creole and English. It was great to be able to understand all of what they were singing instead of just fragments.  We introduced ourselves to the congregation and then listened to a plea from the pastor.  Apparently, the land in front of the church does not belong to the church.  The owner wants to build on it.  If he does that, he'll put a fence around it.  The church is located right on the property line, so a fence would block the doors.  The church has until the end of the month to raise $8,000 and prevent that from happening.  They are convinced though that God will provide a way and the money will come.

video
♪♫"I won't go back.
I can't go back
to the way it used to be
 before your presence came and changed me."♪♫

After church, we went to the pastor's house for lunch.  We had hot dogs, fried plantains, fried dumplings, fried potatoes and cole slaw.  The slaw had some sort of citrus in it and was very good.  After we ate, we went back to the hotel to rest up.  We were all still slightly sleep-deprived and Monday was going to bring a lot of hard work so the down time was welcomed.  

We met in the lobby and enjoyed a few Prestige beers.  In that heat, it was the best beer I had ever tasted.  

 

After our rest, we got back in the tap tap and went to the Restoration House for dinner.  Outside, Pastor Lafleur told us about his childhood and about the cycle of life in Haiti.  He said that his mother went to school for one day.  She did not have a pencil, so she came home and asked her father for less than a penny so she could buy a pencil.  He told her that he did not have the money to spend on school as he could barely afford to feed them.  The pastor further explained that that is the choice that most Haitians have to make:  go to school, eat, or have a roof over their heads.  The pastor's mother never went back to school.

Education was very important to Pastor Lafleur's mother.  She sent the pastor to school and therefore he grew up without much food.  He said that he remembered going four days without food.  His mother put salt in some water and gave it to him to make him feel full.  The pastor says that he "ate books" so he could eat later.  He ate knowledge so he could have a better life.  He finished every year at the top of his class.  One year he was given a can of peas and a small amount of money for his good grades.  A few days later, on Good Friday, the pastor's mother told him to wait by the road for the bus to pass.  Her boyfriend drove the bus and he would give the pastor some money so that his family could buy dinner for Good Friday.  The pastor waited for the bus for eight hours.  When it finally came, there was a different driver.  The pastor went home without any money for their Good Friday dinner.  However, because of his good grades, his family was at least able to eat the peas.  His mother used the money that came with them to buy a small amount of charcoal so she could cook them for their Good Friday meal.

The story really really made me stop and think.  I thought of all the times I've said "I'm hungry" or my kids have said "I'm starving."  We've never been hungry and we most certainly have never been starving.  We are very lucky.  After the story, no one rushed to the dinner table that night.  in fact, we all ate slowly and savored every bite we had been blessed with.

Dinner was rice with chicken legs and peas.  We also had turkey and potato salad.  The potato salad was purple from the beets that were in it.  They were amazing - and I hate beets.


After dinner we went back to the hotel and tried to call home but there was no wifi.  We spent some time doing our Bible study and then headed off to bed.

Please visit Restore Haiti.  Learn how you can sponsor a child for only $30 per month.  For non reoccurring donations, consider providing over 400 children with a chicken leg for $250 or a glass of milk for $150.

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