Friday, October 25, 2013

A Good Day Is Not Always Easy

My Friday in Haiti was so full of activity and emotion.  We ladies headed off.
First we stopped by Quisqueya Chapel where Andrea and Jason are ministering.
They have a very large area around the chapel, even with a few of the guard's cows. :)
Everywhere we went and in everything we saw there was much discussion.  We asked questions, they shared what they've discovered about Haiti, working with the Haitian youth, making the gospel relevant and much more.
The streets are lined with concrete block walls.  In these walls are gates, all sorts of variety of gates and some lovely flowers upon some.  We later took a walk over to one of the Apparent Project houses.
Along the way we saw this house. Andrea pointed out that a team from my home town built this house when down here on a short-term trip.
A view. You see concrete and rebar EVERYWHERE.  It is part of their "saving accounts."
The Apparent Project house was bright and full of lovely things people have created out of trash and rubble.  We got a tour of their facilities, watched some paper bead making, clay bead making and the sewing room. :)
Apparent Project is striving to provide jobs for families, jobs so that children can stay in families by teaching them a trade.  We actually later purchased some of the same type of jewelry from a friend of the Schmicks who was trained at Apparent Project and now sells the her own creations as well as the things her boys have learned to make.
We also enjoyed a smoothie in the smoothie shoppe they've added in the back.
Once again, driving through the streets of Port-Au-Prince was so good to see the Haitian people, culture and values.
Students must buy their own school books.  This person set up shop in their wheelbarrow and was selling school books.
We went to the high end grocery store.  Crazy, to walk into a place and feel right back at home.
They even had Shurfresh cheese :)

Later that afternoon, the ladies and I went with the Schmick's downstairs neighbor lady to visit their ministry's feeding program. Their ministry has an orphanage/school but this is for the street children.  She gave us some scrapbook stamps and stamp pads and said to just circulate while the kids waited for it to begin.  Wow, break your heart.  I love children, and these were as precious as every other child.  We stamped hands for a bit, could have covered their entire bodies :)  Then they had some sort of devotion, prayer and some worship singing.  The whole experience of it really shook my heart.  When it was time to eat we handed out water to the tables of children.  Then we watched to make sure the little ones were eating.  They said the little ones often will sleep since they know they are safe there.
My heart was in such turmoil.  It felt awful knowing that I couldn't help them, that I couldn't physically save them.  I stared straight into the face of hopelessness.  It made me question the point of such a feeding program. Was it simply a prolonging of suffering!?  We left as the kids left, smiling.  They didn't necessarily feel my hopelessness for them.  Later in talking to the Schmick's about some of their youth group kids I learned that one of their leading young men is only alive today because of a similar feeding program.  The biggest two words were resoundingly true once again...BUT GOD.  Things looked so bleak and hopeless, BUT GOD.  He moves in each life in a different way.  He used a feeding program to keep his child alive.  I know what I can do for those children...pray, pray, pray with fervor.  We all are without hope, living in essence like street children, filled with the sin that separates us from a holy God, BUT GOD.  He sent Christ to be a perfect sacrifice, to bridge the gap and be our hope.

Alissa

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