Monday finally arrived and we were ready to paint! We all climbed on to the tap-tap in preparation of a full day of work, awaiting our very bumpy ride out to the Christian center.
This was really our first clear look at the community in which we were working. Nothing could prepare us for what we were to experience and see along the way. I have never seen poverty in this way; cardboard homes, shanty store fronts, refuse everywhere, surrounded by chaos.
But somehow out of the poverty and hopelessness rises beauty; beauty in the people, and beauty across the landscape.
When we arrived at the work site, we were so THRILLED to finally meet Darlene, the recipient of this home we built! She is pictured on the left with her son Eveon. On the right is one of her sisters, and her children.
The house is built with cinder blocks and then concrete over the top. It had just been finished DAYS before we arrived, so some of the cement was not even dry yet. We began to worry when the first coat was being soaked up like a sponge! But we just kept painting away!
Each day when we broke for lunch, we walked a short distance back to the christian center to eat. This became one of my favorite parts of the day because each day we were greeted with this:
......beautiful, fun, joyful, smiling children swarmed us every day! Warming my heart was the fact that some things have a universal language: smiles, giggles, hand-holding, tickling, races and games of all kinds need no words to communicate! I was of particular interest because I had the camera! What a joy to take hundreds of photos of the kids and being able to turn the screen around for them to see themselves! Oh how they laughed and pointed at one another, and giggled some more! Simeone, pictured with me above, found me each day we were there, grabbed my hand, and didn't let go until it was time for us to leave.....
...and each day that I had to leave and say goodbye, I walked backed to that work site crying, asking, pleading with my Lord to change the heart of Haiti, drawing them to Himself so that real change could occur for these beautiful, innocent children.
"But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Luke 18:16