This is an atypical trip in that it is really short. Because there are only two of us traveling, and we’ve both traveled extensively, we are intentionally cramming a lot into our few days here so we can be home with our families soon. This type of schedule also means a LOT of rich experience in each day! And that’s how I would describe today:
Following a breakfast of great fresh fruits, we headed to the Bor-de-Mer church, which as the crow flies, is probably only a mile from Cap Haitian…but takes an hour or so to get to because of the lay of the land and the road quality getting there. There is much “life” to observe as you travel, so the time goes quickly. Grace Church has partnered with the Bor-de-Mer church by helping to build their current building. This one-room church houses 4 classrooms of children in their Christian school. It is the only school in the town, and the cost of tuition is about $2.50 per year…which some families can’t afford. Needless to say, the teachers are usually working without pay. I asked them what motivates them – they responded by saying “God has called us to do this”. We also spent quite a bit of time with Pastor Wilhelm CADET who told us about his call to ministry, as well as the history of the church. Then we left some goodies for the children!
We then headed to the House of Hope orphanage, a place that is near and dear to the hearts of many from Grace Church. Our church has sent multiple teams to this place to do VBS programs, building projects, and to visit children who individuals from our church sponsor. We were given a tour of the property (since I’m the new-by here), including their bunk houses for the 10 girls and 25 boys, the kitchen, office, pavilion/lunchroom/classroom/church (!), the rabbit cages, the gardens, etc. We were able to hand out gifts from sponsors and spend a lot of time with the children. Steve is working hard to learn Creole and many of the children know French (which I can stumble along in), so we were able to communicate a lot. I have found that in many of these places, you don’t need language to communicate and enjoy one another’s fellowship. But when you can communicate, it deepens the relationship significantly!
We were also able to spend extensive time with Pastor Joly, who is responsible for the orphanage. It is a 24/7 job and it very difficult. He continues to work hard because he knows that God has called him to this work.