I just returned from my first trip to Haiti, and my life and my heart will never be the same. My husband had been there twice before working on solar installations and teaching Haitians to make solar cookers. Even though I have been “on the periphery of BEM” for a few years, and supporting him and other friends in various ways, still nothing prepared me for my feelings in Haiti. As others have posted here, the living conditions are abysmal – both in Port au Prince and the countryside. We Americans so take our blessings for granted…..
These people and children have just burrowed their way into my heart – their love and joy was so contagious. They are so grateful for everything; I loved playing with them and hugging them. Our interpreters – Kerby, Wadsen, Guerson, Polo and Evelyn – were totally awesome. And the love, dedication and servanthood of Pastor John and Gardinette are without bounds.
The first day when we did English lessons, I had the “color” group. The children did quite well and after we went through what was on the list of standard colors, I pointed to Mica’s purple shirt and asked her “Quelle est cette couleur en anglais?” The following day, I had the “numbers” group but when I saw Mica, I asked her the same question. The third day as we arrived, she came running up to me saying “Purple!”
I found that my knowledge of French helped me communicate, and in church I discovered it to be a double blessing. After I listened to Pastor Bill’s (wonderful!) message in English, I was able to understand the majority of Pastor Lubin’s translation. I was really thrilled (after the third refrain!) to pick out the words of an unfamiliar song being sung in French. Our Lord is truly in this beautiful country of Haiti and his Spirit lives in these people. I thank Him for whatever small thing I might have done for His children this week. I have been blessed beyond measure.
On a mundane note: my personal biggest challenge was the heat and humidity (which I anticipated beforehand and asked several friends to pray for me in this regard.) So next time I’ll go in January!
Blessings, Emily Celino Col 3:17