Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:9
Last Tuesday our family got off the plan in Port au Prince Haiti to what has been an amazing experience living among the beautiful people of L’Asile, Nippes, Haiti MAP
Our first day Tuesday was mainly a day of extensive traveling as we arrived in the afternoon and spent over four hours driving from Port au Prince to L’Asile. Port Au Prince was unlike any place I have ever seen. The numbers of people on the street was startling. People selling whatever they could to get buy crowding cars whenever you stopped or slowed down enough for them to crowd around. There were piles of trash every where. One image sticks in my mind of a small stream completely swamped with plastic bottles, Styrofoam, plastic bags, all sorts of trash. It literally looked like a river of trash. Here and there a large pigs wandered in and out among children who looked for trinkets as their mothers sat and sold charcoal or dirty fruit. I was overwhelmed immediately by the magnitude of destitution I saw. I found myself praying for guidance and hope. I still remember the colorful and crammed trucks with French and Creole proverbs and verses with rainbows and expressive paintings driving by as we tried to figure out the best way to weave our way through the traffic and get out of the city before dark. We eventually arrived in L’Asile around 7PM so weren’t really able to see much of the town where we would be living for most of our time in Haiti.
Wednesday morning we awoke to sheep grazing in the trash in front of the house. Young people from all around came to visit to see the “Blan” which is a Haitian word that literally means “white” but has come to mean “foreigner.” The most common word here for man is neg. I was fascinated immediately by the Kreole language. Micah was running about the local kids with a pad and pen trying to figure out some words to be able to make friends. I was so proud of the kids who seemed so desirous to speak to the locals and learn the language. After morning prayer and a breakfast of hardboiled eggs and avocado (pretty much every day breakfast here), we walked about the town. It was very similar to Leoncio Prado in many ways. We tried a local fruit called Kenep which was like eating a RedBull energy drink in a fruit. It was so good. One of the locals named Bibi
Thursday we went out to visit the sick in the surrounding villages. The people and landscape were so beautiful in the midst of tragic poverty. There was a profoundly humble genuineness in the people. The smiles, often missing teeth, shown out without shame. We drove out on a rocky dirt road to a village where we picked a lame man and brought him to the hospital to receive care. We prayed over him in the truck as we passed family after family washing clothes and bathing in the shallow streams nearby. Donkeys, sheep and goats roamed throughout the country side freely. I have never seen such brightly colored houses. Some of the houses seemed to glow with pinks, blues, yellows, and blazing greens. Later that evening we went down to bath in the river (in our clothes!). On the walk we passed another tarantula (they are all over here). Later that night God treated us to one of the most beautiful sunsets and we felt like He had brought us to this broken land to open our eyes to His great love for us.
Friday morning Dave and I went to Mass at 530AM. Immediately following Fr’s homily Dave jumped and we both looked down to see a large tarantula that had crawled across his foot. All the people just watched until one man squished it (it was very messy). Friday we went to the smaller market and got some fruit. That night we did Spiritual Warfare and a rosary.
Over the weekend we began planning out the Ezekiel Home project. We also asked Father to help us find the poorest of the poor so we could help them with floors for their houses. He directed us to a village in the mountains called “Ravi Mitan” with means Middle fo the Ravine. Visiting Ravi Mitan was perhaps the most blessed thing we have done so far in Haiti. We found five families (one with nine kids), who we are going to give floors to. Yesterday we went up to a town called Aquin to get all the cement for the Ezekiel Project and the floors for the poor (90 in all).
New Ezekiel Home Building
I also started Creole lessons last Monday employing a local man named Ronal who needed work. He comes to the house each day at 630 AM and teaches Teresa and I his language for an hour. This has been a blessing. Fr. David (from France) has asked to introduce us in Mass tomorrow. We are determined to introduce ourselves in Creole. He was very pleased with this. It is so funny because Teresa and I met in French class but never really used the language in missions but it is a big help here with Creole. I want to write another blog to tell you about the village where we are going to lay out the floors. It was so amazing. God has been, is, and ever will be good!