Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Haiti 2016 - Day 7 & 8

Tuesday morning we all woke up with gratitude in our hearts!! The playset had finally arrived!! The men were up and at the site by 5:30 (I think, I only woke up briefly as Tim kissed me goodbye). 

Once us ladies got up and got ready, we ate breakfast just the 4 of us. Marie was in bed sick most of the day, due to the heat and a cold that she was fighting off. Lavaud made plans to bring the guys breakfast to eat at the park. The ladies decided to head on over and help out any way that we could at the park. 

Once we arrived, we set up breakfast. At around 8 o'clock and the kids were making their way towards school, and the crowds were starting to gather. 

The ladies had scheduled to meet with the students in the sponsorship program that are not yet sponsored to update their pictures and profiles. We also had dresses and t-shirts for each of them as well as goodie bags and Bibles. 

(The first group of unsponsored students) 

We were able to make contact with 24 of the 30 unsponsored students. 

After the unsponsored party, it didn't take us long to realized that we needed to put up the temporary fencing in order to keep the kids out of the work area. 

The women decided to take that project on while the guys continued to set up the equipment. 

It was breath-taking to watch the play set be put up in one day the way that it was. The men worked tirelessly, and the Lord certainly blessed their labors. Lavaud had hired several local men to help, plus they had Zoko, Wilson, and the older gentlemen from the orphanage (his name escapes me right now). 

It was a team effort.

The men continued their work throughout the afternoon while the ladies hosted our second sponsorship party at the school. 

The second party was slightly larger than the first but everything still went smoothly. It was a great success!! 

In the end we were able to make contact with 38 out of the 42 sponsored students!

And while we were there we added 3 new students to the program:

Tim and I ended up sponsoring Dienaylo've. 

Monica & Dan sponsored a little girl.

and Lynn picked out a new sponsor girl for her brother after we learned that his old sponsor student had moved to Port-au-Prince. 

Being "on the ground" (so to speak) watching the sponsor student program in action really ignited something in my heart for the program. 

It is an amazing opportunity to become involved in the work in Haiti as well as forming a relationship (across the miles) with a child. There are still students available to be sponsored! The funds that are sent help pay the teachers at the school, provide uniforms, school supplies and other school costs (like seating, blackboards, maintenance, etc.) The more kids that are sponsored the more the program grows, the more funds the school has to grow and to maintain a healthy educating atmosphere!

I challenge each of you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. The cost is $25 a month (or $300 a year). Voice of Compassion has worked hard at keeping administration costs very low, in fact most everyone who works with VOC does so as a volunteer, over 95% of the funds coming in go directly to the school, and the majority of the other 5% actually goes to pay those in Haiti who help administratively on that end.

If the Lord leads you to partner with Voice of Compassion through the student sponsorship program to make a difference in the lives of the children in Haiti, please contact me and I can get you the information you need. 

The guys did decide to head back to the compound for lunch to get a good meal and lots of fluids. 

They headed back to the playground right away though and worked until dinner time. 

By the end of the day most of the playground system was assembled and in the ground in the concrete! May all the glory go to God for what He was able to accomplish in His own timing, and His own way! 

Our flight was scheduled to leave Wednesday afternoon around 4 (I think), so we had a little time Wednesday morning to head back over to the playground. The guys were already there by the time the ladies got there (I'm not sure what work needed to be finished that morning), as we pulled up we could see the large crowd of children surrounding the play area. 

Dienaylo've was by my side as soon as I hopped down out of the truck. I grabbed her hand and started walking around taking pictures. She handed me a note written in creole, I couldn't read it but I tried to tell her I would have a translator read it for me. 

She wasn't her normal smiley self, so I just grabbed her hand and kept her close to me. I went to tell her I would be leaving today. She knew. A tear filled up in one of her eyes, which she quickly blinked away. I was not so lucky. 

Not long after we got there Lavaud led us all in a dedication. We sang "How Great Thou Art" and part of another song I didn't recognize, he prayed and then spoke (mostly in Creole). 

Afterward, he let a few children play on the equipment for about 10 minutes (it still wasn't completely dried) these few short moments standing in the middle of a play ground system, that 2 days prior we weren't even sure would get completed, watching the kids play and scream and laugh.... it was amazing and I will never forget it. 

God isn't God because He made everything work out and got the play system up. God is God because He knew all along the timing and what needed to happen and how it needed to happen when we didn't. 
In this situation it all "worked out" from our point of view, but even if it wouldn't have, God would still be God and He would still be good, and He would most certainly have been in control of the situation. 

I am so grateful and humbled to have been a part of this trip with this group of people. I learned so much. I was stretched for sure. 

Everyone was able to use their unique God-given gifts and talents for the glory of God. We relied on one another. We grew together and we worked together.
I praise God for all He did - for the things seen and unseen.

By the time the dedication was over we needed to head back to the compound to eat lunch.

This was the moment we had to say good bye to Dienaylo've....

It was one of the hardest moments I can recall in my life. 
I felt as though I were leaving a piece of myself with this little girl and as though I were letting her down. 
I had never meant to become so attached. I had never intended for her to become so attached. I wanted to bring her home with me. I don't speak much creole but I told her over and over how much I loved her, and how much Jesus loved her. I cried over her. I prayed over her. I pleaded with the Lord to bring her peace and for me to actually have the strength to walk away.

I have no way of knowing what the Lord has in store for Dienaylo've or for our family.  But I do know that she is forever a part of our hearts and our family. I know the Lord brought us in each others lives for a reason. Tim & I continue to pray for her daily and we will continue our sponsorship of her for as long as needed. 

Tim & I plan on going back to Haiti. We have committed, Lord willing, to going every year to work with the sponsored students, updating the profiles and making contact with the sponsored family's and students. I look forward to seeing all the familiar faces again and to see what new things the Lord has for the people of Haiti. 

(One last motorcycle ride for Monica and I) 

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