Day 3 is in the books. It's 9 PM on Tuesday and we are all exhausted and ready for bed. I can't even begin to describe how proud I am of this team. They have worked hard, served wholeheartedly, and bonded together as a family. We left as 29 people from the same church that knew only a portion of the team each and in a few short days we have become a close family. I love it! My prayer is that everyone at COE will get to experience this someday.
I have never led a team like this. Top to bottom there is no weak link. From the teens to the two members in their 70s, each one has handled every task we've set before them with grace and humility. The Prunty girls (Jillian and Molly) have been a huge blessing working with the kids yesterday and helping to distribute reading glasses today. They also made me a custom Cleveland Browns shirt so obviously they are my favorites! Ethan and Paul, our fearless Jr. high duo have blown me away. Yesterday they hauled as much concrete and cinder block as any of the rest of us and today they sang, led, prayed, and helped with the crafts for the kids program. They have been amazing. Their skills were especially on display during the Monday night football game played in a huge puddle in the middle of a torrential downpour. They showed the grownups a thing or two! Nick Snow, our last teen, learned some masonry skills and helped build a wall side by side with the Haitian workers. He has survived being picked on pretty regularly by Greg Benson, the SIF missionary and has handled it with a smile. Everyone is doing great.
Each evening we've had devotions and people have really opened up about what they are seeing and feeling. Please pray! A lot of the team is struggling with the overwhelming poverty and feeling of hopelessness because we cannot "fix" Haiti. The emotions are running high. Each day we've seen children who aren't eating, who have no clothes, who are dirty and sick. We see families huddled in tents or homes with no roof and walls that are falling down. It's hard to reconcile what we see with what we know in America. Please pray that our eyes would be opened to those that we can help and that we would trust God to use us. If we focus on the big picture, it's too much. If we focus on each person we meet and how we can help them, it becomes much more doable.
Tonight we had the opportunity to watch a soccer tournament that was held here on the grounds of the mission. A few of us went down and watched with the 60 or so Haitians that had gathered to watch. What a blast! They love being around us and we were able to interact with a lot of the kids and adults as well. The language barrier is frustrating but a smile and a hug helps to bridge that gap. The game ended in a tie after several rounds of penalty kicks and will be resumed later this week. Rumor has it that we'll get a chance to play against some local talent Thursday night. We'll do our best to represent MA well!
Tomorrow is a new day. We'll send a team out to do roofing, our nurses will head to a local clinic, we'll do VBS in the school, and a team will hand out the last of our reading glasses. It will be a full day and we should be at full strength for the first time all week. We've had some stomach bugs go through the team but everyone is feeling better and ready to go. I'll have some more guest bloggers tomorrow but I wanted to just catch you up quickly tonight. Good Night!