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  • Writer's pictureEve M. Harrell

Blessings in Haiti

There are times in life when I feel alone, confused, anxious. Then there are others when I feel the Hand of God all over my life. Last week was no exception.

God is teaching me the true meaning of Philippians 4:12-13 and 1 Peter 4:10:

12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

The following are excerpts from my journal last week. I am so blessed by what God has shown me, by what He has shared with me and by what He has done through me. He is an amazing Father and I am eternally blessed! Enjoy!

Saturday 6/22/13

We are here! The airport has so many people! Sak pase! (What's up?) Nap Boule! (Just Burnin' in lieu of chillin) There was a band waiting as we entered playing a lively tune. The excitement of our team is palpable! I know that God will do a great work this week!

Arrived at Mon Chez Moi Guest House in Port au Prince in one piece. The traffic is a wee bit different from what we are accustomed. Cars, trucks, motorcycles everywhere! And passing seems to be the norm regardless of volume. Apparently, the rule is that you honk to pass or you honk when coming around a curve to let people on the other side know you are coming. God, we know you will protect us this week, and we thank You, in advance.

Yeah Air Conditioning!!! Being near the equator puts a new meaning on "sweating bullets".

Let me tell you about our dragon (aka salamander) living in our room. One of the girls went to move the curtains and out flew out new roommate! Matt (our knight) came in to try to rescue us all :) but alas, the dragon was forever lost. Hopefully, the dragon won't resurface during our stay.

Met "Lela", our food preparer. A beautiful lady with a sweet laugh. And a great cook! I am forever blessed to be able to hug on her precious neck! Thank you Father!

Met with Jedlain, our Local community coordinator. Reminding us to open and search our hearts using the beautiful example of Psalm 139:23-24. Our devotion reminds us that God is the melody and we are the harmony.

Father, we thank you for the moon, a reminder that Your Spirit is with us everywhere we go. Please search my heart God and remove my anxious thoughts. Allow me to see and love as You see and Love. Oh and be my First Fiddle!!

Sunday 6/23/13

The rooster crows and God's beauty rises with the sun. Our scripture for the day is Proverbs 22:2 Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all. The way we believe shapes the way we pray, have an open heart and be obedient. Be intentional with seeking God and spending time with Him.

On our way to Cercady! 4 Hours north of Port au Prince through the mountains. Such beautiful landscape! Sandstone built into the mountains. Unfortunately, deforestation is creating quite a problem with erosion.

Experienced a little nausea, but not bad. I think that Austin experienced much worse, but luckily nobody had to stop. Thank you Lord!

Wow! Watched a group of 16+ people carrying a tin roof, (Yes a roof) down the road. What community!!!

Goats are everywhere! Dogs (have ears like a coyote), horses, roosters, chickens, pigs, donkeys, but goats mostly. (Not too many cats.)

We stopped for pictures on the side of the mountain and 2 kids popped up out of nowhere! Just to say "Alo", I guess.

Traveling through Hench, we passed a horse laboring. Must have had an injured leg, breaks my heart to see, but they just keep moving, one foot in front of the other.

We stopped at a hotel to go to the bathroom and I met beautiful Lila. Beautiful eyes and a warm smile. Very gracious.

The Haitians are Beautiful people! Such clear skin, bright eyes and beautiful teeth! God has certainly blessed these people with beauty!

Arrived at the guest house in Broho. Beautiful place on a secluded piece of property. Wow, these cacti! Are these planted purposefully?

At the guest house, the kids played a game of volleyball, I took a nap. A wonderful nap it was! No A/C in the guest house, but the house is beautifully designed with a nice cross breeze.

First day in the community. Met with The Leadership Council, they told us that we are family and we are "Home" in their "Home". Very gracious people. They explained that God is their provider for everything. How does this change our view? Philippians 4:12 tells us that Paul learned the secret to being content in any and every situation, I believe that these beautiful people understand what Paul taught. Think I feel the inklings of a song coming on . . . Esther's beautiful singing is giving me inspiration :)

Monday 6/24/13 - DAY ONE - Relying on God

Moses was nervous about the mission He was called to. But God reminded Moses that He was His provider in Exodus 4:10-15. And just as God reminded Moses, He too reminds us that we may have translators, but that doesn't mean that we don't have a voice. Father, we trust You to provide the means to communicate with these beautiful people.

Met Barnabus today, beautiful story of healing and redemption! Barnabus wanted to be a lawyer, but God called him to be a pastor. After a motorcycle accident, he finally surrendered to God's will. Through every moment, every challenge, God shined His Light on his life giving Barnabus the confidence and the strength to move forward in His Will. God you are so good!!!

Psalm 55:23 - Surrender everything to the Lord

Wow, the beauty of this mountain community! Everything is so clean! The properties are well tended. There is cactus which borders each individual property (used to

keep water out and animals in). The houses made of adobe, sticks and mud, with tin roofs.

Met with the community, learned that students walk to school. Approximately 1.5 hour walk to school everyday. Their school day is from 7-1. Some schools give food, some do not. Some children go without during the school day. Their summer is 3 months from July - September.

The men of the community either work in other places leaving their wives at home, coming home at the end of a week. Or they tend the farms. Medical care is difficult to find. There is no clinic in Cercady. They have to go far away. Difficult to take a pregnant woman to hospital as there is no truck to carry them there. In the instance that a person needs a hospital, their family will place them on a chair, and will walk many miles to the nearest hospital carrying them on the mountain dirt roads, through rivers, down slippery slopes.

Cercady relies on God for all of their needs. They have asked for prayer for a Clinic, for clean water and for a local school. Please also pray for strength in positive change.

Students have to leave the community to go to university. Some come back to help the community after they graduate.

The children enjoy soccer. The teams they cheer for are primarily Brazil and Germany.

Men typically do not marry until they are 30, women when they are 25; although many have children beginning at 12-13 years old. Most community members are farmers.

They make money by cutting rocks into gravel and by cutting down trees to make charcoal.

This is a big challenge as the mountains used to be covered with trees. Now, due to deforestation, there are holes and erosion in the mountains. There is no way to make a nursery bed to grow trees. Please pray for training for these people to be able to replant trees. Deforestation causes

1- erosion,

2- loss of good land for crops,

3- makes the land weaker,

4- streams dry up.

Cercady has only been open to external world for about 20 years. The road used to be very narrow, only allowing for travel via donkey. They couldn't even travel to the market. In the last 20 years, the community has worked together to widen and maintain the mountain roads for external travel in and out of community.