If you ever doubted how blessed you are one only need spend a day delivering water to the souls living in Cite Soleil. Today we delivered three truckloads of water into the slums of Port-au-Prince called Cite Soleil. Our group of 18 is a mix of Minnesotans and Texans and a combination of those on their first mission trip to Haiti and veterans having made multiple trips with Healing Haiti. This being my first trip to Haiti I was ‘informed’ of what to expect on water truck day however, there is truly no way I could ‘comprehend’ the experience until I was physically in Cite Soleil.
Some of the words that were used by our team to describe the day were:
Life – some of the Haitians held onto their water bucket as if it was their very own life. They held on to their bucket so tightly as if letting go could be an end to their own life.
Held – the children had an overwhelming desire to be held. Miguel found me and changed my whole day and perspective. Miguel looked up at me with open harms and a big smile. Miguel had on a shirt and was naked from the waist down. Today God called me to love Miguel so I spent the next 15 minutes holding Miguel and showing him a small portion of how Christ teaches us to love each other. The beautiful thing was that I felt just as much love flowing back from him.
Wow – the smells, the garbage, the sewage, the filth, the four walls (and most of the time a roof) they call home, the elderly woman with a 5 gallon bucket of water on her head, … wow!
Braces – three of the girls on the trip have braces. The Haitian children were fascinated with them and some thought the girls could take them off and so that the Haitian kids try them on their teeth. Having our third child in braces it made me think that I have put more money into my children’s mouth than these Haitian children may see in their lifetime.
Celebration – Sammie, our eldest loves Haiti and loves serving the people of Haiti. Today was a celebration of being able to serve those whom God placed in our path to help. There were lots of smiles and lots of joy amongst the abject poverty.
Maslow – (this was my word) – our last stop (stop #21 for those that have been to Haiti) with the water truck was the most difficult of the three. I held the water hose for this stop and was overwhelmed by the chaos and despair over something I take for granted every day – water. We are told about Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and that the lowest level of need is for food, water and shelter. Understanding on an intellectual level that when these basic needs aren’t met survival instinct drives behavior however, experiencing it first hand is to truly comprehend it. Thank God for Healing Haiti and the water mission – may it get the people of City Soleil past their basic needs and on their way to flourishing at higher levels.
My day and my life will forever be changed by the teenage boy that stood at the back of our vehicle as we boarded to leave. He stood motionless just staring into the back of the truck. I will never know what his thoughts were but I surmise that he clearly wanted to jump on board and be taken away. He however could only dream of the life that exists for all of us on board as we drive away from his own life. God will most likely not cause our paths to cross again in this life; however the teenage boy from stop #21 is somebody I will however pray for through my life.