Although the team left yesterday, I've stayed on to concentrate on bread and the wonderful bread oven that we began to use this week at Grace Village. It is hard to find words adequate to describe this experience. Serving here has been like nothing I have ever done. At the end of the day it seems to me that all our work and perhaps our whole life comes down to relationship.
First our relationship to God. The cross has two directions and the first I
think is vertical. Perhaps we can think of it as up toward heaven or perhaps we
think of it as that which is so fully grounded. God can. Time and time this
week, things worked out that could not have if only facts were considered.
Things worked out that should not have. We arrived at the oven to bake for the
first time and it had not been lit. A team member used a hair dryer as a
bellows and in 90 minutes the oven was 400F. Another day we made 80 pizzas with
the children at Grace Village, enough communion bread for 300, and
bread to share with the other team and the long term missionaries;
then left to go move elders into better, more stable housing. Yes, one day. We
worked delivering water at two sites one day and at the second site the line
was so long it seemed no one of us thought there could be enough water for
everyone. There was enough. Time and time again it seemed surely we would run
out or just get too tired. Time and time again God showed up in the form of a
song or a smile or a hug.
It is all about relationship and our meeting the desperate poverty
of "things" in Haiti with enough openness to see the vast
"richness" of spirit and joy. It's all about relationship and digging
in with people you didn't know who become friends and who become a family in an
short time. It's about relationship to the land of Haiti by seeing
it's beauty through the veil of poverty. The land is beautiful and I wonder if
Haiti is more broken than my own country or just broken differently?
I am a baker. My hands have developed a relationship with the process of
coaxing food from grain, water, salt and yeast. My familiarity with bread was changed through the Haitian
climate and the ingredients and I am still learning. There is a
process in baking called a pre-ferment; a way to start a dough early and get
it's flavor to be deep and rich. One such ferment is called a poolish and you
can speed it up and create a "flying poolish" (no
kidding i'm not making this up)...but I found that with Haiti's heat and humidity, all of dough I've made have been "flying" :). And so we start again developing
a relationship with what we thought we knew so well. We do not come
to Haiti with answers. We come to serve and to learn.
Strangely we come to Haiti for our own healing too or perhaps that just happens
when we allow ourselves to be open and transparent. We find that when we strip
away the ball games and malls and all our petty insecurities there is a Love
that really does transcend all we can imagine.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Bonjou ElderCare Followers! I have to first start with an apology for not blogging for so long…..life has been a bit crazy lately as I prepared for a very exciting trip to
it has all been worth it. I am now
sitting on the front porch of the guesthouse, hearing the roosters crow, the
generator buzz and the occasional dog bark.
In the distance, I can hear the singing from tent church. I love Haiti ! Haiti
to help with ElderCare. Hannah is a
nurse and an amazing young woman of God.
She is quickly learning the program, meeting all of the elders, and
ensuring that they receive the best care possible. I am excited to see the improvements over the
next year with her oversight! Grace Village
There have been a couple big happenings with ElderCare that I should have shared long ago. First, our beloved Angeline passed away because of heart failure. One of the last times I saw her, she had been getting some physical therapy and told me that one day she would again walk around Titanyen telling everyone about Jesus. But God had even better plans for her. She now gets to walk around heaven, not telling people about Jesus, but actually being WITH Jesus. How great that her suffering is gone and she can walk and dance!
Second, a new long term missionary, Hannah Romanik, has joined the staff at
this week, we will be launching a new program for the elders that has been in
the works for almost a year. Tomorrow,
this amazing team I am with will be teaching the elders how to make crafts that
will be sold as souvenirs to the 800 or so short term missionaries that come to
Healing Haiti each year. They will be
learning how to make beautiful bags out of old tshirts, jewelry with photos of Haiti ,
earring and keychains from old bottle caps, notecards, baskets and more. We also have a master breadmaker on our team
who will be using the pizza oven at Grace Village to teach elders how to make
bread that they will be able to sell at the market. All of this is in the hope that we can allow
these elders to have the opportunity and dignity to provide for themselves and
even help other in their family or community. Haiti
If you would, please join me in praying for our team tomorrow. Please pray for each elders gifts to be utilized in the right craft, that our team would be able to teach well, that the elders would have the dexterity and comprehension to learn quickly, that they will feel hope for their future and dignity in producing something beautiful. Thank you so much for your prayers! I will post pictures late tomorrow or Friday!!!