The driver was late picking us up. We had finished singing "Rise, Shine, Give God the Glory" fifteen minutes before. When the van came, Arnold, Pastor Leon’s lead staff for mission trips, told us that we would not be able to go to the clinic in Cite Soleil because it was closed. We would have to figure out something else to do today.
After evaluating several alternatives, we decided to turn in the blood pressure cuffs and stethescopes for paint brushes and rollers. We journeyed to Terre Noire (Blanchard), another of Pastor Leon’s campuses in Port au Prince but in a different part of town. (Cite Soleil is the poorest of the poor in Haiti, which is among the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.)
Our scrubs became painting clothes. One group went to paint the house of a man who, after three years, is about to be married. (You have to show you have a good home, a means of support, and several other criteria before you can be married in the church). They almost finished the interior and began on the exterior by lunchtime.
At the campus of Terre Noire, another group painted the interior of the dormitories which are available there for mission teams who come to help. After lunch a few visited the girls’ orphanage (also Pastor Leon’s) a couple of blocks away. Then we had Pastor Leon’s daughter, who runs the school at Terre Noire, tell us about how the school worked, who could come, and what the results have been. The students begin at 3 and the school is available until 9th grade because of a new "high school" that just opened this fall. They are taught to read, to write, how to behave, how to dress, and how to succeed. Haiti cannot move away from its poverty until its people are educated.
Several team members elected to sponsor a child for a year ($360) and tomorrow they will be able to meet the child they are sponsoring and begin a relationship with him/her. We are all looking forward to that meeting.
We ended the day around 2:30 pm. We began to appreciate a bit more the differences in a life in a country like Haiti and even the worst case scenario in our country. Maybe today was more of a mission experience FOR us, than a healing mission FROM us.
Pastor Leon and his wife Jackie are joining us for dinner night and they are waiting.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6