Wednesday, October 24, 2007

First few days in Haiti...

Well, most of you know, maybe some of you don't. I am in Haiti until just before Christmas. I arrived on October 11th and have worked two days so far on the water truck in the slum of Cite Soleil. I have to tell you, I am old. I have never worked so hard and been so tired at the end of the day. I'm not sure if it's the heat and humidity or just that I'm old... probably both.

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity though... to serve others and to try to make a difference. At one of the stops, I met an old lady that must be in her mid 80's. I remember her hobbling up to get a bucket of water when Alyn and I were here in July. She had motioned for me to help put it on her head. As I tried, I could see there was no way she could carry it. Her mind said yes... but her body said no. This time when she came to get water I filled her bucket and motioned that I would carry it for her. She held my hand as we walked away from the truck and down a little alley. As we walked I prayed "God thank you for letting me be your hands and feet... let me care for her as you would". As we entered her one room house, I could see all she had was a bed and 3 dirty five gallon pails of water... no food, no clothes, no anything. We walked back and fourth 3 more times, each time holding hands. She was so thankful and as was I.

As I walked back from her house the last time, there was a little boy crying with two or three other children around him. He couldn't have been more than 2 or three... naked with no clothes on. I walked over to him and knelt down and put my arm around him. I talked to him (in english) and I know he had no idea what I was saying but hopefully he could hear in my voice that I cared. He stopped crying but tears still rolled down his cheeks. The other children around him must have known I was trying to comfort him and said "grangou, grangou". They were saying in creole "he's crying because he's hungry. It was then that I noticed his bloated stomach. I felt so helpless. I had no food or money with me. All I could do is give him a hug. I was very sad.

At the same stop, I met a little boy who immediately came up to touch me. All the children want to touch the "blanc" and feel my hair. It was a few minutes after that I noticed most of his fingers on both hands were gone and half of his face was scarred. He obviously had a severe burn accident when he was very young. He was just so happy. We hung out together for quite a while. He is definitely one of my favorites so far. I will try to get a picture some time.

I love the children. They are so innocent and curious about me. At each stop, I try to take time to spend with them and play with them a little. Here are a few pictures that Keynol took on Friday and Saturday. In one of the pictures, I'm trying to teach the children how to put a finger in their mouth and make a popping sound from their cheek. They try so hard but most can't do it.

I ask that you keep me in your prayers, that I can be the hands and feet of Jesus... that I can carry some of the burden that these people have to carry every day and relieve some of their load. I ask that you pray for strength for me so that I can serve the people I come in contact with. This is very physical work and very demanding because of the heat and humidity. Pray that I will adjust quickly...

Yours in Christ.

Jeffrey Gacek
Executive Director
Connecting people who have much and need little...
to those who have little and need so much.

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