Word of the day: No Boundaries (really having difficulty with this single word concept).
The boys took to the kitchen this morning serving up eggs, pancakes, and toast with shaudek juice ala Jean. Shaudek= part of the citrus fruit family and it's just good. Trust me. I was up early and had the opportunity to see the video on YouTube with Tom showing the prayer house near the grounds of the under construction Grace Village. We also looked at a video on 100x$25 to supply cribs for orphans. (I'll direct you to www.healinghaiti.org for more information on that exactly and how you can get involved. Also- side bar- thank you for some of your questions about donating additionally down here. I'll send out a list as there will be more people to come down in December/ early next year.) The videos of the faith of the Haitian woman as well as God's provision was.... no surprise.... but still brought tears to my eyes.
After a slower morning, we packed up and headed out to Elder's school- the school Healing Haiti supports and will move to Grace Village when completed. We toured the school, seeing all of the children in their uniforms. I have found that children are identified as to their school and grade based on their uniforms. We went to the rooftop level and found ourselves in the middle of the upper level classes. Derek and I looked at the boards and talked if it was geometry or perhaps analytic geometry/ trigonometry the children were learning. Tom asked what we were talking about and we said we were just trying to decide what they were learning... "looks like math" Tom said. Derek and I just laughed a little and said "that's just Tom". The man has a heart of gold, and a passion for the Haitians. His energy is contagious and he just has made the trip more memorable as we've gone along. He's quick to point out how Americans are different in how they view things, but also even quicker with a word of encouragement or an acceptance of grace that people just don't know any differently. The passion and focus of the family is amazing to me. Tom is the brother in law of Alyn, Rachael the surrogate daughter of Jeff and Alyn's, but yet the choice is that the mission continues with the honor and glory to God, but with the blessing of Alyn who would have wanted things to continue this week and next. Focusing back to the school the thought of no boundaries came in realizing that the school has no boundaries- endless possibilities in how God may bless it and the ministry of Healing Haiti. In just a few short years, they have come so far in the mission here- I can only imagine what God alone is able to do in the years to come. No boundaries.
Our second stop today is that of Gertrude's. Gertrude was a nun who worked with Mother Theresa and moved on to start her own orphanage. What I've been told is that the Haitians do not take home with them any babies born with birth defects. Gertrude began this home as a means of rescuing and caring for them. Most of the children there have some sort of special need. This was tough for me- it is a stretch and a challenge to work with children with special needs because it has not been part of my experience. I found myself ignoring all boundaries....The first little boy I held had a few infections in his fingers from ingrown fingernails but had a smile to melt your heart. The second child was in a stroller and I fed him lunch... as we finished, he sat and cried, so I unsnapped him and realized he was wet, however, the women there have a very specific means of doing things to create order as well. It wasn't time yet for him to be changed. I worked with one of the women as I held him to administer his medicine. There was an accident with one of the other children, and after cleaning things up, they came back to take my little buddy for a change. We had a time of worship as well- singing to calm and connect with the children- and ended up connecting with the women working there as well. It was here I found my other buddy. I am guessing him to be about Chase's age, however, appeared to be autistic with the moving back and forth and inability to focus, lack of ability to verbally communicate. He also ended up being wet and landed himself in my lap, and asked to be held. No boundaries, right?
Our last stop of the day was Guillaune's orphanage. This is an orphanage/ school area supported by Healing Haiti and will too become a part of Grace Village. The children there were like walking into an outdoor school in the States until you realized they didn't have anywhere to go home to. I tried my hand at soccer-- yeah. Not so cool for a 30 year old chick to try to play with 10 year old boys who have soccer as a major language. After a picture and a few more kicks of the ball, a few of the boys just stopped and looked at me. I asked them if I should go do the women things and they just smiled, laughed... and then nodded. :) As I made my way back to the area with the crafts and so forth, I did a few tatoos, a few faces painted, and then suddenly found myself being painted... only to have a little girl want to comb/ do my hair. I don't let people touch my hair. I literally get clammy about the whole process, outside my children, and even then sometimes it doesn't go so well. My mom cuts my hair most of the time. So having a child much less another person touching my hair was WAY outside my boundaries. I even made the comment to my team that I can handle most things, but not having someone mess with my hair. So.... the little girl. I was told that from across the yard, Chalyne just watched as I went from tense to surrendering to this little girl. No boundaries. This little girl needed and really deserved every piece of me- no matter how uncomfortable I was. As I looked around, I saw the same things happening over and over again- the same instances. Jen getting her literal whole arm painted by a four year old. Chalyne getting her hair done. Lisa with her hair done. Heather with "painted" nails. The men doing puppets and crafts and soccer. The team lost themselves. No boundaries.
My recurring theme has been what is God trying to teach me? Yesterday I wrote that I was all in. Today I lost a contact and got bit by something that made my arm red. [Mom- I am fine. Really. I don't feel sick, I don't have a fever, my stomach isn't upset.] But this morning I read a blog about a woman who had her contacts here and literally couldn't see for half of her trip. I looked out of one eye all day. Just as much as I surrender to God, will this be the very thing that satan uses to pull me back or doubt or.... It's just a contact and it's just a little bite. not such a big deal right? God instructs us, through Paul, to put on the armor each day. Satan will look for a crack, no matter where we all are at to catch us in a weak moment and create unbelief. It would make him thrilled to see one part of the little inconveniences of life define this trip, this day, this moment.
This team and this trip have been the picture of my words for the day and the others around the table. Love. No boundaries. Blessed. Proud. Even Pensive as we have found ourselves continually analyzing and processing as best we can before going home, each seemingly trying to determine how we can make this better. I couldn't have asked for a better team. Trip. God... and perhaps a little something from an angel named Alyn... has been so present in this team. No boundaries. All in. Glory to God for how HE has worked and blessed the people of Haiti thus far.
Love to you all.