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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Ambushed!!!


So I learned a lesson today- if you get to a job site and the workers aren't there but 100 Haitian children are, don't get out of the truck!  We showed up at the Tillman's house today that they are building for their sponsor child.  It was down by the river in town where I had never been which was cool.  The river right now consists of a huge gorge with trickling water down the center meandering about.  Enough to bathe and wash clothes in and drink from, but just barely.   When the hurricane came through it nearly crested the banks and would have wiped out the surrounding houses.  This has happened twice in the last 20 years where the rains were so bad that the water tumbling down the mountain actually washed out the bridge going over the road!  Anyway, the workers weren't at this site yet and there were no tools for us to work, so we were suddenly expected to entertain 100 children.   They were playing soccer with a flat ball using two stones as the goals that you had to hit.  Luckily I had brought some suckers and bubbles and Scott brought a beach ball that we played with for 20 minutes until the workers arrived.  The kids swarmed us and wanted to take everything from our bags and kept saying, "you give me one dollar".   These are the first words their parents teach them in English other than "you you" when they want you attention.  We finally got to work but quickly found out that they dumped the sand partly where the house was supposed to go!  Nothing like moving material twice!  We mostly sifted sand and shoveled sand out of the way all morning.  At one point a boy about 12 wanted to help and he was shoveling sand into my sifter which is a 2x4 rectangular box with a metal grate on the bottom.  As i was shaking the sand to sift out the larger rocks and then tossing them to the side, he would shovel another load into my sifter.  I started going faster and so did he until it became a contest to see who could last longer!  I tried this last year with one of the workers and he smoked me.  So I thought I can surely beat a 12 year old!  And you will be happy to know that I put him to shame.  Ask Alyssa, I think she was pretty impressed with her dad.  I am very sore, but it was a great two days of workouts!
We did a vocational fair today as well for seventh and eighth graders at the Lifeline school.  A bunch of us talked about what we do at our jobs and then the kids got to ask us questions.  Being the only doctor, I got most of the questions!  One girl asked me to convince her why she needed to study hard and what wisdom I had about studying hard.  After explaining to her that she needed to read a ton and ask questions of those wise adults around her and learn from them so she can get a good education and have the chance to go to college, she said she was 85 percent convinced! After some other questions and with time almost up, I took the microphone back and said "I have one more thing that will get
 you the extra 15 percent.  God tells us that whatever we do, we should do it as if working for the Lord, whether chores or jobs or even school.  She smiled and said ok now I am 100 percent!
Then we got to go to the orphanage here on campus to see the children living there and play with them.  They sang a couple songs and did 2 interpretive dances that were just amazing.  Riley and Maddy and Alyssa were all crying listening to them.  We did a water balloon toss which was awesome.  They had never done that before!  Brilliant thinking by one of our teammates. Then we just played and loved on them.  Again the kids were awesome relating to these teens and young ones.
I feel like a veteran for sure now.  When one of the three main leaders aren't around, people look to me for guidance.  I had to come up with a song and lead us at the children's home (Amazing Grace) and then lead the water balloon toss.  I felt like i was at camp!!  Then I took a team of about 20 out into the community to see the city and go down to the ocean.  We had a fun time taking pictures and interacting with the Haitian people of Grand Goave.
Have I mentioned I love coming here?  The team consists of 48 people. Maybe 15 newbies and a lot of old timers.  I don't see many of these people for a whole year, but when we get here we are like best friends and pick up right where we left off from last year.  Everyone works so well together and it is just a joy to serve alongside such wonderful people.  I am truly thankful for this opportunity and would invite any of you all to come along! Be careful though, because Charlotte and Denise brought Thomas and Scott and are hooked, have sponsor children, and are building them houses! 

One more thing... one of my favorite parts from yesterday. I told you we had water balloons for a water balloon toss with the kids at the children's home. They put me on charge which is never a good idea. But I have a loud voice (sorry Jaime) and I am kind of fun!  So I had each Haitian kid pick an American to be their partner. Then we tossed. It was hilarious. Pics to follow later. 
After the toss we had balloons left over. I brought them to the middle of the field and started talking. We had a translator there helping us and if you have ever had to translate something you know how long it takes and how you stop your sentences in the right place to make it dramatic! Well most of the team knows me well enough to see what was coming and I could see them retreating to the back. When I announced to the Haitian kids that now they needed to take the remaining water balloons and throw them at the Americans, the squeals and screams were hilarious!!  What a great memory!  You will have to ask your kids about it. Riley and her partner were one of the two winners of the toss!!  And then her partner chased her to throw the next balloon at her!!  That's gratitude and an instant bond!!
                                                                                                                                       


                                                                                                                                    ~Jeremy

2 comments:

  1. Totaling picturing you do all of this! Praying for your team this week. God Bless you all!!

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  2. Absolutely Amazing! Angelina,Seth and I LOVE reading about the adventures and God's work being down thru you all when in Haiti! May God Continue to bless you all!!

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