Today we did more things, but it was also easier. That is probably because there was no long hard drive involved. We started the day with a meeting at the Sous Espwa (Source of Hope) office where we saw pictures of Lesley in her former role and then heard about how appreciated she was. We learned how World Missions and World Renew, ministries of our denomination, work together here through a number of partner organizations. I asked Michael if he could explain it to LaRoca and he said, “they want to help Haitians develop Haiti.” That is it.
Next we visited the Apparent Project. This is a business started by a woman who came to adopt a child and realized that the mother did not want to give up her child, but could not afford to support the child. The idea she came up with was to take waste like empty cereal boxes and turn it into jewelry. The business now employs over 200 people and ships a variety of products around the world. This is one great solution to the garbage problem and the employment challenges and the child poverty issues.
We also visited with some leaders from the ECRH (the Christian Reformed Church of Haiti). With them we talked further about the partnership and again felt a good sense of common ground and connection. Again we heard about how much they loved and appreciated Lesley, to which we replied with a smile, “we love her too, you can’t have her back.” We concluded with a meaningful and powerful time of prayer.
Our final visit was to Tin City, a place where old oil drums are turned into decorations. There is the constant tapping of hammers as material is produced. There is also the constant encouragement to “come to my shop, I have good prices.” We enjoyed seeing how it was made and interacting with the salespeople. Here, as at Apparent project, we contributed to the economy to bless an idea that is taking something broken and trying to fix it in a creative and productive way.
Those were four hopeful visits in one day. God is at work here in Haiti and we got to witness it. One other sign we witnessed was when Randy asked where the tent city was and Gregory said it no longer exists. Things are moving forward in Haiti. Praise God!
Our evening, after our usual time of devotions, included some reflection on our next steps. We will present to Immanuel and to LaRoca with words and pictures. We will call together a team of interested people to discern what to do with what we have learned and to find ways to maintain some of the relationships we have started. And we will plan for the next visit and how we can build on and improve upon this visit. It has been outstanding and excellent and more than most of us expected…and we already know ways that we can grow further. God is good, all the time.
Tomorrow we are up early to spend the day travelling home. Again, thank you so much for prayers, notes, etcetera, we were very aware of your support. See you soon!