Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reiser Heights by Bob and Geri

Blessings of this day began early - 6:00 A.M. Haitian morning service - 90 minutes of joy filled song, prayer and praise attended by most of our team. After a hearty breakfast we boarded the Healing Haiti "tap tap" for the two hour trip to Reiser Heights primary school, located high in the foothills south and east of Port a Prince. The ride was an adventure in itself - two hours of typical Haitian "daredevil" driving combined with traversing some of the rockiest, rutted roads on the face of the planet. Humor saved the day as the team regaled each other with stories, pranks and good natured jabs. Arriving at Reiser Heights in the middle of the school day the team immediately went to work distributing pencils, pencil sharpeners, tooth brushes, toothpaste and, of course, candy. The students were joyful, but well behaved recipients - some classrooms sang for their guests, while all smiled with the joy of innocent childhood. Medical supplies were delivered and plans for future needs were assessed. Our team leaders met with the headmaster of the school and the school nurse. The joyful smiles and exuberance of these beautiful children of God is always irrefutable evidence of His hand in our lives.
Next came a quite significant event. Two of our team members, Gerri and Marie, had felt God move in their hearts to provide a gift of life to some of the nearby residents. They set about to enlist the support of fellow parishioners at Epiphany Catholic Church in Coon Rapids and managed to raise enough funds to purchase two pigs and eight goats. The presentation was made by Marie and Gerri to ten women selected by the headmaster of the school. It was a brief ceremony and the women took their leave. As we watched them disappear down the rocky trail we knew that God had provided these women with the lifegiving gift of sustainable providence for their families. It was as if we had taught them to fish rather than giving them a fish. May God be held high in praise for this gift and may Gerri and Marie be recognized for answering God's call to "feed the least of My brethren".
The ride back to the guest house included a lunch and shopping stop at the Baptist Mission, an unscheduled stop to check out a flat tire, a second shopping stop along the road, a photo opportunity at the collapsed presidential palace and continued joy and humor shared by the team. Shortly after arriving at the guest house a few of the team joined some local neighborhood children in a spirited game of street soccer. A delicious spaghetti dinner was followed by our "word of the day" reflections - clue (nail in Creole), frustration, fish, doing-it-right, goat, in-awe, English, futbol, humor, excellent and humbling-honor. We also christened Gerri and Marie as the "goat sisters" for their role in the gift of goats and pigs. At the end of this day we have given little and received much. We have been enormously blessed by the enduring spirit of the people of this troubled island, who, while they may be incredibly poor in many ways they are incredibly rich in the Spirit of God.

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