Once In Lifetime Experience
Weeks of preparation for this trip did not emotionally (or physically) prepare me for my first full day of service in Cité Soleil. Seeing the photos of children clinging to Healing Haiti missionaries doesn't do justice to the overwhelming joy of having three young boys climbing up and holding on like you're their father or big brother. Here I am a complete stranger from Dallas, Texas and these kids immediately bonded with me – pulling and clamoring to be picked up and held, played with, or just be affirmed and loved as a fellow human being.
After the physical demands of the first stop, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to give the second group of kids the same level of attention. That fear abated quickly as I switched to "hose duty" on the second stop. My wife was filling the buckets as I held the hose on one shoulder and a young Haitian girl on the other.
Our third stop, near the ocean, was the most intense as there were more people and we were at the mercy of the afternoon sun. Clouds passed by, providing some relief, and I thought "the Lord is blessing us with some shade". We filled many buckets while the children bathed and splashed in the clean refreshing water.
As we boarded the "tap tap" for the trip back I was relieved and saddened at the same time. Relieved now that the physical work was over but already missing those smiling faces and playful hands, stroking (and sometimes pulling) the hair on my arm. Saturday is our next scheduled water delivery and I'm sure that letting go will be even harder.
During our group time tonight we shared a "word of the day". Hope, resilience, spirit, conflicted, walls, and joy were just a few that encompassed the feelings and thoughts from this amazing experience. Some of the new-timers, present company included, had perhaps different words than those who have been to Haiti numerous times. But even the veterans were touched in new ways it seems.
Danny Jaco - First Time Team Member