Friday, November 30, 2012

We loved...

Today we went to Home for the Sick and Dying. We served there for almost 3 hours. Our little girls held, fed, and comforted babies the entire time. Photos aren't allowed at the Home so I took some mental pictures. One is of Sierra looking at me with pleading eyes asking that we take the 18 mo old baby girl that she was loving home. Another is of the moms scrubbing the cribs with strong bleach water to help prevent a cholera outbreak. My final picture is Harry (sp) a lovely Haitian worker that I have seen many times but have never been able to develop a deeper relationship with. I was able to chat (in Creole) about a few things and begin to connect with a man that has kind eyes, a gentle spirit, and who does amazing maintenance work to keep the Home going.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Water Truck Day

The mother/ daughter team headed out for water truck day in Cite Soleil.  Clean shirts, open hearts, and lots of anticipation!  Lots of words were used to describe todays adventure, but the common theme amongst the Moms was humbled and proud of each one of these little selfless servants.  Their hearts are very big! 
Megan: "While the water truck was getting filled with water I met a little girl.  I felt very very happy playing with her.  I was so happy because she was very happy and I was having a lot of fun."

Ellie: "I handed a little boy a small cup of water, when I handed it back to him, the smile on his face filled me with joy. But it also made me sad to think about America, and how when we get something big we are happy, yet when Haitians get 1/2 a cup of water they are even happier than us."

Sierra: "When I got out of the truck the kids surrounded me.  They were holding my hands and trying to get as close to me as they could.  One was a little girl, she didn't talk.  She was always reaching her hands up to be picked up.  I held her until my arms hurt.  This made me feel happy because I was giving her love and she was giving love back to me at the same time."

Rebekah: ""When people saw us their faces lit up.  We went to the elders school and a group of girls about our age came and grabbed us and brought us back to their classroom.  They sat us down and played with our hair.  Their laugh was so joyful.  It felt so good."

Annie: "A mom tried to give her baby to me.  I felt helpless because I couldn't take her or support them in any way.  "

Kayla: "We were filling up the water truck and Haitians came running.  I was glad when one of them asked me to come too.  I felt spellbound that even though they are so poor, they are so happy.  God has blessed us more than we know."
Glwa Pou Bondye!
Glory to God!


It's hard to walk into a place as part of a group, especially a group all dressed same, and not feel all the peering eyes looking at you, gawking.  It's hard not to do the same when you walk into a place so familiar and yet so polar opposite of what you know.  I was raised by 2 teachers, I work in a school. I have 3 girls in elementary school. I spend much (most) of my time thinking about and prepping for school. I don't even refer to my own job as "going to work," I say...  "I'm going to school."  But my first experience in Haiti today was visiting a SCHOOL.  And guess what?  ...It wasn't anything close to the building, materials, the rooms, the prep, the resources- luxuries that I know as school. 
Elder's school. It's a 2-story, cement building. Simple floor plan...   a long, dark hallway with 3 classrooms off to the left, and 3 off to the right.  No doors, just classrooms. No electricity, just one chalkboard in each room.  20-30, maybe more students in uniform sitting at desk/benches.  Books and pens- that's about it.  (and I'm not talking about flashy trade books, like in our libraries...) Lunch upstairs was a plate of rice and ....gravy? The kids stand and eat. And they were well behaved, and today were excited and outgoing and wanting to talk to our girls.  Lots of trading names, ages, and grades (via interpreter) And the Haitian kids trying to put moms and daughters together.  "Mama?" and pointing to a girl.  

I felt sad while we were there.
I don't know exactly why.  
Didn't know why the tears were welling up while I was there.  The kids were cute and smiling and the teachers and Mr. Elder obviously cared about the kids. They were getting lunch.  
All good things.
I wonder if maybe I felt guilty...
I mean, the things that I worry about and the things that teachers and parents worry about at my school are a zillion miles away from the needs and worries at this school.  A zillion times a zillion.  I was frustrated when my Smartboard projector went out for repair this fall and was out for 12 days.  Even without a Smartboard my classroom and the resources I have in it and in my school are still like DisneyWorld (times a zillion) compared to the Elder's school.

I could go on with details.  But I can feel the take-away from today coming to me...
It's not about the resources.  It's not about the materials. It's about the RELATIONSHIPS. They are important, the most important wherever we are. I still need to connect and care about my students even with all the bells and whistles I have.  The kids at Elder's need the human connection during their school day just as much. And who knows...   those students might be taking away just as much as the students in any classroom in MN.  Maybe more...(see Ellie's post on receiving and being happy...)
And I/we can't FIX or make equal the divide and inequity for the kids I met today.  (not in one fell swoop) But we can RELATE while there- even if it's only a smile, a touch, a hand on the shoulder-saying I see you. I care about you. 
Karen and I talked today, and Travis and I talked after his trip about how that IS something. To show that you care.  
Isaiah 1:17- Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. 
Help the oppressed.
I think that means do what you can do.  If you can be here and smile and be the light of the Lord for a moment, do that.  If you can teach your own kids to LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS, do that. If you can gather and donate supplies for a friend's mission trip, do that. If you can pray for the students in little classrooms without electricity or running water, do that. If you can donate money- little or lots, do that.  I know what it means to help, we all do...

But today, I got to see firsthand what it means to be oppressed. I am thankful for the opportunity. I have been on a path leading to this for a little while now. God has been preparing my heart through those around me to be able to take in what I did today.  Travis and Karen both assured me, if you go, God will give you what you need while you are there. I really can't even put into words the oppression I saw today (and the Elder's school was an easier place for me to start, emotionally.) But look at the pictures, and listen to me when I tell you that the sweet, smiling, little Haitian kiddos we met today are oppressed.  
...and God is nudging us all, no he is commanding us all to HELP.
-Beth Sabby

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Girls were treated to jokes and encouragement from Healing Haiti's Tom Gacek!  Love you Tom!
Ready to start the day!

Cards in MIA

Taptap from airport to Guest House

Girls hanging out

The Super Six

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Here We Go!

Final packing is underway and I can't wait to get to Haiti with this great group of moms and daughters! Our focus for the week is OBEDIENCE, LOVE & LIGHT.  We look forward to seeing what God will teach us this week as we serve Him. We appreciate all your prayers for transformation, health & safety.