For me personally, this being my second trip has so far brought a different perspective, but one I don't yet know just how to express adequately. I had what felt miraculous happen today. On my first time in Cite Soleil 6 months ago I left our last water stop on day one in tears over one baby. Today my feet were not on the ground even 30 seconds at that same stop (our first stop today) and my tears were flowing again over this same one baby. Today they were happy tears!
Last October at this stop, a mama handed me her crying, 5 month old baby, pulled the baby's shirt down and showed me a golf-ball sized abscess on her chest. She said her baby didn't sleep and wanted me to help. All we had as a first aid kit in the tap tap at the time was a few small band-aides and a half tube of bacitracin. I put the ointment on four little band-aides to try to cover this red, hot, closed infection and then gave the rest of the tube of bacitracin to her mama. Knowing how differently and the lengths we would go to treat this back home I couldn't help but think there was a good chance this baby would die. I struggled with that thought so much driving away from the water stop that day knowing this was completely treatable if only they had the resources. I did get to see her and treat her infection again, giving the mama more ointment our second day back in Cite Soleil 6 months ago, and while it was better than day one, it was still there. Today, as we pulled up to that water stop I recognized the place and instantly thought of her and started looking. As I stepped out of the tap tap today, I had taken no more than 10-15 steps and there she was!!! Mandy was already holding her as her mama handed her over so she could go get water. I can't express the absolute Joy I felt in seeing that little one's smiling face, and in seeing her mama. When I said her name Jenvien (sp?) to her mama, she said wi and looked at me smiling over the recognition. I pointed to her chest where the abscess had been and she instantly remembered, smiling and showing me this sweet baby's chest - completely healed! God clearly has a purpose for this sweet baby girl, now age 1, waiving and saying "Hey you"!
Amongst all the horrible, heartbreaking, unspeakable sites we each saw today, there were also moments of beauty and sites of joy. Dancing and singing God is so Good with the children will always be a sweet time I pray and trust they know the depth of. Watching team members dig in, hot, sweaty & dirty, serving, laughing, playing and bonding with the precious Haitian people brings such light in a dark place. I know I more clearly saw the Light in Cite Soleil today because God showed Himself to me boldly, only a few steps in.
Another moment to note today is the blast we had playing soccer with the sweet, guesthouse neighbor boys who not only schooled us with their amazing soccer skills, but also shared their sweet voices in worship with us in the tap tap while driving to the soccer fields! Their spirit is so strong and beautiful!
And lastly, Happy Birthday to our amazing leader, Karen!
Goodnight from Haiti!
Ke Bondye Beni'ou