The morning of our fourth day, we went to Leveque with the purpose of building a cross out of stones in the side of one of the hills. It was great watching it come together, and working as a team – Americans and Haitians. The adults and kids in the community helped us so much and it was another wonderful way for us to build relationships with the people of Haiti.
This is the before picture…
Can you see my sweet Emeson in this picture? I was super excited to see him once again. He kept calling all the American Ladies “Emily.” It made me so happy.
Here is the after picture…
It was a really neat experience and it’s nice to know that the cross will be there for a long time, even though the ones of us that built it may not be there.
While we were building a cross out of rocks, a few of the other folks in our team from 410 Bridge were teaching Pastor William about Joseph. He learned the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, and we asked him if he would tell the story to us. You do not need to know sign language to understand the stories William tells. He is very animated and his facial expressions and movements tell you everything you need to know about Potiphar's wife.
After lunch, we returned to Leveque only for a few minutes. It started raining and we were concerned about crossing the creek, so we loaded back up on the van and headed back to the guesthouse.
I didn’t take pictures of the kids in the rain, but in Haiti, when it rains…that means it’s SHOWER TIME! All the kids were outside, naked, some had soap, and they were getting themselves clean. It was too funny.
Now for the blog for the day…
Monday, July 16, 2012
Submitted by Jodie Fuller:
Hello dear family and friends! It is a great privilege to be able to write you an update on our team. Today was a bit unusual as we experienced a decent size rain storm for most of the afternoon. But let me begin from…. well…..the beginning.
The morning began in a normal way for us in Haiti. We awoke to the early sounds of roosters crowing. For me, that means around 3am California time….for the majority of the team 6am. As has been mentioned before, the ladies here at our Guesthouse sure can cook….and they prove it with each and every meal. I have been especially blessed by the fellowship our team enjoys. With a team made up of people from across the US…God proves that HE is sovereign and in control. This morning I sat during breakfast just taking in the great unity we share.
Once breakfast was finished we began getting ready to take our bus ride over to Leveque. Along the road we consistently see little old women atop donkeys, traveling to or from market. Sometimes they are dressed so regally. The juxtaposition is heartwarming. The people here hold themselves with such confidence, with much proper pride in their work. Their lives are not easy, but they trust God and are a joyous people.
The plan for today (unless God wanted to change it) was that Kathryn would continue her translating work with William, and the rest of us would work on clearing a hill to create a cross with large rocks so that all who come to Leveque will know that it is a community built upon Christ. I have never seen so many hard and joyful workers in all my life. David got right to work using a machete’ on some brush. Emily easily is one of THE most lovely and joyous women I have met. She kept up with the men all the way!! Oh, and I will never forget the dancing conga style line (hello Eileen!!) as we passed rocks to each other in an assembly style line. We worked so well as a team that we finished the cross much earlier than we expected.
I personally left the cross area for just a little while to visit in with Kathryn and William, one of the deaf leaders/pastor in training. Today William was taking some of the story of Joseph that he had learned yesterday, and signing it for himself. If there is anything I can leave readers of this blog with, it would be the major importance the 410 Bridge is in this country and especially in this community. Seeing firsthand a man called by God to pastor this community was amazing. With every sign, every movement….you can see the calling of God on this man. You can see everywhere you turn how the sustainable living model is the appropriate one. We are not here to give to the people, but to work alongside them and let them take responsibility for their futures.
We arrived back at the Guesthouse and enjoyed our lunch time. Once refreshed we began preparing to leave for our afternoon activities within the community. A pretty major rain storm was on its way, but we decided to travel. We arrived in the community just as the storm had begun. We traveled up the hill to the community center/church pavilion. We were greeted by many children and young adults, all finding the rain a great opportunity to either take a clean/free shower or play dominoes under shelter. Due to the amount of rain, the decision to come back to the Guesthouse was made rather quickly.
For the past few days I have noticed a connection that the young ladies on our team have with the children here. Carly especially has had her High School French studies come in handy. The children flock to her, Alex, Emily, and Chelsea. Emily has exclaimed that the children here are so amazingly loving…”all you have to do is smile and they love you” Love truly has no language barrier.
After a wonderful dinner, Annie began an ASL class with the majority of the team. Everyone caught on quickly and found the time enjoyable. Once the class was finished we all were blessed by Annie’s life story as she shared her experiences growing up Deaf in India and the US. Thank you so much Annie for the privilege to get to know you! You are a wonderful young woman and we love you.
Once Annie was finished with her life story she and Lindsey transitioned into our devotion time. They shared about what it means to be a servant and how we need to keep our focus on the eternal things, not earthly things.
On a more personal note, sometimes it is the quiet person, the one who is in the background, that can make a huge impact on our lives. I have seen God use Robert in such a gentle and loving way this week. Watching him care for the babies in the community truly has touched my heart.
I would like to backtrack a moment to yesterday. Yesterday, a boy named Albert was brought to the 410 Bridge Guesthouse. He is 17, but looks about 10 years old. He has lived in an orphanage in the middle portion of Haiti all his life. He is deaf and has no language. He possesses a few home signs, but no true language. Can you imagine? Some caretakers of his are very concerned about his future. Kathryn sat down with him and in just 5 minutes of teaching with flash cards the boy had a vocabulary of 9 signs. I took pictures of this historic event. Within a week he will need to have somewhere else to live. We are all thanking God that a group from another church is here under the Mission of Hope organization and they have 4 Deaf within their team. The orphanage has agreed to keep Albert one week longer so that these Deaf men and women from the US can give him as much language as possible. Please be praying for Albert.
As I write this the sound of laughter can be heard from upstairs. The ladies have gathered in one of the rooms to just hang out. It blesses me to hear them. It blesses me to see younger people who are getting the idea that their lives are not their own, but they are bought with a price….they are Christ’s.
By God’s gracious mercies alone,
Jodie Fuller (for the whole 410 Bridge Team)