VBS Week – This time last year

Posting will be pretty sporadic this week due to Vacation Bible School.  I was going to pull some older stories and post them for you to enjoy.  I looked at the date and realized this time last year I was in Haiti.  Please take a look back with me and read some of the posts from last year and a video of some of the photos.

A photo slideshow I put together a few months ago with one of my favorite songs.

An article I wrote for our internal employee newsletter.

The need for clean water in Haiti.

Reflection and new friends.

Six Months Ago

This week has sent my mind back about six months.  We went to a local church who was having a Missions Jubilee earlier in the week.  We were listening to the missionaries that were going all over the world to spread the gospel and my mind returned to Haiti.  I came under conviction thinking about the people that I had promised I would pray for when I returned.  I thought about the man who gave his life to Christ.  My mind went back to the kids, the kids….

I will pray for them and I hope you will join me.  Here is a video of pictures that I put together.  You have probably seen most of them, but watch again and listen to the words of the song.

Child Labor

While we were on site in Bonneau getting the ground level for the foundation of the church there were children everywhere.  They came to play with us and longed to work side by side with us and the Haitian men.  We had a huge dirt pile that they loved climbing up and rolling down.  The men, who I assume, were supposed to be watching the kids would periodically come over and yell at them and they would get off the dirt.  The other times they would play games at the bottom and sing songs.  This really kept us working in the hot sun.  Some would sneak up and want to carry buckets.  At one point the kids were all singing a song with the same words over and over again.

“boule dyab boule,boule dyab boule,boule dyab boule,boule dyab boule”

I asked our translator what the were singing.  He started laughing and said it was a song they taught in Bible School, “Burn Devil Burn”.  We would take breaks to get water and the kids would run up and grab the tools from the ground.

I promise we didn’t go over there and make all the kids do the work!  It made me think of kids back in the US, it made me think of my kids.  How willing would they be to go out in 100 degree weather and work to build our future church?

Dlo

Water in Kreole is Dlo.  This is one of the only words that I learned while there.  We take clean water for granted.  When I turn the faucet on water is going to come out, not doubt in my mind.  Not only that, the water will be clean and I will be able to drink it.  The reason this word stands out to me the most from our trip is because the kids begged for it.  When we would go out to the work site we would take our own water.  I had a 2 liter camel pack and a water bottle full of water.  We also had these little bags of water in a cooler.

After a few hours the water we brought would be hot and everyone wanted the little bags that were in the cooler.  The kids would all come up and say dlo dlo dlo.  How do you turn down a hot sweaty kid begging for water?  Needless to say we ran out of water a few days on the job.  We returned back to the mission praying that the ice machine was working.  The mission had a huge water tank and all the water was filtered and safe to drink.  Safe to drink and good tasting water do not go hand-in-hand.  The first day they brought ice out we were all fighting over it.  You can only drink warm water for so long.  We were covered in dirt and sweat from head to toe and made a beeline for the ice machine.  “Any ice?”  and the reply was “No Water!”

No water?  I guess that means no ice…..  Wait, that also means no shower. No shower? Luckily they had filled a large barrel with water before they ran out.  You could dip the bucket in the barrel and take a bucket shower.  We were already on strict rules to take a military shower.  You know, turn water on to get wet, turn water off, soap up, turn water back on to rinse off.  And of course if its yellow let it mellow…..

The water came back on for a little while and you had to get in line to take a shower.  I went back in to brush my teeth and heard yelling from one of the younger members on our trip.  “My eyes, my eyes, they are burning.  I’ve got soap in my eyes.  The water is out”  I’m sorry, but my first instinct was to start laughing.  I yelled and told him that there was some water in the bucket that was right outside the shower curtain.  His response was that he had no clothes on.  I looked for a bucket but I think all of them were being used.  I finally found a small dixie cup for him to use.

The water was pretty intermittent during our whole trip.  Most of the town that we were in had no running water in their homes either.  There were stations around the city that had water inside that you could get and take it back home.  I have no clue who ran these or if they were free.  I also saw places selling water.  I saw a lady walking down the road with a full water jug on her head.  I estimated it to be around 40lbs.  One of the most disheartening things I saw was someone carrying water in a large tank that was labeled sulfuric acid.  I’m sure it was clean, but just the thought of drinking water from it.

My point is we take for granted that when we turn the handle clean water is going to come out, but so many other places this is not so.  We don’t have to dig holes in the mud to try and get water, no matter how dirty it is.