Sunday morning our team got an early start, but not as early as these fishermen already casting their nets. We attended church with the orphans, caregivers, and community members. Worship was like their own brand of jazz, with Madame Lucien moving from song to prayer while randomly accompanied by an eletronic keyboard, electric guitar, and drums. The children sang special music for us. After two hours we slipped out of the service to help prepare lunch for the children.
While the children ate their lunch, part of our team left with eleven of the caregivers to return to the hotel. One of our goals for this trip was to build relationships with these women, so we pampered them with a "spa" day - facials, manicures, and pedicures; lunch; and a Bible study. The rest of us stayed behind to help with the children. During lunchtime, we held the babies and visited with Dr. Noel. Pictured below, Lisa holds Jakob, a seven-month-old who was left on the orphanage's doorstep two weeks ago. He was very malnourished, so we worked all day trying to get him to drink a bottle of formula.
After lunch we shared Bible stories with the little ones and played. Here Deena goofs off with them, but most didn't know what to think of her red nose and false teeth. They'd obviously never seen a clown before.
Here's baby Jakob in the pack-n-play we brought with us holding onto a stuffed dolphin. He was a dedicated thumb sucker.
In the afternoon Lisa spent some more time with the teenage girls talking to them about abstinence. The girls were very engaged and asked thoughtful questions. David, to Lisa's left, was our wonderful interpreter. After this, Lisa braved a conversation with the teenage boys about abstinence. She did an amazing job, and the boys were equally respectful and thoughtful.
While Lisa spoke with the older girls, Mia spoke to each child, taking down their names, ages, and Christmas wish. The children were very patient, waiting for their turn to talk with her. Later that afternoon the teenage girls discovered that our team member Rachel spoke fluent French. They were extremely interested in her life and her family, and they were happy to be able to converse with her.
We borrowed this parachute from the boys' school, and it was a definite hit with the children. They squealed with delight and ran underneath as we flapped it up and down.
By midafternoon, we were happy to sit and rest with these babies. It had been a very long, very hot day, so we found the little breeze coming through a door to the church and enjoyed a moment of peace.
After leaving the orphanage on Sunday afternoon, our bus made it only about 1/4 mile on the road before it got stuck in the mud. Despite his best attempts, our driver had to turn it around. Because we didn't know how long this would take, we walked back to the orphanage to wait. Little did we know the huge blessing that was waiting for us down the muddy road...
Madame Lucien and the other caregivers led us by hand into the courtyard, where they had circled chairs around a tub of clean rainwater. They knelt before us and washed each of our feet while another women cleaned our muddy shoes. It was tender and beautiful, and we were humbled by their love and kindness toward us.
God saw our weariness and our sadness, and He used these Haitian women to minister to us in a beautiful way. We ended our evening at the hotel with a delicious meal, a celebration of Cecile's birthday, and a special time of devotion and prayer.