My alarm went off this morning while it was still dark—nothing new—but I decided I should sleep longer to catch up. Much later when it was light I looked at my watch. Only 5:30? Then I remembered it had been set for 2:45 a.m. I’m glad I decided to sleep in.
After a very colorful breakfast I spent the rest of the morning into the afternoon on an adventure through the highly-populated center of Petionville. The traffic was so backed up that our driver finally honked the horn and did a U-turn into oncoming traffic, got into more trouble, continued to turn and finally settled on an alternate route that took us through mountain trails posing as streets (I was not driving, though I would have loved it just for the adrenaline rush). Even when we were going over curbs and sidewalks no one blinked. I got to ride in the passenger seat while Pastor Predestin, the director of MFH Haiti, uttered quick directions in Creole to our driver. We visited three orphan homes associated with My Father’s House as well as the building where many of the 200 kids attend school.
It was a little awkward watching the distribution of clothing, friendship bracelets and homemade beaded jewelry (thank you, RLBC ladies, Natalya and crew). The children were mostly patient waiting for these gifts (apparently a rare event), but as usual there were not quite enough trinkets and beautiful clothes to go around (I hope there will be some adjustments by the house moms to fix that). It underscored for me something important. Whether you are rich and spoiled or poor and deprived it is dangerous to think you will find lasting joy in possessions. Don’t misunderstand. This was the right thing to do. I wish I could have brought another 50-pound bag of clothing and gifts.
I am talking big-picture. Lots of money from somewhere has been spent here on new stuff in the last year. The “lucky” ones found money to get the stuff and the “unlucky” ones have stood back and watched. They are like an orphan girl without a new dress seeing another with a new dress and a beautiful necklace. I honestly hope Haiti becomes the economic giant it could become with good leadership. But I also know what has happened to our country. The more we get the more we want and the next step up never satisfies. Never. We are wrong to think that the biggest opportunities we can give these children are economic.
For the record, I also unloaded a very large and very necessary wad of cash to MFH that I carried into the country from a little church in Wisconsin.
Tomorrow we will start classes. I am scheduled to teach the first three of 14 hours on the Synoptic Gospels and Jim will start the biblical doctrine of Anthropology. I am looking forward to fellowshipping with my friends again.