At the end of the day (Friday), residents of the Cayes neighborhood were standing in line not for medical care, but to shake the hands of our team leaders. In their words: “Even other Haitians avoid coming to our neighborhood. But you Americans came and took care of us today. You cannot know what it means to us to see that someone cares.” And they all knew the Americans were there in Jesus’ name – “nan nom Jezi” in Creole.
For once, the team was grateful for a torrential downpour. When it was time to begin to pack up, there were still masses of people. The rains came and the people started to scatter – and when it didn’t let up, they didn’t come back. It poured for at least an hour. It was a less painful way to finish than to just turn people away. Almost 200 people had been seen – an amazing effort by the team. The chaos of a large crowd threatened to overtake them at any minute for most of the day. Louis had asked several “community leaders” (aka gang members) to provide a cordon around our team so that they could work in relative order while masses of people waited for care. These “leaders” were effective in their tasks as everyone knew their street reputations.
During the day, the crowding made it hard for the children’s team to accomplish anything with the children, until they took refuge in the back of the pick up truck that had brought them there. From the bed of the truck, the team worked with whatever children gathered. At one point, the medical team moved to a less exposed location – inside a small room that was close and cramped. But it was easier to control access that way.
By evening, the team was back in the guest quarters at Cambry, packing up for the trip home. Excess supplies were returned to the pharmacy for use by the next team – the duffels that were stuffed with donated supplies (and purchased medicines bought with donated funds) upon arrival will come back empty.
To the exhausted team, cool showers were a blessing, falling into bed another! Their morning will come early – they intend to leave by 5:00 to leave plenty of time for the trip back to PAP. The flight leaves at 12:10.
Please pray that the trip by bus and by air are safe, smooth and timely. Pray also that their return home would not be marked by residual illnesses, and that their memories of Haiti would be not of those people that they could not help, but of the difference they could see themselves making in the life of every person they did help. Ask God to give them a sense of the specialness of their team unity and the deep friendships formed in the trying circumstances they have weathered together, for his glory and for the good of the people of Haiti. At the end of an experience like this, it is hard for them to fathom that they hadn’t even met every team member just a week ago! Also, praise God for the generous support that allowed this team to spend a week in ministry there, and be so wonderfully stocked with medicines, supplies, clothes to give away, and games to play with the children.
Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, and for those who will come in our team’s place in the coming weeks and months. Ask God to bless the efforts of relief workers all over the island, and to remove any human barriers to effective service, care, and rebuilding. Pray above all for spiritual revival in these sorely trying times in Haiti, and for those who are the spiritual leaders there. Remember Dony, Louis, the pastors they are training, and the churches that are forming, nan nom Jezi.
If cell signals allow, there will be one more update tomorrow morning (Saturday) letting you know of their progress towards home, on American Air flight #1004, scheduled to leave Port au Prince at 12:10 CST.