What an amazing and wonderful celebration at Cavaillon today. The children got to visit for the first time since the hurricane last fall (some of the little ones had gotten kind of confused on the whole "where do I live?" question - thinking they'd just be at Cambry forever now since that's been their home for a long time - four months IS a long time when you're little!) for a very special dedication that has months in the making, with lots of generous donors and creative fundraising coming to bear.
The work is not yet done in the complex, but "The Kitchen That Love Built" was dedicated today. Ongoing work in the cafeteria, bathrooms, office space, regrading outside with rocks to help drainage and parasite control, and sleeping quarters (much brand new construction, some necessary repairs from the hurricane) will continue, although additional funds are required.
There was a ribbon cutting, singing, prayer, and a story of how the vision for the new kitchen/cafeteria complex came to be by a chief fundraiser, Beth DeLaCruz. There's a special plaque that was put in place today, as well. When completed, Cavaillon will be a wonderful, modern, sturdy, and safe place for the children who live there. The progress is truly astounding, but the work yet to be done significant. Yet it is such an exciting thing to see happen!
And this was only HALF the day...the "shelf team" stayed and got their main tasks done so others can finish up this big project, but the medical team went on to La Hot to visit the orphans, housemoms, and several community people. In 5 hours of work, the team saw about 90 people - kids with scabies, infections, burns, cuts, and some adults as well. One little girl had a badly burned hand that was infected (another cooking fire accident, far too common due to the open fire cooking used in much of Haiti) which was of great concern to the docs. They started her on antibiotics, but in the US she would have been hospitalized and on an IV drip of meds for a few days, at least. It is possible that the infection will cause the loss of her hand. Please pray that it will not be so.
In total this week, the medical team saw approximately 430 people in multiple locations.
By the way, one important story from yesterday's visit to Mayan, a remote village in what Haitians call a "dark region" due to voodoo influence and which has literally no churches or Christian witness. It is a "preaching point" that ESMI hopes to develop into a location for a church plant over time. It's one of the reasons the medical team went today and has visited on past trips. Yesterday, after being seen by the docs and prayed for and cared for by our team, an "elder statesman" in the village came back later to seek our our team leader and prayed to receive Christ, quite possibly the first Christian in the village, ever. Could this conversion of a respected older leader be the start of God's gracious movement in this community? Let's pray it is so!
Tomorrow is a long travel day that starts at 5:30 EST, when the team is to be assembled outside the guest house to pack up the coach bus and start the long trip back to Port au Prince. From there, a plane to Miami, and then planes to a few different locations back home.
This team has accomplished an amazing amount of work, with such a great team effort and a relentlessly cheerful and upbeat demeanor in service. They are delighted at what's been accomplished, surely, and at the same time even more aware of the work still to be done. Please pray that their efforts this week have lasting effect, and at the same time that they can rest in knowing they've been faithful to do what they could in the time they had...and that it is enough for now.
Prayers for safe, smooth, and timely travel and health upon returning home will be most appreciated. Prayers for the precious children they leave behind, and for the people of Haiti are requested as well.
Thank you for your support of this team. Your contribution of prayer is invaluable!
Enjoy the pictures from today - but one from yesterday, first, which finally got through today! The water purification system dedication at Savanne!