It is amazing how God puts together a mission’s team just like a puzzle. We just spent an hour hanging out with one another after a great day at the orphanage talking about the victories and challenges we have experienced. There have already been a lot of laughs and a lot of tears as we serve alongside each other here in Haiti. We are a team of 7 women and 3 men. Let me just start with the men…Jim, Todd and Chet. They have done most of the bed assembling in the past 2 days. They had a period of time this morning where they had put together all of the beds that had arrived (2 flat tires on the vehicle slowed up the delivery a bit). When I say these men worked- I mean they worked! Not only have they assembled 12 triples bunks (36 beds) but today during the time between bed deliveries, they built stairs, they did something involving plumbing, and something up on the roof. None were content resting or even sitting. They literally poured blood, sweat and tears into their work today- and for that…I am thankful. For those of you that know, love and support Jim, Chet, and Todd- you are blessed to have such Godly men in your life. They each left a part of themselves in the orphanage today- each proving worthy of the calling they have received.
On to the women on the team. Kelly, Mary Virginia, Laura, Heather, Katie, McKenzie and myself (Kristi). We are a mix of introverts/extroverts, girly-girls/tomboys, singers/dancers (or neither!)—and we are each drawn to different children in the orphanage. I could not be in better company. We have sheets on all of the beds (girly ones on the girls’ beds) and boy “ish” ones on the boys’ beds. Today in crafts each child made a cross that Mary Virginia so carefully hung on each child’s bed. Kelly and I spent time with some of the other girls painting nails (the girls painted ours blue- call the nail polish company b/c we have renamed it “Sweet Sleep Blue”) and we painted all of theirs pink. Kelly let them braid her hair (OUCH!) as we spent intentional time connecting powerfully through the art of human touch. Mary Virginia is just the master- never flustered she personally tattooed probably 50 kids today (they are fake-no worries) and in her sweet voice made sure each child heard the words “Jesus loves you.” Laura spent quality time with many of the caregivers today. You know Laura cares because she is so expressive with her face, her hands, her entire being…she loves and she loves fully. Side note: Laura is also known at the orphanage for the rap music on her iphone! Katie took the time to play basketball with the older Haitian boys….sweating like she was trying out for the WNBA- not intimidated in the slightest that these boys that were much taller than she is! McKenzie is another one of those young women that just never seems flustered. She is “young”, only 18, with the wisdom, passion and maturity of someone three times her age. It sounds funny- but she wiped noses today! I know that seems weird to write about, but she did so with the tenderness of a mother…and that’s all I have to say about that. Precious. Heather has connected with so many of the children here. Her face just lights up with every child that crosses her path and the kids/teenagers know that she is so genuinely interested in them and what they have to say.
If you are reading this, you likely know one of these amazing women. I can honestly confirm what you already know, which is that your life is better and richer for knowing one of them….as is mine. God knew what He was doing when he brought the 10 of us together from 3 different states to serve in this time, in the place, for this reason. We intend to finish assembling the beds tomorrow that each of God’s children may know a sweeter night’s sleep. Thank you for reading…we are all humbled that you would care enough about us to pray, love and support what we are doing.