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Face Paint and Blocks!

One question comes to mind right away today: How in the world is it already our last day in Haiti? It feels like we’ve been here for both 24 hours and 24 days at the same time. It’s hard to describe. I’ll talk more about how this week has impacted all of us in tomorrow’s blog, but for today, we certainly made it count and worked our tails off in the beautiful Haiti weather! We helped move blocks for Ciltamine’s new house, painted a few rooms in a new property for WWV, and finished building two new tables for the guesthouse. Jon, the master carpenter of the group, took the lead on the project and did an amazing job! Here’s a message from Jon and his story of building the tables.

“Our hosts for the week, Pat and Randy, asked me to build two tables out of some 4x4’s and 1x12’s that they had. Grant helped me a lot with the work, which was super helpful. It started with the legs, then we assembled the top, and then attached the top to the legs. It was a pretty easy and straight forward project, but it was a pretty fun build. There were a few aesthetic touches that took some detail work that turned out really well. The job took about eight hours to complete. I really enjoy being able to use my gifts to bless World Wide Village in this way, and it’s nice to be able to leave my mark here, after we leave, for the future groups and teams.” – Jon

The painting crew was at it again today and put 3 coats of paint in two rooms, including the ceilings, which made Courtney and my faces look hilarious because of the paint splatter. Also, in case you were wondering, never paint a ceiling with your mouth open. Also close your eyes or wear glasses. Painting concrete walls was new for a lot of the team and we learned that it soaks up paint like crazy!

I’ll put a picture below, but it is crazy how far the house has come for Ciltamine. Grant, Jon, and I helped move blocks into the house for the Haitian workers, which saved them a lot of time walking back and forth from the pile and allowed them to get a lot more done today. The progress is incredible! Ciltamine’s new house should be done by the end of next week! So awesome!

I’ll give you a preview of tomorrow’s blog. This week has been such a whirlwind. So much getting done in such a short amount of time. We’ve experienced so much joy, so much encouragement, and so much fun together. God has done some amazing things to us and through us, and we just hope that we’ve brought even a sliver of the encouragement and love that we’ve felt to the Haitian people. It has been a great week. We wish we could stay, but are excited to come home, see our families, and share what we’ve learned with others back home. Also, because we’ve grown so close as a team, Cindy had the great idea that we all get matching Haiti tattoos at the Atlanta airport during our layover!

Please be praying for us that we make it to the airport safely, make it through security and customs with little to no problems, and make it home safely. See you tomorrow!

Blown Away! (Literally)

Today’s blog is going to be written popcorn style. Popcorn Jeff.

Today we got to experience a Haitian church service. The worship was incredible! The music was loud, people were dancing, they had English and Creole on the screen, and it was incredible to worship cross culturally. Unfortunately we couldn’t understand the message, but we were able to follow along with the scripture in our own Bible’s. I can’t speak for everyone, but I got goose bumps a handful of times while everyone was singing and worshiping together. It was so cool!

After church we drove over to a restaurant that is owned by Iowans! #shoutout A woman named Ali from Cedar Rapids packed up her life and moved to Haiti a few years ago and more recently opened a restaurant. The food was delicious (burgers, sandwiches, and sloppy joe’s) and it was so cool to meet Ali and hear her story.

Next up we were able to see downtown Port Au Prince. On the way, we stopped at a grocery store and were able to buy some Haitian coffee, hot sauce, vanilla, cookies, and raw sugar. So expect a few gifts when we get home. And if you don’t end up getting a gift…whoops. Popcorn Cindy

Port Au Prince was interesting. It was a drive full of mixed emotions as we saw so much of the wreckage, rubble, trash piles, and brokenness left behind from the earthquake. However on the flipside, we saw hope from the people, restoration (with some of the new buildings going up), and a lot of opportunity for future development. It is so heartbreaking to see the conditions of the streets, of people’s homes, and the destruction that they’re surrounded by. But there is hope. There is determination. There is a future for Haiti. So while we saw some of the physical brokenness of Haiti, we were also able to see and experience the hope for future restoration. Popcorn Lori.

After we got back to the guesthouse, the girls went for a quick walk, which ended up being an adventure up the mountain to the see WWV’s goat program again. Along the way, several children joined the group up the mountain. We had fun taking pictures, looking at a baby goat that was born just yesterday, and watching the sunset over the ocean. While we were watching the sun go down, in a matter of minutes, we noticed a dark wall of clouds coming our way. We ran so fast down that mountain, but still found ourselves getting soaking wet as a waterfall fell from the sky. It rained so hard, but it was fun if you can believe it. The sky was breathtaking too. On one side you have the sun setting beautifully over the ocean, and on the other side, the clouds were so dark, but between both settings was a thick and beautiful rainbow. It was a beautiful ending to a great Sunday.

Tomorrow is our last full day of work in Haiti. Please pray that we would have the energy to finish strong, and that God would continue to teach us new things, reveal himself to us, and finally, that we would be able to shine the light of Jesus to the people we encounter tomorrow.

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