Everyone was up late last night; we all had to pack, separate any remaining ministry items out, sort out personal gifts to leave with our new-friends, etc. Then we still had to get up early, grab a quick breakfast, load the bus and head off to Minoterie - where we would spend the morning before driving to the airport.
Jean Justin - my new brother!
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Jean Justin was given the book in the picture above by Christy, one of our team. Wonder how she knew an easy-to-read book about Jesus written in Creole would come in handy?
- 1 Peter 2:1-3
Speaking of envy...
We spent our final morning in Minoterie, playing with kids, walking the dusty village paths, saying our goodbyes and just enjoying the fellowship that comes from building lasting relationships with people.
Chilling in the UNICEF tent
My new friend Schneider
We did enjoy a refreshing interlude during our morning when Israele was kind enough to invite us into his home. There was a place down the hill that sold sodas, so we pooled our cash and picked up Coca-Cola and Limonade for all.
Amy and Karen chumming with Michelete and friend
Israele (right) and 'King' David (left) are in the house!
Before we were ready, the clock was telling us it was time to go. Despite the ongoing improvements, Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince is tough to get into, crowded and downright busy. We knew we needed to be there early to make our flight. Reluctantly, we said our goodbyes, gave out innumerable hugs and with a catch in our throats, waved out of Bluebird's windows as the kids chased us one more time down the street and out of Minoterie.
This time there were no, "Hey you's!" We know the kids in Minoterie; and they know us. They called us by name as we drove away toward Route 1 - and we called them by name right back.
Our flights back to Nashville were uneventful. Although I did catch a few people staring at how I was dressed. Looking down, I had to laugh. A morning's worth of fun and fellowship in Minoterie was enough to get me dirty - it must've seemed to other passengers that I'd walked straight down the mountains and onto the plane. What the people in Miami thought as I savored a steaming, Cuban café con leche while waiting for our Nashville flight, is anyone's guess.
As we cleared customs and ran to our new gate in Miami, I somehow inherited a new home.
Bildad's new house
Sometime during the week, Bildad had found this young kid selling the house above. It's made completely from cardboard and a little paint, and the detail is amazing. Recounting the sale, Bildad told me how this kid had told him he wanted to be an architect. The interesting thing about it is, the lad isn't even in school (yet). And, there really aren't any houses quite like this - at least that I've seen - in Haiti. There is a new generation growing up in Haiti today. And if they want you to give them anything, it's just a chance; just give them a chance.
Beyond this mountain...it's a new day in Haiti
Thank you God, for letting me be a part of what you are doing in the nation of Haiti. Thank you for the privilege of meeting Bildad, Nathanael, Israele, Frantzdy, Berdy (Jean Marie), Oswald, Daniel, Caleb, Michelete, Schneider, Ashley, David, and all of our new friends in Minoterie and in White House, TN. God I don't know what you have in store for me next. I just hope it includes a return trip to Minoterie.
As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?"
And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may."
And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.
- Acts 8:36-39