Haiti: Tuesday Update from the Canadian Team

Here is Joan Sider’s Tuesday report from Haiti. She has been sending daily reports from the 11-person team from Canada currently in Haiti.

Joan Sider (Toronto, Ontario)
Today we awoke to no power and no water. No showers or fans! The one good thing about this is that we all smell the same! Our breakfast was scrambled eggs and the same delicious bread we’ve been eating since we arrived. No white sliced bread–yeah! I guess we’ve convinced our host that we love the Haitian bread much better.

We head for City Soleil–the first time we’ve had the team do ministry there in a number of years. We did our various works in Pastor Supreme’s church. Last year, the people there complained that all we did was pop in to their service for about 20 minutes and then left. They wanted us to stay longer. Well, we did today. I guess we left around 8:00 and the teams come home around 2:30 p.m.

Pastor Oliam Richard and I left City Soleil in the afternoon to pick up the generator and then on to Delmas to collect the Jeff and Ron. I wanted to be able to take more pictures of the work they had done alongside the workers.

The medical team worked inside the church and have it all done to a science. They saw around 100 patients again today. Our cut-off number is 80–but mothers come in with children, so one patient card ends up have 3 or 4 names on it. The church set up everything so well. The team members had adequate space, light and fans even. They worked hard and were glad that tonight is a down time. The police and United Nations came round to see that all was well with us.

Another two quilts were produced, and I ran the same kind of competition to see who would get them. There was a nice group of women–they go to the clinic as well. A lovely location in a side yard to the church was used. Audrey continues to amaze me with her energy and determination to let nothing hinder the completion of these quilts. The lady who used the sewing machine received one of the quilts. I had to admit that I rigged it a little so she could have one since she sewed both of them (well, her husband helped some).

The children–about 100 of them–also were out in this side yard, and they pack them in like sardines. Considering how close they are to each other, it is amazing to see them sit still most of the time and behave well. I think Evena was discouraged some since she felt they were being naughty and not always cooperating. I tried to let her know that kids can’t sit still all the time. The children love Elissa and Kara-Lynn. They throng around them every chance they get. I think Kara-Lynn was married to a little sweetheart today. And Elissa just said she, too, was married. I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of them!!

Neil’s leadership group was a little smaller today, but they were very attentive, considering all the noise around them–quilting group on one side, and children in front. The three ministries happened outside under tarps set up. These tarps were help in place by rocks on the roof of the house next door. One came down a couple times and I had visions of someone getting clunked on the head when the wind blew it down. There was a man helping to keep the children quiet–and believe it or not, he had his belt out using it like a whip. Try that at home, eh?!

When we went to collect the guys, a lot of work had been accomplished. They really enjoyed working alongside the Haitians. They felt that today’s work was easier than yesterday–but I can’t see how walking back and forth with pails of cement on their shoulders was easy. When they got home, they got right to work setting up the new generator. They were careful to show Cedon (Pastor’s house caretaker) how to run the machine properly. There was much rejoicing when it started and then was connected to the house’s electrical panel. We have light tonight, fans and water!

A sad thing occurred sometime last night. Princess, Pastor’s dog, got out of the gate at some point and was hit by a car. It was sad to see him still lying on the side of the road when we came back today. Pastor had asked someone to come and take her off the road. Hopefully, that person will get it done before tomorrow.

Tonight has been spent doing a variety of things–sleeping, reading, visiting, packing for tomorrow’s trip to Cayes, and watching some videos of services Pastor took. We ended the day with singing and sharing together our experiences, and then had a mini party to celebrate Jeff Bleijerveld’s being with us for a couple days. For those of you who do not know Jeff, he’s the US Global Ministries Director–a really neat, down to earth guy–and a Canadian too!

We need you to pray for some health needs. There are several who are in the need of a “moving experience,” two with some other stomach complaints, and then Pastor Richard–his leg is making travel over the rough terrain hard, and it tires him more. These people will remain nameless though–God knows who they are.

We travel to Cayes tomorrow after seeing Jeff to the airport. We will have one ministry opportunity for each team, attend two church services, and attend a wedding. Sarah and Kelly will even be singing at it. We are anxious to see how the bride will reach the top of the hill church. Kara-Lynn and I are willing to play the wedding march on our kazoos, but this idea hasn’t gone over to well with the team for some reason!

The team unity we are experiencing and the fun together is really neat. I know you are praying about this and God is answering. We’re trusting God for wellness of those feeling a bit punk.

Hopefully I’ll have an internet connection in Cayes tomorrow night.

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