Port Au Prince

Last week we unofficially moved to Port-Au-Prince, as half of us stayed in Montrious to finish the Church Leadership School (including Ryan and I). This week was the first full week of all of us being in the crazy port city. It is the most amazingly hectic place- something is always going on; something crazy is always happening.
In our time here, we have been joining with the YWAM staff in their visions for the city. We have been a part of several food distributions, with an organization called The Children’s Bread, started by a man from Brazil. He usually works alone, so he has been grateful for our help! He feeds over a thousand people- usually children-in the tent cities. Check out his website at:
Another organization, the Gleaners, have donated a ton of dried soups and dried peaches. We hand these out as we do ministry in the different tent cities. It is amazing to have something to offer the people we serve. It is meeting their practical needs and earning the right to be heard.
One of the most amazing tent cities is one right across from the Palace. In the heart of Port-Au-Prince, this is where the prostitutes and broken down live. We have all truly encountered poverty in a real way here. These people sincerely have nothing and are open to whatever encouragement we have given them.

With a few friends, I was able to help ladies carry their water to their tents and talk with them. This particular day, we were with a bunch of elderly ladies. We helped them wash laundry, talked to them about cooking and their lives before the earthquake. The last stop for the day was in the back section of the city. I found myself (accidentally!) alone with about 10 girls…all prostitutes. We spoke of how hard their lives were, how much they needed help and training and how, thanks to the UN, they were able to make a living doing something else. Some people found me and we were able to start a small Bible-study with them. It was during this time that I found myself rejoicing for the things that God has been doing in my own heart.
One of the ladies started to speak to me about fear. She began to tell me that she lived everyday in fear of what was to come. Before the earthquake, she had worked at a government building and had a home. Now, she was in a tent and selling her body with no other option. It is interesting when our experiences transcend cultures. I am not speaking, of course, of knowing any type of situation that she knows. I would never be able to relate to her in that way. However, I was able to talk to her about fear. Almost until we got to Haiti, ironically enough, I was always dealing with some kind of fear. A friend of mine challenged me to begin combating thoughts with a few Bible verses. Because they were so fresh on my mind, I was able to share my story with her and give her the verses. She was, to my surprise, very thrilled. She said when she meets Christians they usually are very mean to her. I was thankful for my time with her and her friends, and I think the feeling was mutual.

Meanwhile. Ryan has been making bunk beds for the new YWAM base. Our team spends some time, each day, doing some things to bless them. Ryan has gone above and beyond, though! He and Sam Park have built bunk beds galore and are thinking of putting a water pump in, as well. We’ll keep you posted!

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