We went to Mont Rious last week to finish up our water tank from our mini-outreaches with the DTS team. This place has a particular meaning to my heart; we were at this orphanage less then a year ago when we decided to pursue more training in water and farming techniques to improve situations like the one we saw at the Number 7 Orphanage.
We couldn’t have dreamed that one of the first places we’d be doing pure water projects was at this very site.
They’ve received more children. They’ve added more buildings. Kids were constantly telling me “mwen swaf” (“I’m thirsty”) and that they wanted water. How amazing it was to be able to point to the weird thing we were working on in the corner. The “Cement dom” we were building would bring them clean water LONG after we leave.
What could be almost as encouraging and inspiring as bringing clean water to an orphanage with nothing? Talking to a student who was once in a situation much like the one we were witnessing. Hearing his excitement for the new knowledge he had was so encouraging. Wyclef was born in Port-Au-Prince and the city took his parents when he was young. Orphaned with his brother, he made it to an orphanage and off the streets. He was abused, but fed, so no one said anything. He was thought of as nothing and told he would do nothing. Yet, somehow he made it to this training school and had people believe in him enough to know that he could make a difference. He, unlike the majority of Haitian men and women filling the streets of Port-Au-Prince, wants to stay in Haiti and better the communities he’s familiar with. He wants to bring them clean water and living water.
Hearing his words and looking at the dusty feet of the orphans we were serving, I was encouraged. Haiti can be different. Haiti can be better. Orphans don’t have to stay down. Maybe there is something to this “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” thing, eh?
That being said, we capped the tank and explained to the pastor how the water inside was drinkable. His face turned from confusion, intense concentration and then gratitude. Who knew the 60 something children and staff could have been catching and capping their rain water?
This reminded me of the Kingdom we serve, one that Honors orphans and calls them royalty. This is the one we are grafted into, saying that throughout any circumstance God is King and we belong to Him. This is one that says we are blessed just by being in the presence of the poor and wounded, the orphaned and estranged. So, while it is amazing to bring them drinking water and to give them piggy back rides and new dresses sewn by my friend Dani and while it was so fun to teach them to finger paint and learn their English colors and tell them how loved they are, it always is so much more of a blessing to have been around such great kids. They are known by God. God has heard their cry for water and I am so thankful that we got to be a tiny drop in the bucket.
It makes us so encouraged to know there are tons of you radical people out there, loving the poor and needy, giving to those who can’t thank you properly. Thank YOU for joining with us as we partnered with the Haitians to bring this community of Haitian children clean drinking water and lots of love. They and we are so grateful!