Day 2 – It’s Really Hot Here … But God Is Good.
Dear friends and family,
There is so much beauty here. Everyday, we are seeing and hearing different things that surpass what we imagined this trip would hold for us. Before I begin to tell you about today, I decided a proper intro to talking about today was a little quote from my journal:
“[I realized] one constant: God…Prayers aren’t deterred by language…No embodiment is too big or too small. He just Is. He always will be. He always was. He never leaves, He just loves.”
Today, we all started our day around 7AM, with a little bit of time to think about the day ahead before breakfast. We were encouraged to ask ourselves “What role do I play on this trip?” and “How will God use me today?” After our time answering these in our journals, we ate breakfast and left for church with Pastor Sam.
Getting off the bus was particularly incredible to me; I remember when we were raising money for this very orphanage only a couple years ago at VBS. We walked into the room full of Haitians, and I found that the church was not much different from our own in terms of atmosphere. Despite the heat, the room was airy and the faded pink walls were only welcoming. In fact, being here, never once have we not been welcomed with open arms. Music was playing and there was a buzz around the room as we all waited for service to start. Service was long and sweaty, and my attention span was seriously challenged with the fact that I couldn’t understand anything. But when writing about the service in my journal, that excerpt above came to my realization. “He just Is.” They started service much like we start our own, with worship and prayer. Every bit of the words they were saying were said with such a strong and intense passion that the whole team was blown away. Additionally, though, was the fact that they were praising in a whole different language than us. And I was sitting in the pew when it hit me just like that — there is no barrier for Jesus. The love and passion that came from the attitudes of the little orphans to the adults around the room as they worship was no different from the passion that we feel towards God. We began to sing “10000 Reasons,” a song that a lot of my team recognized with the opening cords. All together, we loudly lifted up His name (I think we were very excited to hear a song we knew). And despite the fact they were speaking Creole, and we were speaking English, and the words sounded no where near the same–we were saying the same things. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul.There is no other moment that could have shouted the truth of God’s love more clearly to us: He is unconditional.
Immediately after the service, the orphans that had been sitting at the front of the room got up and began to hug us. No hesitation, and no reservations. My heart couldn’t feel more full. We spent the rest of the day playing with them; a couple intense games of soccer for the boys and never-ending jump roping with the girls was only the beginning. We talked to them with little Creole we knew, and in some cases it was left up to hand motions. I took out my phone to take pictures with them, and they absolutely pounced on it, awed by something like my camera. I ask every child that clings to me my own name about 50 times; I know they know, it’s just amazing to hear them say it. In the midst of them speaking in a language I don’t know, I hear my name. And that is so amazing. They know me! The most incredible part, to me, was seeing a little boy with a “Newport Mesa Soccer Club” shirt on. I mean, I live in the Newport Mesa district. That shirt could have belonged to my little brother’s friend, or to a child in my VBS group. It was just eye-opening to see that connection, to see the way that these children are so happy with what little they’ve been given. It was eye-opening to see how so little could go so long a way. How one shirt could travel so far.
At the end of today, all I can think about is how incredible God is. How at the end of the day, with a full heart and a newly opened mind, I am be able to say Mesi, Lord (Mesi is thank you in Creole). Mesi.