Matt was able to call home on Sunday, which was also his birthday! This is the first birthday that we have been separated, so it was good for this momma’s heart to talk to him. He sounded really good and seems to be enjoying himself. We also heard that the team sang “Happy Birthday” to him several times that morning, then the church sang to him in Creole and French, then all the Haitians in the congregation wanted to give him a hug. He didn’t mention it to us, but I would have loved to be a fly on the wall to see it. He is not real big on all that personal attention so I’m sure he was feeling pretty uncomfortable with so much lovin’.
We have been getting weekly updates and from everything we’ve heard the whole team is doing great. They have been working on a dock project that was started last year, carrying many buckets of water and mixing lots of cement. I believe they will be finishing up work on the dock this week. Some of the team have also been working at a school and others have been working with a medical team. They have also been having community meals and doing Vacation Bible School on Thursdays with the kids. I believe they had 150-200 people at their first community meal.
We asked Matt what his favorite thing has been so far and he said it was probably getting to play with the kids. He also said what has impressed him most is the joy of the Haitian people. I’m looking forward to hearing more about his observations. When I asked what was the hardest adjustment for him has been, he said it was the heat. A whole month without air conditioning is definitely an adjustment!
They were supposed to have a “laid back day” one day, but it turned out to be lots more work washing their clothes than they ever expected. Undoubtedly, the Haitian women were not pleased with the way the team was doing the job, took the clothes from them, and showed they how to do it “right”. We had already heard about their laundry lesson and asked Matt how he did. He said “Yeah, I was kicked out. They took my stuff and kicked me out.” I think he now has a new appreciation for a washer and dryer.
Matt also told us that a few of them went tarantula hunting! Tarantula hunting! Really?! Besides the fact that the boy does not like spiders…why?! He said they found 4 or 5, but I’m not sure what they did with them. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to know. Brian had already showed me a video from the Cambodia team where a couple of them were eating a tarantula. Guess it’s common in some places. Yuck, yuck, yuck!!!
Please continue to pray for the team. They are working hard and serving with such heart and compassion. While the work is rewarding and a blessing for those serving, it takes quite a toll both physically and emotionally. The Wesley Foundation also has teams in Cambodia and New York right now. I know all the teams would appreciate your prayers.
You may have also seen reports of some political protests in Port-A-Prince. At this time, the team is not near this area, but will be flying out of Port-A-Prince on the 22nd. Please pray that this situation will calm down over these next few weeks, both for the safety of the Haitian people and for the many teams of volunteers that are serving in the country.
Living thru faith,