Being one of the ones starting their Cipro, and also experiencing a few random skin reactions, I have had a little reflection time. First, I am struck by just how caring and generous the pastor and his wife are. They genuinely show the true depths of Christianity in their actions and words. Mona, in particular, has one of the gentlest, kindest souls I have ever witnessed. Last night, when leaving their home after dinner, Pastor was backing up his truck and we had to scurry out of the way because it was very dark. I think Mona saw me look at the deep drop behind us and then grabbed onto me firmly but gently and held there until all was clear, and gave me a slight tap when it was safe for me to go forward. Also, Pastor & Mona came to our hotel last night, as well as this morning, just to check on those who were not feeling good. Mona even brought with her a plain breakfast to ensure that health has been restored for our heat exhaustion stricken comrade. Mona even gave clear instructions to the hotel staff on what not to feed us. However, the adult with us managed to have a nice egg breakfast this morning, while a few of us enjoyed butter and toast. Something that has also struck a chord with me is the way the community reacts to them. We have not been in town with Mona yet, but when we are out with Pastor, you can just sense an air of respect wherever he goes.
After going into town to pick up a few things, Pastor took us to visit a gorgeous hotel (which I would love to write the name of but cannot spell…maybe Laura can assist here later), and things began to feel very surreal. Right outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown Jacmel there sits this beautiful hotel that has a pool, a fountain, amazing views, & many western visitors. As nice as it seemed, I am very relieved that we did not stay there because I feel that it could cause even more of a disconnect from the reality that we are faced with here. Granted, our hotel is also very nice, but it seems to have a more local feel. As I write this, sitting on the balcony of the hotel, I can see children playing on the roads, cows & goats grazing, and hear a soccer game being played right across the way. Something tells me I would not have had the chance to experience these things at the other hotel.
As I close up this post, I ask for prayers for the future of this ministry here. Although able to fulfill a few needs with the small amount of things we were able to bring for them, Pastor and his church still have many desires that still need to be met. Simple things like a new keyboard and more school supplies are things he has expressed a need for. I trust that the Lord will provide these things, as well as other needs not yet mentioned, and I hope that this team will be able to contribute more in the future. A week is far from enough time to make a lasting impact, but with prayers, hope and help for the future, I don’t think a lasting impact is out of our reach.
Marie, Jacmel Team