Last August, I traveled with World Relief to some of the most devastated areas in and around Port-au-Prince. I not only saw the devastation from the earthquake but had an opportunity to meet the people and hear their stories. As I boarded the plane to head back to Boston, I felt as though I was leaving a piece of my heart in Haiti and had a feeling I would be back.
Here it is just about a year later and I am back in Port-au-Prince. This year, along with two other colleagues from my school, Lindsay and Charlotte, I am leading a teacher training in Carrefour Feuille. On Monday as we drove to Carrefour Feuille, a community I visited last summer, I could not wait to see if the church that had been a pile of rubble or the school that was just a slab of cement had been rebuilt. Would this community look any different? What if any progress would be made? How was the 107 year old woman who had been trapped in the rubble for over eight hours? Was she still living in a tent?
As we arrived in Carrefour Feuille, I was thrilled to see the progress and the familiar faces of Pastor Daniel, and Kenzi. The rubble had been cleared from the street and from the church. Both the church and the school had temporary structures – what progress! What brought great joy was to see the 107 year old woman and learn that she was living in a new home that had been built for her. Her faith, love for God, and heart to serve are such an encouragement.
This was the school in August 2010
Here is the school today
A teacher training in one of the new classrooms
Today, we completed our third day of teacher training. I must admit that each day I am both a teacher and student. As I share information, I learn so much about the Haitian culture as the teachers ask and answers questions. Their heart for God and the children in their country are both refreshing and encouraging. I am amazed by their commitment to provide an education to their students with little or no materials. Many teachers do not have books in their classroom, even small picture books for children to read – something that is hard for us to imagine.
There is a lot in Haiti that is hard to imagine, but God is here! I look forward to two more days with the teachers and pray that God will use us to bless and encourage their work with children. I wonder what Haiti will look like a year from now….