Hey Soul? Today, Smile & Enjoy! You only have [one last] Friday!
Seize moments today: laugh with somebody, pause & watch the sky, tell one person she is beautiful, run across grass & feel your heart beat, find a way to ‪#‎betheGIFT‬ to someone, say the words out loud: I love you. “Make the most of every chance you get.” Eph.5:15 MSG

This FB post from One Thousand Gifts resonates deeply today, our last Friday here with these beautiful people. Pastor told us a few minutes ago at lunch, “I see something. I see the kids so happy you are here. They smile so big and are so happy.” Loving them, sharing life with them, is a privilege and a blessing. I am saddened as I anticipate leaving them.

Some random photos:

Can you see our little green friend?! I love seeing them scurry along the white walls and posts. Puts a smile on my face each time they race by.

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Mark is showing Pastor Francois his rendering of the new wall/fence/gate that we hope to build in front of the church (and in front of the whole compound). When the gov’t decided to make a paved road, they simply took what they wanted for the road, which for us was our fence, for others was the walls to their homes or buildings.

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Jump ropes–Mark and Emil handing them out and the littles and the bigs jumping. Such a popular item with them! They whip that rope around like nobody’s business; I would not want to be hit by it.

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Yesterday’s group of market-goers.

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On the left is Meskline, age 12, who always has a big smile and lots of good energy. I was unable to get any info on her.

Adline, age 18 or 19, sitting behind her sister Nounoune, age 16. These are the girls I wrote of my first night here, whose father was brutally killed. They both have mental handicaps, and Adline has a heart condition. She was the one who cried as Mark hugged and kissed her. Their mother comes with the widows on Saturday for aid; she too appears mentally challenged.

Emanise, age 14–her mom passed away and her father brought her here with her older sister Ediana. Their 2 older sisters both have babies and were never part of the orphanage, and their younger sister was ill and was taken to Campbells’ Haiti Home of Hope. She is well now and has been adopted by Bill and Jennifer. Emanise and Ediana have been here for 10-11 years.

Felicien, age 11–younger brother of Felicienne. They have been here for a long time

Friday’s market-goers:

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Judelin, age 10, was brought in by his mom two days ago. He seems to have adjusted quite well and the kids like him. The kids say he and his sister are cousins to Felicien, but I don’t know if it’s true. They tell me lots of things that Pastor disputes…!

Judelene, age 8–sister to Jeudlin! You should see the kids try to help me enunciate the difference between the two names. She is a very smart girl and is healthy and bright-eyed, totally at home here in just a few short days.

Belina, age 8–sister of Naika and Cristine, here for less than a year. Their father died and mom brought them to Nicole (who lives with and takes care of the kids). She has a very serious infection, lots of sores on her head, and she will return to the doctor in Cap Haitien on Tuesday for a follow-up from this week’s visit.

Mia, age 8–great rope jumper for being so little! No particulars from Pastor on her.

Stanley, age 11–he’s been here since March. He has a great smile and tries to help me pale kreyol. He’s a good little leader and a hard worker. His mother knows one of the washer women and pleaded with her to talk to Pastor Francois about taking Stanley. Pastor then spoke with the mom, who told him that Stanley was a very naughty boy, wouldn’t go to school or obey, was not home when she would return from trying to make some money, etc. Pastor took him in and he has changed in the few months he’s been here. He is doing great!

These kids are very tender-hearted. Emil pointed out an elderly man yesterday who lies in the shade in the market, unable to walk (and today I noticed, naked from the waist down). He asked if we could give him money because he was grangou, or hungry, and of course we did. Today, Belina wanted to buy sandals for Naika, her little sister, instead of for herself. We bought both the pair she picked out for Naika and for her. There are examples each day of how they look out for each other, sharing and caring for others. We learn much from them.