I was seated in the dining area of Pastor Maula's school/orphanage/church/home. Though I was rarely the first awake, I was often the first one at the breakfast table, awaiting the others as they completed their morning routines.
I was first joined by Jonny, a Scottish gentleman who has been traveling around Haiti for a month seeking people and ministries to send support to from Scotland. He has a huge heart for Haiti but doesn't feel comfortable trusting his money with larger organizations that may not use it to actually help the people. His goal is to begin a much more "underground" way of supporting and helping, where 100% of the funds given go straight to the people of Haiti.
After a few minutes of discussing topics much too deep for me at 7AM, and tossing Creole phrases back and forth as a way of practicing, my friend Stefanie arrived at the table, followed shortly by Pastor Maula. He and Stefanie met three years prior when she spent 3 months in Haiti during her YWAM program.
"We have your favorite drink again!" Pastor Maula says to me, referring to the fresh passion fruit juice I had fallen in love with the night before. The table is quiet for a moment and then he casually adds, "Cam, would you preach for church tonight?" I chuckled a bit before answering, "Sure!". Though I am not comfortable with things like that, my answer on mission trips is always YES. I figure if God has me there, and is providing an opportunity, it's probably in His will that I join in.
I spent the rest of the day as we did many of our days in Haiti, with the addition of preparing a sermon. Around two hundred children attend Pastor Maula's school and feeding program, filling every inch of the property and 3 story building. He is running out of both space and funding to house and feed them, but he continues to do so and God continues to miraculously provide.
Just after lunch, the number of children dwindles down to the 35 that live there full time as orphans. It feels strange to use the term orphans, because they are so loved there and brought up with the truth and grace of scripture. But the reality is that if they were not in Maula's care, they would be on the streets, sold into slavery, living lives of crime or something else terrible. It was such a treat to get to just spend time with the kids every day. Stefanie and I would sit with them, practice our Creole as they practiced their English, sing and play songs together, have our hair braided, play games and just love one another. Those were some of the sweetest moments of my life.
That evening, Stefanie and I were asked to lead the children in Feliz Navidad, which is a song they already knew and loved. After a time of singing together we moved into the main room where Pastor Maula's church met, and I delivered the message. It was one on waiting for direction from God and what to do in the meantime. It was a great message for me to prepare and preach, as I'm currently in that season.
I want to extend a huge thanks to those who prayed for me on this trip. Please continue to pray for Stefanie as she is battling a gnarly virus she contracted while on the trip.