Made the connection. Watching them get the plane ready ready, pull up to the jet way, and be on the way home. I’ll update facebook one last time when we’re taxiing down the runway in case there’s any delay.
Lowell blogs today, and sums up the whole trip from his journal. He does a beautiful job. I have nothing else to add. Lots to think about and reflect on. Wrap up blog coming next week. Thanks for praying us there, and back again. God is good.
Lowell gets the last word. See you Sunday…
GUEST BLOG: Lowell Reinhart
Two flights down, one to go! What an amazing adventure this trip has been. I am a little tired from the early morning and rough drive to the airport and full of many different emotions as we make our way back home. I am looking forward to getting home and being able to sleep not covered in my own sweat, but also very sad to be leaving the work and relationships that will be left behind in Haiti.
Over the course of our trip we ended each day as a group by debriefing on the roof of our building. During this time we took turns going through devotions, sharing testimony’s, praying and going through highlights and low points of each person’s day. I kept track of mine over the course of the trip and will share some of my highlights to help sum up the trip for me.
Day 3 – First full day in Haiti. Started off with a bang by pouring concrete for the roof of a duplex in the children’s village. I was part of the transporting buckets of concrete line on the roof which we worked in pairs for. My highlight this day was working side by side with a Haitian man as we moved the buckets along. We couldn’t communicate with each other and probably didn’t have a lot in common, I never even got his name, but each of us with one hand on the same bucket were able to work as one unit to get the job done.
Day 4 – In the afternoon we went on community walks through Grand Goave to share about God and deliver bibles and care packages. It was quite a shock to see the lifestyles and so-called houses that people lived in. What I will always remember from this will be the face of a small boy who ran back to us after we dropped a package off with his family. He had the biggest smile on his face I have ever seen and in his hand he had a toothbrush. A toothbrush! Not a new toy truck or an Xbox, just a toothbrush. He had more joy than I have seen in anyone in a long time.
Day 6 – I sat by a couple boys today in church. They seemed a little skeptical of me at first but after about ten minutes I had one sleeping on my lap and one on each side of me playing with my hands. I taught one little guy how to thumb wrestle, he had a lot of fun with it.
Day 10 – Today was one of the most overall good feeling days of the trip for me. I had been working with Dave and Alex on designing and forming a couple drainage channels for under a sidewalk over the past couple days and today we were able to pour the concrete for them with the help of a couple Haitian guys. It was a job well done. Today was also a great day because I had the opportunity to see Claire (ed. Note: Lowell’s sister-in-law) get baptized in the Caribbean Sea. It has been awesome to get to know her and see her grow in her faith.
Day 11 – Last day in Haiti. Since day two of the trip I have been working on some projects directly with a couple Haitian men – Mario and Desir (pronounced Dezzie). Desir could make his way through some English while Mario could only smile one of the nicest smiles I have ever seen and say “yes” to anything we asked, even if it wasn’t a yes or no question. Today I was helping with our second concrete roof pour so I wasn’t able to work with them but I did manage to stop by at lunch to say my goodbyes. I left them each with a pair of work gloves and a granola bar, they were quite thankful. I told them that after we were done for the day that we were planning on heading down to the beach. It was a pleasant surprise when we were packing up at the beach just about to head back to the compound I look up to see Mario back to say goodbye again. He walked with Alex and me most of the way home and we fought through as much conversation as we could. Alex’s French skills helped get through some things. Mario wants to learn more English so next time we see him again he can talk more with us. I really do hope to see him again. I’ve never seen someone show up at 8 in the morning to use a pick axe with a greater smile and attitude then he came with.
I could continue with more highlights all day, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I went on this trip as a chance to experience firsthand what life it is like in the poorest country in the western hemisphere. I laughed, I cried, met some amazing people, saw some beautiful scenery, and got somewhat of a tan, but most of all I was able to use the skills and abilities that God has given me to truly help the least of these. This is the beginning of something that Ann and I hope to continue and go deeper in throughout our lives. Haiti Arise – I can’t wait to go back!