Haiti Update #3: Veritas South


Greetings friends!

I dare you to go to your local drug store, buy all the bottles of Pepto they have, and then proceed to paint your walls with it. I make that dare, because that's almost exactly what I've been doing all week here in Haiti! We built a new school through the Westminster capital campaign, and they are just now getting around to painting it. The trick is though, we have to do the painting while the students are in school. The teachers here must hate us, because all of the students watch us through the windows of their class room, and some even crowd around us during the breaks. And while the color of the bright pink paint seems to be burning a hole in my retina, it's nice to have a project that has a definite end. You don't often get that on mission trips like this.

We did have one incident yesterday where a student kicked over a bucket of blood red paint on the floor. Panic ensued, as students ran in every direction to avoid being yelled at by the teachers and administrators. But somewhere out there there is a boy with a bright red shoe, and he is our culprit. Tom and I worked as quickly as we could to run water on the paint, but the floor doesn't have a drainage system, so we couldn't do a whole lot with it. So now the school in La Croix has what would appear to be a generous crime scene on the floor!

And then there was last night. I've had a lot of highs as a youth minister, but nothing that could compare with what was going on last night. We decided, since we're in the same time zone, that we would have Veritas South here in Haiti. At 6 we played some games, introducing the Haitian students to "Chubba-Chubba-Can-Can". They didn't quite understand it at first, but once they realized just how mean that game can make you be to your friends, they lit up and started getting a bit violent. At 6:30, I attempted to give what I thought would be a 30 minute talk, but apparently my translator was very good, because it went by in only 15 minutes, leaving us with about 20 minutes to kill. I grabbed my guitar, and started singing some of the songs I had heard the students singing through the week. Then, after almost each song we sang, we'd sing it again, and the kids would teach it to us in Creole. Sheer beauty I tell ya. Sheer beauty.

Then at 7, we Skype called our friends back home at Veritas. I don't know about the gang back home, but it was an awesome experience for me and for the Haitians. They really seemed to enjoy seeing what a youth group in America looked like. We shared a couple of thoughts together, and then after the call both youth groups prayed for each other. It was a spectacular time! As we were leaving and making our way back home, one of the students looked at me and said "So...we're doing this again tomorrow night, right?" Any suggestions for Veritas games that we could play here in Haiti would be greatly appreciated!

It's been an awesome trip. I can't really wrap my mind around all that I've seen and heard, but I'm sure that will be part of blog posts to come. Thanks again for your continued prayers. I think at the moment, we just need prayers for the team's energy to power through these last few days before we make our way back home to (snowy) Pittsburgh.