Our first trip as Laman Outreach is in the books and what a trip it was! The emotions of this trip are still fresh in our hearts and minds and we’re still reeling with all that we saw and did, but hopefully I can convey just a little of how we saw God go before us and make His presence known while we were in Haiti. Since the beginning, Kim and I have said that we don’t just want to make plans for this organization and then ask God to bless them. We want to follow where God is already leading us. Every time we go to Haiti God puts experiences and people in our paths that we never even dreamed of including in our plans. Every. Single. Time. This trip was no exception.
The purpose of this trip was to deliver Christmas baskets of food and necessities to 25 of the most at-risk elderly people in the village of Merger de Sibert. A secondary purpose was to build relationships (so vital!) and get some direction as to future projects.
Due to a great response to our Giving Tuesday campaign we were able to go well-funded to not only deliver the Christmas baskets but also to set in motion the Elderly Project which will continue to provide rice, beans and other supplies to these same people each month. We are partnering with Bethel Baptist Church in Merger to carry out this project. Bethel Baptist identified the first 25 people to be included in the program and will continue to deliver the food each month. Additionally, they will visit with each granmoun weekly to do their laundry as well as pray with them and share the love of Jesus with them.
Our first day in Haiti was spent shopping for the rice, beans, oil and other supplies that we planned to deliver over the next few days. And when I say rice, I mean a 25 pound bag of rice that will feed them for a month. Imagine what the tires of our truck looked like after (25) 25-pound bags of rice were loaded in the bed of our truck! Pretty flat! Fortunately, there was a gas station across the street and we were able to get some more air in our tires.
The next two days were spent delivering these supplies to the granmoun. There is one road in Merger de Sibert that skirts the edge of the village. But there are only footpaths that lead to the 2 dozen homes that we visited. We walked back and forth and up and down the twisted corridors of Merger. We visited elderly men and elderly women. We visited mothers and fathers who have had the pain of losing a child. We visited people suffering with aches and pains and failing hearing and eyesight. We visited couples growing old together and lonely people with no one left in this world. We can’t wait to share some of their stories with you in the coming weeks and months. As we listened to their stories we held their hands. And we told them what a humble privilege it was for us to share a Christmas gift with them and how we were praying that God would continue to provide for them. We prayed with each precious soul and told them we would be back to pray with them again. And in the meantime, the church is going to be the hands and feet of Jesus to these forgotten people and share God’s love with them. The church is already starting to hear back from these dear granmoun that they are feeling valued and loved –a central value of Laman Outreach and the very thing we were trying to convey. Praise God!
The rest of the week was spent working out the logistics of starting the Elderly Project in the new year. And just as I mentioned previously, God brought people and experiences to us that we never could have planned. As a result, we now have some new ideas about how to serve the elderly in Merger that weren’t even on our radar at the beginning of this trip. We hope to share those ideas with you as ideas evolve into more concrete plans.
But for now, we want to say thank you. Thank you for partnering with us, for giving so generously to this new organization and for praying with us. God is moving in Haiti and we want to follow.