Friday, April 11, 2014

A Lesson in Thankfulness

Tuesday, February 18 (7 weeks ago)
Guest Post by Daniella M.

Today Pastor Dieuson, who works for MAF, took us to the area he lives in just outside of Port au Prince.  People whose homes had been destroyed in the earthquake had been promised land here as an attempt to decentralize the capital city. 'Canaan', also known as the 'Promised Land', was made up of a mixture of tents, shacks, and simple houses surrounded by piles of bricks, rubble and patched together tin and cardboard fences.

Once again we were shocked at the poverty we saw.

Jason had arranged for our family to paint a house there, hand out rice and beans, and distribute some clothing and toys we had brought with us from Canada. The house we painted was one of the nicer ones in the area, but was still just plain cement walls with a tin roof.
When we arrived the family relocated the few pieces of furniture they had, including some big water barrels, and then killed a giant cockroach whose hiding place had been uncovered!

The walls were very rough so it took a lot of paint and time, but we had fun getting splattered and the family was very happy with their bright yellow room!

Dieuson then showed us his church, a simple, unfinished cement building with rough, wooden benches. He was so happy and proud of it!

Although the people we met had little, we could tell they were grateful for what did have; an important lesson for us!

Later that day many in the community gathered in the church and Dieuson explained how we had come to share with them. We then handed out bags of rice and beans, clothes, and the kids' teddies they had brought from home.
It was so heartwarming to see how happy the children where with the gifts!

It was also special to see my own two girls happily handing out their toys.

We let one guy take pictures of us and for awhile didn’t think we would get the camera back because he was having so much fun with it!

Later outside children flocked around us wanting to communicate with us. With the little Creole I had learned, I asked them their names and held their hands.

Even though we wished we could stay longer and do more, eventually it was time to leave. As we drove away the back of the pickup truck became packed with kids getting a free ride.

Once again I could hardly keep the tears at bay.  I was thankful we could help and share, but sad to see the hardships they endured everyday. Yet they could teach us a thing or two about being thankful and finding joy in the simple pleasures of time spent with family and friends. 


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