Monday, July 26, 2010

Engineers > Soccer players -Team Haiti

The theme of this week was definitely soccer. A missions team of 13 people from the east coast arrived last week to run a soccer camp in Poste Metier. 90 kids came to camp every day, and there was a big tournament on Saturday with all the teams. We ended up putting our engineering and construction projects temporarily on hold to help with soccer camp. We had to set up the fields every day, and help the coaches run drills with the kids. Every day the kids would receive a Bible lesson from Pastor Chrisbon first thing in the morning as well as breakfast. Then they would go out and play soccer for the rest of the day. One of the best parts of our experience with soccer camp was that nine boys decided to accept Christ as their savior. During one of the morning Bible lessons Pastor Chrisbon asked if any of the kids were ready to make that choice, and nine of them stood up and said yes. Seeing how something as simple as soccer can bring people to Christ was a very powerful thing to witness.

This week was also filled with interesting travel situations. Due to the large number of people to cart around, we had to contract a tap tap to get some of us around all week. A tap tap is Haiti's preferred method of public transportation. It's basically a pick up truck that people pile luggage, produce, and livestock into and then sit where there's still space. The name tap tap come from the fact that when you want to get out you "tap tap" on the side of the truck so the driver knows to stop. During one of our tap tap rides, the was a huge rain and thunder storm. Since tap taps are open in the back, we had to cover ourselves with a tarp to get out of the rain. We call it the turtle ride. In the middle of the week, there was an even bigger storm that caused the rivers to flood. We were safe in the team house since we're on top of a hill, but the rivers rose by about 15 ft. The flooding wiped out several crops and covered the roads in a few feet of water. The next day the rivers were still high enough that they were difficult to cross by car. This meant that we had to wade across the river crossings and walk about 3 miles down muddy roads to soccer camp. It was crazy to see the destruction caused by the flooding. Luckily, the sun dried everything out by the time we had to go home. On Sunday, a bunch of us got to go to a town called Margo for church. This town is at a point high enough in the mountains that you can actually see the ocean on both sides of the northern peninsula of Haiti. The elevation at the team house is around 300ft, and the elevation of Margo is around 3000 ft so it was quite the drive to get there. There were parts of the road where we had to get our and walk because the road was too bad. It was obvious that not much traffic makes it up there. It was a beautiful place to go to church, and the mountain air did us a lot of good. This actual church building was only about halfway completed, and the congregation was tiny-only about 25 people were there, mostly children. But they welcomed us wholeheartedly and were very excited to see us. Worshiping at Margo was a very humbling experience for us.

The downside of soccer camp was that we ended up being out in the sun all day every day so most of us ended up feeling a little under the weather. By the end of the week we were all exhausted from being in the sun too long and from being bounced around in trucks. Please pray for our health and energy in the next couple weeks. Two of the other interns came down with malaria this week but have fully recovered already. Malaria is a fairly common illness in Haiti and is very treatable. So be praying for them also.

The soccer team left this morning for home, but before they left we got a chance to play them in a friendly game of soccer. They challenged us, thinking there's no way a group of engineering interns could possibly best them in their own game. But they were wrong. We beat them 8-7 in two 25min halves. The lesson learned: engineers>soccer players.

Now the interns are the only ones left in the team house. We got to take the day off to rest and recover from a very demanding week. We'll resume our engineering/construction operation tomorrow. Thanks for the prayers and support.

God's grace,


No comments: