On Friday we finished up our time in the clinic in the morning. We got to the church and there was a full waiting area ready for us! We were able to see all the patients of that morning including some follow-up patients from earlier in the week and previous trips. It's been very encouraging and exciting to work with some of the same patients throughout the week as well as see patients from previous trips and carry forth some sustainable rehab efforts in this community. We were encouraged to see some of those patients getting better!
Friday afternoon we were able to visit the orphanage/school for the disabled that we got connected with earlier this week. The team met the principal, Francois, and enjoyed taking a tour of their space and hearing his heart for the disabled community. That afternoon Francois was also hosting a bi-monthly meeting for the disability association of that region. There were 150-200 people with disabilities or families of those with disabilities in attendance. It was truly remarkable to see this group of people coming together in one place to encourage and support one another- mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. We had the opportunity to measure 6 individuals (2 boys, 2 teenage girls, and 2 adult males with CP) for wheelchairs that we will seek to acquire back in the States. We also were able to measure for orthotics for a few of the individuals as well as treating musculoskeletal pain with the caregivers and provide simple education about safe transfer technique and proper stretching activities. The whole team loved our brief time with this community and we are very excited and encouraged for our partnership going forward.
Saturday was a great day of relaxing together as a team and getting to reflect on our week! We enjoyed a day and night at Villa Ormiso tucked in the hillside of Carrefour with its lovely pool and lounging area. We spent time in the evening sharing our favorite stories and memories from the week and speaking the new truths of this faith journey the Lord has taught us throughout our time in Haiti. It was a beautiful night of enjoying each other and being strengthened by one another's reflections. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to two of our teammates on Sunday morning as they had to get back to the U.S. while the rest of the team travelled to The Dominican Republic.
Even on our travel day (Sunday) we saw the Lord's hand so evidently over our journey and conversations. We ended up missing the original bus that we were planning to take due to misunderstanding bus schedules and had to drive another twenty minutes in the tap-tap to a different city. But we were relieved to see a bus waiting in the parking lot when we arrived!
As we checked in and rushed to get on the bus, we headed to the back where there were open seats. There was one Haitian man near us and we struck up a conversation with him. He ended up being extremely helpful throughout our trip and helped us translate to exchange our currency and get through immigration/customs without any problems at all! It was actually easy- imagine that! We were so thankful for his help and thankful that the Lord had provided someone to translate for us and to walk us through everything! But THEN, it got even better!!
At this point we had been on the bus for a couple hours when all of a sudden our friend looked at us and asked, "Were you guys in Carrefour?" We were surprised by his question but answered yes. He then said, " I've seen you before... were you at the school? The school for the disabled?" It turns out he had been at the SAME school that we visited on Friday at the SAME time!! He also knows Francois personally (he is Francois's son's godfather!) and has been working with him and his family to raise money to provide food for the disabled community for the last 7 years or so. We were able to exchange contact information to be able to work together for the benefit of this community in Carrefour. It was such an awesome moment sharing this vision and love for the same people as well as experiencing the irony of the situation! We all couldn't stop rejoicing over how amazing this moment was!
We have seen the Lord working through relationships ALL week and have constantly experienced His divine appointments for the advancement of His Kingdom, and this was surely no exception. To think of all the bits and pieces that had to line up just right for us to be connected with this new friend is mind blowing! We missed our original bus and by the grace of God we caught another one just before it left- but our friend had to also get on that bus on this day at this time. And then the only open seats were by him and we needed to bridge the relational gap by conversing with him early on. And so on and so forth! It's amazing to see the Lord's provision and protection over us and the clear evidence that He is here, working in, around, and through us in Haiti and now, the DR.
We are now in the DR and enjoying our exploration of a new country and new people. So far our experience has been very pleasant! But we all have voiced missing the Haitian people, our friends in Carrefour, the delicious food, and speaking creole. (So we speak it with each other instead!)