Haiti Trip Experience Day #3 by Steve Dus

Good morning and Happy Monday once again to you.  This might be your first time visiting this blog.  If so, welcome to Day 3 of my journey to Haiti.  We have all been given great gifts to do incredible things.  I hope that you use your skillset this week and change the world.  Enjoy the read.  The next post will be on October 19th.

Day 3…August 9th, 2015

The team has shut it down for the night and the kids are guaranteed to being sleeping hard.  It is just me and thoughts, emotions, and questions more so than answers are racing through my head.  The day took off with a bang and a similar start to that of prior day. Moving forward, a quick Bible study bright and early in the morning, diving into the word, prayer, breakfast, and we were off.

Weeks back, I had the encouragement from a team member to teach the Bible while in Haiti.  The guidelines of this commitment was to prepare a study for the young boys in the orphanage and pull 5 male figure from the Bible and teach the children of the orphanage the character traits of these men from the Bible.  What does it look like to be a man of God?  What does it look like to walk with God?  What does it look like to pray?  Etc. 

I was extremely excited to get into the classroom but oddly enough very nervous the closer and closer the time came.  I can’t figure out if it is a perfectionist thing or if it is fear of failure.  Was it fear of judgement?  Was it the language barrier?  I really don’t know.  Regardless, I had the opportunity to teach on Nehemiah today to kids ages 5-12.   As I sat and prepared, I had no idea what to expect but God does work in mysterious ways and yet again I had the chance to witness it. 

As I waited for the one classroom that the orphanage has to open its’ doors, I had the chance to sit and visit with one of the high school boys about the orphanage and his experience.  He was an incredible shot and jolt of energy for me personally today and sure to be throughout this trip.  He spoke English fairly fluently and shared everything with me, uncensored.  The most impacting question that I heard on earlier in the trip was a simple one and one that I felt compelled to ask him. “What makes you happy?”  On the snap of a finger, his answer was “the kids”.  Wow!  You want to see brotherhood at its finest, I suggest visiting this orphanage.

I asked this young man to share some life goals with me as we got to know one another.  Like many children of the orphanage that I spoke with, he wants to be a doctor but needed the proper education and understands that.  I went on to ask him deeper questions surrounding education.  Have you studied English?  Have you been outside of Haiti?  Do you intend to visit a U.S. school?  If not, would you ever if given the opportunity?  He sat and took question by question from me and fielded each one with a smile ear to ear.   

Now, I am not foolish enough to think that I can change the situation that each child is currently in at the orphanage on the snap of a finger.   I know that I couldn’t get this young man a passport, air fare, and permission to leave to the U.S. when asking him these questions and listening to his answers.  Conversely, I did recognize this intelligently young man God put in my path that was thirsty for more and capable for more.  Why not use this moment?

The doors to the classroom opened up and the kids filed in one by one to learn the lesson for the day.  I was scared, filled with anxiety, and hesitant to go in for the reasons I mentioned above but it was lifted quickly.  It was that “game time” feeling where my trigger in my heads said “let’s go” but I was missing a piece of equipment.  I have no idea why but I turned to this young man (17 years old or so) and asked him how serious he was about learning.  His smile was still radiant and beaming.  He once again expressed his thirst for more.  I looked him in the eye and said I am about teach and need another man to teach this lesson.  There is no one better in this place and this moment than you to help me interpret and these boys look up to you.  “Are you in?”  His response was lacking the confidence I just witnessed for the previous 15 minutes but still he answered with a, “yes”. 

He did outstanding!  He stood next to me in front of the room and spoke confidently translating as much as he possibly could.  He overcame fears and some struggles and I would hope that this was a huge lesson for him and his courage for future endeavors.  The reason that I am writing this isn’t because of the teaching that took place in the classroom during the designated time however.  It was because of the teaching that took place outside the classroom for me and this young man.  I get so consumed by what is coming that I have no control over and can’t believe how many chances or opportunities that I miss like this one because of it.  Did I need to come to Haiti to recognize this?

After the class, I went to the market in the deaf school also found on the grounds of the orphanage.  I think my experience could be summed up as overwhelming, intimidating, and mildly annoying with the constant pulling and yanking.  Everything in my heart wanted to purchase everything for sale.  Everything in my head knew that this wasn’t possible.  IF you have ever been to the market in Mexico, you can multiply this by 10 with physical contact on top of it.  On the bright side, it did bring joy to my heart to see all those part of the orphanage working to make money and committing to hard work.  

I had an awesome opportunity afterwards to sit with two young girls and another team member where we proceeded to learn sign in efforts to better communicate throughout the mission trip.  I was absolutely floored with the patience, love and support that these two orphan children shared with me as I fumbled through their books with words and sign.  We literally passed a book back and forth while writing notes in the sand and on the concrete as a means of communication.  Anything is possible with patience, love and support and this miniature act was further proof.

The day proceeded with more life changing events but the night quickly fell on us.  I really don’t know how to sum up the fun other than saying we danced.  We danced on the porch of the young boys living area.  We danced on the gravel.  We danced on the basketball court.  We literally danced everywhere.  I saw one cell phone playing the tunes, a group of caring adults and kids everywhere moving and grooving. 

I stepped out of the fun and the memory making moments just to watch for a minute and take it all in.  One word to sum it up, comparable.  These kids partaking in the dancing, singing, basketball, etc. that were taking place all around me were no different than those back home.  I watched the flirting, the competitive natures flowing, the shyness, and the “changes” that come with different age groups.  Overall, the day was a blast from start to finish with relationships forming and memories continuing to be made.  I can’t wait until tomorrow to see where this night of energy and excitement take us.