|Ortiz Children In Haiti Airport|
Weather-wise, the days are hot – mid 90’s, but the evenings are great. They cool off and there is a nice breeze. There have been a few nights were it has rained. We are in the middle of the rainy season, which goes for another month or so. Since our house is next to the future hospital, we can hear the rain hitting the metal roof as we fall asleep. For alarm clocks, we have the sun itself, which shines brightly before 6am, and a couple of roosters who follow soon after!
Saturday was a national holiday – Flag Day. The NVM school had a group of students that marched through a few villages along with a band, singing, dancing, and showing some national pride. What impressed me the most is that these kids are the future of Haiti and they are being brought up with hope. Not just hope because they are getting an education, though that is certainly great; They have been given a hope in Jesus Christ with which they can infuse their generation and their country. There is hope in him! The kids were impressive and drew quite a bit of attention. We had a great deal of people follow along and at certain points, they would stop and dance in front of the crowd. Our family rode in the back of a pick-up truck, waving our own Haitian flags and following the procession. Several other kids not in the parade walked alongside the truck for a while and we struck up conversations with them. At the end of the parade, we somehow piled about 30 people into the back of this truck to get back to NVM campus. It reminded me of the tap-taps. Tap-taps are trucks that are used like taxis. They usually have a covered back, with benches in it. People climb on and pay a guy sitting back there. When they want to get off, they tap the truck. There is a saying about tap-taps here: “How many can fit in a tap-tap?” “Always one more.” That certainly felt true of our truck that morning!
Our timing to come could not have been more perfect (God’s timing!). Two days after our arrival, Mark Thompson, the new executive director of NVM arrived, as well. He will be Pastor Pierre’s counterpart in the States. Mark is here to spend time with the staff to get to know us, as well as meet with Pastor to get in synch with him, and also to set goals and priorities for the ministry. It’s been great to sit and talk with him, be encouraged, and know the vision and the steps for NVM’s future. There is a lot of transition happening here with several people leaving this summer and new people coming on board – to include us.