**This is Friday’s post that finally made it through the wifi ….
Today we spent the day away from the worksite and a it was a great day of education. We learned so many things about the Samaritan Foundation, other ministries working in the area and even about ourselves.
Our morning took us to Villa Ascencion where we met Megan. Megan is a wonderfully passionate woman who has so much love for the people of Ascension. In the time that she has been there, she, along with many others have been able to help the Haitian people obtain documention of citizenship and have worked with the government to upgrade the schooling. They have created a marketplace to help the people sell their wares and are continuing the feeding program for the children. It was so encouraging to see the positive changes in the village! The group of children is significantly smaller. We helped serve the meal until the food and water ran out. Then after finishing dishes, Megan explained the marketplace “rules” and we purchased a few items. Then it was back on the bus to Poncho Mateo.
Poncho Mateo is a village of hovels. There is a newer organization – Amagitos – run by a Norwegian woman named Mika. They have opened a school and are working in among the people of the village, helping to change their attitude towards each other and find ways to bring them out of the depths of their poverty.
We ate lunch on the bus as we travelled to our next destination, giving us time to reflect on what we’ve seen and experienced so far. As a team, we have spent much of our travel time discussing our day, our work, the area we are in and and so much more. Our interpreter Alejandro has been a fount of information, answering all of our questions and giving us history lessons about our locations and the relationships between Haitians and Dominicans.
Our next stop was Villa Paraiso where we met up with Hendy. She has been instrumental in maintaining the vocational school activities and running a little store that helps local people sell their wares and raises funds for the school. We chatted briefly with Breyvens, the Master Carpenter for the Samaritan Foundation, then made our way to John’s office where he filled us in on the progress of Grace Pediatric Medical Centre. He spoke with the team about the many challenges they have faced with this project, but was quick to point all the glory to God for the success and direction that it has taken. We also discussed some of the difficulties they have had – and continue to have – with the work at Cristo Transforma. But although the difficulties sometimes seem to multiply faster than the solutions, there is no doubt in his mind this where God has planned for it all to be.
We soon headed out to the Pregnancy Crisis Centre in Sosua which is now being run by Jose Luis and Cordilla Perez. We were able to deliver to them three suitcases overflowing with supplies and gifts for the women and especially their babies. Thank you so much! They were extremely appreciative of your generosity.
As we made our way back to the resort, we stopped to see the ground breaking work on the land for Grace Med. Centre. Then a quick stop at the Asher School; a project the kept growing bigger before they could complete it! Alejandro then took us on an impromptu tour of the small village / ghetto where the original Asher school is located. It was a wonderful history lesson and a truly eye-opening experience to the hard life that so many of the Dominican and Haitian people are forced to live.
Our day ended with a meal together and daily devotions, preparing ourselves for work again the next day.