Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Final Day in Cite Soleil

Today was an incredible day. Today, my sister and I completed the mural project with Help Tammy Help Haiti on the water tower they just had built in Cite Soleil.

I don't think we could have gone out of Cite Soleil on a better note. We ended our day dancing in the slum's streets with the children as men blew on horns, beat some drums, and blew on a handmade base. It was a great way to go out.

On the flip side, it was so sad too. Joyful, but sad. I am so going to miss those youth that quickly came to be like brothers, the men that were so proud to be empowered and put to use with their abilities, and the children that just wanted to be hugged and held for a bit each day.

I must say, Cite Soleil is not a one time, get in your "good work," and feel better about yourself project. It is a place my heart resides, now and in the future. It is a place that does have the danger, the poverty, the disease, the stench. But there is hope, there is beauty, there is restoration to be had in that place where there seems to be none.

My sister and I opted to put a couple of the youth in school in addition to paying for their work. Not saying that to affirm myself. I am just saying. That is where hope steps in for these people. When one heart connects with another, sees the potential, and gives a little room for empowerment and growth when there is no other option. These youth do not know yet, but Tammy will tell them, and she will make them do the leg work to get themselves in school. And I believe that they will succeed. If they fail, we will help them succeed the next time.

Each of the men that helped us paint-- about 10 in all, from the guards, to the teen guys, to the grown men--I was astonished that when they were given a task with a measurable outcome, how they succeeded. Even when I barely speak their language. Crazy!! And none of them knew they are going to be paid (Tammy will pay them after we leave)!! It makes you wonder, if these men had the opportunity, what they could be. And that leaves me with the thought: What is the next opportunity me and Leah can bring them? So, that is where I am praying right now. I hope it is sooner than later.

I wish I could post a picture or a video right now, but unfortunately, I am writing from a Haitian hostel and cannot download any of the sort. However, you can see more about where I have been if you go on You Tube and search "Help Tammy Help Haiti." There is some amazing footage about the project Leah and I have been involved with.

As of today, there is a little more beauty in that slum than there was before, and more importantly, some more hopeful youth and men than there were before.

I can't wait to see my new Haitian family again....

Lastly, I want to thank Global Awareness Project and all of our sponsors for this project in Cite Soleil with Help Tammy Help Haiti. Things accomplished because you put us there and believe in us:

1) Two youth are going to be put in school for their work
2) 480 sq foot mural for Help Tammy Help Haiti's water tower
3) 10 men and teenage youth paid for their work
and receive Haitian Bibles
4) One youth will be given shoes for his work,
enabling him to go to school
5) Ministry within Cite Soleil receiving 25 Haitian Bibles

Thank you, Jesus, for your protection and provision; for placing us in the midst of people who desire to transform lives! May this only be the beginning of all You want to do to make Your Name great in a dark place.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Redemption Art's Craziest Experience Yet: Painting in Cite Soleil!

So today was the second day of painting the mural in Cite Soleil, Port Au Prince, Haiti. If you want some fast facts on Cite Soleil, read the blog below. To sum it up: Worst slum on this side of the world. This is not my photo above, but it gives you an idea of what we are in the middle of.

Anyway, today we (My sister Leah and I) had about 9 grown men and teenage guys helping us paint the the 480 square foot mural on a water tower recently built by Help Tammy Help Haiti. I was just discussing the reality of these guys helping me paint with my sister and how incredible it truly is to have some of the hardest men who have seen some of the hardest things in life painting with us. Truly "Redemption Art"at work.

However, I know without a doubt that it is not the art that is drawing these men to the project; it is the Spirit of the Living God. There is no question in my mind that this project has been orchestrated, provided by, and ordained by God. From the paint arriving here just in time to God providing those 9 men to help me.

I was reading the other day, and the author of this particular book asked the question: ""When was the last time you saw The Spirit of God at work in your life?" And I was so so so glad that I could testify to TODAY!!!

The sweetest moment of The Spirit today was this: Standing arm in arm with a 23-year old former child soldier who spent the day painting with us. For those of you who know who Wilfet is, he is the next Wilfet in my life. I can feel it. The Spirit of God at work, I tell you what.