Saturday, January 08, 2005

Belated Christmas gift distribution . . .

This week we received our mail a bit soggier than usual. To get supplies and Christmas gift donations which had come into the coastal city of Cap Haitien our driver slogged his way for 3 hours to the city, loaded as much as he could on the back of a borrowed pick up and headed home.
Unfortunately, the river was higher than usual, so many of the gifts, which were gift wrapped even got soaked! We spent much of the evening trying to salvage what we could of our mail, the gifts, and many of the boxes were repacked in some plastic storage containers we had.
At last however, we could start distributing the gifts we'd received for area residents though!
Today we went to a soup kitchen Hosean International funds once a month and runs through the local women's ministry. For $500 (HD) several hundred people are asked to attend for both breakfast and dinner. We loaded up the truck (our version of Santa's sleigh) and headed to the meeting place. Lunch was almost ready to be served. I asked Lucie, who was charge today how they selected those who attended and she said it was people that their membership knew of and were in contact with...they invited them to come and eat once a month. She mentioned several people walked 5 miles to come in for the meals. Today they would also receive some gifts of clothing and toiletries from two churches in Minnesota and Florida.
As I visited with some of the the attendees, it was obvious it was the elderly, infirmed and children who were there...they are always the sufferers in every place. Some of them I already knew, a few were mentally disturbed; similar to a soup kitchen environment anywhere in the world.
I wish the donors could have been there, just to see the smiles I coaxed from the kids.
The most encouraging thing to me though, was that this was a community run outreach, attendees identified area women. These women are experiencing the joy of ministry! We only wish we could provide them the resources to do this weekly rather than monthly.

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