Today was another very busy, typical Haitian day. We started the day with a coaches meeting at the Respire Café. Of course, the meeting started a little late because of traffic and took a little longer than planned. But that’s just how Haiti runs and we’ve been getting more and more used to the change of pace. We were excited for the coaches meeting because we had brand new coaches polo’s to give to the coaches that they had no idea they were going to receive. All the coaches had huge beaming smiles and were ecstatic about their new polo’s. We went back to Josh and Megan’s house to finish up some organization before the tournament, which starts tomorrow, and to gather supplies for the “block party” we had planned for the day. Now of course a Haitian “block party” is very different from an American block party. We brought candy, bubbles, water, and Jesus bracelets to distribute to the kids. We also brought soccer balls and pop-up goals to entice the community and draw them to the “block party.” The group assumed the many roles necessary to run a successful, well-mannered block party. Some immediately jumped on the soccer field, some were tackled by small children, some distributed the goods we brought along, and some went out into the community and struck-up conversations with those who chose not to participate in the various activities.
After the block party we headed back to the Respire Café for a quick lunch and then we were off to our next activity of the day. We hiked up the mountain to the Respire school and began unloading all our gear for the players. These bags included cleats, socks, and their uniforms but we only passed out cleats today. The coach talked to the team for a while about expectations for the tournament. Now if you know anything about Haiti, you’d know that a speech could last anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour. After about 30 minutes of strategy and instruction the other coaches motioned for him to rap it up and the kids got going on their shopping. Five kids were led into the administration building where we had them find their size and pick out their favorite pair of cleats. Of course the colorful ones were the first to go. There was even some issues with kids picking shoes that were WAY too small for them but insisted that they were fine even though we knew they just wanted them for their bright colors. We thought we had the last three kids from the teams but somehow every time Pastor Bob went back there happened to be three more. We never found out where they came from but in Haiti you learn to just go with the flow. We packed up, rolled down the mountain, and made it back to Happy Kids right at 6 o’clock (right in time for dinner).
After reflecting on the day’s events during our nightly devotion, it was very evident that God had his hands in everything we did today. Several people shared various God-moments and how they impacted us. Most of us had similar experiences where we were profusely thanked and people told us that they were thankful that God had sent us here to just talk with them and give them the attention they are continually denied.