June 27, 2010

Maravilloso (Marvelous)

Today is our fifth day—the halfway point--of the trip.

We got a break from construction and conducted an all-day medical clinic. Five Dominican doctors and three of our nurses saw 582 patients in a five-hour span. Patients were seen in family units and for most it was their only opportunity to receive medical care and medications. Even though we could only offer the basics of care, the families were very thankful for even that.

I think about how much we complain about our health care system in the US. Believe me, one day at a clinic here and you’d thank God for the access and resources we have!

After three days on the work site we’ve accomplished so much. We started Friday with a 50+ person cinderblock line…in the street, down the sidewalk, around the corner and onto the work site. Everyone participated--grownups, kids, Dominicans, Americans. In no time at all we moved tons of blocks. At about 40 pounds per block, it was a great show of strength and teamwork.

There’s been something for everyone to do. Cut and bend rebar, use the pick axe, shovel trenches (which seem to be multiplying like loaves and fish), mix concreto and mecla, or play with the kids. My personal favorite has wielding a trowel and bucket of mecla to help build the walls. It’s not a job the Dominicans seem eager to give up, so I’ve been happy to been allowed to help. With so many people working the walls are rising quickly. We have six wall sections started so far.

One thing became evident after our third day on the work site—us Americans are definitely not used to such strenuous work. With aching muscles, sore backs and outright fatigue we were all sagging by the end of the day.

As Anthony said, “You could just look at people’s faces and see how exhausted they were.”

I’m continued to be amazed at how well the kids (Dominican and American) all get along and how resourceful they are. The other day on the work site a group of boys played baseball using a plastic soda bottle filled with rocks and a broomstick…and they had a great time! I haven’t heard a single, “Mom, I’m bored!” In fact the opposite it true, all the kids are engaged and animated—with no TV, computers, cell phones, video games or gadgets. Amazing!

This trip has not been without its challenges…more it seems than last year. We have had several people get sick, including three today. Long hours and general exhaustion have taken a physical toll. An outreach activity last night didn’t go as planned (at all). The devil seems to be trying to get a grasp on this trip. But, I believe God will use it all for good and await to see how that happens.

Even still the Spirit is alive and at work. Revealing Himself in our large and small group devotions. In the intimate one-on-one connections. In shared moments. And times of prayer and worship. Last night we got a big “Wow!” during the service we led at the church in Haina.

On the Haiti trips this spring, Pastor Brony (the pastor of the church here in Haina) introduced some of us to a song wrote, (Maravilloso). Us Americans practiced the song before we came and sang it for Brony and his congregation at the service. As soon as he heard the first few notes, a smile of recognition spread across his face and the faces of his congregation. The tambourine, drums, bongos and “cheese graters” joined in with our guitars as we all sang with incredible joy and enthusiasm.

It’s these moments we treasure. Dios es maravillos. (God is marvelous.)

Tomorrow we’ll run a VBS in the park and then we’ll have a much needed afternoon at the beach! We are ALL looking forward to that and are praying for NO RAIN!

Dios te bendiga!

Added 7/8/10:


Analisa said...

Sounds like you are are getting it done. I pray for your continued blessings and the way God is using you all to be a blessing.

Dan said...

Maravilloso indeed! Glad you guys could serenade brony with that. He must have been thrilled. As for the letdowns and things not going as planned , keep plugging away. The enemy doesn't want you there and is fully aware that you have and will continue to do great work for God. Your best days are ahead of you! Dios te bendiga!

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Kelli! Love the update! I cannot imagine a dr. seeing over 500 patients in one day! Mercy! Will continue to keep y'all in my prayers. God is holding each of you tightly as you serve Him.

Sue J. said...

Hi, friend! Writing to you from the beach, now, and I'm sure it will come as a welcome break from warm, muddy, rainy days!

Stay steadfast and don't let the Devil get you down. He may be seeking people to devour, but you've got power that goes way beyond distance or illness or frustrations or discomforts! God is with you with each step, and we'll be praying for you where we are....

Have a great VBS! Sing some great old songs that kids love--works wonders.... ENJOY! Looking forward to more updates.