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Service Project to Verette
(March 19-March 24, 1999)
Modern Day Moses
An Account of our AWESOME Time at Verette
Yo this trip was the bomb! We had a great time. Especially Abitan Philipp, as you can tell from his expression J
Even though Lu was dying to go to the bathroom, we took the picture anyway. Hang in there Lu!
Hats for sale!
Well, the hats may be in style for the guys, but the girls march to a different drummer.
Yo, in case you haven't noticed, straw hats are the thing man, so order yours today!
"Ow, my nose!" Andrew yells.
I think this picture is self-explanatory. Look for the deeper meaning. It's there I'm sure.
Whenda! Need I say more? This wasn't adventurous enough for her without galloping off into the sunset.
Modern Day Moses
[Although we had tons of fun on this awesome service project, it is important to remember why we went. One of the reasons was to bring supplies to Moses, a little baby who had been abandoned by his mother in an outhouse. During discussions in Bible class, many times someone questions why God doesn't seem to do miracles anymore. The story of this Haitian boy can be nothing less than direct intervention by God, and I wrote about it in my journal so I would never forget that God still does miracles. In addition, every time I read this story it reminds me of how much God cares for every one of his children, and how he lifts them up from the depths when the world has cast them out.]
This is a true story of a small baby boy in Haiti who was miraculously rescued from a gruesome death by the grace of God. Our class raised money as a service project to buy this baby food, clothes, and other things to help his new mother support him. Then we traveled about 4 hours out into the arid country to visit him and see how he was doing. First I will tell the circumstances of his adoption and how God saved him from a literal Hell (Hebrew: Gehenna [the waste/burning garbage pits outside the city]) on earth.
We know little of Moses’ real mother, except that for some reason she did not deem Moses worthy of continuing life on this earth. Probably the responsibility of raising a child was too costly for this mother. Or maybe she was desperate and thought it would be better for the baby to skip a life of pain and poverty and go straight to Jesus’ arms. In either case, Jesus had different plans for Moses: he gave him life here on earth.
For whatever reason compelled her, Moses’ mother abandoned him in the tank of an old outhouse. Moses’ position at this point correlates with the image of Hell we are given in the Bible: Gehenna- the foul, reeking, burning pits of garbage and the outlet for the sewer system. Moses was in a place similar to Gehenna right now – he was lying in a pool of human feces, urine, and trash. The floor of this outhouse was not dead: it was alive. It was home the filthiest pestilence in the world. Snakes, cockroaches, flies, rats, bugs, and germs thrived on the dungy floor of the outhouse. And Moses, an innocent child of God, was plopped in the middle of the muck and waste, crying out. God was there, and he heard. He loved Moses and had a plan for him. So he interceded on behalf of his child.
Tidjo heard a cry from the outhouse and went to investigate. He could not believe his eyes, and dashed off immediately to get help. The baby was surely dead already, he could never live among the snakes, rats, and toxins in the outhouse. But the man gathered some fellow Haitians and they lowered him down the toilet by rope to retrieve the baby.
Halfway down he yelled for them to pull him back up because there were too many snakes. The Haitians wrapped sticks around his legs so the snakes couldn’t bite him and lowered him down again. This time he retrieved the baby and was quickly pulled back up.
The baby was in terrible shape. Miraculously he was still alive, but he was coated in feces and waste. His nose, ears, and mouth were full of human waste or cockroach eggs. But he was alive.
The people cleaned him up and cleared out all the junk from his body. They treated his rashes and fed him as best they could. Judith, a kind-hearted Haitian woman who lived there, adopted him and decided to bring him up as one of her own. They appropriately named him “Moses,” because he was “drawn out.”
A few weeks later we brought up formula and money for Moses. We saw the result of God’s love shown through the Haitians, and what they had done for Moses. We met a cute little boy held lovingly by his adopted mother. He was cheerful and smiling, he gurgled happily as some of the girls in our class held him.
I’m not sure about Moses’ future, but his past is a testimony of God’s redeeming love. God drew Moses out of sin and filth and gave him life; in the same way he can take our lives and elevate them from nothingness to his great purpose.
By Brendan Blowers
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An Account of our AWESOME Time at Verette
[This journal entry summarizes our trip and the good times we had at Verette. It is excerpted directly from the journal of Brendan Blowers, with a few changes made to clarify certain points. However, it appears almost entirely in its original form, which makes it very cool.]
class took a service project to L'Artibonite Valley (Verette) last Friday, March
19 through Sunday, March 21st. It was the
BOMB! I had a great time with our class, it was super. This is who came: Me,
Max, Andrew, Judy, Michelle, Kristy, Whenda, Vicki (from 10th grade), Clifford,
Lutherson, Philipp, Akin, and Jean-Marc. Miss Ten Napel, Mr. Van, Mr. Bitner,
Mr. & Mrs. Muchmore came too, as our chaperones. We stayed at the Camp
Victory site in the dorms. Mrs. Muchmore and some people cooked- great food!
Lots of people in our class couldn't come because they're parents wouldn't let
them, said it was too dangerous. Bummer. We left after school on Friday for a
3-hour drive up to Verette. It was a very 3-hour drive, but we all got along OK.
The roads got real bad and dusty at the end of the trip, but overall it was a
good trip, everyone was fine. All of us but Judy and Michelle went in the school
bus; Judy and Michelle went with Miss Ten Napel and Mr. and Mrs. Muchmore in
their truck. Mr. Van rode his motorcycle. We got there, and then walked to the
pastor's house to get food. Then we ate. After that we had a little talk with
Mr. Muchmore about the place, what to do/not do, etc... The Muchmores had lived
there for a long time a couple years back. Mr. Muchmore told us about some witch
doctors they witnessed to, and other stories. Then we played Capture the Flag,
which was pretty fun. It was very dark, no flashlights allowed, so a big
challenge. Part of the time we played with NO lights- pitch black. There
were plenty of obstacles- Tree stumps, trees, ditches, boulders, cars. No one
was hurt very badly, but everyone got their share of falling flat in a ditch.
More like trench.
Then we took COLD showers, felt
clean, then went to bed at around 12. Great night.
Saturday we woke up and ate. The girls took forever to get up. We played
some frisbee, and practiced with Whenda's bullwhip. I had learned how to use it
a few years ago in Camp Victory, and I taught almost every guy there plus Whenda
and Mr. Van how to use it. I can really crack it LOUD, and by Sunday Max and
Akin were practically masters too. Anyways, after everyone was up we took a tour
of the grounds. Then we went to the maché, "for the experience". It was
an experience. Very unique smells, sights, texture of ground, sounds, and
amazing sights. So many people trying to make a living. They had things for very
cheap prices though. So much food/animals/people. There lots of people,
people. And LOTS of people, and even more people. It was hard to follow someone
the croud was so thick. But it was fun.
Next was the Albert Shwitzer Hospital. We took a tour, which was pretty boring, but I guess I learned something. The
tour guide pronounced L'Artibonite like "The Ahr-ti-bone-ite". Sounded
weird. Anywayz, after that we went to a dam, and looked at it. It looked nice.
Next we went home and ate lunch. Then we went to a path. We had to walk
at least 1½ miles to get to a horse mill. It was a mill where 2 horses were
tied to a contraption that the horses spun. The machine squeezed sugar cane, and
got the sugar out of it. We looked at it, and it looked nice. Then we walked
back again. By that time we were very, very hot. Fortunately for us the next
stop was the Albert Shwitzer pool!! We played a few ball games, Mr. Bitner was
very good at them. And we played freeze-tag. It was OK, kind of boring. After
that we came home and kind of took it easy until supper.
We cooked marshmellows, and
when the 1 bag was done, we roasted mini-mellows. Weird.
Next we practiced our skit. Then we played Capture the Flag again. We
pretty much won, but everyone was fighting, so we decided to play a different
game. Sardines. Me and Max were the ones to hide. We hid in the creek, but
holding ourselves up. The 1st people to find us, Kristy and Vicki, fell on us. I
was pushed into the creek, and sat in it. I was shoved down into the mud and
soaked, so were Kristy and Vicki. They tried to be quiet. Max was getting bitten
by ants and exclaiming every couple seconds. Clifford and Andrew found us, and
also fell in. Andrew got bitten really bad by ants. Not many others found us for
a long time, we just sat there miserably. Finally we yelled to give them clues.
No one else got in the water (chickens). The just got beside the creek, then
every found us and we all got out. Everyone was sort of bugging me and Max, but
jokingly. Then shined a light and found that Max had hookworms all over his
butt. The girls screamed and ran to wash off. The guys walked to go get cleaned.
I was very afraid that everyone would be really mad at me for picking such a
dumb place, but fortunately they weren't. That was good, because I had had
enough pain for one night. We washed off and everyone was fine. We went to bed,
and Mr. Van was asleep. Lu put shaving cream on his hand and forehead. I went to
bed exausted. Eventually though, he put his hand-SPLAT right on his forehead and
spread it through his hair, still asleep. We were going to wake up and get Mr.
Bitner at 1:00. We went to sleep, and I remember being barely woken up by Mr.
Muchmore scolding Lutherson. The next morning we found out that he was putting
the cream on Mr. Bitner, and Mr. Bitner woke up. He got away, but Mr. Muchmore
caught him and scolded him hard, gave him a scare.
Next morning was church, and we had to leave the place at 12:00, right
after church. Before church we packed and ate, and practiced our skit. More
practice with the whip. Then we got all dressed up and walked about 150 ft. to
the church. The church service was good, we did our skit, sang, and Mr. Muchmore
preached. I could understand most of it. Then we walked home, ate, and packed
the car. Then we left. Then came another 3-hour drive, we had one stop in Mowi
to get a snack. Driving for 3 hours wasn't really that bad, when there's lots of
people everyone talks and stuff. Finally we got to QCS at about 3:30. Lots of
people left, and I waited, and waited... with Max. We sharpened our skills with
Whenda's whip till our arms about dropped off. Neither of our parents came.
Finally I went to the Smith's house to call. Good thing, because Mom and Dad
didn't even know I was there. Mom picked me up and dropped Max off at his house.
Then we came home, everyone else went to church, and I unpacked. And that's the
end of our great
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