{Lesson 5} The Most Important Resource- Series: 7 Life Lessons I Learned in Haiti:

We take life sustaining water for granted in the United States.  We can literally get it anywhere.  Water is life giving.

In Haiti, clean water is life.

The river we crossed twice daily on the way to the orphanage was used to bathe, wash clothes by hand, water animals, and clean cars and motor bikes. Suds washed down in the current.  I am sure people drank out of it too.

Men, women, and children bathe in the that river.  One young woman waited for our truck to pass before taking off her shirt to bathe.  I felt like a voyeur and quickly looked away.  But I caught the look in her eyes and I just can’t describe it.  She looked about my daughters age, 14 or so.  I felt protective of her is a weird way.  I wanted to offer her privacy and couldn’t.  It still bothers me.  Another day I passed a woman brushing her teeth with toothpaste dripping down her chin.  She looked up at me.  It was hard to see and try not to see.

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When I witnessed momma’s washing their babies in that river , I thought, what good momma’s they were.  We take so much for granted here.  I have never experienced water’s value before this trip.

Haiti’s water is not treated, so personal care takes on a whole new meaning.  Our host used a cistern on the roof and also purchased water for us to use for showers.  We consumed about 1 gallon of bottled water per team member per day which also had to be purchased.  5 minute military type showers in a cold stream of water were the norm.  Because the water is not treated, you cannot open your mouth in the shower or stick your toothbrush under the faucet when brushing your teeth.  And putting toilet paper into the toilet was guaranteed to clog it.  It was uncomfortable.  I have never been more uncomfortable.  I think God called me to be uncomfortable.  He stretched me.

Everything I knew about personal care had to be rethought.  I remember standing in the shower daily trying to remember how to take a shower.  We had to be quick, wear shoes, clean the best we could, and not open our mouth.

It was hard seeing the poverty of such an important resource.  

But Haiti needs more than clean water.  

Haiti needs Living Water.  

The Living Water that only Jesus can provide.  The most important resource.

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“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14

Seeing God in Haiti was powerful.  I have long taken for granted this Living Water.  Watching and meeting church teams from around the country in the airports confirmed His presence.  God had put all of us together and I don’t think the meetings were just chance.

The people we met affirmed God’s power over and over again.  I met a dentist that travels to Haiti regularly to help kids with dental issues.  His stories were amazing. And we spoke to another church team from Kentucky who rode down and back with us on the flights to and from Port-Au-Prince.  They have a big heart for Haiti.

All of these people offered Haitians, His Living Water.

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And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

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There are many prayers and hands lifted, helping in Haiti. God is working in the hearts of men and women there, and here.

God is moving.

The first thing I did when I got home at 1:00am in the morning was to take a 20 minute hot shower.  I have never more appreciated a hot shower.

And I realized that all of Haiti washed off of me.  As the weeks have gone by since our return, I realize it didn’t wash off the Haiti in me.

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To Read More in This Series: 7 Lessons I learned in Haiti…..

Lesson One: Being Transparent

Lesson Two: How To Pack For A Mission Trip

Lesson Three: You See More When You Stand Up

Lesson Four:  The Power of A Team   

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