Before I left for the states, I was able to be a part of GLA and hang out there with my friends. The people there were a saving grace for me. They are amazing, caring, beautiful women of God. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to get to know them each.
In my last week, GLA received two containers in one week was and it was a little overwhelming. One container had mostly clothes soaked in hurricane damaged boxes, the volunteers worked hard to sort through clothing and bag it up to be distributed. Pastor Brandon took a few truck loads that barely made a dent in the endless pit of bags. For those of us missing leaf piles this fall, it had the potential to be a good substitute.
Many tent cities have at least 1,000 people living in them, making distributions difficult if there is not enough to go around. For this reason, most of the distributions have been in areas around GLA, done through the mayors of each area. With the two containers, they needed to get the bags of clothing out as quickly as possible. GLA was able to find three venues for distributions that were unlike the distributions they had done before. Pastor Brandon has taken many loads down to his church on Delmas and allowed members to help with the distributions in that area.
The deaf tent city was the second venue. GLA volunteers do not tend to visit tent cities. We were able to bring staff, volunteers, and the team from Canada down to be a part of the distribution. It was a great experience for the team from Canada who helped pack and send one of the containers be a part of distributing clothes to the people of Haiti. Those living in the tent city were very gracious of the donations. The people are peaceful and have a strong sense of community. We were able to spend about an hour with the people living in the tent city. All the children stuck to the volunteers and staff like glue. To top it off when we were on our way back Patrick and Holli noticed two St. John’s shirts that were given to us in bulk and we distributed through Pastor Brandon’s church.
Dr. Bernard’s, where I am staying until I leave, is an orphanage only one street down from GLA and served at the third venue for the two container rapid distribution. Dr. Bernard is a Haitian man who runs a five floor guest house and orphanage. He was able to accept two full truck loads of donations, including clothing for his works as well as the children, tents, and liquid vitamins for the children.
Dave and I brought the distributions to him over two days. The team staying at Dr. Bernard’s assisted with the distribution of clothing at the orphanage after the drop off, later they were able to share with us their emotions and experiences. The team laid out the clothes for the children who got to come up and chose three new outfits! The same was done for the staff who were able to choose five new outfits each. On the second day we showed up with another truck load, one of the team leaders said “We prayed for out donations to double and then you show up. God is great.” The volunteers were so grateful for the donations. It was a blessing to be a part of it all. From unloading donations when we get the containers out of Port, to making up bags, and eventually giving them out. It was heartwarming to hear the praises and gratefulness of the volunteers who were able to take it one step farther and see the faces of the children and staff as they received their new clothing. On the second day, Nikki was able to come with Dave and I to drip of the second truck load. Nikki runs the guest house for GLA and I am glad I got to share the experience with her to see how so much hard work pays off for another orphanage and guest house. It’s nice to be a part of something where everyone isn’t always out for themselves; there is no constant rat race to get to the top. Lending a helping hand and seeing another person smile was what it was all about, it’s a feeling I wish to continually strive for.
In trying to find the good of the situation that I was experiencing, I think about the tent city distribution and the distribution at Dr. Bernard’s. Who knows if those distributions would have happened if I wasn’t staying with Dr. Bernard as a result of the position I was in, or if I would have had the opportunity to take a truck load of clothing and volunteers down to the tent city.
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into GLORY.” –William Barclay