Following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, TouchGlobal swiftly responded and has continued to send crisis responders to serve in Haiti ever since. We have established a presence and plan on staying here for a long time, so we thought it wise to set up a blog that family, friends, supporters, and teams can check to find first-hand information about life and ministry at the Haitian Queen (the TouchGlobal Crisis Response headquarters in Gressier, Haiti).

This blog will be updated regularly by various team members and staff.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last week in town... Reggie

Reggie 3-10-10

On Wednesday, as part of routine, I drove the nurses from the Haitian Queen, our house in Gressier, to the clinic where we were working in Carrefour. The trip is usually about ½ an hour to 45 minutes in normal traffic. The road is good for the first part of the trip, and you can make good time… for the first ten minutes. As we pass the first small town, Gressier, there are large cracks in the road left from the initial quake, and expanding through the constant tremors. Everyone avoids the cracks as they drive, and the shoulder of the road grows wider with each passing day as the cars and trucks go further off the road, as the cracks continue to spread.

I dropped the nurses off at the clinic this day, and set out by myself to meet the guys from ITEC, a ministry from Pa. that sets up generators and does electrical work for Missions. We met them during our Ike response in Galveston. We were going to meet near the airport. Anywhere around the airport is a common place to meet, because it’s about the only place that everyone knows how to get to with the blocked streets and lack of street signs.

After the meeting, I ran some simple errands, like getting supplies for the house and checking out pricing for porta-potties… at least that should be simple. Going to get nuts bolts and washers for the bunk beds we are building takes hours, because no individual store carries all the items you need. I found that you have to get bolts and nuts at one store and the washers at another. This does however create ministry opportunities in and of itself if you don’t allow yourself to get frustrated in the process. I met Reggie on my first trip to the A& B Hardware store last week, and now I look for him every time I come to the store. We have had many conversations in the “showroom” and at the counter.

The store has a display board where you look for what you want to buy, and then you tell the guy helping you what you want, and then he goes and pulls it from the shelves in the back for you. This is done for each individual item. So the process repeats itself numerous times until you have collected all your items. There is an even more confusing process for payment, but I’ll not bore you with details.

So Reggie helps me pull my items, and we talk. I attempted to ask him for what I wanted in Creole the first time we met, and I stumbled through the process. I’m sure it was equally painful for the both of us. When I finished, he said to me “so you want 5 of those fittings?” in plain English. Surprised by his comment I said to him,” Why didn’t you tell me you speak English?” To which he replied, “I just did”. We both laughed and continued on as he helped me through the buying process.

This particular day, though, I came in to buy just a few things, and ask him for directions to the porta potties place. He gave the directions to me as best he could and we parted ways. After driving in circles for awhile, I called the contact number to ask for directions. He said, “ I’m near the airport stuck in traffic- let’s meet by the airport”- What a surprise! We met at a common stop- the National Brand gas station across from the airport and drove through traffic for 30 minutes to go about 5 miles.

After our meeting, I got a call from the guys back at the Haitian Queen informing me that they needed more bolts, nuts and washers.- Here we go again. I went back to the store and saw Reggie for the 2nd time that day. He asked me if I found the porta pottie place, I said a simple, “Oui, Merci “sparing him the ugly details.

I was finished running the errands that I needed to complete that day, and had an hour or so to kill before picking up the nurses from the clinic. So after Reggie got the bolts, I needed, I engaged him in conversation; me speaking my broken Creole, and him speaking English. Another counter guy named Gerald, joined us and we spoke about family, where I work and why I had come in so many times, and just about every day for supplies. In the middle of our conversation, Reggie said, “This is good, we need to practice our English. We need to better it…improv it.” “Improve it”, I corrected him. He said that’s what I am telling you -this is good because you can learn Creole from us and we can learn English from you. We need a place to do that.

Since our ministry is so relational oriented, light bulbs went off in my head. What better way to meet people, build relationships, and share the love of Christ than by just conversing in both languages!! They will learn English and Jesus at the same time; and I will learn Creole and maybe some theological terms in Creole! We can have ESL, CSL and Bible study all at the same time-Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Keep the stories coming. God is an Awesome God! Kevin, will you be there on March 25th? that's when I arrive for almost a month.