Mission accomplished! October was pastor appreciation month and I really wanted to do something different and special for my beloved Robinson. With Krystle in country two weeks early, we had information gathering time, and what surfaced was a need for a book shelf. Krystle had one constructed for the start of the building of a library and it turned out to be a stunning handcrafted piece of furniture. So behind his back I executed a special mission that I thought with all his connections would certainly be blown by someone. But it turns out I have a loyalty on the ground now with our special operations team! And the final execution of the plan came together tonight following our itinerary to visit a few locations for the team to see. As we drove back from our final destination a tap from the back of the vehicle brought the Toyota to a stop. Claudy told Robinson he needed to see Franz at his work shop for a minute. So we backed up the road and the team exited, I moved quickly ahead and at the roadside stopped him with the team and told him October in the States is Pastor Appreciation month and I had a gift for him. We step aside and the enclosed bookcase stood in stark contrast to a dirty lot and a rough gray concrete wall. The carpenter’s shop is an open air space with a few metal sheets on some logs standing as a weather shield, rough at best. You wonder how something like this could come out of such surroundings. But again, that is Haiti. I could tell Rob was stunned…and grateful. Today was spent navigating the painting of the upstairs at the orphanage. I arrived this morning and leaned right into the paint on the staircase with my fresh shirt for the day. Fortunately, I had a spare one on me and one of the girls at the house swept it away and like a boomerang it resurfaced in a couple hours fresh and clean. At noon Dan took off with Krystle in tow, and with Claudy and a local dentist did a triple root extraction in a 95-degree office with off brand, non specific tools. He’s a guy who likes adventure, so I loaded him up today! It’s great to bring travelers Haiti and hear them say something was the first of it’s kind. Well, the doc got his first of a kind today. His experience level compensated for lack of tooling, and tonight Peterson is resting pain free. In a couple of days, he will experience a pain free zone he has not had for 3 years. We stopped in to visit my sister’s sister who just had a baby last Saturday, and tiny Marie was a beautiful sight. She is really small, and we are praying she can survive the violent and vexing Haitian landscape. We sat with Papa at the old Parsonage and sang songs together. As we sat on that old porch memories of earlier years begun to spin through my thoughts, and lay down across the lawn of my mind, green and familiar, like fresh cut grass. I wept partly because of what has been accomplished, partly because of what has been lost, but mostly because I’m still here, allowed to work this beautiful garden, planting seeds of hope and help, often one person at a time. As we visited at Claudy’s church (a church build project sponsored by Westside Community Church) the pastor came in and in quiet gentle tones thanked me on behalf of his board and himself for what was done on their behalf, I told him it was not me, but God who had plans, and I was only a small component of it. Jake and Dan as newbies have been extraordinary. Assuming roles and posturing quickly they have absorbed the culture and connected without any trouble at the docking station of cultural transition. We have come to the day 5 evening already, the trip is blooming with the flowers of accomplishment. In the midst of all this good though today we witness two pigs hog tied and being carted up the mountain upside down in wheelbarrows. As they squealed and wiggled to be free, it was obvious the day of reckoning had come. The scene lasted several minutes and we were unable to get away quickly, so the drama was intense, and the moment turned the mood somber. It’s a reality starkly contrasted from our own, and moments like these remind you just how different and removed from each other culture and peoples can become. Morning comes early this close to the equator, so it’s time to pack the keys and screen. More thoughts tomorrow! Blessings tonight from St. Marc.