I was blessed to arrive in Haiti with my wife Diane, my oldest son, Jeff and his oldest son, Harrison who is seven years old. Along with Harrison’s other grandfather, Cliff Hawley. My long time friends Alan and Jean Axtell and their daughter, Sarah and her husband, Brian joined us on the journey. Kenny Kennedy met us at the village and has been here since December.
As we arrived in the village we were greeted by cheering villagers with banners and arches of flowers stretching across the road welcoming us and celebrating my one hundredth visit to Haiti. We appreciated this warm greeting from the villagers.
Saturday was wedding day for three couples who had lived common law because they couldn’t afford to get married. We were providing the wedding dresses, the suits for the men and the party for the guests. A Haitian wedding is a bit livelier than is normal in the states. If you have a chance to experience one, you should take that opportunity! There are plans for more weddings.
Alan had come to dedicate a home of one of the families in the village to his father who recently passed on to be with the Lord. The single mother in that home has had two husbands passed away and now is among the poorest of the poor trying to raise her three children in a godly manner. And Jeff came to dedicate a home to a Christian family with seven children living at home. They are leaders in the village and a light in the community. The dedications were on Sunday after church and were met by thankful families, glad to be in a home and out of their stick and tarp tent city.
It was so much fun for me watching my grandson Harrison “catch the vision” and do so many things in an effort to befriend and serve children who had so much less than he. At the end, Harrison left crying as he wanted to stay and be with his new found friends. He’s a missionary in the making and now has a much better understanding of how much he has to be thankful for back home.
Jean Axtell helped in the clinic and was especially helpful when a man who was hit by a car while he was driving a motorcycle was brought to our clinic afterhours.
Brian and Sara were wonderful with the children and made many fast friends as they passed out many gifts donated by people back home.
Bringing friends and family is a special joy to me and it was especially heartwarming to share with my bride my one hundredth visit. She has sacrificed as much if not more than I by allowing me to come and minister.
Without any other accomplishments, this visit has already been one for the records.
John H Leininger