Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Ride to Greffin

Just after lunch today, Trey came by and said now would be a good time to try to locate Abigail's sponsored child.  He added the disclaimer that, when school is not in session, some of these kids can be hard to find, because they don't have addresses, and they often go to relatives or grandparents during the summer.

We crowded into the 4-wheel-drive along with Jean-Bernard, who would serve as a translator and was also described as the "best bloodhound" they have.

To say that the road to Greffin was bad would be a serious understatement.  After getting out of Fermathe, the pavement ended and what was left was just a path of large rocks, barely one lane wide.  We were jostled about the vehicle continuously, and probably the only reason we did not receive any injuries was because we were packed in so tightly.  Abigail sat in the middle by the gearshift and Deb, David and Jean-Bernard were packed in the back seat.  On the way back we remarked that, as we got farther out in to the mountains, the road behind us seemed progressively better because the road ahead got progressively worse.

After nearly an hour of this, Jean-Bernard told us to stop because he was going to ask the locals where Marianna's family lived.  After a few minutes, he re-appeared with another Haitian who thought he knew the family.  I'm not sure how they communicated this because the Haitian was deaf.  Jean-Bernard hopped back in, and the Haitian also hopped in and we went back the way we came for a short distance.  

After a few more turns, another halt was called, as the house to the right may be where she lived.  We all piled out of the vehicle and were surrounded by a growing crowd of Haitians.  After some excited talk in Creole, one of the children pointed back up the hill.  This was not the house, but she lived up that way. Back in the vehicle, back up the hill we had just come down, and a short distance later, we passed by a couple of kids walking down the road.  One of them was a little girl who, when asked her name, said "Marianna."  We found her along the road.  We later on found out that there was news that a vehicle (a rarity in this area) full of white people (even rarer) was coming looking for Marianna.  News travels fast in these parts.

We parked the truck near the foot path leading to her family's house.  Marianna's father and mother appeared, along with about a dozen other people.

We followed them down the narrow foot path to their house, a simple block house about 200 feet from the road.  Corn was drying on blankets on the ground, and the small field next to their home had small plants that I was not able to identify.

On their porch, we exchanged formal greetings and asked a few questions through the translator, then Abigail gave Marianna a backpack with a few gifts.  We had also purchased a box of rice and beans which we left with them  Twenty bucks to feed this family for about a month.

We asked them about taking a few pictures and they were fine with that.  Both mama and papa disappeared into the house and emerged a few minutes later with different clothing on.  They had to look their best for the picture.

We learned that one of Marianna's favorite subjects in school is math, which is one of Abigail's least favorite.  Marianna helps her mother in the house and also helps carry water up from the stream about a mile away.

We told them we would send them some of the pictures we took. Before we left we linked hands in prayer, two families from two different cultures and two different countries, praying to the God we have in common.  How cool is that?

Answered prayer and miracles do happen, and this was one example.  To have found her so quickly in so remote an area could only be a God thing.

The ride back was no less difficult, but Abigail (and us) now had vivid pictures in her mind and in her experience of what life for Marianna was like because she witnessed a small piece of it, in person. She told us that all that work selling tomatoes and goods that she sewed to earn money for Marianna's sponsorship was now worth it.

I think so to.

There are over 60,000 kids in Haiti just like Marianna that could benefit from a sponsor. Do check it out at

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