When the team woke up today, we were anxiously awaiting our beach day accompanied by the local neighborhood kids. After a delicious breakfast prepared by the beautiful Haitian women in the kitchen, our team packed water toys and applied a generous portion of sunscreen. Once the TapTaps were stocked with the necessary beach accessories, we invited the kids aboard the TapTap to depart for the beach. Everyone went around and introduced themselves. Shortly after conversations were exchanged, we began praising God in worship lead by one of the Haitian boys. He joyfully sang and encouraged everyone to sing at the top of our lungs! It was inspiring to see his passion for Christ through his devoted worship. Throughout the ride we challenged each other to TapTap surfing battles and sang familiar songs by Justin Bieber and Chris Brown (artists the boys pronounced as their favorites). It was absolutely breathtaking to drive into a location with a lush vista of palm trees, bright turquoise water and mountains reaching the sky. Our team has not experienced a vista quite like this yet. As we pulled up to the beach parking you could read the excitement on the kid's faces.
Upon our arrival, we quickly changed and eagerly stampeded into the caribbean water. A few of the boys needed help swimming and floating, which was a lot of fun to help them with! After countless water fights, chicken fights and super soaker gun attacks, we all enjoyed peanut butter sandwiches on the beach together. I throughly enjoyed watching the kids interact with one another, they are truly like a family. Face painting was a big hit! They loved asking for paint tattoos of the sun, Jesus, fish and palm trees. A few of the kids shared their artistic talent by painting creative tattoos on a few people in our team as well! Everyone charged into the water once again and resumed the water games. The kids really enjoyed the water. A few of the Haitian boys floated on the blow-up alligator, would tip off and jump back on. One little boy had the biggest smile and would swim around and visit all of us. None of us wanted the joy-filled day to come to an end, we dreaded hearing the departure warning to leave paradise with our neighborhood friends. The drive home was even more fun than the ride to the beach. We all bonded over our fun adventure, dancing in the TapTap and our love of God.
One of the boats in the water was named, "God is my guide" in Creole. Later in the night during our circle time, we were given our beloved childhood toy, Play-doh and asked to create a symbol for the condition of our heart. I molded the boat I saw at the beach, because throughout this trip God has captivated my heart and encouraged me to trust Him as my guide. My heart is prepared to follow His guidance and trust the path He has chosen for me. After today, I aspire to do everything I do with the same passion and zest I have learned from my Haitian friends this week.