The little piece of trash under my boot was a sign from God. I knew it. For four years the Mission Youth team has been visiting Gallette-Chambon, a small village outside of Port-au-Prince. This small gathering of huts, suffering immense poverty, needs much help and support. To date we have done everything from bringing supplies, building pews and furniture, and to helping construction on the church facility. And year after year, Fr. Aupont, the village priest, said that in the hills around the area he had seven other poor communities. I would see them in a distance and wonder when we could go to them. Some day.
Well, last year God told us it was time.
Fr. Aupont was beaming with joy this past Easter when he proudly handed me piece of paper which was a title for a plot of land. It was land to build a school! Blueprints were quickly produced and the Mission Youth staff huddled together to make a plan.
Could it really be? Five years of coming to Haiti and now finally a real school, with a tin roof and teachers to boot! This was a big day.
The village of Bocandishu was not easy to get to. One needs to walk for an hour up a large hill on a winding path. At the top of the hill we found a small white medical tent which was the makeshift chapel of Fr. Aupont. “You know,” said Fr. Aupont to me at the top, “a real church and a well for water would be very nice too!”
That was exciting news as well. The people had to walk 15 minutes down the hill to a place where a small spring bubbled up water. And then 15 minutes back up with the water on their heads.
This village was the poorest in Haiti I had found.
I knew God wanted us there as I looked down at my boot. A few weeks before I was with a youth group in Chicago and we helped the organization Feed My Starving Children prepare rice packs to send to poor countries. The rice packs are called Manna Packs. I had wondered if any of these packs would make it to Haiti where I could see it arrive and help people. I hoped someday to be able to follow the trail of these packets of food, because I knew they are sent where people need the most help. Or in Mother Teresa’s words, the poorest of the poor.