There are rides at amusement parks that post on certain water attractions, "You will get wet. You may get soaked!" In so many ways both are true for water truck day in Cite Soleil, but not simply for the reason you might think. We got off the tap tap geared up for holding a four inch hose that dispenses the water to the empty buckets, basins, and drums the residents of the poorest of the poor bring to get water. This is their only source of water for days and for the most part it is the children - some in the dirtiest of clothing, some in none at all - and the girls and women who come to fill their vessels with water to cook, drink, and clean with until the next water truck day. If you're holding the hose, you absolutely get wet. Water splashes everywhere, and all around you children are catching water from a leak in the hose to drink or simply washing off the dust that they are coated with all the time. Each 5 gallon bucket is 40 pounds and it is amazing to watch elementary school age girls carry them on their heads. Our job is simply to get it there. Others carry small 3 foot basins back to their metal shanty homes with our assistance as well. And still others just need a hand carrying their bucket if they can't balance it on their head. The truck pumps until there is no more buckets to fill or no more water in the truck, and there seems to always be more buckets to fill.
If that's all water truck day was it would be moving enough to have your heart break. But as you get off the tap tap the children are already lined up. Not with buckets raised for water but with hands outstretched with one request on their lips - "Hey you!" Translation: "Pick me up and hold me to let me know that I am loved." You learn how to hold a child in one arm and a water bucket in the other. And it isn't long until you are soaked in not just the water from the truck, but also the joy and comfort that comes exudes from their faces and eyes. And with each water stop I became soaked in the love of God that poured not only from our team to the people of Cite Soleil but God's love toward me from them. Sometimes it's not easy. Hard life creates hard faces. Yet, like the water that erodes even the mightiest of mountains maybe the water that comes in the name of Christ through Healing Haiti will soften the hardest of faces and allow for the light of Christ to shine through from their eyes and smiling faces.
We also were blessed with the opportunity to witness the soccer initiative supported by Healing Haiti among others. We watched the boys practice and were invited to play a scrimmage against them. What fun! And they were the best of sports when the game ended in a 2-2 tie. It was then off to dinner where we fed the boys a Feed My Starving Children meal and watch their faces light up again.
I am blessed to have been a part of this experience and don't think I'll water my lawn ever again knowing how precious it truly is in this world and just because I can doesn't mean I need to water my lawn or continue living according to the status quo of the U.S. society. I got wet and soaked today in Cite Soleil while delivering water. I pray I never dry off.