Last night we were blessed with the joy of sharing music with the local men's choir and another local church's choir. The church choir had walked 9 miles (women in heels and beautiful white dresses) from the other side of town just to share their gift of music with us, and there's something about hearing people sing to Jesus in a different language that is simply beautiful. We got to experience the uniting element about music that draws us together as brothers and sisters in Christ in a way that penetrates straight to the heart. The men's choir that's been around for more than 30 years was led by one of the most passionate and joyful men we'd ever seen with the BIGGEST smile and loudest clap, accompanied by an accordian player and 22 other men from ages 8 to 75... It was amazing. Both choirs shared six songs each, many of which were composed by the leaders. We were able to share a few songs of our own, serve them with snacks/drinks, and give them another set of shirts for their choirs.

It was such a reflection of the beauty of the body of Christ last night. One thing that Dave shared near the end was that though we may never see one another again, we have the hope and faith in our Lord and Savior, giving us heaven to look forward to so we can sing and praise God together, in one language, for eternity.

We finished off the night singing Amazing Grace together, each in our own dialects, and then joining hands and praying together. Not gonna lie -- brought me to tears.

Yep, and that was last night.

(Praise the Lord.)

Hey hey hey! Karen and Tim here (:

So we got up before the crack of dawn at 4:30am this morning (for some, 2 days in a row) for a great opportunity to see the countryside of Pignon, Haiti. We took a hike (about 3 miles each way) through corn fields in the mountains to visit a bat cave. The views were spectacular and in terms of difficulty, it was definitely… not Rancho San Antonio. We basically had to make our own trail and all got pretty cut up, but it was SO much fun.

When we entered the bat cave, there was a snake hanging, we could hear the bats hissing, and the rocks were ridiculously slippery. We thought it was slippery due to mud, but what was actually causing it was a layer of bat guano (poop) over everything. Once inside, with our lights we could see thousands of bats swarming around in circles, eating the bugs by our heads. We also got a chance to check out this corner of the cave that had remains of voodoo sacrifices of animals. This was when the more adventurous group went further down into the bat cave and found they had to cross a river of bat guano. Luckily, no one fell in, or else they would’ve had bat guano up to their waist… Anyway, we went back down the mountain on a different route, and some of us got some fresh mangos from a tree to snack on. (The mangos here are aaaaaaaaamazing.) It was incredible.

After lunch (and a nap), we had a chance to sit down with the board of UCI (United Christians International) and hear about their vision for their organization. It was refreshing and encouraging to see their passion for the glory of God in Haiti and their excitement for the future. God is working through their ministry in such powerful ways and the impact they’ve made on this community in the past 5 years alone is just the beginning of what is possible here through God’s people and His grace.

After the meeting, we were supposed to accompany the youth group to clean up the marketplace, but the weather made it so that it wasn’t possible to go. It had started pouring, so instead we had a chance to distribute clothes and shoes to the youth group. The kids were so polite and excited about it, and seeing the joy on their faces as they got to pick out their new clothes and shoes was, as MasterCard (or Jim) says, priceless. Dave even got some of the boys to get ties to wear to church tomorrow.

JeanJean then took us down the road to a sugar cane press. We learned about how they took raw sugar cane and ran it through a homemade press consisting of a large wooden crank and two oxen in order to produce sweet sugary syrup.

We could go on forever, but… Today was awesome, it’s time for dinner, keep praying for God to move, aaaaand that’s it!

P.S. The food here is BOMB.