Thursday, July 26th, otherwise known and never to be forgotten as “WATER TRUCK DAY”!!! So what’s the big deal about water truck day? Ever since we showed up here in Haiti I’ve been hearing about it. Other teams have already gone before us, I’ve witnessed their grimy clothes and hair paired with exhausted steps and ….contented smiles? Well not to be cliché but, you just had to be there to understand. First a little background to get you interested, we travel in style to City Solei down some smooth, honk-free streets. There is no running water in this shanty town built on a land fill, it’s very near the bay and so even if they drill down through the mounds of trash salt water is all they find. The only way the families get their water to cook, clean, wash clothes and yes drink is by large trucks filled at a filling station and then dispended in well-known corridors. Seven days a week these trucks run back and forth, the only source of fresh, clean water for these wonderful people. Tension mounts as the water truck backs into position, the lines already begun. Crowds of young and old bring their plastic buckets, barrels, wash basins or whatever they have salvaged to hold and carry water. People are crowding and shouting, children are excited and climbing our bodies as we try to help the smallest and the oldest to bring home that precious commodity. Women grab my arm and “claim” me, dragging me down narrow treacherous alleys hoping I can find my way back. Not to worry, the children always lead me back hugging me and kissing my cheek telling me “merci, merci”. Several times I was allowed to glimpse behind the “door” into their tiny shanty homes, babies are brought out to be blessed, food is offered, some kind of starch that looked like an armadillo on one side? I had to eat, although the thought of breathing seemed vitally more important, and I had to get back to see who else might just need help. It’s a race, the truck is only there for a short time, and if you miss it or can’t fill all your jugs in time, you might just not get enough water for the day.
The Lord tends to use simple everyday things, water for instance, in order to perform wonderful miracles. In the Old Testament the water of a flood “baptized” Noah and his family, same goes for Moses and the Israelites through the water of the Red Sea. The New Testament reveals it even more clearly when Jesus tells us that we must be born of “Water and The Spirit”. God knows that sometimes we need an outward sign of his love for us; outward, physical, tangible signs of an invisible reality. That’s what “WATER TRUCK DAY” is, simply put; it’s a sign to the people of Haiti that God really and truly loves them.