Bon Repos Playground

By Joe Fulk, Jr.

Joe Fulk, kneeling center right, with construction helpers and local Bon Repos residents.
Joe Fulk, kneeling center right, with construction helpers and local Bon Repos residents.

Our small mission team of five was richly blessed even before getting to Haiti and our work at Bon Repos. We met a great young man in Fort Lauderdale on his way to live in Haiti six months to help with construction of the school/church project at Bon Repos. Our appreciation for Nathan grew throughout the week in our work and faith sharing, both with each other and our Haitian friends. We were also joined by four team members from Illinois and Carl, our missionary friend, and his family.

Our team project was to construct a donated playground for the Bon Repos faith community. To our surprise, it was more massive than imagined. The Lord blessed us with many miracles along the way. An idea implanted, a gift, a non-profit organization refurbishing equipment, shipping room in a container headed for Haiti, a team to construct the playground, and working with Haitian friends is a short list of miracles we experienced.

A first time team member with us to Haiti said she was overwhelmed at first by the sight of trash and the smells until seeing and meeting real people going about their day happy, content, and with purpose. On each visit we are touched and humbled by the hunger and thirst for the Word of God and the love praising God of the Haitian people in worship and daily life.

With the help of our translator and driver we were able to share faith in Christ mutually with Haitians and importantly Haitians with us. The Haitian children and adults were very curious about the playground and more than willing to work alongside us at every turn giving opportunity to share the love of Jesus. One adult Haitian worker, as we were taking pictures before leaving, got on the playground set and insisted we take his picture sporting a big smile beaming with thanksgiving. We got the feeling that the playground for Bon Repos is similar to Disney World for us. We pray and trust that it will be a place of children laughing and playing, for families to gather in conversation and fellowship, and for the building of Christian Community at Bon Repos. In a place where children are so often neglected and orphaned, the need continues to be great; but, as one team member said, “Rescue the children and we might just save the nation.”

A team member summarized our experience very well: “These mission trips change you and change priorities.” The things that burdened and stressed us before no longer matter. The world may look at Haiti and see struggle, poverty, and an unfair history, but I (we) have never been anywhere that I (we) felt more close to the Lord. I (we) am so impressed by the things OMS is doing in Haiti. It is truly a wonderful organization that empowers the Haitian people to live out the love of Christ.