Saturday, February 24, 2018

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day Six - Last Day of Serving in Haiti

Today was Day 6 of our mission to serve in Haiti and also our second attempt at celebrating Alex's (my) birthday! After fighting off a sickness and being blessed with better health today, I was lucky enough to wake to an amazing team ready to celebrate - a team that had managed to decorate our guest house and tap tap for the occasion. God's plan couldn't have been more perfect this year for leading not just me, but this whole team to Haiti.

We started the morning traveling to Haiti Deaf Academy where we communicated in the universal language - LOVE. One person's inability to hear or speak in your language does not remove their ability to smile, laugh, or show compassion. From the moment we arrived, children of every age were all smiles. We played, had some arts and crafts time, colored, and even learned a little sign language as we spent the morning playing and having fun. We even had the opportunity to purchase some items that were created by the students themselves!

Next, we visited "Rosie's" - an ice cream & gift shop combo. So yes, we continued our trend of doing a little shopping each day supporting this growing Haitian economy, ice cream in hand. Every store we have visited has always had inspiring stories and abundant personalities behind them, and Rosie's was no exception. Every item was hand crafted by a Haitian where you could see the care and hard work that went into making it a beautiful piece of artwork. It was so easy to find joy buying some great pieces - knowing we were supporting more Haitian families.

From Rosie's we returned to Grace Village, where we spent another few hours the children - playing soccer, blowing bubbles, making some Jesus bracelets, and singing a few favorite songs (of theirs AND ours).  Our team likes to hope that playing with the children there brings as much joy to the them as it does to us. Grace Village has become an incredibly special place in all of our hearts as we learn about and witness the impact it is having on the community. We know that as Grace builds up the children, they build up Haiti's future.  We are so thankful to Healing Haiti and what they are doing here.

We finished off the night at Fleri Restaurant/Bakery enjoying some team fellowship and pizza, continuing to hear how the Bakery started, how it is truly flourishing - and it's exciting to know they hope to double their Haitian workforce from 25 to 50 by the end of the year.  Truly another great example of job creation.  The pizza was fantastic, and our Leaders (Carol, Sara & Jessica) were amazing surprising me with a Haitian made birthday cake.  Was a great way to end the day.


Alex (& Kristi)

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Romans 12:10

Friday, February 23, 2018

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day Five

It's our 5th day in Haiti and we are loving every minute of it. Today was very busy day starting out bright and early at the Church on The Rock. The service was very moving, and also inspiring to see how the Haitians worship and praise God.

Then we prepped and headed out to deliver water to Cite Soleil. Our first stop was greeted with the sight of all the kids running with their hands full of buckets waiting to get filled with water. Playing with kids and filling up all of their buckets with water was an amazing experience. As soon as all the water ran out we had to make another stop for the water truck to get filled up again and then had to go straight to our next location, water truck stop number two! After our second stop of filling up buckets we made a trip to Fleri Farms where we were able to learn about what types of foods they are able to grow! One of my highlights was trying coconut water and sugarcane that they grow! After that we made our last but not least water truck stop! My highlight of the day was visiting all the little kids and deliver water to many families.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day Four - Elder Visits

This is the twins, Manda and Shanda.  Day four of our missions trip is coming to a close and we would like to blog about the happenings from this wonderful day today.
We started out with a bumpy tap tap ride (vans that are used for transportation here in Haiti) to the Mass Gravesite Memorial. It is a beautiful memorial that has been built in remembrance of over 150,000+ people who were buried there soon after the catastrophic 7.0 M earthquake that happened in 2010. Our interpreter and driver, Valerie, told us the story of that day the earthquake happened and expressed how sad and scary the day of the earthquake was and the days that followed.  He made a point of telling us that there wasn't one Haitian that wasn't affected by the earthquake in a significant way.  Many people died as result of the earthquake and the aftershocks that followed that measured 4.5 or greater.  Death toll estimates are sadly around 300,000. Every Haitian knew someone who died on that sad day.  It was an honor to pray for the survivors and their families hand in hand as a group at the memorial before we left. 

After we left the memorial site, we were able to visit Grace Village and take a tour.  Grace Village is a school and village that is about 45 minutes away from Port-au-Prince and our Healing Haiti  guesthouse.  It is an adventurous rocky ride that is surrounded by the mountains and ocean views.  Grace Village was built in the city of Titanyen.  This city was picked out by the founders of Grace Village because the name of the town, Titanyen, literally means a place of, "little of nothing."  Originally it was just a rocky mountainside in the middle of the poorest city in Haiti.  Now there's a beautiful, self-sufficiently run orphanage and school that has been built there! Not only that, a medical clinic that treats hundreds of people yearly is there and a bakery that makes delicious breads, cookies and pizzas is also located there! Due to God's grace and the generosity of many donors to the Healing Haiti organization, a beautiful place now exists in the middle of the mountains and it is helping to empower and love many children and adults.

After our tour of Grace Village, we were blessed to take warm meals and small care package to three elders that live in Titanyen.  These lovely elderly women welcomed us into their homes and also welcomed us to love on them with song, massage and prayers.  Seeing their faces light up from the love that we shared was very special.  Their lives and homes are so different than our own because they are filled with hardships and very little "things", but we have to say that their hearts and love for God is not different at all.  All three women confessed their faith to us and asked us to pray for them to keep following Jesus.  It was such an honor to be a part of their special lives today and we thank God for them and our opportunity to be here in Haiti today and all of our days. 

Let us close out this post and day with a nice blessing that our leader, Jessica, shared with us today.

"Sleep well tonight, knowing that all of heaven is on your side."

Manda & Shanda

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Alleluia - Day 3!

     Day 3: Today our team was able to spend our morning doing some impactful shopping and eye-opening tours at both Papillon and Peace Cycle, businesses that train and employ Haitians to make stunning crafts so that they can provide for themselves and their families. At Peace Cycle, we learned about and watched Haitians recycling garbage to create beautiful hand-made bags. At Papillon, we witnessed hard-working Haitians making clay bead necklaces and bracelets, kiln-fired coffee mugs, screen-printed t-shirts, hand-sewn bags, and much more. At both places, we witnessed first-hand the hard work of the amazingly gifted Haitian men and women who have been empowered to provide for themselves and their families and dignified through that process. Our team supported both Papillon and Peace Cycle by purchasing several beautiful crafts. During the afternoon, our team traveled to the Home for Sick and Dying Children, a hospital-type home for children in need of medical attention. We were greeted by the sound of children crying as we entered the home. As we walked among the cribs containing the sick children, they held their arms up for us to hold them. We busied ourselves immediately with cuddling children, changing diapers, wiping noses, and feeding the children from bowls of mashed food. Our hearts were breaking as we saw these children suffer and live apart from their families. They just wanted our love and attention, and through us Jesus loved these desperate children. Many tears were shed not only by the children, but by us. I was struck by the pain I saw in these children's eyes, and their need for not only physical care and medical treatment, but the love of Jesus. After the Home for Sick and Dying Children, our team returned to the guesthouse emotionally exhausted with five of us sick. Even though this day was hard in some ways, it was a miracle and a blessing to be able to do the most important mission we can do here in Haiti, sharing Christ's love and bearing the burdens of many.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day Two -

Hello from 93 degree Haiti!

Today was an action packed day!  We were blessed to be able to participate in the awesome ways that God is working and to see and love on  Gods beautiful children.

1-After an adventurous ride on the tap-tap, we were at  our first stop was Sweet Home orphanage. We were able to see so much joy in these children.  Their smiles were contagious and their hearts appeared full. We were able to play games with the children, sing and read with them. Actually, to tell you the truth, they truly filled our hearts. 

2-Our next stop was Cite Soleil to visit Hope Church/School.  What a beautiful sight it was to see this beautiful structure among so much poverty.  Words can't even capture any amount of description of what we saw with our own eyes.  These children were so beautiful,playful, happy and loving.  Huge hugs, a lot of laughs and playing were had by all.  They find so much joy in just the simple things in life.  This opportunity for the children is made possible by sponsors to obtain an education in such an impoverished environment.

3-Final stop- Dios orphanage for special needs children.  Despite any disability the children had, it didn't seem to hinder them in participating in activities, games, playing kickball, soccer, chalk and playing catch. 

Today was a day filled with a compound of emotions.  Each one of us had to think of one word to describe our day , here they are :Love, Hug, Awestruck, Eye opening, Rapid(fast), Blessed, Heartbroken, God's Love, Full heart, Safe, Jesus, Grateful, Joy, Jubilant, Deserving, and Beautiful

That pretty much sums up our opportunity that God has given each one of us to be able to be a part of His people and His creation today. :)

Ann & Lisa

Monday, February 19, 2018

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day One - We Have Arrived!

What a warm welcome we received from our Healing Haiti friends. We had woken up in the dark and arrived to Haiti in the dark. We had a nice dinner waiting for us and enjoyed singing along with the guitar to Praise & worship songs. We are ready to settle into bed. Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers.

Team Member Marisa

Alleluia Haiti Team - Day One - Travel Day!

Our trip started out with our pilot welcoming our team onto his flight and thanking us for our service in Haiti.  We arrived safely in Miami and now awaiting our connecting flight to Haiti.  We are looking forward to settling into our guesthouse.  We will start our first day of serving tomorrow at three different orphanages.  Please continue to follow us and keep us in your thoughts and prayers!