Sunday, October 8, 2017

Team Loween - Day 7

Thankful

Today was our last full day in Haiti.  We started the day with another amazing breakfast and then headed to church at Grace Church.  The passionate worship was truly amazing.  We were able to see a glimpse of heaven in the beautiful worship.  One of our team members had an opportunity to reconnect with one of the children from Grace Village that he met almost four years ago.  As our team member spoke to this shy young man, he told him that even though he doesn’t really remember him – he is someone that is very special and has been thought of and prayed for very often over the past 4 years.  It was beautiful to see this reunion.  As I reflect on this, it is clear that the relationships (if only for a day, or a moment) are so important and the impact of our team members remembering and praying for those that we meet is powerful.


After church, we were blessed to be able to spend a few hours at the beach and enjoy time exploring God’s beautiful handiwork and bond with our teammates.  We have seen beauty in many different forms this week, but as we reflected during our team time this evening we discussed the beauty we have seen in our team this week.
We are all thankful for the opportunity we have had this week to serve in a small way in Haiti.  We are grateful to our friends and family for supporting us and encouraging us on this trip. 
Marcia






Saturday, October 7, 2017

Team Loween - Day 6


We started out the morning like every other, to a wonderful Haitian sunrise and a perfect breakfast made by our Haitian friends and Jim at the griddle.  After our Morning Prayer and itinerary preparation, we got ready and packed up our necessities and headed out on our daily journey. 

After a typical rough, bumpy, death defying cruise through normal Haitian traffic in our Tap Tap, we arrived at our first destination, Dios orphanage for the special needs children.  As we pulled in, the greeting smiles and happy faces, were an unexpected surprise.  For kids that have such seemingly insurmountable obstacles facing them, they were the happiest group we have met yet.  We were starting the day so tired, but their enthusiasm immediately got our fires going.  We handed out small maracas to them.  After we decorated them with stickers we all sang songs and played our instruments.  After that we grabbed some soccer balls and Frisbees and were horsing around the yard.  For “special needs”, they were surprisingly good athletes.  After we finished playing, we ended our visit with a song from one of the children.  I could not believe my ears when I heard the powerful, angelic song come out of this shy girl’s mouth.  It’s no exaggeration when I say she was incredible. 

-Mark

 

Our next visit was the orphanage for the hearing impaired.  This being my second time here in 18 months I could not believe my eyes! What once was concrete crumbles is now a spacious basketball court, playground, and even soccer field. I no longer tripped over the ground under me. I could go from game to game, child to child with ease. They are so proud, and it is so beautiful! We brought beads and string to make necklaces and white boards to communicate with them. They are so intelligent, not only do they sign but many know how to write in English! And in cursive! They expressed their gratitude of us being there and how blessed they felt for us coming to visit. As much as we moved them they moved me. I was appointed as goalie in a very intense game of soccer. One of my teammates made a goal! He ran to me with a huge smile and hugged me as we celebrated his big goal! He squeezed me and the pride ran across his face. It was that squeeze I will never forget. I have spent this week holding children, hugging them, caressing their faces as they lay there heads on my chest and giving them that human touch that so many long for, and there I was receiving it in return …10 fold. Its times like these that change your heart in humanity. That we are all brothers and sisters and that sometimes the people with so little, can leave the biggest print on your heart.

-Lyza
 


Friday, October 6, 2017

Team Loween - Day 5


Love that never ends …

We woke up before sunrise to experience a sunrise worship at the Church on the Rock. We were not sure what to anticipate for worship. Even though the language was not our own, we could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and God’s love weaving in through the sons and daughters of God. We were amazed as they moved back and forth dancing through the pews with their arms lifted up high praising Him. It gave us a foretaste of the feast to come when we are welcomed into our Lord’s arms in heaven.

          As we walked to return to the guesthouse, we had the opportunity to interact with the Haitians in their typical commute to work and school. As we took in the colors and smells of the rush hour we experienced the same love and kindness we received since we landed in this beautiful country this earlier this week.

          After breakfast we went to our second day of water delivery in District 17 in Citi Sole near Hope Church.  As we exited the truck there was a chorus of “hey you's” from the children. As the kids jumped into our arms we caught them and again we were showered with love like the water which poured out from the water trucks into their buckets and barrels.

          We visited the Elder School next. Healing Haiti helped them rebuild their roof and upper floor after the earthquake. We spent some time visiting with the students and Mr. Elder. Conversations, hugs, high fives, and smiles were exchanged with one another. Not many words were spoken but God’s love prevailed.

We then went to Papillion Industries and Apparent Project. The industries was started in 2008. They are currently employing nearly 300 Haitians (and growing). We witnessed the dedication and ingenuity those 300 individuals applied to their craft to create this one of a kind product to make a sustainable living for their families and loved ones. We then supported them by purchasing their products from their store. They also have an online presence for those who interested in supporting them. If interested their web address is papillonmarketplace.com

At the end of the day, we then went to the pool (which is at a nearby hotel), and we had some team time and team sharing.

          God is good. His love is never ending, both at home, Haiti, and the world!! Praise God.

-Dennis, Carlos, and Mark

 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Team Loween - Day 4


We are all sunburned and exhausted, telltale signs of a great day in Haiti. After spending yesterday serving and delivering water in the slums of Cite Solei, today we drove up to Titanyen and Grace Village, where hope abounds.

We met up with live-in missionaries, Don and Carolyn Pugh, at Grace Village for a tour of the facilities there. School was in session, so we saw the classrooms, feeding center, playground, and pavilion all near max capacity with students, all in their formal purple school uniform attire. Students at Grace School come from both the on-site orphan care program and the surrounding Titanyen community. We overlooked the garden, which supplies much of the produce for Grace Village and Fleri Restaurant, and we peeked in the door of one of the family-style homes where children who have not been able to be reunited with their biological families live.

Before leaving the school, we got to see a fully functioning IT lab, a rare and beautiful opportunity to expand the students’ education! A company in Minneapolis has donated and set up over 40 new IPads, along with some other necessary technological upgrades for Grace Village, which are already making a big impact. We looked down at Grace Church and Fleri Restaurant from the waiting area of Grace Clinic, which now serves several hundred people from the community each month, offering reasonable rates for medical and dental care.

Along with our translators, Brune and Emmanuel, we visited three women in the Titanyen community who are part of the elder care program. Some of our group dropped to their knees in washing feet and applying lotion, a beautiful service and connection with these sisters of ours. Others prayed over each one, sang worship songs, and played with neighbor children who came running with “Hey-you”s and every other English phrase they have learned as soon as they saw the Healing Haiti tap-tap.

After those joyful encounters, we headed back for a tour of Fleri Restaurant and Bakery, led by another live-in missionary, Jake Stebbing. The job creation program is flourishing, living up to its name. Now employing 25 Haitians, both from the Titanyen area and older students from Grace Village’s transition program, the bakery makes bread that is distributed by local vendors, boosting the local economy, and the restaurant serves pizza and other delicacies, largely to international groups working in the area.

Our last stop of the day was a visit to the mass graves and memorial, commemorating the January 12, 2010 earthquake. It is a sobering experience to hear first-hand stories, realize the magnitude of what it was like on that day and the days following, and consider all the people that Haiti lost that day.

We wrapped up our day with a cool break at the local hotel pool, an amazing dinner of Haitian food, and rooftop worship. We are sunburned, exhausted, and excited for tomorrow.


-Katie
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Team Loween - Day 3


Today was “Water Truck Day”, which is generally a very active day physically. Inbetween the water truck stops, as they went to fill up, we visited Hope Church and School, went to a pier, visited a football (soccer) clinic (Haitian Initiative), and ended up visiting a farm that Healing Haiti is starting up.

The first water stop went well. Everyone was fresh and ready to go. We had some fun at the water station waiting for the truck to get filled.

Then, we went to Hope Church and School, while the truck was getting filled. This visit was a very uplifting time. They seem to be on their schedule, as they were able to add another grade this school year. What is a good fact is that the teachers at the school are from the Cite Sole area. All the children were in their usual good spirits. They returned our love 10-fold.

We visited the Haitian Initiative later in the afternoon. Here again, the children were wonderful to see, hold, and play with. It is a great source for the kids to learn structure, teamwork, and fair play among many other things. Some of the teams have a chance to visit other countries, like the U.S.

The last place we stopped at was the farm that “Healing Haiti” is going to try out. It will teach people to farm in a small way better than they do now, but not like in the U.S.

We ended the evening with a cool dip in the pool, a great meal, a good prayer and reflection time, and watching a slideshow of today’s pictures.

-Jim

 
  
 
 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Team Loween - Day 2


Wow…What a great day!!  The weather forecast was for 80% chance of rain…however, the sky was clear and there was lots of Hot Sun!!!  We started off the day with a great breakfast, (after Marcia, our fearless leader, got the coffee maker working…a must for some of us here), at our Healing Haiti guest house.  Our Team is the best…Everyone is fun, helpful and very willing to be present and eager to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  I had a great time watching everyone share their special gifts with all of the people we encountered today.

We left the guest house driving through the crazy/busy streets of Haiti.  All of us were in agreement that we are happy to have a driver taking us everywhere we needed to go!  We were able to learn a bit of the horn honking language from our driver, Max.  No traffic lights or 4 way stops and certainly no round-a-bout that we all know and love! 

Our first Journey was the center for sick and dying adults.  We were able to connect with the people there with lotion hand massages, song and nail polish.  Hopefully it helped them to feel better and find joy at least for a time.  We enjoyed lots of smiles and “mercies”.  (I’m so glad that I’ve had practice with the nail polish on my sweet granddaughters!)

Next we were on to Notra Mason Orphanage.  The kids here touched our hearts with the Joy that they had for doing chalk, blowing bubbles, singing songs, being held, playing with the frisbee and soccer balls.  We enjoyed their smiles and laughter and the excitement that they had when the “mama” director stopped by to see us all.  So fun to share God’s love for the short time we were there.


Our last stop was the hospital for sick and dying babies.  This was a new and very emotional experience for me.  There were 50 babies in two rooms that we fed, changed, and held for a time.  I was able to feed and hold several young kids/babies.  I loved singing to them and seeing their big eyes look back at me.  It was difficult to put each of them down but I knew that when I wasn’t holding them, our God was. 

We came back to the guest house very hot and very sweaty.  Our next journey was a short walk to the swimming pool at a local hotel.  It was wonderful and very refreshing!!  Back to the guest house and dinner, worship with the other Healing Haiti Team down here, and team time.  Everyone had great “words of the day” to share and time for all of us to bond more. 

I am thankful for all of the relationships that are developing and for all of those I have with you back at home!  May you find Joy in your Journey today where ever that may be.

Love and prayers…Lori N-P
 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Team Loween - Day One





Anticipation


Our team successfully navigated our travel day.  We met at the airport at 4:00 a.m. and had smooth travels the entire day.  We arrived in Haiti early this evening.  Our team settled in and we are all ready for whatever comes our way tomorrow.  Thanks for your encouragement and prayers.