Sunday, February 10, 2019

Beautiful Rendezvous!

As we closed tonight, these words were used to describe this amazing time in Haiti - beautiful, powerful, full, grateful, joyful, overwhelming, family, and Rendezvous. 

These words are just a few that speak to what we saw, heard, touched, smelled, and loved during our short time. We came open to serve and love on the people of Haiti, and in turn received so much more back.

Rendezvous......a meeting at an agreed time and place, an appointment, engagement and a gathering. This describes the church that we had the privilege to attend this morning. Powerful! A guest pastor (from Minnesota!) taught us that we all need a heart transplant - a heart like Jesus, our donor - a heart that is selfless, fearless, and boundless! Praying everyday that Jesus teaches us more and more about His heart, and the value and gift of prayer. A small part of our team got to share a skit and music with the children of the church - so fun!

Our final adventure was to go to Papillon Market Place. Papillon is full of original hand made items by all local artists. A place creating jobs that help parents earn income to support their families, and share their gifts. Our team did a tremendous job investing in this beautiful place :).

As we embark to reenter into the States, our minds and hearts are full, and we are all processing on how to continue to share about Healing Haiti and how Jesus is so at work here. Praying that we continue to have open hearts and palms up.

You need to come to Haiti and see it for yourself!

Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Playday at Titanyen

We were blessed to travel 45 minutes north to Grace Village in Titanyen.  Since it is Saturday with  the children not in school, we were available to play with them.  One of the older students showed us some of the robotic activities in the tech innovation classroom.  Basketball, jump rope and parachute were active games on the playground.  A highlight during our singing time was to include some of the house mothers. They were very interested to see the words printed in English and practice singing along.  The joy on their faces expressed God's Spirit in their hearts as they made an effort to sing in English.  What beautiful voices they had!  The gift of music is universal, breaking down language barriers. 

Children also enjoyed making Valentine hearts with the message "Jezi renmen ou" decorated with a picture of Jesus and a personal Polaroid photo.  Every color of finger nail polish was painted on children's nails.  A real treat was to have a child paint our nails. 

We appreciated having Healing Haiti staff join us in leading worship, share information about Fleri Farm and the background of Haiti and safely transport us in the tap tap!  We continue to marvel at God's love and provision for the beautiful Haitian people.

John & Marilyn

Friday, February 8, 2019

Days 4 & 5

Day 4: Refresh…

It comes in different forms and we got to experience it in a few separate ways yesterday.  Rather than spending our day ministering on the missions’ field, as most teams do; we served in the Healing Haiti guest house. Through connection, community, and restoration our team was able to develop relationships with each other in the form of worship, bible study, games and an afternoon at the pool.

Day 5: Water springs out of Joy

Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Not every day do we get up at the crack of dawn, beginning our day in worship of Christ at a church service. Today we had the opportunity to worship with the local Haitian people at Church on the Rock. Even though there was a language barrier the Spirit was ever-so present and moving within our hearts.

After an amazing start to our day, we literally piled into the tap-tap and traveled over to Cite Soleit. With many bumps in the road and knots in our stomach; we began to enter into the city to the sound of children shouting “Hey you!” Throughout the week, everyone would say, “Just wait till water truck day.” Not sure of what to expect we went in with eyes wide open and palms up.

As the tap-tap pulled into our first stop, we were directed to the sight of Haitian people lined up with multiple buckets in hand anxious for us to fill their buckets. The tap-tap door opens and what greets us is a flood of tiny hands reaching to be held; little ones wanting to be loved. Just as we are when stretching our hands out to our Heavenly Father. The sheer joy on their faces when you connect through eye contact, a smile, or touch is so raw and pure. Your heart melts as you physically cannot hold every child in sight.

To the Haitian people, water is their life. Even the less fortunate in America have more access to clean water, as a means of survival, than the Haitians do. Streets are flooded with tainted water and trash; the only water available to them is through water trucks or well cisterns (which are far and few between). Within 20-30 mins one water truck holding 3,000 gallons of drinking water is entirely emptied, serving only a very small section of Cite Soleit.

We cannot comprehend the dire need of water. Walking into today our team was shocked to witness this reality. With half the team helping the locals fill and carry buckets, the other half loved on the children, which allowed us to experience first-hand how important it is to not take for granted the blessing we have at home.

The joy we experienced today may not be pretty in our eyes, but God sees it as beauty in the ashes.

-Dorothy & Alexis (From Oregon)

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Blood Pressure Clinic, Elder Visits, and Being Blessed

Our day started with a 45 minute ride in the taptap through the countryside to Grace village in Titanyen. We greeted many that were there to have their blood pressures checked. We shared and were blessed to teach about good heart health. The four of us had some free time and great fellowship as sisters-in-Christ. We feel so grateful that God opened doors to allow us to help the Haitian people. And yes, we were having a blast!!

In Jesus precious name,
Kara, Kathy, Nancy, and Kim.

The rest of us spent this time doing elder visits in Titanyen, which means "less than nothing."  We didn't know what to expect! We found these visits to be very humbling and tugged at our hearts. We visited 4 women in separate locations who lived in incredibly poor conditions.Our walk to Marie's "house" was on top of a very steep, rocky hill and quite remote. Each of these elderly women we visited were warm and welcoming and so appreciated our visit. As they sat on a water bucket or stool we washed their feet, lotioned their skin, cut nails, hugged them, massaged their muscles, worshiped, and prayed with them after asking (through an interpreter) for their prayer requests. We brought them food, juice, and lots and lots of love. Who was blessed more?! Ourselves or them? I think it was equal. What a wonderful day showing and receiving the gift of God's love.

With gratitude,
Dave (Spletts) & Cindy

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

What Brings Us Joy

Day 2 (Doug) - Healing Haiti. We traveled into the poorest area in one of the poorest countries in our hemisphere.  I did not know what to expect, anxious for what I would see. It did not disappoint. The extreme poverty, horrible living condition, garbage can God's Glory be revealed here???  What did I find?  Joy, laughter, smiles, hugs, fun, freedom. I was a child/young man again. Playing soccer with young men, lifting toddlers, hugging children.  Laughing, crying, and experience great joy. I may be quite sore tomorrow morning, but for this day, God showed me His Glory through the beautiful people of Cite Soleil.  I came with an open mind to serve, but the children of this place ministered to me. Taught me to let go and have fun. Celebrate the day.  It was a good one.

Afternoon Day 2 (Abby): After a wonderful morning in Cite Soleil and being able to experience the slums in a way filled with joy, our team split up to go to either LaPhare Orphanage or to the Home of Sick and Dying babies. I was part of the team that went to Laphare Orphanage and I cannot say enough of how incredible it was. I had visited LaPhare three years ago and connected deeply with a boy named Phadel. His energy, spirit, and hope has stayed with me throughout the years and upon hearing we were returning, I began to wonder if I would see him again. Walking through the gates into the orphanage, I kept my eyes open and my heart ready for what I was going to see. Immediately, I spotted him. This child, who has no idea of the impact he's made in my life, was standing in front of me all grown up. We did Polaroid pictures, Valentine crafts, and played with jump ropes and soccer balls. God's hand was completely on this day. I saw him in the eyes of the children, heard him in worship, and felt him even through the layers of sweat (this definitely is not the polar vortex). I am reminding myself to serve palms up and feel prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Travel Day - Get Settled

We've arrived! After weeks and months of thinking on this trip and preparing, God provided safe travels and we are ready to serve Him! We left Minneapolis before 7 a.m., temperature around freezing :), arriving in  balmy 86 degree Haiti at 2:30 p.m.

Greeted by Healing Haiti staff, we climbed into the Tap-Tap to the beautiful Guest House and settled
into our space for the week.  Time before our delicious taco dinner included heading out to the street
in front, playing Duck Duck Goose, watching the boys play soccer and being loved on by sweet girls
who want to be picked up and swung around :).

After dinner we spent time getting to know each other, worship time and sharing our hopes for what God has planned for us this week!

PALMS UP!! We are ready!

Marilyn and Kara

Friday, January 25, 2019

The magic of Obedience...

     Yesterday we spent the whole day in Cite Soleil serving on our final water truck day, and experienced shorter water lines, which left us more time to spend loving on the children.  
The personal moments that we shared with them left us wanting a third day of service on the water truck.  But despite our desire to fulfill our own needs, God taught us a lesson of obedience today.  Through His will we worshiped at the 6am service at The Church on the Rock which was unlike anything most of us have ever witnessed.  An absolute unapologetic love for Jesus was incredibly evident and such a good example for our group to strive for in our everyday lives. Today's lesson was about focusing on having pure gratitude for the lives which God has predesigned for each of us.  It was beautiful to hear the message and worship music in Creole.  Thankfully our gifted Samantha was able to fill us in on the meaning.  They were so kind to sing a couple of the songs in English for us as well which were modern tunes that we hear on Christian radio back home.  As for me, I cannot wait until I get that opportunity again to witness the palpable Hatian faith in Christ.
     A tour of Grace Village was next on our agenda which gave us undeniable proof that God is working overtime in the hearts of the leaders of Healing Haiti.  The love-driven community that has risen from dirt and rocks on a sun baked hillside is nothing short of a miracle.  Kids who would otherwise be orphans, are brought into family style homes where they have chores to do, parent figures to respect, and school to attend.  Wow, what a life changing opportunity for these precious children.  
     Our final lesson in obedience today was that of elder care in Titanyen.  Healing Haiti maintains a list of community elders who through age or disability may not receive the love and nourishment that they deserve.  We visited three incredible women.  To each we delivered a full meal, washed and massaged their feet with our bare hands, lotioned and massaged their arms and hands, then painted their nails to the color of their choice - all while softly singing worship music with them.  We asked about their lives and how we could pray for them, then did just that.  The impact on our team was absolutely immeasurable.  Can you imagine delivering meals on wheels back home and then getting out a sudsy tub, some lotion, and nail polish then singing and praying with them?  My admiration of the Healing Haiti organization and their open-hearted methods just exploded! 
    We concluded our day at the successful and forward thinking Fleri Market where we devoured the most amazing pizzas in all of Haiti.  Yet another success story of Healing Haiti where their goal is to create meaningful employment while producing a needed product and then empower community entrepreneurs to establish a future for themselves and their families.  The impact that this business model is having on the local economy and the lives of countless people is mind boggling.
     The ability of an organization to initiate and execute this magnificent plan while maintaining love, kindness, and perseverance is nearly equivalent to the example Jesus Christ set for each and every one of us.  
1 Samuel 15:22 NLT    But Samuel replied, "What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

                                                                         ....eternally grateful for this day, randy