Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Asper/Loween Day 3 - Hands

Today was our 2nd full day of service in Haiti.  This morning started out by attending Church on the Rock. This is an incredible experience of seeing hands lifted to God in worship.  Shortly after we arrived, we were greeted by an older Haitian woman with a handshake and huge smile.  The hearts and minds of individuals are focused 100% on worship to God.  The Holy Spirit is present in the building and the word of God is preached.  I was in awe of the hearts praising God despite their circumstances.  Hands lifted in surrender to God.  Truly an amazing experience that touched my heart once again.

After Church on the Rock, we came back to the guesthouse and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast.  After breakfast we split into 2 groups and visited a couple different places.  I had the privilege of visiting Dare's special needs orphanage.  What an amazing opportunity to use my hands to serve children in need.  The need of the children ranged from blindness to being "bedfast" to being wheelchair bound.  At this orphanage, we held children and loved on them, played with wooden train tracks, and sang.  While holding the children, many times the smile would come and go.  When the smile appeared, I used my hands to gently tickle the children.  Many times we were laughing so hard within a few seconds.  The joy felt through laughter was incredible.  Many times, once laughter would start, the hands would connect which in turn would connect hearts.  It is incredible to see how serving God with our hands leads to so many more connections - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

After Dare's orphanage, we had a small break at home before heading to LaPahre's orphanage.  When we arrived at the orphanage, I noticed several familiar faces from my first trip a few months ago.  We gathered the children and did a butterfly craft.  The children used their hands and absolutely enjoyed the craft.  They were smiling and asking all of us to help them by using our hands.  Once again hands connecting hearts.  After the craft, we sang music and did childhood songs and dances.  The children laughed and giggled and even sang us a special song.  The last several minutes of our visit, we played with jump ropes and soccer balls.  The joy that these 2 simple material things brought to the children was priceless.

Today, I was blessed by the connections made through hands....Hands held one in another, hands joining together to work towards a common purpose, hands of different cultures lifted high in praise to God, and hands used to express care and love through a simple squeeze.  I will never forget the emotional, physical, and spiritual connections made today through hands connecting and serving.  Thank you Jesus for another blessed day in Haiti.   Blessings, Stephanie

"but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14

Greetings from Haiti,

Today I had the privilege to visit the hospital for sick and dying children as well as travel with Marcia into the city center for a wound clinic. As we entered the hospital we saw rows and rows of white metal cribs filled with babies ranging from a couple of months to about 2 years old.  They reached up as we entered and some even cried out for us to choose them to be held.  It took my breath away, I was completely overwhelmed. Most of us grabbed a baby (or 2) and loved them up. It was moving beyond words. I was brought to tears many times. We also helped by changing their cloth diapers and crib bedding, and also fed them lunch before we left.  One boy caught my attention at first sight. He was withdrawn sitting in the corner of his crib with a downward glance.  I was determined to get him to smile! After some time of singing to him I put my hand in his crib he slowly drifted his onto mine. I eventually picked him up by the end of our visit, I got way more than I bargained for, I got a giggle, fish lips, and so many smiles. I will forever remember this little boy his precious eyes, kind smile, and unforgettable laugh.
Team members that served at Sick and Dying Children
Later in the evening Marcia and I went downtown for the wound clinic. It was very organized and again I was blown away.  For all of the medical people following, there were ulcers ranging the entire spectrum in stage and size. We took off their bandages, cleansed the wound and redressed it. One gentleman came in with severe gangrene (bones missing, and others completely exposed), he has been turned away from the hospital for amputation several times. Since I was unable to communicate with them, I found myself praying over them as I changed their dressings. God is at work in Haiti and within our team. Stretching and molding us in ways beyond our expectations.   ~Andrea

Bonjou from Haiti,
It's an end to another full day here in Haiti, and all I can say is "Jesus loves the little children". This morning we broke off into two groups. My group went to a home for children with special needs. Most of the children I could see what their impairment was, some were not obvious.  It did not matter what caused these children to be here, because they are in a place where they can be loved and cared for. With little twisted arms, legs and heads that could not hold themselves up, we played, tickled,  laughed and loved ,and exhausted ourselves. HAITI!  Phyllis