Sunday, April 7, 2019

Day 7-Joy & Kindness

Romans 15:13  "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Our Sunday morning started off with our usual delicious breakfast and devotion.  Our topic this morning was joy and kindness.  We have all experienced incredible joy throughout our week and have enjoyed sharing joy within our team and with those we've met along the way.  The kindness showed to us by the Healing Haiti staff, children, directors of various organizations, and the people of Haiti is infectious! 

Today we boarded the Tap Tap and headed to Leveque to attend the Deaf Church!  The road to the church (as well as the school where the HDA students attend) is a VERY rocky and bumpy ride.  Due to road conditions, we had to walk up a fairly steep and rocky path to get to the top of the hill.  It was all worth it when we were greeted by the precious students who were all dressed up in their new Sunday finest!  Many thanks to all who donated the beautiful clothing.  The students were all smiles in their new outfits. 

Pastors Benedict and Jacques Wilson offered prayers, worship songs, and the message about Daniel and how he fully trusted in God.  To sit in this special place and worship with these beautiful children and adults is truly an honor and a blessing. 

On the way back to HDA we stopped at Chez Maggy's, a true Haitian restaurant.  We enjoyed chicken, fish, and goat, along with traditional fried plantains and rice and beans.  With our bellies full, we returned to HDA and enjoyed some time hearing stories from the directors, Meredith and Keith Henderson, and then spent some time playing with the students.  There was jump roping, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a parachute, and soccer!  Needless to say, we were all hot and tired when it was time to say our farewells.  Good byes are never easy but we will always cherish these memories and the special friends we have made along the way.

To cool off and refresh ourselves, we headed up to spend some time reflecting on the week at the pool.  We shared our favorite memories which included water truck day, La Loo Orphanage, the Home for Sick and Dying Babies and Children, pizza at Fleri, Montfort School for the Deaf, and the Haiti Deaf Academy. 

We continued the conversation over a great meal of shepherd's pie and fresh vegetables.  We wrapped up the evening uploading all of the photos from the week and continuing to reflect on all of the blessings we have received over the past seven days.  One of the best blessings is to have shared this week as a TEAM, a team of friends who joyfully served in Haiti and grew in our faith.  We will  be sad to leave and part ways, but we know that we have a bond with one another through Jesus and nothing can break that bond.  We want to say a special thank you to each and every person who has made this trip possible.  You prayed, you purchased birdseed wreaths, jewelry, paintings, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and many other handmade items.  You ordered cakes.  You encouraged us when we needed it most, and for this and so much more, we are truly grateful.  Thank you for following us in our journey and praying for our safe return tomorrow.  We leave you with this Haitian phrase: N a we pi ta, Ayiti, or See you later, Haiti!   

A day of Reflection and Sun

From Radiant Life - Michigan and Minnesota

Just like a regular Sunday back at home, we began our morning attending a church. This time it was not the one we are used to, for today we got to attend Rendez-Vous. Here we were able to wear headphones that translated the sermon into English for us. It felt a lot like a church service at Radiant Life some of us go to, back in Sturgis. The seats were filled early with people eager to worship and hear God’s word. We worshipped, took communion, and listened to a sermon about time. The basis of the message shared today was focused on how time is valuable. Filling your day with things that are not as important as they may seem, can take you away from your time spent with God.   
After a wonderful service at church, we all loaded onto the Tap Tap to get ready for a bumpy, FAST ride. This time we were headed to Wahoo beach. Getting to be here opened up a totally different view of Haiti. The sun was shining like it has been all week. The ocean was gleaming and just waiting for us to take a dip into the refreshing atmosphere. From seeing a jellyfish in our swimming area to seeing Paul zoom away with our fearless leader on a jet ski, I’d say it was quite a fun experience. Aside from swimming and jet skiing, we kayaked, paddle boarded, played volleyball and relaxed while soaking up the sun. The time spent here allowed us to reflect on our past few days of service to the Haitian community.

Throughout the week I was able to watch each team member, including myself, grow miraculously in our faith. Most of us did not know every person before this trip, but we quickly became family as the week went on. Jokes from Tom, Tap Tap rides, and serving God as a team brought us together. We were able to share an experience that not all of us have gotten to have before. From delivering water to visiting orphanages, we saw God here in every direction we looked. Haiti is a beautiful place. I have not watched this place change from what it was before, for this was my first time. But I can clearly see God working in all the hearts of whom I got the opportunity to meet. I’d just like to say, “Hey you!” from the team of 10 of us Michiganders and Minnesotans, or so called the M&M’s. As we head home tomorrow, we will surely bring home our well worth it sunburns, and most importantly the memories we created here in Port Au Prince. I will forever be changed by this trip. Blessings to everyone. I am excited to continue to watch this place transform into the visions that God has laid out, and what the people here imagine it to be someday.

-          Brandi