Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Hope in Haiti – Day Two

Greetings from Haiti! This is Abby and Cayley typing. Today, we woke up around 7:57, and breakfast was at 8. Breakfast was super scrumptious (as expected) and we ate as much eggs as possible. Everyone remembered their Malaria medicine, so sending up the praises for that one. After breakfast, Abby made a tutorial on how to brush your teeth in Haiti (It’s a little harder than you think). When everybody was ready to go, we loaded the trusty tap-tap up with our frozen water and our yummy snacks and were off on our voyage for the day!

Our first stop was Peace Cycle and we got to tour the work area while learning the whole process of recycling the water bags. In Haiti, they do not have bottled water but instead bagged water. They use 8 million a day and when done with them, many end up on the side on the street. Peace Cycle uses those bags to make a whole bunch of different products. We got to shop and look at all the things they have made. It’s neat because they are helping rebuild the economy while still cleaning the trash off the streets (Which is something we all could do better).

After Peace Cycle, we headed to Papillion (which means butterfly) for lunch, a tour of their production site, and a little shopping. For lunch, Abby ordered the last chicken nuggets and if you know Cayley, you know she wanted them nuggets, but had to settle for a burger (GROSS). We left Papillion after we finished shopping and started towards Teach Haiti.

Teach Haiti is a school for K-10 children who are unable to afford the other schools in Haiti. We visited three different classrooms and got to learn things about the students, and some students even performed music for us - which was amazing. When we were finished at Teach Haiti, we went to the supermarket and saw some questionable cow tongue WITH hair, unrefrigerated fish, and something that looked like a foot.

Our scheduled plans were done for the day after that, but we all decided to walk to the Elite (a VERY fancy hotel up the street from us) and go swimming. Abby and Cayley had A LOT of fun in the pool (notice the pictures). We finished the day with a nice Haitian meal provided by our sweet ladies. It was a calming day, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds. We love everyone back home and hope y’all continue to pray for our safety. J

PS- we got to see KiKi and she is doing great!!!!

PPS- Abby knows karate

Monday, May 20, 2019

Day One - Ready to Serve

Not Pictured: Katie from Minnesota 

The team left Huntingdon, Tennessee at 1:30 AM and made the two-hour drive to Nashville for our flight to Haiti. Even on little to no sleep, no one’s word of the day is tired. Everyone is ready for a week of serving, loving Haiti, and seeing what God has planned. Today’s words are:

Sponge. Refreshed. Fulfilled. Ready. Anticipation. Familiar. Family. Safe.

Our team of eight arrived in Haiti this afternoon to sunny skies and friendly faces. We road in the tap tap to the Healing Haiti guest house and were greeted by the resident dogs and amazing staff. Today was all about getting settled in and preparing for the week. There are two other teams here – one from a college in Sioux Falls and the other from Minnesota. Everyone is eager for tomorrow and ready to serve as God’s hands and feet.

We had an all-group meeting where we went over house rules and an overview of the week. Then we enjoyed delicious tacos made by the ladies at the guest house. We learned that XXX hot sauce really is HOT. Everyone enjoys feeding leftover food to the dogs and the ice-cold soda. It always tastes better in Haiti!

We closed out the night with team time. We read a devotional about not trying to understand everything but turning to God for his guidance. As we go into a week of unknowns, it was a nice reminder to let go and let God. Now Pastor Jacob is playing the guitar, while we sing along…and the team is one-by-one heading to bed. Tomorrow we’ll visit Peace Cycle, Papillion, and Teach Haiti.

Bonswa and God Bless!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sabbath day

"For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy "(Exodus 20:11) Today was our sabbath day. Everyone on this trip has been putting in all of their power, strength, mind, body, and spirit into pouring out God's love and word into the people of Haiti. Therefore, we decided that on the seventh day (today) that we would rest. As we all woke up this morning, Jon and Kara were already gone at the church that we soon were going to be heading to later in the morning. Jon was asked to go for Worship and Kara was going to see the Children's Ministries. As we arrived at Rendevous church, we were greeted by tons of smiling faces. The pews began to fill up fast so we had to disperse a little bit. The neat thing about this church is that we received head sets when we walked in. The headsets play audio of someone translating the message from Creole to English. As we all took our seats, we began to see some familiar faces, because the church that we were at is connected to Haiti Teen Challenge, the boys side, which we had been to previously in the week. When the service began to start, our very own Worship leader, Jon Russel, was on stage with Ruth (who once interned at Hosanna) and worship was the first part of the service. The beginning worship was mostly in Creole as was the message. The message was all about how we need to believe things will happen, instead of hoping for them to happen; "Believe before you receive". We need to believe that God will do this or that in our lives and then he will provide. Along with that comes trust, we need to trust the lord our God. God is GOOD. SO SO GOOD. We must not hope for change, we need to believe it and become apart of the change. The message was led by Pastor Julio who has been to Hosanna a few times and was just recently at Hosanna during our "Bold" series. The message today spoke to a lot of us and we are so grateful that we had these wonderful headsets so we could listen along with everyone else. They ended the service with some worship but this time it was led by our very own Jon Russel, who sang in English and all the Haitian people just followed along or some even sang the same words but in Creole. Worship is always so powerful and getting to do it with other people of different languages just is another reminder that love has no boundaries.
 After the service we headed straight to the beach. The drive was the longest drive we have made this whole trip, but when you have a "family" like this, it goes by way faster. We went to Wahoo Bay for our day of rest. When we arrived the sun was shining, the water was crystal clear, and the music was playing. The beach was beautiful, it is surrounded by mountains. As we walked onto the beach, the sand felt so good between our toes but it wasn't long until we were all ready to jump in the water and cool off. We all ordered drinks and food, we swam a TON, we made great use of the ocean trampolines, and we took in the beauty of Haiti. Haiti is such a beautiful country with so much potential and it was very special getting to see that today. When it was time to go, even though it was our day of rest, we were all wiped out. The sun had taken it's toll on our energy as well as our skin. A few of us got a little too much color today, but HEY that's what aloe is for right? (; As always, when we arrived back to the guest house our wonderful Haitian ladies had already had the food ready for us and on the table. Therefore, we ate dinner right away before our showers. We had shepard's pie for dinner with the essentials, the coke and sprite. Which by the way is the best pop you've ever had because it's made with real cane sugar. As we shared the last dinner together as a team we also shared many laughs and jokes as well. Pit time is what followed our meal. For pit time we all went around and shared our word of the day, for majority of us our word had to do something with heading home tomorrow and how we feel or what that might look like. We are all so excited to come home and see families but we are also all very sad to have to leave the magnificently stunning country of Haiti and all it's loving souls that are apart of it. God is doing amazing things in Haiti and will continue to, even long after were gone. The entire night ended with more worship and prayer. As we all prepare to pack and head home, we couldn't be more excited to see all of our family and friends. We are so eager to share our incredible experiences with everyone back at home.
See you all soon!
Healing Haiti Family

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Finishing Strong!


Today was our final day of service here in Haiti, and the entire team is feeling blessed, joyful, and begrudgingly a little fatigued from all of our wonderful service. We awoke to yet another wonderful breakfast prepared by our lovely caretakers and discussed our plan for the day. We decided to begin the day by returning to Cite Soleil, where we began our service on our first day; something we were all very excited about. We were planning on beginning the day by playing with the local children and arousing some joyful smiles with some soccer (or futbol as the locals call it), basketball, bubbles and more fun games and toys. We were then going to attempt something that has never been attempted by Healing Haiti, in which the team was very eager to be pioneers for this new ministerial activity. Historically, Healing Haiti has loved on a group of elders in Cite Soleil by visiting their homes to provide them with a meal, a beverage, and by washing their feet. Today, we were going to break that norm and instead have all of our elders, of which there were 13, were going to meet us at Grace Church to do so for all of them at once. We were all so very eager to return to the first city we visited and share God's love with the plan we had prepared. God however, in His infinite wisdom, had better plans for us.

When we arrived at Hope church, there was a total of 31 elders joyfully anticipating us, and we knew we needed to amend our previously discussed itinerary. We entered the church and engaged the elders with some worship that was much enjoyed by all of the elders and the missionary team alike. A member of our team, Barb, prepared a brief but profound lesson to share for the elders regarding Colossians 3:17; which was very well received. The elders were then invited to share any wisdom they wished to impart on the missionaries. Many of the elders wished to thank the missionaries for coming to Haiti and wanted to convey their love and prayers onto us. They also shared with us that despite their circumstances in life, their advanced age and their various infirmities, that they were truly joyful and that their joy comes from their love in Christ. They also very boldly requested we continue our support, our love and our prayers for the people of Haiti. We then proceeded to provide some food and cold beverages to the elders while we got ready to wash their feet. The gratitude that each elder imparted was so genuine and humble, one simply not help but smile. Many elders even insisted that we each got a hug and a kiss on our cheeks. We then washed the feet of each elder and engaged with them through our gracious interpreters and yet more lovely worship. The whole experience was a wonderful reminder of two very important truths. The first truth is that despite our desire to be in control of our own paths, God's plan is always better than our own. We should always be willing to relent control to fulfill God's glorious design. The second truth is that when we choose to accept Christ, we truly do become one with the body of Christ, and all divisions that could possibly exist among us will fall away.

The next ministerial activity that we engaged with was the first ministerial activity we engaged in on our very first day: assisting with the distribution of the water from the water trucks. The entire team has been reflecting on our first day and this first activity all week. Many of us have, numerous times, expressed the desire to repeat this activity. When the opportunity arose before us, it furthered the first of the two aforementioned truths; God's plan is always better than our own. The team was delighted to once again fill water buckets and distribute them to the very humble and grateful citizens of Cite Soleil and play with the local children. When the water truck ran out of water to distribute, the team enjoyed a refreshing break of drinking some much needed water and sitting in the shade. During this time, the team relayed it's joy that our subconscious prayers of participating in the distribution of the water truck was graciously answered by God, as well as how thankful we were to be the pioneers of the new activity of serving many elders simultaneously as opposed to the previous way of doing things.  Once refreshed, the team further engaged the community of Cite Soleil by playing with the children. We danced, played with a parachute, and held babies. We all had a great deal of fun and left with smiles on our faces.

Our final stop for the day was Fleri Farm, an endeavor created by Healing Haiti on the outskirts of Cite Soleil. The farm's growth is overseen, both figuratively and literally, by the very intelligent long-term missionary, Kenny. Kenny gave us a tour of the farm, which had many different crops with each one having many different purposes. The Farm exists to provide local jobs as well as food and useful crops for the people of Haiti. Kenny very excitingly explained to us the many different methods that were being entertained and employed by the farm to generate jobs, food, useful crops and capital. We all learned a great deal from Kenny, and his passion is second-to-none for doing the Lord's work and serving His people. Upon returning home for the evening, we decided to visit the local pool once more to refresh and rejuvenate ourselves. The day was very productive and lovely, but it had also been a very, very long and hot one. We then returned home once more for yet another beautiful meal prepared by our caretakers. The meal was a creole dish consisting of chicken, rice, various vegetables and different spices. Soon after we finished our meal, we got together to reflect on our wonderful last day serving here in Haiti, as well as our experience ministering to Haiti as a whole during our time here. We shared a lot of heartfelt prayer, worship and words. To end the night, John taught us how to salsa dance that we all really enjoyed!

We all believe the Lord brought each and every one of us here for His glorious design, and we are all so very thankful. In such a short amount of time, each of us has changed profoundly for greater and we are all so excited to return home to share our wonderful experiences here and to share the encouragement the Lord has shared here with us. Tomorrow we shall enjoy a day of rest on the Sabbath by attending church and going to the beach. We have loved our time here, but we are eager to be home once again. Please continue to pray for us.

God Bless,

Hosanna! Team 2

Friday, May 17, 2019

Day 4 & 5


We have had a busy and full couple of days here in sun-filled Haiti.  Here's a quick re-cap.

Yesterday we started our day with another delicious breakfast.  Then we were off to Titanyen
to visit some of the Elders in Healing Haiti's Elder Program.  We were blessed to serve four beautiful souls through washing their feet, worshiping, praying for them and bringing food and cool beverages. Next, we made a stop at Rosie's Boutique where they sell local handmade items and yummy cold ice cream treats.  Shopping here helps provide employment/business opportunities for the Haitians in the area.
From there, we headed to Grace Village, where we were blessed with a tour of the facility. This tour included four family style homes for orphans, a school grades K-13, a church, missionary homes, a natural sustainable garden and a clinic.  The day ended with a tour and scrumptious pizza at Fleri which is a bakery and restaurant that is also part of Grace Village and a job creation program.

Today started very early, 5:15am to be exact.  We jumped out of bed excited to experience Church On The Rock.  We were not disappointed.  What a spirit filled morning! We got to walk home after the service. God graced us with another beautiful day. Praise Him!  After breakfast, we hopped in the TapTap and went to Haiti Teen Challenge.  We were inspired and in awe of the people and what God is doing there.  The next destination on the schedule for the day was Papillon which is an organization that was developed by a woman whose purpose was to prevent children in Haiti from becoming orphans due to parents not having employment.  Her vision blossomed into a very successful business that now employs over 130 Haitian people.  Please look at their website https://papillonmarketplace.com.  Their products are all made from locally sourced or recycled materials.  There are many beautiful items to choose from. We all left with treasures.  Our last place of service of the day included stopping at the LA PHARE Orphanage, which is run by a Pastor and his wife.  We had so much fun getting to know and playing with all of the kids.  We wrapped up the day with a refreshing dip in the nearby pool, a wonderful dinner and a meaningful team gathering. We continue to be grateful for everything the Lord is allowing us to experience.  Mesi Jezi!!!!

Hosanna Team 2 Signing out

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Hosanna Team 2 Day Three


Another warm day for team two, both in temperature and in spirits! We woke up to another wonderful and substantive meal prepared by our gracious caregivers, with the help of a couple of volunteers from our team. After sharing our hearts regarding yesterdays adventures, what to expect anticipating the day to come, and a quick prayer; we departed for our first destination for the day.

Our first destination was Deux Mains, where we were given a very lovely tour and history of the facility as well as their business as a whole by their vice president, Sarah. Deux Mains is a wonderful local business that creates beautiful shoes, bags, wallets and other artwork predominantly out of recycled tires that would otherwise be disposed of through burning, as well as locally sourced raw material and resources. A very large portion of what Sarah explained to us regarding the history of Deux Mains is an issue Haiti faces with well-meaning, but unintentionally harmful efforts various charities and other groups create by donating supplies such as food, water and clothing (Something Healing Haiti itself was once contributing to, but is extending great effort to amend.) Sarah herself explained that before she became a part of Deux Mains, she participated in such well-meaning giving of resources, but realized that doing such had only very short-sighted benefit. Not only was it short-sighted, it was actually harmful to local businesses as well as the already quite fragile economy. There is a lot of need in Haiti, but to simply offer free meals, water and clothing to the population is simply not enough to promote sustainable long-term growth. We cannot simply provide fish without also providing a fishing pole. From this realization, Deux Mains' founder, Julie, founded this incredible business. Deux Mains' mission is to provide sustainable jobs for Haitians. Many of our teammates purchased some of their goods, and they will all attest that every item is top-quality. We encourage all those reading at home to visit their website at www.deuxmains.com to browse and potentially purchase some of these amazing products to help support an even more amazing business.

Our Second destination was the metal market, where local artisans create their lovely art by hand and sell it. There was a vast variety of sculptures, boxes, key hooks, and wall art to be purchased and the local artists were very proud and eager to show us their work.

Our third destination was Dios, an orphanage for special needs children; where we were greeted with wide open smiles, eyes, arms and hearts. The children were so very joyful to have our company and the joy was much reciprocated. We brought crayons, chalk, bubbles, ping pong balls, and a parachute to play and interact with the children. It is difficult to accurately convey the overwhelming love that we received so instantaneously from the children and how willing they were to give it. Jesus' love was clearly present in each and every one of them, and the presence of Christ was unmistakable. We also enjoyed worship with the children and the caretakers in both English and Creole. The experience was a wonderful example of how God's love is universal, and that no matter how far we travel, it is something we cannot escape. After a heartfelt farewell, the team traveled back to our temporary home.

Upon returning back to our temporary home, we decided to enjoy a refreshing rest at a local resort known as The Elite in a resort that was only a few blocks away from home. After a day in the heat, we all thoroughly enjoyed cold beverages and a dip in the pool. We also bonded and reflected upon our day as well as the various lessons we learned together. Following our time at The Elite, we once again returned to our temporary home to enjoy yet another scrumptious meal prepared by our wonderful caretakers. Our meal was a traditionally prepared Creole meal consisting of rice, gravy, chicken, fried plantains, meatballs, and spicy coleslaw. Everyone left the dinner table full and content. We then gathered together to once again reflect on our day, share our hearts with one another, worship with one another, and prepare one another with the help of our Lord for what is to come tomorrow. Not one of us will return home with the same heart that we left with, and for that we are all so very grateful! Please continue to pray for all of us and our mission.

Bondye Beni Ou!

-Hosanna! Team 2