Saturday, December 15, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 6

This morning we started out with a bumpy ride to the Croatian Relief Orphanage. We were greeted with a welcome song and many smiles. Linda shared a wonderful Christmas story while Jonas translated for us. We than moved onto the story of Marie the Christmas pine cone, led by yours truly, Maddie and Ashley. Than we all split into small groups with the children to decorate their own Christmas pine cones. After that, we exhausted ourselves playing football (soccer), basketball, jump rope, monkey in the middle, chalk and last but not least bubbles! “Chop chop to the Tap Tap,” and we all loaded up to head to Kwadebouke the metal market. Seeing the metal workers hand craft their art work in front of their shops was amazing. After some of us (cough chough Maddie) walked around with armfuls of metal work and street art, we loaded up into the Tap Tap. Off to Dios we went. Dios is a special needs orphanage. Our tour of the facility reviled how much the care tackers loved each of these children. Especially the “Mama” who so preciously took care of a 5-year-old boy who only looked about 10 months old. When he arrived at Dios, he only weighed 1.5 lbs and has had multiple hospital stays, but things are beginning to look up for him. Playing with the rest of these kiddos was a blast. We colored, did bubbles, played hide and seek, and kicked the soccer ball. Slobbery kisses and hugs goodbye were made, and we headed back to the guest house.

Unwinding this evening, some of us went to the pool up the street for some pop and Plantain chips, while others relaxed back at the house. As we are beginning to prepare to return home, discussions of what the future may look like have begun. This trip thus far has changed many of us forever in distinctive ways. Others of us are still pondering what has changed in us or what will be changing when we return home. Please continue to keep our team in your prayers while we are here and on our trips home. With lots of love and laughter…Ashley and Maddie!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 5

!!!  On Day 5, we woke up to the unpleasant reality of “no running water in our guest house!”  I must admit that I felt disgusted and upset and sooooooooooooo disappointed to not be able to shower and wash my hair.   Nevertheless, life does not stop because of such an “inconvenience” in Haiti.  So, life goes on.

Despite no showers, we proceeded with our day; we went to church.  On a Friday at 6 a.m., we went to church.  The church that we attended had originally been destroyed by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, but the people rebuilt it on a rock—hence it is known as The Church on the Rock.  Attending this 6 a.m. service transformed my spirit.  As always happens in church my soul was touched by the Holy Spirit.  My tears began to flow and I felt “convicted”—convicted of unreasonable thoughts.  How could I be angry about “no running water” for a few hours, when my brothers and sisters in Cite Soleil have no running water all day—every day.  How could I dare to focus on a “temporary inconvenience” when God’s blessings are unceasing and so AWESOME!  Our team stayed at The Church on the Rock” for one hour.  During that one- hour experience, we witnessed men and women, girls and boys—all ages—manifesting their unabashed praising of God.  We didn’t understand the words of the minister, nor the lyrics of the keyboard player; however, we all left that church spiritually satiated.  I, personally, left with a new outlook on the day that had started with disappointment.

After a satisfying breakfast and the day’s morning devotion, we were transported to the town of Titanyen where Grace Village is located.  The name of the town, Titanyen, means “little or nothing.”  However, because of God’s “call” on the hearts of some visiting Minnesota, USA residents less than a decade ago, there is “something of great value” to witness in Titanyen—GRACE VILLAGE.  Grace Village—with its orphanage, its church, its affordable medical clinic, its school with a state-of-the-art technology center, and its profit-making bakery and restaurant that employs residents from the village, Titanyen – is a place that God’s hands have undoubtedly touched.  It is a place that one could consider a paradigm for other places in Haiti to follow.

Although there were other activities that our team did on Day 4 that were enjoyable, perhaps the highlight was our visit to two Healing Haiti Village Elders, and the washing of their feet.  You see, Healing Haiti has a special focus on children and being able to keep families together; however, helping to support their village elders and to honor them is also a priority.  One of the ways that their dignity is honored is by massaging their shoulders and washing their feet—humbling ourselves like Jesus humbled himself to His disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-17).  We duplicated this “expression of love” upon our return to the HH Guesthouse by washing one another’s feet and reflecting upon that personal experience.

Day 5 has been another FULL DAY—some of it disappointing; some of it exhilarating. As the writer of this day’s blog, however, it is important that I re-echo the daily hearts’ desires of our entire team: Glwa Pou Bondye!  Glory to God! -Judith

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 4

Hi! This is from Jeff’s perspective of the day.  We started the day loading up twice to go to the elder school.  We started the first load on American time and then realized we were on Haiti time and unloaded before we became cooked potatoes.  Then once Haiti time caught up with the rest of us, we loaded up and traveled to the elder school.  Absolutely amazing.  Have you ever been in the presence of a super giant?  Like a Billy Graham or Abe Lincoln.  We were in the presence of such a man today, who is the principle of the school for elders, which to me was more like 10-25 year old’s.  All the students in the crammed hallways, and I mean crammed, gave us each a smile and a kind greeting.  Most classrooms were the size of my bedroom with 15-20 students.  I could not stretch my arms out because the hallways were too narrow and the steps leading to the top level were a little rickety.  But to see this man’s love for the students, of us, of education was truly beautiful.  I am sure that this man has poured his heart into every student in attendance.

We also toured the medical clinic that was being finished at Hope school.  Then we spent time playing with the children in district 17 in Cite Soleil.  It was a blast playing basketball with about 5 or 6 other teenage boys.  And just so you know the old man can still bring it.  The other’s played soccer, jump rope and did a little dancing.  A great time was had by all.  Just before we left we were able to tour the apple pod with Ashley.  It is the only apple pod like it in the whole world.  It is incredible, but his mission is also just as incredible.  His goal is to teach computer programing to students in Cite Soleil.  He has a 3 year window to see if this will work.  There are so many challenges and moving pieces to this.  Figuring on 160 students from Hope school and another computer lab already set up in Grace Village with who knows how many students.  Ashley has his WORK cut out for him.  But if it was a man sized goal it would be something attainable.  This one is definitely a God sized dream that only God can bring true.  Pray for Ashley and the teachers at both schools. 

Last stop of the day was at an orphanage to tell the Christmas story, do a craft and love on some precious kids.  What do you get with 40 pine cones, 2 bottles of glue, about 900 pom pom balls and 35 energetic children who had just had a bath?  A great craft, lots of sticky fingers, arms, shoes, floor, hair… get the picture.  It was a blast and the pine cone Christmas trees turned out pretty good.  Good-bye!  -Jeff

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 3 (A Day of Highs and Lows)

Our day began with another delicious breakfast of Haitian scrambled eggs, freshly squeezed juice, pancakes, and Haitian style oatmeal.  After morning devotions, we eagerly hopped in the "tap-tap" (so called because if you want to get off, you tap on the side of the vehicle).  Our first stop was the Haitian History Museum where we learned from our tour guide the history of the country's quest for freedom from foreign domination.  The atrocities done to the citizens of Haiti during its fight for freedom humbled us and reminded us of the sinful nature of mankind and our need for a Savior.  On our second stop we learned the history of Papillion.  This business was started by an American woman coming to Haiti to adopt a child only to learn that the child had parents, but they could not afford to raise that child.  As a result, she helped start a business that would allow her to provide work for the Haitians which would allow them to earn an income and provide for their children.  We supported their business by purchasing lunch at their cafĂ© and shopping in their boutique where they sell handcrafted goods (many of which are produced in their production area across the street).  While at Papillion, we learned of the power of an idea blessed by God to work a miracle in the life of God's people in Haiti.  Our afternoon was spent in ministry at the Home for Sick and Dying Babies.  We entered a large room with approximately 50 small, numbered cribs lined up with only a narrow walkway between each set of 4 and the cribs lining the wall.  In each crib, there was an infant (1 month to 24 months old) in varying stages of illness.  Our mission was to assist the lady workers by feeding, diapering, and holding these precious babies.  As we held these babies, we were able to pray for them, sing to them, and "Give our Hands to serve and our hearts to love (Mother Teresa)."  Matthew 25:40 says the following:  I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.  Thank you, Jesus, for this day of highs and lows.  -Linda


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 2

Our first stop today was to visit Hope School and church, which is located in Cite Soleil (the slum).  One of our teammates from Delaware brought a suitcase full of books written in French for the children of Hope School.  While the books were being presented to the teachers, the remainder of the team was able to go into the classrooms to be “substitute” teachers.  Lo and behold, we had no idea what we were getting into.  It was a great experience though.  After we came out of Hope, the water truck was waiting for us.  We immediately started helping.  I was so impressed that the number of children was much less due to them being in Hope School.  For a break in between water deliveries, we went to the pier and observed people cleaning fish.  Our third and last water delivery, in my opinion, was in the poorest part of Cite Soleil.  A lot of children were not in school and many people seemed needier.  We prayed silently for the children as they jumped into our arms.  After finishing the water deliveries, we went to Fleri Farms.  Healing Haiti started the farm 2 years ago.  The farm consists of 22 acres.  Healing Haiti is trying to decide the wisest way to utilize the farm.  The farm has bananas, sugar cane, papaya, mangos, coconuts, avocados, limes, and much more.  Haiti has a 90% unemployment rate and Healing Haiti is helping to create jobs for the Haitians.  The first time I went (a year ago), I felt overwhelmed.  However, this time I felt more energized.  God is truly healing this country and my own heart.  -Helen
“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Today for me was resting in God’s presence and letting Him quiet me when my thoughts needed to be realigned with His.  This is my 4th trip to Haiti and each year has been so different.  Some of the change is due to how God is using ministries like Hope school and Fleri Farms to provide hope and opportunities for the people, and some of the change is in me.  I am a “doer” and today God really stretched me to be quiet and rest in His presence.  I still had the blessing of being involved in the areas Helen mentioned but I also had some time today where I had to sit in the tap-tap and have a snack due to my blood sugar levels.  My diabetes was one reason I was hesitant to come that first year.  God desires to meet our excuses and He continues to show that He is greater! As I watched the team and prayed, God helped me stop feeling useless and answered my prayer to be used.  I was able to help a woman by scooping water from the huge container she had into smaller jugs so she could go get more buckets of water. I didn’t need to feel guilty that my teammates were hauling buckets, running the hose and energetically loving on the kids…..I was contentedly serving the way God had provided for me.  It is so obvious to me that God put this team together!  We have bonded so quickly and there is a spiritual depth which encourages me greatly.  There is true joy and servanthood and I am excited to see what the Lord has for us in the coming days!  -Diane

Monday, December 10, 2018

Meyers/Cornerstone Day 1

I have returned to where my heart is.  It was a wonderful flight into Haiti.  It was great to see the Healing Haiti family.  The road outside of the guest house is finally paved.  It made for a much smoother ride.  It has been a wonderful evening getting to know all of the other members of the team.  We are comprised of 4 from Iowa, 3 from Minnesota, 1 from Delaware, and 1 from Pennsylvania.  Woohoo, I’m not the only male on the team.  We also got settled into the guesthouse, ate a wonderful meal of tacos, and learned of the plan for tomorrow.  All in all, we are safe and sound!  Tomorrow, we will be delivering water and serving in Cite Soleil.  Off to catch some zzz’s, as it was a super early morning! -Austin

Monday, November 19, 2018

Central Church Day 8 - Don't get too comfortable

We ended this trip very much the same as how we started it, with childlike and teacher behavior, then unity in love and joy.

As we gathered our things together the leaders were, once again, packing and repacking. The team was also once again, giggly, chatting about sleep, and packing. We played our last round of ladder golf where Becca and I were the proud winners. 

Then it was time to get on the tap tap. Before we did though we gathered in front with the Healing Haiti staff to pray with them one final time. The leaders were relaxed and rested, the team was focused. Michael led us in prayer for Blessings for the staff and safe travels. we said our goodbyes, and took many many pictures. 

The streets were much different than when we arrived. Like driving on a rural Maine dirt road in the middle of the night, so was the silence on the streets of Port au Prince. We thanked our new friends and were ready for the very long ride "home". 

The team did real good getting through Haiti customs. We acted like pros. Then came New York. THAT was pretty tough. With line after line, we were trying to follow one another. Then navigate new technology, some easier than others (I did not do very well). All the while trying to figure out where we were to go next which was frustrating. You know the saying, "too many chefs in the kitchen"? Well for every one person who asked a question, two more would answer independently. It's like we completely lost track of ourselves for a moment. We rerouted the frustrations and finally found our gate. So comes the 6 hour wait. 
Like Gods timing, it is always in the waiting that the Lord works His magic. It was in the waiting that Jesus blessed every single one of us to come here. It was in the waiting that He showed us our individual purposes and gifts. Now it is in the waiting that He is preparing our hearts for reentry. As I sit here and listen to everyone interact for one last as a group, I know I will miss my Brothers and Sisters in Christ with all their individuality that the Lord has created them for. I will feel joy every time I remember our time together, and I also have fear though, though that we will get too comfortable too quickly and not remember all that we experienced. My prayer is that we all remember to get our of our comfort zone to talk to and live our lives the way God calls us to.

Dearest Jesus, 
You have provided for us and Blessed us in every possible way during this trip. I intentionally pray for Your memory and wisdom. That as we start to get more comfortable in the life you have provided, You give us gently reminders how we must work to be uncomfortable for your teachings. Continue to humble our hearts and develop the thirst for Your love and grace. Father, please take the person we were, and the love we have now, to mold it into the person we are predestined to be for Your Kingdom. Thank You for showing us, through Healing Haiti, what can be accomplished by simply trusting Your way and loving others in a very practical way through Jesus. 
In You most Loving Name I pray,
As one Mind, One Voice, One smell, and One Spirit we all praise You as we shout out:

p.s.  THANK YOU Sam for your gift of blogging for our team.  You have created one important piece of our memories in Haiti 2018.  Thank you God for keeping us safe and returning us to our loved ones and friends in Christ.  I am so proud of this team.  Each one has grown in Christ and are now are a family of individuals that have an unique experience with God together.  God is not only good, He is the great provider of salvation to all of us.   Thank you to all of our viewers for following our short journey.  You cannot appreciate the personal milestones each of us made in our walk with Jesus. We can only hope you have seen a glimpse of God's miracles.  I encourage all of you to consider if God is calling you to this type of ministry through a mission to the nations of the world.  It certainly has been a life changing experience for me.   Glwa pou Bondye! Mike