Hi friends and family!!
We had a wonderful start to our day!! We attended Church on the Rock for an EARLY morning service. We were up, church ready, and out the door by 5:45 AM! We were a little groggy but we sure perked up once we arrived. Let me tell you, Haitians sure know how to praise Jesus!! Their service was nothing like we have ever seen in the United States. The Haitians spend the first portion of the service praising God by song and dance. They are all so free, full of life, and full of the spirit of God. They had no care in the world who was watching them - it was their moment with Jesus and it was beautiful to witness. We did not stay for the sermon as it was in Creole, but we are all so grateful to have gotten to experience this - and with open arms from the Haitians. They were happy to see us and so welcoming. Truly our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We walked back to the guesthouse where we had breakfast and prepared for the day. Our first stop was at a treatment center, Haiti Teen Challenge, where we started out hearing incredible testimonies from a couple of the people going through the program. Along with drugs and alcohol, gang affiliation and prostitution are prevalent in Haiti, so it was incredibly touching to hear their stories and how they got out of that lifestyle. Then a few people from our group shared testimonies - it was an emotional moment, as one of our team member's brothers is struggling with drug addiction and has actually been to Teen Challenge in Minnesota several times. She asked for everyone in the room to pray for her brother, and they did right then and there. They grabbed a guitar, sang a beautiful song (seriously, this Haitian beauty could SING), and once the song was over, they all started praying out loud in Creole for her brother by name. It was the most moving, powerful moment that none of us will forget. And thankfully it's caught on camera so she can share it with her brother back home and show him how an entire room full of complete strangers who understand his struggle better than anyone prayed for him by name. One thing that was said that really stuck with us - "addiction is addiction no matter where you are in the world." So true. I pray every single person in that room continues to draw close to God and lean on him for strength to overcome whatever addiction or hardship their facing. And I pray the same for our team member's brother.
We then headed over to Papillon where we enjoyed a smoothie and a bite to eat. We were given a tour by one of the Papillon staff. The hard work and details that go into their handmade items was incredible to see in action. It is vital that this business thrives as many Haitians rely on the sales to eat, pay their rent, and to be able to send their children to school. School is not free for Haitians! If you wish, please check out the link below where you can find more information about this business and shop online if you wish!
Our last stop was at an orphanage called La Phare's. These children truly touched our hearts today. They were beautiful, friendly, playful, and simply amazing. We painted nails, played tic-tac-toe, jumped rope, monkey in the middle and much more! Our visit ended by some touching songs sang to us by the orphans!