We started out our day by attending a church service at Rendezvous Church. We were all so happy to be able to fully take in the message, as they offer headphones with someone on the other end, translating the message into English. It was a really great and convicting message focusing on gratitude. I was inspired and convicted to really focus on thanking God for all that I have each day. I was also inspired to ask the team to share a few things they are grateful for from our week, whether it be a moment, a person, or a place. While I am very aware of the fact that there are so many things to be grateful for from our trip, we tried to capture some highlights:
Me (Michelle): I'm thankful to continue to have the honor and privilege to lead an amazing team of people to Haiti, for the opportunity to have helped an elderly man carry water to his home (we don't often see many men in line, let alone elderly men), to have spent time again with my sweet friends, Kiki and Sheila at Dios special needs orphanage, and last but not least, I'm thankful for the incredible staff, who take such good care of us throughout our week.
Talia: "I could write you a book about what I'm thankful for, so picking out only three will not be easy. I'm thankful for little kids that we get to love on and that love on us, the accommodations and the staff that take good care of us, and the Guetter family.
Courtney: "I'm thankful for the Guetter family, that through serving other people God can change your heart, and air conditioning at the guesthouse."
Tyler: "I'm thankful for letting God show me this opportunity to see all that I did in Haiti (the need for water, orpanages, etc.). I was shown how lucky I really am."
Danielle: "I'm thankful for how wonderful the staff are here, and the patience and grace of the Haitians as I attempted my sub-par Creole."
Sarah: "I'm thankful for the little boy that wiped my face the first water truck day, the progress that Haiti continues to make, and for Jenga at Fleri."
Travis: "I'm thankful for the opportunity to serve with my wife, Alicia, and new friendships with some of the Healing Haiti staff."
Steve Guetter: "I'm thankful to have seen the progress in Haiti; the paved streets, concrete sidewalks, etc., seeing more smiles, and seeing all these new, young people devoting their lives to Christ and serving here."
Heide: "There're so many things... I'm thankful for this opportunity to serve, and to have made connections both on our team and in Haiti."
Steven Corse: "I'm thankful for all the kids I got to connect with, the lady who poured water on my neck to cool me off while I was holding the hose to the water truck."
Kenzie: "I'm thankful for the time I taught the little boy in Cite Soleil a hand heart and he remembered me from different visits, getting to play games and help take pictures of the kids at LaPharre's (pictures they got to keep), and running in the rain at Fleri Resto after an excruciatingly hot day."
Becky: "I'm thankful for reconnecting with some of the team we've been with on other trips, seeing and caring for Camisane, who we sponsor, on our elder visits, and I love seeing the progress at Hope and the children."
Beebs: "I'm thankful for the bond that I got with Frankie at Dios. I think sometimes we shy away from the older kids and I just kind of stepped out and started talking to him, and he actually taught me a lot of the Creole language, like counting...it was a special moment. I'm also thankful for a moment in Cite Soleil, when I was delivering water...a child wanted to put it on my head. The mom was so grateful. Just seeing the work ethic of the women was so impactful for me as well."
Sydney: "I'm thankful for the cooks at our guesthouse, the drivers/translators, and just getting to know everyone."
Steve Corse: "Where do I start? I'm grateful to y'all (leaders) for setting up everything and making it as smooth as can be. I really appreciate it. Coming into it having no idea what to expect, (from Haiti, this group...) it turned out to be a very welcoming group, and the opportunity to experience all we had to experience. The elderly (particularly Lindor) was really special...things really came together for me at that moment. Having Steve G. on the team was particularly helpful as well."
Brooke: Today I was baptized. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision, but I am so glad I did it. I was baptized as an infant, courtesy of my parents; however, I have never received a chance to be baptized as an adult until today. I am so honored that one of the other teams serving this week allowed me to be a part of their baptisms. It was a special moment to rededicate my life to Christ. I am so blessed to have been baptized in one of my favorite places on earth. I am also so grateful and thankful that some of my team members were there to support me, hug me, and pray over me. I cannot express and put into words how much they all mean to me. I am also super thankful for all of the new relationships and friendships that were formed throughout the week. Not only with my team members but with all of the Haitian people I was able to meet, interact with, and serve. I am especially thankful for the little boy, Wilbe, who I met at a water stop. He was by my side throughout two whole water stops, and he made my heart complete. It was a tough goodbye, but I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to love on him for the short period of time I had.
Alicia: "I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve alongside Travis this past week. It is a week we will treasure forever. I am also grateful for the amazing staff that work for Healing Haiti. They are my second family, and they serve us goers with everything they have day in and day out. I am grateful for the conversations I was able to have with them throughout the week. I am also thankful for the connections that were made this week. Connections with the Haitians we encountered and connections with our team members. What an amazing week! There is a lot to be thankful for!"
Mesi anpil, Haiti! Bondye Beni'ou.