Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jan. 2016 Rockpoint Couples Team Blog Link


Click the above link to access the blog for the the 2016 couples team from Rockpoint.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Greetings from Haiti!
I am happy to report that are trip is off to a fantastic start! We are a mighty team of 16 women (4 teenagers and 12 ladies). The intergenerational mix is so awesome as the women serve alongside each other in powerful ways.
Yesterday was a big day for everyone. We started our day delivering water to the people in Cite Soleil. If you are unfamiliar with Cite Soleil, it's the poorest of the poor. It has been said to be the poorest place in the Western hemisphere. Yet, when you are there you see joy in many of the children. How can this be? The children of Cite Soleil came running yesterday when our water truck showed up and our ears where overcome with the all familiar phrase, "pote'em, pote'em"... hold me, hold me! With their little arms lifted high each women reached down and scooped up as many little ones they could unaffected by their nakedness and filth. It truly was a beautiful scene to watch as the women gave of themselves in such an abandoned way. The women worked hard carrying water buckets back and forth to the different makeshift homes made of tarps and scraps of metal or wood. It was an eye opening experience for everyone! Even more amazing was to see the future site of Hope Church that is being built right in the middle of Cite Soleil. So awesome to see God’s presence break into such a dark place.
Today we are preparing to visit Gertrude's (orphanage for mentally disabled children) and home for sick and dying babies. There is much love we will be pouring out on all these beautiful children. God is at work and we are thankful for His Spirit that leads us and guides us.  
We appreciate your prayers and support!!
Glwa Pou Bondye Pou Toujou!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday: Cite Soleil and Juno's Orphanage

Waking up in a cool room with the air conditioning (which are only on during the night), on high and walking out to the dining table where our large breakfast awaits us makes me feel like I'm on vacation... That feeling lasts only a few minutes before the dining room is filled with heat from the beating sun. Quickly, I am reminded that I'm not on a vacation but I'm on a mission.

Today, the team set out to deliver water in two different areas of Haiti.  Delivering water to the people of Cité Soleil has easily become one of my favorite things to do on this trip. As the tap-tap bus pulls up the dusty street, several Haitians, mostly women and young children, come running with miscellaneous buckets, cups and water tubs to have filled from the water truck. They all scramble to get in line to be the first to receive water. Among them there are children, some who are barely clothed, waiting for the door to open as the Team and I stepped off the tap-tap. Their arms are reaching up while shouting "hey you, hey you," in the happiest voices, with excited expressions. We barely step down to the street to help distribute water as we are greeted with hugs, smiles, and children saying "porté (pick me up)." As several team members pick up beautiful Haitian children there is one girl that comes through the crowd and finds me. I distinctively remember her. Estáncía has gorgeous brown eyes and a big, white smile that lights up her face. She clings to me as I pick her up and I squeeze her tight. Moments like this warm my soul knowing that even for a moment I am able to brighten her day and make her smile.

Mid-way through the day we stopped in Port-au-Prince where we walked to the end of the pier with the local children. It was here that we had a great view of the mountains surrounding us as we looked out onto the clear, blue water of the Bay of Port-au-Prince, which is part of the Caribbean.

As we returned back to the water station to refill the water truck for our second stop our team enjoyed a refreshing moment under the massive water spigot that is positioned 20+ feet in the air. (See pictures below)

After eating lunch at the Guest House we ventured to Juno's Orphanage. Again, when we arrived the children were patiently waiting for us as we stepped off the tap-tap and picked them up. Juno's is the home to fifteen beautiful Haitian orphans. The children sang us a few songs including "God is so good, is so good, is so good, God is!!" while they clapped, danced and smiled. We played soccer, handed out fruit snacks, applesauce and let the girls put braids in our hair. The team brought beads, glitter gel and a variety of markers to help them decorate and personalize white t-shirts. I was blown away by their artwork and ability to draw things like cars, palm trees and houses! All the shirts turned out fantastic :)

But this trip is much more than just delivering water or making t-shirts. It is about stepping outside of my comfort zone, allowing myself to grow and change lives - even if it's only for a few minutes. Being able to bring water to the people of Haiti and watching them bathe in the streets because they do not have access to running water makes me grateful for having warm, running water back home. Something so simple that we take for granted everyday - yet so many people in Haiti live without.

Throughout the week as we have traveled down the dusty streets of Haiti I have seen people with tattered, dirty clothing or even none at all, livestock eating and sleeping in the streets that are covered in rubbish and sewage (which I can smell and see burning throughout the towns), and tents that are made from tin siding, broken cinder blocks and torn tarps. I've observed that Haitians recycle everything until it literally becomes rubbish in the street.  I have yet to see something new. From sunrise to mid-afternoon, I watched a man commit to hard manual labor, in a field under the blazing sun while I thought building a garden on a hill side for a few hours was grueling. We visited General Hospital where I witnessed sick babies being cared for while mothers prayed for their children to be healed and realized how lucky I am for my health (and the advanced medical practices in the US). I played soccer with the neighborhood boys, where I met Stevenson who doesn't have any siblings and asked me to be his sister. Of course I said yes! This moment made me happier to know I am blessed with an amazing brother myself?! All of these moments have enabled me to appreciate (even more now) the new clothes I can wear, my loyal family and friends, the stable home I live in with A/C, my health, the variety of safe food I eat and the ability to purchase items new - if I choose.

I came with a mission to bring love, joy and happiness to those in need. I'm going home with much more than that.

Always live for the moment,

Friday: Soccer with the boys and General Hospital

Yesterday was a tiring day for us all, we woke up at 5:45 am to attend "tent church" a massive pull barn church where the local Haitians go for worship and service.  It was an enlightening experience to say the least, the Haitians have such a love for God and they show it in the way they worship.  The pastor, Gary, was singing loud and proud.  The Haitians have such a different culture in that they are not afraid to show their love for God in any way. They wave their arms and dance in the aisles and among the pews singing praise to Him.  Their love for God is infectious.  Although the worship was cut short due to a funeral the presence of God in the Tent Church was as strong as any Rockpoint, and it dawned on me that what connects us all is that we are all God's children, He doesn't discriminate or pick favorites, His love and grace are available to us all fully.  Later after church we got to bring the neighborhood boys who were free from school at the time to a real soccer field instead of the rock-ridden sandlot and street below to play.  The smiles on their faces as we boarded the top-top bus and let them run into the field were beyond priceless.  We divided the teams and even some of the local boys to the field joined in, far from regulation soccer, we played 13 vs 12 and had an amazing time.  They are amazing soccer players and they were all so grateful for the chance to play on a real pitch with standard sized goals and penalty boxes, however decrepit.  By the time we were finished all of us on the team were exhausted, but the boys looked as though they could play for another 5 hours!  After we came back we surprised them by handing out a local type of meat pie and juice, which they rarely get, sending smiles throughout all of us and them alike.  When we had finished recovering from the exhausting soccer game with the seemingly semi-professional neighborhood boys we headed to General Hospital to hand out donations of disposable diapers, wet wipes, baby food and cloth diapers for the babies in critical condition due to injury or other serious ailments.  The progress they have made to the wing is phenomenal, the babies are in an air-conditioned building now with no rats scurrying about under them.  This emboldened my heart because, they are making so much progress and rebuilding what they once lost in the earthquake.  Although we could not do much more for the babies except hand the donations out and pray for them it was a rewarding experience nonetheless.  I feel as though God is here willing the people to recover and persevere through the hard times they are experiencing here in Haiti.  I thank God for this experience so much because it has helped me grow into the man I know both He and I want me to be.  I will never forget this experience it has humbled me in ways I wish I could put into words.  The walls He has helped me break down to touch these kids with His love is amazing and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  -Dan Shusterich

We were blessed with the opportunity to go our for dinner to Pizza Amore. It was wonderful - the setting, the company (our team and Maxim), and the pizza! It was also fun to ride back in the tap-tap at night time. Get to see a different side of Port au Prince. -LG