Thursday, July 26, 2012
God is Good! We got home from Haiti and were treated to a very warm welcome from our families and other people from the Rockpoint Youth group. It was so great to see everyone again but also sort of sad due to the fact that we were in Minnesota and not Haiti. Oh well. Anyway, it was great to see how God is working down in Haiti, it is spectacular that when we would drive down the streets we could yell out of our tap tap(pick-up with a cage over an oversized bed) Jezi renmen ou(a.k.a Jesus loves you) or simply yell HEY YOU and people would smile and yell back praising Jesus. One place we visited that most stuck out to me was Gertrude’s, a home for kids with disabilities. I looked after a kid for a while there who couldn’t walk or stand without assistance but once you helped him walk he got a huge smile on his face. This made my extremely thankful to God for my ability to run. Also, I was really surprised at how nice Grace Village is. Once you are inside the walls it seems almost like heaven compared to the rest of Haiti and you can be assured that Robb and his family have a very nice place to live. The orphans at Grace Village were also very impressive. I heard that if one of the younger kids in a room is sick, the older kids in the room will stay up and pray for them all night if need be. It’s really hard to explain how special and life changing this trip was and I hope that this helped tell you a little more about our trip. The people on the trip also made it great since we all got along very well. I’m already missing the team and Haiti even though it has been less than 24 since we left the airport. In Christ, Ethan
Posted by Brad at 9:07 AM
Monday, July 23, 2012
Hey everyone!! I am currently sitting in the Miami airport sucking on a jolly rancher waiting for our return flight to Minneapolis. This has been such an amazing trip!! God moved in so many ways and I'm so glad that He made a way for me to come. When I first heard that there was going to be a mission team going to Haiti in the Summer of 2012, I immediately got excited and began to pray that if God wanted me on that team, that He would provide a way. All the spots got taken after the first informational meeting, and it took me a while to finally hand it over to God and trust that He knew best. May rolled around, and also a call from our youth pastor Robb, announcing that a previous member had dropped out and that my spot was next in line. I was ELATED!!! God completely orchestrated every detail of my trip, to my passport, funds, and down to the last minute details right before we left. God is so good!! God completely blew the lid off this trip!! It was my first mission trip, let alone first time out of the country, and it was definitely one of the best weeks of my life. I have laughed the loudest and cried harder than ever before. All of the kids that we came into contact with were so sweet, and just wanted to be held and loved. I was really amazed at everyone's openness to God in Haiti, and not a "God bless you" goes by on the street without the recipient responding, "Amen!" On the first day in Haiti, Tuesday, we went to Cite Soleil with the water trucks to deliver clean water. Healing Haiti is the only organization that delivers water to Cite Soleil, because it is one of if not the most dangerous slum in the world. God completely protected us, and the kids were so adorable. One boy in particular who made a mark on me that first water truck stop, was 15-16 year old looking boy whose name I cant remember. We began talking, and I found he knew fairly good english. I found out that he went to the school, and was in the fifth grade. Midway during our conversation, he asked me if I was a christian and replied yes. He got excited and asked if I loved Jesus and I said YES!! I asked him if he was too and he got really excited and replied that yes he did too:) It was so awesome!! I have SO many stories and experiences, and I'll write one more that really impacted me. On Friday we stopped at Haiti's mass grave site during out drive to Grace Village in Titanyen, and the gravesite contains 300,000+ bodies of those that died during the earthquake. Standing on top next to all the crosses, both large and small, was so emotional and so impacting. As I looked around at the huge, green, rolling mountains on three sides and the massive, beautiful ocean on the other, and looking up to the blue sky spotted with clouds, I thought of people. Of all the people and bodies underneath me and I wondered how many of them knew Jesus. Then I began to think of the people that I pass in the street everyday, the ones I often feel Jesus telling me to speak to, and those I dont. And how many times I pass them by. I looked around at the splender of God's creation that all reflects God's majesty, and wondered how selfish I am to NOT tell people about Him. I asked God that the next time I find myself tempted to walk by, that He would bring me back to that spot, standing on top of that glorious mountain overlooking His creation. I dont want to walk away ever again. My final word of the day and also my take-home word is the work Light. The children of Haiti have such a light within them, and their smiles, their laughter, and joy of them all is such a light to me, and I know brings joy to God. God is the one light to the people of Haiti, and so many TapTaps say "Merci Jesus", or Thank You Jesus. It is definitely my take-home word because I want to be the light of Jesus to everyone I see, an not pass by again. God definitely lit up my life this week, and I pray that I can do the same for others who dont know Him. Ke Bondye Beni'ou, everyone. God bless you!:) ~ Arianna
Posted by Brad at 10:39 PM
Hey Good news! The gracious lady at check in got all 18 of us on two vans, and we sped out from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami to catch a flight at 7:40 putting us home tonight at 10:30! Praise God! His hand has been on us this whole trip!
Posted by Brad at 2:47 PM
Great News! We have landed in America, we left with 18 and came back with 18! (despite many requests to put kids in luggage! We do have a prayer request, our flight has just been canceled and re-booking a group of 18 may be difficult so pray if you can, best case maybe we skip the Dallas stop and head straight home...? We have a big God right!
Posted by Brad at 12:10 PM
Saturday, July 21, 2012
It's Saturday morning we are getting ready to head back on the water truck today bringing water to Cite Soleil. We have had a great past couple of days, We have been at Grace Villiage With all the Kids and the Ammermanns. We have visited Elderly with music and prayer, food, lotion. Some were over a humdred,double the life expectancy here of 52. It was an awesome time. We got to take the 62 Kids from Grace Villiage to the Beach, it was a slice of Heaven swimming in paradise with 62 of God's Children laughing and playing in the water. Wow, what fun that was, that was Joy, real Joy. We have spent a lot of time in the Tap Tap (Which is the bus, or cage, we ride around in) and have really gotten to see and experience a lot of what life in this country is like. We have Two days left, many of us our tired as we have had both physically and emotionally demanding days, pray that we can finish strong, that we will continue to love like Jesus. We have one more day up at Grace Villiage on Sunday, it will be opend up to the city. Pray that the community comes and that they feel the love of Christ, pray for salvation, pray for God to be Glorified. Also, pray that we can pray for and love Robb Jenn Morgan and Ben. They are doing such great work, I am proud to know them. They are off to a great start and have a big job to do! Continue to pray for saftey, it is evident that the prayers have been heard. Pray that God really speaks to our students this last couple days,and above all pray that God be Glorified, bringing the Hope of Christ to the people of Haiti.
Posted by Brad at 5:24 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
So it is Tuesday afternoon, We have had just an AWESOME time. Thank you to all who prayed our travel was more than smooth. We have experienced so much since we got here. When we got here we had many emotions, many questions; Is Robb still alive? YES! ( he met us at the Airport and ate dinner with us the first night, we will see him again on Thursday when we go to Grace Village)Is Haiti rundown? Yes, desolate even. Hot? Totally. Forgotten? Absolutely not! God is here, it is evident to our team. From the first night meeting the kids by the guest house, to distributing water and holding orphans there is a real sense of community, a feeling of hope, hard to describe but uplifting. Amongst the uplifting is the indescribable poverty. We went into Cite Soleil with a water truck three times on Monday, bringing water, people line up with buckets and tubs. It has been so fun to see the joy of the people to get water, water to drink, bathe their babies and do laundry. With the buckets comes swarms of kids to hold and play with. Cite Soleil is very poor, tent cities everywhere, garbage, we got to walk out into the garbage dump, right by the ocean and sing songs with the kids at the first stop. God did not intend people to live like this, especially the kids without parents, without family, but our God has also not forgot them bringing them joy, forgiveness and so much more. Our students have done a great job of diving in and loving like Jesus, reaching out and accepting to all. We have experienced love on a whole new level. Each Night each person shares a word to describe the day, their experience or their heart. We have had words such as Open, compelled, jungle gym, beginning, heavy hearted, love, humbled, and many more. Due the fact that our time here is so precious I would like to use one word that I feel in some ways combines all the other words: Joy. We did not come to Haiti to have fun we would have gone to the Amusement Park for that, we came to serve, to be the hands and feet of Jesus to try and make a difference, to bring water and salvation to the Haitians people and to bring God glory. We have done that, experienced that but the more we have loved and the more we lean on Jesus the more joy we have. It has been work, it has been uncomfortable, we have been hungry, thirsty, hot, and tired but we have had Joy. As we pick up these kids who are naked and hold them close we see the love of Christ create smiles, hugs, and laughter. Praise God for that. John Chapter 15 has come up down here, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other." We have loved and we have had Joy. Continue to pray for us as we process what we are experiencing, pray that the students are connecting with Jesus, and taking time to listen, taking time to spend in the Word. Pray for continued Safety. Pray for opportunities for us to bring Glory to God and salvation to the haitians. We love you all and are praying for you too!
Posted by Brad at 12:12 PM