Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Day of Reflection

    As this day has gone on, I've spend it reflecting and continuing to process the past week in Haiti. All the poverty, the people, the children, what God did. As I was bringing to God my thoughts and praying through some things, I began to think of how in Haiti, opportunities surround us and are directly in our path to serve and love His people. Our schedule is even organized there in such a way that we are always serving and loving in some aspect of our activities. In the US, those opportunities are still there, but are not so available or in front of us. As I was then seeking God through this, I got the word Intentional. There are hundreds of thousands of people here who don't have Jesus in their lives, and unless we are intentional about seeking Jesus and seeking that He would bring those opportunities in our lives, they will stay that way.
     In devos on Wednesday morning in Haiti,we talked about discipleship making and the question "If the disciples hadn't been faithful to the call of Christ and the mission He gave them, where would we be?" was presented. Would the gospel have spread so radically and quickly? What would our churches be like today? If the stories of Paul and the apostles spreading the gospel hadn't happened and hadn't been written about, would we be as effective in our own ways of sharing Christ without learning from their examples?
     On Saturday, our team did a water truck stop in a tent city instead of Cite Soleil, and it was so good. As soon as we got there, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Robb had pulled Wilson, one of the interpreters, aside with him and was talking to a man next to one of tent houses. He later told us the story.
While waiting for the TapTap that morning, he had been praying and seeking Jesus and God gave him the word Fire. He didn't quite know what God wanted him to do with it. As we went to the water truck stop, he was asking God what he wanted him to do with the word Fire and even began searching for an actual fire in the area. At one point he looked up and saw a man with fiery orange/red sunglasses and felt like God was saying this was the one. He went over to this man and put his hand out on him and told him he needed Jesus. The man took off his sunglasses and began weeping as he shared some stuff from his life and how his life was a mess. And that day that man found Jesus and was so excited about it he wanted Robb to stay and tell his kids and his wife about God. We weren't going to be staying too much longer but Robb told him to go and tell his kids himself what God had done for him and tell everybody about it. Discipleship making. Multiplying. Just like we had talked about that week.
That story really stuck out to me. And as I thought about it, I began to wonder, what if Robb hadn't chosen to spend a "time out" as he called it with Jesus that morning but instead came outside to wait and talk with the rest of the team? What if he had missed God and never gotten the word Fire. Perhaps that man in the tent city never would have found Jesus. And now his family wouldn't have. Who knows how God will use this new follower to spread His love and forgiveness to others. His whole tent city may come to know Christ because of him. And because Robb took the time to be intentional that morning in seeking what God would have him hear and do that day.
I want to be intentional. To seek the face of God. To know God.To love. To serve.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Crumbling Building and Joy all Around

If there was one word I had to use to describe this missions trip, it would be transforming. Every night I would go to bed exhausted but in the morning I would wonder what the day would bring. On Thursday we started the day with touring the reformation school/church. While touring the school rooms and church service area, I couldn't help but wonder how hundreds of hungry for Jesus children could fit in such small rooms. When we were going through the school rooms I couldn't  help but think that back home we complain about our small desks and here, they have a six inch wide piece of wood to write on. Walking through this crumbling building, reminded me how fortunate I am to live in America where we don't have to worry about the roof leaking in a small rain shower or a wall crumbling down on us.
A few hours later we would be splitting into two teams: one to go to Mother Teresa's and the other to go to Gertrude's. Unfortunately, the other team was unable to visit Mother Teresa's so we all went to Gertrude's. At Gertrude's, I first went to a room with many younger children and babies. Instantly, a little girl caught my eye and she threw her arms up into the air, smiling at me to hold her. I picked her up and asked her what her name was but she didn't respond, she just observed. She looked at my cross necklace, the other children wanting to be held, and everywhere else her head could turn. Although I didn't know her, she rested her head on my shoulder and I could only think of how beautiful a child and how precious she was. We then went outside to play on the swing set and listen to Austin and Jacob play some worship songs for the other kids. When she saw the swing set she pointed to it right away so I went over and started pushing her. Sometimes when I pushed her extra hard, a laugh would bubble out of her and a smile spread across her precious face. As I pushed her I saw Ari and Jas talking to a girl in a wheel chair that was always smiling, and the boys from our team holding kids and kicking a soccer ball with them. All around me the kids who lived at Gertrude's were smiling and laughing! When Austin and Jacob played Beautiful Things by Gungor, I remembered one of the lines in the chorus: you make beautiful things out of dust. Listening to those words and looking around seeing all the kids being surrounded in love brought tears in my eyes. It was transforming in how God brought a home for these kids who lived in dust and turned it into something beautiful! Everyone on the team was serving and playing with the kids who needed love. I saw joy all around me!

                                    changed forever,

                                                                Ellianna Bates

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fun in the Sun!

      Our team enjoyed a bright early morning today! We woke up around 5:30am to go to the tent church next to us. The worship was inspiring. The Haitians were so passionate about their worship; they were walking around, hands up, praising our God. One added blessing was that the pastor lead some of worship in English!
       Later, we traveled up to Grace Village. We had the opportunity to watch Robb reunite with all of the kids there. Then, we took all 56 kids to the beach! This is a very rare opportunity for them. We worked together to watch all of the kids and help them swim. All of the children were so excited! We played in the beautiful blue water for the rest of the day. We all had fun in the waves of the beautiful blue water.
       Our team was also in awe of how gorgeous Haiti is. The beach was absolutely beautiful! The water was a perfect blue, the mountains made a picturesque backdrop to the water and rocky beach with palm trees that were rustling softly in the gentle breeze. To top it off, the sun shone brightly on us all day! We all are still carrying a little of that glow on our skin :)To say the least, we had an amazing day enjoying all of God's creation; from His precious children, to His majestic handiwork.

                                                                                                           We miss and love you all!

                                                                                                                              Lydia and Abigail

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Emotionally Attached

Emotionally draining. The perfect words to describe today. It is amazing how attached we become to a child within the hour we spend with them and how hard it is for us to then let them go, not knowing if we will ever see them again. We only exchange a few words but their smiles and tender hugs are enough to bring tear to our eyes.

I met two girls today who emotionally drained me and made it extremely hard to say goodbye. The first was at Juno's, an orphanage run by a man with an amazing heart who houses and feeds approximately 20 kids but extends his facility to educate nearly 100 within the surrounding community. As I stepped off the "Tap Tap" the kids sprinted over to us but it was a 14 year old girl who latched onto me. She ran up to me and hugged me tight before kissing me on the cheek and saying "Mwen Remen Ou" which means "I love you." This fourteen year old girl named "Francine", who has no family and is sleeping on a bed made of cardboard is telling me how much she loves me and how happy she is that I am here. Aren't we supposed to be the ones loving on them? The only words she said to me was her name and how old she was yet the whole time we were at Juno's she was holding me, with either an arm around my back or holding onto my arm. She didn't care that I was a different color, that I was sweating or that she had only met me minutes before. I had never experienced such love from a 14 year old girl before. During the worship times when we sung with the kid she just broke down into tears as she was singing "Glory to God." As I watched her worshiping I could see the light of Jesus shining through her and I kept thinking to myself "I want to experience that, I want to live with a passion like that for Jesus."

In the afternoon, my half of the group was supposed to go to The Home for the Sick and Dying Babies and I was so excited to just hold these little babies and love on them. However God obviously had a different plan for me. I was extremely disappointed to hear that my group was not allowed to go to the orphanage because they were closed for the day. I became rather frustrated with God as I was going to miss out on an opportunity which I had really been looking forward to all week. Instead the whole team went to Gertrude's, an orphanage for the disabled which I visited earlier this week. In my previous visit a lady handed me a 6 month old baby named "Louvre" who had recently been severely burnt. The right side of her precious little body was covered in blisters and scabs from the fire and on her right hand she only had a thumb and stubs for her other fingers. That whole visit I held this baby in my arms and she did not make a sound and ended up falling asleep in my arms. When I went back for this second visit I was not enthusiastic as I had already visited the orphanage. As we walked into the room for the toddlers and babies, the girl who I had previously held started squirming in her crib and wiggling her arms as if she remembered who I was. The smile that appeared on her face made it impossible for me to just leave her. Once again I ended up holding this precious baby girl for an hour in my arms as she eventually drifted off to sleep during the worship songs. The whole time I was so worried about accidentally bumping her burns or scabs and hurting her but she didn't make a sound. She was so content with just being held and I did not want to let her go. Even though half her body was completely scared she was the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. It makes it so hard for me to believe that someone would just abandon such a precious child. When it came time for us to leave, I laid down the sleeping child of
God and the tears just poured from my eyes. I later found out that I had been the first outsider to hold her since she had arrived there as previous groups were not allowed to touch her. It amazes me how all of this was part of God's plan, for me to just pour out my love on this little girl. I was so blessed just to be able to hold her in my arms, she truly was a living miracle.
By Jasmine Hearne

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Water Truck Day

Today we delivered water into Cite Soleil. For most of us, this day was a shock as it was the first time in a slum. We were overwhelmed with the joy of the kids and how desperate the people were for water.    Our team took a total three water stops, and by the end of the day we were exhausted. The first stop was a little slow, as the line for water was the shortest that some of us had ever seen. We kept the kids busy by holding them and showing the love of Jesus. For our next stop, we were taken to a stop that was new for all of us. We were taken to the edge of the slum where Cite Soleil was being rebuilt. A catholic organization was in the process of tearing down the old shanties and rebuilding homes for the people. It was very encouraging to see how the city is changing for the better. Our final stop consisted of many hearts being broken as we were frustrated by what we saw. We were in a place where people were desperate for water and the devil was at work. Tears were shed that night as we worshiped and prayed for Gods strength in overcoming the challenges that were faced. We were also given the opportunity to celebrate Jeans birthday today with Healing Haiti staff and the other team that is here with us as well. Thank you for you prayers. God is at work in our team.

Austin Fruits

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Full Day In Haiti

     What an incredible first full day in Haiti, God is working in amazing ways!!! One thing that I will share from our day was from this afternoon when our team was split into two different groups to visit an orphanage or mission organization.  I was personally a part of the group that took a trip to the mission organization that houses sick and dying babies.  Our group of eight stopped in the first building and were immediately handed bowls to feed the babies.  I was shocked to see this tiny little girl sit up in her crib and finish every last spoonful from the bowl I held!  Once all those little ones were fed our group and another missions team went around and comforting, holding, and singing to the kids.  All that these precious boys and girls wanted was to be recognized and loved, and when someone was holding them, they seemed to be on cloud nine.  They would lay their heads on the chest of the person holding them, look around, smile, laugh, and in one case, have their diaper explode on one of our shirts!
     It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to the infants who became so attached to us, but we then made our way to the second room across the courtyard.  Now folks, this second room houses babies that have cases of malnutrition, severe wounds, close to death, etc.. Needless to say, it was an emotional time where God really worked in our hearts to love these kids with the purpose of showing them HIS abiding and unfailing love.  Although most of these kids were too young to understand us, or simply couldn't understand english, it was the action of holding them close to our hearts and showing that someone cared for their precious lives.
     Keep our team in your prayers, and pray that with everything we do, we shine the light and love of our heavenly father to the people of Haiti.

Until next time,
Courtney Carlson


Today after we played with Gertrude's kids in the pool and played soccer with local kids, we split into 2 different groups, one group went to a place for sick and dying children and the other group went to Gertrude's to play with the kids in the pool some more. I went to Gertrude's which I was very happy about. The kids there were the most joyful kids I have ever met. One of the girls there laughed at almost any thing you did while another one sat with Austin the whole time while he played guitar and even tried to played it herself. No matter what they were doing they always had a smile on their faces, one of them even had a smile when I had to tell her when she couldn't swing because some one else was already using it. Gertrude's was a really cool place, they even had a swing for people in wheelchairs! Today was the first of many great days that I will have in Haiti!

-Alex Weis



Today we started the day in the pool with the kids from Gertrude's. We helped the disabled kids with their water therapy, and just being silly and splashing in the pool. There were many smiles. After that, we went back to the guest house where we picked some of the local boys up and we took them to a near buy soccer field and played a game of soccer. The teams were Haitians V.S. Americans. Luckily we tied, and I scored a goal! We had a wonderful time today with the people of Haiti, it feels so great to be back on my second trip to Haiti!

- Jacob Stevenson

Monday, July 1, 2013


Welcome to Haiti.   Even though we have been up for 20+ hours, the kids are still going strong.  Their enthusiasm and energy is heartwarming.  I think it will be quite a week---