Be assured all is well in Haiti! The homemade generator is down leaving us without power for the last 48 hours (as Haitian power is quite unpredictable). The hom team has been working around the clock to make sure the smaller generators have been hooked up to keep the water pump running and the ac and fans running at night. We are well taken care of here.
Our last three days have been spent in repatriate doing vbs. It’s been an incredible experience and lots of fun. We’ve had teams doing music, sports, crafts and Bible stories and we’ve loved getting to spend time with not only the kids but also our Haitian helpers (monituers) and translators. To say we are surrounded by amazing people is an understatement.
More to come tomorrow (pending power) as it’s well past out Haitian bedtime. We miss everyone but are loving our time here. We cannot believe tomorrow is our last day of vbs but look forward to another day amount our new friends.
Sorry for the lack of posts, but to write a blog or do much of anything in Haiti you kind of have to go with the flow. The flow of power disappeared the past few days and hence so does the internet and a few other first world necessities. It’s amazing what can be done in a day not attached to a phone or email. Thankfully, we are a very fluid group and I’m happy to report we are alive and well. We return to our first world problems tomorrow assuming we make our 11am flight to Miami. It can’t be further than 5 miles to the airport but we leave at 7:30am to avoid any number of issues that could await due to a herd of cattle, goats, government, tire or trash fires, or who knows what blocking our departure.
We wrapped up our final day of vacation bible school and painting today and the week can be described as joyful, awesome, eye opening, hot, transformative, and sad. Our people, countries, cultures, and problems are very different yet very similar. We are all Gods children and we all have to be reminded to be thankful for this day.
Leaving the kids and teachers today was tough. The kids had Creole nicknames or creative pronunciations of all of our names which meshed with how I’m sure we have butchered saying their names and language all week. We were escorted everywhere by one of several translators who participated and sometimes led many of our activities and who we have become close friends with during the week. The kids and teachers warmed up to our group more and more each day as they rotated through our music, sports, bible stories/games, and arts and crafts. We bonded teaching them American camp songs and chants such as Boom-Chicka-Boom, and the Do-it cheer which we will have to demonstrate with the Kairos youth. We learned Haitian songs and dance moves as well. Thankfully this was the Repatriote campus’ first ever vacation bible school, so the bar was set really low but there was tons of laughter and sincere moments of sharing Gods love for one another that cannot be scheduled or lesson planned.
Painting was not a strong suit of the team, but with a little coaching and some positional changes from rolling to trim work, we made a vast improvement. We also discovered that bug spray with 98% proof DEET doubles as a quality paint and skin remover.
We visited two orphanages including one for children with special needs where we held and played with the children. A tour of the mountains overlooking Port-Au-Prince to the Baptist Mission showed us a beautiful and wealthy side of Haiti that is not often mentioned when describing the country.
We toured a new “factory” making medical scrubs called “The Little Haitian Factory” that was started by an anesthesiologist from California that employs five Haitians with hopes to provide a
path out of poverty for the few lucky enough to work there.
Bless you if you have read this far as there are other fun details about the trip and character descriptions of our travel companions that I would love to share but given that the lady who has been preaching and singing several blocks away (both extremely enthusiastically even though God did not bless her with the ability to carry much of a tune) from 7pm till now 11:00pm has called it a night I think I will do the same. (She really did save her best for the encore though, I think it just took her a little while to get warmed up in the heat here)
The joy of serving alongside the trip members, people we have met from churches around the country and the Haitians cannot be adequately described on this blog post. Hopefully the pictures we have sampled here and the stories and pics to follow from this and future trips will do this place and people some of the justice it deserves.
We are all extremely grateful to those who sent supplies, clothes, crafts, money, medicine, and prayers for this trip. Thank you for caring and for your time. God is very alive and well here!
As the Haitians say, “Merci Signor!” (Thank you God!).
After an early morning start in Atlanta and a layover in Miami we arrived in Port au Prince this afternoon. We slowly made our way our of the plane that seemed to be filled mostly with Haitians and humanitarian or mission type groups, and proceeded directly to pay a $10 tourist fee before checking through customs. After collecting our luggage we met Arnold and other staff, loaded up our luggage in one tap tap (form of Haitian transport), most people in another tap tap, and a few more in van to drive to the compound we are staying in. When we drove into the compound Haitian worship music greeted us, and it has continued through the evening as local people are preparing to go on a mission trip from the city into the countryside. Everyone has greeted us with a smile.
We are now sitting in a screened in roof top room. It is breezy, raining a little, and hot, but pleasant. We had a great dinner of rice, beans, chicken and salad. It is good to just hang out together. Tomorrow breakfast is at 630am, and then we will explore the area.
September 27, 2013
We made it to Haiti! After an early morning flight and noon arrival, we got settled in our home for the next few days at Haiti Outreach Ministries. We toured the campuses and walked through the neighborhoods around each. We are all so impressed by the work being done here and are excited to be here. Tomorrow, it’s off to paint classrooms at one of the schools. First day of class there is Wednesday so we’re up against a tight deadline :)
Pictures attached. It has been a long, full day and we’re now falling asleep to a thunderstorm and to a band in their fourth hour of practice (supposedly practice starts again at 530am!).
Thank you for your prayers and support!
September 28, 2013
September 30, 2013
We Are Back In Atlanta
We’re back home safe and sound after a truly amazing trip!! Haiti Outreach Ministries is doing a wonderful job serving their 4 communities. They provide clean water, education, medical care and most importantly a place to worship to the people in these communities. Their campuses are true community centers.