Haiti Post for Thursday and Friday

August 1, 2014 4:28 pm : HAITI

Thursday 7/31:

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.

 

Friday 8/1:

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!).

 

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Haiti Blog Post 7/25

July 26, 2014 8:31 pm : HAITI

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.


Welcome to our Haiti Blog!

September 16, 2013 12:55 pm : HAITI

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!
Haiti Team

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September 28, 2013

Greetings from our second day in Haiti!  Yesterday was a whirlwind day spent traveling and visiting Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM) sites in Terra Noire, Repatriate and Cite Soleil.  Besides a few speed bumps (lost luggage!), it was a great day meeting ministry staff and looking around.  Our night was topped with a great dinner with the staff, pre-storm sunset and a cool evening.  A highlight was speaking to Madame Sterling, the compound’s chef and sewing instructor, about her work with the vocational school and how important it is for the women involved.
Today, after an early start, we loaded into tap-taps and drove 30 minutes to HOM’s Ibo Beach school and church.   The school was badly in need of new paint, and with the help of lots of teenagers who attend the church, we’re probably a day ahead of schedule.  We were all so impressed with the kids’ hards work, enthusiasm and willingness to help get the job done.  We plan on going back on Monday and Tuesday for second coats, and plan on having the school ready for the first day of school on

Wednesday.
Church tomorrow, then some sightseeing. In the meantime, here are some pictures…
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September 30, 2013

Sunday morning we got the opportunity to visit 2 different HOM churches. We started out at our campus, terra noire, at 730am and enjoyed an hour and 20 minutes of spirited worship music. They welcomed us with open arms and even invited brother Jim ditzel to say a few words. We made it to the citi soleil church just in time to hear pastor prophait preach.  Our two wonderful translators were extremely helpful and we were so thankful they were willing to spend their worship time helping us.
That afternoon, we loaded into the tap tap and spent the afternoon exploring port au prince. Driving in haiti is definitely an experience and we certainly got our fill yesterday. The overlook was a highlight as it provided a breathtaking view of the city.
Today it was back to work as we headed out to ibo beach in order to put on our second coat of paint. We quickly powered through the ceilings and the walls, with the help of our new haitian friends, and were able to paint a few unplanned items such as the front and the doors of the school. We were so thankful to have so many people helping us with our project and couldn’t have done it without the local support.
Tomorrow is our last full day and we are looking forward to meeting the kids we sponsor at the citi soleil school and visiting the orphanage.

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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.

Tuesday we finished up our school painting project by cleaning and getting the school ready for its first day. School was actually pushed back 1 day so that we could have the project finished before the children started. It was great to see what a difference a few coats of paint can make. We’ve included a few before and after pictures and although they don’t quite do it justice we can tell you it looks MUCH better!  It was an honor to work along side Pastor Balthazar and several others from the community of Ibo Beach to improve the appearance of their school & church.
We were also able to visit the class of 32 students Kairos sponsors at the Cite Soleil School.  It was the first day of school ever for them as they are all 2-3 years old. Needless to say it this was a big day!  We look forward to continuing to visit them throughout the years and getting to watch them grow & learn. Later in the afternoon got to visit the orphanage Leon’s daughter runs in Terra Noire. These girls were born into bad situations and have come to this home to live. They attend the Terra Noire school and it’s apparent they are quickly learning and growing. They are such a sweet group of girls.  It’s was so fun to get to play and read with them even for a brief time!
Overall this trip was both amazing and amazingly hard.  The depth of suffering and poverty was mind blowing. It’s almost daunting to know where to begin to help a country that has faced so much adversity and tragedy for over 500 years. While hard to see and process the conditions there was an ever present hope in all the people we met.  It was made clear that hope doesn’t come from this world.  True happiness and joy come from our heavenly Father not the earthly things we often place our hope in. No matter where we are in the world or what situation we maybe facing if we are living in the Spirit, fruits of the Spirit will be produced.
We were all so blessed by our short time in Port Au Prince. To say the least we became a family of sorts while there. If you really want to get to know someone, go on a mission trip with them!
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