Friday, December 31, 2010
After passing out the boxes, we moved all of the children into the tent church. Here we passed out pillow case dresses, treat bags, and t-shirts. I walked up to this little boy, about 2 years old that had no clothes on, which was eating some crackers from his treat bag. He ate these crackers so fast that by the time I had gotten to him the crackers were gone. An older girl, Sonya, proceeded to open up his other bag of crackers. She took 2 of them and gave him the rest. I felt sorry for him. He was just standing there. No parents, no siblings, nobody specifically looking after him. He had nothing but the crackers. This may have been the only thing that he has eaten in a while. As we were getting ready to leave the leader of this “city” gathered all of the people he could around our truck. Our time here ended with Todd bringing the gospel to the people and saying a prayer while Robenson, our Haitian friend interpreted.
From here we went off to one of the poorest orphanages. We walked in and all of the children were sitting on these wooden benches. They started to sing a song about how they were so glad that we were there. We handed each of them silly bands, treat bags, and pillow case dresses.
All of the children joined us in a version of Father Abraham. They sang in Creole while we sang in English. After pictures of the beautiful girls, we were taken on a tour of this orphanage. There are about 20 children who live here. It is put together with some concrete block walls and tarps. There were 3 beds. We were told that most of the kids sleep on the ground on tarps. My heart was broken for them. As we were listening to the conversations between the woman and man who work here, I began to cry. The thought that keeps running through my mind is that we have a choice to make. Are we going to sit back, live our lives, and do nothing, OR are we going to stand up for justice and do something to help others?
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The rest of the team sorted clothes and shoes and sifted through the medical supplies here. Some even tore down a whole wall!! We definitely sweated today that's for sure! But this country is so beautiful that you can just tell God has made this land. You can feel His touch on everything. When we decided to let the village children from La Digue into the compound to play with us, tons of children came in! We played a game of soccer which was hilarious. They definitely are better at soccer than we are! But it was fun and I think both sides had a lot of fun!! There was a boy that I met a few days ago that has really impacted me named Leo Paul (that might be spelled right!). He just came up to me today and remembered my name and I had been helping him learn English and he just started talking to me. So amazing! I'm learning Creole and he's learning English! God is truly amazing and is working in this place in so many ways! Sometimes we can't tell how God is working in our lives because we don't see the big picture. But you can truly see God moving in this place and with these people. :)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We went to see and hang out with the kids in the village and what an experience that was. Words couldn't describe it. The kids love to hold your hand. We had 4 to 5 kids for every teammate.
I love kids. I have three of my own, so it's natural for me to be drawn to the kids here, but to see the kids that have nothing was heartbreaking. But man let me tell you they love to be loved on. Seeing that was a tearful moment for me. Another precious moment was when I saw a teammate, who is a physician's assistant, take care of a kid that had a cut on his head.
Next thing we know there were tons of kids with all kinds of cuts and scrapes lined up needing help. God's work is amazing and to personally see it in action was just plain great. I will be back to see the kids and help with God's mission to feed the kids and do the work needed around the village.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Our Haitian Director donated some inherited land to begin with the process of building a new orphanage. Along with another God driven group from California, and a team of Christian workers from Tennessee, and a dedicated group of Haitians, the wall was broken down that adjoined the Lifeline Barbancourt School yard and the land where the new orphanage is being built.
This ground breaking ceremony took place and soon after forms were built for the foundation of the orphanage. The work didn't stop there! The group continued on to pour yet another foundation for one of the buildings that is going to be the Administration building for the Orphanage. This will be only one of the many buildings that are going to be built on the compound. There will be others such as buildings for the food warehouse, the wash room, the facilities that will house the teams of people that will join efforts in God's amazing work to take care of some of God's very special children that He places with us in this orphanage. The children will be allowed to LIVE, GROW UP, LEARN, FURTHER GOD'S KINGDOM IN HAITI!
The Bible tells us "When God is for us, who can be against us." The hand of God Has been present and shown bright in ALL that has took place this week! So we will continue to give God the Glory in ALL that He does and His MANY BLESSINGS on His people and those who have chosen to serve Him to do His Will.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The day we arrived, we had a tour of the mission, then went to the village. I instantly fell in love with the people and all of the kids. They are the most beautiful people I have ever seen. They are so genuine and the joy in their smile is unforgettable. These people have so little, yet they are always willing to give more and help out in every way they can. As soon as there was a need and work was to be done, there was always a Haitian there ready to help. Everything we did was appreciated, even the smallest acts. My favorite part of every day, was watching the children go to school. When they stepped inside the gates in their adorable school uniforms, excitement would be on their faces, as they got ready to learn. It made me think of most Americans and how they view school. Every morning I wake up and complain, as I have to face another day of learning. However, with these people it is a privilege to go to school. In just one week I realized I need to trust God in whatever he asks from me and to not take for granted all that I have been blessed with. The people were so inspiring.
Leaving an experience like this is always the hardest part, especially after seeing so many needs that still need to be met. I did not want to leave those people and I wanted to spend everyday with those amazing kids. Even though it's been a few weeks, I have not lost the excitement of my experiences when I first arrived back from Haiti. I talk about it every time I get the chance, to anyone that will listen. I'm pretty sure I am annoying my family by my endless stories of Haiti. But I plan on going back as soon as it's possible; and this time, I hope it's much longer than one short week. I am graduating from high school this spring and I am not still not sure what God's plans are for me. I have a strong feeling it's going to do something involving missions, though. But I sure hope He wants me to go back to Haiti as much as I want to. (:
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Celestin is current President Rene Preval’s hand-picked successor in the November elections. He is only one of at least nineteen different candidates. The election will take place on November 28th. One of the biggest questions for the candidates seems to be, how will you handle the billions of dollars sent to Haiti for earthquake recovery? Haiti needs so much help and with the right president in office, it can turn around and be the country we all know it can be. Haiti can rise up and be better then it was before the disaster. Please join with us in praying for the next president of Haiti and that he works as a man of integrity.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
For many elderly men and women in this area, life is very difficult. They aren’t able to live off of social security, there are no nursing homes, there are no soup kitchens, there are no homeless shelters, there is nothing for them when they are in need. The only hope that the elderly have is that their kids or grandchildren can help them receive food, housing and help them provide for their other needs. A sweet man came to us this morning with a wounded thumb. The man didn’t grimace in pain once as his wound was cleaned and bandaged, but the entire time the man was shaking. We could tell the man was very hungry. He asked us if we were able to help him with some food because he had a son to die recently and he himself wasn’t able to work. We could see that the man obviously was in no way able to provide for himself so he was left to the mercy of any kind soul who would help him. Praise the Lord that we have Kids Against Hunger food. We were able to bless the man with some food to sustain him for awhile. We gave him a rice sack and packed it up with the KAH food. We are so grateful to have been blessed with this food so we can in turn give it to those who are in need. While Lifeline’s main target is to help take care of the children, this valuable food also goes to helping feed the elderly such as this man, the widows, and the disabled. What a blessing it is to be able to extend a hand to someone in such great need.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Today we were able to bless Lifeline’s high school students with love bundles. They were so happy to receive such a needed gift. Thank you so much to the kind people who have sent us love bundles. We appreciate them more then we can say! The love bundles Lifeline handed out today were separated by age and had all kinds of wonderful things in them such as a simple plan of salvation pamphlet in Haitian Creole, clothing items, hygienic essentials (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, and shampoo), brush, comb, towel, washcloth, school supplies, and a jar of peanut butter. To them, it was like an early Christmas. These kids are in such need for basic items such as these. We take these things for granted, but to these kids, they are of utmost importance. Love bundles are one great way for you to be a part of our ministry here in Haiti. It’s a great way to share the love of God with the people here. If you’d like to know more information on how you can help the people of Haiti by sending love bundles, please email us at email@example.com.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
This is the children in their school uniforms now that they’re able to attend school.
Today this is children and their mother coming to church (wearing their new clothes that the team from Ohio just left!)
What a difference their sponsor made in the lives of this poverty-stricken family. It’s a blessing for us to watch the transformation that takes place when a giving heart makes the wonderful decision to support and help a family such as this one. If you'd like to help change lives by sponsoring a child or an entire family, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Following that, we assembled the team and went to the first stop - Barbancourt School. A well kept property in a neighboring village owned and managed by Lifeline. We sorted the love bundles by age and gender and proceeded to distribute them to the youngest children first from preschool to 6th grade. The children were beautiful, dressed in their uniforms, they smiled and carried their packages while posing for a quick photo. Even the teachers and cooks received the love bundles. All were very thankful.
Our next visit was to a Tent Orphanage also supported by LifeLine. Up until May of this year the 32 orphans that lived there were living and sleeping in tents. Now several beautiful dorms are providing shelter and living conditions to these beautiful children. After a brief worship service we began our VBS program. We split-up the girls and boys and began crafts. Our team members either worked with the girls building colorful bracelets or the boys making necklaces. They all participated and appreciated their new gift. The team was then treated to a drama by a local youth troop that performed an awesome drama about the difficulties of life’s troubles and temptations to the backdrop of the song “Everything” by Lifehouse. It was awesome. After that we handed out candy to all the children and headed out.
Our last stop was for a little R&R after a very busy week; our destination was Wahoo Beach Club in the Northwest corner of the island. We had a great time snorkeling around beautiful coral reefs, colorful parrot fish, and even saw a few jellyfish. After snorkeling we had a great dinner of fresh seafood and did a little shopping from the beach vendors waiting like barracuda.
We had a wonderful day, a week of blessings that will last forever, and a desire to bless Lifeline and the Haitian people.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We were then off to VBS with the 2nd and 3rd graders. What a fun and uplifting experience it was to work with the kids. We taught them Jesus Loves Me with hand signs. It was awesome how quickly they learned and how excited they were to have us there. After the song Colleen taught them about how much God loves us all and how he makes us all unique. Then we helped them paint wood cut out hands with their thumbprint on them to show how they are each unique and made special by God. Another group taught the same lesson to the other class, but made little people out of paint stirrers, that were all different and unique just like the children.
We then headed over to the storage building, next to where the much needed new warehouse will be, to hand out love bundles. It was so wonderful to see their faces as we handed them out. During this time there were some kids from the village on the outside of the fence watching and they caught Pat’s eye so she had someone bring them around so we could give them love bundles also. That was really special, they were so grateful to have been included. Those sweet sad little faces staring at us from the other side of the fence became faces of joy. I really am struck by the hearts of those that run this place and how quickly needs are addressed and taken care of. Anytime anyone comes up to the house cut, scraped, burned, or bruised everything is dropped to take care of their needs, weather it be bandaging or a run to the hospital.
After lunch we went to a tent city near Titanyen to hand out beans and shoes. What a good feeling to know at least for a day or two these people would have food to eat.
Next came the shoes, everyone lined up and we fitted them individually at one of several stations. There is a tremendous need for school/closed toe shoes here, the kids are not allowed into school without proper attire, flip flops cannot be worn to school.
After we were finished at the tent city we headed back to the mission for dinner. After dinner, people were getting showered and relaxing and another two trucks of food showed up that needed to be unloaded right away. Crazy right, 6 trucks equaling 3 shipping containers in two days. But what a blessing to have a group here to help unload! Praise God, He is good, all the time!!!!! Bless Haiti and their wonderful people!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
-Chewie and Kendra
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
We have made benches for the past few days for the mountain people so we brought them up today. We hiked and someone else brought the benches up on the truck. We were hiking and a girl got sick. She decided to tough it out. She is a really good role model. We all prayed over her and she got better almost instantly. She was still feeling sick when we started again but better than before. It took us two hours to get up the mountain. We got to the school and had a devotional. We were praying over a girl and her family and I started feeling sick. They instantly started praying over me, I felt very loved and special, the color restored in my face and I felt a little better. God does wonders! The girl who was sick and I rode back down in the truck and instantly fell asleep. I woke up and built more benches. I felt A LOT better. We built benches and painted class rooms. Dinner was delicious! We had a ‘meeting’ time and Donald Jr. (the president of Lifeline) answered a lot of questions. Tomorrow is market day and we will also have Haitian food for dinner. It is so exciting! Haiti is an awesome place. You should come sometime!
Monday, November 8, 2010
They also did a Bible study with one of the classes at Lifeline’s school here in La Digue. They talked about how each one of the children was made special and how God loves them and they are to love each other. The kids had fun decorating crosses to remember to love one another the way Christ loves us.
This evening we all went to the Bercy Orphanage where the team spent some time playing with and loving on the kids. The kids had a blast playing with the new people.
Tomorrow we are all climbing up the mountain to Petit Bois to give them some of the benches that were built today. Climbing up the mountain is always a great experience and we’re looking forward to the trip tomorrow!
Sunday, November 7, 2010
When we got to the dam we were saddened to see that Hurricane Tomas had broken the dam. Dirty water was flowing through it with great force. It completely busted through the rebar. It was a strange sight to see.
But we are grateful that no one was injured when it happened. As this week goes on, pray for the team that is here that they have a great week and that God moves on their hearts. We’re looking forward with anticipation to see what God has in store for this week! If you’re interested in coming to Haiti on a short-term mission trip and have the experience of a lifetime, email us at email@example.com.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Due to the cold rains of Hurricane Tomas, nights have been abnormally cool for Haiti. On top of that, many of the homes here have leaks in their roofs and the rains have been pouring in at night getting people and their belongings wet. Thankfully we had some blankets that we were able to pass out to some of those in our village today. They were so grateful to receive them knowing they can now be comfortable at night and not spend the night lying awake shivering in the cold. Who would have thought that Haiti would be cold enough for blankets, but we are so grateful that we had them to pass out to those in our village who needed them for these chilly nights. Praise the Lord for blankets!
Friday, November 5, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
As the cholera epidemic continues on and the death tolls now are over three hundred, the people who live on our road can rest a little easier thanks to Samaritan’s Purse. They came in and installed a water purification system. It takes the water straight from the canal, purifies it and makes it safe to drink. What a blessing it is to drive past and see people filling up their water jugs knowing that they are drinking safe water!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Only God knows what these little boys have experienced throughout their young lives. Praise God that He gives us eyes to see and a heart to listen to that still small voice when He speaks to us, because although I helped them, it was such a blessing to me to see the difference a few minutes can make for a little child. Thank You Lord!!!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
came to Lifeline this morning looking as proud as they could be for their first day of school. They will both be in the third grade, something hard to imagine in the United States. We know they're grateful for a new chance at education and they're going to make the best of it. We're so blessed with a great school and wonderful staff to help educate Haiti's children and adults alike.