Thursday, April 28, 2011


22 days ago a pair of twins was born to a mother in our village, one boy and one girl. When they were born, they could not drink milk from a bottle because their mouths were so tiny. We went to visit them to offer more formula to the mother. What a blessing it was to see these small children again and see them growing. They are still small, but the mother said they are eating well. We are so thankful to the people back in the states that make donations to us such as formula and baby supplies! It really can make such a big difference here because of lack of nutrients in the mother’s milk.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 4 of our trip and what a day!

Day 4 in Haiti with team PA and Delaware…at first I was an “outsider” to the team but  the group has welcomed me as one of their own.   By an outsider, I mean that I am from Illinois and the rest of the group is from the east coast.  However, I could not think of a better group of people to be in Haiti with and will forever be thankful for the opportunity I have been given by this group.  Lifeline is loosing a short term missionary tomorrow…she has been here for a month…Stacey, and after 4 days she has become a sister to me and feel that her absence will be hard to swallow. 

Among the activities of day 4, the team started off with gathering all the kids enrolled in kids club at Lifeline.  We told them that they were a treasure to Jesus and we handed out bookmarks with the pennies taped to them.  After the lesson, one row at a time every kid was given a pair of shoes collected by the team members prior to the trip.  Some smiles, some high fives, and some were just silent but thankful. 

As some team members stayed at Lifeline to distribute shoes to the kids, others went to one of the schools near by to complete child updates for kid sponsors. This consisted of taking pictures of each child and gathering stats to see how they have grown from the last update. During this time, inside the school there were sounds of children laughing, hands clapping and God’s Word being spoken. It’s amazing how the attention of 40+ Haitian children can be captured and held by the stories of Jesus Christ! After singing numerous songs, evangelizing, and connecting on a level never sought by many before, the team regrouped at Lifeline HQ. 

The team, all four missionaries, and Robenson went to Wahoo Bay, which is a beach / resort and was able to snorkel, watch an amazing sunset, and eat amazing food!  On our way back to Lifeline however…when in Haiti…just roll with it! Two miles from our arrival back at Lifeline; we pulled up on a wedding processional, which consisted of 15+ motorcycles, people dressed up in colorful outfits, and the newlyweds.   Horns were honking, people were lining the side of the streets to greet the new couple as they headed to the reception…simply amazing that we had a chance to see that tradition.   

The last event of the night was a group walk to the glowing cross.   The group was met by one of the local boys that had a cut and needed bandaged so he joined us as well. As the group sat at the cross and looked at the lights of Port-au-Prince, the stars, and glowing cross, a silence grew over us and the music from the wedding reception grew louder.  The nightly devotion was focused around Hebrews 11… faith and what it means / how it has affected us.   It was even cooler that Pastor Benis, a Haitian missionary, who was spending the night with us, sat in on our devotion, what a great chance for us yet again to encourage and be encouraged by our Haitian brothers and sisters.   Really…how awesome is God, putting them and us here on the same week and getting to sit down and talk about God with each other? Individuals shared stories of faith and each one of us would listen and respond with amazement. 

The ending to a long, eventful day came swift as we run to showers and to beds ready to wake up and just open our hearts to God and his will first thing in the morning.  I am so thankful that God wanted me to be here with this group at this time. Perhaps we will return to Haiti again (hopefully!), however words cannot describe how today’s events unrolled and what God wanted us to take from each encounter. Smelling of salt water and sweat, this Christian is headed for the shower and short sleep only to awake again tomorrow and tell others how great our God is and why!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Haiti Adventure Continues!

 Today the adventure in Haiti continued. We started by fixing and painting pew benches at a local church. Afterwards we drove to the local market in central Archahaie to buy song-books for the pastor here at Lifeline and tour the market itself. The sights, sounds, and, yes, smells, of the market were indescribable. The market, only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, is made up of a maze of tarp-covered plots with locals selling all types of goods right on the ground. This market is not a place for tourists and there were no souvenirs to be found; rather this is where locals shop for food and supplies, so the vibrancy and pandemonium we saw are genuinely and distinctly Haitian. We walked through the market and toured a charcoal market that lay next to a small port. The coastline is filled with empty conch shells and small fishing boats that bob gently in the surf. The market stands out in my mind as a true slice-of-life picture of Haiti.

    With song-books in hand we returned to the Lifeline compound for Bryan and Bill to host a soccer game with local children. We also took time to sort the 19 or so suitcases full of shoes and clothes we brought to Haiti. Sorting the shoes and clothes today prepared us to give away shoes tomorrow to the Kid’s Club, a group of local school children who attend the church here. 

During the soccer game, it began raining and for the first time we saw a real Haitian rainstorm, brief but intense. Unfortunately, the soccer game was rained out and Bryan and Bill did not get their chance to preach to the children, but regardless they were effective in building relationships with the children and sharing God’s love. Meanwhile, a delicious Haitian dinner was being prepared for us, featuring chicken; goat; rice and beans; fresh mango and fresh pineapple; piccole (habanero coleslaw); plantains; corn and pea salad; and pasta salad. The taste of this meal was indescribable. While Haitians do not eat as much of the food as we had and not all of those dishes together in one meal, we had a great sample of local cuisine. Believe it or not, Haitians love pasta salad.
    As is our nightly tradition on this trip, we shared thoughts on the day and meditated on God’s Word. I mentioned how our time in Haiti feels like going back in time, and I speculated that what we’re experiencing must have been similar to the Apostles experience walking through the ancient world on their missions, who also dealt with dusty feet and oppressive heat, beholding the sights and sounds of local markets. Stories in the Book of Acts have come to life so much more now that I’ve been in Haiti. Then I spoke of Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 12 and its implications for us to the Jesus’ Great Commission, specifically with making disciples of all nations. We discussed how the body of Christian believers is made up of many members, each with different gifts and callings, and how we are each indispensable and interdependent in carrying out the Great Commission, being only as strong as our weakest member. Thus, as believers we are not only called to evangelize throughout the world (finding believers) but to teach and strengthen each and every one of those believers (growing disciples). Our mission team is a picture of the diverse body of Christ in that we each bring unique skills and talents with us as we work together for Christ’s glory in Haiti, and God has so richly blessed us.
    I can’t wait to see what our mission in Haiti will hold for tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Tickets" for the Kingdom!

The team handed out a lot of “tickets” today. Tickets of seeds for the kingdom, such as Christine’s taking care of an older man’s injured foot, and his big grin of happiness and thumbs up as he left the porch with a bandaged foot. Or the enthusiastic singing and skits provided by Bryan, Madison and Stephen as the children had the biggest smiles of joy and anticipation for what was coming next in the skit. 

The vehicle of sports, especially through soccer, with the older boys in sharing the gospel at the end of the game talks. Jaco, working with Logan from Lifeline Orphanage to get our blown out tires (you would understand how vital this is if you saw the roads) up and running to get us to various schools and orphanages. The week is going too fast, but we trust more than anything else that sharing the gospel through the relationships we have developed will eventually bring others to know the Lord someday!    

Bill Geating

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Full day of Activities

Today was our first full day in Haiti. We started the morning at 7:00 with breakfast and a quick overview of what we were going to do for the day. We started going for a tour of the compound and saw many cool things. The cross, the children’s watermelon patch/ corn patch, the soccer field, the clinic, and the place were the women learn to sew. 

After that we went to go see where the compound gets their water. It was called the dam and was not expecting for children to swarm like they did. I was told they would surround you at the tent city but not so near the compound. Well the kids all found someone to latch on to and we started to walk to the dam. We saw many things that were in the culture, a Voodoo house being one of them. We made it there and back fine and then had lunch. After lunch, our team with a couple of interrupters headed off to a tent city. We had a schedule planned out and we stuck to it pretty well. Bill started off with a felt story and Jaco, Bryan and Steph did a “Chair Skit.” They got a lot of laughs and Bryan broke off into a testimony. After that Bill finished off with an evangecube and another felt story. We handed out a couple of supplies before we felt that it was time to go. 

After we left, we were within 2 miles of the compound and the bus we were traveling in got a flat tire. We spent the time waiting for another vehicle to get us in one of the best times of the day. We broke out felt boards and the “cube” to spread the Word of God. We had a lot of small children close and teens further and the parents on a canal wall just watching us evangelize. The emergency vehicle came and we all climbed in to go back to the compound. We got back and as soon as we did, Bill and Bryan hurried to the sport courts to play a game of soccer and basketball. They used the end game to speak to the children and just spread the good news. We ended with dinner and some devotions. We are very much looking forward to the next couple of days and the experiences that God will put in front of me (Jaco) and the Tea

Monday, April 18, 2011

The adventure of missions!

While I have been a Christian for the past 8 years, today was my first experience on a mission trip in a foreign country. We started the day with a 3am wake up call followed by a 3 hour drive to JFK airport in New York. After a 2 hour delay and a 4 hour plane ride we arrived in Haiti. From the air peaking over the wing over the plane I noticed what a beautiful country Haiti was and I remember being very eager to see what it would be like. I went into the trip with no expectations excited to see how God would use the team. Our group of 10 were all very excited to get started.

The plane was packed with Haitians and we were pleased the plane landed safely after a shaky wheel landing. The plane applauded the landing and we were finally on the ground. The next half an hour was filled with a lot of adventure. The original airport had cracks on every wall. We took a bus to a different terminal where we scavenged for our luggage among the crowd. It was more like a freefall than a baggage claim. When we realized we were on our own and got the hang of it we pulled together as a team and managed to find all of our 23 bags filled with shoes and clothes to give to the kids. We left the airport and walked outside to be greeted by many airport workers looking to help us with our bags for a fee. It was a bit overwhelming but made it to our bus. I was very thankful for Lifeline’s support and guidance through the airport. It was interesting to see many Haitians outside the fence reaching out with their hands for American money as they shouted “We love America.”

The bus ride to the complex was the best amusement ride I have been on my entire life. I closed my eyes and was fearful on a number of occasions as cars wizzed by us on the left and right. I thought twice we will head on collide with opposing traffic. The main road built by the Domincan Republic was excellent while the rest were the bumpiest and narrowest roads I have ever seen. On the way we saw a lot of poverty. I was not expecting to see so much poverty. I saw trash everywhere and people living in tents. I saw kids and adults bathing in the canal on the side of the road and cows and goats crossing roads as if it were apart of every day life. It hurt to see such a beautiful country in such a mess. They aren't doing anything with their trash and live in the worst possible situations I can think of. It was overwhelming.

When we arrived at the complex I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was and how it was the center of the village. There were kids hanging around coming out of church and even some challenged us to basketball. I couldn’t believe how quickly I felt at home and was enjoying my time here. We had a great home cooked meal and had a great devotional time to get us focused for the week ahead.

I am most looking forward to the soccer games this week where I will have the opportunity to give a halftime message. I am looking forward to seeing how the Haitians live and hopefully sharing the love of Jesus with them. 

Short term team member,

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Great Day at Lifeline!

Today, we had a great day!  2 trucks were full of rice and beans! They arrived around 6:00. It's a wonderful sound when the trucks come rolling into Lifeline’s back yard!! Ten workers helped us unpack the 50 lbs. bags of beans and rice! Such hard workers!! We were waiting for the rice and the beans to show up so we can hand out to the village people. God is so good to us and to the village! He makes that we are provided with food! He will never take His sight from you! That is really comforting to know that He is watching out for you and that He is taking care of us! He loves us all!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Planting a Seed

It took me back to my own boyhood. As the 8 boys came through the gate with their tools, ready for a “man sized” day of work I remembered the feelings of years past. These boys had wrapped tape or bandages around old machetes, to make handles. Most seemed to be old and broken tools borrowed from their fathers; they also had two picks with them. They waited in line for a man to sharpen their tools on Lifeline’s electric grinder. I could not understand the language but I know well the excitement of being with your friends and telling each other, “we will work really hard, and every day, and this will be the best garden ever!”
However before starting on the melon garden they planted some banana trees and put up a “living fence.” (A plant that seems to be of the milkweed family, called “Chandalee” in Creole) This barrier of protection from goats is supplemented by the boy’s watchful eye. They have already caught one goat and returned him (with stern warning) to his owner.
The hope is, by the end of the summer the boys will have their own watermelon to eat as well as profit from the sale of the extra fruit.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Love and Family

This week in Haiti has been an eye opening and amazing experience for everyone. It is amazing how close you can feel to people you don't know through a third world country mission trip. Everyone here has been blessed by each other’s presence and that of the Haitian people. These people can teach us so much if we would allow them. I have learned personally how in shape these people have to be to walk and go where they do. These people are the most influential people I've ever met. We all have different perspectives on this trip but it all comes out the same- God loves us and we are all a part of the family of God no matter how bad the conditions or where you’re at you’re never alone.

-Tori Monnett

Monday, April 4, 2011

Child Updates

Monday April 4th The mission team started the day at the top of mountain for a review of the previous day. We discussed what our perception of the area and the people we had encountered. Everyone agreed that the children were such an inspiration to us all. They were all well behaved and did not complain even though they lived in a very desperate land.
To begin our day of work a large group loaded on the truck to visit a school, while a few stayed behind to work on the compound. The truck that we traveled in was the same truck that picked us up at the airport. The truck is covered with metal and has benches on each side. There were about 15 people in this group. When we got to the school we set up stations. The first station checked children in, weighed them, measured their height, and wrote down information about their home and family. The next stationed took their picture. The last station was the medical station. We checked in around 200 elementary students. It was a hard, hot day (average temp around 94) but we all felt good at the end of the day because these children now will be able to have sponsors who can assure that they will have food and medical care.
After the school we returned to the mission for a short break of solar baked fresh was great! Next each of us began various chores cleaning rooms at the mission and tending to sick children who were waiting for the nurses when we returned. Our host couple --Kendra and Chewie are wonderful people and each evening Kendra has a wonderful meal planned. Dinner time and it's Mexican ...yum.

Evelyn Neely

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fire, Turkey, and Sign Language

Today was an amazing experience. God has really opened up my eyes to be much more thankful for the things that He has blessed me with in life. I had a lot of funny experiences also. I was the "trash man" and got to burn trash in Lifeline's fire pit. I didn’t know that there was an aerosol can in one of the bags so I’m with a member of the team trying to revive a dead turkey when we hear a boom and see a small mushroom cloud appear. The fire apparently hit the can and it exploded. I went to kids club today with Evelyn and we had a blast. We taught the kids ‘Jesus loves me’ in sign language and they sang it the rest of the day. Church this morning was an experience. I had one kid asleep in my lap and there were two other kids there with me. I loved it!

Dustin Bowen

Expecting the Unexpected

As a Christian going on a mission field most of the time other Christians who have experience doing mission work will tell you to expect the unexpected. Also, the mission field is anywhere you are. This includes the travel time to and from the mission field. A lot of times it’s easy to relax from listening intently to what the Lord is calling me to do in the moments of my travels to and from the mission trip location because I’m focusing so much on what we will do once on the ground in a foreign land or what I need to do when I get back home.

Today was a great example for me of how Christ can work through people for his glory even in the transition to the mission field. I sat down on the airplane today for our connecting flight from Atlanta to Miami. I was sitting by a young adult named Michael, and began to talk with him about himself and his mission trip to Honduras he was heading to. Some ways into the flight he asked me where the barf bags were and as I went to pull out the one in front of me, a fountain of vomit began pouring from his mouth and nostrils. It ended up all over him with some of it ending up on me and my possessions. Instead of freaking out, the Lord gave me peace in the moment to be able to properly handle the situation with more compassion than I could ever have had on my own. He was very embarrassed afterwards, but the Lord prompted me to write out a letter of encouragement to give to him before the flight landed. I gave it to him and after we got off the flight we kept running back into him and his parents on our layover in Miami. He told me he had read the letter, thanked me for it, and his embarrassment had now faded to eye contact and smiles.

I know it seems like such a small thing but the devil uses embarrassing situations like that to try to destroy your confidence in Christ. Without proper encouragement, you could feel defeated the rest of trip before it starts and really miss God using you in such mighty ways.

I just want to praise God for that opportunity and the peace and compassion to carry out what he called me to in that situation.

Mark Newlin

Friday, April 1, 2011

Helping the people of Haiti

In America, most people have jobs and get a regular paycheck. That money is then used to buy groceries, clothes, etc.

In Haiti, a lot of the people don’t have jobs at all. It’s hard for them to get a job because of the economic conditions. God has blessed Children’s International Lifeline with the means to provide several jobs to the Haitian people.

One of the men from our village came to the mission asking for food. He said that he had no money for him and his three boys. The man was willing to work for the food, so he came the next day to our compound and worked a full day to get the food he needed! It was so exciting to see his face when he received the food!! He was so happy and thankful!!

Stace Jarvis