Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Powerful things Happening

Thanks again for a great week. We were all changed. I'm still praying for your family's future. I know God will use you well. 
For all 21 of us, it was our first time to Haiti. For some, it was the first time out of the United States. Others had been on a variety of international trips and experienced various cultures. Our training attempted to prepare us for what we were to experience. But learning about poverty through text and video is no substitute for experiencing it.
We came to Haiti to minister to orphans. We planned on teaching them about the armor of God - especially the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit. We brought jump ropes, soccer balls, coloring pages and other toys and games. We also brought water-purifying units to give to those without clean water. We got to do so much more.
I could tell right away that this trip would be much more than what we planned. We got a tour of La Digue right away, experiencing the everyday lives of the Haitian people. The children welcomed us with open arms, wanting to hold us and know our names. The plan was to ease into the culture and get acclimated to our task…then the trucks came. Four big trucks pulled into the Lifeline compound, loaded with unique care full of Kids Against Hunger meals, love bundles and other aide sent from the States. It was rigorous work helping the local staff unload the cargo. We were amazed to see the storehouse fill up.
On Monday we witnessed where all this food would go. At the feeding site we visited hundreds of hungry boys and girls who ate=[ what was probably their only meal since the feeding the Friday before. Dishes were washed as children finished then refilled and handed out to other hungry little ones. Our girls witnessed this daily as they painted the classrooms on that site.
The boys were given a different task. The playset on the Lifeline campus was deemed unsafe to play on. We were asked if we might be able to reinforce it so it could be used again. After looking it over and discussing it a few times, we decided it was not practical. Given the go ahead, we ordered some supplies. God in his wisdom provided just what we needed, even the things we didn’t request. It seemed like we had just enough time and supplies to put together a playset worthy of replacing the old one.
A couple of our women also experienced the medical clinic and widow ministry – both very valuable and powerful ministries. We take simple cuts/lesions for granted in the United States. In Haiti, they can be life-threatening - if for no other reason than the difficulty of keeping them clean. 
It was awesome to see God work through our team. High Schoolers stepped up to present the gospel using evangicubes, Jesus bracelets and large-group talks. Each one was unique as they allowed God to speak through their own personality and experiences.
The pastors we partnered with were elated to have a device to purify water for their children. They shared with us their remaining major needs: having food to give their children and money to pay the teachers. Education is valuable in Haiti. Those who can afford it get to learn. The rest survive other ways.
Of course, we got to experience much of the culture: dangerous bus rides, mountain hikes, market, bartering, tarantulas, rats, lizards and other creepers, delicious food, beach time, grilled goat and warm friendships. We were encouraged by the Lifeline staff and other mission teams. God is doing some powerful things in the lives of the people here. 

Thanks again, 
Andrew Wiese