Here we are, day 6 already. What a blessing Haiti has been to our team and our souls. We each have grown a little closer to God, each other and understand ourselves a little more. Each day is different and never goes as planned...but each day brings new blessings and a deeper appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Haiti is full of Satan. Evil is prevalent here. A lady from the Surrey Team said it very well when she said, " It is easier in Haiti to see the distinction between God and evil. Back home it is harder to see and is more complicated. It is almost refreshing." As I reflect on that, I see that the faith here is a lot more prominent than what we see at home. The average Christian in Haiti only has hope in God, nothing else...nothing. In Canada, we have hope in all sorts of things; tomorrow, money, skill, routine, friends, church, government...lots of things. It is so easy for us to get caught up in the world and miss out on God.
That is what we do, we miss Him because our hope and faith is in what we can do. Wade, our host, said there was a pastor who preached a sermon He would never forget. He said to the Haitian people that since they now have more than one meal a day they are losing their faith in God. That is a bit of a sobering thought. I ask the question to myself, "Ho much does God matter to me?"
Many of us worked on the church again today. We almost finished the floor, and have been working with two Haitian men named Pastor and another named Mackenzie. We are close to done, but ran out of material again! We are hoping to repair the roof, but the material that came is all sorts of wrong! So we plan other things.
Greg was able to help figure out, best he could, the issues they are having with their electrical supply wire from the generator to the house we stay in. He did a great job and would love to get behind the controls of a machine that could put the new wire in...though there is no machine available and the wire is long from here/paid for/known about for more than a day.
Kim was by herself at the Children's Village Duplex scrubbing duct tape off the tile floor, and doing touch up paint. Though she was alone, she says she was able to send lots of time with God! Cam was working on the church here at Haiti Arise, but pray for him because he has a lot of pain in his back, neck and hips.
Ungers seem to be doing great. The kids are loving it here. Caleb plays much of the day with the other kids on the compound, Benjamin works hauling concrete, digging and getting tools, Abby has been painting and playing as well, and Daniel is our transit man, measuring the heights of the floor in the church wile hauling (more) concrete (than his brother).
We did visitation this afternoon in the neighborhood. It was a blessing to be a blessing. We visited 4 families. Each of us took a turn to share a bit of our stories one at a time and pray for them. We saw some things we will likely never forget there.
This evening we spent time listening to Marc and Lisa's story of Haiti Arise. They spoke about where Haiti was and is now as a result of the work God is doing through Haiti Arise. It was very encouraging to hear what God has done and to see the fruit of His work here in Haiti.
God bless you all and encourage others to read our blog. Comment with encouragements after reading. Thanks for your prayers.
Bloggers: Dennis and Luke
The Lord is so good! Today we started off with our rooftop morning routine with worship and a devotional brought to us by Roxanna. We reflected on the powerful work the Lord did in the hospital last night. As Yolanda shared last night, we went from ward to ward singing the Gospel and praying over the patients. As we went throughout the facility, we ran out of the money that we had on hand… but we knew that God wanted us to continue to provide for those in desperate need. Leah, the wonderful Haitian pharmacist that went a long with us, took note of all the prescriptions and procedures that were still needed. She added up the expenses and thanks to your great generosity we were able to provide $1700 which allowed each person in the hospital to get help! The Lord so faithfully provided and we are humbled to have been able to be his hands and feet in that hospital last night.
Today the team was able to change up the school painting routine with tan paint instead of white. It’s been great seeing the progress being made.
The duplex that Scott and I (Luke) were working on is just about complete! We’ve got all the bedroom and living room furniture made and now the two of us are building matching dining benches to the already made table. It looks fantastic.
Soon and very soon the walls, rooms and items we’ve been singing and praying over will be overrun with laughter, joy and hope as children and families come and inhabit the space we’re preparing. God has truly blessed us to be able to sow into this ministry here and the work we’ve been doing will bless many for years to come.
Love you all, we covet your prayers.
What can I say, it’s been two years since my first trip to this wonderful island of Haiti. The people, culture, texture, food and warmth of the people here is still just as I remember…however my endurance has lost its punch.
We have a great group this time, all supporting each other from the rushed time in the Vegas Airport and God coming through as he has throughout this trip, to the blessing we could give at the hospital.
It’s not that Satan wasn’t trying, it’s just the group wasn’t listening to his promptings. It’s been harder on me to take the heat, not doing well… I’d appreciate prayer for energy and functionality. God is good in all this mild confusion.
-Continue to pray that we get the rest needed to get up and at em in the mornings.
- Tomorrow we do our community visitations, pray for our time ministering to the surrounding village.
What was accomplished:
-Scott & Luke began building dining room furniture
-Majority of the team got started on the tan colour of paint at the school
-Prayer item: Community Visitations tomorrow morning
We woke to another bright and beautiful day here is Grand Goave Haiti. We started with our team devotions on the roof as the sun rose above the trees. After breakfast our team split up and went to work. Greg, Rob, Jordan, Benjamin, Daniel and Cam headed over the church to continued our repair of their rotting floor, we poured the remaining footings, jacked up the roof posts and set up temporary supports for them. Kim, Diana and Abbey headed to the childrens village where they continued to clean up and do touch up painting in the 2nd childrens duplex prepping it for a new set of house parents to move in and take children. After lunch the men headed back out to the church where we got the remaining cement blocks installed on the pilings and began to repair floor joists and sheeting the floor. The women headed back to childrens village where they went to work on painting the brand new school. Today was the hottest day that we have had since arriving. After supper, we cleaned up and got ready for church. Tonight is the prayer meeting at the church. Their prayer meeting goes a little different than ours, haha. Their prayer is everyone praying at the same time, out loud and walking the aisle. You cannot mistake their passion, they pray like their lives depend on it, because it does.
While the rest of the team was at the prayer meeting, their fearless leaders, last minute decided to head over to the childrens Village with Marc and LIsa to watch a beautiful 3 month old boy, named Johnny, being accepted into one of the children's village home.
What to say about this experience. I felt so honored to be able to see Marc and Lisa's dream in progress. It was so wonderful to see these homes that so full of life. Homes that we have spent 4 years working on getting it ready for a family to live in.
so we sat there as the house mom was brought to the house, because she had left to go to church. while we waited we watched the 3 children in the house, and the joy In their eyes. Marc calls himself Grandpa to these kids, and gave lots of hugs and kisses to all of them.
when the mother arrive she instantly took the baby from the lady who had been caring Johnny. She instantly took the baby and stripped him and down and looked over his entire body, to see the baby's health condition. then she fed him. and then the mother and the caregiver gave him a bath. After a bath, the mother put lotion over the babies entire body. Baby was then warped upand we all then stood around and prayed for this little one, prayed that satan would not have a hold on his life, that he is God's child, and prayed for protection over all the children's village. Then the caregiver kissed the baby's head, and then headed to leave, as she reached the door she started to cry. It took everything in me not to follow after her and giver her a hug. she has cared for Johnny for 3 months, when his mother had not taken care of him.
After watching the kids laugh and play around the living room, we headed back to the campus, just in time to see everyone getting out of church.
After we sat under the mango tree, and shared some good stores and lots of laughs. Now we are on the porch just talking about our time here and our plans for what we want to accomplish before we leave.
We are all very much enjoying our time, and Enjoying what God is showing us and teaching us, and seeing how He is working all around us!
Cam and Kim
Today was a very eventful day.
At 9:00am, almost the whole team headed for the new school house to do a “massive” team paint job. It is amazing how much can be done when many hands get together and work with a common goal, enthusiasm, and great singing accompaniment.
After lunch, Wade spoke with our team to talk about the upcoming visit to the hospital. It was important to prepare us for what we might see and experience. Hospitals in Haiti are not at all like the hospitals we are familiar with. Wade said that in Haiti, most people will say there are two places you don’t want to spend any time at… the prison and the hospital.
At 3:15, we piled into the Haiti Arise van and headed for Petit Goave. Yippee… individual air conditioning vents for every seat in the van. The road to hospital was an experience! Many transport trucks, tap taps (passenger trucks), motor cycles and buses—all trying to climb up and over the hill that lead to our destination. It is best not too look too closely when you are a passenger because you have no control as the driver swerves in an out, passing on curves and cutting off others trying to pass us! Quite a trip.
The hospital was really something. In all honesty, it was cleaner and better organized than we anticipated but still was impactful. We headed to the ER building first. It must have felt strange for the patients when all these white folks from Canada walked in. We were fortunate to have Leah with us. She is a Haitian pharmacist who works at the Haiti Arise medical clinic. We also had Ron, Wade and a Haitian doctor on our tour. They all speak Creole. I was struck by how vulnerable these patients were to let us be present and to share their medical situation with us. This would never happen in Canada. We then all sang Jesus Loves You (Me) and then prayed aloud Haitian style. That means, we all prayed at the same time. It was such an honour to pray for these people’s specific medical difficulties. They were so gracious to us.
We also handed out the 100+ hygiene packages to all the patients. Each package included some soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and a face cloth. A team of industrious Abbotsford women had made lovely cloth bags from colourful material that we used for these kits. Thank you ladies… the children in pediatrics were so pleased to have their own colourful cloth bag.
The maternity and pediatric unit were especially gut wrenching. We met a mom with her newly born twin babies… so adorable although quite under weight. And another mom who delivered her baby last night. The baby was born 2 months too early and weighed 1kg. So very tiny and it is still touch and go whether the baby will live. In Haiti there are no high tech bassinettes for these little ones. The mom was not able to pay for the oxygen to keep her baby alive. Your generous gifts made it possible to pay for all the oxygen that little babe will need.
There was a little boy who was probably a year and half old, but looked like he was only 7 months old. Very lethargic and undernourished. His mom had died and the young girl who was holding him found him all by himself and took him to the hospital. She was holding him and feeding him with an eye dropper. We are hoping that tomorrow we can go back to the hospital and pick up that little boy to come live at Haiti Arise. Marc and his team are working to make the arrangements to bring him home here.
So much more could be said. We were so blessed and humbled to be the hands and feet of Jesus today in the hospital. Singing Jesus Loves You to all the different wards and being able to pray for everyone was a joy. And all the Haitians, patients and family alike, were so gracious and welcoming. Your many gifts were used today to help buy medicine, lab tests, and food; Haitians in dire need were directly and tangibly blessed by you. We trust that God will do more than we could ever imagine with those gifts.
Bev and all of the team wish a happy 90th birthday today to Agnes Friesen. We were thinking of you today Agnes!
On the roof top - we start and end our day from here.
Surrey Alliance Church: Wednesday
Blogger: Roxana Forliti
Today was our third day at Haiti Arise Ministries.
After our early wake-up, breakfast and devotional routine, some of us headed to continue with painting of the new school building again: Yolanda, Mariam, Bev, Grant, Pastor Byron and me. There in the second floor of this school we could feel some breeze while applying the primer to walls and ceiling.
Morning was quiet except for the sounds of roosters, crickets, and the occasional loud teacher’s and students voice.
Downstairs there were classrooms and students doing their regular school day.
After a short break I went to the duplex house that will soon be occupied by house parents and their children.
I found myself thinking a lot about this family and praying for them while I was doing the touch ups of one of the rooms that will soon be used by them.
The cabinets and tile were going to be re-built for better. Scott and Luke were in charge of taking off the ones installed to allow the new ones.
We are now getting used to the walk from the main compound to the Children’s village where the new school building, the one we are painting, is located.
It was a big joy to see some of the friendly and smiling faces of three girls that recognized Robin and Luke yesterday, after not seeing them for so long.
I was feeling discouraged to not be able to communicate with kids and Haitian people in general yesterday.
TodayI talked to some girls and through them I met a boy who can speak some Spanish and that really made my day meaningful. Eventually I met the boy, We talked for a while, and as we said “bye-bye” “nos vemos despues” and “mucho gusto en conocerte!” We hugged and right in that moment I felt the prescence of the Lord alive! Best part of my day.
Now the Spanish version.
Ahora la Version espanol…
Hoy fue nuestro tercer dia en Haiti Arise Ministries.
Despues de despertar y de la rutina de desayunar seguido por el devocional (refelxion) en el techo, algunos decidimos continuar con la pintura de la Escuela recientemente construida, por segunda vez. Yolanda, Mariam, Bev, Grant, el Pastor Byron y yo nos dirijimos a la escuela.
En el Segundo piso de la escuela podiamos sentir un poco de brisamientras pintablamos las paredes y el techo. Fue una manana tranquila, a excepcion del sonido de los gallos, los grillos y de pronto la voz del maestro y los alumnos.
Despues de descansar un poco, estuve con otro grupo pintando la casa duplex que pronto sera ocupada por la familia.
Estuve pensando mucho en esa familia y orando por ellos mientras pintaba y retocaba la pared de uno de los cuartos que pronto sera usado por ellos.
La cocina se va a re-construir. Scott y Luke quitaron los cabinetes para poder remplazarlos por unos mejores.
La caminata del terreno principal hacia la Villa de los Ninos, donde esta la escuela que estamos pintando, ya nos es mas familiar.
Me parecio muy padre cuando un par de las ninas de la escuelaq estamos pintando reconocieron a Robin y a Luke y los saludaron con gran alegria, sonrisas y abrazos.
En lo que a mi respecta, estaba empezando a sentirme un poco desanimada por no poderme comunicar con tanta gente que te sonrie, en especial con los ninos.
Hoy platiquecon algunas ninas haciendose trencitas y ellas me dijeron que hay un nino que habla espanol y eso me dio mucho gusto. Lo conoci por fin, hablamos un poco y al final cuando nos despediamos diciendo bye-bye, nos vemos pronto y mucho gusto… nos dimos un abrazo y en ese momento pude sentir sin dudarlo la presencia viva del Senor!
Esa fue la major parte de mi dia.
Today was another beautiful day in Haiti. Kim, Diana, Abigail and Caleb spent the morning at the children's village, starting out by helping the Surrey Alliance team paint the new school. Once they ran out of paint, the three ladies (Kim, Diana and Abigail) headed up to the duplex that is almost ready for a family to move into. It was in serious need of a thorough cleaning, so they spent the rest of the morning working on cleaning that out. Meanwhile, Greg, Rob, Daniel, Benjamin and myself worked on the much needed repairs at the Manaheim Church on the Haiti Arise main campus. The roof on one side of the church is falling, the floor has rotted as well as the support for the wall. We have started to work on repairs, which include removing the rotten floor and pouring footings for the wall to sit on. Daniel and Benjamin dug a drainage pit to help keep the water away from the foundation, and helped carry pails of cement for the footings. It has been a joy to work here, knowing that the work being done on the church will help keep the building together for years to come. Caleb has befriended Marc and Lisa's son, Austin. He spent the afternoon playing soccer with Austin and some of the older kids. Abigail has also made friends with the Honorat's daughters, and spends part of her day being entertained by them. Our kids have also found great delight in greeting all the Haitian kids as they arrive at the preschool - Grade 4 school on the campus. The Hatian kids are so excited to get high fives and shake hands, and quite a few hugs are shared as well. Benjamin has already decided that "When I come back next time, I want to stay a month!" I love his enthusiasm. Daniel is also enjoying himself, and I'm sure he would come back if he had the chance. The cockroaches, however, are a major downside for him. He is a little concerned about them.
BANG! Sorry, my train of thought was just interrupted by a fairly common sound on campus, a nice, juicy mango bouncing off a tin roof. We have grown mildly accustomed to the sound of a mango falling out of the trees, guarding our heads if we are under the tree. Incidentally, the Haitian men are incredible climbers, they have been up in the trees picking mangos the last few days.
Abigail has been handling the attention well, even though it can be a little awkward. The groups went on a walk yesterday, touring the children's village and the goat farm. On the walk, a group of kids was intrigued by her arm, and the youngest one was brave enough to come to Abi and take hold of her short arm. Later that day, we asked Abi how she felt, and her response was that she wished she could speak their language so she could share about herself.
Caleb is, well...Caleb. He is young, and easily bored. He has enjoyed helping paint the school, and plays hard in his free time, to the point that he is almost asleep by supper time. Today, he discovered mangoes. A little leery of the fruit at first, this afternoon he watched the other kids picking and eating them, and decided to try one as well. I think he has found a new favourite food. The mangos here are delicious.
As for the rest of the team, well, you'll just have to wait for them to take a turn at blogging. Today has brought to you by the number 6 and the letter U, as I have posted for the 6 Unger's in Haiti. Til next time, have a good night!
We made it! God has blessed this team with a wonderful trip here...with a few slight hitches. Our first flight from Calgary to New York was decent. We were thankful to get to New York with only a slight delay, though we knew it was going to be tight to get to our next flight to Ft. Lauder Dale. We got off the flight and asked the man at the gate where our next gate was located. He told us to go to the next building, so we left security, walked the streets of New York, mildly frustrated...but with good Christian composure about us all. We then arrived at the next gate and found out that we were misinformed. Normally this would not be an issue, but we had about 20-30 minutes to get back through security and to our next gate.
To make a long story shorter, God made a way, though it included arriving late to Ft. Lauder-dale. Once arriving there we found a nice comfortable spot to sleep in the airport floor, and fell fast "asleep" with the sound of the airport announcements, bright lights, floor cleaning, and Bill the Sandwich Grabber snoring in the distance!
Up at 4am we were on to Haiti and landed in the rain. Made it through customs with little trouble. We were met by Wade, loaded our stuff, and were off to Haiti Arise. The drive started out with a lot of talk and excitement. The tiredness quickly caught up to us and one by one we started to take in all we were seeing.
The Unger children fared the trip really well. They are still tired, but we all are. It has been an encouragement to us to see them take the same trip as the adults, and still have reasonable attitudes towards others and their siblings. Ask how the kids are doing today and they would tell you they are tired and hot!
We have just gone through our first full day at Haiti...and wouldn't you know it, our plans have changed. We came with the expectation that we would be splitting up the team by having three of us dive 3.5 hours south to build houses while the others stayed here at Haiti Arise to do the odd projects around here; painting, repairing fences, building benches...
However, the rain was flooding in the south so much that the bridges were becoming compromised so much so that we could not travel. So, now we are all here, painting, plumbing, fixing the church walls that have rotted out, among other projects.
We just had our first church service today, the last one before it is skillfully renovated, and it was a great experience. Maybe a notch louder than we are used to though! In a word, "Freedom." God is alive and well in Haiti. His hand is moving and His Spirit is active. Though we could not understand much of what was said, we were worshiping the same God as His Spirit moved. No one holds back, there is little attention to perfection, but there attention was on making things functional as every heart seems to be open to what God was doing, not what anyone can do there.
After that we went on the (flat) roof of the house we are staying in and had a time of worship, discussion and prayer. We sung praises to God with the Team from Surrey Alliance then went on our own to discuss what we have been experiencing, followed by prayer. It is a blessing to worship together as a team as we become more trusting with each other as we share these experiences.
- That we are protected from the devil and his plans to distract us with tiredness, sickness, headaches, as well as our own personal distractions.
- We will be filled daily, moment for moment by the Spirit of God relying on His strength for what to say and for the work we need to do.
- Praise Him for the safe travels we have had
- Praise Him for the open hearts we already have
- Continued Fair health
- Praise Him that the team is opening up to each other in very positive ways
- Pray that we will continue to keep our eyes on Him as we do His work here, that we do not get distracted from seeking by the work we have to do.
God bless you Bethel...PR
Todays Blogger: Scott
Wow, can you believe we left Surrey Alliance two days ago? For us, it took almost twenty- four hours to reach our destination, so it seems a little longer.
April 23rd- 24th
Our trip started really smoothly with everyone at the airport on time and a check-in agent to ourselves with no line up. We cruised through security an US customs and we were on our way.
Our first stop was Las Vegas – hold on…before you get jealous, we had only two hours in the airport, which was barely enough to make our flight. It turned out that because we were changing planes we had to retrieve all of our luggage – which included twelve, 50 lb hockey bags full of supplies. We had to transfer terminals via shuttle bus with our bags in tow. That’s when we encountered our first little glimpse of God’s hand…when we told the driver what we were doing, he radioed ahead and got special permission to drop us in a restricted zone. The baggage agent there was extra careful re-checking our bags for the next leg of the journey…while the time ticked away.
We then faced another security check point, which left us about 17 minutes to all get to the flight and on board. It seemed tight, but we made it with 7 minutes to spare before they closed the doors. Really, as we reflect we see God’s hand on this little bit of logistics.
The flight from there took us to Miami, where we all had a little to eat and walked around just a little groggy (most of us were operating on only about 2 hours of sleep from the overnight flight).
From Miami, we jetted over to Haiti. When we arrived at the Port-au-Prince Airport, we expected mayhem and the Haitians did not disappoint. We were mobbed by men shouting and trying to grab our bags…we understand that they get quite aggressive because a carried bag for a tourist can bring a decent tip. The luggage was piled into a secured vehicle (imagine a gorilla cage on the back of a Nissan). The whole team then piled into a van and we were off. This is really where we got our first taste of the heat and humidity. We zig-zagged through traffic with energetic honks from our driver as we quickly learned about Haitian driving habits. Did I mention that there are no streetlights here? I guess that’s why so many buses and smaller transport vehicles have police-style ramming racks across the front.
Our host graciously welcomed us into our home for the next 10 days. We had a hearty dinner of rice/beans, chicken and coleslaw. After dinner we sat around zombie-like for an initial orientation. About half the team did a ½ hour walk around the area surrounding the Haiti Arise compound while the rest of team relaxed (some were even asleep before we got back from our walk).
The team awoke to the smell of pancakes and strong coffee. Did we mention the dinner bell – and the roosters…well no chance you’ll miss a meal here.
We had a couple of nice Haiti moments overnight too. The ladies room had a guest frog who was accidentally stepped on…for those of you who love animals, don’t fear, he/she was gently picked up, taken outside and allowed to hop away.
The men’s dorm room was visited by a little flood from an air conditioner with a blocked drain…Scott’s bed directly under the AC absorbed a lot of the water, so according to him
“Hey no big deal, at least is was cool water”
We went to the best spot on campus for a brief morning devotion. From there, we joined the other team staying in the guest house for a more thorough orientation of the grounds.
We saw the clinic, the tech school, the church, the elementary school on campus and we then ventured out again into the community. We walked up to the “children’s village”, the goat farm and the general area.
Bonus material: For those of you who have been here, Haiti Arise has mad a lot of progress in the past couple of years here. The Children’s village now has a functioning duplex and one near completion. A school building has been also substantially completed. The goat farm is also new, and it is now seeing it’s first returning goats.
We split up again after lunch with part of the team heading over the the Children’s village to paint the unfinished duplex while the rest of the team stayed cool and took a little more rest in advance of evening church.
The church service was a real blessing to the team. Pastor Byron shared a testimony as did the pastor from the other group. The holy spirit was present and several of the team talked afterwards about how realized that our God is the same despite language, culture and geographic boundaries. We are doing well and your prayers are helping to sustain us as we continue to adjust to the heat, food, culture and language.
God Bless…Na we demain (see you tomorrow)
So we made it home, but we feel as if there are some things that were left unsaid. We would like to speak this last blog entry like a prayer from deep inside, from the places that this trip touched deep within us. God give us your ear:
O Lord you blessed us so, we stand before you changed, in complete awe of the paths that crossed on this trip, of words that were spoken from the place that you dwell within us, for breaking our hearts for what breaks yours.
Thank you father for growing not only this group of six but by adding people to our team and writing them as brothers and sisters, as family on each of our hearts.
You showed us that to love the least of us isn't to show the world what we have done, but to show the world that the least of us possess more than the majority of us.
They hold your hope up high and yell their gratitude straight into the heavens. You showed us a people who just want to be known by you, Lord, and our knees are buckled by your humbling of our hearts.
O Lord, thank you for showing up in every single circumstance and giving us the opportunity to come before you unhindered by what this world has tried to make us, but by truly walking in who you called us to be.
You are amazing Lord.
You showed us people in the mountains who literally own nothing, but would gladly give us their last bite of food, not because of what we had done, but because of what you have done in their hearts.
You showed us a people crying out from the darkness, asking for things to be placed in their hands. But, you showed us that their outstretched hands where just an extension of their hearts pressed outwards asking to receive you, Lord. Let those hearts be filled with your truth, Lord.
You showed us a people who wouldn't assume to know another's heart, and we stand utterly convicted by this simple kindness that we honestly rarely extend to others. Praise you Lord for new eyes.
Thank you, Lord.
You are great.
You are kind.
You are so so good.
Thank you, Lord.
You sent us to a type of Hell in our flesh and turned it into Heaven in our hearts.
You sent us on an adventure with no clear destination, but never stopped calling us to the places that held your treasures, O great King.
You sent us with people who ache for your truth, Lord;
a nurturing Mother,
an unshakable wise man,
a joyful angel,
a humble preacher,
and a courageous young man,
all of which hold your truths on the tip of their tongues, and your kindness in the palms of their hands ready to walk hand in hand with whoever you place in front of them. O Lord, thank you!
Let us keep these people in our hearts cry, Lord.
Let your will be done in Haiti, Great King.
Breathe new hope and a new joy into your every day missionaries that have chosen to leave their homes to spread the gospel and let those of us who remain at home remember that our mission has just begun and continue to stand boldly in your great name.
In Jesus name we pray, may your will be done.
Grace Gate Gommunity Church Haiti 2017 Missionary Team
e want to take a moment to highlight our experience with the meals prepared for us by the dedicated Haiti Arise kitchen staff.
We drove for almost two hours past breathtaking vistas and gut wrenching poverty that we now expect but never adjust to. It was to experience a day away from the work in a town described as "different." Words like "artsy," "wealthy," and "resorts" almost deterred us. No one on our team was really feeling the vacation vibe but four of us had finished our project and agreed to go.
A still and muggy day. Theresa started the morning devotion with reflection on what our assets are: Galations 5:22 and 6:22, as well as Phil 1:1-11. We pondered on what our physical assets are, as well as the fruits of the spirit of caring, giving, patience and love that we can give to others, bringing honor to God.
Following breakfast we headed to our clinics. The clinics ran smoothly. The eye clinic completed the elementary school kids screening and then some more community adults were done. We saw lots with red eyes today..but little that we could do for them.
In total 177 were screened, with 70 glasses given out. The dental clinic saw 14 people. Val also completed an assessment on a 6 month baby that had had a traumatic birth. She provided pointers on stimulating and strengthening his muscles. It was a difficult situation as it was notable that the child had developed a brain injury even though surgery had been done to remove a clot. Liam spent the afternoon assisting Lisa with the music kids, working on their instruments.
We attempted to enjoy the evening air on the roof top as we had for the last four evenings but the smoke from the surrounding area became too much and so we spent time together in the common area. Struan pulled out the keyboard and we had every variety of music. Val brought out her knitting and Liam brought out a trumpet. Lots of singing and entertainment.
We've enjoyed time with Marc and Lisa to hear how God called them and gave them the vision. Pastor Wade agreed that when God calls you, you must follow. If they were living their lives for themselves, they would not be serving here. Wade shared "you don't just accidentally trip and land in Haiti". It is God who brings you here and just maybe we are seeing a time when the third world church is ministering to the first world church. Haiti is poor in many ways but faith is not one. God shines brightest in the darkest places.
Serving for His glory and to encourage!
As we prepare for bed, we are listening to Erin's beautiful voice, which was recorded by her Momma. We hear Trinity was a blessing at the music festival. So sorry we missed it.
Today we enjoyed devotions by Liam. He challenged us to imagine a new color. He pointed out how we start to blend colors we know, which means they already exist. He compared this to
trying to explain to friends and family at home about Haiti. You just simply can't understand unless you come and see...just like Jesus and the disciplessaid.
Dental clinic saw 10 adult patients. Struan and Charlenegot many thank yous today and even a hug. They are working miracles with limited supplies and intense heat. Gloves are a challenge with sweaty hands. They didmanaged to build a bridge today! This work would have cost $3000 in Canada. The grateful patient with his smile, was payment enough.
Eye glass clinic saw 139 people with many challenging cases. One lady was 88 with cataracts and we were sure we couldn't help her. However we were able to fit her with some glasses that would help her walk. She was so delighted to be able to see, she kissed us all with tears in her eyes.
We have settled in, comfortable, over feed, and enjoying the Haitian people and culture.
Trinity Lutheran Day 3
Here we are again. The day started early with our rooftop devotions by Gisela from Isaiah 40:31. We were encouraged to wait on God, be renewed and strengthened. We then enjoyed pancake breakfast from Lucianna, with Haitian syrup and star anise.
The dental clinic hit the ground running. The Haitian dentist showed up with his drill and stayed to assist and translate. They saw 12 patients today. Struan informs that the children were a challenge since they had never seen a dentist before. The first few children were excellent patients, but by their reactions, the team could tell they had been telling stories. Struan says, "bad news travels fast". The adults were much more willing patients.
The eye glass clinic saw 77 patients with plans for over 100 tomorrow. They came young and old. A few heart breaking stories as the team was unable to help with glaucoma, cataracts, and eye growths. One baby had red eyes with cloudy corneas. On a positive note, Sharon and Rhea Lynne are now writing prescriptions. The Haitians are insistent they receive prescriptions for recommendations of artificial tears. Just not sure where they can buy tears or how they will pay for it. Liam started the day on Team Val but ended on Team Liam. He quickly became Shirley's superhero with his expert testing and troubleshooting abilities. Val was thrilled when her sponsor child Aquila attended the eyeglass clinic! The team worked hard !
After a much needed shower, Val, Rhea Lynne and Marilyn headed over to meet the Children's Village families. They were welcomed into their homes, sat on their couches, shared gifts, took photos and played with the children. Who ever gets to do that with their sponsor children? It was such an honor to see the love those families share. If you did not know their tragic beginnings and foster stories, you would have been certain they were biological families.
We closed the day with a turkey supper...no one is coming home lighter! Rooftop music hosted by Struan and Timmy from Oregon. We are content, safe and in the arms of Jesus! Sending our love and prayers home.
5,712 sf of walls edged and painted in 5 hrs
100 Haitian children hugged
40 lbs of water carried a half a mile
11 Canadians & 6 Americans worshiping on the rooftop
10 new Haitian friends
1 awesome testimony at church
47 liters of water consumed
Uncountable hours of laughter
Too many Haitian donuts devoured