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First Full Work Day - Blog by Clark

Today was our first full work day, more for some then others as Stacy and Kiersten woke just after 3am to headed south and build homes. I can only imagine the changes they will face down south as we find it very challenging working in the normal Haitian world. We heard back from the south team at noon and they had already arrived and started building their first house.

If you did not know already from the words of JS - “God has a sense of humour”. I told God I will serve you “but” and he sent the “but”. As most know I am a very patient guy and on my first full Haitian work day I was tested. It started off with a very simple project. At least I would have called it simple back home. The plan was to disassemble a hydraulic ram off of the skid steer so I could get parts ordered and make a repair that would save many workers from labouring in the hot sun carrying heavy loads.

After carrying my box of tools about 600 meters to the skid steering at the children’s village I thought I would just try saving my back and put the box on my head like the Haitians do. Shorty after I learned the importance of putting my hat in the box (just try it and you will understand). After getting back to the compound with the hydraulic ram I really found all the things I take for granted like a work bench or even just a screw driver or a bolt that is the proper size.

With all the struggles God brought a little worker beside me and this truly humoured me and put a smile on my face. This seven year old girl reminded me of my daughter as her English was awesome, actually so good that her English was a lot better then mine. I was always told that to be good at something you must do lots of it, and yes she had lots of practice as she sang and brought joy to my heart as I worked. 

Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray as we serve our awesome God,

PS. Just heard from the girls in the south and it is hot, they are sharing a double bed, with no running water and a goat tied to the window! Welcome to Haiti!

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Weyburn Team - Day 4

Two members of our team packed up and headed off to the south early this morning. Norm and Brad got up at 3am to join the house building project. The first build began today and the two will be working with a team of Haitians for the next 2 days before returning to the Haiti ARISE campus. We can't wait to hear their stories.

 The rest of our team tackled a number of tasks today. Brian, Vern and Troy got started putting cupboards into the final Children's Village home as well as working with Papi, a Haitian electrician, to get the electrical system set up in the same home. Bev, who has been experiencing some knee pain, began sewing a cover for the keyboard and pulpit at church. She also fixed and recovered a chair in the main room that was quite uncomfortable to sit in. Haley, Sarah, Mackenzie and Shameeka had a blast helping Tanya with the Education Fund and updating the children's sponsorship information. Brent and I put a new coat of white paint on the front and side walls of Manahaïm Church. 

An overall great day in Grand Goave as we all ended the day with a debriefing on the roof. Please keep the building team in your prayers, we have little to no contact with them at this time. Also pray for good health as a few of us haven't been feeling the greatest for the last few days. 

Kalen

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Weyburn Free Methodist Church

They have been blogging since they arrived, so we thought you would like to see the whole team. Although most of them are from Weyburn, SK, there are members from Dawson Creek, BC., Brownlee, SK, and Saskatoon, SK.

They have been blogging since they arrived, so we thought you would like to see the whole team. Although most of them are from Weyburn, SK, there are members from Dawson Creek, BC., Brownlee, SK, and Saskatoon, SK.

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Today was an amazing day.

We started the day in church worshiping with the Haitian people. It's amazing how passionate and excited they are about worship. We all felt like we were a part of it despite the language barrier. It was a bit of a lesson on our passion, or lack of passion when we worship. We serve an amazing God.

We were also honored to be a part of a child dedication. A family from the children's village dedicated all three of their children. After that, we were so humbled, yet truly blessed when they invited us to their home to share a meal with us.

In the afternoon we went to the Tapion Church, a church made up of aprox 75 children. They hold an actual service, with worship, offering and a message. Again, to see the children worship, and listen so intently was awesome. We had an opportunity to sing with them, then they sang the same song back to us in Creole. We were truly blessed to be a part of this.

Tomorrow two of our girls are leaving early for down south to go home building, so we ask for you to pray along with us as they are away.

We all have commented on how we have become close to one another, another great experience for each of us.

It seems like every day at de-brief we talk about how the Lord has blessed us in a different way this day. God is definitely moving in us as we are here and blessing us in ways we never thought.

Thanks for your prayers: the NON-blogger...Jurgen

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Weyburn Team - Day 3

We have nothing, but we have everything, and in Canada you have everything, but you have nothing" - quote from a Haitian man 

The quote above is one that we have seen the truth of, as the Haitian people here have very little in comparison to Canadians. Today we saw this in church as these same people have shown us what true worship is. During worship many of the people were focused on one thing...God. They danced and sang with all of their hearts and souls (Maybe it is something we can bring home with us). Their  music was very powerful and loud. They have one volume...LOUD! When it came time to give an offering, people would give what they had even though they didn't have much to begin with. 

In the afternoon some people went to the Tapion Church, which is a church made up of children. Most of these children choose to go to church and also walk miles to get there (some may walk up to or over two hours to get there). It was amazing as they sang some of the songs that we sing in English. 

The ones that did not go to the Church went to the beach. I (Shameeka) went to the ocean for the very first time. I never saw the ocean in person, so it was an awesome thing to experience! There have been a lot of firsts for me. I have never been outside of Saskatchewan before. This was one of many great adventures I have had. I got to see many cool fish and I also saw jellyfish and I was very freaked out! But it was a lot of fun!!!! 

We went out for supper tonight to the Goat and Coke (Mondy's). We had a choice between goat and chicken to eat with spiced coleslaw and plantains. Brian and I had chicken, but I also tried a little goat and it tastes really good! We also had Haitian coke. It tasted very good! (it is sweetened with sugar cane).

-Shameeka and Brian 

Just presenting the weird and wonderful... Love you Shameeka 

Just presenting the weird and wonderful... Love you Shameeka 

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'Our First Taste of Haiti' - Graham and Debbie, The Link Church

Today started off with delicious breakfast by the amazing staff at Haiti Arise – the best pancakes ever! As you can imagine, they don’t have maple trees here, but they had an amazing sugar syrup with a hint of licorice taste. These ladies love to sing in the kitchen and they work super hard to serving others – definitely set a good example for us as we started our day.

Next we went on a tour and got to see what all the folks at Haiti Arise are involved in… it’s a  lot! Our informative tour was led by Pastor Wade and included the technical school, the elementary school, the children’s village, the goat farm, the medical centre, the local farm and the beginnings of the bakery. During this walk, we walked through part of Grand Goave, where children would run out to greet us with big smiles and genuinely enjoyed the brief interactions we were able to have. A few of the young girls came up to me (Debbie) and wanted to hold my hand or one little girl wanted me to be her Mom. We were told this isn’t uncommon as Haitians can have the belief that “blancos” – ie white people, can be a way to escape their poverty. We are glad that Haiti Arise tries to address this problem by being present in the community. It is clear that trying to adopt all of the children is not an option, so we are glad to partner with a ministry that tries to address poverty in a practical way. I (Debbie) must admit that it was quite difficult to say no, as this child was jumping on me, asking me to be her mom.

In the afternoon, after a great lunch with lots of fresh mangoes! - we helped out with a painting project at the technical school shop.  Definitely a little different than painting in Canada but with many hands we got a lot accomplished and we are hoping to be able to put the finishing coat on that area next week.  Another highlight at the compound is just hanging out with some of the kids that are around and playing soccer in the yard.

Tonight Mark and Lisa shared their story and vision for Haiti Arise. It was inspiring to see how much of it has come into fruition, especially in the last 7 years since the earthquake, and we are excited to see what God does here in the future! 

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Weyburn Team - Day 2

Today started with devotions led by Brad and breakfast following that. (it was pancakes :)) We were then taken on a tour of the properties that are owned by Haiti Arise, starting with the trades school, work shops and clinic. We then left the complex to see the work that has been done in the children's village and the goat farm. Having been here 2 years ago it was really cool to see the progress that was done. When I was here last, the new school had just broken ground and they were working on the foundation and the children's village duplexes were still being painted and put together. Today the new school is two stories tall and has classes being held in it throughout the week. The Duplexes now hold two families and have rescued 7 children (i think) So this is really cool for some of us to see, and being a part of the process even more so. Also there are actual goats at the goat farm! 

After our tour, we went back to the complex and had lunch along with a meeting with things that needed to be done during the week. Once we each got our assignments, we headed to get to work. Aunty Bev and I stayed inside to organize the supplies that we brought with us. The men of the group went and repaired the floors in the church floor. And the rest helped to paint numerous things....or had a nap. Cough cough

At the end of the evening we were able to help put together some (meaning a lot) of bags of rice for a rice distribution that will be happening tomorrow after church. It was fun to help along side with the Haitians! 

Overall it was a great day spent working in Haiti! looking forward to a relaxing sleep and a fun day tomorrow. 

Ps. if anyone would like to send some cough and cold medicine, express post that would be fantastic. 

Goodbye for now!   -Haley

this is Mackenzie and I in front of one of the duplex's that we helped paint. Pretty cool to see the progress that has been done here! 

this is Mackenzie and I in front of one of the duplex's that we helped paint. Pretty cool to see the progress that has been done here! 

Some pretty big smiles seen all around! :)

Some pretty big smiles seen all around! :)

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'Life Keeps Finding It’s Way' - Blog by Susan Thorne

Today started in cold NYC and by the time we entered the plane , the “warmth” was starting. It was obvious right off the bat the start of culture change/shock .By the end of flight many Haitians on the flight with us were interacting and we were forming those new relationships that all people need so much. 
 Coming out of the airport things started to turn again, the language was foreign, the temperatures foreign , people WERE observing us. Truly a time where you feel like your in a visual fish bowl. Then the twisting winding route of our travel began......And thats when we had the chance to observe the beginning glimpses of the land Haiti that we have been thinking and planning and praying for.

Wow the fascination with how many people and motorcycles, the incredible garbage and disarray and the palpable poverty of housing, lack of belongings, animals running free on the streets no order of driving or people crossing roads, people with nothing !trying to sell, anything they could on the Street Sides and it hit me in the middle of what I would call chaos and disorder and extreme “lack” that none of us could fathom.... Life keeps finding its way, people are bright, smiling and busying themselves with tasks and each other, a resilience a youth vibrant presence. God's warmth is present in Haiti , “Life does keep finding its way” and we need to continue to bring what ever we can of God’s love and warmth.

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Weyburn Team - Day 1

We survived the long days of travel with minimal bumps on the way. We are all at the Haiti Arise complex safe and sound, just a little run down. We took it easy today (in other words most of us crashed hard when we arrived). The plan tomorrow is to go on a tour walk in the morning and from then on just rolling with the flow will be our plan. Communication will be minimal due to a very small amount of wifi access but we will try our best to keep updating this blog. Sending lots of love from everyone on the Weyburn Team to everyone back home. 

Love, Mackenzie

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Nelson, BC Team

After a difficult arrival for this hardy team from Nelson, we are pleased that they are with us.  They are our first 'general' team of 2017. They have been eager to experience Haiti to the fullest!

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Hungry for Life Medical Team

The Cranbrook Hungry for Life Medical Team has been with us for the past two weeks.  Their blog is a great read.  They have been a group of 23 people who have given their all to serve the people of Haiti.

http://www.hungryforlife.org/partners/cranbrook-community/october-2016

 

 

 

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Thankful for Good People to Help in a Time of Need


 
In just over two weeks we have had approximately 40 people come to Haiti ARISE from Canada to help with disaster relief.  Some have gone back now, but the amount of work getting done is tremendous.  To date, 60 roofs have been repaired on houses in this area and in the area hardest hit by the hurricane.  Two church roofs have been replaced and the roofs on two Voodoo temples were placed by us as a witness to them.  The guys on the work crew were even given a tour inside by the priest. That is most unusual!
 
We currently have a medical team here from BC. They are treating 120 patients each day.  Last week, half of the team traveled to the hardest hit area (approx. 3 hours from here) to do a two day mobile clinic.  They took a load of food, hygiene items, pails for water with filter systems for them, and medicine.  They treated approx. 150 people in a day and a half.
 
They came back with many stories......here is one of them.....
 
Marc and a couple of guys were traveling down a road to a work site and came across a man walking down the road.  Marc stopped and talked with him.  He said that during the hurricane his wife was in labor and gave birth to a baby girl. As time passed during her labor, their house started to blow apart.  As soon as the baby was born, he ran her to his mother's house for safety. He then went back for his wife, however, his house had fully collapsed and she died. A few hours later, he and his mom heard a little cry and went out to see what it was....they found a baby (maybe 9 months old) by himself on the ground.  After doing some checking around, they realized that the baby's parents had been killed by the hurricane. Now, he and his mother are looking after these two babies.
 
This is a sad story but, please know, the Haitian people are resilient.  Our church was full on Sunday as many came to praise and worship their Lord God.
 
Thanks for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and those who are here to serve them.
 
Wade & Marilyn

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PAP Adventure

Where do I even start
Okay, things I have learned in Haiti thus far:
- 200 Haitian children have more energy than 5 white guys from Canada, a lot more.
- If you are having a nightmare that constitutes you being a state of perpetual sweat chances are you might not be having a nightmare, you’re just spending the day in Haiti.
- When concerning yourself with the Haitian electrical system one thing is of utmost importance, Come to terms with the fact that there are quite literally no minimum standards.
- Bug spray and deodorant are your friends.
- Tap the side of the toilet before taking care of your business… you never know what critters may crawl out. Thankfully that is a lesson I did not have to learn the hard way.
- When in a car: Buckle the heck up.
- Pedestrians not only don't have the right of way ever. They have no rights period. Apparently if a driver hits a pedestrian a lot of times he will just keep going.

Alright here is the low down on today. I had the opportunity to go into Port-au-Prince (PAP from here on out) with a man who works with Haiti Arise named Pipy (pronounced Paw-pee) to get electrical and construction supplies. I would be lying if I said I was not slightly nervous about driving into a town that I am nowhere close to familiar with; accompanied by a person that I do not know in the slightest who speaks fairly basic English. Let your faith be bigger than your fear. The other part of me was ecstatic to venture into the unknown and the mystery that Haiti holds. One of my teammates asked me last night if I was actually going, Im doing it!  I exclaimed, consumed with curiosity to explore that world that awaited. Pipy and I embarked on our journey early in the morning. God be with us.

About that ride in  It was relatively uneventful aside from. Okay just a quick aside: Mom and Dad if you're reading this now wouldn’t be a terrible time to stop reading and know that today had a happy ending. Back to the story: It was relatively uneventful aside from the above average speed we were travelling, the pedestrians that dodged our car merely moments before we would have hit them, and a few very close calls with oncoming traffic. Pipy told me that today was market day and that was soon very evident as we spent a lot of our time in (creole for traffic jam). We finally made it to the electrical wholesaler and I was impressed to say the least as It was equivalent to wholesalers back home. I tried relaying to Pipy what we required, he has done electrical work so he was fairly familiar with a lot of the material we needed which was a huge blessing. I was slightly concerned things wouldn’t be correct as sometimes in Canada its hard enough to get everything right when your speaking English, throw in a language barrier and things can get really bad really fast. My concern was alleviated when I looked at the computer monitor and all the part names were in English. PTL! They had almost everything we needed and some things we didn’t such as two guards with shotguns sitting at the front door. There were still a few things we had to pick up so Pipy told me would visit another store. Little did I know God still had a lot of adventure in store for us.

We started the next leg of our journey and encountered more….. can you guess what we encountered?....... More Blockis! What seemed like hours passed, Pipy and I talked … well tried too.. several of our conversations ended with us looking at each other and bursting out laughing because we knew we were losing each other within our lack of ability to speak each others languages. My creole is only as advanced as the phrase “mwen pa pale creole” which essentially translates to “I don’t speak creole”. Mad skills. I had told Pipy on the way to PAP that I needed four plain t-shirts as well for a group activity. He decided we should attempt to acquire those next.

Next thing I knew I was walking down an alley that was no more than six feet wide and lined with small shacks full of clothing on either side literally as far as I could see. I thought to myself “If I am going to get mugged, its definitely going to happen here”. We talked to a few vendors and one had three shirts but couldn’t find a fourth. Most shirts there were riddled with graphic logos, I needed something much more plain. I asked him how much for the three and, through Pipy, the storeowner told me 2000 goud which is roughly $33 USD. I told the salesperson I needed him to find me a fourth shirt that was plan like the other three. Pipy and the storeowner talked more and Pipy told me the storeowner came down to 1750 goud. I told Pipy I didn’t really care about negotiating on the price for the shirts I simply needed a fourth shirt (I used a lot simpler terms but I think the message got across). I ended up taking the three shirts for 1750 and finding a different vendor who had a plain shirt. Ask and you shall receive. We got out of the cramped little alleyway and continued our journey. There was a point where we drove around a block a few times, I looked at Pipy as I noticed he seemed confused. He looked at me and grinned while saying  we are lost. I just laughed knowing we would find our way. Even though I walk through the valley of shadow and death I will not be afraid for God is by my side.

Eventually we got to the Canex construction building that is essentially home depot. I saw another white person there, woot. We acquired the rest of our supplies, mission accomplished. As we left Pipy asked me if I would like to see downtown PAP, I hesitated wondering how sketchy it would be but decided I had come this far, I wanted to see every aspect of Haiti that I could. Dive headfirst into the adventure that is the unknown. On our way we almost got into another accident and I had noticed Pipy kept saying  Haitian  every time we had a near miss. I asked what meant and he told me it means. A little while later someone ran out in front of our vehicle and I exclaimed  Papy burst out laughing. Its cool how despite us hardly being able to communicate humour comes across so clear. We came over a hill and the ocean appeared on the horizon. Downtown was just ahead with a coagulating group of pedestrians filling the street. It was slow moving but eventually we made it through the crowd. The area reminded me of the slums in Nairobi. Seas of garbage lined the roads and rotting food served as the primary scent that clung to the air. My stomach turned and I felt sick watching people sit on buckets outside of tiny shacks surrounded by garbage. People  took care of business  in the streets and stared at us as we drove by.

We finally got out of downtown and grabbed lunch. I managed to find vanilla coke which cost 25 goud (roughly 42 cents American). God provides in some very delicious ways. I spent a lot of time paying attention to our surroundings on the drive back. The remains of a gas tanker that had exploded laid on the side of the road and Pipy told me it could be months before the wreckage was cleaned up. At some points on the trip back the ocean was literally a stones throw away, the beach was littered with metal shacks. I wanted to make a comment about how awesome it would be to have beach front property but I kept my mouth shut assaying something like that wouldn’t sit well on my conscience. I asked Pipy what it would cost to have a place on the beach and he told me it was not much. I tried explaining that land value went up in Canada based on its location especially where waterfront property is involved. He looked at me confused. It really made me think about what I see as valuable in life and why. I have started putting some serious thought into reevaluating how I spend my time and resources.

I got back just as our team was starting VBS. I feel like I’m dragging this out so Ill sum this up pretty quick. Playing tag and wrestling with a couple hundred Haitian kids (not all at once) in 30+ C weather is exhausting. Nuff said.

Justin

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Work Projects- VBS

Before we began our day today, our team spent some of our morning devotional time sharing what God has been saying to us. We discussed taking significant time out of our days to be silent and meet with God, and how prepared we would be to let go of our earthly possessions to live simply as the Hatians do if God were to so call us. It was mentioned that we sometimes forget to pray for the people, the church, and our sponsor children here. Another team member talked about how we have a tendancy to look at the Haitians with pity because of the extreme poverty in which they live, yet God's message is that in His kingdom, the last shall be first. Our team devotions are a valuable time for us to come together and set our eyes on Jesus before we start our work.

This morning we were split between 4 different projects. Austin, Devin and Dakota worked on rebuilding the play structure in the schoolyard. Even though they have to take breaks from their work when the kids come out for recess, there is much noticeable progress, and the kids are clearly excited about the guys' tools and the new pieces of equipment. Teanna joined some members of the other team to pick rocks at the Children's Village in order to make lawn maitenance possible (if you don't know what the Children's Village is, you'll have to ask one of us about it when we get back- it's a neat concept!) Danielle, Shanda, Brittany, Carly, and Damen finished up a little varnishing, and then started working on some pews for a church with which Haiti Arise has begun an outreach. Lastly, Justin went on an excursion to Port au Prince, which he is excited to blog about once I'm finished up!

In the afternoon, both our team and the other team combined forces to tackle day 1 of VBS for 200 kids. Our theme for the 2 days is the Armour of God. We began with worship and a skit, and then split the kids in half for craft/snack and games. The kids got to decorate flip flops (feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace- Ephesians 6:15) and had a tonne of fun wearing out the guys who were running games!

After dinner we went to the church for an evening of worship and prayer. I think we are all sufficiently exhausted from a busy day!
-Danielle

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Walk like Jesus Walked

Most of the team woke up exhausted from lack of sleep, due to exhaustion, but not me.  I discovered a great strategy and shared it with the team:  When you wake up at 3:oo a.m. and can't return to sleep because you are too hot, just have a cold shower, pajamas and all.  Works like a charm...I'm tellin ya....and you can bet where I'll be tonite at 3:00 a.m. when I can't sleep.

In the morning, I had the wonderful opportunity to help Tanya with the sponsership program.  We entered a buzzing pre-school class, handed out pictures of flowers to colour, and then tried to assist children to have info. recorded and photos taken.  This was not an easy task, and I learned it was important to watch cues from both the Haitian and Canadian leaders.

Tanya is a seasoned worker, but even she had to roll with it, and change plans in an instance.   One exciting thing is that Saffron and I were able to find our sponser child today for our family....straight from his classroom.  What a blessing to see this child in person, and witness his lively personality in an open-walled classroom! 

Before supper, we were able to go up and down the hills of a nearby willage, in order to share love, our stories, and prayers with the Haitians living there.  It was one of the poorest parts, and we saw women without shirts, rubble for homes, and multiple family members living in a tiny space.  Children running bear feet everywhere up steep hills of rocks.  These people have lost so much, they live in such poverty and yet they were open to our prayers and conversation.  What a humbing experience!  It reminded me of how Jesus walked into depair and shared love, truth, and hope wherever he went.  What an honour to be a part of this mission!

Love to Greg, Jude and Isaiah.  I miss you dearly and think of you often!

MaryLou

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Our second day

Hi everyone!! Today was our second day in Haiti and it was a very eventful day. We started our day with a nice Hatian coffee and a tour of all of the Haiti Arise land. Haiti Arise owns quite a bit of land. In our main spot there is our building that we are staying in with administration, an elementary school, a church, a tech school, a tool rental building, a carpenter shop, and a mechanics shop. The elementary school is right beside our building and it is really neat to see all of the kids running around outside often. Many of the children stand at the fence, smiling and waving to us. We got to have a bit of conversation with some of them. Lots of the children know a bit of either Spanish, French, or English. Our team is also practicing our Creyole. The tech school is for adults to learn trades, it is very advanced. They are not only able to learn, but even to practice their trades in the compound. Our team hosts informed us that the government has actually enabled Haiti Arise to give out legitimate certifications and diplomas. All of the teachers, students, cooks, security guards, and other workers are Haitian. Haiti Arise provides the Haitians with so many jobs and opportunities.
After touring our main site, we walked down the paths where many Haitians from the community travel to their homes and to the water canals. We got to see the new property that Haiti Arise is working on. In this area, they are building a primary, middle, and high school. They are also building a few apartments. These apartments are going to be used for Hatian couples who either cannot have children or their children are all grown up. These couples will be chosen for a child with no parents. Haiti Arise also owns a goat farm and a guest house. It is really amazing to see how Haiti Arise is prospering and how advanced they are in everything.

When our tour was over we separated into three groups to start tackling our main projects. Today we accomplished the first coat of paint on the guest house, packing 200 individual backpacks with school supplies, a bit of eletrical work, and fixing doors in our building. I was part of the painting group. Just outside of the guest house, we met two young boys who came and played soccer with us and taught us a bit more Creole.

After the hard work day we had a very good meal cooked for us. We then went to the church. The whole service was in creyole, but there was a translator there. After the service we came back and played some card games. Our team is continually grower closer to each other and to God. I can't wait to see wat else this trip will bring.
Taylor Gould

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Hello from Haiti

Hi Everyone!

Today was our second day at Haiti Arise, but our first day doing work projects and getting to start serving! We started our day with a tour of the compound, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we were in awe of what God has done through Haiti Arise to bless the people in Grand Goave. It's so neat to hear the people here at Haiti arise share their hopes and dreams for the future of Haiti Arise, and it's inspiring and humbling to hear them speak with such great faith that God will, and always does, provide.&nbsp;</p>

Before I begin, here is a little background info on how some things run at Haiti arise. When we first got here, the founders of Haiti Arise talked with us about giving out food and things to people in the community. They explained to us that giving a kid food or a mom money doesn't help them in the long run. The vision of Haiti Arise is that people would not become dependant on other people to meet their needs, but would turn to God as the source of their hope. By investing in long term relationships that Haiti Arise has built, and not looking for short-term fixes, we are doing more to help the people of Haiti.

This afternoon, a group of us worked in the guest house doing painting and varnishing. One little guy from the community, Robinson, got into the gated area where we were working and started chatting. I was so surprised to find that he was actually speaking Spanish! I was absolutely stoked because I know Spanish and got to chat with him for quite a while. As we were chatting and I talked with his family, I realized that he was really hoping that I would give him somthing like shoes, clothes, water, etc. Although I made some jokes with him about how my shoes are too girly for him and my clothes are way too big for him, it hurts your heart to hear and see. As a team, the overwhelming need and desperation here in Haiti weighs heavy on your heart. You want to give every shoeless kid shoes, and every pregnant mom money - so its an internal battle that you're constantly fighting through. However, we are comforted by the fact that any money, clothes, or things we give them will just pale in comparsision to offering the greatest gift of all - the gift of relationship with Jesus. Jesus is the living water that will quench their thirst and meet all of their needs. In this place where there seems like so little hope is to be found, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is their source of hope and comfort. As a team, this is something that we've really delved into today. We've all been so impacted by the poverty we've seen, but we can find comfort in the fact that they are known, loved, and cared for by their good, good Father.

Lastly, tonight we went to a Haitian bible study. This was something that really blew me away. Naive as I am, I had assumed that many of the people in Haiti would be newer Christians, and much of the church services would be "seeker-friendly" and focused on the hope and peace that God can offer them in their helpless situations. Instead, we sit through an extrememly deep and intensive study of a part of the book of Galatians. Although I have some Bible school under my belt, I'll admit that even I had trouble following parts of the exegesis that this pastor was giving of the chapter we studied. I was amazed, honestly - and so, so humbled by the way that they just devour the word of God and dive so deeply into scripture. As I watched, I prayed that that hunger would be something that we take back to the Link and something that God stirs up in the hearts of Linkers!

Of course, I had to have a bit of a teary moment (those who know me are not shocked by this!) when they wanted to pray for health and safety for our team. In an area prone to malaria, dengue, zika, cholera, etc., they wanted to pray for OUR health and safety. I hope that reading this, you can understand the gravity of a group of Haitians wanting to pray that you will be blessed, safe, and healthy. Wow, so humbling.


That's it for today! Trust me, I'll probably be back on here blogging again. So much happening here, and so many God-filled moments to share!

Kylie Thorne

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We've arrived

The Medicine Hat Link Teams have arrived!!! After filling out our applications last fall, to having our first team meeting in early January, months of preparatations &amp; fundraising and two days of travel! It really is a little surreal, but slowly sinking in as we settle in.  After landing in Port-au-Prince from Miami, our two hour drive to Grand Goave gave us a real taste of Haiti - seeing the locals along the dirt-ridden streets & canals, to crazy local drivers (we were in hands of good drivers though), locals selling their wares (right up to our vehicles) to many stray animals wandering around. It was a welcome sight to entered the secure, gated campus of Haiti Arise.

Our amazing team hosts Wade and Marilyn met us at airport, travelled with us to Grand Goave, gave us orientation to the guest house and many great tips of the dos and don'ts while here.

After getting unpacking all our stuff, including about 30 checked bags, majority of which were supplies -including all the backpacks and schools supplies (amazing the amount collected!), we had a great supper of chicken, rice and beans, salad, juicy mangoes and bread! &nbsp;On the roof top of our housing complex we had a very informative meeting by the founders of Haiti Arise - Marc and Lisa Honorat. It was just amazing to hear their vision of Haiti Arise which they started in 2003. This inculdes rebuilding the tech school here after the earthquake in January 2010. Things seem to be always changing and improving here at Haiti Arise, including new property they own for future expansion and development of the campus. &nbsp;Just amazing their faith and passion for the people of Haiti! &nbsp;Looking forward to how we can do a small part to contribute to their vision! &nbsp;As they said God brought us here for a reason. &nbsp;So blessed for the opportunity to be here!!! &nbsp; For now baybay, mezanmi (Creole for bye bye friends).
Rhonda Risdale

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