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Hello from Haiti

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 Creyole.

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 (: (Hi Mom)







Day 2 in 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. 

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


The Link Has Landed

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 & 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!  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.  Just amazing their faith and passion for the people of Haiti!  Looking forward to how we can do a small part to contribute to their vision!  As they said God brought us here for a reason.  So blessed for the opportunity to be here!!!   For now baybay, mezanmi (Creole for bye bye friends).

Rhonda Risdale  



The Link Teams 2016

The Link from Medicine Hat, Alberta has arrived with two teams this year.  We are excited to have them with us!



We are here!

Today we finally arrived in Haiti!! Its been a long journey, and it feels amazing to finally be here. I think everyone is happy to be done carrying huge bags, packed with backpacks, shoes, and school supplies for the kids here. Seeing the pile of things that we unpacked, I'm amazed at the amount of stuff we were actully able to bring down! It was worth the heavy suitcases!! 

Flying in, it was amazing to look out over the ocean, seeing all the little islands, and eventually seeing Haiti. Being in an airplane and seeing the world from up above always reminds me how small we really are and how truly big and amazing God is, with His incredible design of it all. 

Our drive to the compound was about an hour and a half and was very impacting for our whole team. Aside from the lack of road rules and crazy drivers, there is so much to absorb, looking around. There are so many people all around, buildings and shacks are so crowded together. Its hard to wrap your mind around all you are seeing and even imagine what it would be like to live in these places. I find it especially hard seeing small children in these conditions. It was definitlely overwhelming at points. However this eveing we were able to have a meeting with Marc and Lisa on the rooftop, and they shared their story, as well as some of what Haiti Arise is doing currently and also their vision for the future. Its encouraging to see them making a tangible difference here, creating real change that will impact the future of Haiti. I feel very blessed to be able to join in with them and support what they are doing here. 

Carlie Gries