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Bethel Team Blog (BTB) -Day 1-3

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. 

Please pray:

- 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

 

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Surrey Alliance Church: First Days

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).

April 25th

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)

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Bethel Church

Here is team Bethel Evangelical Missionary Church from Three Hills, AB.  They are prepared for any adventure or challenge! The children on the team add much fun and energy. They are a great team.

Here is team Bethel Evangelical Missionary Church from Three Hills, AB.  They are prepared for any adventure or challenge! The children on the team add much fun and energy. They are a great team.

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Surrey Alliance Church

Welcome Surrey Alliance Church from Surrey, BC.  It has been two years since we have had the pleasure of having a team from Surrey.  They are an enthusiastic group who are truly 'family'. Keep watch for their blogging.....

Welcome Surrey Alliance Church from Surrey, BC.  It has been two years since we have had the pleasure of having a team from Surrey.  They are an enthusiastic group who are truly 'family'. Keep watch for their blogging.....

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Grace Gate Community Church - Home

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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

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Grace Gate Community Church - Day 5

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.

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Trinity Lutheran Day 5

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!
Team Trinity

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Trinity Lutheran Day 4

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.

Team Trinity

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Trinity Lutheran Day 3

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.

Team Trinity

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Grace Gate Community Church - Day 3

 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
 60,000 steps
 47 liters of water consumed
 Uncountable hours of laughter
 Too many Haitian donuts devoured

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Trinity Lutheran Day 2

Hello Friends and Family!  Today we had our first full day.  We spent the morning getting our clinics set up, cleaning, organizing, on the ground training as well.  We managed to drum up curiosity from the trade school professors and students, so they made perfect subjects to get our system worked out.  The dental clinic even saw a patient and have another one coming first thing.  There has been a few hick ups, which add to our adventure.  We are getting a crash course in being MacGyver's and how to network Haitian style.  Our dental clinic is missing a drill so Marilyn and Frankie have sourced one from a local dentist, as long as he can bird dog Struan and Charlene!  Should make for some more interesting stories tomorrow.  Eye clinic manged to examine 45 people, young and old.  Church was two hours and not a minute too short.  Lisa challenged the congregation to share what they learned in last weeks service when she was gone.  She then proceeded to sit down and wait.  All I could think was, "what would Trinity do to PJ if he did that?"  Remarkably, four people rose to the challenge!  After service, Val saw LaPatience (lady with sore hip), and it was a reunion like no other.  We are excited to see Val take her the walker she brought.  Lisa translated to LaPatience that Val has prayed daily for her, and the woman almost wept!  God is moving here and it is life changing!  Sending all our love home!
Blessings,
Rhea Lynne & friends

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Grace Gate Community Church

Hello from Haiti.  This group of 6 has arrived in our hosting home here at Haiti Arise. We write this totally humbled by our new environment. Pictures or this place of this place and news on the television cannot capture the chaos and unbelievable poverty of this country. It also cannot capture all of the smiles that exist here and the hope that has been placed like an oasis in the sun within the walls of Haiti Arise.  What a wonderful place blessed by God and what a blessing to us to land like a spearhead sent from Oregon onto such God rich earth. Surrounded by a spiritual heaviness Haiti Arise is a beacon that shines God's light into the vast darkness. We have been given tasks but have also been told to prepare our ears for God's voice. Honored to be a part of this experience we send news of a kind people a loving God and open hearts. Continue to pray for us and this place....and remember, God is moving ---  https://vimeo.com/210538688

Hello from Haiti. 

This group of 6 has arrived in our hosting home here at Haiti Arise. We write this totally humbled by our new environment. Pictures or this place of this place and news on the television cannot capture the chaos and unbelievable poverty of this country. It also cannot capture all of the smiles that exist here and the hope that has been placed like an oasis in the sun within the walls of Haiti Arise. 

What a wonderful place blessed by God and what a blessing to us to land like a spearhead sent from Oregon onto such God rich earth. Surrounded by a spiritual heaviness Haiti Arise is a beacon that shines God's light into the vast darkness. We have been given tasks but have also been told to prepare our ears for God's voice. Honored to be a part of this experience we send news of a kind people a loving God and open hearts. Continue to pray for us and this place....and remember, God is moving --- 

https://vimeo.com/210538688

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Trinity Lutheran Church, Brooks, AB

Today was our first day on the ground after 1 long and 2 short nights.  Upon arriving in Port au Prince, with all of our 18 pieces of luggage in tact, the reassuring sight of old friends, confirmed we had arrived!  We needed two vehicles, one to transport our luggage, and the other for us.  We piled in for our journey to Haiti Arise.  No matter how many times we experience different countries and cultures, we still go through many emotions, as we travel the streets on our way.  Passing piles of garbage and rubble, seeing vehicles jamming the streets, pedestrians trying to cross, motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic. Upon arriving at Haiti Arise, we settled in and unpacked our donations.  We had a delicious lunch and went for a tour of the compound, the new school and Children's Village. Hot, humid, and short bursts of A/C.  Roof top star gazing and conversation.  We are ready for a long rest, fresh for what a waits us tomorrow. We continue to pray for friends and loved ones at home, as they pray for us.  We have definitely been covered by prayers as we have felt them. Shirley & friends

Today was our first day on the ground after 1 long and 2 short nights.  Upon arriving in Port au Prince, with all of our 18 pieces of luggage in tact, the reassuring sight of old friends, confirmed we had arrived!  We needed two vehicles, one to transport our luggage, and the other for us.  We piled in for our journey to Haiti Arise.  No matter how many times we experience different countries and cultures, we still go through many emotions, as we travel the streets on our way.  Passing piles of garbage and rubble, seeing vehicles jamming the streets, pedestrians trying to cross, motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic.

Upon arriving at Haiti Arise, we settled in and unpacked our donations.  We had a delicious lunch and went for a tour of the compound, the new school and Children's Village.

Hot, humid, and short bursts of A/C.  Roof top star gazing and conversation.  We are ready for a long rest, fresh for what a waits us tomorrow.

We continue to pray for friends and loved ones at home, as they pray for us.  We have definitely been covered by prayers as we have felt them.

Shirley & friends

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Good bye team!

Well the team is all tucked in and trying to get a few zzzz's before their early departure into PAP for their flights home in the morning.  It's been a great 12 days with this crazy crew! We have shared a lot of things with each other this trip including a few tears and a whole lot of laughs and I am just really thankful to have had the chance to get to know each one of them better. Without naming anyone in particular (Clark) it's sure gonna be quiet here tomorrow!

I have been teased a little bit this week for not taking a turn blogging but quite honestly the rest of the team had so many more exciting stories to share that I loved hearing about and knew others would as well. But today was definitely a blog worthy day. As far as Sundays go, today was a very typical one at Haiti Arise with church starting early in the morning, jam packed and worshipful. You can never really get tired of the way the Haitians here adore and praise our God. But today was so special. Pastor Wade shared a challenging message about how we need to have the right attitude, and how anger in particular does not produce the righteousness God desires. As he concluded his message, he called all those who were struggling with this to come to the altar. As people continued to flood to the front it was so humbling to see that almost more people responded to the call than were left sitting in their seats. This was followed by Pastor Marc asking if anyone wanted to come forward to accept Jesus. Two young ladies did. Tears welled up in my eyes when I realized that one day I would be sharing heaven with these two girls. We live miles away and don't look the same or speak the same language but we are in the same family as far as Christ is concerned. The angels were definitely singing this morning.

Haiti Arise was first and foremost built around the church. It is the foundation of this organization and every other single ministry here flows out of that. I was reminded today of just how much God is at work here.  Please keep this church in your prayers as they continue to bring light and life to these people. May we learn by their example and be encouraged to do the same in Canada.

I will be in Haiti for 10 more days getting student updates to send to all you wonderful sponsors and your prayers are greatly appreciated. No snow, cute little Haitian children, an occasional trip to the beach...clearly I have the best job ever!

Tan :)

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Down South

We would like to start by apologizing to anyone who was relying on this blog to know we are safe and sound in Haiti because it hasn’t been updated in a couple days. (we won’t say who failed to update the blog but we just want to let everyone know Clark, Graham and Jurgen were away from WIFI for the last three days). We are pleased to inform you that yes we are alive and well and have been busy with many adventures away from the Haiti Arise compound down south building homes. 

While without internet/power/running water and many other amenities we found ourselves very busy building relationships as well as homes for Haitian people who have been displaced from the hurricane that ravaged the area in October.  Driving into the area our hearts were really drawn to helping as best as we could because the need was so apparent.  Even the pictures we have attached barely capture the true devastation and need for safe homes in this region.  There were families waiting for a long time to have a reliable roof over their heads and were so eager to help out however they could… we hauled material up steep hills and even the youngest family members were helping move the supplies.  We really wished we could help everyone but obviously that is not a reality.  Definitely don’t envy those who are tasked with deciding who gets a house as that is such a tough position to be in.  We were approached multiple times during our stay by people in the community who also wanted a home.  For those we were able to build for it was so rewarding to see the joy that a new home was able to bring.

This morning as we were walking down the hill it was humbling to have both members of the community (the mayor met us on the side of the mountain!) and the crew we were working with all wanted us to stay and continue.  We left wishing we could have done a lot more but are so grateful for the opportunity we had to help with what we could.  Please continue to have Haiti in your prayers and definitely consider partnering with such a worthwhile ministry. 

 Clark, Graham and the non-blogger

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Weyburn's second Last day

It is hard to believe that our time in Haiti is almost over.  It has been an amazing time with a wonderful team of people, plus our new friends from The Link Church in Medicine Hat. It was a day of trying to finish up some of the projects that had been started earlier in the week.  Several from our team went to the market in Grand Goave. That is an experience every Haiti Arise visitor needs to experience! Definitely not like going to the local mall back home.  Vernon,  Brad, Brent and Norm completed some electrical work at the third house in the Children's Village.  It is ready for counter tops and a sink in the kitchen,  a little more electrical work mostly in the main connect, some wall patching, and completion of the bathroom.  There are house parents and children waiting for their new home.  Sarah and Kalen continued painting in the mechanic's shop,  Mackenzie and Haley (with some help from Sarah) completed the painting of the windows and doors at the new school in the Children's Village.  Bev cleaned up the storage room in the main house.  After lunch most of the group went with Wade and Marilyn and Lisa Honorat to enjoy the beach.  Several enjoyed a treat of lobster on the beach.

A highlight of the week for Norm and I was meeting our new sponsor girl.  Last February I was able to meet Richecarline (Norm had met her on his first trip here).  When we returned home we decided that we would sponsor her little sister Falonne.  On Thursday,  after Norm returned from his house building trip, we were able to meet with both of the girls.  Richecarline, is very comfortable with us and comes looking for us whenever she is around.  Falonne, who is only 5, wasn't quite so sure about these strange while people who were paying so much attention to her. The smile didn't come quickly but once she got the doll we had brought for her, she gave us a few.  Richecarline told us that her mother has been in the hospital so her dad is caring for them.  When it was time for the girls to go home we walked them home and were able to be in their house for a few minutes.  There were only bare necessities in the room we were in, but it was very clean and well cared for.

Kalen was able to meet their family's sponsored boy, Luckson and deliver some gifts from their family.                

It feels like our time here has gone quickly and yet it also feels like we have been here much longer than 9 days.  We have worked hard but have also enjoyed evenings relaxing around the table playing games, eating popcorn, visiting with our friends or sitting outside enjoying the wonderful weather that we will soon have to leave behind.  We definitely feel blessed to have been part of this team.

Norm & Bev Alexander

Our 2 little sponsor girls.

Our 2 little sponsor girls.

Kalen and his sponsor kid, Luckson.

Kalen and his sponsor kid, Luckson.

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Weyburn Team Divides and Conquers

Hello again from Mackenzie,

So we all started off the day like any other - devotions and nutritious breakfast. After that we all split up to tackle the multiple jobs on the to-do list. Again, I helped out with the sponsor kids like every other morning. I've gotta say it has been one of the highlights of the trip. I really like working along Tania and Debbie from the Link team and the translators (Luckson and Kendy). Luckson has been helping us the whole time and I'd say the two of us have really gotten to know each other. He has such a wonderful personality - always smiling, laughing and joking around. Also we had Kenny (a 16 year old that translated a lot for us my last trip here - and he is such a bright kid). Kendy and Kenny just came to help today and in no time all four (the 3 translators and me) of us were joking around an having a blast. Some of the time the language barrier can be difficult with people, but even just saying "hello" or "Bonjour" and a smile is like a conversation down here - the simple things sure do make things fun. 

While I was doing the stuff with the sponsor children, others were doing stuff like painting, working at the Children's Village Duplexes, or just resting/hanging out. After lunch sometime, I wandered over to the Children's Village with Troy and helped the guys out - believe it or not, I was the only one that could pick a lock (hehe). After helping them a bit I went over to the one duplex that is finished and wound up playing for over 2 hours with the three kids that now live there with their parents... and boy can I ever say they are sooooo CUTE. 

Before supper, Brian and Shameeka went on a community visitation and this is what they said: "We had the opportunity of stopping at five different homes to meet and share our story and some scripture and a time of prayer with these people. It was very sad to see their living conditions, as some of them lived in a pole structure only, no walls, dirt floors, and only a couple of palm tree branches for a roof. Some lived in structures that would have had tin walls and tin roof with holes in the tin, along with dirt floors too. Everywhere we went, the people were more than willing to let us share with them and pray for them. The area that we were in (a place Haiti Arise has never visited before) was also flooded by Hurricane Matthew, which was sad because they had nothing to begin with and now were left with even less. One of the individuals that we met with, talked with us about her 16 year old son and how he is unable to go to school due to financial needs. We invited her to come to Haiti Arise and meet with the people here to talk about getting her son sponsored. Anther individual that was needing medical attention was encouraged to come to the medical clinic at Haiti Arise.  {I (shameeka) shared my testimony with a woman that seemed as though she had very little hope left in her. After I told her how I found Jesus, she seemed to brighten up more than before - It felt as though I was meant to share my story with her. Definitely a life changing experience and large stepping stone in regards to my faith. I've never just went out and told someone my story - having that experience really encouraged me to try do this at home more}. Doing this was a very humbling experience for us. Personally we believe that everyone who comes to Haiti Arise should experience this. This made us stop and think about how Jesus stopped and reached out to change people's lives, just as we did today."

After the Children's Village, We came back for supper and it was sooooo good... just like always. The Haitian food is definitely going to be one of the things I'm going to miss when I go back to dorm in Canada.

 Nunka (a girl that translated for my team 2 years ago and we got to know very well) was actually at the complex and stayed for supper. She hung out for a while with us, which was really nice to be able to do, like 2 years ago. She's one of the many bright Haitians that I will miss when I return to Canada.

After that, everyone relaxed, debriefed, and then played games and visited... while I ended up hitting the books like most nights. (I sure do realize down here how much education is important and how much people in Canada take it for granted. Believe it or not, when kids are asked on their sponsor papers "What makes you sad?", lots of them say "When I don't have enough money to go to school". Kids definitely appreciate school a lot down here. But speaking of Sponsor kids again, I decided to sponsor a kid and I actually got to meet her today. She is sooooo CUTE! Quiet, but cute.

Anyways, lots of love from down here in Haiti. We will be home in just a few days and we all can't wait to share this amazing experience with all of you.

The youngest kid in the one house at the Children's Village that I played with.

The youngest kid in the one house at the Children's Village that I played with.

The 3 kids I played with live in the pink side of the duplex.

The 3 kids I played with live in the pink side of the duplex.

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Weyburn's House Building Trip to St. Helene

Hello everyone, this is Norm and Brad. We had the opportunity to go into the area hardest hit by Hurricane Matthew. We traveled approximately 3 hours west of Haiti Arise to a community called Saint Helene. It was a beautiful, small, fertile valley with farmland down below and housing higher up the mountains.

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