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Monday
Jul132015

July 13th

Today was yet another warm day with a fairly early start. We began day one of VBS today, and it kicked off with a bang. The excitement for us all started to build when we saw kids begin to run past us towards the church. It kicked off with some sing-alongs, both in English (directed by the girls) and Kreyol (led by the Haitian leaders). The awkwardness for some of us reached its peak as a few of the boys were called up front to play along in a game/song that the kids quite enjoyed.

The games and snacks were a blast; the kids were awesome to work with. They quite enjoyed our presence, and by the looks of things had a blast playing some of the games with us. Lots of stories to tell, that’s for sure.

Early afternoon we had possibly our last soccer match. The teams were divided with Canadians and Haitians together. As the game progressed, the competitiveness of the Haitians became apparent as they ran harder, kicked faster, and their true aggression came out. It is something you can only truly understand seeing with your own eyes.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and discussing the trip together, as a few of us struggled with some slight health issues and felt the effects of weariness. It has been a busy and encouraging week, with many events packed into it.

Hopefully the last day and second day of VBS goes as well as the rest of the trip. We appreciate your prayer and support.

Team + Ryley

Monday
Jul132015

July 12th

Hello ladies and gents, Ryley here reporting on yet another wonderful day here in Haiti. We just finished eating cake that was prepared for Reid in celebration of his 16 years of life. Jon presented him with a piece that had a fork stuck upside down with an impaled cockroach on the sharp end. Yeah. I am sitting in a living-room type area with no A/C because our room (which is our only escape from the heat) smells like a bio-hazard zone from 7 days of Haiti-heat. I believe most of the kids are playing cards downstairs while I can hear Chris and Jon talking about something. Everyone is enjoying yet another beautiful evening that God has provided for us down here.

Today was a good day, very encouraging. We started the day a bit early due to church, which was an amazing experience. Elyse and I got the chance to share a little bit during the service while Chris provided the sermon. It was nerve-wracking to say the least but in the middle of my sharing they all unanimously said “Amen” which pumped me up. Elyse and I agreed that it was something we won’t forget. The way the people worship and truly focus 100% on God is something some of us still can’t wrap our heads around, it’s amazing. Chris spoke with such passion and energy it was a surprise to a lot of us, he is part Haitian!!

After church we gathered in an area and Chris introduced us all to a young man and woman named Stevens, and Viola. They were some of the most joyful people I have ever met, their faith shone through them like something many of us had never experienced. Their stories and just the way they lived was super encouraging and motivating. They just make you want to know Jesus more! I was really pumped to hear young people who really and truly live for Jesus in all they do.

Another quick highlight of the day was hearing some commotion downstairs and discovering that Elyse had found a tarantula in the woman’s bathroom. Of course Jon got right in there and soon we were all examining its carcass on the concrete outside – after Kenny unloaded a can of insecticide on it. A little freaky!

After a lunch of delicious spaghetti we headed up to a children’s church. I believe the name was Tapion. We were able to perform a skit for the children while Maddie and Brittany shared a few words they had prepared. I can’t express how much joy the people have for Jesus down here, even the little children. It was an awesome time just listening to them sing praise and listening to the sermon.

We concluded the day at a restaurant named Mondy’s, but Chris called the “Goat & Coke.” It was yet another experience but the food was incredible and we enjoyed some more fellowship.

I’m getting the call that it’s time to wrap it up so we’d all better say goodbye. Hopefully all is well back home, myself and a few others are experiencing some home sickness but enjoying every moment down here none-the-less. Excited to see you all face to face!

-Ryley + Team

Saturday
Jul112015

July 11th

The thunder is rolling, and has been for well over an hour as I write this…rain is desperately needed, but there doesn’t seem to even have been a drop fallen yet.  The mango trees seem to flourish in this drought, but the corn and other crops are looking very desperate. We went to the market in Grande Goave today with our translator Johnny and our friends Kenny and Kiki.  It was crowded and loud, but amazing to see that everything was available – from live chickens to soap to fresh fruit.  Outside the market is where the river flows, when it rains, but now it is basically a parking lot for donkeys.  Some of the merchants come down from the mountains to sell their goods and park their transportation in the riverbed for the day.  One of the merchants we visited was the baker – it is where the bread we are eating is made.  It was quite the experience to try working the two man dough roller.  We would never make it as bakers here and certainly don’t have the stamina to do that all day.

On our way back from the market we stopped by a concrete pour – our translator Johnny’s friend’s house. They were having the roof poured.  We (the men) offered to help.  It was like a work bee I have never witnessed before.  The concrete is mixed in concrete mixer with one man adding bucket after bucket of sand, gravel and cement.  Other men are carting the buckets over to him.  More men are lifting by hand in an assembly line, up the ladder, the mixed concrete to another group of men pouring and finishing it on the roof.  It was a sight to witness.  A strong sense of community as all these men worked together. Our men helped for roughly an hour, however the other men had been there since early morning and worked continuously in the 40 degree heat.  The best part of this was that in Haiti, people usually do not get married until the man has a house.  Completing this roof for this man today will now allow him to get married.  What a blessing that this was able to happen for him!

This afternoon brought a trip to the beach with Kenny and Kiki.  The walk there took us around the community and to the beach.  We are fortunate to be in the 20% of Haiti that is forested.  It is fairly mountainous and quite lush with trees.   The ocean was a very welcome experience and it was an extremely refreshing time for all. The best part was that it was the first time Matthew had ever been in the ocean and it was great that we all go to experience it with him. This evening Chris is going over his sermon for tomorrow and the kids are practicing their skits for the VBS we are having Monday andTuesday.  All the children we see are so beautiful and their whole faces light up when they smile.  We are very thankful that God is providing the opportunity for us to share His word and love on these kids in the next few days.  Thank you all for your continued prayers and we hope everything is going well back home!

Friday
Jul102015

July 10th

Today we started the day with a prayer and worship meeting, followed by lunch and a soccer game with our friends Kenny and Kiki. It was great to get outside and play competitively while still joking and having fun as a group.  Although we tried, there was no amount of effort on our part that could compete with the skill of our Haitian friends. Later in the day we gathered up our backpacks full of bibles and headed out into the community to share the gospel with the Haitian people.  

After our adventure out of the compound yesterday we expected God to do great things in the people we met.  We were amazed with the value that was placed on the bibles we handed out.  When we would start a conversation with someone a crowd would form around us to hear and receive the bibles.  Each person accepted a bible with a smile and immense gratitude. We came to a group of Haitian men sitting beneath a tree just talking amongst each other and although they seemed to be guarded and rough around the edges Pastor Chris eventually was able to break through their walls and we were able to pray with them and give each of them a bible to read.  After few stops our bibles were gone, but we still continued to go to every house and pray with the people.  These outings have not only affected the Haitians and the community but the lives and the outlook of the team as well.

Thursday
Jul092015

July 9th

45 degrees Celsius and everyone is still in good spirits! It has been hot and humid for sure, but this trip has been excellent. Today, we finally finished a painting project that took us three days. It was a lot of hard work, and the paint fumes may have affected us, but it was so nice to complete the project. After having lunch, we set out with about 50 bibles and walked through the community of Grand Goave and shared the gospel. It was wonderful to share the gospel and pray with the local Haitians, and some of them haven’t even heard the gospel before. Walking around the community was heart breaking and encouraging all at once. It was difficult to see the poverty and destruction from the earthquake; but to see and hear their joy was so encouraging. The Haitians remain so joyful, even with the little material things they have. This goes to show that material things aren’t supposed to be the source of our joy.

More posts to come, stay tuned! 

Brittany Bovey