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Hey Cornerstone family, Michael here. Today was our last one here in Haiti and it was hard to say goodbye. As excited as each of us is to go home and see our family and friends it is hard to leave this place. The people we have met and the things we have got to do and see won’t easily be forgotten.

Today was a day to finish up a few little things and say our goodbyes as well as relax as we prepared to go home. The morning started with a trip to the market. This was a neat experience for many on our team as we have nothing even close to it at home. Trips like this help open our eyes to the world and realize just how good we have it in Canada.

We then finished up a few small items, like putting the pews we finished into the church and saying our goodbyes to those we had worked with. Our team then spent the afternoon at the beach relaxing after a long nine days.

Rather than only tell you what we did today I want this blog to give you a snapshot of some of my highlights from the entire trip. So be forewarned this may be a bit longer as there was a lot!

One of my absolute favorite things from this trip was getting to work on the construction of a new duplex at the Children’s Village. Not only were we getting to work on something our church had given money to, it was also where we were able to work alongside locals. For the most part Justin, Lowell and myself were doing this and I think I speak for all of us when I say that a highlight of our trip was getting to know the guys we worked with. The relationships we built with them will not be forgotten and it was sad to say goodbye. As a farewell, we went out today one last time and brought each of them a coke as a parting gift.

Another huge highlight is our times of worship at church. Seeing the Haitians worship without reservation has been an amazing thing to witness. There is so much we can learn from then on how to worship and rely on God fully. Although we came down to serve, there is so much we have gained from our time here. In the same vein, I absolutely loved my time at Tapion which is a church plan of Haiti Arise that is solely for children. Kids walk long distances to worship together and grow in their faith. I was absolutely amazed at these young children who took their faith so seriously and it was a challenge for me to grow in my faith as well.

Every evening we have a team debrief time. A couple days in Venessa was mentioning that she missed being able to worship in English. So we grabbed a guitar and sang a couple songs. It was such a great time that we decided to do the same thing every night. This has been such an amazing time of worship, refreshment, and connection with God. This experience I believe really brought our team together and I will truly miss this time when I go back home.

My final highlight and maybe the most impactful for me was getting to see each member of our team using their gifts to serve God. We came as a group with many different talents, gifting, and skills but each and every one of us found a place to serve and connect. Whether it was Mitch building pews or Abby leading worship or any of the other members of our team doing various different things, each was able to use their gifts for his glory. Throughout this trip, we have all grown closer together as a group and have grown closer to God as we work to serve him. I was so truly blessed to get to lead this team of individuals. They made my life easy by coming with servant hearts and a desire to follow Gods leading.

But now it time to head to bed as we are leaving the compound at 4 am. Please pray for us as we travel home. All of us are excited to get to join with you all this Sunday once again.

Michael Streilein on behalf of the Cornerstone Team

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