Monday, March 7, 2016

Home safely

The team is home safely after a great 8 days.  We had issues uploading pictures all week, however there are few picture posts if you follow this link.

Thanks for all your prayers and support on this trip!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The eagle will again head to the open skies...

Final thoughts...

At the end of each day the team gathered together and each of us shared a personal word of the day.  This time has been a very significant part of our journey as it provided us an opportunity to delve deeply into the often intense experience of serving in Haiti.  I'd like to share our words from the first and last days. I think they shed some light on our many blessings in Haiti.

Day one:  anxious, anticipation, people, excited, tears, encouragement, comfortable, grateful, providence, connecting, joy, apprehensive, hopeful, hope, deja vu, excited.

Last day:  beginnings, milestones, mu sonje (I remember), appreciation, breathe, perspective, intense, genuine, impact, full, home, bittersweet, intensity, inspirational, beautiful. We missed Rick's word as he went to bed early.

Yesterday our team went again into Cite Soleil to help with the water truck at two districts. The children were overjoyed to see the Tap Tap round the street as they shouted "hey you!"  It has been written that the expression "hey you" speaks to "give me....chocolate, food, attention, a smile, anything, but generally for love."  We also visited LaPhare Orphanage and were blessed to enjoy singing, art projects, a visit to their church, nail painting, soccer and jump rope!  It was such a loving environment to be in.

Today we had the gift of enjoying the church service at Grace Church in Titanyen. The Holy Spirit felt vividly present!  For the remainder of the day the team enjoyed time together wrapping up the trip and experiencing the beautiful Haitian countryside.

Our team has been so blessed from the very beginning!!!  Divine appointments bringing us together to see what God had in store for us.  I will take a risk and say we are forever changed and our eyes are seeing out of new and improved lenses! As they say in Creole, "Bondye Bon" God is good!

We shall physically see you very soon!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Friday ~ Church morning

We just returned home to the Guest House and are happily exhausted! Wow. What an amazingly full day we were able to experience.  Many of us set our alarms for 5:30 am and started our day at a Haitian church called Church on the Rock. We were able to worship with them in song ... many beautiful and inspiring songs.  We felt so welcomed there and appreciated some of the prayers said in English, too!

We hopped in the tap tap and enjoyed an unexpected shopping stop at the Papillon Industry.  Here local people create lovely jewelry, ornaments, bags, and other items made out of recycled magazines and cardboard boxes.

We returned to the tap tap (our home away from home) and started a long, curvy, bumpy ride up the mountain.  And was it worth it!!  The view looking out onto the city of Port-au-Prince was spectacular.  We enjoyed some cool drinks at an outdoor restaurant and then walked through some persistent sales people as we jumped back into our ride.

Our next stop of the day was Dare Orphanage, which is a place for special needs children.  We massaged their arms and legs with lotion and gave them love (and applesauce). Melanie and Frank provided music for the group, and we sang songs with the children.  One of the children helped us keep beat with his wonderfully loud clapping.  He definitely loved singing -- it was so great to see.

We were then able to tour and visit a fantastic local company called Rebuild Globally.  Here Haitians make and sell flip flops with the bottoms made of old car tires.   The footware brand, called Deux Mains, is also sold at stores in the United States.  Two people from the company are flying to NYC tomorrow to attend a trade show in Madison Square Garden.  How cool is that?! Please keep your eyes open for this company.

We ended our busy day with a team pizza dinner at Pizza Amour.  A delicious meal was enjoyed by all.

We have so appreciated our driver Maxim.  He has kept us safe and sound on the roads. We are blessed that he is with us daily. Thank you, Maxim!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Haiti, Homes, History hAnd hOther hAdventures

Another full day here in good ole' Haiti. A little less physically exhausting, but still stretching on our emotions as our hearts continue to go back and forth , processing all we've seen so far; aches for the extreme poverty and to see conflict; joy and excitement to see the smiling faces of the kids, the teens, the adults, and not sure of their stories, of their journeys, of their successes, or of their struggles. Grateful for clean water to drink as we get to know each other reaaallllyyyy well from being squished together in a very warm tap tap (we apologize for not filling you in on the joys of a tap tap earlier. A tap tap is a like an open air pick up truck, with cage like material on the sides to allow us to see the jaw dropping scenery, but still enclosed for safety. It's unlike anything we've experienced before). Through our experiences, we've been reminded that God is sovereign and God is good.

Our day consisted of traveling to a city with a home for the sick and dying and a museum about the history of Haiti where we learned so much about, you guessed it, the history of Haiti. Bonus: this museum has the actual anchor from the Santa Maria, which is the ship of Christopher Columbus. Afterwards, we spent some team time discussing and processing the day and continuing to get to know one another as we continue on this journey together. -God is good- The home for the sick and dying is a home of restoration, refreshment, and peace. It is simply beautiful. The patients are of all ages and seem to be at different levels of health. They allowed us to be with them as we rubbed lotion on and massaged their dry skin (the women also painted the fingernails and toenails of the Haitian women). -God is good- unable to speak the same language, we were reminded of the power of eye contact and smiles and allowing the Lord to work in the sometimes uncomfortable quiet. We've continued to wrestle with questions about why God allows some things to happen, but so grateful for the ways He provides, even small joys, and hope for the families of Haiti and in awe of how they allow us to be a part of just a fraction of their lives. -God is good- we go to sleep with our hearts full
and fulfilled. We are unsure of the plans God has set for us for the rest of the week, but we are anxious to see what He will bring us to. Stay tuned!

*at this time, we are still trying to figure out how to post pictures with the limited wifi. We'll post pictures if and when we figure it out (: