Welcome to the Healing Haiti + Eagle Brook Mission Blog. We invite you to follow mission team members as they experience what God is doing both through them and in them while in the mission field of Haiti.

'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Monday, February 3, 2014

We've Arrived!!

We had a flawless day of travel. All flights were on time and we have arrived safely at the guesthouse. We only had about a 15 minute drive from the airport to the guesthouse but in that short time hearts were already broken for the poverty they saw.

At the airport in Minnesota. 

At the airport in Haiti. 

Waiting for our ride in the glorious sunshine and 90 degree weather. 

Our ride!

Ride to the guesthouse. Tent city where people have been living since the earthquake 4 years ago. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Team #1 Leaving on Feb. 18th

Eagle Brook's Team #1 is heading to Haiti on Feb. 18th and we want to thank you for the prayers and donations you have provided before we have even left!

Back Row: Jeff (EBC Leader), Calvin, Mary, Bianca, Annie, Chris
Front Row: Kaytie, Stephanie H., Carolyn, Stephanie S., Shawn
Not pictured: Kari (Healing Haiti Leader)
We are all looking forward to being Jesus hands and feet in Haiti. We also have much anticipation about what God will teach us and do in our hearts as we engage with the poorest of the poor in Haiti.

Please pray that we would allow God's love to shine through us and that He would break our hearts for what breaks His.

Mesi Jezi! (Thank you Jesus)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 6

Folks, I’m not gonna lie to you.  I’m tired.   We’re concluding a physically and emotionally exhausting week and I can honestly say that this is one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.  This team is rock solid and I’ve been blessed to watch each and every one of us grow as our eyes and hearts have opened to the Haitian people.  Today we conducted many of the same activities we participated in earlier in the week but for some reason it all seemed more intense.
Our team took another shift on the water truck today and went into one of the most impoverished areas of Cite Soleil where the need seemed to be much greater than other areas we’ve experienced.  The line waiting for water was twice as long as it was in other areas – and the people were twice as desperate.  There were several requests for medical care and we were approached regularly by parents asking us for shoes and offering to give us their children if only we would take them away to care for them.  It is impossible for us to fulfill all their needs on the trip; still, we poured out our hearts and sent our love to the community in the form of fresh water, hugs and kind words.
After a lunch break and a clean shower we headed back to the Home for Sick and Dying children.  Today we were briefly allowed to enter the room where the sickest babies are held. Our hearts were broken by their frail little bodies and sad eyes looking up at us from their cribs.  I held a fragile little princess with a feeding tube coming out of her mouth who had lost all the pigment in her skin.  She had no name but I decided to call her “Gloria” because the song “Glwa pou Bondye” (Glory to God) has become almost a theme song for our trip. 
Others in the group visited the wound care clinic again and came back with reports of a very active and intense experience.  We helped dispense medication and cleaned and dressed scores of deep, festering wounds.  Serving these people in this way is an act of humility that can only be brought on by a loving God.
What a wonderful blessed week we’re having.  I’ve seen each member of this team step outside their comfort zones and grow in sprit and in character and it’s been fabulous to watch.  Everyone has taken initiative to help others in the group and organize our daily activities.  I couldn’t be prouder and I feel so blessed to share this bond with my new friends.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Day 5 ~ Quality time at Grace Village


Today began with another fabulous noshing session, the breakfasts here are amazing! The plans were a day filled with the loving community of Grace Village.
We all piled in the tap-tap for another fun-filled bumpy ride. Today was market day, so the last main road in Titanyen en route to Grace Village was loaded with vendors on each side.  The distance between car to car and sometimes people is frightening.
A little descriptor about Grace Village, in case you still haven’t checked out the awesome info about it from the website, it is the orphanage/development created by Healing Haiti to house the orphans/host family/some staff. They also employ the local Haitians to build things and in the future to harvest the aquaponic system. Which is a super awesome growing apparatus that you can read more about again on their website. This is a very abbreviated descriptor that will hopefully encourage you to want to understand better.
When we got there we got a general tour of the grounds and met some of the children. We all piled in the cafeteria/chapel/school house and FanFan (the in-house pastor to the kids) led a lesson on the story of Moses. Then we did our part of the lesson with a little skit, complete with Beth performing as the river that the baby floated on. We hid little images of Moses and Miriam on the playground for the kids to seek and find. Had a snack and did a learning activity. We concocted sidewalk paint out of cornstarch water and food coloring. The kids loved helping and carrying the paints out to the sidewalk, and painting.
Then, GET THIS!! They were making lunch for the kids and guess what it was!?! It was Manna Packs from Feed My Starving Children!!! We're not totally sure but the boxes had the CR circled on the box and a few of us were "claiming the fame" of packing them :) (the Coon Rapids location) It was awesome!! A few of us ate some of it for lunch ourselves!  After lunch the kids seemed to do their own thing back in their dorms. Some of the crew followed after them to play with them individually, and a few of us took a "tour" of the grounds.
It was awesome to have Jeff Gacek (one of the founders of HH) in Haiti during our trip to be able to share questions and curiosities about Grace Village or Healing Haiti in general.   
I feel so honored to be a small part of such a huge and purposeful organization. I'm looking forward to coming back and seeing the progress made. God is doing amazing things in this small beautiful country of hope and it is very evident in Grace Village.
We finished off our evening with an outdoor worship session, led by Jeff, a previous trip blogger. It was a great day.


Day 4 - A Visit to the Elderly

Day Four - A Visit to the elderly and disabled in Titanyen.
The day begins with a delicious breakfast as always! I feel like (or rather I know that) I do not begin my days back home nearly as nutriously as this...but, it's for good reason. The days in Haiti require an exhorbitant amount of energy, both physically at times (like when riding in the TapTap), but more so emotionally and mentally. Most of the sights, sounds and interactions with the people of Haiti will make a tremendous impact on ones heart and soul. Today will be no exception I am certain. The agenda for the day is to visit the mass grave and several elderly or disabled Haitian citizens that are on the Elderly Care program at Healing Haiti.
After our inspiring morning devotional (provided by Donna), we are loaded into the TapTap (pronounced "Top Top" if you haven't been privy to this information as of yet...and which is basically a small straight truck with a cage on the back and a couple of bench seats inside - it's our beloved main method of transportation while here...other than by foot) and are off down the road. This turns out to be the longest trip we've been on so far...however the roads aren't too bad for the majority of the trip (SPECIAL NOTE: This is HIGHLY unusual).
January 12, 2010...an extremely large and devastating earthquake ruptures the country of Haiti. 300,000 plus people perish...both during the event and subsequently in the aftermath. Our first stop today, the mass grave that was made due to the lack of places to properly put to rest such a large quantity of loving souls. Junior, one of our translators and sometimes pilot of the TapTap, tells us the story as we gather around the memorial they've constructed on the site of the mass grave. It is a black tile circular monument with a large stone set atop and a plaque inscribed with the historic date and the words "We will never forget". It is a very touching moment for all, some more so than others. I can hardly imagine the pain that some of our guides/translators/Haitian friends we've come to know go through each time they come here and remember that horrific day two and a half years ago and the agonizing days that followed. Loved ones unheard from, hoping they are still alive...and sometimes, more often than not, the bad news arrives. We are all very moved. Some of us take a hike up the mountain to look at the crosses and memorials set atop of the hill overlooking the grave site while others stay down below to hear the heart wrenching tale told first hand of a loved one never to return. We are all moved to silence. It is just too much for the mind to process. After some time passes we load back up into the TapTap and make our way to Titanyen and Grace Village where we will pick up the leaders of the elderly care program, Carol and Jonas.
The first glimpse we get of Grace Village is as we approach it from below and my immediate reaction is "Absolutely amazing! How great is our God!?!" It is truly an awe inspiring and beautiful sight to behold! A literal oasis in the middle of a desert. What they are doing here can only be described as a gift from God. Inside the gate is a bustle of activity. The Haitians are busy constructing a clinic on site and there is a team working on the Aquaponics as we get a brief tour of the Host Family lodging. There are other buildings up already, and we will learn more about them tomorrow, but right now our attention is focused on Rob and Jennifer and their family, the Host Family who are on a 2 year long term mission trip here at Grace Village. They tell us their story and we are all moved by their tremendous act of giving, not just in time and tithing, but in true missionary service work here. It had a profound and deep impact on at least a few of the members of our team and I'm certain I will hear similar stories of such selfless serving from at least a couple of our very own team members in the future. God is at work in us already!
After we gather the group back together, we load into the TapTap and travel to our first stop, Edmond, a 77 year old blind man who lives in little more than a lean to with a cot. We bring him some food, water and love, of which he willingly accepts all with grace and reciprocal love. He tells us his prayer request in between bites of the peanut butter sandwich we've given him...and sadly his request is just outside our reach. He wishes to see again. I know he will one day though, when he returns home to our Father. As we leave he is eating his applesauce and we are off to the next person. We make 4 other stops today, each time bringing a care package and love to each person. We are blessed to have Jeff from our team and Junior to play guitar and sing worship songs at each stop. One thing I notice is the love, openness and welcoming of all the people as we visit each home. They invite us in, the kids come up and say hi, the younger adults smile and wave and are just so friendly! It is truly a loving atomosphere everywhere. It is a gift from God to behold such loving kindness.
At one stop, Jeff and Junior play Amazing Grace as Lauren is rubbing lotion on an elderly woman (Mirolen) and Chris is treating her neck for the soreness she is experiencing. The song moves me to tears and just seeing our team come together and interact with these people is both inspiring and encourging that there is still hope and love in the world...even if we have to travel halfway around it sometimes to find it.
When we return back to the guest house and reflect on our day, I can't help but wonder...maybe God cracked this land to let His light shine on it and show the rest of the world all of the love that is here...
Derek Kranig

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day three in Haiti began with yet another delicious breakfast made by the wonderful Healing Haiti Guesthouse staff.  They have been filling our bodies with energy to go forth and continue our work here in Haiti.

Day three means that we have settled in, getting to know each other's unique individual gifts, adjusting to sleeping in a new place and looking forward to the richness of what the Lord has in store for us.  Day three can also mean needing that extra boost of energy if sleep has been difficult or if family members are being missed.

Isaiah 40:28-31  "Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Speaking of youths.......the big kids met the little ones today.  Our meeting began at the Home for Sick and Dying Children.  Just to hear that title may make one think that this is a place of great sadness.  Quite the contrary.  Small arms reach up to be welcomed into your arms.  There are also many parents outside sitting with their childen.  They are able to be with them in the morning.  My little guy was Waken, two years old and the most beautiful bown eyes looked into mine,  Waken was asking for "MaMa".  I did my best to show him my MaMa/Grandma love for a few short hours.  My fellow team members bonded with a child and whether you were a parent, or had never changed a diaper the love for these children was in the air.  Jeff brought his guitar and sang and played for the children.  I have never seen the macaranah dance done to a Christian song but one young girl danced joyfully.  Many, many smiles.  The Sisters and staff who take care of the children are God-like in the work that they do and also must feel that love from the children each and everyday.

We had to leave the Home after we helped serve/feed the children lunch.  It was their nap time.  We wistfully said our goodbyes and headed back to the guest house where even some of the big kids took a nap.  A break before our next journey.

The majority of the team went to Gertrude's Place and I and another team member headed back to the Home for Sick and Dying Children to accompany some of the Sisters and volunteers to the Wound Care Clinic.  The ride to the clinic was a tour of the main streets of Haiti which were filled with people and vehicles.  Traffic in the metro area is a piece of cake compared to the hazards of driving in Haiti.  The Sister prayed the rosary enroute to the clinic and the prayers were a reminder to me that God had everything under control.  The butterflies in my stomach settled down and I was able to visit with some of the other volunteers.  One is a student from CO, but originally from St. Cloud.  Another was a medical student from France.

Once at the clinic Jen and I tended to people who had come with wounds that needed cleaning and fresh dressings applied.  There was not one word of complaint from any of the patients, and most were very grateful.  Even though they are not rich in material items, they are rich with graciousness.  It was my honor to clean and dress their wounds.

Once back at the Healing Haiti House, we met up with the rest of the group who had been at Gertrude's Place, which is a home for children with special needs.  Again, the big kids were able to spend time with the little kids and it sounded like there was not a lack of joy and laughter.  Stories were shared along with some tears.

After a dinner of pizza and ice cream, I hear my team members outside getting Salsa lessons from Jean Fils-Aime the Director of the Guesthouse.  There is cheering and laughter, so it must be going well.  I must go and investigate.....actually, I want to join the fun.

Even after another busy day and perhaps a bit sleep deprived......those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  Looking forward to Day Four in Haiti.

Mary Mc

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Water Truck Day

Water Truck Day!
      It has been a year since I last stepped off the TapTap into Cite' Soleil.  How I have missed this beautiful land with beautiful people.  Water Truck Day in Citi Soleil was my favorite day my last trip and I have looked forward to serving the people here for so long.
      It was a wonderful to watch my teammates get to experience this for the first time.  Healing Haiti comes to Cite' Soleil to deliver clean water to 3-4 areas daily for free. There is no acces to clean water except for trucks that charge for it.
God has taught me many things over the past year yet my blog entry from last year remains true to today:
Jesus is still in these streets - He always was and always will be.
How easy it is to love these children with their beautiful faces and wonderful smiles! They are faces that are beautiful to their Father God and they are beautiful to me.
Once again I can say to them "Jezi Renmen ou'!  "  They will come back with" wi!"
What's the difference since I last saw Jamison, the boy I met last year and the other children?
From an outside perspective looking at photos of Cite' Soleil over the past few years most would say nothing.
They would be mostly right except for the people that Healing Haiti has been able to help in one way or another.
They can't see my heart like God can.
With each person that comes down here there is a great possibilty for change.  It is that some don't expect it, they even get side-swiped by it because the change occurs in them and not in Cite' Soleil. It is a wonderful change and each person is different.
For me  I came back seeing the world differently and more clearly:
"Love God with all of your heart, soul, strength and mind and Love your neighbor as yourself."
We hear the familiar command from Jesus in Luke 10:27.  It may be easy enough to hear it but is it easy
to process what those 2 greatest commanments mean?
For those of us who have chosen to follow Jesus this is a heavy command when you truly process it.
For me, my neighbors started a few thousand miles away in Haiti and ended at my doorstep. Each one in between is
a child that God loves as His own some he is still trying to rescue.  Like my own children that I love dearly, they are very different from one another.  I expect my kids to treat each other fairly and love each other.  When they don't it can break my heart sometimes - much like it breaks the heart of God when we don't Love our neighbors.
 If we don't love our neighbors are we really following the first and greatest commandment?
I had forgotten the "Go and do likewise" part.
The difference from last year to now is this:
I still say "Jezi Renmen Ou" to these children but now I follow with "Mwen renmen ou"
Which means "I Love You"
and I do.
Bondye Bon Toujou  (God is good always!)
Jeff Gjerde (James)