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.’

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What now?


I look around and nothing has changed, yet I have changed. Our Haitian mission trip is now a flood of memories. Peoples faces lighting up when you simply smile and say hello.A sick little girl who only wanted to be held. The tears on an old man's face when kissed by a team member. The hug from an old woman when her water bucket was carried. Frustration in not being able to help the sick in City Soliel. The feeling of hopelessness in not being able to solve the problems we've seen.


So much has happened in so little time. Most of us volunteered for the mission trip to Haiti to help in a country we'd only read about. We all wanted to try to give comfort when needed. We all wanted to try to ease a burden, even if only for a little while.



Most of us were unprepared for the onslaught of raw emotions we encountered. Yet there was great comfort in knowing that you could share your feelings with a team member. We were all struggling at some point. As meaningful as the work we were doing was, the sharing and bonding that occurred amongst us was equally so. We came as individuals and left as a family. We cried, laughed and shared our deepest feelings and together we found a way to cope.



On the trip, we tried to make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people, but now we have the chance to make a difference in the lives of all peoples. The softening of the heart, the increased compassion and the change of your life's focus is the great gift of a mission trip such as this.


Thankful

I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for the many life changing experiences we have had thus far. God brought together an amazing team of people who have many special talents and gifts that were used to serve the Haitians.

Today, five team members went to the Wound Clinic in Port-au-Prince. Our team was blessed with three experienced nurses and a pharmacist. Seeing them in action at the clinic made me so thankful for the special talents God provided to hundreds of wounded and sick Haitians.






Each team member was given an invitation from our Father to come on this mission. Thankfully, each team member was obedient and accepted His invitation. Not only have we strengthened our relationship with God, but we have been blessed with many new lifelong relationships.

I am thankful for having the privilege to serve the Haitians, the remarkable Healing Haiti staff, the many new friendships, the messages God has revealed to the team, God shining His light through all of the team members and for reminding me of what being obedient and committed to Him really means.

Thank you Father God for an amazing experience, all the glory goes to You.

Our Hatian friends...we will miss you!








Friday, November 11, 2011

beautiful day

visiting the elderly

joy

stepping out of our comfort zones


singing

resilience

inspiring


worship

prayer

gifts


visiting Yvonne's orphanage

touched

satisfying



watching others use their God-given gifts to serve

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hope


After visiting one of the many mass grave sites in Haiti (a result of the earthquake on January 12, 2010) our day began by touring Healing Haiti's Grace Village in Titanyen. I visited Grace Village exactly one year ago on my first journey to Haiti. I felt pure hope and joy as we drove through the gates of Grace Village to see the progress that has been made. The feeding house and the children's dorms were colorful, welcoming and secure. To think, two people that went on a mission trip several years ago made this all happen.


After Grace Village, we went on elderly visits. Our first stop was to a man named Edmond. Edmond completely broke our hearts. He is blind and cannot hear well. We visited with Edmond, prayed over him, gave him food and water and rubbed his arms with lotion. Edmond praised our Father God over and over for sending us to him. He has nothing, but yet he is full of hope and his faith is so deep. While our time with Edmond was limited, I was encouraged by the support he is receiving through Healing Haiti and the love that the teams have and will continue to provide to him. He is so deserving.

We spent the afternoon at one of Healing Haiti's orphanages and made crafts, sang songs, danced and played with the children. The joy and laughter that we experienced by the children was delightful. The children have so little, but are filled with hope, joy and happiness.

Simple acts are so meaningful to people in need.

How can we let God transform us into new people and change the way we think and act? What more can we do to make a difference? God sent our team here for a reason and know he will reveal his plans to us in his own time through worship and prayer. There is so much to be done, but am hopeful by what has already been done and what is still yet to come.

All the glory to God.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hope and Loss



For months I've thought of a 2 year old girl whose big brown eyes could look right through you. Her smile brightened the room and her hugs could melt the hardest of hearts. Last February I had to walk out of her nursery, forever hearing her cries that echoed through my heart.

It was with great apprehension that I returned to the home for sick and dying babies here in Port au Prince where she was being cared for. Will she still be there? Will she still remember me as I remember her?

I looked throughout the building and she was just not there. I never knew her name, only the warmth of her touch. I pray that her bright little spirit is lighting up the lives of her family. I pray that she is safe. I pray that she is happy. I know that I never will know. All I feel now is that she is gone.

There are many other kids there. All needing love. All craving the gift of human touch. I walk to their cribs looking at their outstretched arms. I pick up a little boy and the cycle begins again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

delivering water

serving God

amazing

in the moment


unmet medical needs

hard to walk away


willing and open group

gorgeous pink flowers

Blessed are those who understand.  Proverbs 3:13-14


What difference can I make?

hopeful

joyful children


Matthew 25 

sad

delivering water


Cite Soleil

unexpected

overwhelming senses


What is God trying to teach me?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011




Team #2 arrived safely in Haiti.

As we began our decent into Haiti, the view was spectacular seeing the mountains, blue ocean and green lush fields. For those of us returning, we almost forgot the reality of the conditions in Port a Prince.

Only a few mishaps along the way - Dave lost his wallet at the Haitian airport (the good news is he won't buy any Haitian art)! Luckily an honest Haitian returned it to him. We tagged our luggage with pink duct tape only to find out another missionary team used the same color tape on their luggage. We had some of their luggage and they had some of ours. Other than that, it was smooth sailing.

We were welcomed outside the airport by Jean and the Healing Haiti Taptap packed with over 30 suitcases mostly filled with donations for the elderly, orphanages and the tent cities.

We arrived at the guest house to a wonderful Mexican dinner. Everyone met Jean and Fanfan (our Haitian hosts) and are excited for the journey we are about to embark on. We spent time after dinner sharing a "word" of the day. Some of the words shared are as follows - honesty, well prepared, grateful, hopeful, privileged, tired, friendship, comprehend, overwhelming, surreal and thankful.

We look forward to our time together this week as we serve our Father God. Our team has arrived with open hearts and no expectations. Tomorrow is our first water truck day in Cite Soleil in 95 degree weather. We cannot wait to experience what God has in store for us.

Team #2

Sunday, November 6, 2011

WOW!

Day 7: November 6th, 2011

On our last full day of being the hands and feet of God, we were blessed with yet another day of great spirits and joyful hearts among everyone on our team. With the chance to sleep in a little later than normal, we were greeeted with another delicious breakfast of eggs, pancakes, and fresh fruit. After breakfast, Fanfan led us in a church service worship on the veranda at the guest house. Fanfan is an amazing leader for Christ and the Lord truly speaks through him. Not to mention his amazing singing voice leading us in song.

After church, we had some down time as we waited for our driver. Junior showed up at noon although he didn't feel well at all! Many of the team members today said they saw Christ in Junior as he served us through driving and putting his sickness aside for God. We drove through downtown Port Au Prince and got the opportunity to see the lifestyle of the Haitians along with more of the devastation. But once again, we saw the positive attitude and joyful spirits in their eyes. Through Port Au Prince, we continued up the mountain side around twists and turns and switchbacks. We stopped at a couple shops along the side of the road and picked up some souvenirs. As we climbed up the mountain, the temperature fell and the humidity continued to rise. The vegetation on the side of the road reminded me of a rainforest as we drove through the clouds. The drive home was uneventful and we were all tired and hungry. I, like every other day, used the pool while some of the others rested, read, or connected with people back home. We were all excited to hear we were having tacos for dinner again!! After dinner, we again shared our words of the day along with where we saw Christ. Then we did some "administrative" things to wrap up the evening. Currently, everyone is packing and organizing what will be left behind as donations.

As our trip sadly draws to a close, there is only one word that can describe the entire week/experience and that is WOW! Every team member was wow'd multiple times everyday. Wow'd by the lifestyle in Haiti. Wow'd by the attitude in Haiti. Wow'd by the sights of Haiti. But most of all, wow'd by the amount of love, joy, and serving that is happening! Not only were we given the opportunity to serve the Lord, but we were constantly served throughout the week by the Healing Haiti staff. We cannot be grateful enough for everything they have done for us!! An amazing week and a wonderful experience!

Ke Bondye Beniou Haiti!!
Drew Gordon

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our service itinerary is not ending.....It's just beginning

Wow!!

Its has been my word of the day for the whole week...even though it was vetoed to be able to duplicate words...

Today, truly is the end of our schedule of service in beautiful Haiti - tomorrow is a tour of Port Au Prince.

This trip has been packed full of new experiences, the least of which is my first blog...

Today was well planned by our leaders - their experience pays in dividends!!

The day entailed:

#1. (2) - 2500 gallon water truck runs in the morning to Cite Soliel

#2 Guest house for snack-n-nap

#3 The Home for the Sick and Dying to spread some love....



We had #1 and #3 in our previous days, but returning to these locations was pretty special because the suprise factor was gone. The team could focus in on the relationship - and we are all about relationships.

The #2 was a bit of a present - We came home to the sweet smell of Phoneses' cooking (stew for dinner), had a quick snack and all found a place to take a snore...

Heidi - you call that a cannonball....?
The Home for the Sick and Dying was a great stop.....again... I got to hang with the same little one I had already along with 3 others and a good game of soccer with Wilfred.

Content - is my word today as we wrapping up an awesome week.

Peace.....
Punch

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flat tire Friday

Today team # 2 started the day very early and literally woke up with the chickens! At 5:30 most team members were still a bit sleepy, but very excited to experience our first Haitian church service with one of our hosts Fanfan. Everyday we are here our team experiences so many random and odd things different from home, so in my attempt to capture our daily events I will just list each item as I review the day.

*Walked home from Church and greeted many Haitian school children.
* Noticed a huge hog sleeping on the side of the road- stopped to take pictures of this... Very cool knowing we have pigs pictures!
*Enjoyed another AWESOME breakfast with fresh eggs, pancakes, fresh squeezed juice, & french toast (or what Jean calls Creole Toast)
*Driving in Haiti, which can only be described as WOW! Every time we drive it seems like our jaw drops. Cars honking horns, cows on the side of the road, people darting across the street dodging traffic. Trucks passing sometimes 3 wide at a time... Very hectic, but it seems to work..
*Seeing UN trucks.. This is one thing that always fascinates me. Troops from Brazil, Uruguay, and a few others we are not sure of. They are all armed with an M-16 and a camera- kind of funny..
*Stopping at a check point
*Driving up the mountain to Titanyen.
*Stopping to pick up a few of our guides to assist with going to homes of orphaned elderly.
*Flat tire on our taptap (Our means of transportation)
*Walking up a dirt road with a beautiful ocean view at our back..
*One team member who was a little sick.. :(
*Fanfan praying for our team member.. :)
*All kinds of animals next to us.. Chickens, goats, pigs, cows, donkeys- just walking next to us also enjoying the sights..
*Grace Village, which is a newly constructed orphanage on 17 acres on the hillside overlooking the ocean.. Awesome to see this almost completed..
*Yvonne's orphanage- Our team visited here for a few hours this afternoon. The children were very excited to sing songs for us, we were very excited to play with them. Some read books to the kids, some painted faces and I played a very crazy game of "keep-a-way" it's amazing how fast a few hours goes by playing such simple games. Our team loved the experience!
*Taptap wouldn't start so we had to push to get it started.. Not a common issue, but just part of the adventure.
*Taptap gets stuck due to our road blocked.
*Pushing taptap out and driving back home.
*Dinner- which was made by Fonese, she is our guesthouse angel. Everyday we arrive back at the guesthouse with dinner cooking, our beds made, and our clothes freshly washed. We are treated VERY well and we are blessed to have such great hosts!!!!
*Group discussion about our word of the day and highlights.
*Blog

I know this blog entry was very random, but so is an average day in Haiti.
When we first arrived on Monday I experienced a small taste of culture shock, but that quickly changed once we had a chance to get out and see how beautiful Haiti is. Our days seem to pass by so fast and we are able to savor the moment each day!
Thanks for following our team-

May God Bless You.
Joe

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Amusing Tears Of Joy

Today was filled with diversity as we visited the stages of our existence on earth. The youth of the morning brought us to the Mass grave of the people who parrished in the earthquake. The beauty and tragedy of life was characterized by a heap of crosses that lay atop the gravel set aside as a memorial on a hillside with a stunning view of the ocean. The simplicity of the memorial is a parallel to the simplicity of joy that exists here in Haiti. Many of the team members were moved by the observation that so many of the Haitian people celebrate life and the eventual resureection to heaven with glad hearts. Our driver and friend, Junior, told us that he visits the site weekly to remember the people who passed. But his constant joy was obvious even in his respect for death.

We passed a funeral the first day we were in the city and everyone was wearing white as opposed to most people wearing black in the United States. Several Christian groups publicly declared their faith on the "Day of the Dead" or what we would call the "Day of the Belly ache" (the day after Halloween). Our eyes were opened to the celebration of meeting The Father from the Haitian perspective.

We then moved onto visit some elderly people in the village of Titanyen. Several of us had the privilage to assume the position of which Jesus set the example by rubbing lotion on the arms and legs of the elderly. This was far more satisfying than one would think. We delivered food and water while spreading the word of God. Their genuine spirit and faith touched our hearts. We were able to have lunch on the side of the road overlooking the ocean where we met a man who needed a ride. He attempted to hail a taxi several times but was unsuccessful. After awhile we decided the man was harmless and offered to take him down the road with his bushel of wood. It felt almost Biblical. How often do you get to help a man with a bushel of wood? As we were driving to the school we saw a man on the side of the road whose car had broken down. Junior pulled over to see what was the matter and we discovered the man was a pastor of a local church. I can only imagine that he had prayed for help and the prompting was delivered to our truck. We felt that Mathew 25:35 probaly includes giving rides to the stranded. I often think about people on the side of the road and wonder about the phrase "one of the least of these," we all felt proud to be able to live it for today. (All the while keeping safe for those worriers at home).

Almost as if God's journey for us today was to work backwards in the life cycle we ended our day by visiting a school, then an orphanage. The children at the school mobbed us with hugs, smiles and kisses. Two of our teammates commented on how they could see the image of Jesus sitting down and saying "let the children come to me" as Heidi sat on the floor and the children surrounded her. After we were nearly suffocated with love we went to Guillaume's orphanage. Once again we were greeted like Justin Beiber in a junior high school. We felt so loved and so needed. We had a great time with the kids. We played games, colored, gave lots of hugs and sang. Each visit reminds us that the thing we need most is each other. Afterall, we were created for relationships.

The hugs and cuddling were more valueable to them than anything we could bring them. We all felt the pure fun in this amusing day. Standing in reflection at the foothill of Grace Village we can feel the heaviness of the lack of opportunity for so many kids in this town. But on the other side the bright red heart of Healing Haiti stands out to represent the resounding effect that people can have on the future when we live out the example that was set for us.
submitted by Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Day in the Life of Healing Haiti

Anxiety. High anticipation. Intense nerves. These are the feelings I had when I saw what this day would hold as soon as I received our week itinerary given at a training meeting prior to the trip. I find it very ironic and even amusing that the one day I was most fearful of is the day I am chosen to joyfully record our day's events.

Let's start from the beginning. The girls woke up early to help precious Jean make breakfast (Jean is very quickly becoming my Haitian best friend. I'm sure he feels the same way...). I was a bit delayed in waking up, but as I rolled out of bed into the kitchen, I joined Shan in the art of french-toast-making. Under Jean's watchful eye, we successfully prepared scrumptious french toast for our oh-so-affirmative team (heavy on the sarcasm... but just kidding now, because after tonight, we have become aware of our love languages, and I'm sure words of affirmation will be lathered on from this point forward).

After we filled our bellies, we dressed up in our Sunday best and headed out the door to our "Dan-Dan" (ask Punch for the story). Bumping and rocking, we made our way to the Home for the Sick and Dying. Voices praising God in Creole greeted us as we were introduced to the nuns and were given a tour of our surroundings. Hmmm, how can I describe what I saw? Cribs were tightly lined up throughout the room, nuns and volunteers were pacing up and down the rows, and our team was trying to squeeze into any space we could fit into. As I looked throughout the room letting all this soak in, there were these big, brown eyes that locked with mine.... and I knew just right where to start. I grabbed this sweet 18-month-girl (who I later found out is named Julianne), took her out into the courtyard, and starting making a friend. It was a neat sight to look up shortly after and see each team member grab a baby themselves and shower them with all the affection in the world. Or more accurately, shower them with all the affection Christ Himself has given to us. As Shan said, "Let's love on these kids!" and that's exactly what we did.... for hours. Praise Jesus for the time to pray over those kids, kiss their soft skin, and sing their nursery songs right along with their little voices.

It was time to go sooner than we would have liked, but we took comfort in the fact that we would return in a few hours. What would a mission trip be without an obstacle though? When we walked out of the Home for the Sick and Dying, our Taptap had a flat tire. I'm not a man, so I can't give you the technical terms of what happened or even give you a detailed description, but our male counterparts jumped at the chance to use their hands and helped our Haitian friends do what they could do. Thanks to the help of a random man (I still haven't figured out where he came from); we replaced the flat with a spare and were on our way. (I should mention the ladies made themselves very useful and built relationships with the Haitian women overlooking the scene.) I would say overall it was a pretty awesome bonding experience!

Next Stop: Guertrude's Orphanage which housed special needs children. Our host, Fanfan, led the way into the home with his guitar and as we walked into each of the rooms, we were further introduced to each age group of children. We waved and said, "Bonswa!" as we weaved throughout the house looking for a place to begin. The charge started with Fanfan as he shouted, "Feed the kids!" Some of our team members were handed bowls and they sat down in the nearest chair. Arms lifted with a spoon in hand, our team set aside any fear or anxiety and they served these kid-os and fed them their lunch meal. Some situations were challenging, but many of our team members were able to literally experience Matthew 25:35,40 where Jesus said, "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 welcomed me...Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Personally, I was able to spend a good chunk of my time with a boy named Maurice who joined the orphanage that day. He is a sweet boy living with a form of autism, and he reminded me of this kid-o back home that I have the privilege of working with. Thanks to this previous experience I knew to squeeze Maurice's hands and arms knowing that he would respond well to physical touch; he totally did! I hope the Lord used me to make this boy feel safe and comfortable at his new home. Hmmm, I love it when our God proves Himself faithful.

After we finished up our time at Guertrude's, we hopped back on the taptap and headed back to the Home for the Sick and Dying after a few swigs of water. This time, our team headed towards the second floor where the toddlers were staying. Most of the kid-os remembered us (more importantly, remembered their special person), and we picked up where we left off. Fanfan grabbed his guitar and shouted songs of praise to our Savior and the kids shouted back just as loud. The swarm of kids around each of the team members was so encouraging; the Lord creates bonds in the power of His love that none of us could ever make on our own. I was able to sneak away after my little girl left my lap to return downstairs to the babies. Punch beat me to it, but I found Julianne and scooped her up as soon as her brown eyes looked up into mine. There's nothing better than when a pensive child nestles her head into your chest because she trusts you... and that's what Julianne did at the end of the day. Thank you God for the love your little ones show us. If I fell in love with this precious girl only a couple hours after meeting her, how much more does her Heavenly Father love her who has not only created her but has known her all her life? Wow. Just wow.

At the end of the night, our team worked our way into our spots in the living room and we started to debrief the day. We shared words such as surrender, love, helpless, and embrace (those that know me may be surprised to hear embrace was not my word!). We saw Christ from the eyes of the little ones to the workers at the special needs orphanage to the blue sky surrounding us. Man, you guys, our Lord was with us, surrounding us, holding us, sustaining us, encouraging us, strengthening us, and most importantly, He was working in each of our hearts to make us more like Him.

I want to leave you with a psalm that has done nothing but encourage my heart and mind as I've encountered each difficult and joyful moment alike:

"I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."
Psalm 121:1-8

Peeps, doesn't that make you want to praise Jesus?! I don't know about you, but my team intends to do just that in the days to come.

Signing off (I've always wanted to say that),
Heidi Stoltz
Deemed MVD (Most Valuable Dancer) by Jean, Salsa Master

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Open the eyes of my heart

Since yesterday I've felt the prompting to worship the Lord with one of my favorite songs. The chorus goes as follows:

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart,
I want to see you, I want to see you

This morning, as we pulled onto the streets of Haiti in our taptap, I began to sing this song and the group joined in. Together, we asked God to open the eyes of our hearts.

With our own eyes we were able to see the tent cities, the tin roofed shantis, the homes made of sheets, and the streets covered in trash.
We could see the sewage along the sides of the roads, the pigs and goats and roosters feeding on the piles of rubble. We were able to see the dirty water, the gates that lined the streets, the UN soldiers and Haitian police armed with their machine guns, and the images of poverty that we see in videos and commercials back home.

Our prayers were answered as we followed the water truck to our first stop in City Soleil, however, our hearts were able to see the things that our eyes could not. We were able to see the people of Haiti worshiping in the outdoor churches, hands and voices raised to the Lord. We were able to see the water trucks filling, over twenty of them, preparing to bring clean water to the streets of City Soleil. We were able to see the smiles of children as we drove by and waved. We were able to see the people of Haiti appreciating our service. We were able to see the affect our love can have on these people, and the greater affect it had on us.

With the eyes of our hearts, we were able to see past the nakedness, the dirt, the potential for diseases, and the possible danger. We were able to see the opportunities to be like Christ, to help these people carry their buckets of clean water home for the day, to see the the ways in which we could interact with these children and people and maybe, just maybe, make a small difference in their lives.

With our own eyes we see them as having nothing, however, with the eyes of our hearts we could see the incredible JOY these people have. Their joyous hearts are such an inspiration to our team. It is amazing to allow God to open the eyes of our hearts and to see the world the way Jesus would see it.

Today, my word for describing the day was: Jesus. I found myself often wondering, "What would Jesus do?" Jesus would pick up that naked child, carry that 5 gallon bucket, enter the winding paths to help deliver the clean water, go back again and again, and say hi to all the people He came in contact with. Jesus would love these people with an unconditional love and embrace this culture and beome a part of their lives. Like us, He would play London Bridges, Ring around the Rosie, Duck Duck Goose, and do the Hokey Pokey. He would hold the heavy hose as He fills the hundreds of buckets until the water runs out. Today, we were able to be His hands and feet, what an incredible opportunity.

To describe this day, the team used words like: Humbling, Compassion, Contentment, Peace, Grateful, Convicted, Praise, and WOW. The team saw Christ in the smiles of the children, the dirt on our shirts, the man that wanted to learn the "Our Father" prayer, the little girl who wanted to go home with us, the little boy with no pants on, the little girl singing "God is so good", the eye contact with the children, in our hosts (protectors and providers), and in all the people we were able to speak to.

Today, the eyes of our hearts were opened. We can only pray that our descriptions can help you see through our eyes, and that you can see the world the way Jesus might see it.

With love from Haiti, Team 1

~Shannon

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dreaming Wide Awake

A team of 8 people gathered at 4 am to have their worlds changed. The trip here was uneventful and we arrived safely although not unchanged. I opened my eyes in the airplane to see the most beautiful scenery imaginable. It was difficult to know if I was still dreaming. The land is lush and the water is a perfect shade of blue. Mountains in the background and island spread before me. I felt like we were headed to a vacation destination. Just as I decide I am dreaming I see small square cinder block houses which lead into smaller shacks with tin roofs until you see a dense patch of tent cities. We land and are overwhelmed with the realization that we will be forever changed. While we knew coming here that we would be different the realization is far greater than the knowing. Some of our teammates expressed the overwhelming feeling of walking out of the airport to people shouting, just trying to make a living. Defenses high we stand in apprehension but it only took minutes to find the genuine smile and interaction in the local people. Our minds had been prepared for the mental imagery that we did see but nothing could have prepared us for the scent of poverty that greeted us. We drove through the streets of chaos to land in what might just be a slice of heaven at the guest house. The feeling of anointment is filled everywhere in the guest house as the team discusses the impressions left from the day. The stark contrast of the chaos of the streets to the peace in the house.
The contrast of our impression of poverty to the sincere joy in the smiles of the local people. We thought that people would need us to bring them light because of their devastation but really they bring us light in their ability to find real pleasure in simplicity . To some it feels like home, to all of us it feels right. We so look forward to what God has brought us to do and what He has brought to us. And we are certain that we are building fantastic relationships with each other.
submitted by Elizabeth

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bittersweet Sunday

The title of bittersweet Sunday reflects what many of us are feeling as we pack up and prepare to leave tomorrow. Sweet for the joy of serving others and growing as a team, bitter for leaving a country and people that need so much and yet are so appreciative of the small acts of kindness that each person on this team has extended to them. Today we toured Port Au Prince and then went up into the mountains that over look the city. Downtown at one time was a beautiful city, vibrant and busseling with business said FanFan. But today as we drive through the town, you see the crumbled buildings, the crowded streets and the tent cities that many are still living in.




Yet, the people smile, kids wave and life goes on. The words: grateful, blessed, and thankful come to mind as I reflect on our life in the US. I will never take for granted the things I have or the food I eat and the clean water I drink. As we stand at the look out point on top of the mountain looking over Port Au Prince I am awestruck at how quiet and peaceful it looks from here. I wonder to myself what Jesus would say if He was here looking at the city. I believe He would weep for His children and their suffering. Jesus stated we are His hands and feet and when we extend ourselves in whatever way to help those in need, we have done it unto Him.


Let's pay it forward and as our team returns home, each one of us will hopefully take what we have experienced and pay it forward to our families, neighbors, friends, and the elderly. I have been honored to have had the priviledge of participating in this journey with others that are now friends. I look forward to seeing how each of them grows in their walk with Christ as well as how He will use this experience in the transformation of their faith and their lives.


We thank everyone for actively reading our daily blogs and pray that our journey in Haiti has perhaps inspired you in a personal way to live more obediently in your walk with God or maybe perhaps take a leap of faith and go on a short term mission such as this. You already know you would have our support and encouragement. :)


In Christ,

Team 3

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Selfless Saturday

Today was our last service day. We were lucky to be able to go on two water truck runs and visit the people of Cite Soleil. The children again were remarkably friendly and appreciative of the water and our interaction with them. We held babies, played with older children (they learned the Hokey-Pokey and turned themselves around and giggled) and helped carry water back to their homes. The buckets are so very heavy and it is unbelievable how strong the little children are. We were sweating and drained after a few trips but the beautiful smiles of the children kept us energized. A good example of the compassion they have for each other is the following. One little girl asked a team member to help her carry this huge bucket of water. As it was being carried a young boy pointed out that it was leaking and the precious water was being lost. No empty bucket was immediately available but another boy came along with a full bucket of water in the wheelbarrow. He put his bucket on the head of the little girl and put her container into the wheelbarrow. We were so impressed with his ingenuity. We will miss visiting this welcoming community of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We wanted to bless them but they blessed us. Our next stop was San Fils which is a shelter for adults who are sick. We were privileged to interact with at least 24 women. We massaged their arms and legs. The expressions in their faces were priceless. We heard many meci (thank yous in Creole). It's amazing how when you are focused on another person's needs, your comfort zone increases. No hesitation to touch a sick stranger. The person is another child of God. Again, we are hoping that what we are experiencing here in Haiti will help us to be more responsive to needs we see at home.

Tomorrow we will start our day with a church service at the guesthouse led by Fanfan. The rest of the day we will be sightseeing and touring the island. We will be able to go up in the mountains and see the tremendous views. God certainly knows how to create beauty.

Thanks for all your support. Please keep praying for our team as we wind down the week.

Kathy, Derek, Don and Sheryl
Team 3




Friday, October 28, 2011

Unforgotten

Friday was a very special day. We were blessed with the opportunity to visit with several elders who live in the town Titanyen. One of the elders we visited was this man in the photo whose name is Edmund. He is about 80 years old and is blind. He has a son but he doesn't help care for him so he is an orphaned elder. His house consisted of a uneven dirt floor and tarps for walls held together by sticks. We had brought him a care package, some bananas and hot dogs from the market, and a bottle of COLD water. We sang for him, prayed over him, and rubbed some lotion on his legs. We visited 5 other elders, each with their own special situations, but all of them really appreciated being prayed over and having human touch. We were honored to have been God's hands and feet to these people. Today reminded all of us about the elderly back home who are also alone and may need special attention and love.

In contrast, our next stop was to Yvone's Orphanage. What a surprise! The 40 kids greeted us with songs. Their voices were beautiful (we have it on video). They were so full of life and very excited about every activity we did. One of the activities we did was to make colorful pasta necklaces. We had the kids sit down in individual stations and they were all fully engaged in the craft. After we had tied the beautiful necklaces around their necks we blew up some balloons and beach balls. It was somewhat chaotic but the kids had a blast and we did also. It's refreshing to see the kids be so appreciative of the smallest of things and grateful for any time that is spent with them and also very respectful of adults. These Haitian children could set a good example for the children back home.

All in all, today was very exhausting but well worth it. Bumping around in the taptap on these Haitians roads really can take a toll on your body. We thank God so much for the taptap for without which we couldn't have met these people who now hold a special place in our hearts.

Thanks for your continued prayers,
Sheryl & Kathy
Team 3



Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Slice of Heaven

Today we were blessed with the opportunity to see Grace Village, Alyn Shannon's dream come true. Grace Village is a beautiful orphange sponsored by Healing Haiti. The first three buildings are in the final stages of completion, with the orphans hopefully moving in some time early in the new year. Grace Village is up in the mountains and has a beautiful view of the bright blue ocean. Absolutely gorgeous!

But before we made it to Grace Village we made a stop at one of the mass burial sites from those that lost their lives in the earthquake. Black wooden crosses were strewn all across the expanse. There were a couple bigger crosses throughout the land. Up the mountain a bit more was a large metal cross with ribbon tied to it. It broke my heart knowing that so many of the friends we have met this week all have family, friends and loved ones buried their. All of their lives changed dramatically that January day.

On our way to Guillaume's Orphange we made a quick stop at a school where we dropped of school supplies. We went in a kindergarten room where all the kids started chanting "HEY YOU! HEY YOU! HEY YOU!" This is about all the English the kids here in Haiti know and they know it will catch our attention. Then they left their class room and surrounded us. At this point it seemed as if the temperature of the semi-outdoor school went up to 100 degrees!

The last stop of the day was Guillaume's Orphanage. We brought a craft to do with the children. They were all well behaved that they waited for us to set up before swarming us. We dyed hollow pasta that the children could string and make necklaces. They just loved it and had lots of fun. After the pasta necklaces we sang songs and played soccer and the kids were so excited to have all the attention from us. On top of all that fun, Alli brought glasses for the few kids that needed them after the eye exams she performed last month when she was here. The five children who received the glasses were so excited to be able to see and loved having their photos taken so they could see what they looked like with their new glasses on. Such a blessing that Alli was able to check all the children's eyes and only a few actually needed glasses. Praise God!

In Him,
Hannah, Team 3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wonderful Wednesday




Today our team visited the home for sick and dying children and Gertrudes home for mentally and physically handicapped children. The home for sick and dying children was a mix of sadness and joy. Seeing babies alone crying in a crib with no one around to comfort breaks your heart. I am transfixed as I watch one of my teammates extend his finger for a small baby to hold as he was holding another child in his arms. The small act of connection stopped the babies cries. When he attempted to remove his finger the crying would start. They say we all crave the touch of another and I was moved as I witnessed that event happen before me.




I observe another teammate holding two children and carrying them around the grounds and I can still see the smiles and giggles as they go by me. As I am sitting in some shade a little girl around 3 comes up to me and looks at me. Her expression was not one of fear or apprehension, it was a look that pleaded for me to hold her. I put my arms toward her and she wrapped her little arms around my waist and placed her head against my thigh. I lifted her up and held her against my chest and I could feel her fever coming off her body. She did not speak, she did not move, she lowered her head against my shoulder and fell asleep all the while holding my finger with one of her hands. At that moment time stood still, and I reflected on Matthew 25:40: "And the King will say, I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me." I was moved at the simplicity and beauty of the touch of human kindness. Christ extended himself as the ultimate expression of giving to us by giving of Himself. In some small way, that moment in time mattered to that little girl. Will she live, will she get better? I don't know the answer but what I do know, is that today the children of both places we visited had someone express kindness, caring and the gift of human touch that expressed that they mattered, they have purpose and most of all, they are not forgotten.




D.M Co-leader Team #3




This afternoon we had the honor of joining two sisters in a journey to the wound clinic that we'll never forget. This experience was the ability for us to witness living angels that operate this wound clinic for free to serve the needy and share the Gospel. Hundreds of local Haitians were raising their hands in a beautiful worship service across the street from this clinic. This wound clinic is something that locals can rely on for their injury needs while getting a reminder of their salvation in Jesus. The beauty in the gratitude these people have for the care that was given to them was awesome.




Our last patient at the clinic was a 2 year old girl that had a leg burn needing updated bandages. As another teammate and I assisted and did our best to comfort this beautiful little child, our eyes nearly filled with tears of mercy for this young girl suffering. A few (long) minutes later the little girls painful cries ended and her new bandages in place.




So the question is~ "What is God trying to teach us today?"




D.R.H. Team 3 mission member

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tap Tap Tuesday

Today was water truck day. Our team delivered over 15,000 gallons of water to 3 different locations. Water, such a basic fundamental of life and one that we cannot live long without. It was amazing to watch this team pull together and help out each other as well as stepping in and assisting carrying 5 gallon water buckets for the young and the elderly. I was awestruck observing an elderly woman around 70 yrs old, pick up a 5 gallon bucket full of water, place it on her head and walk over a block to her small hut she lived in. This water we delivered to the Haitians is free. Most of all water delivered outside of the service we are providing will have a fee per bucket, unfortunately many cannot afford the fee and will go without water for days until a free delivery arrives. Healing Haiti funds and pays for the water that is delivered to the people. Clean water is essential to help keep the spread of cholera from the people.

After returning from our day in the hot sun we had our word of the day. Each member provided a word that described their experience today. Words such as: Enjoyable, Cross of Christ, smile, selfless, touched and frustrated. Frustrated that we had to leave without filling all of the other buckets that were not filled, frustrated that we had to leave when mothers begged for us to help their sick children, frustrated that young children would rub thier stomachs and say they were hungry. We know we can only do so much and we do much with the time and resources we have, and we know that what we do for the least of these we have done undo Him that has done so much for us.


Tomorrow we head the two orphanages to deliver supplies and help out with sick and dying children and children with special needs.


PS. Thank you for the note former team 3 mates from last yr. Tom, thank you for saving me some hot sauce and yes Tom, I did guy pie just for you.


Team 3 Co-leader: Don Moe

Monday, October 24, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Hello Friends! Team 3 made it to Haiti safe and sound! As hectic as we all thought the trip here would be, it went extremely smooth. All of us are running on little or no sleep at all but managed to pull through by the grace of God. The most exciting part was when we could see Haiti's coastline through the window of the airplane. The temperature when we had landed was 91 and humid, but it was a welcome change. We called going through the Haiti airport and immigration "the gauntlet" as it was really hectic and there were Haitians yelling over each other as they were competing for our business to wheel our luggage out and get it loaded. We met Jean who picked us up from the airport in the taptap (our transportation for the week) and he drove us up the winding uneven, bumpy and dusty roads of Port Au Prince. On our way, we saw a lot of animals running wild through the streets such as chickens, pigs, dogs and goats. Not to mention, several smiling children who were following behind us. As we arrived at the gated entrance of our guest house we were in awe of how nice it was. It is a pretty large house with several rooms and bathrooms, a nice sitting area, and a fairly long dining room table that we got to eat our tasty spaghetti dinner on tonight with Fanfan and Jean. After dinner we had our devotional time and just reflected on the day’s journey here. Tomorrow is going to be a busy water truck day as we will be doing several runs delivering clean water to the most poverty stricken areas. We all are looking forward to a good night’s sleep so we can be well rested for a big day tomorrow.

Until then,
Team 3


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Team 3 Ready For Take Off!

Bonjou Everyone!
This is Kathy from Team 3. We are the first team out of the three teams that will be going down to Haiti. We were originally not supposed to go down to Haiti until the week before Thanksgiving, however, there was a scheduling conflict with another group so our trip was moved forward by 3 weeks. That had thrown everyone for a loop as we had to get our schedules changed and prepare ourselves to go sooner. In the end we all grew closer because of it and like it says in Matthew 20:16 "so the last shall become first and the first become last." I am so very thankful for my awesome group and everyone who contributed to our trip through financial donations, donation of goods, and mostly for all the prayers said and prayers yet to be said. Last night was the Prayer and Commissioning service at Eagle Brook Church, the Lino Lakes campus. We had a special treat as Jeff Gacek, co-founder of Healing Haiti, made a special visit to come and talk to us and share with us his heart for Haiti. He said that God had chosen Haiti for him, he didn't choose Haiti for himself. Just as God had chose Haiti for all of us. It was a great send off as we were all surrounded by our family and friends in prayer. Thank you to everyone who came to support us. We will be thinking of you all this upcoming week and will miss you. Please pray for a safe trip down to Haiti early Monday morning, our plane takes off at 6am. Next post will be from Haiti! We are all so excited to be able to serve the people of Haiti and be the hands and feet of Jesus. Take care everyone! Ke'
Bondye Beni'ou! (God bless you!) ~Kathy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

You Are My Friend Till the End


Hello! This is Fanfan, Amy and Lauren! Today is our last day in Haiti. This is a bittersweet moment for all of us. We had the great privilege of having Fanfan lead us in worship and prayer this morning. What a wonderful man of God he is! After this we packed up bags of shoes, toiletries, toys and packs of food that the White Bear Campus packed for Feed My Starving Children. We got to deliver these to a tent city that was in the neighborhood. The people were so excited to see us pull up. It broke our hearts to not be able to give something to everyone. During our visit there were many children following us up and down the narrow pathways between the tents. They became our tour guides through the city. It became a bit chaotic toward the end and we quickly headed out.
We took a Tap Tap tour of the Presidential Palace. It was incredible to see the destruction that occurred during the earthquake, what is even more surreal is that a large tent city now stands directly across the street. The cities largest cathedral was also destroyed. We were excited to see that there were several cleaning and rebuilding projects going on around us.
After a brief tutorial from FanFan and Jean on bartering, we set out for the mountains and a few hours of shopping. Some of us had a more difficult time with the artwork vendors.....enough said. Have no fear, there was a huge influx of American cash into the Haitian economy.
We stopped for pizza at our favorite pizza joint and shared our new favorite chicken pizza. As we were just starting to eat we experienced a refreshing downpour. I don't think we had seen Jean and FanFan move that quickly. No worries not one slice of pizza was lost.
During our final reflection time, it became evident that few of us are leaving Haiti as the same person who arrived last Monday. God has used Haiti to transform each one of us.
We bid the children and people of Haiti farewell and until we meet again Ke Bondye Beni'ou.
In Christ,
Lauren, Amy and FanFan

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Lords Pharmacy

Bonswa! This is Angela, Barb and Ryan, Today we had the choice to join the group on the water truck or go to help out at the wound clinic. We chose the wound clinic. Jean dropped us off with the sisters early, 17 of us were loaded into a 12 passenger mini van with no AC and windows that opened half way, and at 8AM it was already 85 degrees:) We wound our way thru Cite Soliel to a clinic in the lower level of their school.
We spent an amazing time watching and assisting the sisters and nurse volunteers organize severe wound patients and Mom's with sick kids. Nothing can sum up what we witnessed. The sisters served hundreds of Haitian's in merely hours. Giving them life saving medicines, advise and biscuits for the little ones. We were truly in the presence of angels. How did they diagnose and dispense all the correct prescriptions, salves, amoxicillin, literally hundreds of different medicines, for sure the hand of God was guiding them.
It was truly a morning spent with angels, I don't think any of us will ever forget being crammed into a tiny van listening to the calming prayer and quiet singing of Jesus's warriors.

Blessings from Haiti,
Angela, Ryan and Barb

Living Water Trip #2


Hello everyone, it is me Amy. I am one of the more seasoned members of the team. Yep, I am over 25 years of age. Today our team split and 3 members went to the Clinic to help out and the rest experienced our second day out on the water truck. After 2 days of recovery from our first trip we were ready to face the masses. It started out with ride on the side of the water truck and managing to hold on and not burn one's arm on the muffler. We entered the first town of Cite Soleil to the clapping hands of a beautiful family. Everyone on the team jumped right in and if you weren't filling buckets, you were moving them thru la lin (the line). Of course we were never short of kids to hold, play with or love.
Today we did experience that Cite Soleil has all the components of any other city, the good and the bad. We were able to extend love and grace as God the Father has shown to us. We were not discouraged, but kept our eyes on the goal of being servants to all. God blessed us with the presence of a new friend named Patrick. A wonderful boy who had the voice of a young Michael Jackson and the moves to go along with it. He entertained us between water stops and managed to dance with a few of us ladies. He is such a playa. I returned the favor by teaching him the stanky leg. I don't know who was more impressed him or my team members. We were also able to give a young boy Renaldo a new belt. It was wonderful to see the other boys help him put it on and celebrate his good fortune. A few of us were also blessed by getting to meet Alex's mother. She is truly a sweet woman and was thrilled to hear us tell her what a wonderful son she has. Her smile would melt your heart.
We are all still amazed at the reaction of the people of Haiti toward what we would consider the simple things of life.....a smile, a touch, clean water. Today it really began to sink in that we not only were delivering life giving water for the body, but for the soul as well.
After a brief stop at the guesthouse and for some a "dip in the pool",we reunited with our teammates from the clinic. We were all excited to see if some of the children at Home of the Sick and Dying Children we had held and fed were improving. I am happy to tell you that some have been moved to the upper floor as they have gotten stronger . It did seem that for many of the cribs, there were now two children. Ours hearts broke and rejoiced for them as we knew this place was their best chance for a healthy childhood. It was also an opportunity to reconnect with some of the mothers and siblings that have essentially made Home of the Sick and Dying, a second home while caring for their sick little ones.
Thank you for all your prayers and support. Know that this team has remained strong and tightly knit. I can't think of a better group of people to experience my first trip to Haiti with. I love you all. Orevwa (au revoir),
Amy

Friday, August 12, 2011

Simplicity


Hi all! This is Lauren again!
I titled my blog simplicity today because that was my word of the day. I chose this word because this is something that I have been feeling since I've arrived in Haiti. Life here is so simple and so joyful. At home we tend to focus on all the material things and that those are the things that will make us happy and bring us the joy and comfort we think is important. I tend to disagree with this now that I have experienced this great place. The people of Haiti take great joy in relationships, spending time with people and the blessings that God has given them. It has given me a new perspective on my life and what I find to be important and know that I have been forever changed by these amazing Godly people.
Today we started off the day by going to the market in Titayen. I felt like the minority for sure, as I'm sure most of the team did. This was an experience I will never forget. The people were selling fruits, vegetables, clothes, shoes, goats, medicines and home-made food just to name a few. I have never seen so many bananas before in my life! After the market we went back up to Grace Village for a little bit so Charlie could see it since he stayed back at the house yesterday. It is just so beautiful up there. The local children saw us coming and ran after the truck up to the village. I met a new boy today named Nelson who was 12. He was the sweetest little boy ever. He had bracelets in his hand and asked if I wanted to buy one. I told him I didn't have any money and that was the end of the conversation. When we were getting ready to leave I gave him a hug and kiss and he handed the bracelet to me saying it was a gift from him to me. This moved me in a very big way. What a simple gesture that will forever be on my heart.
The rest of the day we got to visit the elders and go to Ivonne's orphange. I loved seeing the elders that Healing Haiti sponsors. They are the sweetest people. Charlie had the opportunity to bring a sleeping mat to a 103 year old woman whom he had met on a previous trip and saw she was in need of one. It was amazing to see the joy this brought to not only her face but also Charlie's to see that this will make a difference in her life. We also had the opportunity to visit Jude Jean Paul a 19 year old handicapped boy. He was beautiful in every way. We got the chance to pray over him and visit with his mom in their home. What an impact he had on the entire team. His life is such a blessing and I know God has a great plan for him! We also visited a couple, Pierre August and Laurissain who live right by Grace Village. I think for everyone they had the most impact on us. We were able to give them 2 bags of toiletries that gave them such great joy. We think of these things as necessities and things that we just always should have and to them these things were such a blessing. Pierre started jumping around, crying and praising God for the things we had brought him. He was giving everyone hugs and couldn't stop exuding pure joy for the things he had just received. This experience was incredibly moving and humbling.
We went to our second orphanage of the trip today. It was Ivonne's orphange. These children will also be moved up to Grace Village once it is completed. I love going and seeing these beautiful children. We arrived and they sang worship songs to us and prayed. God was smiling down on that place today with all those amazingly beautiful faces. We were able to play with bubbles, do jump rope, paint nails and make bracelets. Again simple activities that brought great joy to these children and to us as well. I spent the whole time with a sweet little 7 year old girl who never told me her name and would barely smile. She clung to me and wouldn't leave my side to play with any of the children. She just wanted to be held and loved. She will forever be in my heart. I just loved her! Again just a blessed day here in Haiti filled with many great experiences. I have been able to experience God's love in a new way and it will forever change the person I am!
Glwa pou Bondye

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hope for Orphans


My name is Judy Anton. Today we briefly toured Elder School. We were so impressed with the enthusiasm of the students there, and some in our group were happy to see calculus (I think) on the chalkboard :) It was a joy to see the opportunities this will lead to for the future of these children.

From there we moved onto Grace Village, a work in progress where orphans from two current orphanages will be combined in a beautiful facility on a mountainside, with a stunning view of the ocean. We were told that Alyn chose the site, and selected the colors, layout, etc. It was absolutely perfect and we know the future tenants will feel like they've moved into a palace. It's so evident that God is guiding this project. Three local children followed us into the compound and we shared our snack lunch & water with them, and had another opportunity to witness how the children (and adults) are so kind and loving to one another and, with the little they have, are always wanting to share and take care of each other.

From there we moved on to Guillaume's Orphanage, stopping on the way to dip our toes into the ocean and get photos with that gorgeous background - again just stunning. At Guillaume's, we were greeted by a round of songs, with hand motions, adorable. What a greeting - we loved it! We had brought crafts & activities for the children and divided up into four stations, something for everyone... string bracelets, nail polish, soccer balls, 3D wooden puzzles, and probably more but I was so wrapped up in the bracelets that I didn't see much of the rest. Oh yes, balloons and markers to write on them - names, faces, messages... Here, and everywhere we go, we are struck with the joy the children express in having these opportunities. And they are SO affectionate, the moment we walk in some are attached to us and that fills me with joy, as I know it does the rest of my team.

It was such a huge blessing to see where the orphans are moving to, and visiting them in the afternoon made it all the more meaningful, to actually meet children who will call Grace Village home! I felt immense gratitude toward God for giving them this new home.

Lastly, it's apparent everywhere we go that Jesus is at the center of all that is done through Healing Haiti for the Haitians in need. Not only are there physical needs being met, but their hope for eternity with him. My heart was broken today and I'll never forget the experiences of this day! Love to all from all of us!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

So Many Little Ones, Not Enough Of Us!


Hey everyone, this is Ryan. Today was another awesome day for our team in Haiti. The things we experience here continue to alter our perspectives and push us beyond barriers we had before. To start off this morning, most of our team got up early to go to a local church that Fanfan attends. Here, there was amazing worship with members of the church. The praise and worship in Haiti is very active. It was fun for us to see how involved the Haitians get in their worship. They lose themselves in the music and praise of God.
After eating breakfast and our daily devotional from Charlie, we drove to a home for sick and dying babies. In this place, dozens of cribs are packed into two small rooms. The women who work there go about nonstop fixing IVs and cleaning, changing, and feeding babies. Here we had the opportunity to hold, feed, and care for these babies. Many are malnourished and sick. I think it was a special, yet difficult time for many members of the team. It was hard to see so many sick children in poor condition. However, it was cool to see how we could go from hauling heavy buckets of water one day, to gently feeding a small baby the next day. We are truly being used as Jesus' hands and feet in many ways. The babies there crave attention and love, and simply holding them, bringing them outside for a bit, and caring for them is a way we can make a difference.
After we helped feed lunch to the children there, we also were able to visit a place called Gertrude's; a home for special needs children. It was fun getting to know and playing with the children here. Everyone on the team really threw themselves into the activities; swinging the children, pushing them in carts, playing with balls, etc. The kids here loved playing with us and didn't want us to leave. To finish off the day, we went back to the home for sick and dying babies, and helped feed them dinner.
After a pizza dinner, we had group reflection time followed by some praise and worship as a team. This was a great way to connect with God after our day and have fun together as a team. On one last note, today is Charlie's birthday! We celebrated with a delicious cake after dinner. Happy birthday, Charlie!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I saw God today.


Hi guys, it's Danielle.
Today was fulfilling to say the least. Our team has meshed so well and everyone has had an open heart throughout our journey thus far. To say that I felt and experienced God today is an understatement. God is everywhere here. I have never felt so comfortable in such a foreign place. As i look at each Haitian face, I see God. There is nothing like greeting someone here with a simple "hello" and getting such an emotional loving response. This is something that we don't see very often in America and makes being in Haiti such a blessing.
Today, we brought water to the people of Cite Soleil. As I rode the water truck to our first stop, I was completely overwhelmed, but that feeling didn't last long. Here in Haiti, there is no hesitations and being selfish is simply not an option. Our whole team jumped right in and to witness such an act of God was simply incredible and to see His face in each of my teammates was one for the books. I have seen transformations already and it's wonderful. Who knew water, which we all take for granted, meant so much? I think that this experience of helping fill the water buckets and carry them to their destinations will be remembered by us all.
Our time in Haiti thus far is unexplainable. Pictures and stories simply do not do this place justice. I have met so many friends and have so many "God" moments and it's only the second day. Our Healing Haiti hosts have been such a joy and have been generous beyond belief and for this I am forever thankful. God is here. Tomorrow we will be visiting the Home for sick and dying babies and I pray that God blesses us all with an unforgettable experience.

God Bless,
Danielle