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 28, 2011

Team 2 is safe and sound!

This is just a quick note to friends and family that Team 2 has landed in Haiti safe and sound.  It's already been the start of an amazing journey!  Tomorrow continues as we deliver water in Cite Soleil.  Look for more posts tomorrow.  Tonight we're all tired and need to get some sleep in preparation for faithfully serving God.


It was a week that broke down barriers.

It was a week of feeling uncomfortable- being pushed out of the comfort zone.

It was a week of friendship and heartache.

It was a week of conflicting emotions.

It was a time where problems couldn't be solved, only temporarily eased.

It was a week of life changing memories.

It is the ending of a week and the beginning of a new life.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Precious Little Girl's Longing

Saturday morning, 2/26/11, our first water truck stop was at Jeremy's Wharf in City Soleil. Some of the team was working the water hose and moving buckets, while the rest of us were playing with and holding the children.

While my teammate, Phyllis, was holding a little boy about 2 years old, a little girl about 8 or 9 years old began to hit and pinch the little boy. We were telling her not to do this but she kept on. I tried to put my arm around her and hug her but she would not let me. She backed away with an angry look on her face. A little bit later, a little boy wanted me to pick him up, which I gladly did. The little girl began hitting and pinching the little boy I was holding now, and also again the little boy Phyllis was still holding. Once again, I tried to love her up and she would have none of it. I had Fanfan come over and talk to her to tell her not to hit and pinch. Fanfan told her to behave, and he told me he thought she wanted love. I told him we had been trying to hold on to her and give her love, and it wasn't working. Fanfan tried too, and he also failed, so he saw what we were up against. In a little while, I put down the little boy I was holding and began playing with some of the other children, and lost track of the little girl who was being naughty.

When the water truck ran out of water, it was time for us to leave. I began walking towards the tap tap. All of a sudden someone came from behind me and put their hand into my left hand as I was walking. I looked down and it was that little girl, and she was looking up at me! I was blown away by this. I picked her up and kissed her on the cheek. She wrapped her arms around me and giggled. I hugged and kissed her a couple more times and she continued to giggle and hang on. Another girl about her age came over to me and was trying to pull her down from me. But she just shoed her friend away and hung on to me. I kissed her a couple more times and she was loving it. Finally I had to go so I set her down and said orevwa. She skipped away happy and content.

I kept thinking about that little girl the rest of the day trying to figure out what had happened. It finally dawned on me. That little girl was longing for the love and attention that the smaller children get. We can just pick them up and hold them. She was bigger and older and felt she was too big to be picked up and held, but that is exactly what she longed for. She longed for it enough to come after me before I left. She longed for it enough to not care if her friends tried to pull her down. I was there to give her what she longed for so desperately. Father God, thank You for letting me give her what she was longing for today.

Friday, February 25, 2011


One of our prayers for our time here in Haiti was that God would allow us to be His hands and the face of His love for each of the orphans we visited. I pray that this is true, but know that THEY have been God's loving arms as they have hugged me and I have seen His shinning face of love in their smiles.

We have spent the past two afternoons at two different orphanages falling in love with BEAUTIFUL children!!! I've been reminded again and again, how much we each need love and affection, no matter how old we are!

So often with friend's kids, as they grow into preschool and older years, I hear stories of kids who only want to cuddle when they're ill, or on the rare occasion. So here, perhaps I expected the younger girls to want to cuddle or hold your hand, but the past two days, kids of all ages, boys and girls reach out for love and affection. I pray they feel loved, but know that my life is richer for the love they've shown me!

The photo below was taken Thursday as the kids were lining up to give us hugs. Some were shy huggers, but many had serious hugging skills:). As the last kid came through the line, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and blessing. God nudged me to take the opportunity to express those emotions to the kids. I asked Jean to translate and expressed my gratitude. Many of the older kids then took turns voicing their thanks to our group and Healing Haiti. One girl asked what my name was so that she could pray for me by name! I left that place far richer than I arrived!!

God's Plans Are Much Greater Than My Plans

Today we went to Yvon's Orphanage to sing, play and do some crafts with God's beautiful children. My plan was to serve and love up the children, and I did get to do that! But God's plan was much bigger than my plan. Of course it was!

As I was doing some prep work for one of the crafts, I told Carol, one of the beautiful older children at Yvon's, that I was hot. I asked her if she was hot, and she smiled and said no she wasn't. Then she told me to sit down. So I did. She started fanning my face with a piece of cardboard left over from a craft we had just finished. It felt heavenly. She began stroking my hair for a couple minutes and then said she would be right back. I got up and busied myself again to finish up my prep work. She came back with her hairbrush and said, I'm not done yet, with her warm smile. So she sat me back down and brushed my hair for about ten minutes. I've never had anyone do that to me before, and it was so wonderful. She put a little ponytail in my hair, retied my bandana around my head and poured a little cool water in her hands and onto my bandana. I was so thankful. Why would Carol be serving me? I can't stop thinking about her, God's amazing angel, and it is hard to hold back the tears. I don't even want to hold back the tears. Heavenly Father, I thank You for the glimpse of heaven you showed me today through Your faithful servant, Carol.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Her eyes were beautiful. Her long lashes softening her big brown eyes. Her smile was infectious making people happy to just be around her. She was 1 year old and had been given to " Missionaries of Charity Home for Children". Her future uncertain, her prognosis unknown, she only wanted to be loved. She only wanted to be held. I spent 2 hours holding her and the time flew bye.

The babies at Missionaries of Charity Home for Children are there because there is no where else to go. The families are poor and medical help is limited. It is, without a doubt, there last chance.

How can you look in their faces and not be affected? How can you hold them without your heart breaking?

We saw babies so skinny that their diapers would not stay on. We saw babies so sick that they wouldn't cry or react when poked with a needle.

How can someone so young, so innocent have so little future?

As I left the building, her cries echoed through my heart. I'm sure that though they eventually stopped, I will hear them forever.


Today we got up and went to Titanyen; our first stop, Grace Village. It's about an hour drive in the back of a pick up, but the view was breath taking! We drove next to the mountains and past the ocean enjoying every second. We toured Grace Village and you could just feel the power that it holds. It's made tons of progress, yet still has so far to go. As we were touring the area a little boy came up to me and out of the blue gave me this incredibly beautiful bracelet that says Jesus on it, I kept trying to explain to him that I didn't have any money but he insisted that it was a gift. It was incredibly humbling knowing that the bracelet could be sold and used to buy food, yet he just wanted to give it away as a free gift. It's so beautiful I had a hard time taking it, yet I know that was God putting that little boy in my path to teach me a lesson on humility. So I will now treasure it forever.

Our next stop, Jean Gerry's School. We passed out boxes of Valentines candy hearts to all the kids and had a blast getting them all riled up! I personally got a chance to talk to one of the older student and learn a lot about life down here that you can't be taught in any other way. It's amazing how simple conversations are what each of us holds most dear.

Finally, we went to Guilliams. It was an orphanage that we went to and did crafts and played games with the kids. They were all incredibly thankful to have people come and do something with them. Sarah F. brought a soccer ball which was a big hit! One little boy even started to cry when he found out that we had to stop playing "baul". We also made zany balloon people by taking peices of paper shaped like feet so that they could color them like feet then blew up balloons and drew faces on them. We connected them and made it so the balloons could stand up. They loved them! They would play "don't touch the ground" laughing and giggling the entire time. Then we made braclets and you could just see the pride that they each had in what they'd made. It was sort of complicated so teaching them without using words was quite a challenge, but it was totally worth it. A few of the kids spoke english but not many. One was like my little translator, when I was trying to explain something to one of the kids, or they were trying to tell me something he would be our middle man. But by the end we were all very attatched to each of the kids. I looked around and everyone was extremely sad to leave them knowing that there is a chance you won't be able to see them again. My "translator", Noah, came up to me right before we were about to leave and he said, "Kayla, when are you coming back?". And it just broke my heart because I wanted to do something more than just hang out with them for the day. I was holding back tears as I told him I might would be able to come back in a year and watching the look on his face just drop.

Overall I think I can speak for everyone that we are creating alot of very special bonds that we won't be able to ever forget. It's heart breaking knowing that we can't do everything, yet still longing to do more for these beautiful people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


A friend once said "The best days have both laughter and tears." Today has been one of THOSE best days!

We started our day with a few hours at a home for sick and dying children.  Some of the children are ill and being treated while others are orphans waiting for adoption. One of the sisters explained to me that many of the ill are suffering from various stages of malnutrition, while others have respiratory infections or TB. The nurse in me really appreciated getting to see the list of medications they treat the kids with as well as a look at the nutritional supplements provided by UNICEF. Some of these children had parents visiting, but others were just waiting to be held and played with. The young boy I was holding finally started to giggle as he was playing with one of the balloons we'd brought with. What a precious sound!!

After a short break for lunch we all piled back into the pickup to travel to Gertrude's Orphanage where many of the children are handicapped or have special needs. Many of the kids recognized Tom and Shelley and greeted them with cheers and big hugs. I worked my way to the back bedroom and sat down next a young boy who is blind. As I said "Bonsoir" and touched him on the arm his face just lit up with a grin from ear to ear. His name is Joseph. Wishing I spoke more Creole, I just held his hand. His precious response was to kiss my hand. This sweet act of gratitude brought tears to my eyes. Kris was handing out pieces of gum to the kids and as Joseph started to chew his gum, he clapped in celebration. Joseph's joy is truly contagious!!

We spent the rest of the afternoon back at the home for sick and dying children and continued to love on the kids. We each had "our kids" that we connected with. One of mine was Frederick. I'd first seen him as we were leaving in the morning and the sparkle in his eye caught my attention. Later when we returned he was sitting on his own looking rather dejected. I picked him up and he tucked his head under my chin and snuggled for the next half hour! Hearing him giggle as we played with balloons is a sound I'll never forget!!

Just as we were leaving a mother and her teenage daughter arrived. One of the sisters called over one of the young boys. The mother had tears running down her cheeks. Another of the sisters explained to me that this was the adoptive family that had come to meet this precious child. Perhaps God will let me be that mother some day...

We've been blessed with a great group and a lot of laughter between us, but this day has had many moments where we have each been moved to tears. Thanks God, for a BEST day!!!

God's Little Dolls in their New Lovingly Made Diapers

"In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well." Romans 12:6.

Not every person is able to go on a mission trip, but each of us can still be involved in a mission trip experience just by using our God-given gifts.

The Heavenly Stitchers group from Eagle Brook Church is a shining example of this. These amazing women are lovingly using their God-given gifts to sew the most darling diapers for the little angels at Mother Teresa's home for sick and dying babies. Our EBC mission team brought down the first suitcase full of diapers, and the sisters were so grateful. The sisters told us many, many more are needed!

Lord, I thank you for the talents you have given each and every one of us!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let The Adventure Begin

From a cancelled flight, a two hour drive to Rochester in a snow storm, a delayed flight to Chicago, a 2 hour delayed flight to Miami followed by 2 hours of sleep to catch a routine flight to Haiti, our team couldn't have been in better spirits. To a person, everyone was upbeat, excited and anxious to step into a world we have only read about.

Haiti is an onslaught on the senses. It is a country of extremes. There is massive poverty and destruction yet there is great beauty. From a gorgeous flowering tree growing amidst the earthquake rubble to the inner beauty reflected every Haitian face in the slums of Cite Soleil.

With 80% unemployment, Haitians are faced with great challenges just to obtain the basic necessities. Life is a struggle, yet they have chosen to be happy. Everywhere we went we were met with smiles, waves and people whose faces light up when you talk to them. Most can't speak English, yet a smile is a great communicator.

Our first day involved delivering water to the people in the slums of Cite Soleil. It can best be described as organized chaos as people jockey for a position in line to get the water they desperately need. Maybe because the water deliveries are so important, they treated us with respect and were very grateful for our help and Healing Haiti's help in bringing it to them.

On our way back to the guest house, some members of our party were quiet, reflecting on what we had just experienced. Others talked excitedly on who they had met and what they had seen.

We're back now at our lodging and most of us are fatigued from the previous night's short sleep and from lifting water buckets. Yet we are all looking forward to tomorrow and we're hopeful that through our efforts, we can make a difference in someone's life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Letters from our Leaders

Our team will be traveling to Haiti - each one having felt God tugging at their hearts to trust in him and answer his call to serve our brothers and sisters in need.  With each step of obedience to God’s calling, we leave behind our worldly possessions and focus on being His hands and feet to others; asking for Him to help us see other as he sees them; to share what he has blessed us with in giving to others; and to love others as he loves.  This blog is a way for us to share with you, our family and friends, what God has put on our hearts; how he speaks to us while we are in Haiti, and for you to be part of our journey.  We thank you for your support through laughter and tears, prayers and songs of praise, financial support and encouragement, and sharing God’s love with each of us.  We feel very privileged to be a part of the plan that God has for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.  To God Be All The Glory!!
-Lisa Bless-Renstrom
Febraury 28- March 7 Trip Leader