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.’
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Team #2 - Visited Gertrude's and The Home for the Sick and Dying
Today was a very emotional day for all of us while we stepped out in Faith! Our whole team was able to interact with many many children. At Gertrude's we hung out with disabled/handicapped kids from very young to kids as old as early teen age. For me it took a few minutes to adjust to their environment. Coming from America you can only imagine their conditions compared to ours. We were greeted right away from one of the older boys named Mickey. He was just chillin' on his bicycle. Mickey was very helpful, because he knew all the kids names. We were all greeted with smiles. Kids wanted us to just pick them up and hold them. There were swings to push the children on and coloring books to color. It was just amazing to see the kids light up. You can tell some of kids really just needed that special touch. So holding the children at Gertrude's was so what they needed! I held Jonathan, a younger boy who came up to me with his hands held high. I then was drawn to a beautiful girl named Gabriele. She had down syndrome and she just lite up and wanted to be pushed on the swings. It is so amazing to see their spirits lifted high just with a smile or a touch. I think I can learn from this that God created all of us to be relational.
At The Home for the Sick and Dying we embraced younger children who's parents are not able to care for them. So many little ones. I was very touched to be in their presence. God truly is at work in their lives. You can see it in their eyes. We were able to feed some of the children baby food and that was so precious. The little girl that was placed in my care to feed was so sweet. Her name was Ketia. She was about a year old and was hungry, but had a hard time opening up to me. After a few minutes of prompting she did open up and ended up eating. Afterwards, Ketia just melted in my arms as I held her for another 20 minutes.
Weather today started out hot and in the 90's, but later in the afternoon we experienced a rain storm. Our team had fun walking back to the house in the rain. Just like when I was a child.
Dinner was yummy pizza from a local restaurant. Delicious!
We ended our day with a fun night of learning how to dance the Cha Cha back at the house.
All in all an amazing day of bonding and growing in Christ!
Posted by Nathan Opatz
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There are mixed emotions amongst our team after today. There is sorrow, confusion, anger, frustration, and gratitude... It is humbling to see Jeff & Alyn's vision of helping Haiti come to fruition, and to be a part of it all is nothing short of amazing! As our team seeks the Lord's will here in Haiti, we all feel His presence through stepping out in obedience! God is good...
Tomorrow we will visit the home of sick and dying babies, and we will also visit Gertrude's where there are physically and mentally handicapped children. Tonight, our devotions centered on compassion relating to today's water truck service and tomorrow's visits to the children. I am excited for what the Lord has planned for us...
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Our second group went to the wound clinic and provided much needed medical care to their patients. The team told us it was amazing what having access to clean water and soap could have prevented. They also were impressed with the sister’s commitment to serve the poorest of the poor every day, all day. Each person was glad they followed God’s prompting and felt very blessed.
A third group went for a second day on the water truck. We were feeling very confident with our skills after our one day training session earlier in the week. With a smaller group, we found ourselves surrendering to what God had called us to do right at the moment. Within moments of entering the first stop in Cite Soliel, a Tap Tap clinic was opened for minor injuries and cleaning of cut feet. One child slipped while playing in the water and hit his head. This required a bit more care, but he was sent on his way rockin’ an impressive royal blue head wrap to keep the bandage in place. Some of the team experienced washing clothes Haitian style and the ladies did not want to let them leave until they had finished. I am always amazed at the number of buckets that get filled in a short amount of time. The people fall into a rhythm with us right beside them.
We ended our day of serving by joining the wound clinic team and going to the home for sick and dying babies. It was good to be able to cuddle and love on these kids. We arrived just at the start of feeding time and were immediately put to work. Most of us were able to reconnect with some of the little ones we met yesterday. I am asking for special prayers for a young 3yr.old boy named Frankelson. He and I played yesterday and although he did not speak we played tickle games and I sang to him several songs that I used to sing to my own children. “The ittsy bitsy spider” turned out to be his favorite. I looked for him today and was unable to find him. Just before we had to leave I went into what I thought was an empty room full of cribs. I found him lying in a crib with an IV and fever. He would not allow me to touch him anywhere except on one spot on his leg. I just gently caressed this spot with the back of my hand. I felt so helpless and angry at God. Hadn’t this baby suffered enough? What possible good could come from this? I began to sing the ittsy bitty spider and received a small crooked grin. The sisters came in to take him down to the doctor. If you have ever seen these sisters with these children you know that they do not coddle them, but when they carried Frankelson to the clinic one carried the IV and the other gently carried this young child as if he was the most precious gift on earth……my mother’s heart just shattered. It was time for us to go…… who would be there for him when he returned from the doctor’s, who would comfort him, who would protect him, love him ……..Jesus and myself in my prayers. Please include this little one in your prayers tonight.
After the clinic, a phonecall revealed that the van couldn't make it back to the clinic because the street was even more packed....which I couldn't even imagine could happen. It must have been a funny sight to see all of these nuns with a bunch of white people treking through this busy street to reach our van a couple blocks away. But I loved it! It was awesome to be so close to all the vendors and Haitians, the sights and smells that I will never forget. And I felt immensely safe and protected....not a fear at all! I'm so glad I decided to go!
Posted by Sharon Mitchell
Friday, February 24, 2012
Gertrudes is an orphanage for kids with special needs. We spent our time playing, singing, and loving the kids. Tracy, one our team members, felt frustrated with the injustice of their environment compared to the level of care back in the states. However, after having some time to process and discuss things with Jen, our team leader, she felt a sense of hope. Without Gertrudes, these children wouldn't have a chance at survival. Tracy felt so blessed by one particular little girl whose face transformed when she told her she was beautiful in Creole.
After Gertrudes, we had a chance to re-charge back at the guest house before heading out to the home for sick and dying babies and children. We were one of several groups of volunteers there for the sole purpose of simply holding and loving the babies. It was so amazing to look into their eyes and give them a little love and joy even if it was just for a few hours.
On our walk back to the guest house, we had a chance to interact a bit with some of the local Haitians, along with a few gentlemen from the Dominican Republic.
Tomorrow our team will be very busy. Some of the team members will be heading out to the wound clinic, and the other half will be running the water truck and visiting the home for the sick and dying babies and children again.
This blog was brought to you by three blondes and a Dan...
(Tracy, Beth, Anastasia, and Dan)
Thursday, February 23, 2012
You are so GOOD! I walked into church this morning feeling sad for the Haitian people. I had such great sadness because of what I have witnessed these past few days here in Haiti. They have so very little and live in poverty, a poverty that we in America will never know. All the hardships, yet they unconditionally have this amazing love for God. The minute I witnessed the Haitians worshipping and completely surrendering to God, I was broken! In my brokenness, I began to understand what God was trying to teach me here in Haiti. I know that God was telling me, “My child, you should feel sorry for yourself. See how much they love me.” I am the one that has it hard. I am the one that is poor. The Haitians are rich because of their Crazy love for God. Their love for God has nothing to do with how little I think that they have. For nothing or their lack of something comes between them and their love for God. I am the one that has so much. All of my “so much” distracts me, keeps me from completely falling in love with God. How sad for me. Thankfully, God continues to love me and gives me His grace. I do believe that my heart will forever be changed from this day on…A heart that loves God completely.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The smells, the smiles, the Bon jou's, the arms of the kids wrapped around you. You can't get that from a picture or a video.
Grace Village was amazing. Because it is Cavnival here in Haiti the children did not have school this week from Monday-Wednesday. Gretchen who is the American caretaker there for the next 3 months asked if we could come out today instead of on Friday. So we switched some plans and headed up to hang out with them all day.
On the ride up we had a chance to stop and dip our feet in the ocean. With a veiw of the crystal blue ocean and a wonderful breeze we enjoyed a few snacks.
When we arrived the children welcomed us with an amazing welcome song that sounded like there were 100 children singing instead of just 42. Then we went outside to play with them on the amazing playground.
After playing for a while we did a faith story about Adam and Eve and then a science lesson on weather. I brought with a contraption that you screw onto two 2 liter bottles to simulate a tornado. We told them about tornados and showed them some pictures.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
God's blessing to you all,
Monday, February 20, 2012
Flying into Haiti was very reminiscent of a trip our family took to St. Thomas a year ago.....the beautiful blue carribean water, the gorgeous hills and mountains, the villages dotted across the landscape. As we got closer, there was evidence of the earthquake, but you had to look closely to see the bare foundations and rubble.
Everything went very smoothly at the airports, everyone made it through security and customs quickly and without issues and all of our flights were on time. We definetly felt like God was watching out for us. The airport wasn't even all that different from Haiti.......until we got out of the airport with our 31 suitcases (Yes, we brought a ton of supplies!!!!). Suddenly we were surrounded by men in red shirts, yelling at each other and each trying to lay a hand on our luggage....trying to claim our business and ultimately our tip. With lots of "no, merci" from us, we ultimately made it safely to our "tap tap" (a beautifully painted truck with bench seating in the back that amazingly held all of us and our suitcases!).
As we drove away from the airport, I remember thinking that this isn't as bad as I thought it would be....paved streets, grass, parks....again a reminder of St. Thomas. Then we turned a corner and headed up a pot-holed, rain washed street, reminding me of riding in a tractor through fields where I grew up, bumpy and throwing us and our suitcases back and forth and against the sides of the truck. The scenes changed immediately. There was garbage that had been there so long that is was flattened and dirt covered. There were other piles of fresh garbage with dogs digging through it.....and the smell was overwhelming as we drove by. A big pig was just walking down the side of the road. A family was in their tent, the mom dressing her little girl. We waved at everyone as we drove by and they responded with waves and big white smiles. Some boys chased us for awhile. Men were playing dominoes at a card table in the middle of a vacant lot. Just a glimpse of what we are yet to see and experience here and I can't wait.
Thanks to all of you that are supporting us at home and giving us this experience and chance to love others as God loves us. I am praying that God will allow me to see Haiti through His eyes with all the anticipation of a wide-eyed child......and I'm sure He will!