Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday - June 14, 2014

We spent the first part of our day visiting 5 elderly that are part of the Healing Haiti Elderly Ministry! 

Stop #1 - Maricia is 74 years old.  She lives in a very small, hot house.  We asked questions of her through our interpreters and were able to sing songs with her.  Some of our team members washed her feet and rubbed lotion on them.  Maricia was so peaceful and content as we ministered to her.  The funny thing is, she actually ministered to us!!

Stop #2 -  81 year old Edmund is a dear man who is blind and very hard of hearing.  He blessed us with a warm smile as we sang him songs and rubbed lotion on his hands and feet.  He couldn't express his gratitude with words, but it was written all over his sweet face!

Stop #3 - Antoinette is 62 years old and she is learning to read and write!  Her dedication and drive is evident by the way she serves the other elderly in her community.  Our team had a blast at this stop!  People from the community gathered in her yard to see what all the excitement was all about.  They witnessed the first ever Healing Haiti Dance Off!!  We have a "Foo-Foo" (Creole word for Crazy) team!  Again at this stop we delivered food, water, and snacks for Antoinette.  Simple, but yet essentials that they often times go without.

Stop #4 - Marie is 104 years old and still celebrating life!  We've heard about her from other friends who have been to visit and we too were encouraged by her brilliant smile and love for Jesus.  Her body aches but we were able to provide a bit of relief with a gentle massage.  She asked us to pray for strength and healing so she could make it church tomorrow morning.  

Stop #5 - Merolen is 90 years old and has a sweet, quiet disposition!  She is living with her grandson and his family.  She sat on the porch with a smile on her face....the picture says it all!

This was by far our favorite day!  The love of Jesus was flowing in their hearts and ours.  To serve the elderly in this way, was a gift!  

Written by Hollie & Julie


Isaiah's- By Chris

           Today we visited an orphanage, a place of pure joy when it has visitors. We of course got to experience this joy, which was eye opening as to how happy these kids are with what they have. When we first arrived I was greeted by smiles and "Hey you!" from all the kids. This was an experience I will not likely forget. Much like the other orphanages, many of these kid's parents died in the earthquake, so Isaiah's is like a second chance for these orphaned kids, and they remember that every day with their smiles and praises to God.

           When we got inside the orphanage the kids began to bring out their tables and chairs, I was lucky to be able to sit down with a nice group of kids who immediately offered me some of the snacks we brought.   I turned them down but it was a nice courtesy and I was amazed by the fact that these kids have so little but they continue to give without question.

           After our brief snack break we were able to get down to our activity which was coloring on shirts with fabric pens while we helped.   This was fun but also moving because of the thanks we received.   Nearly every shirt said something about Healing Haiti, whether it was the logo itself or a thanks to us in writing along with a quick thanks to God as well. But one thing everyone put on their shirt was the world cup or the flag of the country they wanted to win.   The world cup is certainly a big thing down here. I remember going down to the pool at the Elite Hotel and as we were walking back they must have scored a goal because the entire city went up in a roar,.  Cheers must have been heard for miles and loudly too.

           After we were finished with the shirts we got a quick group photo and the hopped in the tap tap and went home because we were all very tired from a long elder care and shirt decorating day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Beach Day with Shalom Orphanage

Our team shared a lovely day at Wahoo Bay with the children and staff of Shalom Orphanage . Haiti's mountains & clear turquoise beaches reflect the beauty that lies within the hearts of each child we played with today. It was a day of discovery for everyone as we saw sea urchins, blow fish, jelly fish, lobster, hermit crabs and mini sword fish (not sure what they were).

After spending an hour behind the camera lens it was time to "experience" the day. I sat near one of the young boys playing in the shallow for awhile. I noticed one of the older boys sitting near me. He was staring intently at the teens horsing around on the large Rave/rope swing in the deep. I saw mischief and longing lingering in his dark brown eyes. I was certain he was an adventurous spirit. Yet, I sensed he had learned to curb these lively desires and maintain a responsible, quiet demeanor as the eldest of the orphanage. As soon as I asked him if he wanted me to swim him out to the structure a fire ignited in his eyes and he smiled ear to ear. His delight became my delight. It causes me to reflect that certainly our delight becomes our Heavenly Father's delight.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cite Soleil

Today we went into Cite Soleil to deliver clean water to people that don't have any. As soon as the truck stopped the kids crowded around us to touch us, be touched and be held. Holding a child in your arms and seeing their smiling faces gave me joy. I was also inspired by their hope. It gives me hope.

I especially enjoyed a little girl who loved playing with my hair. She used the end of my braid to tickle my ear and would giggle in response to my reaction. At the beginning of it all I was nervous because I didn't know what to expect. However by trusting in the Lord, His joy overpowered my nerves and I don't regret one second of my time in Cite Soleil.

Written by: Julia Fixsen

Learning to Be Content

Today was an experience that will open our eyes to many things that we often times take for granted. When we return to America we will have an entirely new perspective on water. For example, taking a shower, drinking water, or washing our clothes... A very simple task for us in America, is extremely challenging here in Haiti. We have seen them running for the water truck with excitement... we have seen hope in there eyes as they rushed over with there empty buckets... we have seen an entirely different world today. A world in which children and adults were carrying water buckets on top of there heads to bring to there family, in order to provide for there basic daily needs. Seeing where they live and how they live, is something nobody can ever imagine unless they see it in person. There are no words to describe the sorrow of wanting to give them a life in America. When we would arrive in there district, the children ran to us with open arms, and joy. As the little children were hanging on us to embrace our love, the other children and adults tried to get as much water filled in there buckets as they could. The challenge in that for them, is they had to carry these heavy 50 lb water buckets that were filled to the top, to there tent (home). We were completely amazed in how adults and children in this culture carry everything on top of their heads. We even see them carrying heavy bags of bean, and bags of rice on there heads. Their heads is a common place in Haiti to carry anything. The other thing that we witnessed, is many children were not wearing pants/ or clothes. They would walk over broken glass and garbage with there bare feet. They would sprint over these, and not even complain. This is there life in Haiti, and how we, in America, should all be thankful for what we have and not complain. Children in America now days are complaining for new iPhones, iPods, new clothes, etc., and yet there is a country filled with children that haven't ever had a new pair of clothes, or shoes. Today was a day that we will never forget!!!  

 ~Written By: Jamie & Bridgett Kolpien~

Water Therapy with Gertrude's

Water therapy with Gertrude's

Eight of our team members were able to take 6 of the children from Gertrude's Orphanage to a pool for water therapy.  The sweet children are physically handicapped.  For some it was to encourage movement, and for some it was to help relax their tight muscles.
Seeing the children so filled with joy at such simple things like a swimming pool, so many that we in the States take for granted, was a reminder that gratitude and joy are so closely linked.
I want to show my gratitude more often!
What a joy to see our children in the group take such an active role in jumping in boldly to help however was needed.  Both of my daughters loved how sweet and happy and cuddly one of the little boys was, and it delighted me to see them both embrace this new experience with open hearts. 

Written by Tracy & Sara

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today was an eye opening day!  It started with an amazing breakfast made by the amazing Haitian staff.  Wasn't sure if my stomach could be full here....but surprisingly I wasn't even that hungry because it was so hot! Thank you for wonderful food.  We spent our morning at Gertrude's home.  It is an orphanage and home for special needs children. Special needs children are not valued here and Gertrude has turned her home into the children's home after the earthquake.  Amazing woman.  Part of our group did water therapy with some of the special needs kids and the rest of us stayed and played with the kids, and cared for some of the special needs kids at the home.  Even rubbing their legs and back made them smile.  There is also a school there and we learned some Creole (the language in Haiti). "Chita" - means sit down.  "Masi" - thank you.  One boy kept pulling my arm over to his table and wanting me to "Chita" as he would say over and over......laughing.  I think it was his favorite game.  Many of the kids wanted lots of attention.  We learned that language differences can make it hard to communicate,  but a smile, touch and eye contact with a child speaks a universal language of love.  They felt it and so did we.

In the afternoon we visited a home for sick and dying babies.......lines of cribs.......little arms held high.....and tears with a desire to be held.  Each baby would cry until you picked then up.  Then they would relax. While there, I learned how to change a diaper for the first time, and hold a baby. Many of babies were sad and really wanted the care and touch of others.  Leaving was the hardest part as they cried and cried.  At the end of the day I realized how much care goes into these kids and I'm thankful for those that have given their life service for them.


Written by, Josh and Julie Sampson

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 2014 Parent/Child Trip

I am grateful to share this trip with old friends, new friends and family.  I pray the Lord will mold our hearts, increase our wisdom and deepen our ability to love. There is so much beauty in Haiti. We hope to share with you not only what God is trying to teach each of us on this journey but to also share with you the vast richness of Haiti and its gifted people.

Travel day is always a mixed bag of exhaustion, uncertainty, anticipation and awakening. We managed to cap the day with some refreshment and fun with our neighbors.