I added some videos to the video page, one trip to the market and two projects we worked on. I’m working on a video that kind of encompass the whole trip. I’m hoping that will be ready soon after Christmas.
We all got through customs with no problems. Just waiting for some food, then we’ll be on out way home.
This morning we had some breakfast and saw Pastor Chuck off, he had a 9am flight. We’re in the process of loading up the truck with luggage. Our flight is at 1pm local time.
The young boy returned with his mother and father, so we were able to clean and dress the wound one last time. It looked to be in fairly good condition and beginning to heal. We gave his parents some supplies so that they can attempt to re-wrap it.
We had an absolutely amazing time here. The Christmas boxes were definitely the highlight of the trip. Leny said that they have never been able to give the children presents before, it was an amazing experience. Saturday and Sunday we saw many children playing with items that they received in their boxes.
We all had a great time but we’re ready to come home and see all our families. Until next time…
Nwen Rinmin Ou Ayiti (We Love You Haiti)
Sunday morning. We headed over to chuch where those of us from the OC greeted. It was fun to welcome everyone. There was a team from Montgomery Alabama here from the United Methodist Church. They are staying with another missionay here. They brought some dentists and doctors with them and had a clinic for the local’s. Very needed and appreciated! Some ladies sang today and sounded absolutely beautiful!!
Pastor Chuck gave the message while Pastor Leny interpreted. He spoke about getting out of our comfort zone and into the work of what the Lord would have us do. At the end of the 2 hour service we were all presented with t-shirts from the feeding center. Doug and Chuck both got a replica of our feeding center sign on their shirts…very cool. We had lunch with some of the Filipino’s from the UN who come here for church. It was amazing how Margorie put so much good food together in such a short amount of time.
We passed out some additional gifts to the children of the deaf. There seems to be a fairly large population of deaf people in the chuch. They had several people taking turns signing during the service. Several came forward and accepted Christ today. It was an awesome service! We still have some small things to pass out, but it is so hard when you can not give something to everyone. Bags of rice were also distributed today. We are getting better at how to deal with the crowds and those who continue to ask when you have nothing left to give. It is difficult, but necessary.
We are relaxing now and will go to evening services at 5:00. We can hardly believe that we will be on our way home in less than 24 hours. We have had an amazing trip. Our accommodations have been great. Except for cold showers and interrupted electricity, it is almost like being at home. :-). We praise God we are all healthy and injury free. We all love the Haitian people and hope to return here soon to see those we have come to call friends. Leny, Marjorie and their son John have been awesome hosts. We will all miss them very much!
Church was wonderful with some special music for us. John sang to us. He has the sweetest voice! Leny and Marjorie served us Domino’s pizza for dinner. Tasted just like in the States. There was a bit of rain on our last evening so we had our nightly chat inside. We had a wonderful time sharing with Leny and Marjorie about our experience here this last week. While we all hope to continue to help the people in Haiti, we are reminded of the need to share the gospel with those around us too. We had a wonderful, wonderful time. We have been truly blessed by this experience!
Today was laundry day around the feeding center and a work day for us. About 30 people live on the compound here. It is heaven compared to their options. Pastor Leni, Pastor Chuck, and Brother Butch went to scout a location for another feeding center by the boarder. (If you haven’t guessed yet Brother Butch is Pastor Doug. Pastor Leni had trouble remembering his name and called him that, we’re not sure if it was a joke or he really couldn’t remember.) Sounds like it was a nice drive that involved a hike to get to the church. About 100 people gathered and sang songs to them. There was no electricity or water that they could see close by. The people were all dressed up to show them their respect.The structure was a tent and apparently very, very hot. Our group was there only about minutes. The rest of us built a couple of tables and benches for the feeding center. We painted them a bright blue and some of the children helped us. We mounted the banner we had made while here for the feeding center. We all felt very proud to see our sign prominatly displayed on the wall.
Last night was our night out at a restaurant. We went to one and they didn’t have any beef, so we left. We stopped at an outdoor market along the way and did a little shopping. Some in our group are expert negotiators! After the market we went to another restuarant called la Maison. They had air conditioning and a TV, the first we’ve had/seen since arriving. It was fun to watch CNN for a few minutes and see what was happening in the world. The power went out while we were there. They have a generator though, so we did not have to eat in the dark. Marjorie & Leni have such a big heart. Always thinking of others. They took all the left overs we hadn’t touched and brought them back to the people who live around here. They are always feeding them something or trying to help anyway they can.
The grounds of the restauant were park like with flowers and Christimas lights. They had some santa claus type lawn ornaments. The restaurant also had a guest house. It was close to the UN and seemed to cater to foreigners. We enjoyed a delicious meal and good company. As the power was out again tonight we sat outside under a full moon and chatted gathered around the thermo cell which was to keep the misquitos away. Another great day in Haiti.
Wow!!! What an amazing day. We were able to help feed the kids today. They ate red beans and rice with vegtables and chicken. It was so fun to help out with this. The kids knew something was up and the area was abuzz with excitement. We had to guard the doors to the church to keep the street kids out as we did not have enough for all of them. This is a sad phenomen that is prevelant everywhere we go here. So many needs for the resources we have.
The temp was 95 and humid today and the icecream was melting fast. We served icecream with two cookies. The kids really enjoyed it. The kids sang several songs to us and did a fantastic job. Then…we passed out the boxes. How awesome that was!!! We all felt so privledged to deliver our boxes to these kids. They thanked us and went to the courtyard to open the boxes.
We will save more of that for the video show. We also gave boxes to each of the teachers for their children to share as well as to the other staff. Parents were lined up with their kids to get someting. God willing, next year we can put smiles on a few more faces.
After this awesome experience we set off with more candy, cross necklaces and shoe’s to the little girl with the sad brown eye’s. They had prepared some songs for us, all dressed up in their best. They were so quite and polite while they waited for us. We passed out our goodies to smiling, excited aces. We had many “merci’s”.
With that we were back in the trucks and down the road to the next church. This chuch was quite a drive out of Port Au Prince. The scenary was lovely. People’s standard of living appeared to be a bit better than in the city with more stable structures and less tents. We drove by a couple of factories and a few outdoor markets. Flies coupled with the heat made the meat really unappealing. The chuch we went to had been rebuilt and had a very nice baptisty. Church meets several times a week and for 3 hours on Sunday.
Here more children came than what was planned for, so we did not have enough of anything for everyone except suckers. The kids again were dressed in their best and sang to us. Such lovely voices! We chatted with the kids a bit and left the distribution to the local Pastor. We all felt that was a good decision. It can get a bit scary when the kids start swarming you for things ina bit of frenzy. We all joked about this is why we think they just air drop food into these types of area’s.
The trip back was quite an experience. Driving here is always an adventure. One of our team members has been renamed Brother Butch as Pastor Lenny has a hard time remembering his name. Since Brother Chuck was out of commission, we needed another driver. Thus Brother Butch drove the second vehicle today so we didn’t all have to ride in the back of the truck. The trip was dusty and hot with a lot of traffic on the way back. Stop lights are not stictly enforced here. Road ediquette is very different. Sidewalks are more for cars than people. Lanes are created. Horns are used like blinkers. Josh commented “Is it rude to use horn when driving on the sidewalk?” We were stopped for 10-15 minutes at a time. With Matt and Josh in the back of the truck with several Haitians caused quite a stir amongst the locals. As traffic flows merged Brother Butch had to really be on his game so as not to lose the others. This caused some screams to come from the passengers (Kris) as she could touch the bus next to us.
There were several near misses along the way and shouts of joy from all in the vehicle when we played chicken with a bus and won!! Yeah Brother Butch! Much fun was certainly had on the way back. We enjoyed a delicious meal cooked by Madame Margerie. It has been a long wonderful day which we are all greatful to have shared.
We had an eventful day today. After breakfast we went with Lenny to the ruins of the Presidential Palace. We were able to see a lot of the city. It is crazy how much of it is filled with tent cities. Streets are narrow and filled with cars despite the almost $5.00/gal gas here. We are amazed at the level of rubble and buildings that are still as they were after the earthquake, which was almost 2 years ago.
Our first stop was at a Cathedral which now has people living in and around it. Many people were there looking for food or money. While our hearts were torn, especially for the children, there was no way to only help a couple of people without being mobbed. Heart breaking! While there a Haitian National came up to me (Kris) and was reprimanding me for taking a photo after a man asked me to. Apparently they expect to be paid. He is well educated and was a bit hostile towards me. Luckily Lenny and Chuck came to my rescue and told him we were here helping his county. Lenny told him as an educated national he has a responsibility to help his country work with the government to improve the lives of his countrymen. It was an interesting encourter.
We picked up our banner that we will hang outside the school. Very cool to see that here in Haiti. Feels a little like home to see it so far away. The boxes arrived and luckily did not create too much of a stir with the kids. We worked on some projects for Madame Marjorie. Lenny and Marjorie are so you must be kind and work so hard, it feel good to do even small things for them. A street kid was injured outside the school and we administered some first aid. He really needed to go to the hospital, but we are finding that we need to be careful of the precedents we set as we can not help every child. Another hard lesson. We spent many moments in prayer yesterday. Please join us in continued prayers for the people of Haiti.
We had a wonderful day today in Haiti. We all feel so blessed by this experience! The ladies spent the morning with some local Pastor’s wives. We were blessed to hear them sing songs of praise. While we missed the essence of the message and prayers we could feel their passion and love. We lead them in some games that were somewhat lost in translation, but still fun. Madame Marjorie (Pastor Lenny’s wife)is a great source of encouragement for them. We gave them shoes for themselves and their children as well as some gift bags with rice and toiletries that they were so appreciative of! The men built beautiful shelves for a classroom as well as worked on getting our “shoeboxes” out of customs. Keep the prayers coming.
While we were with the ladies, Lenny informed Doug and Chuck of a boy, Amos, who lives on the streets and can not afford to come school. They need to buy uniforms and books. The cost is $175.00 for the year. Our team had the ability to pay for him to go to school for the year with the funds we paid to come here. He was in tears with joy. We were pleased to have the privilege to do that for him.
This afternoon we went to two areas where Lenny has planted churches. One is in the “worst” area of Port Au Prince. The conditions were disturbing to say the least. So many children, shoeless, pantless, walking on broken concrete, rubble everywhere, sewage along the street. Unfortunately much of Port Au Prince resembles this. We passed out some candies to a few children that came out to see us. We left this area quite quickly as it is still not the best place for us to be. Lenny is very cautious on where he brings us. We all rode in a truck today. Five of us were in the cab and the rest hanging on the truck. Quite the scene. 🙂
The second location we traveled to was a bit more remote feeling as it was along a river and had some greenery. We walked a ways and saw the church that was destroyed in the earthquake. Another is being built and looks to be quite nice. The children really tug at your heart. We met a sweet little girl with the saddest brown eye’s. Her almost naked brother was with her and kept putting his arm around her. Both were only a few years old. We had no candy left at this point and all decided we should just take them home with us. So many children you’d like to offer a better life for. Lenny said we could return to see them again and bring some shoe’s. Hopefully we can get a smile from our little sad eyed girl.
Wednesday night is church night and Pastor Doug had the opportunity to share his humor and his wisdom with the congregation. As has been the pattern here, evenings bring power outages and the Haitians did not miss a beat during their service despite the power generator going on and off. Pastor Doug preached to a tough crowd who did not understand his humor. One word Pastor Lenny did not know in creole so we have no idea what he told the congregation. The service was ended after a wonderful testimony from Shaun. The bible passages were read by flashlight, which was a new experience.