Friday, June 1, 2012

The past two days have been quite an adventure for our team.  The plans we had put in place were completely put aside, as the part we were to play in God's bigger plan was more than we could have ever imagined.  A local orphanage in Titanyen was closed on Thursday, and as a result, Grace Village received 15 new children!  It was an experience our entire team will never forget, as we welcomed the children to their new home!  

Last night most of our team stayed at Grace Village to help with getting the new kids settled in. This morning when we went to Titanyen we met the team and kids at Mission of Hope Medical Clinic. These kids and their little bodies are so fragile, so sick, so malnourished that it just breaks my heart. They had been moved so many times in such a short period of time that when we got back to Grace Village and told them that they were home, they were just all smiles and so cute! A group of us went to help deliver meals to the elderly and I could tell that they were just so happy to see us.

Although our original plans have been changed and things didn't go as planned for this team, God closed some doors so other would be opened and we could make a HUGE difference in the lives of those kids.

-Holly T.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 2~ May 29, 2012

  I am in awe of how God can bring together so many people with distinct personalities and different gifts and bond them together as a team so quickly!  I feel as though I am with "family" and am surrounded by encouragement, support and love!

I began the day with the verse Psalm 147:3 "The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds"....perfect as we prepared for our morning at the home for the sick and dying.  Kristin Armstrong wrote "I like to imagine His holy hands, radiant, glowing and warm surrounding my heart, enclosing it completely"

My word of the day was "EXHILARATING".  I am sure that sounds surprising to many yet, I am sure that it was God blessing me.  I started the day visiting Princess and her 1 week old puppies.  She was so tender with the runt who was crying.   She allowed me to hold all of was an unanticipated gift of immediately starting my day holding "babies".  I could not wait to get to the home for the sick and dying to just love on those precious little souls.

 I was surprised as we got there to see so many people.  It was the day parents could visit their children, they are only allowed to come 2x/ heart ached for them.
I was able to hold and feed many of the babies.  I claimed Psalm 147:3 over them and sang "Jesus loves you"  As the babies snuggled into my arms, there eyes were bright and beautiful...I could feel the love of Jesus through them.  I was hopeful for them as I watched how the nuns carefully cared for each of the babies, checking on all of them, changing their sheets and making sure their feet were covered with blankets.  I sat next to a mom as she was able to nurse her baby and she was so grateful to be reunited with her baby.   I was so sad to leave....I could spend a week or more just taking care of the babies!!

We went on to see the amazing Grace Village and were greeted with the most beautiful faces, wanting hugs and love and more hugs!!!  Yeah, I loved every minute.  I instantly grabbed onto the youngest one I could find...Sherlanda!   She cuddled in, we "chatted" and after about an hour, she fell asleep in my arms. It  was Heaven.  We watched Beth, Kara and FanFan give a faith lesson and helped the kids with a craft and they sang louder than I have ever heard.  Their love and smiles were so contagious!

As the day ended, I felt selfish as I cherished every minute of the day.  These people are some of the poorest in the world and yet their joy just shines through their smiles, especially the children.

I am grateful that I am part of this amazing team of people... serving the most gracious people who have forever touched my heart.

Jezi renmen ou!!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 1 - Arrival In Haiti

Today was one which will be etched into my memory forever. I saw reflections of myself in the faces and eyes of the beautiful people of Haiti. The weather was warm but nothing compared to the burning fire in my spirit to share God's word of hope, love and faith with the children we are here to serve. I had the opportunity to learn some greetings in Kreyol (Creole) and talk with individuals who seemed so happy to teach we are educators of some sort here to share with others, yet learning ourselves.  I love it! As we pray, worship, and prepare for the week ahead, I ask that each of my family and friends keep us in your thoughts.

The best quote I heard today was shared by a team member who stated that:

"Education is not filling a pale, but igniting a fire"

I think that says it ALL!!!

I would like to end my thoughts with a brief story which I think others may be able to learn from as well. In the airport, we experienced a brief moment of short lived chaos. For a second, my heart was pounding. I felt a sense of anxiety building in my stomach because I felt confused and in some ways, out of control.  But thank God for his angels in disguise, my team members! I felt a hand on my shoulder and in a soft voice, someone said, "Stay close, follow close, stay tight. We're okay." Just as quickly as it started, the anxiety and fear ceased as if God himself was speaking to me. I knew I was in the right place at the right time.

Father, God, thank you for each and every member who is serving you this week in Haiti. Bless them to be instruments in your holy work. Bless their families, friends, churches and all that they love. Restore and refill them to continue to do your work. And thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful experience. Amen.

Shantay Bolton-Phillips
a.k.a. Dr. Bolton, PhD in Psychology...trying to figure out Sue :)

God in the Airport

Early in the morning, leaving for Haiti, Beth and I are going through security. The TSA agent heard us mention Eagle Brook Church, she said "Hey, I heard a lot about Eagle Brook Church." Beth said, "Yeah, we go there and Sue is one of the pastors." In a heartbeat, we were in a major discussion telling her all about our church.  There was a long line behind us, people were waiting, people were detained, we got several looks but continued in discussion. The TSA agent faked that she was working on Beth's passport so we could continue our discussion. We were encouraging her to come and see.  With getting our shoes off and everything through the X-ray machine, raising our arms in the special tubes, making our way through the security without any metal/wire bleeping....I turned and saw the TSA security woman coming towards me wanting to talk some more.  So, I invited her to come this weekend and she will be coming to the White Bear site. I think she'd make a great CONNECTOR and we've already talked about SMALL GROUP.  What a GREAT way to start the day!! Beth and I toasted the morning with a Starbuck. Let's hear it for caffiene at 4 in the morning.

At the airport in Haiti, we ended up having to wait for our ride...not long but maybe 1 hour or so. But during that time, I was with Shantay and Beth...and we ended up meeting a lot of Haitian people around us.  We were sharing language, learning Creole, teaching English and singing songs...including the ABC's, which was a mess on our part.  With the sound of music, I could not help myself but take out my Uke and we broke into an invigorating tune of the famous kids camp song, Alleluia, Praise the Lord, only in a mixture of French and Creole.  By this time, there are about 12 of us, more gathering and we had church at the airport.  And Lord, God, this is your beginning for us.

This evening, our team ended in song...Lord God You Are My All in All. I'm so greatful to be here. I'm so thankful for friends, family, all the new people that I'm meeting...God's people are AMAZING!  Open my heart Lord that I may see what it is that you want me to see...and to all that you would teach me. Thank you for this day Lord. Amen.

Sue Lennartson
a.k.a. Dr. Susanista, PhD in Holy Hilarity