Sunday, March 16, 2014

Last Day

       Sunday was a more laid back and fun day for the team. The church service at Grace Church started at ten. On the way, we picked up one of the elders we visited (Marie) and several other people in the Tap Tap. The people at church were very joyful and enthusiastic. The worship, led by Pastor Wesley, was very heartfelt and energetic. Pastor Gary gave an encouraging sermon about having peace through God. After the service, we helped serve a meal of sandwiches and orange juice to everyone in the church. We also spent time talking to some of the people we met earlier in the week.
Marie- 104 years young

       After church was shopping time. We drove a long way up into the mountains to a roadside market and got out the money we brought for souvenirs. There were a lot of handcrafted items and we got to practice bargaining for what we wanted to buy. We had to talk down most of the vendors so we could buy our souvenirs for a more reasonable price. Then we got in the Tap Tap and started driving to another marketplace. We drove up one of the mountains and saw some more of the
beautiful parts of Haiti. At the top of the mountain, there was an incredible overlook that showed the ocean and the colorful towns below. We spent another hour or so shopping. On the way back we stopped at a grocery store to buy hot sauce and coffee. Back at the guesthouse, some of us crashed while others of us hung out or played more soccer on the terrace.

      Tonight at devotions we talked about how to keep this trip alive in our hearts when we get back home. We all want to keep our hearts open so God can continue growing the seeds that have been sowed on this trip.

-Lydia Voth and Paige Reisdorfer

Beach Day

Today we went to the beach about an hour north of Port-au-Prince with some of the kids from the Grace Village orphanage. Now I, having never left the country before and had never seen the ocean, saw it and swam in it for the first time.  And it was amazing; the salt in the water hurt my eyes, but it wasn't bad once you got used to it. The beach was beautiful and clean with clear, tropical blue water and white sand.  This is a big change from the garbage-cluttered coasts we'd seen in the city. We hung out with the kids from Grace Village at the beach for a while and had lunch which was PB&J or Nutella sandwiches we had prepared the night before. I do not know how to swim, but my friends were more than willing to help me not drown. After searching for treasure under the water (namely crabs, sea urchins, jelly fish and shells) and pretending I was a wizard, we started the long tap-tap ride home where we had a delicious spaghetti dinner and had some spiritual time as we did our evening devotions.  After the devotions it began to rain HARD, so we decided to take the opportunity to make the upper deck of the guest house into a giant slip-and-slide. Fun was had by all as we slid not-so-gracefully across the upper deck. Thus concludes another wonderful day in Haiti.

 Yours in Christ,


Friday, March 14, 2014

Elderly Visits

Today we started out waking up really early at 5:30! It was worth it because we got to go to the Haitian church near the guesthouse. When we were there it was really powerful to sing along with all the people and even though we didn't know what they said half the time it was still one of my favorite experiences. Next we all went to Grace Village and played with all the kids. Even though we don't speak their language we still could interact with the children. One thing that is still crazy to me even though I've already gone two other times, is that though all the kids live in these horrible conditions they are still so joyful and content for what they own. The last thing we did was visit the elderly. The first person we went to was Edmund. He is around 81 and is blind and deaf. We went in sang songs and prayed over him. We gave him a meal and we comforted him. We also asked him questions and he answered with joy. The next gracefully old person that we went to was named Issna. We gave him food and soda, he was a kind spirit and he cared for us even in his old age. Then we went to see Marie. She is 104 and is the one with the most spirit of all the elderly that Healing Haiti sponsors. What was really cool was that she remembered me from all the other trips I have gone on, not only that, but she had been praying for me that I would come back to see her! Also she was going to have nothing to eat that day, but we brought her food so that was another prayer for her answered. God has blessed our whole team today by showing us His love through the elderly and the children

 - Logan Beale

A new experience

Wednesday was a very humbling day. We started by splitting our team into two groups. Eleven of us went to the Home of the Sick and Dying Babies and six of us went to the town of Carrefour to care for the sick elderly people. 

At the Home for the Sick and Dying Babies, each of us was amazed at the all of the babies that were malnourished. Babies had spent the day in their cribs while others were being held by other volunteers until we arrived. All of our eleven team members were constantly holding a child in our hands. We had the amazing opportunity to care and love on them for the time given. Towards the end, we fed and changed the babies. The hardest thing for all of us was putting them down and not knowing the next time they would be held again.

Back at Carrefour we arrived to many sick adults lying in their beds. We cleaned them with baby wipes because of their dry skin. We also met a few adults that were willing to engage us in conversation. Between our groups' knowledge of French, Spanish, and English we were able to speak a few common phrases to the sick adults. We got to know a few in particular and really enjoyed their company. It is extremely hard to see grown men and women who are not able to do simple tasks for themselves because of a sickness that could have been prevented by the medication that we have readily available to us in the US.
All of us experienced different trials throughout the day, but we were able to also have a lot of fun playing with the local Haitian boys in an intense soccer game. Also, we had the pleasure to go to Juno’s orphanage and enjoy bubbles, arts and crafts, and more soccer with the orphans. Today was a rough day, however with God's presence and love, we were able overcome the sadness and brokenness of the situations that occurred.

Josiah Horn and Charissa O'Keefe


Grace Village

By the third morning we were all staring to get used to the idea of the early rising (at least in the girls room).  This was the day when we finally visited our partnering school: Grace Academy. Some of the team members wore Liberty gear so that some of the Grace students could see Liberty's colors and logo.  We took a fun ride in the Tap Tap to Grace Village which took about 35-40 minutes. As soon as they opened the gate we saw the bright colors of all the buildings and the beautiful view of mountains in the background.  We unloaded all of our gear and headed to the actual school building.  The students had just been let out on break and filed out of the rooms heading towards the playground and blacktop.  As some of the younger students (1st to 4th grades) latched on to our sides, and even climbing on our backs, we were taken to the blacktop which had two soccer goals. For about half an hour we watched a girls’ soccer game and after they called all the team together to form our own soccer team that would go against some of the older male students.  Not surprisingly, of course the Liberty soccer team jumped at the chance to play.  Within about the first ten seconds of playing time the Haitian Team had already made a goal.  The final score of the game ended up about 13-2.  We’ll the readers guess which side had 13 and which had 2. While the game was happening, some other team members were occupying the younger students and vice-versa.  The kids were all ecstatic to play with us, so much so that if we were left alone for a second, two or three kids would grab on and not let go.   After break time (recess) was over, we gathered in their cafeteria to give presentations about our school and about daily life in America.  The presentations were for students in the high school and lasted about an hour. We sang songs and talked; they asked questions about school and life in America.  Overall, the day was filled with laughter and hugs.  It was truly a blessing, and a day that we will never forget.   -Loey 

1st grade classroom
Grace Academy and Liberty Classical Academy

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Today was the first real mission day. Yesterday, we saw the city as we drove through Port-au-Prince from the airport, but we hadn't seen the culture quite like this. We started the day by touring the Elder School, and we presented a little piece of our lives back home. After that, we went to deliver water to three different sites in Cite Soleil. Of course, I had seen pictures from past presentations done by past teams, but it had never dawned on me just how hopeless it all seemed. Also, when people think about mission trips, they think about how they will do so much and help the local populace. However, today I witnessed how helpless we really are based on their needs. One little boy really showed me this. I was holding the hose, filling up their buckets, and the little boy walked by. All of a sudden, he winced, stopped, and held up his foot as if he stepped on something. It was then that I saw the inch-and-a-half long piece of glass, sticking out of his foot. He pulled it out, and the blood immediately started pouring from his foot. He screwed up his face in pain and looked around for help. The other team members and I tried to get the attention of the leaders, and they started to stop the flow of blood. As they wrapped it up, we all stood around, watching, and in my case, feeling helpless. As we started to drive away, I just was thinking about what he would do about that cut. In the U.S., we would keep it wrapped up, wear shoes around, and keep it dry and safe, but he probably didn't have those options. He might get it infected or opened up again, and there wasn't a single thing I could do to help him. In that moment, I felt that I truly understood the trip. I have been amazed by the poverty and hopelessness here, but also by the love and compassion shown by my fellow team members, by our chaperones, and by the locals. I continue to be amazed, and can't wait for tomorrow!
Max Crandall

Monday, March 10, 2014

Travel Day and Blessings Already

Our opening blog post as a team might be brief as most of us have been up since the wee hours of the morning and some of the more youthful of our team never went to bed! That said, the Lord has been with us throughout our day of traveling from MSP to MIA and finally to PAP. All members were present and accounted for by 3:15 this morning; none forgot their passports, none got their 4th amendment rights violated by the TSA, and all were able to board safely and relatively quickly. I had a window seat for the flight to Miami and it was such a blessing to see the sun rise above the clouds and watch the night give way to day. I was reminded by God that this is truly the day that He has made and we should rejoice and be glad in it!  

Although we all are very tired, I'm encouraged by the work that God promised to do in each of us this week, both as a team and individually. In Isaiah 43:19, we read, "See, I am doing new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?" God indeed is doing a new thing and as a teacher and administrator I could not be happier about it.  As this is the inaugural student team from Liberty, I truly believe that each member has been hand-picked and pre-ordained for such a time as this. Pray for His (not our) plans to be carried out this week and also for safety, unity, and openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit as we serve and are served by the people in Haiti.  

Please continue to check the blog daily as at least one of us will be posting each night. 

Plans for tomorrow include bringing 6,000 gallons of fresh, clean, and life-sustaining water to the people of Cité Soleil, visiting children at Elder School, and getting beaten in fútbol by the local neighborhood boys.

Thanks for your prayers thus far. 

May God show you more of Himself today. 
-Jeff Button Liberty Classical Academy