Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 7: The Last Day

Today was our last full day. We went to Port-au-Prince Fellowship (PAPF) church this morning. The music was very enthusiastic. We had a wonderful time praising the Lord with local missionaries and Haitians. The sermon was about the saving grace of the Gospel (in English). Later in the day, we went up the mountain and enjoyed the beautiful view of Haiti. We spent time supporting the locals and their families by buying their crafts to bring back home:) I think we all took away many different things from this trip, but as a team we all learned to serve in a more Christ-like way.

Rachel and Collin

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 6-Beach Day with Kids from Shalom

Saturday, a sunny and dusty day as usual. The first thing we saw at the second that we walked out the door was a "modern art masterpiece", the party bus. 

Inside the bus were random seats prepared for children from 1-12. With the rock hard seating, our journey to the beach started. On the way to the beach we picked up the kids from Shalom Orphanage. The journey was rough due to the the seats of the bus and the time we spent in there, approximately an hour and forty-five minutes one way. We were thinking it was a sandy beach. But when we eventually got there, we found one that was quite rocky. Despite that, as everyone unloaded from the bus, smiles appeared on everyone's face. With uncontrollable excitement, we captured two chairs to set our equipment on and charged into the water. At the beach, we played water volleyball and skipped rocks on the water. Some crazy ones went to explore a boat moored 50 yards out from the shoreline. After spending most of the day at the beach, with sunburns to all, we climbed back onto the bus and started the looong ride home.

                 -Peter, Tony

Friday, March 13, 2015

Water Truck Day and Sakala Garden - Day 5

Today was a fun filled day, just like all the others. We started the day with visits to City Soleil filling buckets with water and providing love and care to all the wonderful children. We had two stops before vising a spot in the center of City Soleil called Sakala Garden. Sakala Garden is a community/ after school program that provides kids in City Soleil with a safe refuge that meets many needs whether it be help on their homework, food, peace, or somewhere to sleep. The Sakala Garden grows their own food and uses many natural resources inspiring kids to be creative and positive about life. After our lovely tour of the wonderful Sakala Garden we walked over to pool and we're able to cool down and relax after a busy morning. After swimming we had the privilege of eating some of, if not, the best pizza in Haiti at Pizza Amour. We finished the day off with devotionals, where God always reveals something new to us each and everyday. Time in the Word at the beginning of our day and at the end brings us closer as a team. The Lord has definitely worked through us today and we can't wait to see what he has in store for us tomorrow.

-Charissa & Angelica

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 4: A Hitchhiker's Guide to Titanyen

Forty five minutes in a vehicle that equals a school bus plus and iron cage plus a motion sickness machine. That is how we began our Thursday morning as we headed up the mountains to Titanyen, the home town of Grace Village. That was our first stop. Here we toured the school and medical center.

Starting with the feeding center, a building that feeds over 450 people, and is decorated in exactly 5000 fish paintings, we went through the various structures and classrooms that are part of the school. We went through the transition homes, which help teach kids how to assimilate into adult life once they are eighteen. We visited the aquaponics center, where we learned how the combination of fish, tomatoes, and PVC pipe can equal a self-sustaining system of gardening, that produces both good crops and good fish. Fish happen to be very expensive in Haiti.

The entire place was amazing. Compared to Port-au-Prince, Grace Village was a paradise. I, for one, was blessed by the huge amount of work put into this place, and what joy it was bringing the Haitians there.

After moving the tap-tap very slowly down the hill that is the driveway, we headed into town to visit some elderly people who live there and are served by Grace Village. We sang to them and prayed for them, and washed their feet and hands. We then headed over to Shalom Orphanage, also in town, where we discovered how to entertain Haitian kids by blowing huge bubbles. 

Sufficiently tired, we headed back on the tap-tap to the guest house. If it weren't for the bumpiness of the ride, I am sure that most of us would have fallen asleep. Having returned to the guest house, we had a delicious meal of local Haitian food, and prepared for a long relaxing evening.

Good night, Haiti.   

-Aiden & Collin

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 3 - Water Truck Day! (Suns Out, Guns Out!)

Today was the second day of service, and we started it out with a visit to the Elder School. The school was located in Cite Soleil, the poorest slum in Haiti. Our visit was interrupted by a peace protest, which distracted all of the students. After that, we delivered water to three different sites, where we were warmly greeted. While some of the team helped fill buckets, the rest played with and loved on all the little kids from the surrounding neighborhood. One of the things that stood out the most was the desperation and need for water, which was obvious among the people waiting for us to fill their buckets. It even got to the point where people would fight for water, and some of the fights were alarmingly intense. Water is the most important thing for everyone, but we were their only source of water, so it is clear why they were desperate. After we finished delivering water at the last site, we drove back to the guest house and swam in the pool, decompressing. We were all exhausted from playing with the kids, but we still had enough energy to be beaten by the local kids in a pickup soccer game. We finished out the day with some great discussion in our devotional time, and we all look forward to an early bed time tonight. It was an eye-opening, exhausting and exciting day, but we can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for us tomorrow!
Max Crandall & Josiah Horn

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 2

We started off the day with a delicious breakfast of french toast, oatmeal, eggs, fruit, and  N utella. After breakfast we had morning devotionals and then it was off on the tap-tap. Our plan was to split the team in half and send one half to the Home for Sick and Dying Babies and the other to Gertrude's Orphanage for Disabled Children, but when we reached the Home we found that it was too crowded so they sent us away. The entire team ended up going to Gertrude's, which was an eye-opening experience. We came across kids with many disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, and other extreme physical deformities. We hugged and carried the kids and gave them massages to try to loosen their muscles. We all grew so attached to the kids that none of us wanted to leave when it was time to go. One particular kid kept taking his shirt off and then asking us to put it back on, and when we did, he would promptly take it off again and make us put it on again :) In the afternoon, we went to Rebuild Globally, a business that employs the mothers of kids on the street and teaches them to make sandals out of old car tires. They have already made a difference in tons of Haitian lives, and plan to expand and make Rebuild Globally successful in many other countries. After that stop, we went to the Apparent Project, which has a similar goal as Rebuild Globally, but makes jewelry instead of sandals. They use many different materials to make their beads that they use, including cereal boxes. The visit to Apparent Project concluded our day of service, and we journeyed back to the guest house in the tap-tap. We spent our evening at the pool and playing soccer with the Haitians. We had a fantastic day and are super excited to see what tomorrow will bring.

Written by: Emily and Tiana <3

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 1: Travel Day

Our trip began with a 1:30 wake-up call in order to arrive at the airport by 3:00 a.m. After enduring  the endless security line, we made it to the gate with an hour to spare. Our trip had a half hour delay due to deicing and calculation problems. After finally getting on our way, many of our team members fell asleep because of exhaustion from a lack of sleep the night before. After safely landing three and a half hours later in Miami, Florida, we had just enough time to catch a bite to eat and explore the airport before our second departure. During the hour and a half flight to Port-au-Prince, we enjoyed the vibrant blue ocean as well as the numerous islands 35,000 feet below us. We also observed the mountainous and beautiful countryside of Haiti as we landed. Despite minor postponements to our transfer from the airport to the tap-tap, we arrived at the guesthouse around 4:00 p.m. We quickly explored the area, along with the pool, where we cooled off from the hot Haitian sun, which eventually turned into an intense game of water polo. We arrived back to the guesthouse where we ate a very delicious meal prepared for us by the Haitian women. Afterwards, we cleared the table, washed dishes, and prepared snacks for the next day. Some settled in, while others played soccer on the balcony. We ended our first of many long interesting days with devotions and prayer. We decided to hit the sack earlier in order to catch up on missing sleep and prepare for another unpredictable, God-inspired day ahead.

Alex and Cassie