Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peterson/Scott Final Day

Hey bloggers! It’s Braedyn, Erin, and Lindsay comin atcha live from Haiti.  Today was our final day here.  We started the day, as always, with a spoonful of vitamin B to ward off those pesky mosquitos.  No Chikungunya for these gurlz ;).  After our nutritious breakfast, we attended a unique worship service held right up the stairs on the balcony of our humble abode.  The dress code was “jammies for Jesus”.  #Sundaysbest.  After the service, we loaded up the tap-tap with snacks, sunscreen, sandals, and swimsuits ready for a fun sun-filled day.  The team, the long-term missionaries from Grace Village, and our friend, James, all ventured off to Wahoo Beach! It was a bumpy 90 minute ride, but the pot holes don’t faze The Super Troopers.  
                The suspense was killing us, but we finally arrived at the beautiful Wahoo Bay Beach Resort.  We admired the beauty that God created.  It was a big contrast to the other places we saw in Haiti.  Surrounded by mountains with sparkling, turquoise waters in front of us, and lush foliage all around us, we were stunned by the beauty at Wahoo Bay.  It didn’t take long until we “dove in” to the fun in the sun! We took full advantage of all the amenities the beach had to offer.  First we snorkeled with questionable equipment, but hey, it was only 5 dollars!  We also gave James swimming lessons in 20 feet of ocean waters.  Who didn’t learn how to swim that way? It was fun watching his reaction after seeing a coral reef for the first time! In his words, “It was amazing! It was better than good!!” Some of the group went to relax on the water trampoline and the more adventurous teammates took on the Jet-skis!
                It was a great day to kick back, relax, and bond as a team.  Seeing the stunning beauty of Haiti was such a hopeful experience for all of us, and a great way to end the week.  We hope that more people will get the chance to see that there is more to Haiti than devastation and poverty.  Our team has been so amazing all week and we are sad to leave each other.  We are thankful that God put us together to serve here.  From the eventful days spent serving together to the nights spent salsa dancing, our team has had so many memorable experiences.   We are so thankful for this week and the relationships we formed with each other and the people of Haiti.  We can’t wait to come back! Glwa pou Bondye!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Our time here is ending soon, and I feel sad.  We have one full day left.  It has been wonderful immersing into the Haitian culture.  This morning we delivered water again to Cite Soleil.  These people need it for drinking, cooking, and laundry.  They don't have plumbing or a well to be able to access clean water.  This is a very dirty slum with small children running around naked or without shorts.  The children are happy to see us and shout out "Hey you!"..  They take our hands, want to be held, and just love to be loved up.  I learned how to say I love you in Creole today (Mwen renment ou)  and Jesus loves you (Jezi renment ou). The kids seemed to melt when they hear this.
I have to say the children are SO cute.  Joe and I could adopt them.

 One little boy about 6 gave Janel a ring today.  She put it on but then before leaving she asked if she could give it back to him.  He wanted her to keep it.  It was inscribed "It's OK".  She got on the truck, and I could tell it really moved her.
This afternoon we drove up to the top of the nearby mountain and saw a different and beautiful side of Haiti.  More trees, nicer homes, and wonderfully cooler breezes. Our team had a chance to shop from local Haitians and found out that they are quite determined and persistent in trying to sell us things.  They also set the prices high, probably hoping we won't try to bargain them down to a reasonable price. I actually bought several things after much negotiation.  There was a nice restaurant with a terrace with a beautiful overlook of the valley below and so the team took advantage of it and relaxed for a bit.  This week has been a great experience for me, a first timer here.  I want to come back!  Healing Haiti is truly benefiting the people here and giving them hope, one day at a time.


Friday, June 27, 2014

A Wonderful Friday in Haiti

What a fulfilling day today.  Some of our team got up extra early and went to church.  There I saw pure emotions, heard beautiful music (sang both in Creole and in English), felt the Holy Spirit and  God's presence. It was pure joy being there and honestly I didn't want to leave. After another exceptional breakfast at the guest house, we took an hour drive to Carrefour to the Home for Sick and Dying Adults. With lots of love, wipes, and moisturizing lotion in hand, the men went to comfort the boys and men, and the women of our team visited the little girls and sick women. The people living at the Home were so appreciative and kept saying Merci after we washed, lotioned, and massaged them. We had brought a guitar and so we started singing and many of them joined in.  They especially liked Allie leading the song, "Father Abraham" for their faces wore bright smiling expressions when watching the movements.  I feel like I am the one getting filled up when going to love up Haitians who have it way worse than me.  We take so very much for granted in the US. 

Later in the day we went to Gertrude's Orphanage and got to play with kids with special needs.  We took 15-20 to the outdoor play area where we pushed kids on the swings and had wheelchair races.  Listening to them squeal with laughter and seeing their infectious smiles as they are being pushed in the wheelchairs filled me up and probably the rest of the team as well.  Gertrude's doesn't have the amount of staff that we do in the US, so having adults play with them is likely not an everyday occurence, when staff need to take care of their most basic needs first e.g. bathe, diaper, and feed them. While there the heat index rose to over 100 and these children live in it everyday.  They don't go to an air-conditioned room to sleep.  Again, I think we have so much and we take a great deal of everyday things for granted such as clean water, toilets, air conditioning, food, and shelter.  One thing many of the Haitians have is faith.  Faith in God that things will change for the better.  And they CAN change.  With God all things are possible, for the Bible tells us so.   
Here are a few pictures with our friends at Gertrudes.

Love from Tammy and the rest of the team

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday Evening....Haiti time Peterson/Scott

Good is Thursday here in Haiti. Today the team was taken on a tour of Grace Village...I had a meeting with the principal is was such a blessing to spend an hour talking to him, Lost in translation is a phrase I use when we have our calls but we eventually get our points discussed. This was such a blessing for both of us to speak face to face on matters that are so important for our school.
Then we left Grace Village and headed to see the 6 elders we had prepared for.  The team had packed food care packages, finger nail polish, water, lotion and wipes so we could for a little bring them a little "comfort".  Many of these elders have been abandoned, or are in charge of grandchildren and great grandchildren. But not many are cared for...this effort is always a time of reflection for many. Some are not comfortable with the washing, but were observers  and adding comfort to all. This is one of my favorite we know the elders plight and maybe we only have a few in the program and many others still desperate but that is a few that are visited, fed and get medical aid. They love the teams coming in and touching, singing and praying together, in the US we may put our elders in housing but do we ever bring them any comfort?  So maybe this is my best day but makes me feel quite inadequate,
"If any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love; being one in spirit and of one Humility value others above yourself" Phi 2: 2:3

Carolyn Pugh


Today we went as a group to do Elder visits. We had 5 elders on our list that we would take a meal, hygiene supplies, and snacks to. We would also wash their hands and feet, massage their bodies with lotion, paint the fingernails of the women, sing worship songs, and pray with them. I knew this day would be really hard for me because I had done it before. In February, when I first came to Haiti the elder visits absolutely destroyed my heart and spirit. At the end of the day I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I was angry with God. Wondering how he could ever let someone live like this, and for so long. I was angry with some of the family members of the elders for abandoning and/or abusing them. I was angry with people in America for living such extravagant lives and not taking a second to think about the people suffering just 700 miles away from them. What I realized today was that on my first trip I was looking at the elders’ situation through my own eyes. I wasn’t looking at the lives of Marie, Edmond, Meme, Jude, and Izna in the way that God does.

At the end of every day our team debriefs by sharing a “word of the day.” Those of you who know me, know that I am very emotional and often cry or get shaky voice when public speaking. Despite being embarrassing it often gets in the way of what I am wanting to say. Knowing that today was also an impactful day on my heart, I anticipated the tears and wrote out my word of the day ahead of time. Below is what I wrote and shared with my group:

Today I chose the word wealth, obviously not because we saw a lot of rich people…in fact we saw the exact opposite; very poor people. However, today I saw those people for how God sees them. In Gods’ eyes they are abundantly wealthy because they have accepted His love and trust in him for everything. Their hope is in Jesus and the eternal life he promises. In America, there are a lot of people with fancy cars, big houses, and shiny things. But THEY are poor, if they don’t know Jesus. I have hope for Haiti and the people here, for their faith is strong. God is going to deliver them from their sufferings because they are faithful. Maybe not in my life, and maybe not in this life. But I know he will, because He keeps his promises and He is good.

Haitians may not have money or material possessions…but they are far from poor!  
One day when this world ends, the elders’ I visited today will trade in their rags for eternal life in paradise with Jesus.


"So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."

2 Corinthians 4:18

Are you wealthy?

Or are you poor?


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day Two in Haiti

"Lord, you know the hopes of the hopeless. Surely you will listen to their cries and comfort them." - Psalm 10:17

This was our verse from devotion time this morning and it sure was appropriate for our day.  Half of the team went to do water therapy with some of the special needs kids from Gertrude's and the other half went to the Home for the Sick and Dying Children.  I was part of the group that went to the Home for Sick and Dying Children.  This was my second time there but it was just as powerful as the first time.  When you walk in to the rooms, there are rows of cribs with babies and kids.  Some of them are laying down and others are standing and reaching for you.  They just want to be held and loved.  Many of them are true orphans and others only get to see their parents for a few hours a day.  Our team spent the morning loving on these kids.  Holding them, playing with them, feeding them, changing person even got pooped on but she took it like a champ.  

I wish I could find the words to truly explain what it is like to be there but the words will never do it justice.  One of the team members was holding a one year old who probably only weighed 7 or 8 pounds.  I hear birth announcements from friends and some of their newborns weigh that much. These children are truly the definition of hopeless in the eyes of the world but not in the eyes of God. 

"You take notice of trouble and suffering and are always ready to help.  The helpless commit themselves to you; you have always helped the needy." - Psalm 10:14

Love from Haiti!
Tracey :)  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 1 in Haiti...our water truck day

Peterson/Scott team June 23-30

After a wonderful breakfast this morning, we boarded our tap tap truck and headed towards Citi Solei, the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere.  Our team is a mixture of some veteran Healing Haiti team members as well as first time visitors. Stories of past visits were shared but I wasn't sure what to expect.  As we drove through congested traffic passing by people dressed up and walking to their jobs or sitting along the sidewalk trying to sell their wares, I became more anxious and nearly claustrophobic as the sights and smells became more and more oppressive.

We entered this utterly depressive area and drove through neighborhoods of broken down stone and metal shanties. The children waved and shouted "hey you", "hey you".  As we got off the tap tap truck the children clamored to us, hanging on us, begging us to hold them.  Sometimes holding two children and a third hanging on my back, I was overwhelmed at the terrible condition these beautiful children live in. I was stunned that I was standing here when just 24 hours before I left the luxury of my own home.  Tears filled my eyes looking at these wonderful children.  I wasn't sure what to do but hold them, sing to them and give them lots of love.  I smiled at them and the giggled as they could see themselves in my sunglasses.  One little girl who spoke no English soon was singing along to Mary Had a Little Lamb by just following my lips and mocking the sounds she heard.

Our next neighborhood water stop took us to an even more desperate area.  The frantic pushing and shouting to get water was overwhelming.  What was an orderly line soon turned to chaos so intense we shut off the flowing hose of water until we could get things calmed down.  We later learned the reason for much of this intensity is that these children, whether 8, 10, or 15 years old are likely all child slaves under strict direction to bring full water buckets back to the families they serve.  Our hearts sank as we realized the only love and care these children received this day was from each of us.

Our team of 15 average Americans, not of great wealth or possessions shared some of the basic gifts we all have to offer.  The wealth of our spirit, our care, our smiles, our human touch and Christ's love spread through our hearts.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Travel day We have arrived Peterson/Scott team

Early morning rise and shine. The Minneapolis/IA contingent of this team gathered at the airport all set on a new adventure.  Jesus calling “Let My love stream through you, washing away fear and distrust. A trusting response includes Me in your thoughts as you consider strategies to deal with a situation” Today brought challenges, delayed departures, lost luggage, but it brought many silver linings, a  team that grew closer and made deeper relationships amongst each other and new friends. What a joy it was to see everyone finally arrive in Port Au Prince. Still laughing and talking to each other. One more hurdle, several bags tried to stay in Miami. They have been found and will be delivered tomorrow. So by then we won’t remember what is in those bags, another gift provided to us. So today I feel God is trying to teach me to never give up hope. Make the most of each situation, smile and make a new friend, spend the time taking  a deep breath. Eventually we are ready to go, the Taptap has arrived, Max is here and ready to give a bear hug to everyone, the guest house is carrying familiar smells of welcome home.  I love being here….tomorrow water truck day…..a day where the dirtier you are the better.

Carolyn Pugh

Peterson/Scott team has arrived ... FINALLY!

Greetings to friends and family from Port Au Prince Haiti! Today (June 23) we flew out of Minneapolis and then on to Haiti. It’s been quite an adventure and the week is barely underway.  American Airlines misplaced several (and I mean approximately 10 bags), we now know that they are back in Miami and hopefully we will see them tomorrow. It was really great to see the team come together. Everybody is having a great time, bonding and building trust. A special thanks to our team leaders: they are doing an outstanding job. I am very excited for my new friends and look forward to tomorrow, when we will deliver fresh water to our Haitian friends.

Thank you all for your payers and thoughts. God bless, Joe.