Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hello after our Saturday adventures in Haiti. The team expressed what a good day it was to bond with each other as we had a less frantic pace. We visited our last orphanage in the morning at one that isn't frequented by many groups. We arrived with the children all dressed in their finest for their annual Christmas party. This was the largest of the orphanages we visited outside of Grace Village, as we brought gifts for 35. We commented how it seemed as though the kids were not used to visitors as they didn't smile easily for pictures and they didn't even seem to know how to open their presents as if maybe they had never received any before. We did the story of the The Three Trees again, and the kids seemed to enjoy, as Patrick translated with his usual charisma. They opened their presents and we did the Salvation bracelets again and gave them Christmas cookies home-made from Minnesota, and the kids colored and did bubbles and the tried blowing bubble gum. They made us feel so loved as they absorbed all the love we could show them and were always reaching for us and loving us all the more. Precious memories...for us...and we hope a very special Joyeux Noelle party for them.       Next we headed by Tap-tap up the mountain to try and buy some souvenirs along the roadside to bring back reminders of our precious time here. We found many items that we will cherish and share. We continued up to the top of the mountain to a perfect stop for lunch, eating outdoors with a view overlooking the valley below and Port au Prince  and, far in the distance, the hills of Titanyen and Grace Village. We had 3 guides, Patrick, Emanuel, and Valerie{a great young man}, and our leader Gates, whom we all got to talk with and learn more about, while eating goat, some chicken and even some French fries. After the emotional first 5 days this felt like a transition day to us, as tomorrow is our last day here. We then enjoyed a night of pizza and fellowship, compliments of Latitudes, a philanthropic organization we were please to become acquainted with and impressed by. Some definite damp eyes and breaking hearts as we reviewed our week so far...and everyone is sad to leave and everyone promises to return.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wednesday December 17, 2014
On Wednesday we got the opportunity to spend a few hours at Mother Teresa's Home for Sick and Dying. Our team split up into two different groups of service. Half of the team got to hold and pray for the babies who were sick. It was a very emotional experience for a lot of our team members watching these babies lying in their beds struggling to breathe of even to smile. The rest of the team got to clean out the rooms where the babies lived. This spot was definitely an opportunity for huge amounts of service.
Later that day we got the go to the Apparent Project. This place was started by an American woman looking to help Haitian families stay together through more job opportunities. This program provides jobs to 300 Haitians and also provides childcare for the parents to leave their children at while they work. Some of the jobs include painting, making beads, steel work, ect. Some of the items they made were available in a boutique that we got to buy from.

Thursday December 18, 2014
On Thursday we got the opportunity to go to the Mass Graves located in Titanyen. On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced an earthquake that took thousands of lives. This Mass Grave is where the Haitians decided to bury the bodies because there were so many. There is a memorial being built on top of the grave to honor the lives lost and serve as an opportunity for the families of the lost to come celebrate lives. We got to pray over the grave for the country of Haiti and for families still mourning.
We then got to go feed the elders who are sponsored by Healing Haiti. We visited Marie, Meme, Pierre, and Marcia. We brought them hot Haitian food, washed their feet, painted the ladies toe nails, sang for them, and prayed over them for their families, community, and health. It felt so very humbling to be able to do that.
We then went up to Grace Village where we brought medical supplies for the clinic, took a tour of the place, played with kiddos, and loved on the four little new boys. We also got the opportunity to help feed the Grace kids lunch through the lunch program.
Our last stop was Shalom's orphanage in Titanyen. We got to deliver to the kids a Christmas gift. We read them the story of "The Three Trees". They were very attentive and seemed to learn a lesson from it. We made salvation bracelets and then we said our goodbyes for the day.

Friday December 19, 2014
Sadly, today was our very last water truck day. We went to sites 17 and 26. Again, like every water truck day, we were broken by what we saw. Whether it be holding kids, playing games, holding the water hose, or carrying buckets, everyone on the team was touched.
We then went to La Farre orphanage to deliver Christmas presents, bring Christmas cookies, read "The Three Trees", and make salvation bracelets. This orphanage was especially fun because we got to sing with the kids. That orphanage sure does have some fun people:)
Our last stop today was Gertrude's special needs orphanage. This place is full of a variety of kiddos. What a blessing these kids were to so many of us. They all have huge smiles and their own personality about them. We feel especially thankful for this place because it brought these children new hope which they otherwise would not have had.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Haiti-Day 1 of Outreach (Dec. 15-22)

Tuesday December 16, 2014

Today was our first day of outreach in Haiti. This was the first of two water truck days. We made three stops, all in Cite Soleil. The children we got to encounter blessed us with so much love. We were able to learn more about the culture by seeing the Haitians live there everyday life, including the way they love. When we got off the truck at each stop all the children stormed us chanting "hey you". What a beautiful sound it was to be able to hear Gods children open to receive our love. Please pray for our team to have strength and courage to step out of our comfort zones. Pray for hearts to continue to be bold with love.

                                            Love from Haiti,

Checking in from Haiti

We made it!!

Our day started at 4:30 yesterday morning. The first flight of the day left at 6:00 am. We caught three flights total today. Just like last year, we ended up having to leave one of our behind in Wichita Falls. She'll be joining us today though. 

We joined with two others in our team (from Kentucky and Minnesota) and boarded to head to Haiti. There are nine of us total (not counting the long-term missionaries.) There is also a girl from Pennsylvania. 

Once we landed in Haiti, we met up with our peeps outside of the airport and loaded up in the top-top to head to the guesthouse. We're the only team this week so we get all the translators!! Two long-term missionaries with Healing Haiti will also be journeying with us this week. 

Today we were supposed to Cite Soleil but it was too dangerous today so we'll do it later. Instead we'll be going to the Apparent Project, Home for Sick and Dying, and Getrude's. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dear Child ...

This week I blessed you with my most precious children. You may look at them with sadness, but in heaven, they are princes and princesses - couldn't you see it in their eyes? Each day as they endure the fallen world in Haiti, I walk with them. Many times, I scoop them up and carry them on my shoulders, I gently kiss their dirty faces, and hold them tightly. As I let go and send them back to their mission field, I smile, pat their heads and I hold back tears of pride. Their perseverance and strength blesses me. They are called to do my work unlike my other children, they have hearts to break for me!

I am writing to thank you for enriching their spirit for me - my hand through yours, my smile through yours, my voice through yours. I ache for the day when you will all be in my arms together…however, you may need to help them carry their crowns as their jewels will be so heavy.

Press on my child,


Do small things with GREAT love!

Simply About People

Yesterday was our "last" day of service work in Haiti, and today is the day we travel back home. We just got done with a devotion, and it wrapped the week up so well. Yesterday we went to service at Grace Church. It was just beautiful the way the Haitian people worship. They sing at the top of their voices; the kids were their singing just as loud (they had been their since early in the morning as well). During service the kids dispersed to who ever would hold them; I got to hold my little buddy Eddy the entire time. After worship we headed to what turned out to be one of the most eye opening experiences of this trip, General Hospital. It took a long while to get into the hospital, but as soon as we did we were immersed into a dimly lit room that was home to all sorts of people that were suffering or dying from a wide range of different ailments. We moved through the hospital praying and handing out gift bags. The hospital seemed to be the epitome of hopelessness. There were people there that couldn't afford the care they needed, as well as people who were so sick their skin took on a whitish tint. One of the best things though, not a single person denied our prayers. Each and every person accepted our prayers, even though most of the prayers were in English and they couldn't understand them. The hospital opened our eyes to see that even in one of the worst parts of these peoples lives, they still accepted God in the form of a prayer (Amen).

Today is our day of travel, we just wrapped up a devotion that held a lot of good insight. All week long people have been saying they feel like we have not been "doing" anything. After this last devotion I think we all left with a full understanding that these trips are not about the projects or the things we build. They are simply about the people. If we did not come here to do these trips these kids would never get held they would not get to experience the love God gives them through us. These kids deserve to be loved, and see and learn about Jesus. These trips are people focused, and they definitely make a difference in the lives of the Haitian people. I believe that through these trips and Healing Haiti the Kingdom of God is growing. I thank the Lord for allowing me to be able to be apart of this trip, and I look forward to my next one.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Saturday ... a day of Blessings

Saturday in Haiti. What another wonderful day here in Haiti. We spent the day with so many blessings. The first stop of the day was to Grace village were we split up our team one team in the feeding center where we set up and did Christmas ornaments with the children.  The other half of the team went to work on the Library building and putting up shelving and books. What a blessing this will be to the area. Imagine what a gift something as simple as a book can be to someone with no opportunity around them.  Getting to work side by side with the Haitians  and friends was a true blessing.  We picked up three beautiful young women from the transition house.  This is their own house where three older teens live.  A place to prepare them for living on their own, learning life skills like cooking cleaning and decision making.  We taught them the game of charades en route, and had a great time.  They were being paid to cook dinner for our team at the guest house as we went up to the lookout to see the view of Port-au-Prince. Awesome views.

The highlight of the day was not in the views or service, but in something as simple as talking with the young ladies whom prepared a wonderful dinner. Throughout the trip and the evening meal the girls were extremely shy not saying much or responding to questions. They would be spending the night in some empty rooms.  We had a few hrs to talk.  My daughter  was the person of the group they were hanging out with because she was the closest in age.  I was acting as interpreter between them. It was   a challenging time at first because my daughter was as quite as they were.  I decided to ask them how their life is.  I learned how they lived while not at school and what their dreams where.  Slowly they were opening up. We were able to bond and build a relationship as I told them how to forgive others, what a blessing it is to be able to smile at someone and receive a smile in return, personal stories and examples of  how forgiveness and helping others is what God asks us to do.  He will bless us with friendship and love from others. These beautiful ladies have gone through so much more than you or I can ever imagine.  I was so privileged and blessed to have spent this time with them.  Thank you God for Three new friends.  May you bless them throughout their lives.

~ John

Grace Library Takes Shape

Library at Grace School was a seed planted in my heart back in March 2013……so awesome to see this God size dream come true for the staff and students at Grace School in December 2014!
The last 4 days our Haitian friends and our team members have worked hard putting shelves together.
So exciting to see the books being placed on the shelves.  Next step to get the books into the hands of the students……I say to my students back home…"Books can take you anywhere you want to go!"

The pictures below:  5200 French Books being shipped to Minnesota from "Books for Haiti" in CA (Oct 2013)
6000 French Books processed and ready to be shipped to Haiti from Minnesota (June 2014)
Grace Library, Everybody Section completed and Fiction Section almost completed (December 2014)

Want to thank Jesus for this amazing journey…..who would of every thought that a girl from Minnesota, who doesn't know how to speak French could set up a complete library in Haiti…..only God could do that……!!

God Bless,
Ann Spinner

Staff Appreciation

Every day has been an endless blessing. Throughout the week the staff have prepared our meals, driven the cars and cleaned the house. This morning we had an opportunity to repay them with a staff appreciation breakfast. While we were preparing the food one of the ladies who worked in the house came over early and started doing the laundry. My dad explained to her what we were doing and invited her to help me learn French instead. For over two hours she smiled and tried to teach me phrases. It truly showed me her value of relations, not just between us, but also between her and God. The first thing she did was teach me how to say Jesus loves me. As the day went on it was easy to observe the strong faith and light that shined in each of them as they sang after breakfast, but what I was most taken back by was how they included us in it and made us see the light in ourselves. I was easy to see why the lady I had talked to earlier valued relationships the way she did. With these bonds she was able to bring people into a family, letting us all know God better.

~ Jacqueline

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cite Soleil ... Words Cannot Describe

Yesterday we delivered water in Cite Soleil, a place that even to write the words brings tears to my eyes, it is truly indescribable. A smelly city of garbage, filth, and depravity that is home to tens of thousands of Gods children. People who did not ask to be born there and have no hope of escape. While we delivered water, the children ran to us and jumped into our arms, hungry for a hug and a smile. Their dark eyes sparkled with joy at our visit. But as our time came to go, we gave one last hug, and peeled them out of our arms, we had to watch helplessly as they ran off down the road, back to their prison of hopelessness. Last evening, when I returned to the Guest House, I wished I had never experienced Cite Soleil - the situation is so dire. Healing Haiti, I wondered, how can this place ever be healed? it is impossible!

However, today I learned what will change this place, LOVE. God has infused special people with a vision of hope and His love to change Haiti.
Some of the examples of Gods stewards we were blessed to visit today:
The Home for the Sick and Dying Babies is a beautiful place that cares for babies when they are ill. It may seem as though we were the ones giving when we held, fed and played with the babies, but truly, we were far more blessed after meeting them. 
In Haiti, many of the mothers can not care for their children and in desperation, give them up for adoption. The Parent Project is an amazing ministry that employs over 200 mothers so that they do not have to give their babies away. The mothers make jewelry and other artwork while their babies stay at the onsite daycare. During their workday, the moms take computer classes to learn Microsoft Word, Excel, and typing. They even use Rosetta Stone to learn to speak english, giving them a hopeful future!
We were also blessed to visit Gertrude's, a home for special needs children, while others on our team helped assemble shelving for a library. 

There is hope for Haiti through Gods amazing Love!

~ Tracy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Service with Haiti Teen Challenge

This morning we took a visit to the Haiti Teen Challenge and I (Kyle) gave my testimony to the guys there, it was hard to try to edit the testimony so that it would be easier for the translator. I also had to pause so that he could repeat what I said and I had to change some of the words I used. I feel like I didn't get to express what I wanted to say but God will use it. We got a tour of the building and it's good to know that Haiti has a place for these guys who are struggling with addictions. A few of the men there came with us to work with the water trucks in Cite Soleil. On the way there, I saw there was a guy in the back of a trailer tied by his neck. One of the Teen Challenge guys told me that the man was arrested and that's why he was tied up. We went to three different stops in Cite Soleil. I already had a pretty good idea of what to expect so I was pretty well mentally prepared for anything but it still had a much more profound affect on me by experiencing it first-hand. As soon as we got out of the truck, the kids would flock to us and want to be held. About half of the kids were entirely naked and there was garbage everywhere. One of the child's mom motioned for me to take her child. I'm assuming it was because she wanted a better future for her child. This probably is what had the biggest impact on me. At the first stop we got to see the site prepared for a church/school plant. We sang and prayed over the area. On the third stop there was a little boy probably 5 years old who had a soccer ball and we kicked it around for a while. The ball was completely covered in dirt and not fully inflated but he really enjoyed playing anyways. Online you can buy these soccer balls with scriptures written in creole on them and I wanted to bring one but they were sold out. Maybe another time we can make that happen. Everybody came back really tired and ready for dinner. The Teen Challenge guys that helped us stopped over to the guest house to have dinner with us. We had this really good stir fry with noodles, peppers, onions, chicken and rice. I was very pleased to see Sriracha hot sauce on the table. My word of the day would have to be "need". There's just such a huge need for everything from food, water, education, clothing, and shelter that you feel hopeless to make a big enough difference. I guess all we can do is our part, spread awareness, then pray that the Lord will provide.

~ Kyle