Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Word of the Day Summary

-- Mike captured the WotD

Monday, July 20th
- persistence (Alex)
- the nautical mile (Will)
- oasis (Dobee)
- water (Abby)
- muffled (Ben)
- generosity (Shannon M)
- calm (Shannon W)
- crazy airline lady (Dean)
- beginning (Nicole)
- excited (Natalie)
- goal (Jenny)
- relationship (Mike)
- vision (Reuben)
- epic (Scott)
- patience (Ellie)
- enough (Sue)
- group (Sarah)
Wednesday, July 22nd
- listen (Sarah)
- memory (Natalie)
- relationship (Nicole)
- friendship (Will)
- change (Dobee)
- befuddled (Dean)
- understanding (Reuben)
- heartwarming (Shannon M or W?)
- what (Ben)
- sport (Abby)
- colors (Scott)
- contrast (Jenny)
- team (Shannon M or W?)
- emotion (Mike)
- acceptance (Alex)
- happen (Sue)
- love (Ellie)
Thursday, July 23rd
- recovery (Abby)
- sunshine (Ellie)
- laughter (Shannon W)
- beautiful (Will)
- song (Jenny)
- love (Natalie)
- sacrifice (Dobee)
- jump (Ben)
- relative (Dean)
- hurt (Sarah)
- Amen (Mike)
- soccer (Nicole)
- awesome (Scott)
- remember (Alex)
- holy (Sue)
- learn (Shannon M)
- contagious (Reuben)
Saturday, July 25th
- funny/ironic (Natalie)
- burned (Ben)
- rain (Nicole)
- God (Will)
- privilege (Alex)
- reaffirm (Sarah)
- refresh (Jenny)
- enthusiastic (Shannon W)
- Dougie (Dean)
- overwhelmed (Scott)
- affection (Mike)
- amazed/sad (Abby)
- snorkeling (Ellie)
- tenacity (Sue)
- eyes (Shannon M)
- rest (Gates)
Sunday, July 26th
- see (Scott)
- improvement (Natalie)
- pou toujour (Ben)
- inspiring (Shannon W)
- revealing (Dean)
- hope (Alex)
- stolen (Will)
- Amen (Mike)
- love (Dobee)
- still (Sarah)
- open (Ellie)
- open (Shannon M)
- comfort (Jenny)
- comfort (Abby)
- wonder (Sue)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Huge Success with One Glitch

-- From Abby

The morning starts out at 5:30am when Shannon Maixner, storms into Shannon W, Abby, Natalie, Nicole, and Sarah’s room, asking for a hair dryer. Our alarm then goes off five minutes later for church.  Church was as usual amazing and it was great to experience how other cultures worship. Now our mission this week was sports camp. The past three days we would get up bright and early and make our way to Grace Village and teach the kids different sports and of course the word of God. My group had the basketball/dance station. I played basketball in high school so I was right in my element and loved teaching these kids the sport I enjoy the most. We also would preform skits to spread the Lords word and my skit was about a triathlon. It was so funny and even more fun to act out. So overall the camp was a hit with the kids and a huge success! The most unfortunate part of today was after camp and the museum, we went to the pool and little did we know that the water had copper overload and turned Natalie’s hair BRIGHT GREEN. It was amazing but really unfortunate for her….. that’s one memory no one will forget. MOM- I have been using sunscreen and drinking water!!!! Now I am going to pee because I wasn’t allowed to until I finished my blog according to Shannon Maixner.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Reflections from the Playfield at Grace Village

-- From Mike

Reflections from the Playfield at Grace Village

The playfield is a compacted gravel space with some loose rock which is surrounded by a combination of metal supply containers and concrete walls, with a wide opening for the driveway off of one corner.   The Haitian sun has full command of the entire field, and the wind is fleeting. In a word: HOT!  Takes about one breath to start sweating.  

The view is breathtaking: we are looking over the land as it descends to the water below.  The ocean is ever-present, a swath of amazing blue and green beyond the brown landscape.  To the left, Cite Soliel is smoking.  Always smoking.  

Our team (Dean, Shannon, Sarah, Alex and I) has prepared well - appropriately flexible with plenty of ideas and an understanding that the execution will likely be very different from the plans going in.  

Our group on Wednesday is ~12 kids, ages 7-15 years, a mix of boys and girls.   The first activity is sharks and ships (or sharks and minnows) requires the kids to start at one side of the field and run to the other without being eaten by the shark (tagged).  It is so fun to see the kids transition from observing, questioning, waiting, to engaging, laughing, smiling.   Fast forward to late in the session and a football keep-away game...turns out our group of kids are world-champion keep-away players!   They enjoyed our hopeless attempts to intercept as they went from person to person and worked together.  

Play, like love, is universal and essential.  I am so blessed to be able to spend time with these kids.  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Going Where God Asks Us to Go

-- From Dean

On Monday, our team traveled through four airports over twelve hours to arrive at the Healing Haiti guest house.

First impressions of Haiti: Hot!

First impressions of guest house: Very pleasant.

After some team bonding and devotion, we all went to bed. I didn't say anything at the time, but as a first timer in Haiti, I had a fair amount of anxiety about what we planned to do the next day.

On Tuesday, we were up early, had a terrific breakfast, boarded the "TapTap" (seventeen people packed in the back of a truck), and were off to Cite Soleil. It was my first chance to really see Haiti. 'Shocking' isn't the right word. I've seen images on television, so I knew what to expect. Actually being here to see this extreme poverty in person made it real. 'Revelation' is the best word to describe it.

When we arrived to Cite Soleil with the water truck we'd met along the way.... Well, that's when I'd use the word 'Shocking.' I was way out of my comfort zone. Kids came running to the TapTap like American kids might rush a famous singer arriving to their concert in a limo. But, we aren't famous. We have little talent. The kids only wanted water and to be held.

I was apprehensive at first. The kids were dirty, desperate, and many weren't wearing clothes. Yet, it was one of those moments where you forget about your comfort zone. All seventeen of us were holding at least one child before we were two steps out of the TapTap. Two and three kids at a time would hold onto our necks so tightly while others begged to be picked up too. It was heart breaking and heart warming at the same time.

When the water truck was ready to go, the moment turned into mayhem. Buckets emerged from everywhere. Water poured from the hose so fast it could fill a five gallon pail in 1-2 seconds. It was like a fireman's brigade with buckets coming in and being taken away so fast, it was impossible to keep track. We never turned the water off.... We just moved from bucket to bucket until the water was all gone.

The strength of the Haitian women is amazing -- but of course they carry the buckets more efficiently that we do. When we weren't holding a child or helping fill buckets, women and children asked us to help put these huge buckets on top of their heads... and they would walk away without spilling a drop. It was exhausting, humbling, and motivating.

My greatest heartache came after an hour of so of intense working and holding many children. I was extremely hot and feeling the faint effects of dehydration. I desperately needed some water myself. And my heart cracked. All I had to do was walk to the TapTap for my water bottle. I thought to myself, 'what do these people do when they feel this way?' I didn't like the answer.

By the time we left Cite Soleil, my apprehension was gone. I felt a genuine love for these kids and wanted to hold them and play as long as I could. It's amazing how God can transform the human heart in a matter of minutes. We just have to go where he asks us to go. This week, God has asked me & this entire team to be here in Haiti.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Word of the Day: Memory

----- From Natalie

Every night we have our "Word Of The Day." We go around and share the first word we can think of and its significance. Last night, my word was "memory". 

When I returned to Grace Village (the orphanage) for my first time since last year, it seemed like no time went by at all. All the memories from last year returned. And I recognized almost every child's face. There was one boy in particular named Edwins that is now 14 years old and was my best friend last year. I spotted him across the room and we made eye contact. He looked away and then did a double take realizing it was me. Then he got a huge smile on his face and gave me the biggest hug. It was such an amazing moment to see him (and all the other kids) and how much they've grown and even how much better their English has gotten.

Another special thing that triggered the word "memory" for me was when we decided to go through the gates of our guest house and walk to the hotel pool down the street to cool down. As we walked we were joined by four neighborhood boys that held our hands and talked with us. I looked at one boy and asked his name. He said John. That's when I had a flashback to last year. He was the high school soccer player who made me a bracelet to remember him by. I promised him last year I would come back and bring my sister (Nicole) who was his age and also played soccer. I predicted they'd be best friends. 

As it turns out, this year's chance meeting was special because it was John's birthday. So we decided to take all four boys with us to the hotel for a soda and a swim. John said it was his best birthday ever. I kept my promise and introduced him to Nicole. He remembered me telling him about her and they spent the rest of the day together inseparable and are the best of friends already.  

God is doing amazing things here in Haiti; like creating relationships within our team, but also with the kids of Grace Village and the neighborhood boys -- opening up more and more opportunities to share His Word.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Day 1 of Haiti Sports Camp at Grace Village

Hey Haiti Sports Camp Fans

Limited tech connections continue for the Haiti team this week ...

I can give a couple of updates regarding schedule...

  • Today is the first day of Sports Camp at Grace Village.  Pray for an effective day. The team will be doing Sport Camps at Grace for three days.
  • Some of the sports activities today include: Basketball, Kickboxing, Skateboarding, Soccer, Kickball ..
  • Each day begins with large group worship time, skits and a message
  • Attached a photo op from the airport
  • Also included a copy of Skits used each day at Sports Camp.  Pray that they might be a fun communication vehicle for the kids to learn of God's love.  


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wifi Challenges

Quick update from the Sports Camp Team.  

They are all in Haiti now and are heading out to help with the Water Truck today.  Tomorrow Sports Camp starts in Grace Village.

Given the condition of Haiti I guess it is truly amazing to even have intermittent Wifi service.  They will try to connect again this evening to perhaps give us an update on their adventure.

Stay tuned ... and praying.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Haiti Sports Camp Team Departs from Minneapolis

Hey Sports Camp Fans

The Haiti Sports Camp team was at the airport at 3AM this morning to set out on US Airways.  The flight check in attendants were a bit overwhelmed by 17 travelers all heading to Haiti but after a few adjustment gave boarding passes to everyone on the team.  Luggage was another topic... the attendants waived a $200 charge for golf bag size piece of luggage which was filled with skateboards and another piece of luggage came in at the exact 50lb limit on the scale (amazing).  God's hand was on this trip early this morning.

Last I heard the team had made it to their second layover stop somewhere in Florida.  Hopefully they will get connected and give us an update from Haiti.  The Wifi is a bit unstable so it might take a day to get things connected.

In the meantime here are some names to be praying for this week:  Sue Shannon Scott Ellie  Jenny  Dean  Natalie  Nicole  Shannon  Abby  Sarah  Dobee  Ben  Mike  Alex  Will

I've included a picture from last Friday's packing party were supplies and equipment were packed up.  See if you can match up names with people.

-Pete (part of Haiti cheering team in USA)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Proud, But Not Finished

To Be Continued...

I hate when that comes across the screen. I am all about instant gratification. I want to get to the end of the story and see how it ends. I want to see all loose ends tied up...but this time.

Today was our last full day in Haiti. The end always come so fast. But this isn't the end.

We spent the morning at Leveque Deaf Church. We attended Sunday School first.  We were all amazed at how well the teacher taught the Bible. I was in a room with older kids and adults.  I know very little ASL (no comments, Bob :)), but I was able to easily follow along as he spoke about Creation and the temptation of Jesus. He did a masterful job.

Church began with worship and some of the children lead the group in worship. The pastor then called our team up to the front of the church and asked us to introduce ourselves. There were about 40 kids from Haiti Deaf Academy, all of whom we'd met on Friday and visited with yesterday at length, sitting in the front two rows. Before our team could sign our names the kids remembered them and were signing the name of each adult...when it go to me I was scared to death to sign my name (I don't fear public speaking at all, but signing my name is a whole new thing). Before I even got through "J" the kids let out some screams and were signing my name.  It was by far the most touching thing I have ever experienced in Haiti. I'm blessed beyond measure to have been part of this team...

So back to the beginning...to be continued:

This week was the start of a story and only He knows how it will end. "HE" is God. Two and a half years ago God began to build this team. When Bob came to me the night we returned from Haiti on my first trip, I thought the idea of a Deaf team was a pipe dream. But Bob believed and he pressed forward with God leading the way to build this team.

Each member played an important part this week and I'd like to share about each of them:

Nick - A man who has a heart of gold. I can't even imagine Nick would ever say a mean word to anyone. Nick stepped so far out of his comfort zone to go on this trip, but he never swayed. He kept his eyes focused on the finish line and amazed us all with his steadfast love for the people of Haiti.

Tracy - I have been on four trips and I assure you, no one has ever trusted God more or called on Him as much as Tracy did. She will be the first to say that God carried her through most of this trip. She didn't let steep hills, hot days, or motion sickness stop her from the work God put in front of her. Tracy, I was so inspired by your willingness to keep going no matter the cost.

Karen - Caring as anyone on our team. She made sure that any team member that was struggling was cared for. At the Home for the Sick and Dying Children, she made sure I was drinking water. When Meredith got some heartbreaking news, Karen was the first in line to comfort her. She was the glue of our team and we thank her for that.

Brenda - Before this trip, I served with Brenda at Eagle Brook Church. Just like at EBC she went out of her way to include, encourage and support. As a first time leader this was invaluable to me. Each day Brenda thanked me or encouraged me.  I could not have imagined this trip without her support. 

Beth - In all my life I have never met sweeter soul. She never once stopped smiling on this trip.  She maintained a servant's heart throughout the whole week. Her laugh was infectious and her tears genuine. Beth flew under the radar until she surprised you with her love for all those who came in contact with.

Alan - He was on my first trip and will always hold a special place in my heart.  He is loving, caring, and strong all at the same time. The way he loves his wife is a model for all men. The way he cares for the least of these is a model for all Christians. His strength lies with in his massive heart for those who are overwhelmed by his hugs.

Jo Ann - This poor woman put up with more grief from me than any individual should. But she never stopped smiling or saying thank you to me. She too was on my first trip and helped to dream up and make this trip happen. I still can't believe she picked me to help lead this team. Jo Ann, I can't thank you enough for bringing me into this community. I in debt to you forever. I love you!

Kelsey - From the first time I met her until tonight when I said goodnight, I knew Kelsey was all in. There is no middle ground for her.  She holds nothing back. Whether it's holding three kids at once or filling water buckets she is there to complete the task perfectly.  She was also one of our interpreters who put in endless hours helping me learn what little ASL I could grasp.

Johanna - No one, and I mean no one, lights up a room like this one.  She brings joy wherever she goes.  You don't need to be able to hear to understand her personality. Ask any of the deaf children that left a room glowing from her interaction.  We also were so blessed to watch her love and support her mother who was on this trip. 

Julie - I am laughing as I type this. I can't tell you how much fun Julie is. It needs to be experienced to full understand.  On the tap tap, at breakfast, or in the field if I started to wear down I immediately looked for Julie to get me back on track. Her passion and understanding of her own faith was so refreshing.

Meredith - I have no words. Seven days of interpreting everywhere we went, yet still touching every person she came in contact with. This trip would not have been possible with out her. It also would not have been the same. She's the mother of Johanna too, which is not just a title to her - it's a mission.  What a wonderful role model for all the women on our team. Meredith, thank you for all the hard work and exhausting days.

Bob - Thank you. Thank you for allowing God to lead you to a place no one else was going. Thank you for your passion for the Deaf community. Thank you for including me. Thank you for your undying love for the people of Haiti. I am tearing up as I write this. Thank you for not allowing this story to end.

...To be Continued

P.S. - Jeremy has been an incredible co-leader for our team. We're all so grateful for his larger than life personality, love for people, heart for service, and his knowledge of all things Haiti. He led with confidence and joy, a healthy measure of crazy and fun, and allowed God to have His way in and through our team. Thank you, Jeremy! We all love you.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The adventure at Haiti Deaf Academy and Salsa!

As we rose this morning, we all were feeling enthusiastic about meeting Deaf Haitian students at Haiti Deaf Academy.  This experience proved to be an amazing journey.  We had a rare opportunity to see through Haiti deaf students' lens to their culture.  We all had a piece of each student's life story.  It was a beautiful  learning experience for us.  We truly admire and love watching Deaf Haitian students sign.  We even tried to learn their sign language and the students were incredibly patience with us in the process of acquiring their language.    We saw their patience in their laughter and the love in their eyes toward us.  This is something we should all learn: to laugh when we make mistakes and to love when we encounter a new person.  These are valuable lessons.  We clearly saw that God was working through them to reach out to us.  All of us felt signless (at a loss for words) and  it was powerful for us to witness God's work.

Later on this evening, we learned Haiti's way of dance.  The Salsa!! Out on a balcony with a strong breeze blowing we laughed our way through step after step, ending with a twirl and a dip. Hopefully we will have photos to prove our new skills. Now to find a Salsa studio back in the Twin Cities so we can practice and improve!

We praise God for His goodness to us today and all this week.
JoAnn and Alan were surprised to see Mackenson who they have met him 1 1/2 years ago at the Wahoo Beach. So was I (Bob) knew him 3 years ago...  So good to see them exciting to see each other.
It show that Haitian DO remember someone care/love  them from their heart that help them grow their heart with GOD.  It's was an amazing week for the teams and Deaf Haitians.  It's amazing HOW GOD guide us to touch Haitian's heart but its really Haitian touched our heart with lots of LOVE...  That's AMAZING!!!! 
Tomorrow we will be going to the Deaf Church in Leveque and then after that will add more rocks to the Cross on the hill nearby church..


We want to add an interesting note about the cooking staff at Haiti Deaf Academy. We were awestruck by their faith in God as they stated about God in their conversation.  She told us the story about her family and herself about being saved.  It was incredible inspiring sight to watch their signing about God as they were not afraid to express their love of God.
Jo Ann and Julie

Friday, July 3, 2015

Visit Deaf school in Cabaret and Leveque...

Today was a big day for our team.  We started with a scenery drive to Grace Village for a stop to pick up someone to join our team as we visited the deaf school in Levesque.  As we arrived by the deaf community, Bob(our deaf leader) were so thrilled to see William (Haitian Deaf Pastor) as they have met 3 years ago. We all were watching him hugging and chatting for quite a while. It was so good to see them re-connect together. We had a tour of the school; many of us split up into groups and visited classes of different grades. These students were in awe and surprised that there are many of us (deaf people) in a group.  They were awestruck that we were deaf and that all of us could sign.  It was fun to see how they interacted with us by asking what our names were, our name signs, and what were our ages.  The facial expressions on their faces when we answered their questions were fun to watch.  Their eyes went wide and their jaws dropped.  They went around asking everyone their names and ages.  They couldn't believe that we came from USA to see them.  After school, we catch up with them at the Haiti Deaf Academy in Cabaret where some of the students had their meals and stayed during the week.  We had a tour of the Academy and met some of the staff there.  We learned their history and their language.
   Some of our favorite moments there were that we are the same (you deaf, me deaf too), when some kids asked how old our parents was/were, one of our team members told the kids his mother was 89 and that his aunt was 102, (Haitian's life expectancy is 55)  they were just dumbfounded and speechless, how the kids were leading some of us to their bedrooms (they were proud to show us where their beds were), how kids were touching us, coming up to us, asking questions, watching the kids pray after classes were done.  As they prayed, it appeared their hearts were seeking God.  It was a beautiful moment to watch and pray with them. 
  We ended the day with an outing to a local pizzeria "Pizza Amour" with Healing Haiti staff, Kesnel and her children and Brunet and his wife and son, but not without experiencing the real Haiti "rush hour".

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Day Four visit Deaf School

Karen - I was so excited to see Deaf Haitian People at Deaf School. Deaf Haitian people just automatically communicated with us and they were so happy to see us. I felt so connected with them and happy to see Haitian sign language - there were so many similar signs with ASL.  They showed us their property that has a school, dorm, shop, cafeteria and farms.  So they asked us many questions and told us about their culture. It was hard to leave them behind and we showed each other the "I Love You" sign.  It was a blessed day.    

Julie and Jo Ann - We were excited to be going to the Deaf Community.   Our excitement was how would our language communication would be like?  We have never met Haitian children and we have no idea what it would be like: would they be shy?  Would they be all smiles?  Would they be nervous?  Will we understand them?   How will the campus be like?  Big or small?  The name of the school was "Institut Montfort pour Enfants Sourds". Due to our amazement, we met the Nun and they were very friendly and grateful that we came to visit them.  Slowly one by one the deaf children came to meet us and they were very Beautiful and Joyful. 

 Beautiful, because it was so beautiful of how they came to us with the smile on their face, one by one.   Beautiful, because they were excited to talk to us.    The little girl came up to Julie and wanted to be held.   At first she was very shy and would be just smiling, looking at me, playing with my hair.  Eventually she finally started to point around and I had taught her some sign language, she is just starting to learn sign language.  When signed ILY to her she did the same and held my hand in the ILY sign for a while.    

Joyful -  because the children  were very joyful to see us and we felt connected instantly.  It was fun to see how they were in a joyful mood and find that we were the same.     There was this one girl wanted to know each teammate's name and namesign.  She would repeat them a few times from time to time.  She wore a pink shirt which pink is my favorite color.  When we were ready to leave, she was sad for us to leave but we told her hopefully some day we will be back to visit again. 

Johanna - As a hearing person, it was truly a delight to watch the faces of my deaf teammates as they met the deaf children at the school today. I was so blessed by the way they were ALL able to communicate with each other in a language they all understood. It was incredible to be present as Creole, French, English, ASL, and HSL (Haitian Sign Language) were all used in the same conversation.

The facility was being updated and it will be so great when the kids have a new building for
dormitories and their cafeteria. The school is wonderful and the whole property is self-sustaining with a garden, chickens, cows for milk and beef, rabbits, and goats.

Deaf kids in Haiti are another of "the least of these" - many times they are rejected by their families or ignored. The school we saw today is a place where deaf children will find community, receive an education, learn about God and His Word, and hopefully prepare them for life as a successful deaf adult in a hard world.

Kelsey- What an amazing day! Watching the connection made by the team to these sweet Deaf children was so fun! As we were leaving my heart was deeply touched by one of the Haitian Deaf boys. Through the window of our tap tap, he signed to me " You are hearing, do you love Deaf people?" I nodded, " Yes, of course I LOVE Deaf people!" I pointed to my amazing team and to the deaf children there. He looked surprised. "You love Deaf children?"  I affirmed again that yes I very much do. He gazed out the fence to the school and over into the local neighborhood. Breaking my heart he said,  "Wow. Because here (Haiti) out there, hearing people do not love us." Wow. What a powerful statement. I am so happy they have a school and Deaf family that loves them there. We were so blessed to connect with them and show them that yes, we love them- Deaf and hearing both. It saddened us to hear those words come from his hands. We think the school is a wonderful place of hope and pray we can potentially continue to partner with them and go back to visit and show that yes, we love the children deeply and God does as well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Day Three for our Team

Today our team had the privilege of visiting a Home for Sick and Dying Children. Privilege may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of going to a place where you are sure to encounter suffering and pain, but it absolutely was, for all of us.

When we entered the infant room, my eyes were met by a tiny cherub in a crib by the window. A gentle breeze blew through the room and with it, a sense of peace.  Some laid quietly, others made their desire to be held and cuddled quite clear! I picked up the sweet girl that caught my gaze when I first walked in and my teammate Kelsey held another girl. The girls must be friends across the crib aisles - they were SO happy to see each other and enjoyed grabbing each others fists. But the crowning moment was when each girl laughed out loud.

The home is almost like a children's hospital for children recovering from severe dehydration or malnutrition. Babies all the way up to children of six or seven stay here until they are healthy enough to return to their homes. It was wonderful to see parents there visiting their kids all morning. And while it was heart-breaking to hear the cries of their babies when the visiting hours were over, it really was a beautiful sound because it shows how well attached those children are and they have family that loves them and wants them to get better.

Some of my teammates remembered Jesus' words from Matthew 25 as they held these little people - "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me....as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."

Each precious child there truly was the least of these. They needed care. They needed to be fed because they could not feed themselves. They needed their wet diapers changed. They needed to be held. They needed love. We had only a little time to give, but it was blessed by God.

Today we also toured Papillion Enterprises and Apparent Project, which is an amazing business here in Haiti providing jobs for men and women. That enables them to provide for their families and keep their family intact - no need to relinquish their child to an orphanage! We shopped for gifts made in Haiti - beautiful necklaces, Christmas ornaments, metal art and more. Its a neat place doing great things in the community.

More thoughts from yesterday

Julie - Each day we choose a word of the day. Yesterday, I chose "judgeless". The kids in Cite Soleil didn't judge me - I'm deaf and an American, but that didn't matter to them. They wanted love and to be held and it didn't matter whether I could communicate in their language. I enjoyed teaching a child my sign name, "J for Julie". When she learned it, she passed it on to other kids and they kept passing it on.

Nick - Speechless today. When we arrived in Cite Soleil with the water truck, the kids just jumped up on me and overwhelmed me with love. We were walking around, holding the water hose, so many kids wanted help bringing their buckets home, even though they didn't know me. It was really hard work. To see how people live that way, I couldn't understand it. See the kids - huge smiles, they had joy and they were happy - it didn't matter they were poor. They are blessed.

Team Funny Stuff

This morning, Jo Ann woke up and opened the shades in the room she is sharing. When she did, a baby gecko had been sleeping in the shade and ran down the wall and under her bed. There was lots of screaming and lots of laughter as the women tried to apprehend the little lizard. Ahh, it's just life in Haiti!

Tonight we enjoyed playing a hilarious game of Telephone Pictionary. Laughter was shared, stories were told, and another wonderful day in Haiti was brought to a close. We're grateful for such a united team and terrific leaders who are doing a great job.