Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 4

Today we went to two orphanages; La Pherre, one that none of us has ever been to, and Gertrude's an orphanage where many of the children have special needs.  

 When we first arrived at La Pherre, the 20 kids sang us some songs, which gave many of us goosebumps!  Then, each child's name and age was presented to us, so we also had our children announce their names and ages.  Next, we introduced the craft/activity that we brought.  We brought paint sticks and paper plates, with duct tape to adhere the plate to the stick.  Then we blew up balloons, and played a game with our new handmade paddles!  We all had such a great time with it, and even involved some of the older women in playing.  We also had some kids blowing bubbles, some of the older kids drawing pictures, and a game of "knots" going.  Everyone was fully engaged and had a great time.  

Here are some thoughts/highlights from various team members about the day:

Today I would pick the word "hope~filled." At La Pherre there were two boys in their late teens. When we arrived they were not very repsonsive. One of the team members brought a sketch pad and, as they began to draw, it was amazing how creative they were. They were so proud of their pictures and were writing beautiful things about their relationships with Christ. In conversation they were talking about their love for Jesus and their love for Haiti. As we left, the team taught them a simple song and we caught them writing down the words. I believe that the more of Christ they put in, the more of Him will come out. It gives me hope to think of all of the wonderful things they can accomplish with their lives and the change that will come from it.   ~Beth

"Today we were at an orphanage and we were singing and dancing with the kids, then me and another girl from the team saw a young woman with a child so we went and talked to her and even though there was a "language Barrier" we still kind of got to know her and that the little boy was her son she seemed super sweet.  We had a great time at La Pherre."

"Today was super fun! We got to go to La Pherre and Gertrude's orphanage. The first one La Pherre we got to draw and blow lots and lots of bubbles. One girl did not look very happy and then I put up the end of my hair up to her face, and she started laughing! She had a really big smile. At Gertrude's,I got to feed one girl and that was way out of my comfort zone, but I just told myself to be "flexible" and it all turned out ot be great, and I had a blast. Today was a really memorable day !"    ~Abby

Michelle Carpenter Cassidy's highlights:
~Watching Emily figure out how to tie the garbage bag onto the tap tap.
~ Exchanging e mails with a young man named Dany (16)  from our first stop at the ophanage.  He reminded me of my own 2 boys ~ Josh (18) and Dan (15).
~ Dancing with a young girl from the 2nd orphanage.  She could not walk or stand but she sat in her chair and held my hands and we danced while I sang (bad voice and all)!!
~ Discovering that a woman that has 6 kids should not sit at the back of the tap tap.  Too bumpy!!!
~ Watching Emily "take charge" of our group while explaining the rules of some game named Mafia.  She couldn't leave her teacher hat completely at home.
~ Sitting under the trees eating key lime pie at a a restaurant...somewhere in Haiti.
~ Watching Becca lead a workout with Cade and Ally.  Becca even did a push up with Cade on her back!!
~ Enjoying the delicious peanut butter balls that Cathy made and put in her carry on to Haiti.  They didn't even melt!
~ Most importantly, enjoying, treasuring, and taking in all of the wonderful and amazing experiences our day in Haiti has offered us.

Peace~ Michelle Carpenter Cassidy

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 3

We had a great day today!  We started the day with a 6 am church service.  The Haitians know how to worship!

Second, we went to Grace Village to take a tour.  What an amazing place!  We  loved how they are striving to create jobs and train Haitians how to support themselves and to be not only independent, but creative.  We loved the future plans of the bread ovens, to place them in the community and in the churches.  The aquaponics system, the school, feeding center, clinic, orphanage...each of these areas of Grace Village had an amazing story and we loved hearing how each piece came to fruition and how they are being managed.

After the tour, we headed out to visit the elderly.  Healing Haiti supports some elderly in the community of Titanyen.  We visited with them in their homes, rubbed lotion on them, sang with them, gave them a "meals on wheels" and prayed with them.  It was interesting to see how they lived.  They told us, through translators, what they've been through and how they are doing.  One of the elderly that we visited was Marie, who is 104 years old!  That is close to twice the life expectancy of those that live in Haiti!  She is the most beautiful, joyful person.  Just a sweet, sweet soul. She laughed, sang, and prayed with us, and LOVED taking photos! What a blessing it was to spend time with them! They blessed us with their exuberance for the Lord and their thankful hearts.

Finally, we had an opportunity to bring all of the Grace Village kids back to the guest house for a taco dinner! This was a special field trip for them that God totally orchestrated to come together through generous donations.  We brought about 18 of them with us on the tap-tap, and about half of them fell asleep!  They woke up when we arrived at the guest house ready to play and explore.  The kids from our team played soccer with them, enjoyed the parachute, and learned new card games.  Dinner was amazing! We had fresh tacos and guacamole, and it was so nice to have some leisurely time to just hang out with them and get to know their personalities. They loved the technology on our phones and were enthralled in taking photos.

Such a LONG day, but by far a memorable one! We are so blessed in so many ways that we take for granted each day! We taught our Haitian guide, Cadet, a new song today which he is mastering quite well. Here are the lyrics that we will leave you with for the day that sums it up very well:
Lord prepare me
to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy
tried and true.
With thanksgiving
I'll be a living
sanctuary, for you.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Day 2-Water Truck

Today we had our first day out serving in the field.  Our team was ready to deliver water; especially the kids. There are 3 kids on our team whose parents have all been to Haiti before. So they have been looking forward to seeing for themselves what the parents have been sharing with them. We also have 2 teenagers with their parents on the team who all have never been to Haiti. We delivered water to the poorest area called Cite Soleil.  We drove in on our tap tap (our big taxi) with the water truck to various stops and people would come running out with their buckets to get them filled up. They were desperate for water. We decided that tonight's blog would be from the kids' perspective:

"It was memorable.  I never really had so much love and attention.  I've never experienced kids wanting you to pick them up so much. They really liked to braid my hair!"  ~Abby

"It was very very fun to just play games with the kids.  We taught them games and they even taught us games! I was overwhelmed at the first truck stop as the kids mobbed me." ~Cade

"It was fun & inspirational today. I enjoyed that all the kids wanted to be held & played with. It was nice to end the day by cooling off in the pool" ~ Avery 

From our teens:
"I felt very hopeful as we met some older teens who were learning English and were studying. It was good to see that they wanted to make the best of their future despite their current circumstances." ~Becca

"I was thankful that we were able to bring the water to the people safely and that this organization has a good standing with the people. It was amazing to hold the kids and have them love on all of us. ~Morgan

*We look forward to tomorrow as we are going to Grace Village which is the Healing Haiti Orphanage! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Travel, Time, and Trial

We have arrived in Haiti!!! For most of us, our day began around 1:30am, but 2 of our team members stayed up all night to make it to the airport on time. We hit the road (air) at 5:50am and arrived in Port~au~Prince at 4:45pm. There was a layover of a few hours that allowed us to connect and get to know one another better!! 

The kids all found the Tap Tap ride fun and the view very interesting. They filled a soccer ball and played in the yard with the dogs. They loved that they were able to make a few of the Healing Haiti staff laugh!

We are jumping right in to the tough stuff. Tomorrow we will be going to Cite Soleil with the water truck. We are looking forward to a great time connecting with the kids and being servants to the people there. 

Prayer request for tonight: That God would give each of us great rest so that we are at full capacity tomorrow. That He would prepare our hearts and minds for what we will see and how we will be expanded. That we can keep our eyes off of ourselves and see the world through the eyes of Christ!!