Sunday, September 16, 2018

Day 7 : Rendezvous Church (Teen Challenge) : Mountain Top ( Serenity Village Community Church )

Day 7

Another day PACKED with expectations, emotions, thoughts, going through our heads. We have had the privilege to spend a week in one of the many beautiful countries God created. Our hearts, minds, and bodies have been stretch, pulled, pushed, broken, mended. Everything in one week. 

Today we got the opportunity to attend Rendez-Vous Christ (Haiti Teen Challenge) Church. I cannot stress enough how important this organization is for the Haitians! Believe it or not, there are parts of the world where is hard to find someone that can model what unconditional, Christ-like love is towards others. Even if you know you experience this at your local church. Man... Is a whole new level to get to be part of God's love in a foreign land, with brothers and sisters that before today I wasn't aware of their existence. We all got convicted, challenge, and loved. All at once, in those 2 hours we spent at RVC (Rendez Vous Christ).

As if this wasn't enough, the team at the guest house took us to an amazing restaurant located at the very top of one of the mountains. The food was great, but that was not the main focus. Up on that mountain, we got to admire a different side of Haiti we thought had seen the day before (at Wahoo Bay). Turns out we were completely wrong!

Picture yourself on the top of a really high mountain. To your far left, you will find the ocean. As your eyes make their way towards your right, you encounter shore. An extremely detailed union between the ocean and land, a mixture of sand and vibrant green trees.
While you continue to make your way towards your far right side, you noticed a beautiful and unique pattern the mountains in the background follow, and how the tip of some of them disappear between the clouds. Towards the center of the image, picture every place/city/small town you have visited for a week, along with some other beautiful and noticeable buildings.

Now that you have this image in your mind, multiply the beauty of it by 100,000. Your result will now be 1/8 of what we got to see!!!
If you are interested in having your mind blown off with God's creation in a completely different level, I highly encourage you to sign up for a mission trip to Haiti. God will show himself to you in many different way and levels, He will not disappoint.

Love you all!

Sarahi and the September Team

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Day 6 : Rosie's : Wahoo Bay Resort : Fleri Pizza ( Serenity Village Community Church )

Today we went to Wahoo Bay Resort it was such a beautiful place the water was blue as the sky and there were vibrant colors of green! Today we saw a different kind of beauty of Haiti the land that God has made. We had dinner at Fleri Pizza and it was awesome! I think that it was the best Pizza I have ever had.  We stopped at a shop called Rosie's Boutique it was so wonderful and the products are created by the Haitian people. Then on the way back to the guest house I was speaking to a gentleman that has been with us as a part of our amazing journey here. I told him his country was beautiful and he just beamed and said thank you I think so as well. It is so true! God has made a beautiful place and we have been honored to be a part of it.

Gratitude is only a soft word of what God has made here and I look forward to seeing how it turns out. The Healing Haiti team deserves the applause of respect and love for all that they do. I do feel  sad that this is coming to a close being here with these amazing people but I now know that we have a wonderful shared history that no one else has together. Kiley and Nate have been totally amazing and I never once felt like I wasn't taken care of, the laughter and friendships are forever. For me this is how I will end this.

Heavenly Father you are amazing and I am so very grateful for each and everyone of these amazing people. Take care of them and let them know that they are loved and honored by me! Thank you Jesus!   Amen

Beth and the Haiti team

Friday, September 14, 2018

Day 5 : Water Truck : Fleri Farm : Grocery Store Adventure

This morning some of our team got up before the roosters were crowing and started our morning with worship at the Church On The Rock...WOW what a POWERFUL service in so many ways!  It is amazing to see what God has done with what started  as a tent church where people gathered to pray for the loss of loved ones after the earthquake 8 years ago!  This now has become a large, beautiful tin building with hundreds of chairs and even a balcony. .. Every day people come to pray but Friday is special.  Friday is for worship and praise only, a day set aside for no requests, glory only to our amazing Father!  Some of the worship music was in Creole and some even in English!  We had a nice walk back to have breakfast as a team made by wonderful women who have been feeding us so well all week and we are so thankful.
 It was another day to reflect on how blessed we are as we delivered water at two stops.  We saw some familiar faces of our friends at stop 17 and really enjoyed helping our friends with supplying that is so easily accessed back home, despite the tire issue with our transportation.  It is so fun to see the excitement of the children as we arrive!  In between the water truck stops we returned to the farm and had a tour by Kenneth.  It was amazing to see how his passion for this vision is playing out with support of friends of Healing Haiti!  It is wonderful to hear how the vision is helping the community be sustainable for job creation and what the farm is producing!  The respect Healing Haiti has for the community has been building respect in return and it is wonderful to see!  God is opening doors here beyond what we can imagine!
  We returned back to the house to yet another amazing meal and have been so blessed by the care the men and women here have for us.  We had quick trip to a Haitian grocery store and then joined on the rooftop with the other team here to be taught some salsa dancing. Thank you Jean Pierre  for you patience and time out of your day to teach us!
Thank you for your continued support of our team with your prayers and encouragement, we appreciate all of you!  May God continue to bless you as He has blessed each of us!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Day 4 : Grace Village, Elder Visits & Fleri Bakery ( Serenity Village Community Church )

This morning as we awoke from such an amazing fulfilled day the night before, we were ready and refreshed to await for what this day had to bring. We all gathered around in the living room for a devotional and then gathered around the table for an amazing delicious breakfast, with some great shared laughs and prayer to start our days off just right. Our first stop was Mass Graves Memorial where thousands of people have been buried after the hurricane in 2010. As we were walking through there, you could feel the heaviness but also see all the beauty that they made of it. We then went to Grace Village which is a school, K-13 that was the most beautiful place where there was so much color in the place, so much smiles and laughs as you saw the kids learning and having all these opportunities to learn and grow. You could feel the appreciation and joy in that place as we got a tour of it. Watching the kids play on the playground was heartwarming. And the view was nothing short of spectacular.

The village right near Grace Village, is where we first stopped to care and love on 2 elderly married couple who were such a light. They were so beyond grateful that we were there to care for them, love on them and pray on them. As each of us helped wash their feet, their hands, massage their hands and pray over them you could feel the holy spirit so thick in that place. That will forever hold a spot in our hearts as every moment here forever will. And as we walked out our hearts felt full filled. We then drove to a family where we met these 2 sisters who were all smiles and joy. Their family welcomed us in there as if they have known us before. They both sat down next to each other as we then washed their feet, washed their hands, care and love on them. Looking up at their faces, with such joy and appreciation. You could see God in all of it. We all enjoyed caring on them, loving on them and praying over them and hearing the man translate our prayer to them was really amazing and powerful. For them to let us come into their homes, not knowing us, feeling so welcomed and like you are just at home is such a blessing and nothing short of a miracle.

Being around the people here in Haiti, seeing the country here has been so amazing. You see God every where, in everything, in everyone. Its like you feel right at home, you forget you're on a mission trip because its just what you do. It's what Jesus did, helping others, loving on others, caring on others, praying on others and that's what I see our team doing every single day. And not just the people here in Haiti but with each other. We lean on one another for support, for strength, for encouragement; its comfortable, it feels like a family. And now as we are winding down reflecting on our day we are ever so grateful for this opportunity, one another, and most importantly spreading the love into the Haitians. Thank you so much for your continued prayers, continued support, continued love and for reading this and being on this journey with us. God bless you and have an amazing night.
Jenna and The Team

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Day 3 Site Site 17 Play Date, Papillion, Home for Sick & Dying Babies (Serenity Village Community Church)

Today marks day 3 on our short term mission trip to Haiti and like the previous 2 days it was nothing short of amazing.  We started the day off pretty routine with waking up with the sunrise and many, many cups of coffee around 6:30am. We gathered around the table for breakfast shortly after a group prayer around 8am and after our minds, bodies and souls were nourished for the day - we gathered our things and got on the tap-tap (like a a personal Haitian limousine of sorts). 
Our first stop was Site 17 where we spent about 2-3 hours playing with the same community of people that 2 days prior we were serving water to.  This time it was 100% pleasure, with no agenda or task at hand to distract our mind from spreading the love. We each played a special role in raising the spirit and energy of the people, but reflecting back it was truly US that the risen.  The entire spread of generations were our playing and loving on life, loving on God.  We danced, sang, hugged and laughed until we cried.  We headed back on the tap-tap for a short pit stop home - shower, change, eat small snacks and then it was off to our next adventure! 
This time we were dressed up because we were on our way to Papillion and Home for Sick and Dying Babies.  Papillion was stop one and we went up to the rooftop restaurant, drank fresh fruit smoothies and snacked on some chicken nuggets, hot dogs and french fries which were all amazing!  We played some games and waited for our guided tour.  Tour started around 1pm and Turkey walked us thru the behind the scenes of how the beautiful arts and crafts are made and introduced us to some of the key people that turn everyday items into pieces of hope.
We spent a few hours at Papillion and then we gathered into the tap-tap to go to our last stop of the day: Home for the Sick and Dying Babies.  This stop was one that our entire team was slightly anxious about entering, but as soon as we put our blue aprons on we took charge and went to work.  The work here was night and day different than any "work" we had done up until this point.  Our only task at hand was to touch, hold and love up on babies.  We started off by feeding the kids oatmeal, then after meal time, we picked them up out of their cribs, spun them around in our arms and on the playground.  The mission was to transfer the the light and love of God and I think our team did an amazing job doing just that!
We got back in the tap-tap for the last time for the day and headed home.  A quick shower before dinner and then gathered around the table to pray, eat and discuss our "word of the day".  Dinner was amazing per usual - and then off to the pool!  Some of us stayed behind for a small group discussion and got deep into each other's faith journeys.  It is such a blessing to feel the security of being REAL with those around you.  To be able to let your guard down, eliminate any sense of judgement and talk things out is an opportunity I didn't know I was going to be able to accomplish on this trip - but I was wrong. 
When the other half of the team arrived back from the pool we sat around in the living room for a slideshow of pictures from the day and our nightly devotional.  Each night I have personally been BLOWN AWAY on how every devotional SPOKE to me on a level I was not expecting.  It was like God was hanging out with us all day, then snuck a message/recap about our day into a book placed perfectly on the table for someone in the group to randomly grab and read. We all talked about what the devotional meant to us, and then most of the group headed off to bed.  It's 9pm and there are a handful of us still awake, snacking, journaling and passing additional stories and words of wisdom and empowerment to each other.  Some nights we are all in bed by 10, other nights we have stayed awake until 12-1am....I don't know what tonight has in store, but I am beyond excited for whatever God has in place!  Good night, sweet dreams and happy prayers y'all! :) -Keri Anderson

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Day 2 - Water Truck , Fleri Farm ( Serenity Village Community Church )

Day 2 - Water Truck

Today was a full and productive day, within which the ladies of this team and I desire to share with you the experiences we witnessed and felt throughout this day.

The day started off with another lovely and hospitable meal form the ladies that diligently serve us at the house. Afterwards, we climbed into the taptap and ventured out into which for many of us was uncharted territories within our hearts and within Haiti. We had three water truck stops today. Words the ladies used to describe these stops are: amazing, peace within chaos, overwhelming, love, joy, tenderness, wonderment. As we pulled up to the first stop, the kids within the neighborhood started running behind our vehicle chanting, "Hey You, Hey You, Hey You." This may sound improper to some, but to us it was music to our ears. The excitement, hope, and joy we could hear within their chanting, sparked a tenderness within each of us we didn't expect.

At each stop we were greeted by children of all ages who wanted nothing more than our attention, love, and affection. They eagerly jumped into our arms and we gladly exchanged with them the love they desired. We also aided in manning water trucks at each stop. As we arrived, buckets were already lined up in place, ready for us to provide them with fresh water. It brings to memory how people may wait in line for a concert to get the best seats or for a Good Friday special to get the best deal, but here in Haiti they wait for fresh water which they only get once a day, sometimes not even that. This water is all they have to meet their needs such as drinking, cooking, cleaning wounds, washing clothes, bathing, etc. How truly blessed we are to live in America, where water flows freely from our faucets and concern of our next ration of water isn't even thought of.

In between water stops, we had the privilege of visiting Hope Church and school. It was amazing to hear of the stories of what God has accomplished in that place within a short 3 year time frame! We also journeyed over to Fleri Farms, had a tour of their fresh tropical fruits, and even got to munch on a few limes. :) At the end of our day we spent a few hours cooling off in a nearby pool which provided a much needed atmosphere for laughter, connection, and relaxation.

All in all, this post does little to describe the wonderment of the day and the special tenderness we all feel to have been a part of today and to be on this trip.

Love to you all, Jacqueline and the September 2018 Team

Monday, September 10, 2018

Day 1 - Arrival Day (Serenity Village Community Church)

Healing Haiti Trip: Day 1 - Travel Day

It was an early morning start for our team as we met at church at 2:45 a.m. to begin our journey.
A quick shout out to our awesome drivers, Diana and Chris - thank you for sacrificing your sleep to drive us to the airport. And the same to Pastor Jeff for meeting us at the church to send us off.

Our travels to Haiti were smooth and easy. Once in Haiti we were greeted by members of the Healing Haiti team and taken to the guest house where we will be staying for the week. We had a delicious taco diner which Ulta and Phaunis so graciously prepared for us and spent time sharing our anticipations on the week ahead. After dinner we spent a few hours at the pool, then shared devotions together as a team before concluding day 1.

Although the above description of the day is a quick recap of what took place in the natural, there is much more under the surface that happened in the spiritual. Team members stepped up in courage to share their heart as they unveiled fears, insecurities, and uncertainties for tomorrow which will be a water truck day. Time was spent speaking into and encouraging one another, prayers were said, and hearts were lifted as the team bonded together in a special and sweet way on this first day.

Our devotional for today was out of the book "Jesus Always" and it highlighted the topic of being a light that shines in dark places. Today, we were a light to one another on the team, sharing hope and love in a way some had never experienced before. This was God's working and way of preparing us for tomorrow. Now that our hearts are encouraged and shining brightly with his love, we will take what we have received from each other and share it with the rest of Haiti tomorrow.

Thank you all for your prayers for us as we venture out!

With much love and gratitude,
Jacqueline and the September 2018 Team