Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hey guys!! I'm just say I'm alive and well, well now I am. :) I was sick for a while but now I'm feeling better then ever!  I'm looking forward to the beach tomorrow and connecting more with my team members, miss my family and doggy, love you all.

Today and Thursday I met another Daphne. So it's now Daphne times three. One of the days I met a Daphne was on our water truck day(Thursday) during our second stop. She was this sweet little girl who was wearing a pink dress that was dulled by dirt. She had a few holes in the dress and I don't recall her hair being braided. I believe it was around chin length, and possibly shorter. Katie was holding her little sister, and Daphne was hiding behind her legs smiling. I thought it was so strange meeting another person with my name, and wondered if she had thought the same. Maybe she was thinking that is was weird, or maybe cool. Maybe she was scared, but excited to meet someone that had the same name. After we ran out of water for the stop, I said Au Revoir(Good Bye in French), Daphne. It was really strange saying that. I've never said goodbye to someone of the same name before. It was almost like I was saying good bye to myself.
Today, I met another Daphne at an orphanage. She had a white shirt on and Knee length shorts. She had short hair that was probably an inch and a half long. When her friends learned that I had the same name as her, they dragged her over to me while she was laughing while trying to get away. I was really confused at first, but then I realized that we had the same name. It seemed like Daphne was really confused and weirded out by my name being Daphne. It was weird for both of us; meeting another Daphne. We both laughed about it and then she ran off because she must have thought it was super strange. 
Meeting two other Daphnes was so weird, but so cool for me. I've never met anyone with the same name as me until I came to Haiti. What if one of the reasons why I was supposed to come was so I could meet the two other Daphnes who were living in Haiti. After meeting them, I was talking to Emma on the Tap Tap. Emma mentioned something about meeting other people with the same name as her, and how we could have been born in there situation and life instead of our own. So it made me think. What if I had been born in Haiti, instead of North Carolina and raised in Minnesota. From the Daphnes I met, there would've been a 2/3 chance that I would've been born in Haiti as an orphan who either didn't have parents, or had parents that had to give me up because of the little money they had or as a child who was struggling to survive and having to depend on a water truck that comes every day or so, just to give me a bucket of water. I feel so lucky to have been the person that got the 1/3 chance of living in The United States. 

God could have chosen to have had me living in Haiti, but he chose to have me born in The United States. He has a plan for everyone and he has to have a good plan for me if I was lucky enough to be born in a country that is full of opportunities. I can do so much here and I feel like God wanted me here for a reason, even though I have yet to find it. I also know that God put the other Daphnes that I met in Haiti for a reason, and I know and will be praying that they will have long and amazing lives and will follow whatever plan God has in store for them.


Wow. What an amazing week of serving and loving on others in the name of Jesus. Today was a little bit different day for me than most days. In the past week, almost everyday for me has been serving, loving on others, laughing, carrying buckets, always doing something. Take yesterday, where my emotions were all over the place with everything we did - sadness at the Mass Graves, stunned by the fact that they didn't event know what to do in the situation of an earthquake that they ran into buildings, and finally overflowing joy due to all that Grace Village is doing to provide jobs, love, family, care, and protection to the community. In short, my week has been full of a wide range of emotions and activities. However, today was different. Several times today I found myself simply stepping back and just watching what was going on in front of me. At one point I stepped back to watch 40 children singing This is the Day to all of us, at another point I stepped back to watch children and students tossing balloons full of color around in the air - smiles on their face and over abounding joy in their hearts, and at another point I stepped back to see all of my friends building relationships with children despite the language barrier. It was amazing today to just take a few moments to step back and see all that God is doing in the lives of those children and in the lives and hearts of my Woodridge Community. Today God showed me how refreshing it is to sometimes take that step back to see the bigger picture. Too often we get caught up in day to day life, approaching deadlines, growing to-do lists, whatever it may be. However, sometimes when we do that, when we fill our lives up with endless tasks, we often forget to step back and see where God is working in our days. Every day here during our family time we do a reflection prayer, where our family leaders guide us through our days, telling us to think about each different part of the day, the moods we were in, who we connected with, where we saw life and love throughout the day, where God was moving. There were so many times this week that I did that and saw God in the smallest of moments - things that I missed when it was happening right in front of me, but being able to step back and look at the bigger picture allowed me to see all that God was doing, even in the little things. When we take time to see God move, He doesn't let us down. He shows us what He is doing, the miracles He is performing, redemption and endless love that He is bringing back to a broken world full of sin and death, organizations like Healing Haiti bringing light and life into a beautiful country. Overall, when we take time to ask God what He is showing us, He does. He is always waiting to show us the beauty that He has for us. Whether we are anxiously waiting to see Him move or anxiously approaching deadlines to come, He is aways working and waiting to show us all He has in store. 
- Abbie VandenEinde

Word of the Day for August 5

Each day we debrief our experiences by each picking a word of the day and describing why we picked that word. 

Drew - Reverberate
Today it rained so we had to do our team time inside instead of outside. This same thing happened on Saturday last year. Both nights the sound of our voices worshipping passionately together reverberated around the room. 

Emmy - Connections
Today during my family time I heard God telling me, “every day this week I am going to give you one person to connect with.” When I looked back that has really been true. I have connected deeply with one person each day. 

Daphne - Daphne 
This trip I have met two other Daphne’s. One on Thursday and one at the orphanage today. Thinking about the lives of those Daphne’s has made me feel so blessed for the life that I have. The other Daphne’s had so much gratitude and joy. At home I think I am unthankful for a lot of the stuff I have. 

Joanna - Boogaloo
I played a game with the girls at the orphanage we visited and at first they looked at my like I was crazy but then all of us were having fun together.

Robby - Farm
It was fun to eat the coconuts. It made me think of the garden of eden, a man made river ran through it with trees hanging over. And it was cool to think that the restaurant that we ate at yesterday had food coming from this farm. 

Lizzy - Enjoy
I thoroughly enjoyed today. A lot of good moments today: playing soccer, riding in the front of the tap-tap and talking to Annika S and the farm was really cool.

Braeden - Happiness
This whole week at some point every day I have experienced at least one small moment of sadness but not today. It was all happiness.

Josh M - Pain 
I hurt myself trying to head a soccer ball past the goalie (Rob). I hit my shin on the curb and my leg hurts. 

Josh H - Humility
My spike ball team lost for the first time. And I got scored on six or seven times as the goalie at the orphanage, two through the legs.

Shayla - Peace or Joy
I found myself in peace. I had time to reflect on everything I’ve done this week. The trip was worth while even though I was sick. I was simply in awe, I loved every minute of it. 

Larissa - Wait
At the metal market people would come up to me at the metal market and ask me to come up to the store and then would tell me that they would wait, one said, “I will always wait for you.” It made me think that God will always wait for me, and for us. He is ready and waiting and loving whenever we are ready to take steps with him. 

Annika S - Share
I shared a lot of things with people today. I shared a lot of joy with our team and the children. I shared a handshake with one of the orphans. Emma shared her food with me and I shared a lot of great conversations.

Noelle - Swing
I got to go on the swings with a 15 year old boy at the orphanage. Even though I could not really talk to him I still felt connected just swinging together. 

Maya - Fulfilled 
At this orphanage today the kids didn’t seem to need our love as badly and it made me happy to think that they are being loved by God and each other. 
Buying stuff at the metal market made me happy to fill their pockets. 

Lea - Rememeber
The image that sticks out in my mind is the mama who welcomed all of us at the orphanage. I walked by her several times as she was washing clothes. I was thinking, there are 45 kids who live here and this is her life washing clothes. I have talked to so many Haitians who say, please just remember me. I want to remember her washing clothes in a bucket. I want to remember that her life matters and pray for her because she is my sister. 

Tori - Watching 
These kids weren’t jumping up into our arms today. There were lots of moments of sitting and watching. Cool moments, fun moments, funny moments, sweet moments. I loved watching the rest of my team instead of just having my own experience. 

Abbie - Eyes
I found myself sitting back and taking it all in instead of being in the middle of it. Like when the kids sang to us when we first arrived or when we first blew up the balloons — all the beautiful colors and the smiles. 

Emma - Understanding 
In the time where I am trying to figure out what God is telling me and what God wants me to do is to be present. When I went to bed this morning and woke up I have been praying that I will be present. When we got to the orphanage God reminded me that being present is about God’s plan and not my plan. I was reminded of words from one of my speech coaches who said “be where your feet are.” In a spiritual sense, being present looks like being where your feet are. I looked down on my feet and got pulled into a game of duck, duck grey duck. 

Graham - Talent
Watching those kids I could see that they were so talented at soccer. God blesses us all with talents and one of theirs is playing soccer. It was awesome to see that.

Katie - Smile
When I first got to the orphanage I started playing with this one little girl. She tried to talk to me and I couldn’t talk back so I would smile and then she would smile back on me.

Bella - Trusting
I got to see a lot of people put their trust in me today. A little girl at the orphanage sit with me and let me braid her hair. When we left she gave me a hug and said thank you. Then at the metal market we were in one shop looking at turtles and the guy bagged it up and told me to hold onto it and think about it and said, “I trust you.” I trust you’ll bring it back. 

Lauren - Chase
There was this little girl at the orphanage who was sitting next to me and Abbie started tickling her, then I started tickling her. She stood up and refused to sit down. So then I started to chase her. She was really fast. Also, all the people at the metal markets chase after you. They really want your business. Also during worship I realized that I am always chasing after something and I never take a minute to be and think about what God is trying to tell me. 

Annika C - Braids
Getting my hair braided by the orphan girls was my favorite part of the day. It was fun to have my hair braided and it was cool to see how happy the girls were after they did it. 

Brice - Relationships 
I feel like today I thought a lot about my relationships that I have with people in my life. And my relationship with God on the tap-tap during idle times I met with God and I felt like God was showing me highlights of our relationship and the journey that we’ve been on. Also the many conversations I’ve had with some of you today were awesome. 

Ann - Fun
I felt like even though we didn’t speak the same language we totally understood each other today at the orphanage. I really enjoyed the kids we played with today and all the games we dreamed up in our heads.

Austin - Protected
There is not a moment when we are in Haiti that we are not protected. We are protected here, in Citi Soleil and today I was reminded of the first time I was in Haiti and I delivered a bucket through a dark alley. If I had gone alone I would have been totally lost but one of our translators was with us and I knew it would be ok. 

Today when we went to get the soccer ball one of the translators and I walked along a big wall. Our translator put his hand out and told me to wait to make sure it was ok for me to come with. It reminded me that we are being protected and looked out for. Because of those guys we can be present. And with God, because God is with us we get to do great things for the kingdom.