Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Northgate In Haiti (Day 1)

Today is our first full day in Haiti and I am loving it. We arrived safely to Port-au-Prince yesterday late afternoon and had plenty of time to learn our way around our temporary home before we had a wonderful dinner, courtesy of Healing Haiti staff. The guest house we are staying in is a part of a gated property owned by Healing Haiti. It features 2 guest houses, a group gathering building and a courtyard. Healing Haiti employs only Haitian people who serves as cooks, tap tap (open air buses) drivers, and translators. 

We started off by visiting an orphanage called Sweet Home. We played with the toddlers for a while and then met all of the school aged children. We sang with them, played games with them, and learned about life as an orphan in Haiti. Many of the children we visited with had been at the orphanage since birth or close to birth. It’s heartbreaking that there are so many children here who are in orphanages, but it’s a blessing that there are places for them to go to be taken care of.

Next we went to Papillon, which is a large store that was started by a women who came to Haiti as a missionary. She saw how many people weren’t able to provide for their families, and was inspired to start a business to provide jobs for Haitian people. There is a cafe that has smoothies, pizza, sandwiches, and ice cream. They also have a shop that has many things that are handmade by employees. They make all kinds of jewelry, clothing, and home decorations. We were given a tour of the production space by Tricky and then got to go shopping and order smoothies.

Our last serving opportunity today was going to Mother Teresa’s. It is a home for sick and dying babies and toddlers. When we’re there all we had to do was love on kids. We can hold them, play with them, and pray for them. It was a hard place to be because so many of the kids are sick and some might not make it. It was inspiring to see how even though the kids we saw were sick and did not speak our language, most of them were smiley and laughing.

So far this trip has been very eye opening and I’m so happy that I could have this experience. The biggest thing that I have learned is that God truly is everywhere. No matter where we go there is love, there is hope, and there is happiness.

Love from Haiti,
Ellie Kriewall

When I arrived yesterday in Haiti I didn’t know what to expect or what to prepare myself for. I didn’t know how the moments I will make, or the people I will meet, would impact me. The first thought when I walked off the plane was how different their community was to ours. It was a real shock to walk off that plane and to have everyone notice us because we looked different than everyone else. Heading out of the airport, we arrived to our vehicle that would be driving us around, it’s called a Tap Tap. The driving in Haiti makes me laugh as everyone is using there horn every 5 seconds, but nobody ever seems to crash even though they are basically inches away from other vehicles. 

We arrived at the guest house and I instantly felt at home with how nice the healing Haiti personnel was to me and the group, and it also helped that the facility had air conditioning. Our first stop the next day was an orphanage called Sweet Home. I had never experienced the love and compassion that some of these kids gave me. They didn’t know me, I didn’t know their language, and I’m bad at soccer, but somehow, they wouldn’t stop hugging and playing with me. It really showed me that you don’t have to know someone to love them in Christ. 

The second stop of the day was Papillon, there I got to witness how they made bracelets and necklaces out of cereal boxes, made mugs and other things that helped provide jobs for Haitian people. The last stop was an orphanage called lefairre where I ended up making crafts and playing soccer. So far I am loving Haiti and the people in it, and I feel that god is working through me and my group to help and show the word of Christ through our actions.

Max Johnson