Saturday, November 3, 2018

EBC Spring Lake Park Day 6: Water Truck #2 & Cite Soleil Elders

About 3 seconds into this blog and Stuart Little scampered across the guest house. We’re now in full blown mouse catching mode - Anna equipped with a large bowl hopping from couch to couch trying to find him (photo included). To say this is entertaining would be an understatement.

I will keep you updated with our mouse hunt, in the meantime I’ll share some highlights from our 6th day in Haiti: We started out with breakfast, devotion, & prayer. All a little sad that it was our last full day of serving. We all jumped into the tap-tap and headed into Cite Soleil for our second water truck day. As we were waiting for the water truck to arrive we got a tour of the brand new technology pod outside of Hope School. The pod is a classroom the size of a shipping container equipped with Ipads, high definition tvs, interactive teaching applications such as Osmo, and high speed internet. This gives Hope School the opportunity to teach their kids with technology that they would have no access to otherwise.

After the tour we went right into our water truck duties. For some reason this stop seemed more chaotic than the others with water buckets lined up all the way down the street. We filled buckets and gave lots of love to the kiddos and families until the truck ran out of water.

After delivering water we got the awesome opportunity to visit a few elders in the community through the new Cite Soleil elder program. To be able to visit elders in the center of Cite Soleil and inside their homes was unbelievable – it’s hard to put into words. When we visited the first woman she beamed with happiness – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smile that big. She hugged a couple of us girls and wouldn’t let go, it was powerful. As soon as we arrived she said “my family is here.” We got to sing and pray over her and a few others who really needed it. We were only able to give them 10 minutes of our time but they cherished every second and I truly think we were able to lift their spirits.

Update on our mouse hunt: Stuart found his way back outside. Phew.

The day ended at Papillion, a partner organization that makes jewelry, mugs, and other gifts out of clay and recycled material. Papillion shares a similar vision with Healing Haiti: Job creation. They currently employ over 200 Haitians, many that are single parents providing for their families alone.

Just another memorable day in Haiti.


EBC Spring Lake Park Day 5: Grace Village, Elders, HDA, Fleri; November 2nd

Hello friends and family! Take a seat and grab a snack because it was a busy day. We woke up bright and early this morning to be on the tap tap at 5:45 for church (believe it or not, all 17 of us made it there on time). While it was still dark out, we arrived at Church on the Rock for a unique church experience. It was amazing to see how people of different cultures worship the same God. Even though most of it was in Creole, it was powerful to witness God working in the people there.

After breakfast, we spent some time at the mass graves, a memorial for those who died and were affected by the earthquake that struck in January of 2010. It has a beautiful location at the top of a mountain in Titanyen. Our translator, Smith, shared his memories with us from that day. It was hard for him to share these difficult memories but he explained how the earthquake united all Haitians, no matter their age or wealth. Taking some time to reflect on this event was a beautiful and moving way to start our afternoon.

After the memorial, we had an amazing time visiting the elders in the area. There were some heart melting moments while we danced and sang with them. It was clear that they love visitors and we were so happy to be able to pray over them. Most of them live in tiny houses on the side of the mountain but continue to have an incredibly inspiring faith.

After elder visits, we had the opportunity to tour Grace Village. The tour was led by long term missionary, Caleb. We got to see the beautiful homes the children live in, classrooms, clinic and more. We spent some time playing and laughing with all the kids in Grace Village.

Our next stop was a tour at the Haitian Deaf Academy. The kids there loved teaching us sign language and showing us our own name signs. Their joy was completely contagious and it was a privilege to visit the organization and hear from the couple who founded it.

We had a great chance to relax and eat some za (pizza!) at Fleri. This bakery is a part of Grace Village. The long term missionary there, Jake, impressed us with how much growth the bakery has had over a short amount of time. The business has taken off by selling bread at wholesale prices to street vendors. By doing this, Fleri is able to support many people within the community. It’s no surprise that “Fleri” means “flourish” in Haitian Creole. We loved chilling out in the restaurant and playing an intense game of Jenga. It was an incredible and busy day. 

Here are our words of the day:
Elaine: Flourish
Anna: Beauty
Mary: Above
Callie: Smile
Chloe: Nudged
Andee: Family
Bill: Overwhelmed
Cindy: Profound
Ellie: Dance
Meredeth: Empathy
Wayne: Humbled
Steve: Dedication
Chris: Faith

EBC Spring Lake Park Day 4: Sweet Home/Metal/Dio's; November 1st

Another great day in Haiti!

This morning, we started out at the Sweet Home orphanage where we had more time to spend with kids.  It was amazing.  The orphanage houses about 30 children and is building more space for another 50 children.  The kids were very energetic and happy to spend time with the team.  Activities ranged from coloring and blowing bubbles, playing tic tac toe and full-on soccer.  There even was a yoga session led by Elaine and Mary. 

After the orphanage, there was time to shop at the metal market.  A few of us let loose and emptied the wallet and purses – we’re talking about Bill, Dave, and Ellie of course.  It was incredible to see the workers as well.  Most are just building the metal art right on the ground – no bench, no chair, all by hand.  These people have a desire to work and it was great to support them today.  Many shop owners were pleased to see our willingness to spend. 

Last stop was Dio’s orphanage for special needs children.  It was very impressive to see the will of these kids despite their disabilities.  There were kids playing soccer in wheelchairs/walkers.  They were not going to let the fact they had deformed legs stop them.  The bubbles were a hit as well.  The children were quick to embrace us.  Their energy and laughter was contagious.  We all showed up wanting to show them love, but we felt like we got a lot more in return. 

We did have a special appearance from a snake.  One of the Haitian women cut the head off, and one of the Haitian men took the body and chased the most squeamish of us out of the courtyard.  They thought it was funny – well most of us thought it was too.  Overall, it was a fantastic day serving together at both orphanages.

During devo time we had the opportunity to share our words of the day:
Resilience (Bill)
Protection (Chloe)

Joy (Mary)
Will (Steve)
Thankful (Cindy)
Smile (Anna)
Growth (Chris)
Innocence (Merideth)
Flawless (Elaine)
Potential (Ellie)
Stillness (Andee)
Diverse (Stan)
Present (Callie)
Energetic (Abbie)
Happiness (Wayne)
Content (Jamie)
Connection (Dave)