Service Impact Team 8.5 - Day 2 - Teen Challenge, Papillon, Haiti Design
Today was day 2 of our mission trip in Haiti, but our first day out in the field as yesterday was mainly just travel. One of my favorite things that we do as a team is devotions and worship every morning. It's a great way to start our day out on the field by gathering together, reading God's Word, praying, and worshiping together! Austin has brought his guitar with him to Haiti, so we're all enjoying the worship music. After a delicious breakfast cooked by the Lovely Haitian women that Healing Haiti employs, we headed out on the tap-tap. Emotions were running high as we all had great excitement and expectation for the day that laid ahead of us.
We visited Haiti Design Company & Papillon Enterprise and were able to tour their work space and shop. Both companies were started by Americans who saw the job situation in Haiti and wanted to make a positive change in difference. They hand make different artisan goods, anything from hand-rolled beaded jewelry to mugs made by their talented potters. Papillon specifically was started by a woman named Shelly, who years ago came down to Haiti to adopt a child. Once here, she realized that the child she was to adopt actually had living, loving parents who really didn't want to give up the child - They just simply couldn't care for them. So, instead of adopting from Haiti, Shelly set out to make a difference in the lives of Haitians by creating Papillon - Which now employs over 100 Haitians. Moms, dads, single parents are all given jobs where they can care for and financially support their children and family. They can come to work each day with dignity, purpose, and be proud of the work that they do. It's incredible what a dream and empowering others can do - It changes lives!
The highlight of our day was Haiti Teen Challenge. We have Teen Challenge back in the States, which many people are familiar with - Helping those overcoming addiction. The Teen Challenge we visited today was made up of all girls who were all young, teens to young adults. The minute you walked into the building, you could feel the hope that was there present with these sweet girls. We gathered together, worshiped, shared testimonies, and were able to encourage each other and build one another up in Christ. To hear what some of these girls had been through in their lives was heartbreaking: Prostitution, drugs, alcohol, abortion, broken families. What really struck our team though was being able to see the change in them as soon as they began talking about Jesus and their future. It went from us being able to feel the pain in the words, to seeing joy, hope and smiles as they talked about all God has done in their lives and what their plans are! It was encouraging for both our team and them to be able to fellowship together. We ended out our time by standing in a huge circle, all holding hands and praying together. One thing that really stuck out to me personally was one thing one of the girls said. After sharing her story and the recent difficulties she has been experiencing, she said: "And I sat Satan right down in a chair and told him NO MORE!" Amen Sister! There is power in the name of Jesus!
We ended out our first day on the field with more time of devotions and worship. Per Healing Haiti tradition, we all share one word from the day that stuck out to us. It could be something that God has been teaching us, something that someone said, or just one word that really summed up our day! Our words for the day were:
- Family - Manny
- Adventure - Marlee
- Empower - Kayla
- Power - Mark
- Home - Marcus
- Amazed - Kristen
- Compassion - Alexa
- Transformation - Abbey
- Hope - Danika
- Comfortable - Donovan
- Golden - Suz
- Redeem - Austin
Thank you for following along with our trip! Please continue praying for us and the work that is still to be done for God's Kingdom. Glwa pou Bondye!