Monday, January 13, 2020
The enemy tried to sneak in here and there through ticketing and luggage hiccups; however, we quickly reminded ourselves of Who was really control, and we made it through everything and were there just in time to board the plane before they closed the gate. God continued to show up, as we rushed into Fort Lauderdale with minutes to spare before boarding our next flight, and we were reminded He is always in control of every little detail.
Our flight went smoothly, and we made it to Haiti, through customs, and baggage pick up without any issues. We had a little bit of downtime, waiting for our ride, to get to talk and just be present with each other and enjoy the warm sunshine we so greatly missed in Minnesota.
When our ride came, we loaded our bags and headed to the guest house, where we will be staying for the duration of our trip. Everyone felt so relaxed and at home right away. We were able to rest and then head to the pool for a little more downtime before dinner. We enjoyed each other's company, as our team continued to get to know each other better.
Following the pool, we headed back to the house, where we eagerly awaited our first amazing dinner in Haiti. We were not disappointed when it was time to share in our meal all together of Haitian style tacos! It was a welcome meal after a day of airport travel and limited nutrition.
Following dinner, a few did the dishes quickly before we were able to gather together for a refreshing time of worship and then group devotion. That is where we really felt the Holy Spirit come into our trip. He was with us every step along the way, and now we were finally able to express how we felt so far. It was amazing to hear the perspective of those who have never been here before, and for those who had been here previously, the feelings were also a unique perspective. We went over our Jesus Calling devotional for the day, which we all agreed spoke exactly to everything we encountered over the past day since leaving home.
We are looking forward to the rest of our week, knowing God has more than proven He has everything in control, even in the moments when we feel out of control. We are trusting in Him, every step along the way, because He knows best what is to come and how to walk us through each thing that comes toward us. A great word for our first day of travel would be "trust," as we learn to continue to rely on God.
Day #7 – 1/12
Hi friends! Ellie here.
I’m sad to write that our time in Haiti is slowly coming to an end. Most of us were strangers when this week started, but we ended our time together as a big family. We spent our last evening reflecting on our week – there was lots of laughter, plenty of tears, and we shared our life experiences with each other. We think Mike summed up the week well with the acronym, “heartfelt”. Although It’s hard to portray how Haiti has impacted us, these are some that we all agreed on.
H.E.A.R.T.F.E.L.T.– I think this entire week we have all had many heartfelt moments and many different feelings in our hearts. There were lots of extreme highs and lows. We had many happy, joyful moments and many sad, teary moments. Our hearts felt so many things for the people of Haiti and also for our entire team.
H is for Hope– We saw hope everywhere we went this week in Haiti. We saw hope as we visited Rebuild, Team Challenge, Papillon, and while we were on top of the mountain looking over Port-Au-Prince. We know that anything is possible with God and for that reason we must never give up our hope for those we have met and worked with here in Haiti. Sunday, we heard a sermon titled “Better is Possible” and we believe this with and for the people here.
E is for Eye-Opening– I (Mike) have been to Haiti before; however, this was still a very eye-opening, awesome, and life changing experience for me. What a difference this is from our world back home! We are all children of the one true God, but we live in a completely different world.
A is for Amazing– What an Amazing trip! What an Amazing experience! What an Amazing team! I (Mike) am so glad and proud to have joined this team to share this experience with each and every one of them. The people of Haiti are Amazing in their love for life, and love for our Lord and Savior. They are also so appreciative and resourceful.
R is for Remember– We must remember this trip, our team, and each experience. We must remember how we served our Lord Jesus Christ, the people of Haiti, and the love and gratitude they showed all of us. We also need to remember who we are as servants and disciples, and that we are all God’s children with a place in our Father’s house.
T is for Thankful– I (Mike) am so thankful for everything I have, and that I signed up for this trip. I am thankful for this team and how well we have supported each other throughout the week. I am thankful God made this trip possible for all of us, and that He brought this “dream-team” together to serve and carry out His work here in Haiti. But most of all, I am thankful that God sent His one and only Son, Jesus. I am thankful that He came as a man and lived a perfect life, so that when he gave his life up for us, He became the perfect sacrifice for us. Because of this, we can all be saved and live with Him eternally where there is no pain or suffering anymore. We are all made in the image of God and we all need Jesus. This makes all of us equal.
F is for Faith– Our faith has grown and continues to grow. Faith alone will not get us into heaven. But our Faith, holiness, and obedience sure help’s. The Faith the Haitians have is so incredible it is hard to explain and put into words. They set the bar when it comes to Faith. So, keep the Faith. Keep your Faith. Grow your Faith.
E is for Encourage– This letter changed twice during the week. I (Mike) finally settled on Encourage after the sermon we heard today. We all did a lot of encouraging, holding hands, and comforting this week. We need to encourage each other to continue growing our faith, living a good Christian life, and answering when God calls upon us. We need to encourage each other to stay on our faith journey and to be an obedient servant.
L is for Love– Love, Love, Love. All you need is Love. God said three things remain, ‘faith, hope, and Love and the greatest of these is Love’. I saw so much love this week. To the Haitians. From the Haitians. Within our team. Remembered God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only son who He used as the ultimate sacrifice for us, so that we would be forgiven for all of our sins and stories. Remember Love makes the world go around.
T is for Tomorrow– Now that we spent the last week serving in Haiti, the question is Tomorrow. What are we going to do Tomorrow? What is next for our lives and our journey? How are we going to build on this? How are we going to take this experience back home and do something special with it? As we heard in the sermon this morning, “stop eating ham and cheese sandwiches”, and do something different from what you have been doing. Do something better. Do something great Tomorrow!
And heartfelt it was. We’re off to the airport – see you all soon!
Glwa Pou Bondye (Glory to God)!