Haiti July 15, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

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Gabriel ready to go
Loading up
Ready to leave
Going down mountain
Going down mountain
On the road
Arriving at airport
Arriving at airport
Arriving at airport
Team waving good-bye

 

The 2nd Annual Teachers Conference is over and what a success it was! All the Haitian teachers are already asking when we will have the next one. As you can see the team members are on their way home.

I want to thank everyone who prayed and gave for this mission trip. May the Lord bless you and your families.

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Haiti July 14, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Loading up for trip to Jerusalem IV
On the way to Jerusalem IV
On the way to Jerusalem IV
Arriving at Jerusalem IV
Jerusalem IV Church
Congregation in Jerusalem IV
Clint preaching at Jerusalem IV
American group singing
Children praising the Lord
Having Church at Jerusalem IV
Having Church at Jerusalem IV
Jerusalem IV Church
Inside Jerusalem IV
Inside Jerusalem IV
Inside Jerusalem IV
Inside Jerusalem IV
Inside Jerusalem IV
Church pews
Land for Clinic/ Hospital
Foundation for walls for Clinic/Hospital
Going to Market
Beautiful scenery
Haitians going to Market
Arriving at Market
Market
Walking through market
Market
Clothes for sale
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Fresh banana's
Lady in Market
Almost lunch time
Hot stew
Fresh Mangos
Shopping in Haiti
Shopping in Haiti
Shopping in Haiti

Report by Vicki Thornell, Dana Williamson, & Jennifer Jones

Days like today make us realize just how fortunate we are! God has truly blessed us in unimaginable ways and we take it for granted.

Our first stop of the day was a visit to the future medical clinic/hospital site. After 5 long years, the land has finally been purchased and the beginnings of walls are starting to go up, but so much more is needed to complete the vision given to Bro. Chuck and his staff. We prayed that God would provide the finances needed so this facility can be up and running soon; medical care is much needed in this area. Yesterday, while on a hike to deliver food to a few families in the area, we came upon a man who had cut his hand, leaving a deep wound. It was apparent he was in need of stitches, but there was no one close by to care for him, even if he could have afforded it. One the way to church Sunday, we learned that the husband of one of the teachers who had attended our conference was seriously injured in a terrible motorcycle accident. He was taken to a local hospital, where they could not take care of his needs, so he has to travel today, on his own, to another hospital approximately 4 hours away.

The sooner God’s clinic is built, the sooner even the most basic of medical needs can be met. It is truly amazing what we take for granted; things we pick up at the local dollar stores or supermarkets – bandaids, antibiotic creams, vitamins, aspirin, etc. – are virtually unattainable here. Funds are needed NOW! Even as you read this, some of you are feeling the Holy Spirit tug on your heart (as we did standing on the site). We ask you to prayerfully consider giving to the clinic fund, so our brothers and sisters in Christ can get the medical attention they desperately need and deserve.

Lines and lines of people carrying bags of rice and supplies balanced precariously on their heads, and unsupervised young children carrying containers of water and live chickens, paved the way to the local market. The smell of pigs, donkey dung, burning trash, and local cuisines filled the air as we climbed down the ladder of our faithful ride, Gabriel, a Vietnam-era military vehicle. After we were instructed to be respectful of the local people and to stay together, Bro. Chuck led us through the open-air market. Many of our hearts were broken as we witnessed firsthand how hard life really is here.

Back at the mission house, many children packed themselves onto a few rickety wooden benches as they waited for their lunch to be served. For many this was their only meal of the day. Rice and beans, served on metal plates, was eagerly devoured by all. Some quickly ate what was given to them in hopes there would be more, while others shared what they had with late arrivals, since there was no more. Teenage boys fought over the remains left in the pans. Every piece of food found its way into someone’s mouth.

Today was a huge awakening! We take so much for granted! We never stop to think how wasteful we are. God has blessed us with so much, yet do we choose to share with His children what He has given to us? Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.” “He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ ” Matthew 25:40 & 45.

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Haiti July 13, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Women's Conference
Women's Conference
Women's Conference
Women's Conference
Baby sitting at Women's Conf.
New Library
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Jerusalem 1 Church
Church Jerusalem  1
Church Jerusalem  1
Church Jerusalem  1
Church Jerusalem  1
Church Jerusalem  1
Church Jerusalem  1
Kids in Church
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Kids in Church
Kids in Church
Kids in Church
Beautiful barren mountains
Walk about
Fast Food & Convienent Store
Haitian Convienent Store
Typical Haitian House
Haitian hut
Remodeled Kitchen
Visting neighbors
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Visting our neighbors
Little boy at Slyvest's House
Along the path
Walk about
Walk about
Voodoo village
Lady in voodoo village
Children in voodoo village
Little girl in voodoo village
Walk about
Steak, anyone?
Walk about
Mallory's Birthday
Mallory's Birthday cake made by Ginette
Mallory's Birthday

Report by Elizabeth Johnson

This morning we went to church, and then this afternoon we ventured out to the voodoo village, and visited a few huts along the way. The thing that caught me the most off guard was that even in Haiti there seems to be different levels of poverty. The children and adults living around the mission compound and within the compound take care to wear clean clothes. Even those clothes have to be washed by hand in the same buckets that are used for bathing themselves. They appear clean and modestly dressed, they wear shoes, and some even have cell phones and watches. When we were side by side in church I looked at my brothers and sisters in Christ and the thought, “It takes a village to raise a child,” came to mind. The Haitians all care for and love on each other’s children. It is actually hard to know who is the mother or father, because the nearest person holds, and loves on a crying child. All of the children act like siblings; it is awe-inspiring to witness. They are also very relaxed with time – quite different from the States, where life is always hurry up and go. The families around the mission house are full of laughter and joy. I wish I could say the same for all of the people of Haiti; the farther we walked the more my heart broke for the children. These children wore t-shirts filled with holes, most had no pants, and several had no shoes. They appeared to be malnourished, and they were very grateful to receive the rice and beans we were distributing. Several of the babies had boils on their skin, and there was very little we could do to help them. The majority of the Haitians are the latter of the two comparisons. They are so much in need of the basic essentials it takes just to survive – food, clothing, clean water – all of which Americans, myself included, take for granted. My prayers are that all of the needs, including medical needs, can be met for all of the Haitians. We are so blessed in the United States. Until a person experiences this culture first hand, there is no comprehension.

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Report by Katie Bishop

Today was another amazing day in the presence of the Lord and in the center of His Will! We started the morning off with yummy pancakes and smiles, then off to church we went. Pastor Do (the Haitian pastor) said something yesterday that made me think. He said if I(the Haitian) and you(the American) were to peel our skin we would see no difference. God made us all in His image and for His works, and He is showing us all how precious every single one of us is. It is absolutely amazing, getting to praise the one true God with our brothers and sisters from across the world. Later in the day we went to Sylvest’s house, and to the voodoo village. It breaks my heart into a million pieces seeing these precious creations of God stuck in a lifestyle like this. But that is why God sends His people, to be a light in this darkness. Praise God, Sylvest chose to accept God in his heart a few years ago, and when we visited him today he smiled from ear to ear. Wow, it amazes me how much joy they have with what little they have, yet we aren’t very joyful and thankful to the Lord for all we have and what He has blessed us with – just let that sink in for a minute . . .

Last summer when I came here I asked God to let me experience His love full on because we don’t have all the worldly distractions here that we do at home. Two days later I met a little girl named Mylove – there was God’s presence in the eyes of this precious baby girl. I have been praying for her and that God, if it is His will, would let me see her again this trip. After the voodoo village we made a surprise stop at a house/hut I had never been to before, and I turned around and there she was! Tears flowing, I hugged her and told her I loved her, and she didn’t know what to do. I could say so much more about today and every day, but I leave you with this verse – Acts 20:24: “However I count my life as nothing to me, if only I may finish the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the good news of God’s Grace.”

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Haiti July 12, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Teachers in Conference
Teachers in Conference
Teacher's Conference
Teacher's Conference
Teacher's Conference
Teachers for Conference
American & Haitian Teachers
Bro. Chuck's gift from School
Clint & Lisa's gift from school
Thank you card
Books for Library
Books for Library
Teachers showing new books
Women's Conference
Women's Conference
Women's Conference
Bailey singing at Women's Conference
Washing feet at Women's Conf.
Washing feet at Women's Conf.
Playing with kids
Playing with kids
Playing with kids
One of our favorites
Cute little girl
Playing with kids
Playing with kids
Playing with kids
Playing with kids
Every child needs love
What!!!!
Team photo

Report by Lisa Downing

The Teachers Conference concluded today with great success! Our teachers presented techniques to engage students in learning, as Haitian classrooms are traditional style. Vicki and Dana presented several science experiments to show the laws of nature created by our God. Ruth followed up with how a teacher can impart Biblical truths alongside teaching a science experiment. It was a joy to see the wide-eyed teachers sitting on the edge of their seats to watch the experiments, and even more so when they were able to participate! Another session was conducted with games that can be used in the classroom for learning. The teachers had a great time with the games, and they now have new “tools in the toolbox” to use in the classrooms.

When the Haitians requested our help months ago in starting a library, I could never have imagined the amazing outcome – we ended up with about 300 books! Words cannot express the gratitude I have in my heart for all those whose donated books and/or money to purchase books. Thank you Sandy Perez for your incredible efforts to get so many books. Thank you teachers of Cinco Christian School for the vast amount of teaching resources that the Z’Orange teachers will now have available to enhance classroom teaching.

The Z’Orange administrators and teachers alike expressed that they will start engaging the students in the learning process. They truly see that engaging students in a lesson will enhance learning. I feel thankful that this team has been able to share so much with our Haitian brothers and sisters. I shared this verse yesterday morning at the beginning of our conference:  “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works, and that my soul knows very well.” Psalm 139:13-14. I pray for the teachers here in Haiti to go boldly into the next school year teaching God’s truth through all subjects!

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Report by Ann Marie Wilson

Friday night we invited women from all over to join us in a women’s Bible study. We studied about the moment Jesus came to Mary and Martha, Luke 10:38-42. Martha was very anxious to serve Jesus, while Mary was anxious to learn from Jesus. I spoke about how God gives us many gifts and using those gifts is not a bad thing, but it becomes a bad thing when we focus on the gifts rather than the Giver. God is the Giver: Giver of life, love, hope, peace, comfort, guidance, grace, mercy, and the list goes on. We are so undeserving, yet Christ gave Himself so that we could have life eternal with Him. Then we looked at John 12:3-8, when Mary washed Jesus’ feet with very expensive perfume (a full year’s wage). This was truly a remarkable moment to show us what a servant, a true follower of Christ, really looks like. Mary was so eager to learn from Christ and serve Christ no matter the cost. The other people around her did not understand why she would wash a man’s feet with such expensive perfume, but it did not matter because Mary wanted to be obedient and wanted to serve her Savior. We talked about how being a true follower of Christ means doing whatever it takes, spending whatever the amount, because we know our God IS faithful, we know His promises ARE true, and we know for a fact God’s love will never fail!

After the discussion, the ladies wanted to serve those who had attended the Bible study by washing their feet. We each found a lady to pray over, to love on, and to wash her feet. As soon as I started to pray over one of the ladies, the Lord spoke directly to me. It was a moment I will never forget, because I knew God could understand every word I was saying even though the lady in front of me could not. We were of different races and different cultures, we live completely different lives on completely different continents, but at that moment nothing else mattered, because we both were worshiping the same God. In that moment, we came together to worship our amazing, sovereign God. As I prayed, I thanked God for knowing both English and Creole (we both laughed because those were the only two words we understood from each other). But as I continued to pray and as tears rolled from both our eyes, I thanked God for knowing our exact words and knowing the exact amount of hairs on our heads. It was such a testament of God’s love despite the barriers keeping us from understanding each other, but God understood! My God understands our deepest pains, our deepest concerns, our deepest hurts and our deepest failures, yet He STILL loves us! After we washed all the ladies’ feet, we continued to worship in song. The worship was a glimpse of the glory of God as we sang in different languages, all praising the same God. After we sang a few songs, we asked the ladies if they had any questions and prayer requests. We were able to answer some questions about God’s love and pray over them.

No matter the differences, the barriers, the misunderstandings, the confusion, God remains the same! “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. God knows our every need, our every hurt and our every word. His love is never-ending, His grace is all-sufficient, and His Word stands forever!

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Haiti July 11, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Kids waiting for Americans to arrive
Arriving at Mission House
Arriving at Mission House
Morning Devotion
Morning Devotion
Morning Devotion
Preparing for Teachers Conference
Preparing for Teachers Conference
Registration for Teachers Conference
Registration for Teachers Conference
American Teachers
American Teachers
American Teachers
Haitian Teachers
Clint starting Teacher's Conference
Teachers Conference
Teachers Conference
Group sessions
Group sessions
Group sessions
Group sessions
Dawn & Sandy beginning session
Haitian Teachers listening intently
Vicki teaching a group
Amanda with baby
Sandy and her sponsored Child
Dawn found a new friend
Kids looking in

Report by Ruth Joslyn

Looking into people’s eyes–that is what I find myself doing constantly since arriving in Haiti yesterday. What is their story? What have they had to do just to make it one more day? Is there anything that is “easy” in their life?

There were a lot of people I made eye contact with on the ride to the mission house. In the city, some people would look, smile and wave. Others made it very clear they did not want to be my photo opportunity. Still others just stared or motioned to me as if to say, “What are you going to do for me while you are here?” In the mountains, children were peeking through the bushes and popping up everywhere–especially in huts that you would not think are livable. They smiled, they waved, they sometimes would yell sweet greetings. It wasn’t just the eyes of people I saw–there were goats, dogs, and cattle roaming hither and yon. God’s landscaped handiwork is amazing! Inside the mission’s boundaries, I saw eyes of children I have seen in the many pictures I have viewed on this website, on Rocky’s school bulletin boards, and on the refrigerators of my friends back home who sponsor a child.

While eye contact is highly rated, especially because I am a teacher, it is not enough. Conversations can’t flow freely because I don’t know the language. I may never know their stories. I will never understand what their tiny little classrooms are like when filled to the max with precious students. I will never be able to grasp all there is to appreciate about these precious people called Haitians. What I do know is this: God loves them and meets their needs. He is the sovereign God and it is all about Him. I see Him in their eyes, and I hope they too can see beyond me and see Him.

What an exhilarating day it will be when we stand together and we glorify God in Heaven with one voice–no more struggles, no more pain. Our eyes will be fixed on Jesus!

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Report by Elizabeth Johnson

Today was the first day of our Teachers Conference. Start time for the conference was 8 a.m.; luckily for us that really meant sometime around 9. We started our day in the mission house going over the materials we were planning to present to our fellow teachers, and shared time in Christ with a devotion led by brother Clint. We were ready with open hearts and a bit of apprehension as we headed across the courtyard to the church where the conference was being held.

One by one the teachers, mostly men, came into the church. The first thing that caught my attention was that most were dressed in suit and tie – quite the contrast with American teachers, who often take advantage of being out of the classroom to dress for comfort. This quickly put into perspective what a big deal this day was for them.

Before we began our presentations, door prizes were given. Much like children going through their stockings on Christmas morning, the recipients of the door prizes found joy in the smallest of things – rope, scissors, a ruler, suckers, a water bottle. The most exciting thing to see was each teacher going through the gift bags they were given upon registration. Materials that U.S. teachers find plentiful are a luxury to the Haitians. Markers, notepads, highlighters, note cards, crayons, and other items were provided in their welcome bags. I loved seeing their excitement, their smiles.

We divided into three groups to do our presentations. Our focus today was on Pair/Share (working together in groups, or academically strong student with a weaker student), KWL (what your student Knows, Wants to know, and what they Learned), and also Sequencing (timelines, storylines, patterning). Though the language barrier made discussion a little slow, and it wasn’t exactly easy to check for understanding, it was actually an accurate representation of learning for our students. We had to work a little harder, rephrase our explanations, and model our instructions . . . ALL OF WHICH ARE NECESSARY to be a successful teacher. The Haitians were very receptive and eager to learn new strategies. They asked questions, took notes, participated, and smiled at us encouragingly. I love that God provides each person across the world with the universal language of a SMILE. A smile goes a long way:)

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