Haiti October 29, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Classroom
Taking photos of chidlren
Clint getting student sponsored
Writing letter to sponsors
Writing letter to sponsor
Lunch time
Lunch time
IMG_1522_640x480
Gate's family with new sponsored student
Walk about to Daniels
Walk about to Daniels
Walk about to Daniels
Wash day
With rain we have a swimming hole
Beautiful mountains
Haitian house
Daniel's papa
Miranda handing out braclets in voodoo village
Baby at Daniels
Joe leaving voodoo village
Gate's family leaving Daniel's voodoo village
Gate's family going home
Team going home
Group photo

Report by Miranda Gates

Hey everyone! It’s Miranda. I’m 11. As you know I’m in Haiti. This is my first trip, and it has been life changing. I have enjoyed playing with the kids and handing out bracelets I made for the children. You don’t need to know the same language in order to play. Seeing how people live is truly amazing. You don’t need much in life. All you really need is your family and Jesus. I can’t wait until I can come back to Haiti. Today we went to a voodoo village. I would LOVE if they all became Christians. Please pray for the people in Haiti. I LOVE HAITI!!!!!

______________________________________________________________________________

Report by Lisa Downing

Our trip is coming to a close, and we can say mission accomplished! We have taken well over 300 photos of the students enrolled in school this year. They are very much like our students on picture day; checking their clothes, hair, etc.! Clint and I look forward to sending new photos to all the student sponsors. The sponsored students are very appreciative to have a sponsor. This is the third school year that TEM has worked more closely with the school, and I can tell you it is making a difference. Our sponsored students wrote notes to their sponsors and I must share one of these letters. It touched all our hearts when we read it tonight:

“I can’t really find the right words to explain how important you are in my life. Each second I want to thank you for everything. God knows what you are doing and by your support I am studying and my world can count on tomorrow. Thank you a million times. Thank you and I can assure you that you will not lose your spending of money, time, trust and more. May God keep continuous blessing on you.”

THANK YOU sponsors!

Clint and I have enjoyed the fellowship of our small team, Pastor Jeremy, Kristin, Miranda, Joe and Vicki (and Chuck as always). What a blessing to be with each of them and especially to watch the wide-eyed wonder of Miranda! Once you have been to Haiti a number of times some things just become normal, but to see it through Miranda’s eyes has been refreshing. I send out a big thanks to Vicki who was a tremendous help with recording photo numbers as we took the photos. This can easily become chaos, but Vicki helped us stay on track.

As we prepare to leave, I thank God for the opportunity to be a part of helping our brothers and sisters in Haiti. I take with me the smiles, laughter, love and goofy faces on “Picture Day!”

Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Haiti October 28, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Joe on kitchen duty
Lining up for school
Class of students
Students taking tests
Students taking tests
Student in school
Classrooms getting ready for photos
Getting ready for photos
Clint setting up  photo shoot
Setting up for photos
Signing up student
LIsa taking photos
Vicki and her sponsored student
Giving out braclets
Miranda handing out braclets
Miranda giving out braclets
Students showing off braclets
Group at orphanage
Being entertained at orphanage
Kids at orphanage
LIttle boy in orphanage
MIranda playing a hand game with kids
Mountains on a rainy day
Mountains on a rainy day
Miranda's braclets

Report by Clint Downing

October 27:  Today began with a nice cool morning after an evening of rain. After breakfast we began to set up the church for 2014-2015 school pictures of classes, students, and teachers. It was exciting to see the school in session again. As always, the children began in lines with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Haitian flag and prayer. How blessed they are to be able to begin their day in that manner. Today was their first testing day of the year. While we are still reconciling the roster, it appears there will be around 400 students again this year. It is a blessing to see these kids grow. There seems to be one special kid that touches your heart each visit. Today that kid was a new kindergarten student named Jhonsley. Jhonsley is an orphan living in the village. He appeared a little shy with all the detail and activity around him. I believe kids like Jhonsley touched the heart of Jesus while He was on earth. He has much to say about children in the Word. Jhonsley received a sponsor today, PTL.

This afternoon we went down the road to a church and orphanage close to Jerusalem. I counted 16 kids there. They ranged from kindergarten age to middle or high school age. We sat in a circle with the kids and adults at the orphanage, not much conversation other than smiles and laughter. They sang a few songs in English for us. There was a very talented young man who played the guitar. Miranda Gates was a big hit with the young and older kids after teaching them “Double, Double.” She shared with them the bracelets she had made for the students at Jerusalem. You come to Haiti thinking you are here to bless others, and you are. However, our Great God always seems to bless us for our works, maybe more than those we bless. The smiles on the faces of the children and adults were priceless. Hugs and smiles are universal, no words necessary.

We look forward to finishing the pictures tomorrow and spending our last day having some fun with the kids. Please pray for this school year at College Evangelique Baptiste Jerusalem Des’Orangers, Truth Ministry, and all those in and around the village here. God has blessed their crops this year with rain, as we are receiving another nice rain tonight to cool things down.

Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Haiti October 27, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Walk about
Walkabout
On our walk about
Bath day
Typical Haitian House
Miranda with Haitian baby
Are you really reading the insturctions?
Vicki finding new friends
Miranda playing with kids
Painting toe nails
Painting toe nails
Getting ready to go to Jerusalem IV
On the way to Jerusalem IV
Gate's family on the way to Jerusalem IV on Gabriel
IMG_1354_640x480
Jerusalem IV
IMG_1360_640x480
Jerusalem IV
Jerusalem IV church
IMG_1389_640x480
Jerusalem IV Church
Clint & Lisa in Jerusalem IV
Joe & Vicki in Jerusalem IV
Three people accepted Christ at Jerusalem IV
Mission House
Enjoying breakfast
Morning coffee
Breakfast

Report by Pastor Jeremy

It’s Monday morning and we are in full swing of taking pictures of all the Haitian children in the school. Clint, Lisa, and Vicki are hard at work with organizing and picture taking. Kristin and Miranda are sitting at the exit point giving each child a bracelet that Miranda and her Grammy made (over 400 total!). Our family, church family and friends helped supply the materials Miranda needed for this endeavor, and it’s quite rewarding to observe the smile on the kids’ faces as they receive their bracelets. These are simple rubber band bracelets, yet they bring so much joy to the kids. Once again I’m reminded: it’s not the expense of a gift that makes it special – it’s the heart and motive behind the gift-giver. When we finalized plans to come to Haiti a month ago, Miranda had a goal to make 400 bracelets and give one to each child; God gave her that vision, and expanded to many others who helped her accomplish her goal. To sit and observe what is taking place brings such joy to me. Our prayer is that each child, when looking at their bracelet after we leave, will be reminded of our love and, most of all, of God’s love.

Last night we worshiped at Jerusalem IV Church. In a word: WOW! We sang, praised, lifted hands, danced, laughed, and enjoyed the presence of God as we each worshiped in our language. I preached on living pure lives. My object lesson was a water bottle filled with clean water, representing a clean, pure life. As I added scoops of dirt to the water, I talked about how our life becomes dirty and unpleasant when we sin. God desires our life to be a living and pure sacrifice. We can’t be pure with sin in our life. As I shook the water bottle and the water became very dirty, I then took another bottle filled with clean water and asked the people which one they would rather drink. They laughed when I held up the dirty water and asked, “Would you like to drink this?” “NO!” they exclaimed. Then I held up the clean water. “Would you like to drink this one?” “YES!” (actually it was “oui” or “wi”) they laughingly rang out in concert. I simply left them with this thought: if we desire cleanliness and purity, why would we offer God anything less? He desires righteousness, and our righteousness is found in Jesus Christ. I prayed, and when the pastor led in a response time, 3 young people prayed to receive Jesus as Savior!

On the way to the church, we rode in Gabriel, which was packed with Haitian youth. On the bumpy, dusty journey up the mountain, praise songs broke out! They were singing so loudly that as we approached people on the side of the road, they stopped what they were doing and focused on us driving by. They responded with smiles and waves. I’ve said it before, but I must say it again: the pure joy and happiness of the Haitian people is one among several things that impacts me the most. How can one be so happy and joyful with so little? When you have the joy of the Lord, you have all the reason in the world to rejoice! Some of the most miserable people I’ve ever met have had the most materially. Some of the happiest people I’ve ever been around have had the least materially. Once again, Jesus must have been on to something when he posed, “What does it prosper someone if they gain the whole world yet lose his soul?”

By the way, Haitians don’t have “space” issues that we have in America. We’ve been sat on, rubbed against, leaned on, crammed in the back of Gabriel with our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ, and we love it! Yesterday afternoon we walked through the village surrounding the mission compound distributing some bags of rice. We were invited into a home smaller than a typical work shed in an American backyard. As we were greeted with hugs, our team crammed into this little house and had a great visit. I think our “personal space” issue we have in America is one more ingredient mixed into our culture that has disconnected us from experiencing the joy of fellowship. My personal space has been invaded…and I’m the better for it.

Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Haiti October 26, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

Gate's family in Gabriel
IMG_1244_640x480
Clint & Lisa in Jerusalem 1
Miranda & Kristen in Jerusalem 1
Joe & Vicki in Church (Jerusalem 1)
Pastor Jeremy preaching
Miranda & Kristen in church
Little girl in church
Little girl in church
Mom & baby in church
Little girl in church
Little boy in church
Miranda and new friend

Report by Pastor Jeremy

I’m back!! It’s been a month since I was here in Haiti. When I returned home I was telling my wife, Kristin, and daughter, Miranda, about my experience in Haiti. At one point, feeling that mere words were not adequate, I said, “You’re just going to have to experience yourselves!” We began praying and asking God for His wisdom. All three of us had a strong desire to travel to Haiti and we took comfort in knowing our Father knew our desires. It was up to God. We walk with Him. He leads, not us. We are on His timetable. As He would have it, the opportunity came for us much sooner than I was ever expecting!

We arrived yesterday, and from the moment our feet hit Haitian soil, we’ve not stopped rejoicing. What a joy it is to see Kristin and Miranda experience what I did a month ago: to meet our brothers and sisters in Christ over here, to see the beautiful landscapes, to worship, to play with the kids, and of course, to experience a cold shower!!

I had the joy of preaching this morning in Jerusalem I Church. I preached from Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is being confident of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Walking by faith means we live our life with the understanding that 1) God knows what we don’t know, 2) God can do what we can’t do, so we must abide in Him and depend on His strength, and 3) God sees what we can’t see, so rejoice, not in our circumstances, but in the Lord! Once again, I worshiped with brothers and sisters in Christ who, by American standards, have very little, but yet worship with complete joy and contentment. How refreshing!

Watching Miranda, our 11-year old, interact with the children out on the missions grounds is priceless. Kids are amazing. They don’t need to speak the same language to play games, laugh, and interact. They don’t have the barriers so many adults have built around themselves. There’s no shunning one another because of language differences or different color of skin. It’s not about the American child and the Haitian child. No labels. Children simply want to love and be loved. They don’t sit around and discuss the state of their bank accounts, how their portfolio is performing, lament over the list of things to get done, complain about stress, traffic and politics. No…they just love. Their lives are free from the poisons so many adults ingest everyday: stress, worry, prejudice, self-focus, and lack of faith. I see my daughter smile and laugh, not because she understands fully what the Haitian kids are saying, but because they are communicating in a language God gave us that transcends English, French or Creole: the language of simple love.

Maybe this is what Jesus was on to when He said in order to grasp the Kingdom of God, we must become like little children.

Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Haiti October 25, 2014

Unless otherwise specified, all reports are from Brother Chuck

IMG_1238_640x480
IMG_1243_640x480
IMG_1241_640x480

 

Today Simon and I went to the Port au Prince airport to pick up Joe and Vicki, Clint and Lisa, and Pastor Jeremy and Kristin and their daughter, Miranda. Most everyone rode in the Ford with me, but Pastor Jeremy and his family wanted to have the full package by riding on Gabriel. Tomorrow Pastor Jeremy will preach at Jerusalem I in the morning and then at Jerusalem IV tomorrow night. Then starting Monday we will be taking pictures of the sponsored students to update the photos for the sponsors. We are in for a great time this week with the Lord!

Posted in Updates | Comments Off