Report by Rebecca Zoumberos
It is overwhelming to try and put my thoughts into words. My heart is so full it feels like it could burst. The people of Z’Orange Haiti are LOVE. You cannot walk down the road without dozens of locals waving hello with a huge smile and joyfully greeting you, “Bonswa!” Most everyone speaks French or Creole, but love is clearly communicated in so many other ways – little boys bringing us flowers, kids grabbing our hands, hugging on us, walking with us, climbing on Michael’s shoulders for a ride, and just loving on each other.
It is a privilege to be here with an amazing team. We have already experienced so much…an exciting ride through downtown Port-au-Prince at night, where it seems thousands of Haitians gather in the streets selling wares, dancing, eating, burning fires and having fun. We could see into one little 12×12 barber shop, and there must have been 20 people in there listening to music, talking, shaving beards, cutting hair and dancing – it seems they have fun at anything they do!
We went to a church service Sunday morning – WOW! The people and the music were filled with the passion of The Spirit. It was not long before 3 sweet little girls had climbed into my lap to snuggle. In the afternoon we took a short hike to visit an orphanage. As we left to go on our walk, several of the school children grabbed our hands and made it clear they were coming with us. On our way we saw motorcycles with 3-6 people on each one, pack mules, chickens, donkeys, and dozens of friendly Haitians. We had such a wonderful time at the orphanage singing songs together and listening to the children perform (my favorite was one young lady who sang “Our God Is Awesome” in English – it brought tears to my eyes just listening to her). Pastor Jeremy played the guitar and we sang some more, and then we took turns lifting the kids up to pick kanips (fruit) from the trees. We ended the evening at the mission house relaxing, talking, and playing cards.
Today the team painted the school, repaired the gutters, repaired the school desks, and served lunch to the school children. My favorite thing was watching all the boys play soccer with Michael; it is amazing how the kids play barefoot or in sandals on an uneven field with cactus and rocks. Michael and I have really bonded with several of the kids – especially one little girl, Lolite, who does not leave our side. We miss everyone from home, but we are really enjoying this time to love on and be loved by the people of Haiti. And being disconnected from our everyday routines has allowed us to really connect to God and hear His voice speaking to our hearts. We are so grateful that we can feel Jesus here with us. Everyone is healthy and sleeping well and excited to be on mission for Christ!
Report by Dr. Jeremy Gates
This trip marks my 2nd anniversary since first coming to Haiti with Bro. Chuck. This is my 9th trip, and the 8th for my wife Kristin and daughter Miranda. We all LOVE being here and seeing how God continues to work in this remote place. One of the greatest joys of this trip for me is to be here with Rebecca and Michael Zoumberos. Rebecca, who wrote the blog above, was a youth of mine when I first began serving in the ministry. Becca was 13 when I met her, and I had the joy of seeing her come to know the Lord Jesus – 22 years later we’re in Haiti together. I have so enjoyed seeing her and Michael experience Haiti for the first time – I feel like a proud Papa watching one of “my kids” be such an amazing young lady serving the Lord!
I am also so thankful for our church family, Wright Baptist Church, for being so supportive of me and my family. They have allowed me to be on the mission field 9 times over the past 2 years, and have supported us with love, prayers, and funds. Thank you, Wright – I love you all dearly. To all of you reading this, thank you for your love and prayers….God continues to bless.