The End of a Life Changing 2 Weeks

March 3rd, 2013

It is hard to believe that today was our final full day in Haiti. These past two weeks have felt so long but not long enough. As we are preparing to head back to Canada tomorrow I am filled with fear and sadness.

I am afraid of the culture shock I will feel when I get home, that I will have a difficult time adjusting to my regular life again. Before leaving for this trip I never even thought about how I’d be affected – I guess I kind of saw it as a vacation of sorts where I would be doing a little work. Man was I wrong. I now realize that this was not a vacation. I have been stretched in directions I didn’t know existed and I have been changed for the better. I am also afraid that I will treat this experience like a dream, let it slip from my mind as if it never happened. I know that this is an experience that I never want to forget.

I am sad because I love it here. As I said in my last blog, Haiti has become another home of mine. I am excited to go back to Canada but I am very aware of the loss I will feel. Haiti, unlike all my other ‘homes’, is too far to visit whenever I want to and that will be very hard for me to grasp – it already is. I will miss the sense of community I have had the past two weeks and all of the friends I have made while here. I am sad that all that I am used to here will be gone as soon as our flight takes off in the morning.

I will miss this beautiful place more than I ever thought I would. I know I will be back someday in the future.

See everyone in Canada in just less than 24 hours.

Nicole

Well, as we are wrapping up our trip there is a lot to reflect on. I have definitely experienced God in the last 2 weeks in a way that I will never forget. Being in this beautiful place with amazing people has showed me that God’s love is strong across all cultures and all nations. It has been difficult to process the transition period we are going through in getting ready to go home. I feel as though reverse culture shock is already setting in when thinking about all the distractions and habits I will face when I return home. In these past two weeks alone I have experienced the Lord move through my life and by pushing me out of my comfort zone and making me rely on him with all that I am. Just last night me and Toby lead worship and after our evening session we continued to play for anyone who still wanted to worship. It was amazing how something as simple as offering song and voice to God can bring such comfort among the chaos that is missions work. Through the last few days and over the 2 weeks I have been in this amazing country I have built amazing relationships, experienced the faith of a amazing people and ultimately grown closer to God. I am humbled by the love of God that is very evident in this country and as I leave this place, part of my heart will stay with its people and I will most certainly be back!

Jon

Ron Dunning;

Wow, we are heading home tomorrow.  It is hard to believe that our time here in Haiti is coming to a close.  We have had the opportunity to work alongside some very hard working Haitian labourers, and to learn just a little bit more about the people here. 

We have manhandled lots of rocks, rooted out tarantulas, and seen God at work. Being here has initiated change in all of us and I trust that God will continue that change when we get back home.

We have met some other really great people, beginning with Gayly our driver, interpreter and so much more; Sarah who has been indispensable to our team, and provided many opportunities for the ladies to serve and touch the lives of young girls here in Jacmel;  Gord our HFL rep who helped keep us on an even keel and meet all the challenges that came our way.

The thing that I personally am bringing home from this trip is that I need to value the older generation of believers back at Valley View.  It is too easy for us to overlook them.  They have a lot to give if only we take the time to listen to them.

Looking forward to seeing all of those back home!

March 03

Hi all, I hope you’ve enjoyed all the blogs and pictures over the last two weeks, I can’t wait to get home and read all the posts and re-read all your comments.  Typing this blog and uploading the daily pictures has been the only technology I’ve used this whole mission trip. To be honest, I haven’t missed all the computers and devices; it’s been quite the opposite.  Each day was full enough and the team has been used and stretched in ways they don’t yet realize.

During my time in Haiti from the work projects and working alongside some incredibly hard working men, the kids, the engagement in Haitian culture [including the adventurous food], unexpectedly and gladly learning about Sarah’s clinic “Olive Tree Projects” a place for Haitian women to go and receive care compassion and education around pregnancy and choices.  To the times of sharing and worship each day.  I have been stretched in ways I could never have imagined. 

Somehow I was expecting to have an incredible “ah ha” moment or divine experience and have been waiting for God to reveal to me what my roll was or what specifically I was here to do or to learn.  For nearly 2 weeks I have prayed and wondered. Then last night at our devotion time He spoke to me.  Not at all like I expected, but exactly the way He intended.  Funny how that is, just like the story of when Elijah was instructed to go out to the mountain to hear from God in 1st Kings 19:11-13 where a great and powerful wind came and tore the mountain apart, But the Lord was not in the wind.  Then an earthquake shook the mountain and the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then a great fire came but the Lord was not there either.  After the fire there was a gentle whisper and the Lord spoke to Elijah.

It was this way, in a whisper, that I heard him ask of me: “If I never tell you why, will you still trust me.”  I was broken.  Once again the Father showed me He cannot be put in a box.  So I have and will be stretching my faith to begin to accept I may never see the purpose he has for my obedience in all things, but I know He has a plan for me, And that will be enough for me today.

See you all really soon.

Ron Clifford

A Day At Church On The Beach

March 2nd, 2013

Bonjour Canada,

2 more sleeps until we leave to come home.  I can’t believe it is coming to an end.  Leaving will be bittersweet.  I am looking forward to seeing my loved ones but will miss life here in Haiti.  God has created a real treasure here.  I have seen His face in so many of the Haitian people we have had the privilege to meet and seen His handy work in the landscape.  Sometimes a little too much handy work especially the day we had to move rocks on the property.  TRANTULAS!!!! I am sure you have seen the pictures by now.  Yes I did see one but unlike the rest of my team, except my Katie, I chose not to get up close and personal.   I came, I saw and I ran!!!

When I first decided to come on this trip I came with the intention to help save the poor, to serve and make a difference and yes we have done all those things but I am now see that the poor have saved me, have served me and make a huge difference in my life.  Last night as we finished dinner, I looked down the table to where Gaylee, our Haitian friend was sitting and eating with us and it struck me that after we leave he will go back to his life and having shared that some nights all he has is water for dinner I was overcome and wept.  I wept not just because he would have to face that again but because I knew that when I got home I would never have to face that kind of reality.  It was very humbling.  This young man who has served us so wonderfully, who has protected us and made sure we had everything we needed.  The world is out of balance.  It has been very humbling. 

There have just been so many things that have come my way.  Watching my girls worship, hearing them pray…what a gift.  Working alongside these incredible men at the Joy and Hope property  who work so hard for so little,  the eyes of the children and their touch….heaven sent,  meeting Sarah who runs the pre-natal, midwifery clinic….awesome. 

We have driven around standing on the back of a truck in traffic I would never see in Canada, I have eaten things I would never have eaten back home, I have peed in places you just wouldn’t believe, sweat in places I didn’t know you could, had table talk around bathroom habits that I know for sure would not be discussed at any of our family breakfasts, I have gotten to know a wonderful group of people of all ages.   I have said it before but I will say it again…parents you have some inspiring and beautiful young people here with me.  It has been such a gift to be on this trip with them.  Incredible worship, prayer, laughter, a few tears (I think those may have been mine).   And a great group of adults so caring and willing.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Thank you God and all those who  helped my girls and I get here through prayer and financial help. 

Please continue to pray for us over these next few day and we will continue to pray for you. 

Josh is patiently waiting to use the computer so he can blog so good night Canada.  We shall continue to suffer through Haitian winter here and as you suffer through Canadian winter there. Hahaha

Kyle and Alex hope all is well at the house.  We are all looking forward to seeing you at the airport on Monday night.  Now Alex if you can’t make it we will come and see you.  Our flight should be in around 6:50pm but we will still have to get through customs. 

Blessings to you all.

We love you Pam and are praying for you!!!  We love you too Jennifer and are praying for you as well. 

Ann

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope you all back home in Canada are doing well.  I hear that there is a fair bit of snow there.  I must say I am not looking forward to returning to that.  Being here in Haiti for 2 weeks the weather has been unbelievable.  It has been sunny, blue skies and hot every day! My kind of weather!  We have honestly been blessed by this weather; it has been so enjoyable for us all.  Many of us are tanned nice and brown and some are tanned more red….haha.  Today, we did the VBS down at church on the beach.  What a whirlwind that was, lots of fun, memories and smiling.  It was a great turn out of kids that came, many of them were really young girls and boys and they were all so cute.  We did many activities and crafts and you could see the joy it brought to all of the kids.  I was very impressed to see how many kids all climbed onto the seasaw.  The kids are like monkeys, they all love to climb, swing and hang.  Our team worked so well together today.  I loved how we all served and everyone was busy playing with the kids.  It was a definite success.  This afternoon we went to Ramone beach with the Mangins one last time.  This beach is absolutely gorgeous.  I had a great time wave surfing and playing Frisbee with the kids.  The Mangine kids all have such fun spirits.  All in all it was an amazing day.  Throughout this Haiti adventure God has been so real and evident to me.  I have learned and learned so much.  God has shown me to completely trust him and allow him to do whatever he want me to.  God works in each of us in different ways.  He shows us things in different ways and reveals himself to us in different ways.  I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this team.  I have built lasting relationships and memories.  Tonight when we had our group worship I was so moved.  We sang the song “the stand” What a powerful song that is as it is about surrendering everything to God.  It was cool because at the main chorus our entire group stood to their feet with arms high and worshiped our Lord.  I am looking forward to seeing you in just a couple of days.  It feels like I have been away from home for awhile but in Haiti for only a short time.  Pray for travelling mercies as we make our trek back to Canada. God Bless you all !

Josh Cavanagh

It’s a rainy warm evening as we are winding things down here.  This is our last night at our hotel, we will be heading to Isaiah house tomorrow, I’m looking forward to being there again.  Things here have become routine for us, we just now seem to be getting used to the culture, not much surprises us anymore…or so I thought until this afternoon.  Sara took Janet and I to visit a maternity ward at the local hospital, we actually had another purpose in mind for the outing, but Sara had to drop off supplies that she had picked up in Port-au-Prince.  The ward was located steps away from the parking lot on street level, seated on a bench outside was a handful of pregnant women, I suspect were in for check-ups.  The doors were wide open and flies flying in and out at will.  The narrow room consisted of a desk and approximately 14 beds within sight, we were told this was the labouring room, I considered how I’d feel if I was in labour with no privacy, never mind I thought.  Sara dropped off her supplies and we started to head out when Sabine, a Haitian Mid-wife who had accompanied us, asked if we’d like to see the delivery room.  Janet and I looked at each other and without hesitation said yes.  We squeezed by 6 or 7 staff, some nurses, some students, and entered the next room.  The room was dark and sparse, the labouring woman was squatting on a pail…really a pail, apparently that is the normal method of labour.  Made me think of the story Sara told us earlier in the week where a woman about to deliver and decided she needed to get up and walk around, her nurse told her that if she didn’t get back on the bed she was not going to help her… so the woman ended up delivering the baby onto the floor, Sara said the nurse did not go to help her right away, she stood and watched, the baby was in respiratory distress, Sara said she picked up the unresponsive baby, suctioned the airway and the baby cried…  what a sight that must have been.  So, back to the maternity ward, the second delivery room was smaller, just as sparse and dark, I was taken back at the sight, I saw a woman in labour, obviously in pain, her legs in stirrups and alone… yes alone.  I wanted to jump in and wipe her sweating face, guide her through breathing and just be there for her…but that wasn’t my place. I felt intrusive to have walked in on her, I had my camera but no desire to take a picture, that image will be etched in my mind.  We shuffled past the nursing staff in their pristine uniforms… and headed back home. 

As I contemplate our experience I have trouble understanding why there is unnecessary suffering, there is no cost for love and compassion. 

Love to all at home,

Carrie

Hey guys!

It’s the final days here in Haiti. It is definitely a bittersweet moment. I can’t wait to be home and see everyone I miss and love (K.P). Haiti has a way of changing the way you think and feel. This place left a mark on my heart the last time I was here and now its pretty clear that Haiti isn’t finished with me yet and I’m not ready to finish with it. I have learnt so much about my self by being here; like when things don’t always go the way I planned its okay, and all be okay. It just wasn’t the plan God wanted for me. The main thing I’m so thankful for is the relationships I’ve made since being here, and the relationships that got stronger since being here, especially the one with my sister.
Today we had our VBS it was incredible to see all these little smelling faces laughing and playing around. It was one of the highlights of the trip. I was soon disappointed because Duane told me that the kids aren’t allow as a carry on.  Last thing we did was go to the beach with the Mangine kids and that is always fun. They are all amazing kids and such a joy to be around.

That’s all from me.

with love and blessings,
Katie Lynch

Tide

Each evening as we gather to reflect on our day we hear the waves crashing on the shore. The tide coming in and out throughout the day alters the waves. The tide is reflective of our time here. There are high tide times. The moments of connection with the men who have taught us how to work more effectively communicated with simple gestures followed by a smile when we succeed. After making their hand print shirts, the gentle twinkle of the children’s eyes was like the glitter of the sun on the particles of sand as the waves recede. The receding waves also make me contemplate the ingenuity of the Haitians as things are left behind. There seems to be ongoing recycling constantly and re-creation from the old… the remaking of a tool, a homemade kite made from plastic bags that flew much better than one that was made for that purpose, the beads made from sea glass that washes ashore and made into jewelry that we purchase at “the Mall” with the now familiar face of the woman who runs the stand. Sometimes the tide is low and might reflect our mood as we contemplate missed opportunities to serve or be an example because our eyes are focused on the little things.  As the water rushes away from the shore it exposes things we may not otherwise see. We have seen things that we don’t want to see; people hurt by other people, children asking for things we cannot provide. The receding waves leave behind garbage.   A trip like this shows us the garbage our own lives, habits we need to get rid of, things we need to change. The rocks being carved and shaped by the ocean waves are like our lives in the Lords hands if we let Him shape us for his purposes.  As we refocus our attention from the small scene of water ebbing and flowing and gaze into the sea I know that there is a bigger picture waiting. Our Lord takes our face and redirects our gaze into His eyes and we can know that He sees the whole picture. He loves this land, these people and His ways are far above our ways. As we start to transition back to our life is Canada I pray that what I have learned here won’t be washed away but continues to mold and shape us for His purposes. After you read our blogs today take some time to digest Job 38- 42 (yes I know it is a lot…read it in small bits!!) and come ask me how that passage was given to me to read when we get home!

Sherri

As we are nearing the end of our trip here in Haiti, it has given me time to reflect on some of the amazing experiences we have all had while being here. Today was supposed to be our last work day since we saw the beautiful Basin Bleu yesterday, but instead we had to sort through all of the team supplies and deliver them to where they needed to be. Josh, Ron Dunning and I had the privilege to go to the market with Gayly to pick up water, juice, and food for the VBS tomorrow. Driving through the busy streets along the way it gave us an extra chance to see the people and places going about their business. One thing that broke my heart again was seeing a river on the way in Jacmel that was all black and garbage everywhere. The smell was not pleasant and it just reiterated some of the living conditions here. I thank God for the people like Nick, Gwen, and Sara who have committed their lives to transforming this beautiful country for the better. On the way home from the market as Gayly was practically trying to knock us off of the truck, we pulled up behind a cab with one of the workers from the jobsite on the back. When he saw us he waved at us with a big smile and then hopped off the cab to come on the truck with us. He was holding a paper in his hands saying that he had just adopted a son. I thought that it was so amazing and the fact that we got to see the worker one last time even though we didn’t get to the jobsite was incredible. It’s awesome how God orchestrates things. I was very thankful to see him again especially on an occasion like that. The rest of the team delivered and unpacked supplies for the Mangine’s as well as Sara. We are checking out of this hotel in the morning to setup at the property for the VBS. Everybody is really pumped and certain it will be an amazing day. Thank you all for your    prayers and mom come on-I talk all the time.

Daniel 

Hey friends and family!

This is Cady Matthews blogging. Our days in Haiti are lessening and soon we will be returning home. Most people on our team are very eager to get home and some people want to stay longer. The more the days of our departure come closer the more I want to stay here longer and continue to learn, experience, see, interact, and look for Gods hand at work. Haiti has become a home to me and I feel like I am exactly where God wants me. Earlier this week I prayed for rain. Yesterday evening God answered my prayer. The rain poured down all throughout Jacmel. As I admired the rain I imagined that the rain was God’s grace and I danced in it with such joy. Many people joined me and we all soaked in the beauty of God’s grace amongst us. I felt cleansed and purified for all the times I have fallen short of God’s glory. Being here has helped open my eyes to Gods spirit moving and looking and searching for where God is at work in little things and also big things. Today, was our VBS camp, it took place right across from the beach. Many children came and most of them were from orphanges. There was also a couple children there that were just neighbours from the area. The children made shirts with fingerprints of paint on them, they colored, they sang worship songs, they heard the bible story of Zeuceaus, and we also had the opportunity to feed them lunch. Our team led the children in songs about Jesus. After singing the children started to share songs with us. They sang, “ Our God is an Awesome God” and “Come now is the time to worship.” Some children sang it in English and come sang it in Creole. I was so moved by their voices and the words of the powerful and impactful songs they were singing. While I listened, it reminded me of kind of music and words we will here when Jesus returns and when we are reunited with Him. I felt the spirit and presence of God throughout our VBS camp. One thing that was really difficult and broke my heart was the fact that we could not let the neighbour kids partipate in the activities of the VBS or let them eat the food we were serving. It felt almost impossible to tell them they were not aloud to be apart of our VBS. Also when we served food, I had to tell a little boy that I could not give him any food. I saw the sadness in his face and I longed to feed him.  Also what struck me was that all of these children are orphans. Either there parent’s have died or they have been abandoned. I reflected on a verse from John that says, “ I will not leave you as orphans I will come to you.” I know that those children may never have earthly parents but they have a heavenly father who longs to father them. He is the father to the fatherless. He will be the role of a mother and father to those who have none. God has been teaching our team so much each day. Please keep praying that our hearts will be open to receive and respond on everything God wants to show us especially in these last few days. With much love and blessing,

Cady Matthews

Hello everyone,

One of the activities during our VBS this morning was putting the children’s hand prints on their own T-shirts. After one little girl finished her handprint, I was wiping her hands with a baby wipe. As I finished she took the cloth out of my hand and started to clean my hands. She was so gentle and so focused to take off all the paint. I felt like  Jesus was washing my feet, it was such a touching moment for me.

Blessings,

Janet

Basin Bleu

March 1st, 2013

Hello everyone,

Another beautiful day in Haiti, wow God is really blessing us. It looked like it was raining in the mountains not too far away from our hotel, but not a drop here. Today we went to Basin Bleu, up in the mountains near Jacmel. Wow, it should be one of the wonders of the world. Such vibrant blue colours in each of the three ponds and lots of high waterfalls. Swimming was great as the water was refreshing and no seaweed to feel yucky. We did rock climbing in and out of the third pond and hiked for about forty five minutes to get to the first pond. Some of the Haitians assisted us to get across slippery rocks and also up the steep inclines, they are in such great shape. On our way back to the truck we had a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, pringles and water.

As we were driving through town back to the hotel we saw a construction crew hauling cement up to the second story of a building. There were about eight men on the rickety ladder, each one passing buckets of cement with their right arm up to the next person, and moving very fast. I think it is called synchronized cement hauling, great team work.

I want to thank all of you back home for all your prayers and blog comments as they help us feel connected to each of you and also encouraged. We really enjoy the updates on the snow falls, we miss that cold white stuff as we look out at the ocean and see the pounding waves. HAHA. Thank you Kait for your letters of support they are so appreciated.

Blessings Janet

 

 

  

Toby 2nd Blog

Before I left for Haiti on the 18th I had a really cool encounter on the Sunday upcoming to my departure. Just before the service Amanda Moloney came up to wish me a far well and a good trip. She also told me about her resent mission trip and how hard it was sometimes to trust god. It was what I needed to hear because prior to the trip I was a bit nervous with all my doubts and worries so basically all I had to do was trust god. I thought to myself that going on the trip won’t be too hard. This trip so far has presented it’s self with a good amount of challenges. The hardest things so far that’s come my way, is trusting in god and finding time for him. At the beginning of this trip I had the mindset to help and love the children and families of Jacmel. However, coming closer to the end of the trip, I’ve realized that Gods plan for me was to grow spiritually and push through the hard times by making time for him. By spending time with God I’ll be spiritually prepared and from that will come everything else. Making time for God has seemed to be a lot harder here in Haiti with having no orderly structure which makes it hard to find time. That also is no excuse if you have the mindset to make time you will make time. Nothing is impossible with God.   

2 Corinthians 12:9b-10

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in Insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Hello friends and family at home!  Adam Rebellato blogging again after an eventful week or so as you guys have seen from the others who have been posting blogs. In these past days I have seen who the Haitian people really are and I have seen God showing his love through them; adults and children alike. It has been amazing to see how hard these Haitians work! They give everything they’ve got and have had a few laughs with us along the way. This has been an amazing experience among others such as a dance party with the Mangine kids, hauling dirt and rocks while sweating buckets, and finding a tarantula bigger than Duane’s hand!

But today was an experience like none other. God showed us both the beauty and brokenness of this country in one fell swoop. Today was a relaxation day to Basin Bleu, a natural wonder of Haiti. To get there, we had to make one heck of a mountain voyage by truck in which we witnessed an incredible brokenness. The mountains are littered with small settlements, farms, animals, and many desperate people, most of which were happy to see us for many reasons. As we passed people along the road, many smiled and waved or said “hello” or “how are you” in English. However, there were many children who held out their hands for money as soon as they saw us. I cannot describe how tragic it was to watch as we just drove up that road. But I am thankful for such an experience before going to a beautiful place that is Basin Bleu. This place was a masterpiece of God. After a short trek by foot, we made it to the main cavern that was filled with water, rocks and waterfalls; a paradise in the middle of poverty and brokenness. We managed to enjoy ourselves, do a few cannonballs, and I took a few videos along the way. (Thank the Lord for underwater cameras). After we had a picnic lunch at one of the springs, we made our way back home through the mountains.

I think it was amazing that God showed us the poverty of the Haitians in the mountains both before and after Basin Bleu to prevent us from losing our focus, and forgetting our purpose during a day of rest. I seriously urge you guys back home to pray for the Haitian people. We aren’t here to save them, it isn’t in our power. We are here to know them, to learn from them, to live alongside them and give them the gift of love and letting them know that we genuinely care for them and value them. We don’t want to just give away some free stuff and go our separate ways, that’ll help no one in the long run. Through Christ and Christ alone will this country be free.

I’m definitely looking forward to coming home, I am definitely missing my friends and of course my family (no mom and dad I’m not just saying that.) But I am not AT ALL missing the Canadian winter! A snow day?? REALLY!?!?!? That’s the last thing I want to hear just days before we arrive back home! That snow better be melted in 4 days’ time before I’m given a cold reminder of how much I hate cold! Imagine living down here in Haiti and not even knowing what snow is, wouldn’t that be beautiful? I think so!

Thanks to all of you who have been praying and keep it up!

-Adam Rebellato

Hey everyone, it’s Jenny. Today has been such an incredible day! Probably the best one so far. We went to Basin Bleu! (Be jealous Lianna). It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. The water was so blue, and so refreshing! I honestly was speechless seeing all the amazing beauty God created. We had hired 3 tour guides to come with us as they won’t let anyone go unless they pay, but we ended up with 9 people following us and helping us across the tricky bits. And trust me there was a lot of those. It was a 45 minute drive in the back of the dump truck and then a 45 minute walk through very rough, and I do mean rough terrain until we came to a small cliff where we had to repel down using a rope. It was terrifying, but also a lot of fun. After that we were able to see only a small area of the basin and we actually had to get in the water and swim over to get to the waterfall. It was so much fun jumping in from under the waterfall. We swam for awhile and Ron took lot’s of pictures, then we headed back up the trail a little bit and stopped to have sandwiches for lunch. We got back to the hotel around 2:30 and several of us jumped in the pool to cool off our sun burns while other people had naps. For dinner we had a pizza buffet at the hotel which was really tasty and now, after I write this I plan on going to sleep along with a lot of other tired people. I’m looking forward to coming home in a few days because I miss everyone so much but I am also really going to miss everything here from Emily’s hugs, to Jon being Jon to just getting to know everyone so much better. This trip has been an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what the next few days have in store.

P.S. Mum and dad you should be proud, I kept up with the group during the entire hike.

Hey Canada ! I cant believe we are approaching our last few days here in Haiti. For me it’s a bit bitter sweet. I am very excited to see everyone back at home (only 4 more sleeps till I can see you Alex) and share our amazing stories to you all. But at the same time I am going to miss Haiti and this wonderful team. Words cannot describe how much I fell in love with Haiti and their people. I will be back here again one day. A part of my heart will forever be in Haiti. I will also miss waking up at 6:45am everyday to Ron Dunning yelling in our window for Emily and Nicole to wake up, I’ll miss giggling myself to sleep with Nicole every night, Cady’s laugh, Jenny’s hugs and my inside joke with Adam T. Each and every person on this team are amazing people and they will forever have a special place in my heart.

Today was one of the best days here. Well everyday has been the best day, but today we were treated to go to Basin Bleu. It took use about 45 mins to get there on a back of a truck, going up a mountain but the view I saw was priceless. Then we hiked through rocks and went to the waterfall where there was crystal clear water to swim in. I was sooooo proud of my mom in this trip, she climbed up and down the rocks, and even climbed up the water fall to jump in holding hands with my sister and I. It was a great day to finish up our finale days in Haiti, however I did get really burnt from the 45 min drive back to our hotel. One thing that was heart breaking about today was seeing many kids run up to the truck asking for food or money. Watching that broke my heart and I wish we could help them. But I know giving a hand out is not always the way to help.

This afternoon we had some time to relax and hang out as a team, we had dinner at our hotel which was yummy, then we had our worship together and a little team meeting about our plans for our last few days here.

Anyways I’m so thankful to be here and been givin this opportunity and especially thankful to be able to experince this with the 2 greatest people in my life my mom and sister. SEE YOU ON MONDAY ALEX. Be prepared for me to talk your ear off J. PS KYLE REMEMBER TO PICK US UP ON MONDAY AND BRING OUR JACKETS AND MY CELLPHONE :D !!

Wednesday Feb 27

February 27th, 2013

Godly hands

 

I am writing this blog partially against my will; I mostly didn’t want to touch the computer. I have no desire to be near the technology I have been so attached to back in Canada. I think it is kind of cool how I can come from being in a state where I check Facebook every time I have the chance, or check my phone for a text message that isn’t there to going cold turkey and having no desire to check either of those things, or even be near them.

I am now starting to worry about going home, which is funny because I had no worries about coming here. I am afraid that I will fall back into all of my old habits and that I will treat this experience like a dream. I am also very aware of that fact that I will be homesick when I get back to my “home”. One thing in my life that I have learned is that no matter where I am, I can make it my home and Haiti is no exception. Haiti is now a place that I will forever call home and will certainly return as much as I can.

This place has taken my heart in ways that I never knew was possible. Being here I have learned so much about myself and the world around me that I could never imagine being anywhere else. “Home” seems like a foreign place now, a world that I will have trouble adjusting to; a world of cold, snow and independence.

Today, a group of us went to a Preschool to work with children and make a craft. When we first got there we got to witness the teaching techniques used, and they are so different from what I am used to back in Canada. The teacher was very loud and asked the children to repeat certain phrases (all of which they have memorized and just blabber out without paying attention to their teacher).

We then went up to the front of the classroom and sang them a few songs such as “Jesus Loves Me”, “B-I-B-L-E”, and “Bonjour Mes Amis”. The children also sang us a few songs, it was pretty cute. For the craft we brought them all white t-shirts and paint, we then had them put paint on their hands and place their handprints on the t-shirts. You would think that with a bunch of three year olds this would be a messy craft, but they all sat there and waited for us to place their hands in the paint and then on to the t-shirts and then they all walked over to the basin of water and washed their hands. It was amazing.

After the messy craft we gave out some tambourines and Jon played the guitar while the rest of us sang them some worship songs. We learned very quickly that if the songs weren’t fast we would not keep their attention. We also learned that when there aren’t enough tambourines for everyone, everyone will want one. For the most part the children were willing to share, only two of them actually fought over one.

The last thing we did with the children was colouring.  A pretty common activity for children to participate in, right? Not exactly the case here in Haiti. After their teacher told them the story of Zaccheus, we handed out colouring sheets with Zaccheus in the tree as well as crayons. It then became very evident that these children had never seen crayons before. Most of them didn’t reach for them, one decided to eat them. It was so cool to watch them finally pick them and start to colour on the sheets. It was a moment that I never could have imagined. It was beautiful beyond the words I am trying to express, permanently ingrained in my mind.

Haiti is so beautiful.

Nicole

Oh Happy Day

 

Hey All,

It’s Adam Taylor. I have been feeling all peaches and gravy since I arrived in Jacmel, Haiti. It seems as though I have grown an immunity to the ‘stomach bug’ thanks to my last trip to Haiti. I am enjoying each and every ride in the back of a pick up truck plus the three meals a day. Although, the hotel is very luxurious, I find it difficult to enjoy its luxuries because of the poverty which it surrounds.

Since the first day of work until now the trip has definitely brought me to be more patient. On that very day I felt quite useless since it felt as there was a shortage of tools, the work was very condensed and there was a split between Haitian workers and the team. The situation left me very irritable that day. Luckily as the week progressed the work shifted around and that wall between us and the Haitian workers broke down letting more work for me and God to do.

Today the team was split into two groups; one went to the preschool and the last went to the work site. I went to the work site with Adam R, Ron D, and Alex where we lifted rocks which happened to come with a side of tarantula. I must have worked really hard today because I was always trying to find them! as we tried to remove the rocks, a couple of bushes managed to grow in our way. My eyes lit up when I found out I was needed to remove them with a machete. It got better near the end of that morning when one of the Haitians sold a machete to me. After lunch the whole team came to the work site where we found twice as many tarantulas compared to this morning. Since Katie is terrified of the things, when a tarantula was on the move I found it was most amusing as she ran down the hill screaming past the Haitian workers (who found it quite amusing as well). Through out the day I found loads of crabs hidden under the rocks. Duane would not let me take 1 home.

Anyway, I am having a great trip so far. Dad, I wish you would have come, it would have made the trip much better than it already is. I could write so much more about my experience but Duane really wants me to get off the computer and go to bed!

Haiti – No Place I Would Rather Be

February 26th, 2013

 

No place I’d rather be..

I love watching the new team members experience Haiti for the first time, they react the same way I did 18 months ago. Now this foreign country seems beautifully familiar to me.  The chaos against the beauty is a constant, predictable in its own way. 

So.. Sunday morning we hopped into our usual mode of transport, (back of a work truck) heading to Haitian church.   I felt a peace with where I was spiritually, emotionally and physically.  I turned to Ron and said ‘There’s no place I’d rather be’, I think he was taken back with my obscure comment; he hesitated and agreed, contentment among the chaos…  I feel God speaking to me here, trying to push me out of my comfort zone, not in the culture, but within myself.

We spent this morning back at the work site, I was a little hesitant about the relationship between us blancs and the Hatian workers, as you had heard from Alex yesterday.  It is hard to show people where your heart is when you don’t speak the language… I’m thankful that one of the workers spoke some broken English, he is our lifeline of communication between us and them.  We intentionally engaged the workers in conversation, we sang with them and by the end of the day they were more than willing to pose in pictures with us… my heart was full when we left the site…I really did not expect that we would be genuinely excepted again.  I am looking forward to working with our new friends tomorrow.

The Team

 

So, back to the title of my blog… we met Sara, an amazing young woman from Alberta, she is a mid-wife and serves the Hatian women in such a loving way.   Sara attended and ran the church on the beach last Sunday night, she spoke about how God had been speaking to her through a song our team sang during worship a night earlier… the first three lines in the song is ‘no place I’d rather be’, that was the moment I knew I needed to come back here.

Miss you all, I hope everyone is well, see you in 6 days <3

Carrie

Btw… I ate a fish with a head and tail still on and goat… so much for my meat issues.

I dont know how they keep working all day in the heat

 

No safety toed shoes here

 

Oh Happy Day!

Up until today the team, or various members have had struggles. Especially with “unsettled” stomachs.  Along with a general uneasy feeling .  That is par for the course on a trip of this nature.   Since I had to stay behind yesterday to get feeling better, I chose to read the bible and journal.  I borrowed Ron Dunning’s bible and as it turns out, it was broken.  It kept opening on the same page and I kept reading the same verse.  All day every time I opened it, it opened to Romans 12.  “…..so I urge you brothers to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God.  This is your spiritual act of worship.”  I shared this with the team as I was prompted to during evening devotion time and it resonated with everyone.  We are serving him.  This is exactly what we were doing whether in our ability to work in the heat or with the kids or even to go through illness. With that in our minds and with everyone in prayer for one another, we went to bed.  In the morning I awoke feeling amazing.  100 percent and with a joy I hadn’t felt in ages.   I believe last night was a turning point for the entire team both physically and spiritually, and we had a new sense of purpose and renewed strength.  The Joy has remained with me all day and I have enjoyed great health today.  Oh Happy Day!

You will be happy to know Cheryl that I am getting pictures of feet, and yes, I’m taking my pills.

Ron C

All in sync

Monday

February 26th, 2013

Hello everyone,

So nice to tell you a little bit about my experience this time in Haiti. We have been very blessed with warm sunny weather, sometimes very hot when there is no wind, frequent drinks of water and sitting in the shade refresh’s us. The property where we work each day is so beautiful, as you have seen in the pictures. As I was wheeling each wheelbarrow up the hill to where we were dumping the dirt from the roadway, I looked up to see the palm trees, and the ocean with various colours of blues, aqua and whitecaps. It made my task so much more enjoyable each time as I approached the hill to the beach. God sure does paint beautiful scenes and then he puts us there to admire them. Looking around I can also see mangoes hanging from several trees, coconut trees (sometimes loud cracks as coconuts fall onto the ground), and red, pink and white flowers hanging on trees or shrubs. There are Goats calling for their kids and cows wandering freely looking for some greener grass. As I walked back to the work-site, I saw Ron pushing a full wheelbarrow with one of the local boys having a free ride, next thing I see there are three boys pushing Ron in the wheelbarrow back to the roadway.

I am enjoying getting to know each person on this trip and the different personalities and how each person expresses their love of Jesus. It is great to share this beautiful country with each other and to discuss our cares and concerns for the Haitians.

How are the prayer chains children?

Please pray for good health and for God to open our hearts to see how we can be effective here and how we can love these people as Jesus loves us.

God bless, Janet

Hello everybody Alex reporting in from the beautiful and exotic country of Haiti. Today the crew went to the worksite today, it was yet another scorching hot day. Nonetheless we tried our best to find work alongside the Haitian workers who manage to always take it all. While doing so we learned a valuable lesson, to acknowledge language barriers and not to assume anything by it, as the Haitian workers words of support and encouragement were misconstrued and were thought by the girls to be not welcomed on the worksite; This issue was quickly resolved, and we were working together as a well oiled multicultural team.  With that being said today wasn’t all that exciting but nevertheless every moment here helping the people to develop and grow relationships with the people of Haiti is worth it.        With love, Alex.

A Day of Rest

February 24th, 2013

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe we are half way done our trip. This whole experience has been life changing and I can’t wait to share more when I get back to Canada.

Today we went to Haitian church. Unfortunately with the language barrier we had no idea what was said but it was amazing to see the love the Haitians have for God. They invited us to come up and do worship. Jon played the guitar and Cady and Toby sang my redeemer lives. During the service Nicole and I had the privilege to have a little girl probably about 2 years old sit with us during the 3 hour service. Holding that little girl really touched my heart, just having her sitting on my lap, holding my hand and putting her head on my shoulders makes you realize that children are all the same no matter where they live or what path they are down they just want to be loved. It makes me want to go home and do more work with children.  

After church we went back to the hotel for lunch and to pack and prepare ourselves for Church on the Beach at the Joy in Hope property. Toby, Josh and Jon played the guitar and Daniel Adam R and Gayly (our Haitian friend from Joy in Hope) played the drums. We were able to sing 9 songs with them. This experience was wonderful as well because we were able to meet other missionaries who were here in Haiti and we were able to share our stories with each other. After the service we went down to the Beach where Ron C took out his camera and took photos of each team member individually and group shots out on the ocean during sun set.  

After Church on the beach we were invited to the Mangines house for dinner. It was great to spend some time there. Toby broke out into dance moves at first with some of the children and before you knew it everyone and I mean EVERYONE was in the kitchen dancing to Usher and Justin Bieber. My mom (Ann) got some of it on video before she was pulled onto the dance floor. So we can show you some of it when we get back. I think everyone on the team can say they will never forget this moment being in Haiti in a Small Kitchen dancing away with Haitian children with smiles across their faces, and holding our hands. It was a real blessing to be a part of it.

Well its almost bed time, maybe tonight I won’t get woken up in the middle of the night to Nicole jumping up and trying to save me because she thinks I’m falling off the bed when I roll over. We had some good laughs about it in the morning. Anyways we go back to work tomorrow digging away at the driveway. I’m excited to do more work on the property.

Alex, if you see this I miss you and can’t wait to see you. You would be so proud of me I’m eating fish(the whole fish head and all, well it came that way but I ate a little) as well as chicken that aren’t boneless. So now we can actually go for chicken wings and fish and chips when I get back home.

SEE YOU ALL IN ONE WEEK!
Love: Emily

OH MY! Where do I even start? Today was an amazing day filled with laughs, joy, rest, unity, and most importantly, God. We started our day off bright and early with a 7am breakfast followed by our team meeting and then we were off to church soon after. I felt the overwhelming strength of the Holy Spirit almost as soon as I walked through the doors. In Haiti church lasts for 3 hours and in the hot sun, you might think that listening to words that you can’t understand might be a little out there. However, this was not the case. We were greeted with smiles, compassion and love. As the service started there was no choir but different sections of the congregation that would rise to their feet and sing their hearts out. The most humbling part however, was when a Haitian man sitting next to me motioned towards his song book and asked me to sing along. By this portion of the service everyone was on their feet and singing together. Even though I could only make out a few of the words I tried my best to sing along and I couldn’t help but feel the power of the Holy Spirit move through me and the people as a whole. God is so much bigger then language barriers and whether I understood what was being said or not, I still felt His presence and power. Later on in the service the pastor of the church invited our group to “present”. Not knowing what that meant; Duane in the organized chaos, called me, Toby, and Cady Matthews to the stage to “present” a worship song. When I walked onto the platform I was able to use an electric guitar. I have never played electric guitar in front of anyone before let alone a full Haitian congregation. At this point I was starting to worry a little bit. However, God is good and in the few seconds Toby and I were given to choose a worship song we chose “My Redeemer Lives” and it went great! After that we went back to our seats and enjoyed the rest of the service. It was relieving knowing that not only did we have the Haitian church praying for us but so many others back home doing the same. God hears our prayers no matter where we are. After church we had a lot of time to eat lunch and relax until we realized that we didn’t have lyrics for the 9 worship songs we chose for our second church service of the day, Church on the beach. We spent a little over an hour writing, by hand, 15 copies of each song. I’ll let you do the math. Even though there was stress and conflict over how to tackle the job, we came together as a team and got to the beach on time. When we arrived we met all kinds of long and short term missionaries. It was nice to converse and share stories with many English speaking people. Toby and I were again called to the bar, this time to lead a whole worship set. Again in the organized chaos that we are working in, God showed up. In between songs many people shared testimony and reasons why they were in Haiti. It was reassuring to know that other people were just as far out of their comfort zone as I am. The speaker was especially inspiring when he spoke about what we need to do to prepare for mission work. He spoke about putting on the armor of god and using it to protect and shield us. This is so important when going so far out of your comfort zone. I really feel like I need to rely on God while on this trip and through wrestling with letting God use me to glorify him, I am truly growing. After leaving the Church on the beach we went for dinner at the Mangine’s for BBQ chicken and man was it great! I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end the night than a dance party in their kitchen which, funny enough, started with Toby trying to get a glass of water and ended with more than 20 bodies dancing in one very stuffy room. All in all, today was an amazing day that was just what we needed to spiritually and physically prepare for another long day tomorrow. God is Good.

p.s Ben, I bought a little wooden pig to commemorate my “incident”, you will be happy to know I named him after you and he’s not nearly as scary as the real one.

Lots of Love: Jon Park

A tour of Jacmel

February 24th, 2013

Today was another beautiful day in Haiti. Not too hot outside and sun shining the whole day. We did a walking tour of downtown Jacmel this morning to see the history surrounding this amazing place. First we stopped in at the orphanage where Gayly (our driver) grew up in, which is called The Trinity House. It was quite a nice place with a basketball net in the middle, and we were lucky enough to say hi to a class of young children doing work. It was really cool to see where Gayly spent his time growing up and to hear stories of what happened there, as it continues to provide a safe place for children in need.  We visited many artisan shops in Jacmel, and every single one had tons of giant animal masks used in Carnival not too long ago. After seeing many of these old buildings, some falling apart and others very colourful, it is just crazy to see how different Haiti is compared to Canada. Once we finished the tour, we went to get some bbq chicken.  It was delicious and the lady at the restaurant cranked up some nice Haitian tunes while we were waiting and was singing along.  Everybody we meet is very friendly and they are content and happy even in some of their circumstances.

We finished up and headed for the beach with the Mangine kids to play with them, go swimming, and get to know them a little more. The beach was amazing and the water was perfect. We played Frisbee with Eve and Jerry first while some of the girls helped the younger kids go swimming. It was a lot of fun to see the kids enjoying themselves with us. We all tried some coconuts on the beach and looked at more paintings and bracelets being sold. This one guy who sold me a few things at the jobsite was convinced that he was going to sell me some paintings-so when we showed up at the beach, sure enough he came ten minutes after. He came up to me and said it was happy hour and that he would give a good deal. Unfortunately for him, I didn’t buy anything from him so he up and left. After hanging out with the kids at the beach, we decided to pack it in and get ready for dinner, but before any of that, little Schneider decided to have a little fun.  Josh decided to pick him up to carry him to the truck, and then realized once he got there that Schneider peed all over him. Needless to say I avoided Josh until we got back to the hotel.

For dinner, we had some spicy spaghetti and wieners. It was another great meal, not too-too spicy but I’m sure my dad’s forehead would be shiny from it. Thanks Meghan for your comments and for everybody reading these blogs. We miss you all and will continue to update you. We are all super excited about Haitian Church and Church on the Beach tomorrow.

Goodbye for now.

Daniel

The streets of downtown

 

at the beack with the kids

 

Hey everyone,

I would first off like to thank everyone who comments to us. You have no idea how encouraging it is for us to hear from the ones who love us the most! More importantly I just wanted to say to Kyle that I love and miss you tons and cant wait to see you! Just don’t forget to give my dog her pills haha!

Now onto the good stuff!.. So today we had the opportunity to tour around down town Jacmel with Gayly, he is 22 years old and a friend of Nick and Gwen who has been driving us around.  Its so cool to have someone else tour us around so that we get their own perspectives on the city. We were able to go into the orphanage called Trinity House, where Gayly grew up to get away from the potential for life in a gang in one of the rougher neighbourhoods in Port au Prince.   For those who followed us and heard about the other orphanage last year, this one was much different. Instead of just a one story building that was just packed full of children and beds this one was 3 stories that had just about everything any child would want to do. When we were there it was study time so we didn’t really get to hang out with the kids. 

While walking around we got to stop into all different kinds of shops, this one we looked in has these very cool looking merockas and yes Kyle I bought myself one, just think about ALL the fun you have to look forward to lol! The coolest thing about going to all these shops is seeing the different way these artist look at life in a creative way. 

Then in the afternoon we got to go to Raymond Family beach with the Mangine kids, I have almost got all the names and faces memorized, lets hope I can remember it. I had a great opportunity to hang out with Fritzy (the oldest Haitian child in the Mangine home; she’s 18, so just a year younger then me) she was a blast, when we got to talking I learnt that she and I have a lot in common like Justin Bieber she knows who he is! She was telling me about what she wants to be when she’s older and how much she is thankful for her family and all the little things that we take for granted like school. She is just so bright and beautiful I cant wait until we get to see them all again!

Anyways that’s all for me.

Blessing,
Katie

On the roof of the orphanage

A day for the ladies and men

February 22nd, 2013

From: Toby Matthews

Dear friends and family I would like to tell you a bit about Haiti.

First off I would like to tell you about the hotel we are staying at, the hotel is a total blessing its absolutely beautiful its right on the water with its own cove and has millions of palm trees, a pool and amazing food. With this as our hotel I feel absolutely horrible in the way that when I went through Port au Prince on the truck I saw thousands of Haitian people living in tents as their homes and they were also living in a garbage filled environment and in a very dangerous area. It is overwhelming seeing their way of living compared to mine that’s why it makes me very sad after seeing kids with no food living in shacks, then to be  coming back to the 4 star hotel. Other than that everything seems to be great, being here has also put a lot of thought for my career in what I want to do with my life and how I as a 15 year old boy can make a difference like some of the God driven inspirational people over here. 

 I can totally see God working through us as a team in many ways, it’s very cool to see his plan unravel and it’s also hard to see your purpose in that. Haiti has turned out to be worth every penny I definitely want to come back and grow in Gods purpose. I would like to give a shout out to my stunning mom Carol and my beautiful sisters Ruthie and Annie. 

Encouragement for the day: Gods faith to you has no limits or ends, trust in undying and never surrendering faith.

Some of the hard working boys

 

More manly men

 

Day 5

Well I made it to Haiti!!! Yeah God!!! The sights sound, smells and emotions are unlike anything I have ever experienced but I am taking it all in and am very thankful for each day.   Today was day 2 on the job site.  We have been working with a Haitian team of men that are digging out the driveway.  This is done by shovel, pick and wheel barrel for the clay and dirt parts and sledge hammer for the rock.  I have never seen such hardworking men.  It was very humbling.  We have been lucky to meet a few that can speak a little English.  This morning we had a great time with them singing worships songs, first from us in English and then from them in Creole.  It was amazing.  I highly doubt I would be singing if I had to work like that every day.  The only way to describe it is “a God moment”.  Parents you have done a fantastic job raising these young people (I guess that includes me..haha).  They are so willing and able to work, and they have been working hard.  Emily has been amazing with the wheel barrels, hauling dirt and dumping it.   Kate had a day of being under the weather but today she was better and able to get in there and help.  I am so proud of each and every one of these young people.   They are great human beings.  It is a blessing for me to spend time with all of them. 

This afternoon the ladies were given a real treat.  We have met a friend of Nick and Gwen’s named Sarah.  Sarah is a midwife and runs a prenatal clinic here in Jacmel.   She is working hard to educate the young girls and women about their bodies and the rights they have.   She has also been lucky enough to have a few men come and learn about relationship.  She is an amazing young woman.  Today we ladies got to spend the afternoon at her clinic where we sat in on one of her classes for teens.  We also gave the girls pedicures and then they in turn gave us one.  Another very humbling experience.  Emily, Nicole and I got a rainbow of colours on our toes.  I can’t wait to show it off when I get back….if it makes it. The people here have been amazing.    

There is so much I could write about but apparently other people need to have a turn as well…lol.  Know that we are all well, thanks to your prayers.  Please continue to pray for us.  Especially that God will keep us healthy and safe and that our team will continue to bond…..what a great team!!!

Kyle can you give Alex the link for this blog.  Emily can’t remember if she did.  Thanks for your posts, it makes us Lynch women smile…especially Katie.   

To my family and friends….BLOG ME!!!

Love and blessing to all of you,

Ann

woman pampering women

The washing of feet

A day working in the sun

February 22nd, 2013

Hey friends and family this is Cady journaling.

Today is our third day in Haiti we had our first work day as we helped work at the Joy in Hope property (Day 1 was Travel; Day 2 was Orientation). Most people were softening up dry soil, lifting rocks and digging them out of the ground. It was a very hot day, the sun blazed down on us as we worked. It was a lot of work but the team and I found it very rewarding and fulfilling. It was neat to see the different culture and the labor many Haitians are expected to do each day to maintain income.  The language barrier makes it difficult but there were a couple of Haitian workers that spoke English as well as Creole. Some people from the team spent many hours down at the beach hanging out with Haitian children that live just down the lane from the Joy in Hope property. They are extremely joyful and long to hold your hand or just hug you. The children here really have such genuine hearts from what I have experienced. We have really enjoyed getting to know Sarah, a midwife (& friend of Nick & Gwenn) that has been supporting our team and spending time with us. We heard her story this evening and got to ask her questions. We are learning a lot each day and seeing the opportunities for God to use us. I am taking in all the culture and atmosphere of Haiti. I have experienced the muddy unpaved roads, the smell of food and garbage, the falling down shacks, people living off of very little resources, seeing tropical plants everywhere, colors of the many flowers, the cars without doors, people who are busy at work, and experiencing the beauty of the land but also the cycle of poverty here. I have formed a love for Haiti after only a couple of days of staying here. I see glimpses of God all over Haiti. I can’t even put to words how beautiful this place is but what I do know that the Lord has put himself in it. Creation waits in eager longing for the Son of God to be revealed. I feel the weight of Gods vision for Haiti. God is broadening my view and giving me a new vision. I feel so grateful and privileged to be here. I am here to observe the hand of God and to actively engage where I can. But I am here as a learner. We are doing well enjoying Haiti and working hard the Lord’s glory. Keep praying for spiritual growth and for God to be glorified through out time here. A couple of team members have been feeling sick and getting very little sleep could you guys please pray for them. We miss you all lots and look forward to returning home in a couple of weeks.

Sincerely, Cady

Ron Dunning Feb 24

Today was our first actual work day on the Joy in Hope property.  We joined the team of about 20 men from the surrounding community that are building the road leading up to the sight where the children’s homes are to be  built in the future, Lord willing.

It is surprising that a land dominated by volcanic rock has as much dirt as this property does, but of course the dirt is filled with rock and is mostly clay. Which makes for some pretty tough digging.  This morning we helped out in a lot of different ways from digging out some large rocks to shoveling and removing dirt from where the road is going in.

This afternoon Duane; Josh; Dan and I manhandled a boulder that was easily a thousand pounds…these rocks are much heavier than they look.  We had to roll this boulder up and over where the roadbed had been dug out.  No easy task.  We then continued following in the path of the other workers digging out rocks of various shapes and sizes that they had bypassed as they were digging up the soil.

Dinner tonight was at a local restaurant just up the road from where we are staying.  It was good to once again experience the culture of Haiti.

There will be a lot of tired people tonight after today.

One request for all the prayer warriors out there is for a strong hedge of protection for the team as we continue our work down here.