Monday, April 16, 2012

Take Away Points

1. When your mom tells you to finish everything off of your plate because there are starving kids....well, she means it. I saw children to the point of emaciation. I saw children so lethargic they could barely move from lack of food and water. I will praise the Lord for all of the food He fills my body up and I will share with those who hunger.

2. Mission Trips are so good for the soul! I think everyone should experience a mission trip. I don't think anyone would come back the same person. I think there would be less grumbling and complaining, and more praises!!! I read a statistic somewhere on this trip that said if even 1/4 of the Christians of the world got together to eliminate hunger and poverty, there would be no more. I know it's sometimes nice to be ignorant and to go on with your daily lives, oblivious. It certainly would have been easier for me then having my heart literally ripped open this week, but I know God wants us to be uncomfortable and wants us to continue to grow. All of these children are our brothers and sisters in Christ and we are commanded to help them!

3. When it rains there are people out in the world who are unable to sleep that night because their floors now consist of mud and standing water. Some of the children have to sleep standing up, or sleep on the roof in the rain. I praise God for my home! For my cozy bed and blankets!!! I will never complain again about my home, and if I do, I will just have to book another mission trip!!!

4. I have too much "stuff" It is inexcusable that I have 20 pairs of shoes and people in the world have 0. When I get home I am doing a decluttering of my "stuff" My heart has changed to a fully giving heart, not one of reluctance, but fully giving. I am blessed. I am so blessed. It's time to bless others.

5. One of my goals of this trip was to come here to become a better spiritual mother and wife to my family. I have taken away so many wonderful things. I am raising a new generation. I do not want to leave behind a legacy of wealth, but of spiritual knowledge. If I raise my children to have compassionate hearts, a love for God, and a hunger to know more of Him, then I have done my job here. I just read a book that stated, when your kids are packing their bags for college they are also packing their bags of everything you have taught them and instilled in them. I need to make sure I am packing those bags with good stuff, holy stuff!! This trip has helped to refocus me and equip me to be the person I want my kids to be.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yesterday in Haiti..... We went to the countryside to visit a new ophanage complex built and supported by this Charity Mission. It was so good to smell fresh air and see green space. The complex is beautiful, a far cry from the tent cities. Went to the local "market" to get hot meals and delivered and visited with some Seniors.(aka meals-on- wheels) Blue tarps for walls, dirt for a floor, and for a select few a mattress. Be thankful for all you have!
Haiti Day 5; Visited a school and was delighted to see two girls from our (slum) water stop on Monday. Another water truck day and a visit at a charity hospital for elderly sick and dying. Some pretty raw stuff. We fuss in the US about education and healthcare...If you've seen what I've seen...
Ended the evening with pizza and punchy tired laughter with this wonderful team of people I'm with.
Haiti Day Three; Visit to an Charity Home of sick babies & children followed an orphanage of handicapped children. Held and fed babies and played with special needs kids. Challenging but in the end good. I am healing myself in many ways too.
Haiti Day twa; Delivered water to the slums from old MN converted milk tanker trucks. Residents lined up with enery kind of bucket. Dirty kids naked or dressed in rags joyful and happy. "Homes" made of tarps. Rotting trash everywhere.
GREAT DAY!!! So lucky to be part of this.
Haiti day one; Travel was safe and uneventful. Great group of people from a variety of curcumstances / places. Lovely guest house. Not devestated by the poverty....guess I've been a few places. Full day of labor and service tomorrow. So pleased to be part of this!
Heading to Haiti for a week of service, Love and Goodwill. Thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated.


In Haiti it rains pretty much every evening this time of year.  On one such evening, during a flood of rain from the charcoal black sky, I sat taking in all the smells, sounds and sights I love so much about a summer rain storm.  I was contemplating how the refreshing smells and cleansing of a good rain has a healing effect on the earth and its people. I was thinking, especially here, how cleansing an evening rain felt from the heat  and dust of the day, and sights and smells of refuse piled up on the streets.  Like everything else, as I spent time here in Haiti, rain has taken on a new perspective for me.

On one hand, as an insightful young lady shared with me, " I used to like rain storms before I came here, now all I can think about are the people in Cite Soleil whose dirt floors become flooded and muddy".  That kind stopped me in my tracks!  Somehow the sweetness of a summer rain now has a significantly different meaning to me.  I suspect each time I feel that sensation of a warm summer rain, I will again be taken back to the reality of her statement. My heart will be transported back to the two Haitian angels I held in my arms the first day we delivered fresh water to Cite Soleil.

On the other hand there is the holy rain of living water from the Father that pours over our souls and provides healing here in Haiti.  I wondered why this living water falls more frequently here then back home?  How is that out of a charcoal dark night of life, healing water flows so profusely here in Haiti.  Is it the angels from above?  It may be.  But I am more inclined to believe it is the angels found here in Haiti, whose voices are heard by our Heavenly Father in heaven. They have poured His living water over me through their faith, their joy and their beauty.  I came to help but they helped me, no they healed me! Praise be to God and God bless His people in Haiti.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Titanyen - Visiting the Elderly

Have you ever seen the face of God on earth?

We had the good fortune to see Him everywhere we visit here in Haiti. Yesterday was no exception as we visited and brought food to the elderly in Titanyen.

It is hard to imagine that the average life expectancy is only 52. I can't imagine having only 2 years left of my natural life as I feel I have just hit my prime. But years of poverty, malnutrition and neglect takes its toll on people that are just trying to survive.

We were warmly welcomed in their one room tent, hut, shed at best. They were proud to share their home with us. They shared with us in prayer and song. It warmed my heart to be able to simply rock them and dance with see their faces radiated with joy and their words of gratitude...."merci, merci, merci beaucoup!"

What was even more wonderful is the staff members that joined us on our visit. You could tell that this is not just a job to them. They played their guitars, sang with great joy and joined in the dance. Their smiles and laughter added to the festive moments.

Through all of the joy, there was still the contradiction of our surroundings. Beautiful mountains, beautiful oceans, beautiful people..... but hard to see a 79 year old blind and partially deaf man living in a 7x10 "lean to" where the matress donated by Healing Haiti was covered in plastic due to the nightly rain that came through the roof. We continue to bless him and hope that we will be able to do more in the future through the kindness of donors and sponsors.

Count your blessings, but more importantly...please share them!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Angels Among Us!!

Do you believe in Angels?? After the last two days here in Haiti, I have no question about it. I personally have witnessed angel after angel. It is easy to see the angel in every small child encountered including the sick babies at the home for the sick and dying or the angels in their wheel chairs at Gertrude's orphanage for the disabled and physically challenged, or the small child in her pink winter coat with white fur at the water stop in cite sole....but if you look more closely you will see the angels in the adults that surround them.
It is still hard to comprehend the courage of the care takers, the school masters as well as the parents struggling to help their children survive and yet among the despair there is a constant sense of hope and joy and absolute and complete faith in God.
Yesterday we spent time at Elder School in Cite Sole where we were fortunate to see several children that we saw at the water stop in the slums 2 days prior. There was a sense of relief and excitement to know that these children had sponsors to pay for their education and give them an opportunity for a better life long term as well as one decent meal during their day.
We made 3 small water truck runs as well, it was a different experience than the first day with most children in school and having had heavy night rains for the last several nights, the need was not as great. Can you imagine using rain water as your main supply for drinking water. I know that it does wonders for your hair, but not sure it is the best for your daily intake. I questioned one of the Haitian staff members regarding the sanity of drinking rain water and he responded "Rain is one of God's gift from heaven of course it is good for us." Again a testimony to their undying faith!!
We spent a short time in the afternoon at the Home for the Sick and Dying Adults. I knew that I had some aprehension going in and knew I was out of my element. I could also see that aprehension in the eyes of my team members. So I dug deep into my heart and asked God for the courage to think beyond myself. I started right in applying cooling powder on the necks and arms of the ailing woman. There was an immediate response to my touch with soft moans of delight, smiles and kisses from the women. It was heart breaking to see women younger than myself suffering from disease that if caught early enough in the states that they would not be near death. Before I knew it I was lotioning and massaging their legs and feet and no longer was there any anxiety or discomfort. My only concern became the moment that I would have to stop and move on to the next person knowing that my small touch had had such a great impact.
At one point one of the women was trying desperately to tell me something in Creole. I was concerned that the lotion or powder may have been iritating her so I asked for help in the translation. She had thought I was an angel and asked me to bless her and heal her legs so that she would be strong enough to walk again. If only God could give me such power. So I blest her and told her "Jesu renmen ou", "Jesus loves you". It was heart breaking to know that I could not do any more for her....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Touched by an Angel in Haiti

Today was my very favorite day of the trip. The morning started out with a trip to a Haitian church service. The service takes place in a large open tent every single morning and goes for a couple of hours. It is called a sunrise service, because it starts at 5:00 am and as we are all singing praises the sun rises over the mountain in front of us. It is gorgeous!!! The Haitians stand and walk during the whole service with arms outstretched, calling out affirmations and praying out loud. The music was the same music you would hear on KTIS, only in Creole. It was a very magical moment and you could feel the Holy Spirit moving through the tent. There was also a very special moment when a little girl, around 7 yearls old, came running out of no where to reach for one of my teammates. His name is Thomas, and he is this 6 foot something muscular police sheriff. She wrapped her arms right around his knees as if she knew him, and he just lifted her right up and she snuggled in and laid her head on his shoulder for the rest of the service. It was very special and a memory that I will have forever. My teammates on this trip are unbelievable. Very few knew each other prior to this trip. The majority are from Minnesota, one is from Atlanta, Georgia and another teammate from San Franciscio, California. Every single one of them have dug in and served God in some amazing ways during this trip. Truth be told, I expected the women to be compassionate and nurturing to these babes, but the men have blown me away with their gentle touches and their love for these babies. I am blessed to be a part of this team. Today we split the teams up and went to St. Gertrudes orphanage for special needs kids and then to an orphanage for sick and dying babies. The latter was my favorite part of the day. The orphanage is run by some amazing nuns who care night and day for these children. I saw 4 rooms full of about 20 babies per room in cribs. It was a sad sight to see. Our team changed diapers, fed babies, and held as many as we possibly could just so they could get out of their cribs. I could have spent an entire day there. It felt good to be needed and to be able to assist these precious babes. It felt so good to hold them and pray healing over them in the name of Jesus. I was a little less comfortable at the special needs orphanage just because I was at a loss for what to do with some of the more handicap kids, but fortunately this is where some of my other teammates shined. Michael did a great job showing love to some children with cerebral palsy and Syam took on one of the more challenging kids who, when untied from the wheelchair, took off like a rocket and never stopped. Syam even endured some scratches in an effort to contain him and ply him off of the top of a truck. This orphanage is where I fell in love with one particular baby. She totally touched my heart and I would have given anything to have been able to bring her back home with me. This baby was the smiliest baby I have ever met in my entire life. She had a smile on her face every time you glanced her way. She was just a big ball of sunshine. ahhhh, very emotional day, but a very wonderful day. Haiti is growing on me every day, even the bumpy roads are starting to feel nice. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


On my first day back to Haiti, my word of the day was gratitude. I am grateful for a safe day of travels, a wonderful team and the courage God has given me to pay forward all that I have been blessed with!
After settling in at the guest house we took a walk around the neighborhood to visit with the children and took in the sights and sounds of Haiti. We had a great meal and spent some group time reflecting on our day and making bead crosses to wear out in the field.
Looking forward to a great day on the water truck today!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Hey You!!

Hey You!!

Thank you for following our team's Healing Haiti adventure during the week of April 9 - 16.

It has almost been a year since I last set foot on Haitian soil. Yet the wonderful memories of my last journey has intensified my excitement to return. I am returning with a wonderful team of generous, courageous and compassionate people. It is an eclectic group from across the country, but there has been an instant bond and synergy as we worked to prepare for our trip. God had a plan for us to all come together, I am just happy that we were all listening for his call.

It has been a blessing that the week before our trip just happened to be Easter week. The convergence of the two events has given me a new insight into the Lord's crucifixion and resurrection. The week has been filled with preparation, anticipation and lots of prayer. Prayers for courage to humbly serve others, to ease their pain and suffering as Christ would have done. To let me be the one to wash the feet of those in need and to share prayer time with people of such strong faith.Just as Easter is a time of renewal, I know this pilgrimage will cleanse my soul, re-adjust my perspective and renew my spirit.

I ask for your prayers for our team that God will wrap us in his loving arms and protect us on this journey. That He will be there for us as our hearts break.....wide open to the wonderful people of Haiti!