Back to Haiti in T- Minus 24 Hours

Back to Haiti: Yes, that's right after only 22 days after my daughter, Charley was born (Don't worry:(- Jen has prayed me through this trip and been my biggest fan the whole time and her mom will be with her taking care of Char the whole time.:) , I am heading back to Haiti for 7 days with some newbies: "Will-I-Am" Fraker, "Karlitas" Berkompas,and "E- Dub"- Miss Emily Evans. I am super stoked for them to meet my brothers from another mother! And back for some more "Vahaitian" fun is my sis, Kristan Livington, Monica Grim, Carrie Gibson, and Jessi. We all have a few trips under our belt and have caught the "Haiti bug". Our passion for Haiti continues and this year we are gearing up for 1200+ for VBS- Vahatian Bible School and some more memorable visits to Zanfan Lakay- the boys' home, and also Maison- the orphanage. Please keep us in your prayers as we all enjoy our last night of comfy beds, air conditioning and cold water- all luxuries that we take for granted every day. Please pray for our safety, health, and guidance as we spread the love of Jesus throughout Port au Prince, Haiti.


Day 4: Pictures are ALL I can leave you with....

So last night was one of many emotions and so I figured I would just fill it with pics and share with those who understand Haiti and the boys when I return. Thanks for all your prayers!


Day 3... The GREATEST gift...

Hello faithful friends and prayer warriors,

It is just about 11:45 and I just finished my nightly routine of showering, charging batteries and downloading videos and pics to computer. Wow, what an incredible third day here in Haiti! I just want to say that I (and our team) are feeling all your prayers, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. I truly 100% BELIEVE in the ministry of Haiti and that there is a hope and a future for all of God's children- abandoned orphans, widows, babies, street kids, Jimmy, Pierre, etc, etc!!! God is so GOOD!!!

Here are some highlights...

1. Church Service at Pierre's church. (Pierre was running a fever and so he did not make it to church). Their church is under construction so we moved locations to a member of the church's courtyard- pretty small and not much space and lots of distractions. Nevertheless, we still led the service by Jeff and I leading them in some songs- Singing How He Loves acapella at the top of our lungs with Jeff and I on harmony was definitely the most memorable! A couple people asked me for the name of the song and the words after. That song is infectious and can cross all cultures.
One of our team members, Brent, stood in for Pierre, and preached on Luke 1:26-38- The interruptions of Mary; I also got a chance to lead the church in prayer. After, Carrie and some of our team passed out baked cookies, candy canes and beanie babies to the church. Pretty cool!

Classic moment- When the Haitians tell me there is a toilet and then point me to a wall nearly 5 feet from the church area with only one wall to block my view... not to mention worship music singing loudly in the background... Did I do it? YEEEEP!

2. Then headed to the cemetery- the boys- Jimmy, Jake, Jude, Jeff, Doug (and Carrie) all rode in a tap tap with the goods! The day before we had stocked bags full of rice and other food necessities to give to the women (prostitutes) down at the cemetery. When we got there, many of the team opted to stay inside of the van. Once Jimmy had made it clear that he was passing out "stuff"... it quickly turned from a nice gesture to people grabbing at me, and Jimmy who were the only two in the tap tap. Everyone else was outside of the mob of women and now men! For those of you that know... it got REAL loud and aggressive quickly, yet I still felt safe with Jimmy as my bodyguard knowing "tu bitsey" of English. After a few minutes had passed people started climbing on the tap tap, and getting more forceful. Jimmy and I were out like trout. I got escorted to the van with the rest of the team and Jimmy headed up the block and around the corner to hand them the leftover duffel bags of rice and toys for the women and the kids. I prayed in the van that God would use our "goods" to meet the needs of many.

3. Finally we ended up at Zanfan Lakay around 12:30. When we first got there it was fairly empty up front for all the boys were taking showers and brushing their teeth. I even saw one or two shaving! There have been several comments on the trip that as dirty as they get most of them have shiny white teeth. Just a random thought, I know.
Monica and quickly started to prep and eventually got them all back into their groups so that we could play a few minute to win it games to start off day 3 of our team competition. We played games with kleenex boxes, cups and bottles,bubbles, mini whiffle balls, bouncy balls, and different size cut bags. The boys really get into the games.

Then after we enjoyed a delicious creole lunch complete with chicken, rice, meat lasagna and coca cola... we started our 3 station rotation.
1. Games- Baby Jesus TP wrap and Chain, Chain, Chain
2. Crafts- Stocking decorating and writing thank you notes
3. Songs- Each team had to make a song, using the instruments given

Then Monica gave a 15-20 minute message where all of the 63 children were sitting quietly and listening with intent. We talked about Jesus being born to die... so that He might allow us to have eternal life. This Christmas is all about the greatest gift... birth of the Son Jesus Christ.

Present came next and every one was overwhelmed and seemed to be quite happy with their bags. Some of it was a blur at first because I was taking like a 100 pics, but I managed to muster up a group of them to say thank you for their gifts. It would take me tooo long to talk about each one's gratefulness for our churches and students giving selflessly. They truly have NOTHING so you can imagine how happy they were when they received even a tooth brush or a pair of socks.

Well, it is getting late... so I am going to just jot some other (one liner) captured moments.
1. Jam session w/ Bob and boys playing the drum and singing harmony- No Woman No Cry
2. Reading to T Blanc his Christmas letter from my sister, Kristan
3. Learning to play the violin with Carl as my teacher- Mary Had A Little Lamb
4. Debriefing and praying with our team when we came back tonight!
5. Giving Kstia and Nadia their feather earrings and taking a pic with them!

Alright well tomorrow, half of our team is leaving in the morning. Our agenda consist of heading to our Summer VBS site and then spending the rest of the afternoon with Zanfan Lakay. Leaving them tomorrow is going to be incredibly hard- they all pray for me and Jenny and tell me they love me!


Day 2... How He Loves

Yo peeps,

So it is super late and I know that you are all wanting the play by play of the day but I have to be up in 4 and a half hours. The reason I am getting to my blog so late is because of all the spiritual conversations I am having with my team. We spent a few hours talking tonight about the GRACE of Jesus and what defines a Christian? If anything everyone took away something by looking to scripture and being open and honest with each other. I know for myself I struggle with this question daily and I truly desire to want to be more like Him everyday.

Highlights from the day:

1. Spent some time at the new property/land. We prayed for God to turn this land into a future for the boys at Zanfan Lakay... spiritual community, a place of fellowship and a safe refuge. We also BROKE ground with machetes, pick axes and shovels. On the drive to and from we learned a lot about the stories of each of the girls that live in the house from Jimmy, and got an update on the boys' school, discipline and way of life.

2. Then off to Maison Orphanage to put on a special Christmas program with songs, an interactive Christmas story about Jesus' birth, a stocking craft, some minute to win it games and just hang time. We were there for almost 6 hours loving on those kids, holding newborns, eating pizza and cake and celebrating Jesus' birthday. The most memorable moments were seeing first time parents embrace their child for the very first time and of course, giving the gifts to the kids and seeing their faces light up as they showed each other their American Girl books, barbie dolls, footballs, hello kitty stuff and toy trucks. It was such a gratifying moment to see those kids experience the hands and feet of Jesus through various people giving back in our home town. Pretty cool!!!

3. Finally reached Zanfan Lakay around 6 to find the majority of the house watching the big soccer game- Brazil vs. Madrid. Once they were finished we played a minute to game called "A bit dicey"- they had to stack five dice on a popsicle stick in their mouth. They loved it; they also got to make up a team name and think of a title to their team song that they will be performing tomorrow night. Gingerbread house making was a huge success- everyone got involved and of course after the teams had been judged they all FEASTED on sugar, sugar, sugar. The night ended with a time of singing which started with the song, "Teach Me How to Dougie" and ended with Sing, Sing, Sing and "He Loves US". Super cool moment to hear the boys playing all sorts of instruments, singing loud to Jesus, and being together. Oh and Katia played the drum with sticks- pretty insane rhythm!

Tomorrow on the agenda... We are heading to Pierre's church, over to the women and kids at the cemetery to pass out some gift bags and toys and give a message and then the remainder of our day will be spent continuing on our Christmas party at Zanfan Lakay. Super tired, but needed to share how God is so good, He Loves us, oh How He Loves Us...

Goodnight. Jen, Carl says hi and gave me a few things to give to you. He is doing well!!!
In the Grip of God's Grace,