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,


48 hour day...

Hello blog followers, friends and family...

I am currently waiting for my club sandwich and sipping on refreshing coca cola. Let me tell you... Our team is wiped!!! We taxied into porta au prince about 930 this morning, most of the team was pretty exhausted... Eyes in a glazed over state.

We were greeted by. Mr. Bigs who as usual lead us through the gauntlet of aggressive and persistent men who ALL thought we needed their help. Jackson and Jimmy picked us up and then we headed to the hotel to drop of all the 13 bags, 11 carry ons...yadda yadda!

Then we made a quick hour stop over at Pierre's orphanage. A couple cool highlights are

1. Getting to see Angie and Ruth at the orphanage. We also met Ruth's husband, Todd, who happen to be there because they were going to be baptizing Anne Sarah. If you recall from the last trip she was one of the first Lil newborns that Jen and I held. There is a pic of Anne Sara and me in the rocking chair at the orphanage. So excited for Ruth and her family to welcome her to their home. They are currently in the process.

2."Mega mind", or Immanuel , was a lil timid at first but he warmed up to me and fell asleep on my legs shortly after I reassured him I was here to love on him!

3. Filder and franz were back in the mix and I chatted with themm for a few minutes as well. Fortunately for us, Franz joined us for the rest of the day.

Next we headed to Zanfan Lakay, the boys home. It was a different welcome when we arrived because many of the boys were not home from school yet. So instead of a huge swarm of love. We were greeted with love for a good straight hour with staggered hugs and "Dougie!" from my boys.

I must say that it was awesome to see them and they all seemed super excited that I was back. They loved the mustache... I mean why wouldn't they? But... Their eyes turned to concern or sadness as they repeatedly asked, "Dougie, where is Jenny?" I told them that she missed them and that she would hopefully see them in the summer. They def wanted to see her... And yes, they asked about Kristan, and Jessie as well. Nicky and Carolyn were also missed and they are waiting for your return.

Highlights from Zanfan Lakay:
1. Hangout time and lunch with Creole chicken, Mac and stuff, and rice, rice, rice. Oh how I love rice!!! katia , Nadia, Jimmy took good care of us and we were well fed with ice cold coke.

2. Jam session in the kitchen with Jeff Lucky, my roommate, playing bob marley, oasis, and lots and lots of worship songs. We did some sweet harmonies to "How He Loves." The boys started to huddle around and they were singing all the worship songs with us. Super cool moment!!!

3.Zakat where Jimmy, "Papa Demo", rules the streets was pretty gnarly. The food distribution and passing out of bags (shirts, lollipops, toothpaste and brush, candy canes and toys for the lil ones.) I got to share a quick 2 minute sermon to the men waiting for food and provisions and bless the food. Then Jeff and I sat on top of Zakat with guitars in hand and played a lil mini concert with Steeve Joseph accompanying us with the new djembe that we brought! We had to make a quick exit when the street people started to get disgruntled and turn it into a shoving match. We were outtie five thoutie! Who would have thought that bringing a bag of hats and passing them out would turn into such a fiasco?

4.Minute to win it challenges... face the cookie and back flip we're huge hits. We broke them into six groups with leaders- Ivnet, Reginald, Patrick, Mackenson, T- Blanc, and Clivens. These are my boys and did a fantastic job leading their groups! I have lots of pics of all the kids trying to move the Oreo down their face. As for back flip, we just had the leaders compete and T- Blanc owned it by getting all 12 pencils flipped and caught. Later, I had him try 30 sticks and he caught all of them flipped on the first try! Incredible!!!

5. I had a heart to heart with Ivnet, who asked me if I could take him home and help him with his studies. Too much emotion and too much to write about! I told him that I loved him, that. I was praying for him and that God is going to take care of him.

Welp, I think that's enough reflection for now. I will be adding pics some time tonight. Thanks for all your prayers, and support. I would love to hear from you encouragement as our team ministers here in Haiti.

tomorrow on the agenda... going out to the land, party at Maison orphanage and day one of Zanfan Lakay Christmas extraveganza!

Dougie signing off... Love you Jen! Wish you were here with me!!!