Saturday, July 23, 2016

Shine like a STAR for Jesus

Bonjour from ayiti, Week one is fini! The week had lots of highs. We got a radio of 50.00 american dollars. It is a karaoke machine…hahaha. We cranked Jesus music everyday and they sang while they did their projects. We are supposed to be working with children ages 6-9, but I am pretty sure that we have some children that are 4 and 5. The children have been amazing, they make a lot of noise, but it is happy noise. The workers can throw down..we got dada who can swing a jumping rope like its her business. She works so hard with the children and will hold a flat affect and then you give her a fist bump and tell her she works hard and she smiles. Love it. Kenken, is always ready to work. Been such a strong worker for the children. Demet has the same pose and attitude as Kenken, ready to roll. Then we got Helton, works like a mule. Works so hard and at the end of everyday he says he isn’t tired. The other day we had the children paint wood stars. It was so quiet as they painted the stars. Neat to watch them explore using a paint brush and enjoy painting. We put the verse, “Shine like a star for Jesus.” We have been going back to that with the children! Shine like a star! How do you shine like a star in your community, with your friends, in your family. Last day we had a pinata. I did not know how it would pan out, but it was a blast. Had some adults playing, children playing...was JOY! God has been so good to use. Been neat to see the little ways he has made this trip easy. All our bags got here, Cite Soleil has been really quiet and no gun shots, I have had just enough materials….God has just been neatly present this whole trip. Megan and Fran are in the North and we will be joining them on Saturday. Ryna and Eric come in tomorrow and we are excited to throw down in the North. Megan has been working with 5 children in the North and teaching them how to play the violin. We will head North for another two weeks. Be praying for Caitlin, she got sick the night before we were supposed to head North. We will try to leave tomorrow. Ryna and Eric went ahead and sister and I are going to wait until tomorrow. Pray for her strength and pray that it is just a stomach bug. Love you all! Thanks for all the prayers and support! More to come....

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

“How can you think about heaven, when you can’t eat today?”

Haiti always has moments where you hear pieces of the rawness to life. The week has been going well! The kids are full of energy and joy. I have made a “new friend.” One of the youth that has been attending the afternoon workshops has asked, “If he could be in my friend group.” I had to chuckle, “Sure buddy!” He was the same boy that asked if he could come to my wedding in October. He is precious. Said he is making me earrings for my wedding day…have at it buddy! Talks my ear off. He asks some really random questions, but it is fun to sit with him and chat and laugh. The children love that I am getting married! They want to come in my suitcase home so they can go. I told them that the police would have a big problem with me! We have laugher and enjoyed the presence of JOY in the church. I have had a lot of moments. Haiti often gives you moments! Some moments where you loose it with laughter, some moments where your heart aches, moments where you just need to be still. The rawness of Cite Soleil came from seeing three different men at three different times carrying BIG guns like it was part of life. Gangs have been going back and forth. Today the community communicated to me, “That you will see that, its war.” It’s frustrating. It doesn’t make sense. It’s the weirdest sight to watch a man holding an AK47 walk past you while you are sitting with a group of children on the front stoop of a church and the children pay him no mind. It’s normal! The rawness of Cite Soleil. Moment where my heart ached that children have to call that “normal.” Moment where I laughed….Waiting in an alley for the 100 pate (food) we ordered for camp. A Haitian child was giving me a joke and asking me what language I spoke. I told him English, to which I asked him what language he spoke. To which he stated, “The language of a GOAT.” OOOO, this should be good! Leah enters the joke by saying, I speak goat as well, to which I begin to speak in goat sounds. Classic, as he responds in goat sounds. Sounds stupid, right? OOO, but we did this for five minutes and had about 10 deep laughing with us! I love those moments, laughter and being ridiculous with adults and children. Haitians have such a great sense of humor, fun to sit with them in the jokes! Tonight I got to sit with my good friend Louvenet. I met him the year I lived here, in 2007. He was one of the first children that I came to know and we began to learn English and Creole together. Sat with him for awhile tonight to talk about life in Haiti, his life, my life, catch up! He is 21 now. He talked about how “hard” it is up North because they don’t find rain and the drought is so bad. Worst he has ever seen. Louvenet loves Jesus with all his heart, maybe more than me. Tonight as we were talking he said, “Its hard to think about Heaven, when you can’t eat today.” We sat in that statement for awhile. What is hunger? Have I ever really known hunger? Nope! When hunger consumes you how it takes your mind off of what is pure and lovely, heaven. I told him I know I don’t really understand that statement because I have never had that kind of hunger. He said, “It has to be Haitians helping Haitians, but how? I have no doors to knock on.” So frustrating to be in that conversation with him because I look at a gifted man who could blow it up for his community, for Jesus, for his family, and then I see him in Haiti and how the great struggle of this country can consume his being. It makes my heart ache. Louvenet told me tonight in the politest way possible that I will never get it. It was humbling and I agree. I can be a presence in this country, be a listener, be a bridge, be a light, be a piece to the community, but I will never get the magnitude of what it means to worship through the struggle in this country.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pictures from the summer!

From top to bottom: Jonathan, sweet boy that came to the second week. We sang one day and he just danced and danced. Jumping rope! They wipe that rope so hard that sometimes it knocks kids over! Sun after a rainstorm! Louvenet (youth workers) helping one of the kids color his emblem for his Haitian flag craft. Our theme of the weeks was, "We love because he first loved us." The heart was a craft to represent the theme. Last two pictures are of us playing drums! Throwing down and jumping up!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Goliyat ak David Highlight of today was the theater for David and Goliath. Made a makeshift shield, helmet, and spear for Curtis. Made a makeshift slingshot, and shackle for Chodley and we were off to a great ti theater for the children. Curtis didn’t know a lick of Creole, but somehow the skit was amazing. Curtis, (Goliath) fell face down to the ground. The pictures below explain it all! Good day, week two almost over. We are up to 67 children, Lord help us. We are surviving and we are healthy. The youth workers continue to amaze me as they step up and work together. So neat to see how much they have grown together and how well they work together. Neat to see how the years have grown up strong workers. They truly carry the camp. They lead the worship, they lead the activities, and know how to manage the games. I find myself sitting back more and more, such a blessing and refreshing to see unfold as it is a hope a day will come that we will give it over and let them go!

Raised Hands!! Mwen Sezi

Today was the first day of week two! We are in Passé Cataboise and the first day we hit 67 children..hahaha, O Lord, I don’t know what I was thinking, but ok! Bring them on! Ryna, said we should just do 70 and call it a week☺ Love her! The first day of camp…I decided to explain to the children if they needed something, they needed to raise their hand and then explain to a grown person what they needed. I didn’t expect them to actually implement the request….but wouldn’t you know…one by one they raised their hands to ask for more glue, to go the bathroom, get a drink of water. I left dumbfounded and amazed…hahah, I have been doing camp for 8 years and I have never had the children actually listen to that request. Day one done…we created butterfly mask, bracelets, play “cat and mouse” with the parachute…had a little diri ak sauce pwa for lunch…it was a good day. The high of my day was hiking into the valley with Curtis and Wenge, a 5 year old Haitian. Wenge, decided to come with us and proceeded to tell us 32 year olds that we should follow him. While that sounds like a dumb idea, being 32 years old and allowing a 5 year old to lead…I promise that in Haiti the child has walked or ran the foot paths that he/she is about to take you on…and it is often in your best interest to listen and follow. We followed and it lead to an adventure into a valley, through a cornfield, janbe (cross) a river, into Wenge grandfather’s garden where we proceeded to watch the cows drink from the river. After that, Curtis decided to take a break and Wenge, the 5 year old says, “We can sit to look at the country!” Precious, we sat, enjoyed the view. Neat night! We are all still healthy, thank you Jesus! Praying daily that God holds fast our healthy bodies! We are always blessed to have you support! Thank you for praying and continuing to send finances to make this all unfold! Such a blessing!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Boy…Cite Soleil…135 children/youth…WE be CRAZY

Hard to believe the first week is done. It went amazingly well. God showed up in so many mighty ways. First, I was able to get three bags onto the plane in Boston. The Delta ma, Ousmar, allowed me to take three bags, which was a blessing in itself. Got all of them in Haiti. Curtis, Ryna and I all showed up to Haiti safe and sound. 1, 2, 3…Cite Soleil it was on! We were able to employ 23 people last week, which was so neat in itself. Neat to watch everyone work in one accord. Watch the teachers skillfully set up their workshops, and pour into the youth as they taught them a skill. Neat to watch the youth absorb what was being taught. The children were so loud for camp. We said that the camp was for children ages 6-9, but I am pretty sure that we had some 3 and 4 year olds. This was affirmed as on the last day, one of the 3 year olds decided to whip out his penis and pee on the church floor. Yup…nope…take it outside buster! The camp went great. Curtis was nicknamed “big boy.” The name was kept by the children and our workers. Many were amazed of his height and mass. The last day our Haitian partner challenged the children to try and pick him up. Imagine all 65 children running at a 6’2” 250 lbs, man and work to pick him up. PRECIOUS and priceless. They did not succeed, but great effort. Highlights of the week were jumping rope with the children. Having a neat conversation about not fighting with some of the gang leaders, enjoying watching the youth. Watching our workers become invested in the camp. We had one worker run home to change his shirt so he could rip his shirt and put red paint on it. We were “performing” the Good Samaritan story, and Owl, was the man that was beat up. The ripped shirt and red paint….added effects:) people loved it. We have made it safely to the North after a 6-hour bus ride of being crammed on a bus. We are showered, covered in deet, healthy. Continue to pray for safety, health, and against mosquitoes. We love you all! Pictures are hard to load as it takes to long in the mountains, will load many on August 9th!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Learning to be an artist!
Ryna hanging with the trouble makers...they gave us a run for our goudes.
Paloulou, one of our teachers that worker with the children to make jewelery.
Sewing it out!
Mario and W getting into the skit of the day, The Good Samaritan
Went to visit a town up in the mountains, these children were waiting to greet us!