Monday, August 23, 2010

Our crew of Workers

Our crew of workers this year was a beautiful blessing to the camp and children. We have had the same 6 for the last three years and it was so neat to see the growth. The worked beautifully together. There was a deeper richness to the team this year, almost felt like family. At one point we were drumming and laughing and Titus, Children’s Pastor at church took off dancing in circles with the children. It might have been one of my favorite moments to see him cut loose with the children. Bobbing his shoulders up and down, singing, getting kids to join in, it was precious to watch it all unfold.

Each and every person added a piece to the team. Wilfete and Lou brought strength and humor to the day. They were a team. Side by side, fun to watch them interact. One day Wilfete and Lou acted out the story of the Lost Son. Wilfete the father and Lou the lost son. As Lou came running back to Wilfet and embraced in a hug their smiles showed great friendship, joy, and love. It has been so neat to see that cultivate over the years. They didn’t really know each other year one.

Titus, Children’s Pastor was a riot. Brought laughter to the day and strength to the singing and stories. Also brought discipline when out voices didn’t seem to cut it. Lin Lin and Michelda brought a sweet peace and love to the crew. They working hands were always nice to have when we were singing. Lin Lin is a quiet, young, woman. We put her in charge of leading the singing. One day she was trying to focus the children to sing, but somehow the drums were carrying over her voice. Instead of getting frustrated she grabbed a drum from an adult and started drumming faster, louder, and with more JOY. It was hilarious. Made me smile.

Great team. We would not have been able to do it without them.

A Mural of Magic

Caitlin found amazing JOY this year in painting the mural. The last picture is of a little boy named, Chodly. He became Caitlin's painting partner. Everyday he would be waiting for her and would work side by side until the day was done. She found so much joy, laughter, and peace in painting with him. Caitlin, also enjoyed painting with the people in the hospital. I would often show up after soccer and she would have put down a tarp and about twenty people would be sitting on it. All of them participating in the activity. Coloring, painting, bracelets, you name it, they were all participating. From old men to young, from mothers to daughter, everyone was working together. Neat sight!

Caitlin also had the opportunity to paint the bakery this year, which was classic. We were buying bread one day and asked the owner if he would want a mural on the bakery and all we heard was a big YES! Great experience because it attracted a different crowd of people. The bakery is located right in the middle of a big crossing of roads. So we got people coming and going, the motto drivers, and other children. We left and the owner said, "Come back and do the inside next time." Soon all of Passe Catabois will be covered with Caitlin's finest! The Pastor asked for the school to be done, inside and out!

A SOCCER TEAM of the toughest CATS!

I was blessed to have a soccer team this year. 5 little kiddos, the size of peanuts, but amazingly, big hearts. Everyday they would find me at about 3:30 and ask, "Are we playing today Miss. Leah?" One look at their cute little smiles, how could I say no. I gave them all jerseys and one would have thought it was Christmas morning and Santa just showed up with a new Gameboy. Little Ester said, "Is this really for me?" So darn precious. I know I am not supposed to have favorites, but Ester was my favorite. Opened up so much and became my little buddy, sidekick, partner in crime. Just precious. Our practice was about 30 minutes, but somehow they never noticed it was so short. From kicking to headballs to penalty kicks they found themselves part of a team. It was some of my sweetest moments in Haiti. Kicking around the soccer ball with these little kiddos. The day always ended with a team cheer. It went something like this, "1, 2, 3, WHOOOO!" They are only five, didn't want to make it too difficult!!!

KANNNNNNNNN...Camp in Creole!

Some pictures of our adventures from the last month!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Another day in Haiti….

Camp has been a Joy! The drums have been off the hook. Today we had the pastor of the church, another leader of the church, four of our counselors drumming and all the children running around in a circle singing and playing other instruments. Some might call it noise, but to my ears it was glorious worship and smiles.

Moments of joy, have been acting out plays with the counselors. Today was the parable of the lost sheep. We had Jesus (wilfet), sheep (Caitlin and Leah), the lost sheep (Avery), what a sight we were.

Today was our last day with the 6-9 year olds, hard to think about how a week is already done. Comes and goes so fast. Been really neat to see growth in the team this year. We seem to fit together. Been neat to see the relationships that have formed between the counselors from this camp. Wilfete and Louvenet were not really friends three years ago when camp started, now they interact like brothers. Joking with each other, hugging, sharing stories. Been really neat to see that relationship cultivate.

Today is piñata day. It will be a crazy mess. They always go crazy for the piñata.

Some of the neatest moments this week, teaching Lou and Wilfet how to play UNO. What a riot. I hate the game, but somehow playing with two Haitians and teaching the game in Creole and watching them respond to the game was hilarious. Love them so much. Caitlin and I were reflecting the other night on how much we have gotten to know Wilfet. He truly has become like a brother. The other night we were praying together and Wilfet said he wanted to pray for us. Was neat because about two years ago Wilfet would not pray in front of us. Been beautiful to see the growth of his heart.

Tonight we are taking care of a little 4-month-old baby. Lost his mother during birth. This morning he fell asleep with me, such a sweet blessing to the day. He can’t be bigger than a football. They are waiting to test him for HIV. His mother was diagnosed with HIV before she passed. His eyes are so alert and beautiful. A prayer that his test is clear.

Funny moment of today. Caitlin taught Wilfet the word “bonus.” Bonus is a word that we use when something is really good. Now Wilfet says bonus all the time. He acts just like us. Been a good day!

Beidler Sister's and Avery Head to Haiti

Beidler sisters and Avery in the house of Haiti is going great. We had one too many bumps in the road, but we are finally kicking it in Passé Catabois for the camp. Day two of the camp. The highlight of the camp was yesterday; we brought drums this year to jam with the children. This week we have children ages 6-9, they are so precious. We gave them drums and we just jammed. It was so fun. At one point everyone got up and we were dancing around in a circle singing, Jericho, Jericho, Jericho….it was sweet music to our ears. Caitlin and Avery were out of control in dancing, what a sight. A bunch of blancs (that is what they call white people) and a bunch of 6 year olds dancing for Jesus. We have had two great days of activities, sports, and worship.

We have been acting out bible stories for the kids. Today Avery and Caitlin were the thieves in the story of the Good Samaritan. Hilarious to bring life to the stories. Kids are laughing at our silliness, but so worth it. Acting out the stories has brought a different richness to the stories. Another day Louvered was Zacheria and Caitlin, Avery, and I were the angry crowd.

Moments that have been pure joy. We have two friends here, Louvenet and Wilfet who have really become brothers to us. They work for us, hang with us, translate for us, laugh with us. It was funny the other day Wilfet was being a goof ball and as I laughed with him it was so funny to think about how much we are alike. A brother is Haiti. Yesterday I had to go into Port-au-Paix to figure out a goof that was made by the airline here. They sent our bags to the wrong place. So I had to get a motto, Louvenet and Wilfet came along. Picture this, one moto, three Haitians, and one blanc. Now put all those 4 people on ONE BIKE. Bouncing over a dirt road, through three rivers, get a rowboat across the river, hilarious. But pure joy to embrace Haiti together!

Haiti has become more beautiful. The people, their smiles, joy, they’re welcoming us, and it has humbled me. Last night we sat under the Haitian sky and I was amazed by his vastness. So beautiful. Falling more in love with Haiti.

Camp Hope: Another Year of Sweet Surprises

Today we hopped on a moto at 9:30 and headed for Port-de-Paix where we would once again say goodbye to Haiti. I found myself smiling at the richness and beauty of the culture. The little children all waving to me in pure joy, people heading to church in their Sunday's finest, and many people eager to wave. I have fallen more in love with Haiti. The awful roads, the moto rides, crossing the river in a row boat that might sink at any moment, the rice and beans, the love that people pour out, it has caught hold of me once again.

Crossing the river I saw ten boys playing in the most disgusting mud, but all I could hear was the pure joy of their laughter. There is this deep richness to Haiti that is so hard to explain, but the beauty and people of the country has captivated me more and more.

Today as we left all I could think about was, "God is a provider." This whole trip I have seen nothing, but God providing for our team, camp, travels. Today we had 10 squares of toilet paper left, jut enough, we had one more teaspoon of dish soap to do dishes, just enough, I had three dollars to buy crackers, just enough, money for camp, just enough, not too little, not too much, luggage got here, just has been amazing to see how God's provision for our team.

One of the sweetest moments of our time in Haiti was sitting with two of the pastors before we left. We had a chance to share a meal and exchange conversation about what it would look like if they tried to run an after-school camp for Passé Catabois. It was such a neat conversation and answer to prayer. We have been praying that we could come alongside the Haitian people and together we could partner and help equip them to serve their country. It was such a beautiful blessing to watch that begin to unfold.

Tomorrow we are home. Back to AC, back to diet cokes, grocery stores, flat roads, and apples, phones...seems so far away, but on our way. Going to miss the bumpy moto rides, Creole, rowboats, and people. But leaving Haiti with a smile of JOY and thankfulness.