Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 5 in Haiti

Due to the lateness of the post, expect pictures tomorrow as they take at least an hour or more to upload, and I don't feel like staying up too much longer.
            Kyle Young, Blogger Extraordinaire
            Haiti is unlike any other place I have ever been. It’s not what you see on TV or in the newspapers. Rubber, dirt, and trash cover the streets and surround all the people. Old tin boxes are the children’s toys, and the pile of dirt and rocks are their play place. As kid after kid love on me, and beg for my attention, I have wondered all week what it was that the Lord was wanting to share with me. It wasn’t until a couple days ago that I was convicted and my eyes were open. All week, I had experienced an indescribable love from the Haitian orphans. There was still something that I felt I was missing, something that the Lord wanted to teach me that I still had not grasped. On Saturday night, as I laid in bed, I prayed to God, begging that he would show up on Sunday morning at church. I so desperately craved for what the Lord was wanting to teach me and I felt confident that he would show me the next morning. That morning, I sat in church with a child on my lap, with no air conditioning, and the inability to understand what was going on during the service. I started to get frustrated, because I was trying so hard to understand what I needed to learn, and I felt like it was still not clicking in my head. I prayed during the service that my eyes would be opened. It was not until worship that I witnessed the way the Haitian people honestly, and fully worshiped the Lord. They were dancing and raising their hands, with tears streaming down their faces. I realized that even though these people had absolutely nothing, they still gave every ounce of what they had to the Lord. Some of these families had lost countless friends and families in the earthquake, and I had lost absolutely nothing; and yet I found myself only partially giving myself up to the Lord in worship. The Lord has taught me in Haiti that we are all broken, in desperate need of Christ. It doesn’t matter where we live, or how much money we have, or whether we have both parents or not; we are to completely surrender to Him. He is the only thing we can count on in our time of need, and the fact that he has given us the gift of breathing, gives us all the reason to worship Him fully and openly.

I can’t wait to come home tomorrow and share more stories and lessons the Lord has taught me here in Haiti. Thank you for all the prayers this week, they have been a blessing.

God bless,
Lilly Beil

            Oh Lord, where to even begin I just don’t even know! I’ll start with the saying we have been saying everyday this week – we are blessed so that we may be a blessing, I have spent a lot of time just meditating on that, and it is just as simple as that. And getting the chance to bond with each and every child that in itself is such a blessing to me, I just only pray that I could have been the same to them. The thing that really awakened me on this trip was of course all the children, but today we went to the memorial for all the earthquake victims. It was a big sulfur mine that they ended up using to put all the bodies from the earthquake and they marked it by a bunch of black crosses lining the area, and had a few larger crosses, and once I was at the top of the hill and just gazed down at all the crosses, just amazed, and mind blown at how many people had lost their lives, and didn’t even get a proper burial, but what were they suppose to do in such dismay. And then the guy leaders went out with the machete and started propping up all crosses that had fallen over and I could just see clear as day how it must have looked to be there the day it was all happening and my heart just broke! Then there were some Haitians just walking up past us, and they all stopped and helped and slowly everyone was helping put up all the crosses that had fallen. It was the most magical, surreal thing I have been a part of, and then we all gathered holding hands and sang and then prayed for Haiti, the people, it was just the greatest fellowship ever! And I know my mom will be reading this, and all I want for Christmas is another sibling! J but really! These kids just love on you even though they know eventually we will fail them and that these kids still show us the unconditional love! And getting to meet kids the same age as my brother, and me just really showed me that we are no different in anyway-that every kid loves to be loved and longs for that and even though our parents love us the most but that it doesn’t even compare to how God loves us. And that’s what I have truly learned on this trip. And let me apologize if this sounds a little all over the place, I have soo much to share its hard to break it all down so small. And its been a full week here at Haiti and I don’t want to leave I mean a real good shower is gonna feel nice but I am going to have to leave behind half of my heart here. But anyway I should go get to packing since in a few short hours we will be up and on the plane back to good ol Kansas city. Love you all so much and thank you for all the prayers this trip has been such a blessing! Dani Reeves

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 4 in Haiti

            Today, our groups went to Haitian churches.  The service started with worship.  Awkwardly and without a translator, we stood up with the Haitians to praise God.  As soon as the music started, I knew this something I’d never experienced before.  All of the Haitians participated actively and loudly.  The speakers blared loudly, emphasizing the obvious sound system problems, but the Haitians could care less.  They just sang louder!  I could tell that when the Haitians sang praises to the LORD, they held nothing back.  Unlike many of my teammates and me, the Haitians were not insecure of how they looked when they worshipped.  The moment that defined today was when my group sang our worship songs.  We didn’t sing like the Haitians because we held back.  It was a lukewarm version of their worship time.   
            Everything about the Haitian service convicted me that a lot of days, I settle for a relationship with God that is mediocre.  I don’t want to take my spiritual leftovers to a God who deserves all of me.  Tonight, Doug Freeman talked about taking your faith and making it your own.  I’m going off to college in the fall and am convicted that God wants me to go fully dependent on Him.      

            Thanks be to God for this day, what He has shown me and how He moves.  Thanks for the prayers!

            Love from Haiti,
            Katherine Gallion

Hey Everyone!
            I didn’t really know what to expect on this trip but now that I’ve been in Haiti I realize I have a love for these kids that I don’t even know (seriously I can’t even pronounce the names!). I tell the kids that I love them but the hard thing for me is knowing that ultimately I am going to fail them. Tomorrow will be my last day with the orphans and it’s extremely hard to say goodbye! I pray (and ask you to pray for me also) that I leave the love of JESUS with them because he is the only one who will never fail them and has unconditional love that I cannot offer! This week I met a kid who I wish I could bring home with me his name is Abner. I absolutely love him (mom and dad if you are reading this…we should come visit himJ) and it’s so devastating to see what not only he but all the other kids there have to go through! PRAY FOR THEM!

Love ya,
Kayla Gruenhaupt

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 3 in Haiti

Hey everyone-
We’re just finishing day 3, and it has been pretty unbelievable seeing the Lord encounter so many of our students and leaders through the simple interactions with the orphans here.  It truly is hard to explain the impact that these kids have had on us, but the love of Christ is a tangible reality in these interactions, and I believe this trip will be transformative for a great deal of our students.  Thanks for the prayer support, it has been felt!  Church is tomorrow, and we’re excited to worship…Haiti style! 

PS: The weather has been amazing!  Seriously, according to the missionaries here on the ground, this has been one of the mildest weeks they have ever experienced in Haiti.  That’s awesome J

Student Testimonies

Ello Everyone!!!
I hope you all are feeling as good as me! WOW where to start….Well, I’m only half way through the trip, but I’ve received enough emotions for a life time. Let me expand. When I first got here I felt un-easy and cautious but as time went on I let go of my worries to god, and put all of my energy and attention toward what really matters THE CHILDREN. This trip is and will change my life. Interacting with these kids is the purest joy I’ve felt for a very long time, and honestly I don’t really want to leave. I love these kids as if they were my family, and them being orphans, They need that kind of love, but they aren’t the only ones benefitting of this experience. I have learned that love is a universal language that doesn’t have to involve talking. I truly love these kids even though I’ve known them less then 3 days. Believe me, though there is destruction and evil in Haiti. Love and God are present.

With love from Haiti,

Dillon Weezy Cherry


  There were plenty of people, including me, who before the trip started, were wondering why we were going to Haiti to just hang out with orphans. Thinking we should be cleaning up rubble or building a shelter or a church. I know now that at first I didn’t really get it. I knew that we were doing this to show the love of Christ, but it didn’t really hit me until I got here and just started loving on the kids. Now I see just how much these orphans are just starving for affection and attention and, most of all, the love of Christ.
  For example, there is this kid named Ceasle* and from the second I met him he has just clung  to me. Whenever I have to leave he becomes very upset and wants to come with me. He is a continual reminder of just how much these kids are longing for love and attention.
  Now that I’m witnessing this first hand, I see that this is actually bringing more glory to God than cleaning up rubble, building a shelter or even building a church. But when you think about it, we are building the church, God’s people. Here in Haiti, God is showing me how powerful loving these orphans who are so in need, really can be.
With love from Haiti 
 Sam Washburn

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 2 in Haiti

Hey everyone. It has been a long day in Haiti. The groups all went to four different Orphanages, and unconditionally loved the children and made an impact in their lives. However there was one kid who made a HUGE impact in mine. As some of you know my family is currently dealing with a recent tragic death of a extended family member. I was debating on whether or not to even come to Haiti because of it. When I got to Haiti I found out that the funeral was this Sunday, and when I found that out I had to make a difficult decision on whether or not to leave Haiti and go to the funeral or stay and miss it. I talked to a group of people last night about it and we all decided that I just needed to pray to God and he would show me the answer. This morning I made the decision to stay in Haiti because I felt like God would have a purpose for me being here and he would show me what it was sometime during the week. Today at one of the Orphanages I was at, I had been hanging out and sharing the word of God with this boy, who was about 8 or 9 years old, for almost two hours. And as I was saying goodbye to him he came up to me and said these exact words, (by the way he spoke almost perfect English), “I know this may be awkward, but I truly love you. You have made a huge impact in my life and it means a lot to me.” When he said that to me I started balling. Right then and there I knew that God sent me here to spread his word and to love these kids like he loves me. This is just one of the ways that God showed me my reason for being here today. God truly works in some magical ways. I am excited to see what God has in store for me and the others here with me for the rest of my week. I am thankful that I was given this opportunity even with everything that has happened in my family recently.

With love,
McKenna Oldson

Hey Friends!!
 First let me just say the power of prayer has been amazing. The weather has been WONDERFUL! The sun is hot but always a breeze, the hotel is wonderful, and the children are rockin’! We woke up today and we headed to our orphanages! My group of twenty split in half and my group headed to a small orphanage across the highway. There were about thirty kids in the orphanage. Talk about being overjoyed! I have never had so much fun before! Although there is a language barrier Jesus was flowing through everyone in that village! The mama’s, the children, and us! Leaving the orphanage(s) is always hard and emotional. You always have at least three kids that cling to you! All I can say to them is “au revoi” which means goodbye in French. Tears always build up in both me and the children. I attended two orphanages today, leaving the last one arose some questions in me that I didn’t know the answer to. The question that arose was “why them?” There were orphans before the earthquake, there was poverty before the earthquake, and people were living in tents before the earthquake. Now after the earthquake there is so much more orphans, poverty, and tent cities. So why them? They do not deserve this! These children are the most happy, most fun loving kids I have ever and most likely ever will meet! Haiti has no more evil than any other place. So why shake up their world… literally? Being concerned with myself for asking these questions, the question arose in a conversation I was having the Kristen and Dawn. This question is not an awful question to be wrestling with, in fact after breaking down in front of our youth group I am not the only one wrestling with questions like these. The Lord loves the Haitians just as much as he loves everyone else in the world. I will not lie though I still do not have this question fully answered. I come to you all tonight with a hopeful heart that you all will continue to pray for all of us here. Several others of us are struggling with these questions. Thank you so much for the prayers and the prayers to come!

Love to you all from Haiti,
  Sarah Watts

Day 1 In Haiti

(Sorry about the delay, the Internet was down so we couldn't post last night)

Colonial Family and Friends – what an amazing first day here in Haiti.  With just a couple of hitches along the way God showed His faithfulness and desire to have us all here with just what we need to serve Him the way He wants to be served.  That was made known to us over and over again throughout the day.  What an awesome God we serve!  Parents – kids are safe and have been drinking TONS of water.  J  Food is wonderful.  Our kids are loving the Haitian kids in a way personally that I have never seen.  There’s no better testimony than what Molly’s given us in the preceding paragraphs.

Praise and Glory to the God of the Nations.

Love to all,
Doug Freeman

Here we go! After all this time, waiting is finally over! And after only being in Haiti for eleven hours, God has already worked in huge, beyond amazing ways!! I want to share with you the big way that God surprised me within the last few hours. So let’s start in the beginning…at 5 am we were up, ready to go. As the morning went on, we faced being tired and facing a few minor delays- things that weren’t dramatic, but still get under your skin. I was feeling fairly good and alive, thinking about what it would be like when I got to Haiti. And of course there are good thoughts and bad thoughts. I was not nervous but I was getting frustrated, I suppose, because I found myself constantly thinking about me, myself and I. How I felt in my groups…how I felt in this situation…and how I felt then..etc. And what I really wanted to get rid of these selfish desires and fully focus on God. I wanted to trust God, thank him constantly, and not have any distractions; however that is not at all where I was at 8am. So I began writing, praying and confessing my sin to the Lord -begging Him to make my heart pure and heal me. And guess what…He did! And He did it in ways I have never expected! He never fails and today proved that once again to me. God healed me through the smiles of the least of these, the orphans. As my group went from place to place, I got to be a kid again. I was dancing, singing, getting my hair done, and giving piggy backs with the precious children of God in Haiti. Because God heard me and God is in control, I was fully able to focus and love on these kids 110%. Even though there is a language barrier here, God broke down that wall and allowed me and others of the team fully love these kids and fully embrace the presence of God. As you can see, I cannot fully explain why or how God healed me, but the fact is, He did. This transformation could never have happened without Him. At the end of the day there are a millions ways I could tell this story and try to explain the divine works of the Lord, but none of them can fully describe it. Just remember from my experience, that God hears, God takes our weakness and sin and heals it, and give us more than we can ever imagine!! It leaves me awe struck. This is just one of the ways that God has already met me as I have been traveling and experiencing Haiti and I cannot wait for the days to come. I’m absolutely filled with the Spirit, waiting for Him to work!

Much Love,
Molly Pitkin

Thursday, July 7, 2011

day 1, Alive and Well

we arrived safely to fort lauderdale late last night and we are now heading back to the airport this morning...
so far, so good. we only had one slight problem...a lost passport... but after a few hours of anxiety and heavy prayer, the passport was located in the seat pocket of a former flight.

pray today for us as we fly into haiti. this afternoon we will be in the villages...

we will post more tonight after our first day in the villages... look for pics. this is just a quick post via phone to let you all know we are still alive.

in christ,