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What a wonderful trip!
It’s been a week since our last Haiti trip, and the team’s hearts are still left in Carrafour with Grace International.
For a complete gallery to our photos, click on the photo below!
The trip was a huge success, and many lives in Haiti were blessed by the people in the States who donated both items and funds generously!
See the video below to see exactly how your donations made a difference in their lives.
Thank you again for all who supported our team and the children in Haiti!
NOTE: We lost Internet access the other night and weren’t able to update the blog until we got on the plane ride home. We are all fine, tired, but incredibly blessed by the trip we were fortunate enough to experience. Here’s what happened yesterday and today!
It’s our last day! And it was a busy one~
We got up at the rooster’s crow and had a delicious breakfast before splitting up into three groups. The first group (Tamia, Jennifer and I) headed off to help the wonderful ladies of the Lord’s Kitchen…
The second group (Peter, Angel and Ronald) went to wheel-barrow supplies back and forth from the office to furnace disposal area…
And the third (Corinne and Sandy) went to serve at the medical clinic.
Everyone had a blast serving: it was hard but rewarding work. The Lord’s Kitchen crew started by cleaning every pot, pan, and utensil in the kitchen. After everything was prepared, we peeled, chopped, and prepared vegetables and got ready to serve heaping servings of homemade spaghetti. The kitchen “mothers” prayed over the meals they made, made us laugh and were nothing short of fantastic. Today, the Kitchen was geared to feed the sponsored children of Grace International (and the rest of the week was paid for and dedicated to feed the rest of the children in the neighboring villages).
Meanwhile, in the Clinic, Sandy and Corinne performed routine check-ups on local families, and helped children battling fevers and sicknesses. After the line of people from the Clinic were all served, they moved on to organize, update, and restock the Pharmacy with all of the donated medical supplies that were sent with our team.
And finally, the men were sent to perform some hard labor out in the field. They wheel-barrowed boxes of supplies in the sweltering heat, to safely dispose of potentially hazardous materials. By the end of the session, they had soaked through their clothes with sweat and dust, but they finished what they started and did amazing work.
After lunch, it was time for the Lord’s Kitchen. Some of us focused on giving away the rest of the donated Crocs to the students and the staff’s children while others entertained and got to know the children that came through the gates.
We began to run low on food as the last 50 children arrived, and the women who work the Kitchen put in their own food (which they were saving for their children/families) to make sure that everyone got fed. When we saw their sacrifice, the team pooled together funds and gifted what we had in our pockets for each of the 5 mothers, in thanks for what they did.
The children were bright, grateful, and full of potential and it was a blessing to serve them.
After we washed up, we jumped onto an open truck and held on for dear life as we whizzed through the streets of Haiti to visit Grace International’s new Grace Village. When we arrived, we were greeted by a swarm of children, who grabbed our hands, climbed onto our backs, and proudly escorted us through their neighborhood.
Grace Village is a rural campus that Bishop Jeune purchased in an effort to relocate and better families that used to live in the tent communities at Grace International’s medical campus.
These 70+ families are hand picked to live there. They have jobs, families, and are taught how to build the houses they live in. As we toured the campus, residents proudly showed off the humble homes they lived in, and we were humbled by their hospitality and bright demeanors. At first glance, all we saw were tiny, over-heated homes, with very few belongings…but when we saw their joy at having their own place to call home, we felt at home as well.
After the tour, we were given the opportunity to play with the children and hand out the hundreds of candies we brought with us. Children were overjoyed, but desperate to collect as many as possible, and many of the members were overwhelmed by the helplessness they felt at what they saw. The children had tattered clothes, most were shoeless, but all were full of love and joy. It broke our hearts.
As we boarded our truck to head on back, the children asked if we could take them with us…and that’s when several of our team members broke down. We quickly drove away, and the feelings that welled up in the hearts of the team burst. On our way home, tears were shed, people were heartbroken, and when we got back to the campus, we had a serious discussion on what we just saw.
The sadness we felt was righteous sadness. The poverty that we saw broke our hearts because it broke God’s heart. The anger we felt was righteous anger because children SHOULD NOT STARVE.
It was a painful but eye-opening experience for everybody, and we are all better for it.
Before we left the campus, we had the opportunity to visit the schools at Grace International and give a little speech to the children. Bishop and Madame Jeune prayed over us and we were on the road home!
The ride to the airport was certainly bittersweet. Everyone left with a child on their heart and a mission in their spirit. Several of our members were even able to sponsor a child that they met. What a blessing it was to leave our hearts in Haiti!
Thank you to all that prayed and financially supported us! We can’t wait to organize the videos and photos we took and post them for all to see~
Love your faces. Bon nwit!
Worship worship worship!
Today was full of it~ And it was so good.
I almost forgot to mention, but yesterday, at the crack of dawn (5 am), Peter held a seminar for the Grace International Security Personell. He gave them an hour long session where he taught Tae Kwon Do and self-defense techniques for hand-to-hand combat, and they had a great time learning.
Despite one incident where a security guard got accidentally punched in his face by a partner, everyone was all smiles at the end. (The funniest part was when one of the security guards asked Peter if martial arts fights went down just like the Bruce Lee movies, and Peter had to gently dispel that myth.)
This morning, we got up around 5 am to the sound of roosters crowing. After a flashlight-illuminated breakfast, we hopped onto our bus and headed over to visit two churches with Grace International as Bishop Jeune’s guests.
During both services, we were able to sing and lead worship in Creole (the congregation was very gracious in our butchered version of their language), and we had a great time hearing the testimonies of the church.
One woman came up to the pulpit with her husband and shared her story. She was pregnant with her first child when she experience incredibly painful birth pangs. She was rushed to a nurse, but the doctor wasn’t anywhere to be found. After pushing for what seemed like a pain-filled eternity, she completely ran out of energy once she heard from the nurse that the child was dead in her womb.
She cried out to Jesus for mercy and prayed that He could save her life, even if her child was already gone. And at that moment, she gained unexpected energy to push and the baby came out. To the nurses’ surprise the baby was alive! And the mother was fine as well.
When the doctor finally arrived, he was speechless. When he assessed the situation, he let the woman know that the baby had been dead in her womb for two days, which sparked the birth pangs and prevented her from pushing. And she should have been dead. But God answered her cry for help and saved her and her child.
We led worship at both churches, and left with hugs, smiles, and kisses from the elderly ladies and children of the congregation. It was a wonderful experience, and we were blessed to have been there.
After church, we freshened up (the boys were drenched from having to wear long-sleeved button ups with ties) and then headed on over back to the church to hold a evening worship seminar.
Ronald and Angel did a beautiful job sharing their knowledge and experience in worship ministry and also gave the bright young worship leaders/musicians practical application points to use in their own day-to-day ministries.
At the end of the night, we met up with two other groups visiting Grace International (EMI – Engineering Ministries International) and Solid Rock’s Forward Edge and shared dinner and one last worship session before heading off to bed.
Tomorrow’s a big day! We’ll be working at the Medical Clinic, doing some good ol’ fashioned hard labor, and serving at the Lord’s Kitchen!
Thank you for your prayers and support!
To be continued.
Today was awesome!
We had the opportunity to visit the boys’ and girls’ home today and it was a wonderful experience. We were so blessed!
The boys’ home was the first place we drove to, and they were so full of energy and love! We spent hours listening to them sing, watching them dance, and playing with them. The shoes that were donated were a huge blessing and almost every boy left with a new pair!
What blessed us even more was seeing the wonderful character of these young boys: the older children, whose feet were too large for the donated shoes, were so kind and gracious. They didn’t even blink an eye at the fact that they couldn’t have their own pair, and instead made sure the little ones had theirs.
I got to see Wilkens and Chris again, and it was a happy reunion! We bonded with several new boys, like Andres (the class clown and “big brother” of the group), met with the widows and toured the campus. We fell in love with the boys, and had a really really hard time leaving. And when the time came for us to go, every single team member left with a certain child on their heart to continue supporting and praying over.
After a delicious lunch, we headed out to visit the girls’ home. The girls were much more demure, and the little ladies took their time choosing the color and right size shoe to leave with.
They played with the donated jump ropes, stickers, markers and paper, and sang for us. They made us laugh, cry with joy, and the second goodbye was even harder than the first.
We will continue to support these children, and ask that if you feel in your heart to support a very bright child with lots of potential, to go to Grace International’s Website and sponsor a child!
Love your faces! Thank you for your support and prayers!
We are safe and sound in Haiti!
The team met at Bridgeway’s parking lot at 3:30 am to catch our early morning flight. Everyone was sleepy, but buzzed with the excitement of having this opportunity to travel to Port-au-Prince!
The flights themselves were (thankfully) uneventful, all the bags were checked in without overweight fees, and we were stress free…but when we landed at the Port-au-Prince airport, it was game on.
Between the haggling with workers and the bribing of airport officials to let us pass with all the medical supplies, we had our hands full. But thank God, everyone on the team was vigilant, aggressive and bold, and we left the airport with Grace International’s security, our translator Johnson, all of our donations, and were on our way!
The drive was not too bad (in comparison to previous trips), but I saw the looks on my teammates faces, and saw how much the destruction and destitution of Haiti affected them as we drove by. It was only when we drove through the gates of Grace International, when the feelings of tension and concern were lifted away. There is something about GI’s campus that you just feel at peace, and it was sensed by all. One we safely parked onto the campus, we were greeted by Michael’s friendly face. He warmly welcomed us to Grace Village and we brought all the donations up to the Hospital.
Once we unloaded all the bags and ate a delicious meal, we headed on out for a tour of the Village. I noticed that many tents had also moved away and a new school was being built. Progress was fantastic, and the team members were able to make some new friends as well.
We ended the night worshipping, praying, and studying Matthew 5:16 “Let your light shine before men, that they might see your good deeds. And praise Your Father in Heaven.” Ronald summed it up beautifully by bringing the verse back to the fact that we have been called to be salt and light unto the world…to preserve a dying world with the blessings that God has given us.
God is so good. We are all settled in now, and a huge storm just passed over. Despite the slightly flooded bedrooms/bathrooms, we are safe and sound, and about to get some sweet deep sleep.
Thank you all for your prayers, support, and donations! And a special thanks to John Yum for the hundreds of Crocs that we will be handing out to the Boys and Girls Homes tomorrow!
Stay posted, and please keep us in your prayers!
I still haven’t seen the Dark Knight Rises.
Scandalous, right? I know it’s been out for a few weeks at this point, but with project deadlines and other things popping up here and there, it fell to the backburner, and I kind of…forgot about it.
And it didn’t help that all of my co-workers had all already seen it and were looking to discuss the things that happened in the movie.
I…still don’t know if he was joking about it or not.
But tonight’s the night! I’m off to go and see it, and I will finally find out for sure whether or not my co-worker was messing with me or not.
Either way, he’s dead to me.
(I kid, I kid. Thanks for reading, Alan~ We can talk about the movie on Monday.)
Another month, another exam to study for!
Which is fine and dandy for most people…except I’m not like most people.
Despite the whole Asian student stereotype, I am terrible at studying due to a combination of procrastination, being incredibly busy, and having an overly distracted personality.
My sister was watching me “study” one day and she told me that I reminded her of a particular Spongebob episode. This is what she saw, and I can’t say I blame her for making the comparison:
And my next exam is this upcoming Saturday! Oh nooo!!!
In all seriousness, I have actually been studying very hard for this exam. While I do have my Spongebob moments, I think that this upcoming exam will end in success~ I’ll keep you posted, my lovely readers!
It was free donut day recently at Krispy Kreme.
So my friend and co-worker Chris and I went over to indulge in the free treat after work.
Because my mom and brother absolutely love Krispy Kreme donuts, I decided that while I was at it, I would bring a half dozen home with me. Box, ice coffee, and free donut stacked in hand, Chris and I headed out the door where a storm was brewing outside.
And then…tragedy struck.
It was a sign. No donut for me.
Which was probably for the best, considering that I’m on a diet. That’s what I get for cheating…
Anyway, at least the rest of the donuts made it safely home! Good times!
I’m heading out to NYC this weekend for a nice vacation road trip. Have a wonderful weekend, my lovely readers, and if you’re on the east coast, enjoy the fantastic weather!
I’m back and feeling great!
I just took my very first ARE Exam, the Building Design and Construction Systems exam, and after the weeks of hitting the books, it’s a relief to know that I have one down, and only 6 more to go~
As promised from the last post, I’m pleased to reveal to you, the missing Avenger. I give you, ARCHIGIRL!
Whenever I watch superhero movies, I die a little bit on the inside.
All of those amazing buildings getting smashed to pieces…but then again, architects in the US of A could really use some more work…
…anyway, I think that it would be a wonderful idea to have a super Architect. Rebuilding the world, one destroyed building at a time!