Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hey You

"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." - Hebrews 6:10

The noise and chaos of traffic. The heat and dust. The bright colors of the clothing and buildings. The beauty of the people. These are a few constants you will find in Haiti. You will also hear the call, "Hey you! Hey you! Hey you!"

Wherever there's a little child, chances are good that you will be greeted by this little phrase. It's usually accompanied by a smile, if you turn to the source and give them a wave. And "Hey you" means more than you might think. It's saying, "I see you. I don't know you, but I'd like to." It's also saying, "I'm here and I need you."

And if you but smile back and hold out your hand, you just might get the most heartwarming hug you've ever experienced. There is no sweeter union than when a person desperately in need of love is found by one who is lost in the purpose of serving God. And there isn't a group of people who needs more of everything than the orphans of Haiti.

Haiti's a place at once beautiful and in despair, warm tropical breezes and choking poverty. It's filled with a proud people who want to live life but sometimes need help to realize their dreams. And they need Jesus just like the rest of us. The help can take so many forms, but all require a desire to serve. Whether it's in the States or coming to Haiti, there's plenty to do and people to inspire.

So, pray and ask if God has plans for you in Haiti. And then stop and listen. Do you hear it? Jesus is calling. "Hey you!"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

God's Provision

     God's heart is faithful and in His sovereign love He always provides just what is needed.  His provision shows up in many ways through the hearts and lives of His people, who are called to love, to live and to give as Jesus loved us!

We were blessed to start our day with a return visit to LaPherre's orphanage where we delivered sandwiches and water along with other nourishing snacks for God's precious children.  We were greeted with smiles, hugs, and hearts of gratitude.

Onward to Grace Village, an amazing community of God's ministry through Healing Haiti which provides for the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of 45 beautiful children.  Our God of abundance has provided the resources for Grace to bless the children with housing, education,  food, and a beautiful church helping to nourish them spiritually.  We were privileged to provide dress clothes that some of you donated for the current Grace kids which were received with much thanks and gratitude. In addition, our faithful God brought to Grace a farmer, skilled in Aquaponics, who lost his business from the earthquake and used his expertise to create an Aquaponics program at Grace.  They are able to raise 48,000 Tilapia per year to feed the children and adults.  The waste water from the fish is used as nutrients to nourish the plants that grow food for Grace Village.

Recently a clinic has opened which provides both free medical and dental care for Grace and also for the people of the neighboring community. God has provided mightly and with His sovereign provision, new opportunities continue to build life and eternal benefits.    

We then took 16 of the Grace children and adults to the beach for an afternoon of fun and laughter where there simply were no language barriers when the love of Jesus, smiles and hugs were concerned.

Throughout the week, all the blessing of provisions we've been able to give came from so many of you reading this blog.  The clothing, personal care items, soccer balls, diapers, formula, love and hope were available as a result of your generous hearts partnering with God and with us to provide physical, spiritual and emotional nourishment.  We likened it to a patchwork quilt with beautiful pieces contributed from so many to create exactly the blessings God had in mind for each precious child and person we encountered this week.    
Glwa pou bondye pou tou jou!  Glory to God forever!

Jim & Karen Anderson


Friday, May 16, 2014

General Hospital and LaPherre Orphange

With an early start in worship at Tent Church, our team was energized by Pastor Gary with music and  prayer.  The music made everyone rise up from their seats and rejoice in tears of happiness.  After a filling breakfast we set off for General Hospital.
Setting off to the heart of Port-au-Prince we bounced off a few walls on our way into the hospital.  The tap tap had some difficulty going through the gate and after a harrowing, near death experience through traffic (according to Jim), we made it through the gate, but not before Jodie, our little lark, encouraged some "locals" to sing along with her.  
The hospital was unlike anything we have seen before, the single, narrow hallway was filled with the reverberant sounds of sickly cries. The first room we went in was a maze of hospital IV's and mothers  waiting for their babies to get better. One little girl, Kensyia, in particular tugged at all of our heart strings as we learned that she was only 4 months old and abandoned by her mother because she was ill and the mother was scared and didnt know what to do with her. She will most likely end up in an orphanage upon leaving the hospital. For many of us, we were blessed to see the semi smile that only a bright eyed 4 month old can make before we left.  Once we left that room, we lined the halls and began to sing, there was hardly a dry eye in the corridors.
Arriving at the gate of LaPerre Orphange, we could hear the joyful voices of children playing. The doors opened and the children rushed to their tables for the faith lesson we had prepared.  Their ages ranged from one to seventeen years old.  Some had children of their own and some depended on the the help of other children there.  The creative spirit of the children rose up as they completed their rainbow projects.  Their artistic expression touched the hearts of all of us.  
Ending our day in prayer,  we know that God has used each and every one of us to the fullest today.  We are all looking forward to a night of rest after Salsa dancing was postponed due to a well needed Thunder Storm.       Gods Blessings............     Russ & Amber

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Elder and Orphanage

This morning we visited five elderly people in Titanyen, a village about forty five minutes northeast of Port-au-Prince.  We surrounded them with praise songs as we worshiped our Lord, and massaged their arms, legs,  feet and heads.  We prayed for each of these wonderful people.

We touched their bodies and our hearts were touched.  We were filled by the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit, and our souls were touched deeply by the experience.

In the afternoon we visited Isaiah's and Juno's orphanages and shared a faith lesson about Noah.  We enjoyed fun with the children as we sang,  did a craft project with them and shared animal crackers with these hungry children.

Each evening, we meet as a team to debrief the days activities.  It is a time of reflection and is very revealing and meaningful for us all.

For some, it was a day filled with worship, joy and holiness.  For others, the day was hard as it stirred our emotions so deeply.  It left some with a feeling of holy discontent.   Our week is nearly half over.  We wait with expectancy for what God has in store for us on the rest of this journey, and in the days ahead as we return home and continue to process the emotions that are sometimes uncomfortable.

Over these past few days, the team has bonded well.  We have developed a sense of community and appreciation for each other's gifts.  With the support of the team, each member has embraced situations way outside normal comfort zones and has grown in new ways.  It is a privilege to be part of this team.  

Joyfully in HIS service,

Steve & Debbie Johnson

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


This morning was spent in two different places, but we came to see that God had a clear hand on each person to be exactly where they were called to be. We began the day with all of us aboard the tap-tap. Emmanuel, one of our guides, began singing "God is so good" and soon all of us had joined in. As the harmonies came out and we sang out as one, it seemed like a holy moment.

Our first stop was at the home of sick and dying children where 9 of us were going to serve. 4 rooms were each filled with 20 cribs. We came during visiting time so the outside area was filled with mothers visiting their children and a couple other teams playing with little ones. Our group dispersed into a couple of the rooms-- with the "least of these", those too sick to be up and about. I was blown away by how everyone jumped in and started loving on these babies. many were severely malnourished, some crying or moaning, others reaching out to be held. It's such a simple thing, to just be with a child. To hold them, rub their back, and whisper prayers over them. And yet, God is there, moving among them. As we left at noon, many of us were speechless, unable to put into words what we experienced. Sickness, darkness, and yet utter love and tenderness.

The second group of 8 went on to pick up several of the children at Gertrude's and go on to the hotel pool for water therapy. As it happened, each of the children seemed perfectly fitted to the team member they were with. In the pool, they helped the children relax their muscles through the sense of water and touch. it amazed them how quickly they adjusted to the water and how trusting they were of the team, even though they could only communicate with their eyes. After getting out of the water, the real show began starring the one and only Jim Johnson and Jody Eiffert and their infamous dance skills which sent one of the little girls into fits of giggles. We all were privileged to view the video later on-- priceless! When the other group picked them up, the whole group was full of smiles and joy-- so impacted by this experience and these special kids.

We all stopped for a quick lunch and then headed to Gertrude's to see the rest of the children and help with lunch. There were about 20 children, most with special needs. I'm blown away by the staff at places like this- women who day after day, hour by hour, love and care for these children that need so much help and care. I was so excited to find out they were having Feed My Starving Children MannaPack Rice! Working for FMSC stateside, you hear about the impact you make, but to be spoon-feeding a little girl in Haiti myself... it's a whole new perspective! Christine and I got to help do the dishes-- I think the staff was surprised we asked to help- but to bless and help these women who are the real heroes in caring for orphans is a blessing to us!

Back home we prepped for the next day while some of the team were able to visit Haiti Teen Challenge where they focus on the issue of fatherlessness and teaching young men to live as godly fathers and impact their communities for good. The night ended with an impromptu worship time with 4-part harmonies, practicing for singing with the elders tomorrow. And then, salsa dancing lessons for us all on the rooftop patio from Healing Haiti's own Jean!

Today was like a kaleidoscope, as Steve aptly put it tonight... you look through and you see beauty and joy and wonder, but a small twist of it and there is darkness. Today was a mix of both. It was a day of embracing the moment, serving the least of these alongside the unsung heroes who care for the kids everyday. These children are strong, they share with us unspoken love and they experience the healing light of our savior. God is so good as he arranges appointments for each of us and gives us validation that we are called to be here. We want to have servant hearts, be available and run into God's arms as we reach out for the raised arms of kids wanting to be loved. Like the man who threw the starfish back in the ocean, while we may not be able to touch and save all the orphans in Haiti, we can make a difference in one in each moment... and that's what it's all about.

Anna Lisa

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cite Soleil

The world spins quickly and millions of things take place in it, but today, in this place, God slowed the world down and showed us His children in Cite Soleil. A bleaker place one will not find and yet the joy and the need for love is strong. And for a few short hours I was lost in the meaning of why Jesus came and what He desires from His sons and daughters.

A child's joy is unquenchable, a fountain of hope in the moment, a light that shines brighter when given the slightest provocation to do so. Children who have nothing still suddenly alive in the arms of someone who wants to hold them and, perhaps, shield them for just a few minutes, from the world they know.

This is why Jesus came and this for whom He came. May we who have been shown such love and grace and mercy be quick to do the same to those who need it, wherever we find them and however He determines is best. And may our world slow down permanently so that we stop missing the people and opportunities to bless and start bringing His love to those who are hungering for it.

Today we experienced touch, heartache and hope. We had the privilege of praying at the site of the new church that will be built in Cite Soleil. We felt needed by the children we met today and they felt our love. We saw hunger and desperation. As the day ended we felt humbled and transformed. We experienced the community of Cite Soleil and the community we are forming as a team. 

A Day in City of Soleil

We were needed and they were loved!

It was an awesome day full of God's blessings and love.  Today we went to City of Soleil, known as the slums of Haiti.  Our first encounter for the day were the smiles of children wanting to jump in our arms and be loved.  We held and played and danced with each one, many not wanting to leave our arms when we needed to leave for the next water spot.  We saw desperation in the eyes and the action of those waiting in line to get their water for the week.  These children, some not older than four or five were carrying buckets of water back to their homes.  These homes were made of cardboard, some tents cities, some tin homes and some less than that.  In the midst of this desperation, starvation, malnutrition and filth we saw people appreciative of the water they were receiving. None of us felt unsafe.  We all felt a sense of wonder -wanting to know about these lives we were encountering and what their lives are like once we leave.

We were truly blessed to be able to visit the site where the first church in City of Soleil will be built.  Two weeks ago, Healing Haiti was given permission to build a church on the site of the city dump.  It will be a blessing for these people and it will be challenging for Healing Haiti.  There are some who will not be happy that Jesus is building a home in their city.  Prayers will be needed for the success of the builiding and sustaining of the church.  We sang with the children and prayed over the site.  It was surreal, emotional and awesome all at once.

After our exhauting day of pouring water from the large water truck, playing with the children, holding and loving on all of them and carrying 50 pound buckets of water- we played soccer with the neighborhood boys.  We took ten boys in the tap tap with us to a regulation size soccer field.  All these old white people played these Haitian boys.  Ha!  What a hoot that was.  They were not very gentle with us either.  We had a wonderful Haitian boy be our captain and tell us all what to do.  Without him we would of been a total disgrace.  With him we were only half.

We had a delicious dinner prepared by our cooks and then seven of us went to the hotel pool.  A beautiful hotel is up the road and we swam in their pool.  Very happy to cool down and get the dirt and grime off of our bodies.  It was a total contrast from what we saw in the city.  Here they had a beautiful pool with tables with white table cloths and a hotel any of us would be happy to stay in, in the states.

It is so difficult to share exactly what we saw, felt and experienced.  We saw past the filth and garbage and saw God's family.  We saw that we all are the same, we just have different color skin and live in a country that has so much more materialism.  We are all God's children and He loves us just the same.

Tomorrow Nicole and I will go to Gertrude's Orphanage and pick up some of the disabled kids so we can do water therapy.  It will be less physically exhausting and just as rewarding.

God bless,

Nicole and Lis

Monday, May 12, 2014

One degree...

Bright and early, we all awoke this morning...some of us having not slept a wink at all!  We started this trip as 17 individuals, each with a personal calling and motivation to be in Haiti.  We ended the evening feeling like family.  What could possibly happen in just one day?

GOD can happen to a group of people.  He has brought us together to work for His glory as one unit. And this unit already feels like a family.

Many of us, not just the leaders, took the initiative to make sure every team member was accounted for every step of the way during our day of travel.  Without realizing it, we were looking out for each other.  Each one of us has brought with us human frailties, struggles, and challenges to this trip. What is amazing to us as leaders is how early we see the team rallying around each other and helping one another through these difficulties.

Even with these personal challenges that many of us are dealing with, we believe that God is calling us to go that extra step for His glory.  The difference between 211 degrees and 212 degrees Fahrenheit is more than just one simple degree.  That one small degree is the difference between hot water and boiling water that produces steam strong enough to power a locomotive.  We feel God is challenging us as a team to go that one extra degree.

We are so excited and filled with anticipation to see how His power will be evident in that one degree!

Lois & Kara