Saturday, April 29, 2017

Haiti - April 29 - May 5, 2017

April 29, 2017

 It has been a long day, but we are so glad to be here is Haiti. We had an eventful morning checking all of our luggage in once we got to Cleveland, but it was smooth sailing from there. Both flights were fine (we even saw a rainbow from the plane) and collecting our luggage was a breeze. The drive to the Mission Center was nice and not too hot, because of the rain. Once at the center, we unpacked and waited for dinner: Haitian Spaghetti, a first night staple. We gobbled up dinner and relaxed the rest of the evening. Mary took a swim, which she was itching to do from the second we arrived! The sunset was gorgeous, as always. It was a long, great first day. Now, everyone is off to bed so that we will be well rested for an early morning of church at LaHatte! 

Thank you to all of you who are praying for us on our journey this week. We know God is present and we are just waiting to see how He moves in us!

April 30, 2017

To say today was an adventure, would be quite the understatement!  It started with a wonderful breakfast prepared by Monita, and then the real journey began!  Riding in an open truck down Highway 1 is exciting enough but then to turn off into a “dried up” river bed to trek up to LaHatte school and church is a ride you will not soon forget, especially when the truck gets stuck and you then need to walk the rest of the way.  There were no complaints or grumblings just much laughter as certain members of our team repeatedly lost there shoes to the mud!
Then as we drew closer to the church, we saw man after man dressed in their Sunday best walking out to aid in the rescue of our truck.  Let’s just say, that too is an image we will not soon forget: a suit clad gentleman with a pick axe slung over his shoulder.

We knew we had made it when the sound of a hymn came wafting out across the heat of the morning air.

Mud caked shoes were taken from us and cleaned to shine like they did when they were new!  Pastor Herve insisted on washing our feet, such a humble deed for “the boss” (the Field Director here in Haiti) as well as a humbling experience for the team.

Church was inspiring... a hymn in a different language still feeds the soul.

Following church the medical pieces of our team evaluated children and our PR team, Shelby and Rene, gathered footage to help tell the Mission Possible story. Mary taught the leadership team about proper cleaning and maintenance of the Life Straws which is the water filtration system providing water for the school and community.

The team was so glad to look out and see the truck had reached the top and would soon carry us back down the mountainside.

Back at the ranch....or the mission center as it is called, the Community Agents patiently waited for further training.  Belinda and Pam spent time talking with them, getting suggestions on what they need, how things are going and introductions to new capstone projects while Mary continued her personal mission of teaching them about the Life Straws.  Crystal did further training with Anite who is completing her Bachelors in Nursing this Friday. Congratulations Anite!!

The next adventure came for our PR team, heading up to Degeance to video the current school with the hope and vision of the new school in the horizon.  The children of Degeance had fun with Vanessa....lets just say a pair of sunglasses and an ipad can go a long way in entertaining beautiful children!

That pretty well brings our day to a close with a wonderful, gentle storm and inspiring sunset.

Keep up the are all a very valuable part of the team.

May 1,. 2017

Our day-two adventures started fairly early after a lovely meal prepared by Monita. We left at about 7:30 (we are on Haiti time, so it very well could have been closer to 8:00) to head out to Chardene School. Unfortunately for us, today was a holiday and the kids had the day off. To our surprise though, many kids greeted us upon arriving. The principal and teachers asked the sick kids to make sure and be there. We got out and went straight to work on our different tasks. Pam led Vanessa, Belinda, and Crystal in setting up to evaluate and treat kids that are or were sick. Mary took charge of leading the Community Agents in changing the Life Straw water filters. Rene and Shelby got the video camera and Go Pros and went to work interviewing kids, teachings, and recording other various footage.

The morning flew by. All of the kids that were sick and needed to be assessed were seen. Mary did a great job of teaching the Community Agents and allowing them to try out what they learned about the Life Straws. They also were able to check out the new well and are in the process of testing the water to see if it is safe to drink (this process takes 24-48 hours so we might know tomorrow). Rene and Shelby interviewed kids that were taken to the hospital earlier this year for surgery, kids that would like surgery in the future, and preschool and kindergarten teachers talking about the children’s books they received. In addition, Rene is working on a very cool project that we got some good footage for!

After leaving Chardene, we drove back to the Mission Center were we quickly ate lunch and walked up the road to the smallest MP school, Lanzac, while Mary stayed behind to teach the Community Agents.  Lanzac is only preschoolers, so we had a room full of small children and their mamas. Again, Pam, Belinda, Crystal and Vanessa went to work assessing children, while Rene and Shelby occupied some of the kids on the playground. The afternoon went smoothly and as soon as the last child left, we packed up and walked home to the Mission Center. Monita was already finished with dinner by that time, so we sat down and ate the AMAZING Haitian food. At that point, Mary was able to share about how her day went with teaching the Community Agents. She had the lovely task of teaching them about Urinary Tract Infections, Hernias, sex and more! We ended the night we a beautiful sunset and off to bed for another crazy, fun, hot day in Haiti.

May 2, 2017

It never ceases to amaze me how God shows Himself everyday in Haiti!! Not only are His sunrises the most beautiful I have ever seen, but also how His people show His love. LOVE truly needs no translation!! Today we literally hiked over a river, through the forest and up a mountain to see the children needing medical attention in the village of Dupin. If you followed our blog last November this is where we met a sweet little boy and did a procedure at the mission center. The follow-up visit with Belinda, the provider that performed the procedure in November and now sponsors him, melted the hearts of those who got to witness their reunion!!  Dupin is the school that we hike the furthest to;  over 40 children and staff were assessed and treated today alone.  God doesn’t stop there. When one of our translaters showed up for work today, he was obviously ill, so we jumped into action and made sure he was treated so he would be able to continue to serve with us.

We started the day earlier than normal with servicing the LifeStaws at Lanzac. The Community Agent overseeing this project showed up 30 minutes before everyone else. This dedication spoke volumes to us here at Mission Possible.  The project is very important to ensure all the children have safe drinking water. Making sure they are properly maintained is crucial.

Pam, Rene and Shelby traveled with two children and their mamas to the hospital in a nearby village. The hospital, Pierre Payen, was very helpful in obtaining the proper labs needed to continue to assist our kids to keep them healthy. We were thankful for good reports.

After a long day, it is always a pleasure to come back “home” to some fresh Haitian food cooked by Mainita! She has always done a wonderful job of making delicious food for us. Today was on of my favorites!! Mashed potatoes!! If my family it reading this they know how much I love mashed potatoes!! Yes, I saved some for everyone else!!

A thunderstorm is rolling in now and we're getting ready to play some Fizz-bo! 

Thank you for praying for us this week!

May 3, 2017

Day four took us to Degeance school for a medical clinic, but before we went there we stopped at MPCA to do a follow-up with one student. Vanessa got to meet one of her sponsor students there as well.  Our journey up the mountain of Degeance began along side several young men from the school who came to carry all our supplies. Shelby was able to meet the two kids her church sponsors and Crystal was also able to meet one of her sponsor kids while at Degeance too. All were adorable and so sweet! There were 23 children seen and treated.  One young lady was so ill she had to be hooked up to an IV for fluids; we are all praying for her to feel better soon. The children were loving and delighted by our presence. Such a joy.

Meanwhile, our public relations team spent the majority of the day at the current Degeance school campus getting footage of students that had surgery a few months ago and other various things. Later, they took a hike through the village around Degeance with Pastor Herve, Jean-Michel, and Principal Wilson. They were invited into the homes to speak with families of children in the school talking about how MP has impacted their lives and their excitement about the new school. The hike ended at the property of the new Degeance campus where Pastor Herve gave his Vision Cast for the new school and property. The medical team hiked down and met them at the cattle truck.

This afternoon, Belinda taught the Community Agents about home-remedies, basic first-aid, proper documentation, and discussion on Capstone Projects. Pam, Mary, and Crystal set up the Blood Pressure Clinic for staff members. They reported that it was the best turn out and best results they have had! Belinda and Pam also performed a minor procedure on a student!

A long day ended with a dinner cooked by Monita and once again an unforgettable sunset.

May 5, 2017

Our final day in beautiful Haiti was a huge success. The morning started with seeing a preschool teacher from MPCA at the Mission Center who needed some lab work done. Our group split up to accomplish everything left to do, as it was our last day! Pam, Belinda, and Crystal left with the teacher to get the much needed lab work done at a lab facility while Vanessa, Mary, Shelby and Rene headed to Chardene for some last minute video and fixing a broken Life Straw. Shortly after arriving to Chardene, the group completed their tasks and left to continue to the next stop: Saint Marc. The medical team followed shortly after to Saint Marc, as well. Once at Saint Marc, the group set up for another clinic to see follow up students from the last medical trip and to see sick students. Rene and Shelby were able to get interviews with a few students while Mary worked with the Community Agents on the Life Straws. Mary, Vanessa, and Crystal were all able to see their sweet sponsor children! After everyone was finished with their work, Jean-Michel of the Leadership Team treated us to ice cream and soda. It was so kind of him and so refreshing after a long, hot day of work.

We then headed back to the Mission Center where Belinda immediately started teaching the Community Agents about wounds, bites, burns, infections, intestinal parasites, medication, and much more! Mary ventured to MPCA to assess their Life Straws and teach about care and upkeep. Pam kept busy helping a treat a teen-age girl and a little boy and his family among many other things. The rest of the group started getting everything ready to leave by taking inventory. The afternoon concluded with the beautiful sound of guitar played by one of our interpreters and a prayer with the Community Agents. Our night ended with a surprise to remember!

Tonight is bittersweet as we pack up, but we all miss our family and friends and are so thankful for the thoughts and prayers over our journey this week. We ask that you all pray for our travels tomorrow and all of the beautiful people we will be leaving.

Friday, March 24, 2017

DR - March 24 - April 1, 2017

March 26, 2017

Yesterday (Saturday) we got to sleep in at the hotel. Then we stopped on the way to Barahona to shop at a market and bargained for some great purchased! Afterwards, we enjoyed a "take out" meal of delicious fried chicken and plantains.

This morning we attended church after joining in on a community outreach trip. We shared Christ with people in their homes, in a hospital, and on the streets. Tonight we attended church again, where our team performed a skit and Josh shared a message. At the end of his message, three people accepted Christ as their Savior! There was awesome worship and dancing and giving glory to God.

Thank you for praying for us, and please keep them coming! We're all doing great so far and looking forward to what God has in store for our team this week!

Pastor Kevin giving the message at church in the morning.

The group doing outreach ministry

Josh giving the message this evening.

March 27, 2017

This morning we started our day with a tour of the school facilities. Here is (most of) the team in the computer classroom!

We spent the rest of the morning teaching English to 1st-8th graders using worship songs!

After lunch with the Ebenezer students, we took a trip to the beautiful beach for some time in the water and sun!

March 28, 2017

On Tuesday morning, the 4-8th grade students split into boys & girls and learned about the benefits and blessings of sexual purity and abstinence.

Afterwards, Josh gave a talk to both groups about the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking.

We traveled to the villages of Cristoble and Las Salinas to visit churches that some of our team members had helped build a few years ago.  At Cristoble, we spent lots of time playing with the kids and took a prayer walk around the village. 

The picture below is a view in Cristoble.

In Las Salinas, we attended a worship service and the team performed a skit for the congregation. It was a long, hot and exhausting day- and there is a lot more coming tomorrow!!

March 29, 2017

On Wednesday we had our first preschool time in the morning. The team read stories to the students in Spanish, played with hot wheel cars and geo boards, and colored some pages about the days of Creation.

Josh was reading a book about zoo animals!

Our preschoolers napped well after we played with them!

Lots of coloring fun!

On Wednesday we also started several painting projects, including two classrooms, a mural wall, and the large wall surrounding the school property.

After school, we started our three-day VBS program about the creating power of God. Our time includes a scripture lesson, a craft, and a sports/game time.

March 30, 2017

The team's biggest project on Thursday was washing, scraping and repainting the entire school yard wall. We couldn't believe we were able to get it all done and finish a couple of other painting projects as well!

For our VBS craft, the students made bead bracelets that showed all the colors of God's creation.

The students learned about the first four days of creation, and really loved playing wiffle ball!

March 31, 2017

We've had a great week and are ending on a high note for our last day... here are a couple of practical jokers locking some team members in the showers!

We had more preschool time this morning while two team members finished the last of our painting projects. We also had our last day of VBS where Pastor Kevin and Pastor Moise shared the gospel and invited students to give their lives to Christ. After three sessions, a total of 16 students accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior for the first time, and 6 more re-dedicated their lives to Him!

For game time, we tried to teach students the "over-under" game and "ultimate frisbee" but neither of those seemed to translate well. In the end, volleyball and basketball were huge hits! The students also made origami cats and colored sheets about the days of creation in the craft session.

We ended our meals in the DR with the popular corn pizza and some soda with ice! After cleaning and packing, we are ready for our long day of travel tomorrow... but not excited about having to load the bus by 6:30am. Thanks for your prayers this week -- we'll see you all back in the USA!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Haiti - Jan 26 - Feb 21, 2017

January 28, 2017

Today we had work crews working to build a playground, and assisting with the replacement of a roof at MPCA.

Shari and Deb had the joy of reuniting with Anite and the 13 community agents! They shared about how everything is going at their schools. They learned about administering Tylenol and Aleve. We will visit them throughout next week and meet as a group again next Saturday.

The OB nurses when to Dupin today and did seminars. They were expecting 25 to come but ended up with 37. The day went extremely well.

We put together kits to use to instruct ladies to create shopping bags from T-shirts.

January 29, 2017

    " I was glad when they said unto me,  let us go into the house of the Lord". Ps.  122            

Since we are blessed to have 3 different pastors this week, our team worshipped in 3 different churches, Each one had one of our pastors giving the sermon.  Pastor Tim Smith shared at St.  Marc, Pastor Lynn at MPCA and  Pastor Bill Burch at Dupin.  Following the service in Dupin,  the medical team and some helpful team members, finished the second day of the OB seminar and enjoyed a delicious Haitian meal made by church women.

The OB seminars were attended by 35 area pregnant women.  In fact,  one women took her homework very seriously and promptly delivered her baby after leaving the seminar on Saturday afternoon!  This women graciously invited us to her community to meet her beautiful new daughter!

When the women completed the 16-hour OB clinic, they were presented with a graduation certificate and an OB kit filled with hygiene pads,  homemade diapers in 2 different sizes, cloth diapers,  home birth kits,  vitamins,  tylenol, and baby blankets.  All the women were excited to get their OB packs and were very appreciative of their gifts.

Pastor Tim, Sharon, Deb, Jeff P., Julie, Adam, Jean, John, and Trish all attended St. Marc Church this AM. It was a wonderful service and we felt the Spirit of the Lord in the worship. Pastor Tim, Sharon, Jeff, Trish and Deb sang Victory in Jesus - Deb played the keyboard to accompany. It was wonderful to unite in worship with some of the friends that we have met in the past.

January 30, 2017

It was a very busy day today, with teams going many directions. Liane took a group to Dupin for crocheting class. 17 Haitian ladies came to the class today. When they return on Wed. they are expecting 30 to attend. The ladies really seemed to enjoy the class. They were taught to cut strips of T-Shirts and make yarn out of them. The project they are making is a purse. They learned a few basics today and were sent home with a crochet hook and ball of T-Shirt yarn to practice. Deb and Julie worked with the Community Agent in Dupin.

Jeff Perry stayed at the Mission Center to work on various plumbing issues. He worked on toilets, showers, sinks, storage tanks and so on. There is a lot of work to do on just general maintenance on plumbing. We are thankful he is here to share his expertise.

The OB group went to Degeance and did their seminars. 24 pregnant women came to the seminar for education on labor, delivery, and post delivery care. They walked very far and uphill in the heat to see us! WE have learned so much about these women. They are strong women and they have a faith in God that is truly amazing! One woman that we met today had experienced 2 stillborn deliveries and told us that she prayed for the Lord to give her a healthy delivery at home. Jen and Tammy prayed over her today. Please pray with us for a healthy baby and mommy. She is due this month!

Jean and Sharon stayed at the Mission Center to scape walls in preparation for painting the new pharmacy room.  Jean joined up with Jan to repair screens to protect against mosquitos. Then they got creative in closing up a possible rat entry hole in Rachel Inn.  Great team work.

Construction was begun on the playground at MPCA.  Plans were made for where the swings, monkey bars and teeter-totters will be placed, and the framework was laid for the footer that will hold
the posts for the fence.

January 31, 2017

What a wonderful day we had today with teams going in different directions.
The OB Team (Tammy, Denise, Amy, Jen, Sabine, and Stacey), Deb, Jeff Perry, Bill, and Sharon to the long journey to LaHatte. The ride up to LaHatte in itself is an adventure, as it goes through a dry river bed. It’s better than any amusement ride you will ever have! There were 8 ladies who attended the OB sessions. Deb and Sharon worked with the community agents in the AM. After lunch, the community agents sat in on the OB sessions. Jeff and Bill assessed what needs to be done at LaHatte in terms of maintenance of various structures. We had a great time interacting with the community people after our work was done while waiting for a driver to get us back to the Mission Center.  When the driver arrived, the ride back was just as exciting as getting there!

Today we had 26 ladies come to learn to crochet. They made a point to tell us to than all the ladies who helped make the t-shirt yarn they used to crochet with. They were grateful for all your efforts. They began a shopping bag today. It is so difficult to teach beginners to crochet when you do not speak the same language. Thank God above for the interpreters!!!! Continue to keep us in your prayers!

Shari went to Lanzac and spent the day there with the Health Agent. She was very impressed with how organized and motivated she was. She took it upon herself to stand at the gate where the children enter everyday to see if they had any health needs as they came to school.

Jean, Alicia, Heather, Judy,  Mary, Trish, and Shari scraped and painted at the Mission Center.
Tim and Mark went to Port Au Prince to a couple of “hardware” stores. Traffic was atrocious. Smells were interesting. 

John, Bob, Jon, Maureen, Trevor and Julie we were able to get all of the fence posts cut and installed. Construction for most of the footings for all of the playground equipment were completed as well. Tomorrow we’ll begin the concrete pour of the foundation which will support the fence that will surround the playground.

February 1, 2017

God continues to give us many blessings. OB team went to Degeance. Construction continued at MPCA . Scraping and painting at the Mission Center. A road trip to Port Au Prince for paint and supplies. Time spent with Health Agents. Crocheting at Dupin and the Mission Center. It's been a very busy day. We had a sweet time of worship tonight.

February 4, 2017

The Week 1 Team left for home on Friday. We were sad to see them go, but excited for the next team to get here. Today was spent getting ready for the Week 2 Team. One group went to MPCA for construction this morning. Others that stayed here made beds and prepared rooms for the new team. Deb and Sabina spent the day with the Community Agents. They all came to the Mission Center and we taught them about blood pressure. After lunch, those of us who are staying for more than one week served as volunteers to give the Community Agents some extra practice taking a blood pressures.

Week 2 Team arrived about 2:30 PM. They reported a fairly smooth experience getting through the Haiti airport. Andrea got to finally meet the Community Agents. She has been so involved in the planning of the program, but this is the first time she actually got to meet all of them.

February 5, 2017

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart and give Him praise! That’s what we did today.  We attended church at three different locations.  Lanzac, St. Marc Mission Possible Church, and St. Marc Assembly of God Church.

Pastor Lynn preached at St. Marc Assembly of God Church and others who attended there were Liane, Deb, Sabine, Jeff, Heather, Bob, and Ross. This church was celebrating their 22nd anniversary and had many special events today. The music was beautiful.  Our group also provided music in singing “How Great Thou Art” acapella. Although our languages are different, we definitely felt the Spirit of God in our service. We were invited to eat lunch at the Pastor’s house, which was such an honor. The entire congregation had lunch today because of their celebration.

At St. Marc Mission Possible Church, Pastor Rick preached on Ezekiel 37 about dry bones and if those bones can live. The service was wonderful with lively praise and worship, prayer and even a family dedication! Kaitlyn, Jessica, Brooklyn, Donna, and Jim performed a silent skit showing how sin can stick to our lives, and Jesus is the only way to break that bondage. Lunch was back at the Mission Center where we had rice and beans, cabbage salad, pickled onions, steak and green peppers, and pasta salad prepared by the Haitian chef, Manita.

The rest of afternoon was spent getting to know each other and having leisure time before our work week begins tomorrow.

Special Prayer Request – Please pray for Kenson, a young teen boy from Degeance who suffered 2nd degree burns on his back and right arm last Monday. He is getting daily dressing changes by the Mission Possible medical team. He is continuing to improve, but this will be a long recovery process.  He and his family would appreciate your prayers.

February 6 - 7, 2017

Monday began another busy week.  The medical team and sewing team traveled to Dupin for the day. On our hike back, Andrea and Liane were able to do a home visit with the young mother who delivered her baby last week. Both mother and baby are doing well. The hygiene teaching team had a successful day at Chardenne thanks to a three generation team of Grandma Becky, Mom Amanda, and daughter Lexi. The painting team also worked at Chardenne and completed painting all the classrooms. Deb and Sabine continued to work with the community agent at Chardenne. The construction crew continued to work hard replacing the roof and pouring cement for the playground at MPCA.  Kaitlin spent much of her time with the girls from the school.  They loved her strawberry blond hair and crowded around her to make braids.

After our busy Monday, Tuesday began with the word flexibility. The US is not the only country with a new president as Haiti has a new one, too. It was his inauguration today so we found out at breakfast that all schools were closed for the day, causing a quick change in the day’s previously planned agenda. Most of the team spent the morning touring Degeance—the current school building, the surrounding town, and the new school location. Liane, Jessica, Jean, Brenda, Brooklyn, Deb, and Donna stayed at the Mission Center to continue a sewing class with the women from Lanzac. The afternoon was spent in various work projects around the Mission Center and at MPCA. We are enjoying ending are evenings with a moving time of group devotions led by Lynn.

An update on Kenson: Prayers are being answered as his burns continue to heal with no signs of infection and his pain nearly resolved. Keep praying!

February 8, 2017

Today was another day of wonderfully hard, hot work! One group stayed at the Mission Center working on various maintenance projects, including painting and welding.
A second group of guys spent the morning and early afternoon preparing a pump for the new well at the Chardene School.  After they had everything assembled, they made the trek to the school to install it (praying it would fit down the narrow hole about 30 feet deep).
The ladies teaching the hygiene class went to St. Marc School today.  Girls 12 years old through 11th grade were given hygiene kits after attending the class.  They were VERY excited and thankful for the information and supplies.

The medical crew was at the Degeance School in the morning and St. Marc School in the afternoon.
Another crew worked at the Mission Possible Christian Academy to tear roofs off two classrooms and begin the replacement process.  It’s very HOT for those guys on the roof!!

The ladies who teach sewing made a second trip to Dupin today.  It’s a long, difficult, hot hike up and a very treacherous, steep hike back down.  While they were there, they spent time with 32 of the local women teaching sewing.

February 9 - 10, 2017

The past two days have been very busy!  Our teams have really blended well and we have had a great time working together.

On Thursday, one crew went with Mark into Port au Prince for supplies.  The hygiene and medical teams went out again to educate and perform physicals on students at the Mission Possible schools.  The rest of the group stayed at the compound and worked on various maintenance projects.

Today we had two groups go to Dupin – a roofing crew and the hygiene crew.  Some of the ladies stayed at the Mission Center for the morning and did a sewing class with about 20 Haitian women.   The rest of the group went to the Mission Possible Christian Academy (MPCA) and painted two classrooms, which had new roofs put on earlier in the week.

February 12, 2017

Kenson, the young Haitian boy with severe burns was seen by an entire medical team that God brought together in a very unique way. He is feeling better each day. Keep the prayers coming!
The remaining team members in Haiti attended church at St. Marks. Lynn Thompson preached and Pastor Herve translated – with embellishments!

February 13, 2017

God worked his miracles in our hearts and souls as we worked with the beautiful Haitian people.

Presley realized that the accident she was in last fall was a miracle in the fact that she lived. In America, she had the best medical care available. Had the accident happened in Haiti, she would not have survived.

Libby learned to get “back to the basics” in her nursing duties today. She didn’t have the supplies at hand that she would have had back home. She had to get “down to soap and water”.

Brian learned that he can weld with solar power.

Ron watched a Haitian man climb down into a 3’ wide well and go down 130’ to attach a pump.

The paint team completed three rooms. They still managed to take time to play with the children. Jean taught a little girl to paint. Emily made faces through the window with another little girl.

Construction team worked on a roof.

Sewing team climbed a mountain to lay out quilts with the ladies of Dupin. Lianne had a short devotion time with the ladies which concluded with the Haitians singing hymn in Creole.