Sunday, August 6, 2017

Haiti - August 6-12, 2017

We are a small team, just Pam and Deb, but God is helping us to get a lot accomplished. We arrived on Monday after spending the night at Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Our plane from Detroit was delayed, which prevented us from staying in a Ft. Lauderdale hotel as originally planned. Pastor Herve traveled with us. Monday afternoon, we met with the Community Agents and discussed what we would be doing for the week. It has been great being with them again.

On Tuesday, we hiked to Dupin and St. Marc in the morning to get the Community Agents' supplies stocked for the upcoming school year. On the way to Dupin, we stopped at the house where the baby had been born during our February trip. The baby is now around six months old and her name is Olencia. It was so much fun to see this mama and baby again. She is doing very well, as you can see in the picture below.

In the afternoon, the Agents came and began to work on their capstone projects. In May, they chose topics, and they are now putting them together on tri-fold boards to present in November. On Friday this week, Pam and I will get a preview of how they are coming along. We've posted a few pictures showing them at work on their projects. The blood pressure clinic was Tuesday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Pam held a Lifestraw seminar and every school was represented. Deb went to Degeance and MPCA to restock supplies for those schools.

We are having a great time putting into practice the Creole lessons that we have been taking in the US from Hachemy. Hachemy would be proud of us I'm sure. Anite, the Community Agents, and our translators, Carter and Evans, are enjoying our broken Creole and have been a great help.

Thank you for your prayers!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Haiti/DR - July 16 - 25, 2017

July 17,  2017

Today was our first official day in Haiti! Some of us went to Chardene while others went to the teacher seminar. I was one of the folks who went to Chardene. When we first got there we had a pretty low attendance but after we started several more kids showed up. They said it took them longer to get up because of the cold from the rain last night. Meanwhile our team was dripping with sweat haha! Once the kids got there we had a great day! I was in charge of the science station and had an experiment where we used vinegar and baking soda to inflate a balloon. I also made a couple of makeshift baking soda volcanoes. We played games with the balloons with our extra time. The kids’ favorite was “don’t let the balloon touch the ground.” I’ve come to the conclusion that no matter how old, balloons give people joy. Fun fact: the word for balloon in Creole is "blag" which also means "joke."

After we were done with our stations everyone assembled and we sang “Papa Abraham” which is just the best. I love singing “Papa Abraham” with the Chardene students! Then the kids were dismissed for lunch and we ate lunch then painted chalkboards in the classrooms.  A quote to describe today is, “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
See you all on the flip!

-- Dorie

We have a record number of Haitian teachers this year for the Teachers’ Seminar, which means each of the five American teachers had approximately 40 students in each of the five sessions.  The Haitian teachers are always welcoming and eager to learn. I planned my lessons on waves in order to address a question that was posed last year about earthquakes by one of the Haitian teachers.  Incidentally, the teacher who posed the question, named Manly, happens to be my translator!   Since I was teaching on waves, I taught each class how to “Do the Wave.”  Starting at one side of the room with 1, 2, 3, Go!  As this translates to un, deux, trois, “Ale!” (pronounced “Allay,”)  some classes added  Alleluia!  So that’s the word I would use to describe this experience…Alleluia!  God, You are wonderful, amazing, marvelous, miraculous, surprising, and incredible and I count it is a privilege to worship with the believers here in Haiti.
-- Jeanette

July 18, 2017

Day two in beautiful Haiti.  Everything has been running smoothly.  After eating spicy scrambled eggs (yummy!) for breakfast, five of us headed for the teacher’s school to teach our 5 seminar sessions.  I had a great time with my classes today.  We were studying probability and doing some “hands-on” experiments. Each teacher was given a penny and they had to flip it 50 times and record their results.  What fun they had! It was a very big learning experience for them.  I encouraged them to begin doing these kinds of activities in their own classrooms.  That is something they seldom do because they have never seen it demonstrated.  It was very fulfilling to give them tools to use to improve the education here in Haiti.  God has been with us each step of the way.  It has been so nice to meet new people, connect with some from previous years, and also watch how God is using the young people that are with us.  What a great group they are.  We have had some very good devotions at night, along with a little rain.  I am looking forward to the rest of the week to see what all God has planned. 
-- Sharon

Hi all, this is Claudia! Beautiful isn’t enough to describe this trip so far. We have gone to two of the schools so far and they both have been wonderful, from racing the kids to the other side of the courtyard, to singing to our Abba at the top of our lungs! Also, I met the sweetest little girl today in Degeance: my sponsor girl. God made our first meeting perfect! After the team hiked up to the school, we gazed upon the main classroom and saw three children standing there on the outside. I noticed the little girl standing in between the two boys kind of looked similar to the picture of my sponsor girl. But immediately I began to doubt that it was her because of there being a lot of little girls at the school. I talked to some of the team and someone told me to go ask her what her name is. I proceeded to ask her and she said the name that I was looking for: Dashna! I was shocked and overjoyed all at the same time. She was my buddy for the rest of the camp, and I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful meeting with my beautiful girl! Also, I met one of my best friends one year ago today! So to celebrate we listened to our song, Fierce by Jesus Culture. God is so good, all the time! Isaiah 55:9 

-- Claudia

July 20

Hello friends, family, and everyone else! This is Drake checking in with y’all. The trip has been great so far. We have had several good chances at fellowship with the kids and also with our translators. This trip has been especially neat because at every school a Haitian kid or leader has remembered me, even my name. I also got to spend time with Carter and Jean Auguste yesterday; they were our translators for trips in the past.  Today has been my favorite day so far, I had the opportunity to share what the cross means with the students.  Tomorrow some of us leave for the Dominican Republic and I am super excited to see everyone I met last year. I am missing everyone back home! Please continue to pray that we are safe and God uses us.
- Drake

The 4-day teacher seminar ended today, and we were all blessed with the opportunity to work with the Haitian teachers this week.  Our prayer is that the teachers here are able to take all the information we gave them and find ways to apply it in their classroom.  We worshiped together each morning and ended the seminar reflecting on our role as educators.  God has called us all to love others and that includes the students that enter our classrooms each day.  In order for us to truly love them, we must know God because God is love.  Our prayer for our Haitian teachers is that they will continue to seek God and grow in His love, so they can fulfill the calling that God has placed on their life.  It was our honor to be a part of their lives this week.

- Tracy

July 21 - in Haiti

Hey everyone, it’s Moriah here! ‘The days have been long while the week has gone way too fast!” –Taylor. I have been able to touch up on a lot of my French while talking to the kids because French is similar to creole. Every school we visit they have the sweetest kids. Watching them play with the little things like balloons, bubbles and a soccer ball brings me so much joy. Today we went to Saint Marc and I instantly made friends with this little boy named Alevio. Every time I would see him across the room he’d smile and wave. I was a group leader today and the Alevio helped me out so much and would never leave my side. When you would walk by the kids they would just want to touch and love on you. Even when I couldn’t understand what they were saying they would just start singing, sometimes teaching me their songs. I just enjoy everything about Haiti, like seeing where the mountains touch the ocean and all the beautiful people. I am so thankful for all the translators and their personalities. Although we’re all very thankful for Dorie and everything she has done for us with Creole.
-Love Moriah

Last night we went to a church service at Saint Marc, which was indescribable, and then today we headed back there for camp. During the church service last night, two little girls sat on Lisa’s and my laps, and today I got the opportunity to see them again, which was super cool! They totally recognized me, ran up and gave me a giant hug. Their smiles were priceless.  The view from the balcony on the church was so beautiful. You could see the ocean and mountains, along with the rest of the town of Saint Marc. Today during camp I was a group leader and I had the sweetest little boys and girls in my group. At the game station, I got hit in the head with a beach ball, and they all ran over and kissed it and made sure I was okay. Later in the day, my shoe was untied and one of the little girls ran over and started to tie it for me with the biggest smile on her face. It is so amazing how genuine and loving the kids are. God has been working major miracles this week, and He will always continue to do so.


July 22 - in Haiti

It’s hard to believe that today was our final full day in Haiti. We have shared a lot of laughs, prayers, and sweat through out the week. Rene told us last night that this morning would be a “spirit-led morning”, and it was perfect. We hiked up to Degeance to do a prayer walk through the school grounds and the community. We had the privilege of laying hands on several adults and many children. We spoke life over the land and covered them with the blood of Jesus. As we hiked past the school, we came upon a giant tree that is used as an alter for voodoo ceremonies. Standing around the tree, I felt darkness and a tightness in my chest. There were hundreds of birds in the tree and as we began to pray, their singing became louder and louder. Even the birds were praising God with us! As we continued to pray and rebuke the evil I felt the darkness lift and my chest begin to loosen. God was moving. A group of students followed us to the tree and through the village. Claudia got to see Dashna again and tell her one last time that she loved her. :) After our prayer walk we had lunch and then headed back to St. Marc to finish painting the classrooms. With a little bit of team work and a whole lot of Jesus music, we got the job done. Prayers would be appreciated tomorrow morning as we head back to the US after church in the morning. We are sad to be leaving this beautiful country but excited to come back and continue to intercede for the Haitian people in different ways. Thank you for your prayers this week and we will see you tomorrow night!

-       -- Jenna

July 22 - in the DR

Hola, today was our first full day in the DR! Due to a funeral of a community member, plans were slightly altered. Instead of having a morning and afternoon camp, we invited all kids to come in the morning. I was with Jeanette teaching science this morning so we got to teach the kids all about waves and how they contribute to natural events like earthquakes and tsunamis.  Each kid received a slinky to help demonstrate the types of waves; they loved testing out their new slinkies and seeing how far they could make them travel. It was awesome being able to teach them something new while also having a ton of fun! It was a slight struggle to transition from Creole to Spanish, however, my Spanish knowledge is much greater. After eating lunch with the kids, we had a little free time before setting off for quite an adventure. The taxi picked us up and we were headed to a Haitian wedding. Let me tell ya, I’ve never experienced such a wedding. For starters they originally said the wedding started at 2:00 pm, but didn’t actually start until 5:00 (thank goodness we didn’t show up until 4:30).  It was neat to see the wedding party perform a dance as they awaited the bride and groom. There was also a good amount of singing, but the rest of the details we’ll just have to tell you when we get home. After the wedding, we headed back to the school to find some sweet baby bats and with that we will see you all very soon!


The rest of our crew was busy at camp as well.  Besides the Science lessons, we had a game station in the courtyard and Bible time that focused on Psalm 18:2 - God as our refuge and rock. Tomorrow we will be attending church in the morning at the Creole church.  Then, after lunch we will join the Spanish church for evangelism walks around their neighborhood before attending church in the evening. 

We will also be working on our individual testimonies that will be shared at the end of camp on Monday.  Pray that God speaks to each of us and we can clearly know what he wants us to share with these kids in the DR.  We love and miss our families, but are loving what God is doing here in the DR.

July 23, 2017

Today was full of worshiping with our Dominican friends.  We started the morning at the Creole church where we looked at the freedom we have with Jesus.  After church, we made ourselves a lovely lunch and then the guys played some basketball with some of the guys from the church.  Later in the afternoon, we were split into 4 groups and, with members of the Spanish church, went on a prayer walk where we stopped and prayed for individuals in the community and invited them to church.  Once again, we were blessed to worship only this time we were at the Spanish church.  God is so amazing because even though we do not speak the same language we have the common bond of worship to God.  Today we experienced worship in Creole, Spanish and English; 3 languages all worshiping the same God.  Our evening ended with each of us sharing our testimonies with each other.  Tomorrow we will be sharing these testimonies at camp with the kids.  It is our last day, so pray that we can touch the hearts of these children.

Ebenezer's Creole Church

The dedicated basketball crew.  It was so hot, but they kept playing

Our team after church at Ebenezer - Spanish Church

July 24, 2017

Buenos tardes! Our team had a busy day of camp today and I loved every second. I was able to help Jeanette in her science station as we taught the kids about the elements of flight through making some sweet paper airplanes. It was the perfect visual for them to see how God lifts us up on wings like eagles daily (Isaiah 40:31).  The oldest group we had today created some home-made fidget spinners and let me tell you, those are a lot harder to make than they may seem haha.  Before lunch time, a few of us had the privilege of sharing our testimonies in front of all the kids. It was extremely difficult for me to say goodbye to my new friends, but I can definitely say they’ve taught me a lot in the short time I’ve been here with them.  Their compassion, zeal for life, and all-around enthusiasm for literally everything is contagious. We capped off the evening with a relaxing trip to the beach and came home to a few Dominican pizzas which were promptly devoured J Sad to say that today is our last day in the DR, but I think we’re all ready to come home (and eat some ice cream!)


We spent today hosting the second day of the camp.  Both the team and the kids had a blast.  I was a group leader today, so I got to experience every station in the camp. The kids seemed to really enjoy each station: bible lesson, science, and games.  It was exciting to see that the kids remembered the bible verse they had learned two days ago.  They also had a lot of fun building paper airplanes and doing competitions to see whose could fly farthest. They love competitions! Games were all about competing against one another. After all the stations were completed, some of our group members gave their testimonies.  It was nice to see how there are many aspects of how people can be brought to God. After that, more competition! We started a large game of volleyball. Oh, how they got super into that game! We then ate lunch with the kids. Once they all left, we got to head to the beach. It was a great way to end our trip here in the DR. Prayers for safe travels tomorrow. See you all soon!


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.