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!