We are home!

So a few days have passed since I’ve been able to blog about our Haiti trip, but just to keep you informed on the rest of our trip I will post one last time.

Sunday we were able to worship together with the people of Grand Savann Christian Church, and we even got to help lead worship doing some songs in Creole that we learned. We bought some souvenirs from some vendors that set up outside of the church, played with some of the kids, and then returned to Christianville for our Sunday brunch. We rode in style on the back of some motorcycles! So much fun! Ate our brunch and then our ride to go to the ocean came! Went to GSCC to pick up some church members to be baptized and then we were on our way! A tiny little pick up truck and about 20 people in and on it. This is Haiti. =] Had an amazing time witnessing and celebrating in the baptisms! While we were celebrating, there wasman young man that was clearly drunk who approached us asking for money. After declining him, he sat and watched us celebrate and sing. Praying that God uses that to show him the love that he needs in his heart. Prayer and hugs before we left the ocean! Alia and Renee got to hold the baby that came along on the way back. What can I say, we’re baby magnets! Dropped off the church members at the church, grabbed a quick Coca-Cola and made our way to an orphanage close to GSCC. Only 10 children in that orphanage and they were gorgeous. Made our way after that back to Christianville yelling our new favorite saying all down the streets; “Sak pass√©!” (What’s up?!) Sunday was a fun day.

Monday we visited another orphanage in Leogane before heading back to Croix de Bouquets. In His Hands Orphans Outreach Ministry has supplied some of the financial needs for this orphanage, so it was nice to see what they are doing with that money. Sang and laughed our way onto the Visa Lodge where we ate lunch and met Pastor Joseph. Delicious lunch! Ice in our drinks, and my that was lovely! Sometimes we forget the simple pleasures of life. Before going back to Pastor Joseph’s we stopped at Pastor Maurice’s church in Port au Prince and saw all that they have accomplished since last year! From there onto Pastor Joseph’s!! So wonderful to see the kids again! Lots of playing and trying to learn Creole which is VERY difficult. Sandy, Renee, and Alia all decided to sleep under the stars. Pastor Joseph joined and we all slept in the courtyard. SO wonderful!! Best sleep we’ve had all week!

Tuesday we woke up before the sun to sing and pray with the kids. Played all morning with the kids to get as much time in with them as possible. Yinik insisted on us eating something for lunch before leaving, so we ate and were off! Didn’t give ourselves enough time at the airport and missed our flight.. We got put on standby and by the grace of God got onto the next plane out! Arrived in Miami, but not with enough time to catch our connecting flight. So we had to stay in the airport hotel. Long stressful day, so it was nice to shower and relax for the night.

Wednesday (today was a bonus day). We managed to get on a flight to Chicago, but had no guarantee of a flight from there to St. Louis. Good enough with me! As long as we make it one step closer to being home. Right before boarding the plane there was an issue with a lost bag, but with some major prayer we all managed to make it on the plane! Praise God! Flew into Chicago and were able to grab lunch and get seats on the first flight to St. Louis! Woohoo!! Short flight to St. Louis and after grabbing our bags we were headed for home! Arrived at RCC around 3 and boy is it good to be home!

Thank you so much for those of you who have kept up with the blog and prayed for us! It has been such an adventure and God has been so good to us! Haiti will always be loved by us and I hope that shows through the few posts that I have been able to write. Until next time, thanks for reading!

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Living it up!

Today has been so amazing!!!

Slept SO good last night and started off the day right with breakfast! Jordon and Alia walked down to the other guest house to pray with one of the other guests who had come down with a sickness that no one could diagnose. She was doing much better than the night before, but the experience of praying over her with her teamates was very emotional. Once everyone got ready for the day, we left for Grand Savann Christian Church. Today is the day we did home visits! We waited at the church for quite awhile before we left (Haiti time is both a blessing and a curse). Pastor Benito got there and we split into 3 groups to do the home visits. Sandy and Alia, Renee and Jordon, and then Larry. Each group had a translator, and Sandy and I got lucky with the translator with a motorcycle!!! Woodland didn’t want to take us on his bike because he thinks women are scared of motorcycles, but Sandy and I were beyond excited to ride on a motorcycle in Haiti!! We were off! One of the best experiences EVER! I got to meet my (Alia) sponsored child and was so excited to do so! Since we had a means of transportation, we had the farther home visits to do. We went into the mountains and THAT was an adventure! For a majority of the day we had 4 people on the motorcycle! So fun. While we were in the mountains we had the opportunity to visit a voodoo temple and while Sandy was asking the priest questions through our translator, I was standing there praying over the temple and for Satan to leave that place. Not for a second did we feel unsafe in doing that, and we were blessed tremendously by God in doing it as well. The rain started to come in, so it was time to race down the mountain! So. Much. Fun! Met back with our team at GSCC and shared the amazing stories of our experiences! Jordon and Renee had Benito with them as their translator, and they were able to pray with a demon possessed man that those in the village had tied to a tree so he wouldn’t continue to cause trouble for them. Renee was also able to meet her sponsored child and was very blessed by it! I (Alia) had the chance to visit with Benito, and he was very grateful that Sandy and I were able to go with Woodland into the mountains to see for ourselves how far people in his church/school have to come every day. He was so grateful, because he doesn’t think people at RCC quite grasp how far people have to walk. Talking with Benito was an amazing opportunity. Because of the rain we were stuck at GSCC for the rest of the afternoon, but we were able to walk a short ways to a little shop to buy some Coke. Another amazing opportunity arose when we were able to pray over a congregation member that will hopefully be having heart surgery soon. God is just showing Himself to us in some incredible ways this week!

After playing in the rain and then sitting in the church waiting for it to pass, our ride from Christianville came to pick us up at 4pm. It has been a long and amazing day! Words can’t even begin to express! On the ride back to Christianville in the rain we all managed to try out our best “moo.” All that is except Vince, one of our Christianville hosts. “Vince doesn’t moo.” ūüėÄ The amount of rain that was received today was so good! God is SO good! Some vendors came to sell some of their things at Christianville, and most of us were able to purchase something. So much fun trying to barter with them! Went in to get out of the rain and had some team time before dinner. Dinner was rice and beans and fresh rolls!! So yummy. There are 19 orphans that arrived here today to stay at Christianville with their orphanage director. She had to give up her prior orphanage due to rise in rent prices, so Christianville offered her a place to live at a decent price. Thank God!! Dinner with all of the beautiful children was such a lovely thing. More team time after dinner, and how wonderful that is to have. Alia gave out some massages that were very well received! =]

Devotion time as a team to come! Today has been one of the best days yet, and God has shown Himself ever faithful and worthy of our praise! I hope and pray that even in the States you are able to experience this wonder and awe that He has bestowed upon us this week. God is so good and I just pray that you are able to receive such blessings as we have here in Haiti! Much love from all of us!

Butterfly Effect

Day 5 on our mission and lives are changing!

Today¬†we began with pancakes for breakfast and boy were they delish! We had some much needed team time with discussion of certain events that were happening and time spent in prayer. Everyone was feeling so much better and rejuvinated after we were able to express some concerns and feelings. Spent time in worship while waiting for our vehicle to get up and running, but when it didn’t start we were¬†escorted by the optition that lives at Christianville. Such a lovely man.

After last night’s devotional on how we need to pursue God and strive for nothing but Him, and how we have the potential to start a butterfly effect with just the simple things that we do or say, our perspectives for¬†today were fresh and we were ready to take on anything that God put in our path. We began our adventure by visiting Pastor Benito’s home about 10 minutes from Christianville. His wife and children are so beautiful and welcoming, and we had¬†a lovely visit. Left when we needed to access the bathroom (no worries, no serious sicknesses!), and made our way back to Christianville for lunch. After lunch, Larry, Sandy, and Jordon made their way to Grand Savann Christian Church to meet with the VBS team and Renee and Alia stayed at Christianville to meet with the GS nurses. Everyone had a successful afternoon and wonderful meetings! Praise God for that! Jordon and Renee tried climbing one of the palm trees with little success, but it sure was humorous for the rest of us! =]¬†Dinner was spaghetti and breadsticks – man do they feed us well! Our day is pretty much complete and now we are just having some time of relaxation and meditation on our days events.

God has proven Himself to be ever faithful and continues to blow my mind as He is always taking me by surprise. Here is the major highlight from today for me (Alia) that I want to share with everyone: As Renee and I were waiting for the nurses to get to Christianville, we were sitting in the eating area visiting when 3 beautiful children that we believe were the cook’s grandchildren came running right to us to hug and kiss us! They were so overjoyed when they approached us and the looks on their faces make this trip so worth while. Around 30 minutes later when they were leaving and we were STILL waiting for the nurses to come, they came running back to us to say “Orevwa” and kiss us before they left. The love that they portrayed in just those quick moments was so amazing. I was filled with joy just from their joy.

I pray that those of you that are reading this will experience this joy some day. There is nothing that compares to this. Thank you again and again for all of your support and I hope that you are blessed beyond measure in the coming days!

“Maximize the experience!”

Today was another day in the car! After breakfast at Pastor Joseph’s this morning, we set out on our journey to Christianville. First stop was at the orphanage in Maison to visit where the Hurtubise and Moore families have adopted from. There were 2 other missionary teams there and it was so nice just to visit with them and see where they were from. After visiting for awhile (I never know how long, cause there is never a clock around and I love it!), we left for the Visa Lodge. We were there to meet up with our transportation to get to Christianville. They were on time and we were on our way! Only about an hour and a half drive from Port au Prince to Christianville which is near Leogane and Grand Savann. Arrived with no problems and settled into our rooms. Rearranged the luggage and got everything organized and put in it’s place. The rest of the day was spent in relaxation, which was exactly what everyone was in need of! We sat outside under the palm trees journaling and getting to know each other better, and Jordon caught a lizard! He was so proud of himself. =] Pastor Benito arrived and stayed until after dinner. Christianville has some of the best food!! Fresh rolls every day, and man are they good! Visited with some of the other teams that are staying here, and then set out on our adventure to show Jordon around since he’s never been here before. After our adventure we came back to have our devotion time as a group and low and behold Pastor Joseph came in to surprise us! Larry knew he was coming because he had set it up for him to bring him a new phone. After devotion time, part of the team decided to go on a tarantula hunt. Not really up for the adventure, but they told me this was a way to maximize! No luck finding one, but the stars are incredibly bright and beautiful, and the Milky Way is so clear! God really made this world something to enjoy when it’s in it’s natural state! Such beauty all around us.

We are feeling refreshed and comfortable as we are here and settled in with a big day ahead of us tomorrow! Praising God for His travel mercies and for allowing us to enjoy this amazing world He has for us. Feeling blessed and humbled. Continue to keep us in your prayers as we head into the village tomorrow to visit with Pastor Benito’s family and visit sponsor children’s families and other things that may be ahead of us.

God bless and thank you for all your prayers for us!

Haiti, we have arrived!

Greetings from Croix de Bouquets, Haiti!

After driving to St. Louis, flying to Miami (with a couple hour detour in West Palm Beach due to the weather), and staying overnight in Miami, we arrived safely in Port au Prince, Haiti, yesterday! However, we did not manage to make it WITH our checked bags of supplies.. After getting that all sorted out at the airport, Pastor Joseph drove us to his lovely home/orphanage in Croix de Bouquets. Instantly the kids were hanging all over Jordon and I (Alia), and Jordon was a bit more bombarded due to it being his first time in Haiti. So blessed by the children who remember me from the last time I was here, and hearing them call my name melts my heart. The kids LOVE Jordon and seeing everyone else, too! Played all afternoon with the beautiful children, and then enjoyed our first Haitian meal of rice and beans!! So delicious. We had our evening devotional time with Pastor Joseph and his brother-in-law Pastor Paul, and were able to have some team bonding which is so wonderful! After the long day we had had, I went straight to bed while everyone sat outside until the wee hours of the morning. Day 1 – a huge success and blessing to make it safely!

Day 2: Woke up to the children’s beautiful singing voices praising the Lord! I love that. Haitian spaghetti for breakfast – yummy and spicy!! Visited around the orphanage while Larry and Pastor Joseph went into PAP to get our bags from the airport. Once they returned we began our journey into the mountains! Oh how I love the Haiti mountains! This made for a long day, but we were able to visit Pastor Paul’s church and visit with other ministers there. They are so welcoming to us that it makes us rethink how we should treat missionaries that visit us at RCC. Lots to process and think about today. Crossed over the mountains into the Dominican Republic and climbed some of the land to reach an incredible waterfall! Facing some fears today! Got attacked by fire ants and had an allergic reaction, had to push the jeep up the mountain to get back to where we came from, and doing it all for the glory of God!! Arrived back to Croix de Bouquets around 8 and had another scrumpscious meal served by our lovely host’s wife, Yinik.

Everything is going well by the grace of God! We travel to Christianville tomorrow and hope to check back within the next couple of days! Thank you church family and fellow bloggers for keeping us in your prayers and we go into all the world serving and glorifying our great God!