Day 7 – Haiti

Today was our last full day in Haiti. We went to GSCC and passed out gifts to sponsored children. They each also received a package with toothbrushes and toothpaste. Madam Chris (Leah) brought balloons so we blew them up for them to play with – it seems that balloons are fun to play with in any country. Before they received their gifts the children sang us a couple of songs. They all were quite adorable! It was a little difficult to say goodbye to those sweet smiling faces.

We had lunch at Christianville and spent the afternoon at the orphanage that is located on the property (ran by Miss Sue). Egens and Diesel, two young Haitian gentlemen (Chris and Leah Lyons sponsor Diesel) spent the day with us too. They were thrilled that they were able to speak to Chris via Skype – they said it made them so happy.

While at the orphanage nails were painted and homework was completed. I was given a lesson by Samantha on the proper way to wash dishes in Haiti. Fill the tub with water, wash the grease off the dishes, stack the dishes on the counter, pour the dirty water through a strainer to catch the food particles, empty the strainer in the trash, fill both sides of the sink with clean water, put soap in the left, a capful of bleach in the right, wash dirty dishes, rinse in bleach water and place on the rack. Samantha washed those dishes with a smile on her face without one complaint! After the babies woke up from their naps we held them and played with them. Meeka is quite a handful. We decided she would make a great gymnast since she loves to climb on everything!

We had dinner, said our goodbyes to Egens and Diesel and held our last devotional on the roof. The sun was beginning to set and there was lightening in the distance. We made it a quick one so that we could escape the mosquitoes and it appeared the lightening was getting closer.

We turned in early to pack our bags for our return trip home.

Oravwa for now,

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team (MaryEllen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

 

Advertisements

Day 6 – Haiti

We’re all a little tired this Sunday morning. Squirrley and Smiley (dogs at Christianville) barked for what seemed to be all night long. We were dressed early and boarded the bus for Grand Savane for church service. What a treat! Our team member, Dennis Mumow, is the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Waverly and was asked to preach today. He did a fantastic job! During the service Pastor Benito asked Dennis to pray over a young gentleman who was ordained – what a nice surprise! We all felt so welcomed.

After church we had a couple of hours to rest before we boarded the bus for the Gulf. What a welcomed and much needed break. The water felt so nice and cool. We were also treated to a seafood feast on the beach. We were back at Christianville for dinner and a group went to Miss Sue’s orphanage (once again) to rock babies to sleep – the older children were watching the ever popular Frozen movie ๐Ÿ™‚

Orawa for now,

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team
(MaryEllen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

Day 5 – Haiti


We started off the morning a couple team members short – MaryEllen still was under the weather and Dennis stayed back to prepare for his sermon tomorrow. Pastor Benito joined us at Christianville and we jumped on a bus to Grand Savann. Once there the team went on a prayer walk. We prayed at the church and school and for the empty land behind it – that the owner (a voodoo priest) will sell it (the land) to GSCC some day. The mango tree that sits on this land was believed to be cursed by some of the locals. So, Pastor Benito decided to eat the mango fruit to prove to them that he wouldn’t die from it. Thankfully, his plan worked ๐Ÿ™‚ We continued with the prayer walk throughout Grand Savann, stopping at a variety of homes (some were ladies that we met yesterday). We were happy to meet and snap photos of a couple sponsored kids.

We also laid hands on a voodoo temple asking for God to keep the darkness inside those walls. Then Pastor Benito showed us the land where the In His Hands orphanage, as well as Sam & Jessica Jakitis’ home, will be built. The views of the mountains are breathtaking! When we turned around to go back to GSCC, Susan P so graciously pointed out a tarantula on the walking path. Thank goodness it was a dead one!!!!

We returned to Christianville for lunch and reapplied our sunscreen and bug spray before heading out to Miss Dana’s orphanage. We were happy to bring five bags of rice, some beans and oil to help feed the kids. For me, this by far has been the highlight of my trip to Haiti. I was able to meet, hug, kiss, hold and dance with my sponsored child. What an experience! I had to show a lot of restraint not to pack her up in my suitcase (maybe I will Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ ). We also took pictures of other children to share with their sponsors.

Miss Dana is awesome, as well as her brother and sister (and others) that run the orphanage. The children were so well behaved. We introduced ourselves and the children sang for us. We even have Pastor Benito on video singing and dancing with them. We asked each other questions and prayed together. One boy asked Pastor Dennis if he would pray for all the children. What a sweetheart! While waiting for the bus to pick us up we started dancing with the children in the front yard while listening to American music. It was awesome! There were so many smiles, so much laughter and so much sweat! A little girl carried over not one, but two plastic chairs for Richard – one for him to sit on and the other for his backpack. She has a true servants heart. It was difficult for me to leave, but I was content in knowing that Ruthney, as well as the other children, are well taken care of by Miss Dana.

We left the orphanage and drove to Pastor Benito’s home. On the way, we stopped at a market and Pastor Benito bought us all ice cold cokes. Ahhhhhh, refreshing! We met his wife, Maritane and three of his four children, Bendoni, Benderli and Aniska. It was music to Susan P’s ears when she heard Benderli say, “Susan! Susan! Susan!” Both Bendoni and Benderli were thrilled to see their sponsor, Susan P, and really happy when she gave them both skittles and World Cup coloring books.

We bussed it home and arrived just when the bell rang for dinner. We were so happy when MaryEllen joined us. Afterwards she led the evening devotional and we headed for bed.

Oravwa for now,

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team (MaryEllen Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

 

Day 4 – Haiti

Well, today didn’t start off so great. Poor MaryEllen was up all night and stayed in bed all day with flu-like symptoms. We hope she doesn’t have that terrible illness caused by mosquitoes that’s going around (not malaria). ย Miss Sue from the orphanage said that a few of her kids have suffered from it.

Speaking of Miss Sue, after breakfast we went to the orphanage to spend time with the kids. They’re quite adorable. Susan P, Jamie P (both teachers), as well as Dennis and Leah, spent time with some of the kids going over homework and reading. Susan B, Jamie B and Cindy held babies, wiped noses and pushed kids in swings. Richard hung up new swings and fixed a bathroom faucet drain. Sue does a fantastic job at the orphanage – it runs like a well-oiled machine. She has such a big heart for orphans. The pure joy she has for them shines through her eyes. Anyone that goes into hiding for five years and takes orphans with her to make sure they’re taken care of definitely has a heart like Jesus. Her extraordinary life journey will need to be told later in the week on this blog.

Pastor Benito joined us for lunch at Christianville and then we headed over to Grand Savann to see the church and school, the progress on the new bathroom/showers, and to meet with the ladies group. On the way, Pastor Benito pointed out a voodoo temple. It was a little freaky to say the least.

After our tour of the church, school and bathroom/showers, we met with the ladies from the church. They opened with a beautiful song, we introduced ourselves and shared testimonies. We’re looking forward to hearing them sing on Sunday. We then took a short walk to Evens’ mother’s house to pay our respects to his family since his father passed away a few days ago. Evens is a graduate of LCU, a friend of Pastor Benito and a friend to RCC.

The ride back to Christianville was a bumpy one. The driver totally didn’t see a huge hole in the rode, Jamie B bounced into the back window, while Susan B and Cindy about flew on top of her. No one was hurt ๐Ÿ™‚ Then the driver swerved (not sure why since no cars were coming) and kind of went into a ditch. Unfortunately the front-end was stuck on a rock or something. Thankfully we were close to Christianville and walked the rest of the way (luckily we already passed the voodoo temple).

Upon our return we shopped at the market for souvenirs, ate dinner and held our devotional. Afterwards a few of us went down to the orphanage to rock babies asleep for the night. ย It was the perfect way to end the day.

Orevwa for now,

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team (MaryEllen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

Day 3 – Haiti

Once again we woke up to the sound of playing children. Like Leah said,”They’re Jesus in disguise.” One of the little ones, Mark, walked up to me and put his arms up. Of course I obliged. About an hour later he was sound asleep. I walked him to his bunk, bent down to lay him down and he was instantly awake with a death grip around me saying, “No! No!” For another hour I continued to carry him while he slept. There is nothing more precious than a sleeping child.

A few of us went for a ride with Pastor Joseph. He took us to visit a nearby pastor who’s building a new home. We received a quick tour and prayed over his home. It was amazing to watch a guy finish concrete work around a window. Very cool.

We had lunch at the orphanage and said goodbye to the children. It was so sad! Pastor Joseph then took us to the airport where we got on a bus to Christianville. The scenery was much the same – lots of people in very poor conditions.

Christianville is a lovely, safe compound that has guest quarters, chickens, goats, two dogs, a tilapia fishery and an orphanage. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served when the bell is rung. The food has been delicious. And, the best part, they have ice!!!! It’s amazing how quickly you learn to appreciate the little things.

The rest of the evening we took it easy and called it an early night.

Oravwa for now,

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team (MaryEllen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

Day 2 – Haiti

What a great day! Pastor Joseph drove us up to the mountains. It only took two hours on some pretty rough terrain. But, boy were the views worth it! I’ll upload pictures when I can, unfortunately it won’t do it justice.

On the way up the mountain we passed the US Embassy and UN. We stopped and visited the Haiti Baptist Missionary Center. It was great to walk through their museum and zoo. We also had lunch there with some spectacular views. Pizza and Limenade were the lunch of choice for many in the group. The trip continued on up the mountain where we were given a personal tour of Fort Jacques (could see Fort Alexander) by Charles. He was quite the historian – self taught!

We headed back down the mountain and decided to stop at a Belmart – a grocery store that was air conditioned, had American food and took American money. It was a nice welcomed break before we “bounced” back to the orphanage.

Once back at One Family in Christ (orphanage) there was a lot of playing with the kids, mainly jump rope, swinging and an awesome water fight. We decided that Richard is just a big kid ๐Ÿ™‚ The sound of the children laughing was music to our ears. We asked the children if they knew any songs and they surprised us with singing Ten Thousand Reasons by Matt Redman – in English. Wow!

On the way back from the orphanage Richard and Jamie bought watermelons for the kids. They were so excited when Junior cut into it and started passing out pieces. So much for the seed spitting contest, they must eat them because I didn’t see any of them get spit out.

After eating watermelon the kids were treated to an outdoor movie – Spiderman – in Creole ๐Ÿ™‚ They must have enjoyed it because it was so quiet. Us “blancs” went to bed because we were exhausted. I was surprised we didn’t have a problem sleeping since the power was off all night, which meant no fan.

Orevwa for now!!!!

Cindy and the rest of the Haiti team (Mary Ellen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

Day 1 – Haiti

We’re here! It was a long trip and we were so excited to get here. Our brains were on overload. There are just so many people here and so much devastation. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m here to touch the lives of individuals, not to fix the nation.

It is HOT!!! Not July or August hot, but hot.

We were welcomed with smiling faces …blanc, blanc, blanc! As soon as we stepped out of the vehicle their arms were up wanting to be held. Laps are NEVER empty ๐Ÿ™‚

It was difficult sleeping between the heat and the crying baby. It was hard not to get up, walk across the courtyard and go upstairs to rock him.

All of the children (at least most of them) love to have their “foto” taken – and of course you must show it to them after it’s taken.

Orvwa for now,

Cindy Timmermann and the rest of the Haiti team
(MaryEllen, Susan P, Susan B, Jamie B, Jamie P, Richard, Leah and Dennis)

One More Day!!!!!

T Minus – 1 Day

I think I can speak for the entire group when I say we are so excited and cannot wait for this trip. ย Tomorrow, Monday, June 16th, we will leave around 4:00 p.m. and go to St. Louis. We will spend the night close to the airport since our flight leaves at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday. Yowza that’s early!

I’m not sure, but I believe this is the first time two churches have come together to actually travel together for a mission trip. We are excited to share this experience with our new friends in Waverly.

packing_party_group
(L to R:ย  Leah Lyons, Susan Pennington, Susan Bowden, Dennis Mumaw, Jamie Bowden, Cindy Timmermann, MaryEllen Oglesby and Jamie Paluska [not pictured Richard Paluska])

Yesterday we enjoyed packing all the supplies that we’ll be taking with us for Christianville, Grand Savann and others – toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, baby items, shoes, medical supplies, gifts for sponsored children and soccer balls that were signed by French students (too cool). MaryEllen Oglesby (team leader) informed us that she thought that filling 9 suitcases in an hour and a half was a record breaking time ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a mission and got down to it and I could see the relationships starting to bond already.

2014_haiti_mission 007 2014_haiti_mission 001

2014_haiti_mission 002

Please pray for safe travels to St. Louis, a good night’s rest and continued team bonding.

Cindy Timmermann and the rest of the Team
(MaryEllen Oglesby, Susan Pennington, Susan Bowden, Jamie Bowden, Jamie Paluska, Richard Paluska, Leah Lyons and Dennis Mumaw)