Well, I made it to Haiti and back in one piece. I’m definitely exhausted from the trip, but I’m in one piece 🙂
I spent a week with a team of 31 people in the town of Jacmel, Haiti. We arrived on a Saturday evening and left the following Friday morning.
As you can imagine, it was hot in Haiti while we were there. We had to get used to being wet most of the time, especially when we were doing any sort of work. We drank lots of water to make sure we stayed hydrated, and took breaks in the shade every so often to keep from overheating.
This is a brief recap of what we did on the trip:
1-Children’s Ministry – several people on the team spent the majority of their time working with kids. At the church we were staying at and working with, the kids would show up each day around 8am. Our team would teach a Bible Story to the kids, sing songs with the kids in both Creole and English, and do games and activities with the kids. Those working with the kids also spent a lot of time and energy showing love to the kids who came to the church each day.
2-Work Project – We spent a portion of our day doing a work project at the church in Haiti that we were staying at. First, we sanded and scrapped the outside of the building, which is made out of concrete, to get it ready for painting. Then we spent a few days painting as much as we could get done. That involved climbing on ledges, hanging of the bars in the windows, and scaling ladders so that we could paint the building. It was a lot of fun and we were able to get a lot of work done in the few days we had set aside to work.
3-Orphanage – We had the privilege of spending time with a group of orphans at a local orphanage. The first day we were with them, we took them on a field trip to the beach. This was a big deal for them as they do not get to leave the orphanage they are at for things like that very often. At the beach we simply played in the water with them. It was so cool to see how happy they were to be playing in the water. We also had the opportunity to go back a second time later in the week to have dinner with them. At the end of our first time visiting them, we had given them several bags of donated clothes. When we came back the second time, all the kids were wearing their new clothes and were eager to show them to us. It was very cute!
4-Mountain Village – The church we were staying at and working with has been working to begin a church plant in a small remote mountain village. This village is high up in the mountains outside of Jacmel, and is very primitive. There is no electricity, and most who live up there don’t go down the mountain very often. We took a day to go up to this village to do some outreach and be a help and support to the church leaders that are trying to start this church. We did that through a soccer game (to attract people in the community, then had a church leader talk with them and share the gospel) and doing some Children’s Ministry.
5-Soccer – We ended up playing 3 soccer games while we were in Haiti. Two of them were against the team from the church…we won the first game and lost the second game. Our third game was in the mountain village, which was a tool to get the community to come out. We won that game as well. Playing soccer in Haiti is a lot of fun, and it has become a regular part of our trips there.
6-Church – On Sunday morning and Tuesday night we were able to participate in the church service at the church we were staying at and working with. Several on the team got up front to sing songs, a couple of students shared their testimony (one each service), and in the Tuesday Night service I had the privilege of preaching a short message. Attending church services in other countries has always been one of my favorite parts of traveling. It’s fun seeing how other cultures “do church” and I love that while I don’t know what is being said because I don’t speak the language, I know we worship the same great God.
The trip to Haiti was a successful trip in that we were able to accomplish much, had the ability to do both some outreach as well as just be an encouragement to the believers there, and I know that God used the experience to change the lives of many of the students that went down. Thanks to all who supported this team and trip through prayer!
To see some pictures and details of our trip, check out our trip journal at http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/journals?tripid=2320