Come join us!

It’s been almost a month now since our adventure to Haiti. Our team has recovered from the upset stomachs and sunburn and at least to some extent we are back into the routine of summer. However, this Sunday our team will gather again to tell some stories and share some pictures and we would love for you to join us.

Join us this Sunday July 23rd at 10:15am in the Window room at Church of the Open Door.

Hope you can make it!

 

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We Made It Home!

After 12 1/2 hours of travel and a few delays in our flight from Miami to MN, we arrived home safely. It was wonderful to be greeted by parents and families at the airport! What a fun home coming!

Thank you so much for supporting and praying for us. It really was an amazing trip and we know that your prayers helped keep us going each day!

Would you continue to pray for us as we transition back home? During our last team debrief on Tuesday night, we talked about how we want to remember all the things that God has shown us over the last few days and weeks. Would you pray for us to remember and to keep our eyes and ears open to the invitations He gives us as we pray for next steps?

Now that we’ve got a better internet connection, we’ll post more pictures today and over the next few days. (Especially more info and pictures from the Bethel Village Team!)

Thanks again!

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Colorful neighborhood on the way up to the top of the mountain overlooking Port au Prince

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Overlooking Port au Prince

Group pic at look out

M House Team overlooking Port au Prince

Group pic at Muncheez

M House Team enjoying pizza at Muncheez

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M House Team “before” picture of the wall we painted

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M House Team “after” painting the wall

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M House “after” painting the wall

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Santo Village 1

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Santo Village 1

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M House Team hanging with the kids at Santo Village 1

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M House Team hanging with kids at Santo Village 1

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M House Team in the gazebo at Santo Village 1

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Enjoying the beach on the last day of our trip; at Kaliko Beach Club

Haiti 2017 Day 9

Today the M House Team visited Santo Village 1. We were able to see all the houses that we (people and friends of Open Door) helped build. It was so fun to see the homes and meet the people living in them. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

After a quick tour, we spend some time in the village gazebo with all the kids. We did some coloring and crafts with beads and pipe cleaners. We did this for a while and then the kids started playing a really fun game. It looked a bit like a combination of “Ring around the Rosy” with some crazy dancing, while singing something in Creole. We watched for a while, trying to figure out what they were doing and then we joined them for a bit. We all laughed quite a bit; I think will remember that for a long time to come!

Once again, we spent the afternoon playing and hanging out with the M House kids. Ethan noticed one of the boys was acting a bit different today and found out that it was because he’s sad that we are leaving tomorrow. It’s hard to think about leaving, but even harder when we realize how sad the kids will be to have us go.

Ethan and Logan outlined “Mephibosheth” in Creole and we painted that on the wall today. The walls really turned out great. We’ll try to attach a picture of the finished product tomorrow, when we have a better internet connection.

Tonight, we had a great conversation as we debriefed together as a team. We spent some time talking about things we’ve learned this week about ourselves, about the world, and about God. It was so good to hear the things we’ve learned together. I’m excited to see how God continues to speak to us as we transition back home over the next couple days.

Quick update from the Bethel Team…

Yesterday they got to go to church in the village. This morning, they got up early and headed into town to the market to do some shopping. Then came back and spent the day finishing up painting the church. They worked really hard and got it all done!

Thanks again for praying. We’ll see you all in a couple days!

 

 

 

 

 

Haiti 2017 Day 8

Today the Team from the M House went to Pastor Dio’s Church, Ebenezer and experienced the church and got the chance to see the church that fell in the earthquake.  The service was all in Creole so none of us understood it but it was, amazing to experience how another culture worships God.

After church, we went out for lunch at the air-conditioned Stop & Go.  The waitress gave us the wrong food so we ended up staying there for an extra hour while the orders were sorted out.  On the plus side, we were sitting in the air conditioning.

Once the order was finally sorted and we made it back to the M House, Logan and Grace came up with a pattern to paint on the wall and we painted, a geometric pattern in white and turquoise (pictures to come).

While we were painting, a few people were playing with the kids.  Sam taught a couple “Oboshinotintotan” while others watched a festival on the TV.

As always, we ended the night with team time where we discussed the Russian man and pop tarts.

Please continue to pray as we enter into these last few days.

~Thanks, Mandy

*Sorry no pictures again, they still won’t load. Very slow internet!

Haiti 2017 Day 7

Today the M House team took a trip up the mountain to a scenic overlook. As we drove up we saw many different urban areas and then the further up we got, the nicer the homes got. The view at the top was amazing! We looked out over the entire city of Port au Prince ( a city of approximately 3 million people). From up above everything looked beautiful, but when you’re in the heart of the city it’s much different. Such a contrast.

There was a restaurant at the overlook so we sat and enjoyed a coke, the view, and some cool fresh air for a few minutes. There was also a small market where we did some “shopping”. It was a fun experience for many of us to barter with the vendors. I think most of us on the team purchased some pretty cool Haitian-made items.

On the way down the mountain, we stopped at a restaurant called Muncheez for some pizza. It was fun to enjoy something familiar to all of us and it was really good! As we were leaving, a team from North Carolina came. It’s been fun to see so many teams from the States; we’ve seen them just about everywhere we’ve gone.

Back at the M House we spent the afternoon enjoying time with the kids. We made beaded bracelets and necklaces, and of course, more soccer and dominoes were played!

Thanks again for praying.

*Pictures aren’t loading tonight, we’ll try to add some tomorrow.

Haiti 2017 Day 6

Today we spent some time recovering from the big party at the M House yesterday. The Bethel team joined us and we threw a party for the kids and their families. We started out the morning giving the kids time in a pool. They loved it! And they all wanted to get in at the same time! The joy on their faces when they saw that they got to go in the pool was unforgettable. We also pulled out squirt guns and water balloons. The kids had fun throwing the balloons at each other and at our team. (And our team threw at few at each other too!)

After the water festivities, the kids changed in their dress clothes just in time for their parents and families to arrive. We all gathered on the porch and the kids sang some of the songs they had learned. It was a beautiful thing to hear their sweet voices singing. Meanwhile, the amazing staff at the M House was busy preparing a very special meal. Our team got to pass out the food and drinks to the kids and their families. They were so excited to get this special plate of food and some pop (or soda, if you’re not from MN!).

During the singing, several of the kids were very sad. They realized that their families had not come. And those who’ve lost their parents were so sad to see the others who did have families. It was such a hard thing for us to see. With God’s help, we did our best to show His love to those kids.

After the meal, several kids and their families left the M House for a 2 week vacation. It was very sad for our team to see them go, but we also knew it will be so good for them to be with their families for two weeks.

Today we went to Mother Teresa’s again and held those sweet babies. It is such a privilege and honor to hold those babies, but also very hard at times. Some of them are so malnourished it felt like we would break them when we picked them up. Others had been there a while, were healthier and were getting ready to go back home with their parents.

After lunch and a short rest, we spent more time with the kids who are still here at the M House. A few members of the team painted a wall and I think they ended up with almost as much paint on themselves as on the wall!

We are enjoying our time here so much and are sad that we only have four days left.

Thanks again for praying. We love and miss you all!

 

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Haiti 2017 Day 5

IMG_6335IMG_6290IMG_6433IMG_6435Hello from the Bethel team!

Today we joined the M House crew to enjoy a party for the kids. We are staying about 45 minutes away from Port-au-Prince so the drive isn’t too bad (although I might be a bit biased sitting in the air-conditioned cab vs. the truck bed with 6 people piled in J).

Our team has had a great time in Bethel so far. Bethel is up in the mountains and we can see the ocean from where we are staying. We are staying in the school which is right next to the church. There are about 300 students who attend the school. The community in Bethel has been so welcoming to us and it has been wonderful getting to know everyone. Right away when we arrived in Bethel, we played soccer with a bunch of the kids from the community. The soccer field is made out of gravel and dirt and has two PVC pipes on each side as goal posts. A bit different than in the States!

A few highlights of what we’ve done:

Each morning we’ve done a vacation bible school for the kids. They didn’t know how many students would show up so we planned activities for about 50 kids. The first day we ended up having 100 kids show up—praise God! It was an amazing time and we were able to make extra crafts on the fly. The kids were a bit shy at first but by the end they were jumping on all of us, braiding our hair, carrying us around the church (yes, groups of 5 or 6 kids actually picked us up and ran us around the church!), and singing songs and dancing with us. One of the stories we read from the children’s Bible was where Jesus let the little children come to Him. We all can agree that we have seen Jesus in the kids and we feel so blessed to be here.

In the afternoon our team has had two activities—one is painting the inside of the church yellow and the other is teaching adults how to speak English. So far we’ve painted the whole front part of the church but we still have ways to go! Teaching English at first was a bit awkward as it was a large group of 20 people the first day and it was hard gauging how much each person knew. Some seemed like they knew a fair amount and others didn’t know much at all. The second day of teaching was better because we only had a few attendees and we were able talk one on one. We are excited to continue to get to know members of the community whether they speak English or not!

Last night we attended a church service. Even though we couldn’t understand what Pastor Jacques was preaching about, it is amazing to think that we are one body worshiping the same God. At the end of the service was a really special moment as the congregation asked to pray for us and all surrounded us in prayer. We all decided this has been one of our favorite parts of the trip.

We are looking forward to more vacation bible school with the kids, a trip to the beach, and finishing up painting the church. Today we are happy to be back with the M House team and looking forward to enjoying the party! We will continue to send updates to the team here to let you know how we are doing.

Steph