Tag Archives: mission trip

The clutch still works but the transmission is slipping

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We have survived another day in Haiti! It been such a crazy day that I’m not sure we can share all our adventures.

This morning we had a surprise for breakfast. Our host wouldn’t tell us what we were eating until each of us tried it. Luckily it looked similar to oatmeal so we weren’t scared that there were strange meats involved. Once everyone had sampled, we were shocked to learn that it was blended spaghetti noodles! The taste was surprisingly amazing.

We headed down to the school and actually made it on time. After a super brief lesson, we headed out into the town of Cange to take photographs. We walked throughout the market where there were fresh fruits and vegetables as well as live chickens. The chickens were ready to be purchased and plucked for dinner. We wandered into Zanmi Lasante (which is the hospital sponsored by Partners in Health) which is a huge complex which features the hospital room and emergency room, a school, and a church. We wandered in the “gift shop” which featured art created by local artists. We found some really cool items to bring back to our family, friends, and our own homes.

We showed the children their pictures that they took the previous day using a donated laptop and a projector at the school. They were excited to see their photographs and were proud of their work. It made my heart happy to see their joy!

Everyone was having so much that we didn’t make it back to the school on time. We had the opportunity to really converse with the Haitian students we’re working with because they opened up to us when we were away from the school. I’m not sure if it was the environment change or the fact that they’re getting more comfortable with us but it’s nice to use more than hand gestures. Their pictures are improving greatly and some of the kids have made huge leaps and bounds in terms of their skills.

We came back and were served lunch again. We’re all afraid to not eat something of our own because they kitchen workers might take our words to heart and not cook for us. We’ve all tried to be really polite and not offend the Haitians by turning down food. Most of us have been eating two lunches every day.

After lunch, we enjoyed our siesta and prepared ourselves to work with the afternoon group.

As we walked down to the school, we commented on the clouds and how tricky they were. We have been expecting rain for days and it has never come. Today, the sky looked overcast again but we weren’t hopeful for rain. Right as we got ready to start the lesson, the sky opened up and rain began to fall. Thinking it was a short rain shower, three of us ran to experience the rain. One of the little boys joined us and we jumped and skipped, much to the delight of the children. Some of the other children who have not been a part of the program came to play in the rain. They taught us some really fun kids games that they play. One of the involved freezing when the song ended and not being the first to move.

It rained like I’ve only seen before during a hurricane. The rain came down in sheets sideways. It was so heavy at times that we couldn’t hear the photography lesson. Instead, we decided to sing. They started with ‘Jesus Loves Me’ which we taught the kids in English and Sign Language. Then we moved onto “How Great Thou Art.” We sang it in English and then the Haitians sang it in French. Finally, we sang it in our own languages simultaneously. It was one of the most powerful moments of the entire trip.

Some of us (Paul) took advantage of the rain to take their first shower of the trip. Others enjoyed the wonderful clean water to take what is arguably the best shower of the trip. It’s been raining off and on all night which we hope will continue to aid our sleep.

Now we’re all dancing in one of the bedrooms. They’ve already Dougied and Wobbled. Now they’re doing the Cupid Shuffle which is hilarious! The other room is learning to walk with bowls on their heads like many of the Haitian women.

So Much To Do!

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We are less than 9 hours away from departing for Haiti. We have to meet at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow. For those of you who aren’t major insomniacs, we’ll be up and on our way before most of you crawl out of your warm beds. We will fly from Charlotte to Miami and then plane hop for our flight into Port-au-Prince. From there, we’ll drive approximately 2 hours to Cange.

Part of our team was going to gather tonight to enjoy pizza and pack. I originally thought I’d be joining them; however, I started packing about 20 minutes before they were meeting. All of us have been busy trying to get our lives in order to leave and I know several who couldn’t attend tonight.

The adventure is almost ready to begin. We will be posting here every day while we’re gone to let our friends and family know we’re safe and to share what we’re doing. We will share our photographs, photographs the kids have taken, and an update of what we’re doing.

To all the worried mommas, please know that sometimes the Internet in Haiti can be sketchy and we may not ALWAYS be able to upload our posts. Updating this blog will be our first priority when it comes to Internet use. However, do not be worried if, for reasons outside of our control, the posts aren’t as timely as you would like!

Check in at 4:00 a.m. tomorrow (or whenever you finally wake up) for pictures from the airport!

18 Days!

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In honor of the fact that our trip is 18 days away and we have 18 participants, check out our “Who We Are” tab to get quick bios on our participants.

While we’re still in the planning stages and there’s not a lot of trip details to report, there’s a book that I want to share. It’s a book that I was given by a friend right before I left for a mission trip last summer. She’d just finished reading it and she said that I should give it a try.

Written by Richard Stearns, President of World Vision in the United States, “The Hole in Our Gospel: What does God Expect of Us” is a book that every Christian should consider. The premise is blindingly simple and comes from James 2: 14-18 which say:

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”   Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

Stearns recounts his own struggle with faith and his decision to eventually leave Lenox and and join World Vision at a significant pay cut.  The book is honest and doesn’t push any agenda other than doing God’s work.

I hope that as we travel to Haiti, that we can show our faith through our deeds.

Introductions

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To try to imagine how each of 18 different young adults arrived at this opportunity is next to impossible. We are diverse and we each carry our own story; however, for the next month (and possibly for the rest of our lives) our experiences will overlap and will bring us together. We were each graciously chosen for our unique talents, abilities, and life experiences — not only by the search committee but by God.

Isaiah 6:8 says “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”

It shows a lot of faith to apply for a mission trip with a group of people you may have never met before. There’s not a safety net of having your friends or people from your church there. You enter into this on blind faith that this is what God wants from you. You look at him and say those words from Isaiah — send me to do YOUR will. I think that’s a powerful choice to go where God leads without knowing what will happen.

We met for the first time on Saturday to get the details of our trip. It was our first opportunity to gather any information on the people who’d be going with us. Granted, I knew from looking at the email addresses of my fellow attendees that one of them is a “six foot beast” and that several attend Appalachian State but I had no real idea as to who I’d be meeting. When I walked in, everyone was smiling and welcoming.

The majority of our time was spent learning about where we’d be going and getting the itinerary for our trip. We met the team and introduced ourselves before really diving into the project. I felt really empowered by the fact that the project wasn’t completely laid out before us, that we had the power to use our knowledge to impact what we’d be doing.

This blog will chronicle our trip. Please join us on this adventure.