Sunday, January 30, 2011

forgive me

Dear Lord,
Forgive me for being overwhelmed today. I want to feed ALL of your children. Who am I to decide who eats?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yvon's Orphanage

The last couple days have been very busy and full of emotions. Yesterday we spent the day at Mother Teresa's House of Charity. This is where the mothers bring their sick and/or dying children. When we got there it was still early so the parents were still there visiting and feeding their kids. When we went in to one of the rooms, there was one baby alone in her crib. She had an IV hooked up to her hand. She didn't have a bracelet on but my guess would be that she was about two years old. Tori and I took turns holding her. It broke my heart to see this girl, in so much pain, all alone. Whatever the reason be that her parents weren't there that day, I could not stand to see a girl this young going through this all by herself. I held her and I could not bare to put her down. Everytime I would try, tears would come streaming out of her eyes. I just couldn't do it. Fanfan kept calling her my daughter. I stuck by her side pretty much the entire day. By the end of the day her IV was taken out so I was able to take her outside to catch a little of the breeze. While we were out there a mother had to leave her daughter. She too climed into my lap immediately after realizing that her mother had left her. The hardest part of my day was putting both the girls back in their cribs when it was time to go. They were both sobbing, just begging for love. Can you imagine this is what God sees all over the world each and every day?? This is why having a heart full of love is so important. There are so many people in this world who are missing the love and touch of another. It still hurts my heart to think about that little girl with the IV. What if she sat alone in her crib all day today with out one single hug? I ask that you pray for God to wrap his loving arms around her. Pray for her to have comfort and strength.

Today was a day full of all sorts of feelings. We went to Titanyen to see the progress of Grace Village. On the way, there we pulled over to what they call the "mass graves". This is basically where everyone was burried after the earth quake. All you see is row after row of crosses sticking out of the ground. It's very overwhelming. We all took our own quiet time at the graves. I was able to reflect and say some prayers for the people who have suffered. I know they are now angels in heaven, but it still so sad to reflect and remember what this country has gone through. While we were there a few other Americans showed up and I heard one of them say, "In America, they want to take crosses away from the graves, but they'll never do that in Haiti." I thought that was a very true statement. People in Haiti live by their faith and they will always show it. I really appreciate that. After the graves we headed to see Grace Village. It's absolutely amazing to see what God has put on Jeff and Alyn's hearts with this project. This is going to change the lives of so many people in so many ways and I really hope I can continue to be a part of it. Once we finishined at Grace Village we went to Evon's orphanage. This is one part of the trip that I was most excited for. I have been praying for these kids ever since the last time I saw them and I couldn't wait to be reunited with them again. They welcomed us with open arms!!! We jumped right into playing and goofing around with them. Dr. Sem came with us so that he could do check-ups on the kids.  While he was doing that we did a couple projects, read books, and sang songs. I have two kids at Yvon's that I am particularly close to - Filadel and Babba. They didn't leave my side all day and it was so heart warming. We went there to show love to children who don't have parents, and we ended up being loved. I got back rubs, I got my hair done, and I got lots and lots of hugs. Babba even asked me if I could be his mother. Hearing that from him really touched me because I love him so much. We took the girls outside and we taught them the bunny hop. Boy did they love that. Lots of laughs and smiles, and by the time we stopped I think we were all tired out! As always, the kids gathered together and prayed and sang for us. You can really feel the Holy Spirit in the room when the kids sing and pray because they are all so incredibly sincere. They truely know what it is like to love the Lord. It's really inspiring to see this.  Especially because they are all so young. Once again it was hard to say goodbye but I do know it won't be long until I see them all again. Tomorrow should be another great day as we are headed to Giluiame's orphanage.

Margaret Knaeble

Hi this is Marie. I have had one incredible day at the orphanages. The children are so beautiul and so loving. They are content with just sitting next to you holding your hand and smiling. We sang a few songs with them and I proudly taught them one of my Sunday school songs from Epiphany. It was nice to see them so excited and so happy singing and praising God.
We also shared a craft and some candy with them. There were plenty of smiles and laughs shared by all involved. What a blessing to have shared one day in the lives of these innocent children and know you have made a difference. I spent a good amount of time hanging out with three of the most respectful young teenage boys. Since I have a teenage son, I was truly able to connect. Before we left, they came up and gave me a hug, a kiss and told me they were truly grateful for my visit. I thought about the word "grateful" for a long time after that.  I have decided that, I too am as grateful for this time as they were. I am grateful as well for people like, Father Reiser and Jeff, for creating such Godly places for these children to live and giving people like me an opportunity to serve his people . It was a good day and I have become a more thankful person because of it. A new day awaits tomorrow.

Marie Schrank

It was truly a sweet time.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

So much joy..

Today the team took a two hour drive up the mountain to Reiser Heights School for children. We did crafts, took pictures, handed out candy, and played all day long. One classroom sang a worship song for us, and it was extremely touching. At first, it took the kids a little while to open up and smile, but after an hour or two there were smiles all around! What touched me most was the amount of joy that the kids had just from having the opportunity to make a bracelet and eat a sucker. The look on their faces brought great joy to me, and it made me take a look at all the simple joys in life, I tend to pass by daily. These kids literally have nothing, yet they have so much joy to give...God bless to all, keep reading for more updates!

Tori MacDonald

Reiser Heights

Hi, it's Marie. We had such a great day today; taking in all the beauty that Haiti truly has to offer. We took a two hour drive up the Mts. of Fort-Jacques /Donte/Lespinasse, which was absolutely breath taking and gave me a whole new perspective of Haiti. The drive took us up to Reiser Heights which is a school for all age children of which over 400 attend. What a wonderful time we had sharing a craft and treats with the kids. The Haitiian children are so kind and grateful. You can see the innocence and love in their eyes. They loved our presence and we loved being with them. It was hard to leave them. We took many wonderful pictures and hope to share them with you all. Many blessings to you all until tomorrow.

Marie Schrank

One unbelievably incredible day...

Hi, this is Marie and I have had one unbelievably incredible day. After a long day in the airport and a lay over in a hotel in Miami we have made it. Words cannot explain what I have seen and what I have experienced... I feel blessed to be here and hope God uses me as He feels fit. The children are so beautiful and seem so full of hope. I believe I will be taking away more from them than I will be giving . The weather was quite warm today and I did manage to get a bit of a burn. Not complaining since there is so much snow back there. We worked Father Reiser's water trucks. Wow, what a beautiful experience. I will never take water for granted as long as I live. Tomorrow will bring a whole new experience as we will be going to Reiser Heights, a school in the mountains. It is a two hour drive in the mountains. I am looking forward to the children as I have a heart for teaching. God bless you all until tomorrow. Marie

Today was such an incredible experience for me.

My name is Tori MacDonald, I am 17 years old and this is my first time to Haiti. Today was such an incredible experience for me. I came on this trip to be transformed and to show God's love to others through good work and appreciation. What I saw today was completely unexpected! I knew that Haiti had a lot of clean up that needed to happen, especially since the earth quake...but after seeing all of the debris, garbage, and broken up roads, I quickly realized that the root of Haiti's problems goes deeper than the earth quake. It broke my heart to see kids running around naked and without shoes, to see mothers carrying large buckets full of water atop their heads just to make it through the week, to see thousands of tents set up from people still without shelter!! I had a huge wake up call today from realizing all of the simple things each and every one of us takes for granted each and every day! Today's lesson: water. Truly think about how many times through out your day you use water, or even waste water. People out here are in dire need of water and will do just about anything to get it. I am so looking forward to the rest of this trip, if it is anything like today, I am in for an adventure! God Bless, and love to all.
Tori MacDonald

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Water Truck Day One!

We finally made it to Haiti! We were supposed to arrive yesterday but our flight got cancelled when we were in Miami. They put us up in a hotel and we flew out first thing this morning. We were all a little disappointed that we missed a day but we know that in the end it's God's plan, and not ours. We arrived in Port-au-Prince to a bright hot sun, and boy were we happy to be here. Jean picked us up from the airport and we came to the house and got settled in and before we knew it the toptop was honking outside waiting for us. We went to two different water trunk stops. Since it is my second time in Haiti, I knew what to expect. But for some reason it's still hard to see the poverty here. However, I remembered right away why I love this place. Children smiling and playing, begging for our attention. I was right away reminded that love is the universal language. We can't understand a word each other says, but yet we know we love each other, and that's all that will ever matter. Driving through Cite Soliel, we noticed there was some garbage clean up going on. This made us all really happy to see. One of the water truck workers, Enel, invited us to stop by his home. Can you even imagine living in a one room shack with your whole family? We got to meet two of his sons, who were absolutely adorable. We came home and ate chicken and rice for dinner, which was absolutely delicious.

Margaret Knaeble

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Getting Ready!!!

I'm all packed, now just waiting for Tuesday morning. I'm getting excited.

Packing Day

10 suitcases, 50lbs. each, 5 carry on bags, 5 backpacks, we are ready to go.
Thanks to everyone for the donations.
Thanks to Tom for offering to drive us.
Haiti - Here we come.

We invite you to follow our journey.
Shelley, Missy, Margaret, Marie, Tori