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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coming home, yet sad to leave... by Deborah

Today was a busy day for Lori and Kate. They did clinic work for the local people at Saint Marc again, similar to yesterday. There were many people that wanted to be seen, but unfortunately we were not able to see them all because of time. The rest of the team went to Bev and Al's place where we played Red Light/Green Light, did bubbles, colored and sang songs with the kids there. Tim and Ben accompanied the songs on their guitar and trumpet. The kids also had fun attemping to play on their instruments. Later on we took a walk to the town and visited with some of the people and handed out Bible tracts. 

Later this afternoon we had the sad task of packing our suitcases and getting ready to go home. Tonight, we will spend the last night here sharing our stories of the time spent here and the impact it has had on our life. 

Early tomorrow morning(5 am) we will be getting up and driving to the airport. We will also be bringing Antione and Ruth along with us for their first trip the America. Both of them are very exciting be coming with us.

- Deborah

Last day, so make it the best one! ...Lydia

Well, it's our last day here in Haiti, and there are definitely a lot of mixed emotions here. Excited to see all our friends and family at home, but we're going to miss all of the sweet people we've met and reconnected with here in Haiti. And maybe the fact that we're heading into rather chilly weather compared to what we're in now puts a liiiiiittle bit of a damper on things... ;) BUT, that being said, we're all very excited to bring a little of Haiti back with us this time! Tomorrow morning Ruth and Antionne will be sitting next to us on the plane on our way to the U.S.! I personally cannot wait to see what God will do in their lives during their time here. 

Yesterday the three of us girls (Deborah, Jenni, and myself) went out on a filter delivery day. Though it was pretty exhausting to say the least (the filters weigh 160 pounds and the bags of sand weigh 90 pounds), it was very rewarding as well! Plus we set the record for the earliest being done by getting home by 2:45 in the afternoon! yay! :)

Today started with a great devotional from Tim encouraging each of us to stay strong and be on the offense today against the enemy's attacks. This may be our last day but that doesn't mean it won't be the best! So, off to mcdonald to do more clinics and visit with children (and for me, holding a sweet little baby girl named Elizabeth!) Should be a wonderful day! But isn't it always with Jesus?? ;)

See you all soon! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

~~~ The team has been rather "radio silent" recently... Most likely that is a good sign and just means that they are busy being a blessing and making their last moments of this trip count! 

If my memory serves me correctly, tomorrow (Tuesday) should be the day that they return home to the US... we shall see. Lord willing, all of the details involved will go smoothly and without hiccups.

Please continue to keep the team in your prayers as they round out their visit and continue to spread God's hope and love on the island of Haiti!

As always, I'll keep you posted. :) ~ Sarah Poss ~~~

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Water Filters... What a blessing! by Ben H.

An Update From Ben H :)

All right, so Thursday the three of us guys went on a filter delivery. Ben Campbell learned how to set up the filters. Poor Tim was stranded for a while without water AND his breakfast did not sit very well with him. I delivered each of the filters.

Every house was made out of mud. It was quite the experience to be in such a different kind of area. Before getting the filters, they drank from pretty yucky muddy water. Needless to say, Clean Water for Haiti's mission is a very necessary one here. The people were very excited to get the filters. There were also many interesting little details that we won't expound too much on. (Such as Tim trying to communicate the need to use the bathroom with a language barrier, soccer games, thorns, etc.)

Altogether it was a tiring yet rewarding day!

~~~ Sounds like we will have lots of fun asking them questions about their water filter ministry adventure when they return to the States. ;) Keep up the service, everyone! Praying God has refreshed your minds and bodies today, so you can give your all for Him tomorrow. Remember to smile! :D ~ SP ~~~

Friday, October 19, 2012

Willing hands make work lighter... Friday.

Okay here's another! ;)

Well I know Lori mentioned that her blog post would be continued by one of the guys who went on the filter deliveries, but here I am instead... we did try to convince them to post something, but apparently they need more time to think about it... :P

Anyways, from what I know, it was a really good experience for them overall. It seems that the Haitian Spaghetti they had for breakfast didn't sit very well with Tim. But he seems fully recovered and back to his healthy self after an "early to bed" night of sleep. ;) As far as details... I don't have many, but like I said, hopefully we'll get one of them on here to update you all soon! :)

Our day consisted of cleaning the van, cutting pipes, raking the lawn, and other odd jobs around the yard. Not very exciting but we enjoyed it nonetheless! :) Aaaaaand there may possibly have been more that got wet than the van... *cough*... for more information talk to Jenni... :P

And as usual, Lori and Kate have been hard at work serving the community here through clinics and dental work. They are a constant example of a servant's heart to me, and the responses they receive from the people they're serving are so sweet. :)

Ultimately, we're thankful for all the opportunities God has given us to be of service here, but most thankful for the times we've been able to share Him and display Him in every way possible. And although we know our efforts are feeble to say the least... we serve a God who can use all things for good! May He be forever glorified in our lives and in our every word and deed. Please continue to pray for unity in the team as I'm sure the enemy would love to stop what God is trying to accomplish in and through us. And also for hearts to be changed and renewed. He is worthy to receive the reward of His suffering! :)

Love you all and miss you. We are praying for those at home as well. :)

~~~ This post was sent to me around 3pm this afternoon (4pm Haitian time)... I was out of town, so sorry about the delay. Here it is! :) Continued prayers for them as they continue to serve with Christ's love and a smile! ~ SP ~~~

Thursday, October 18, 2012

When a clean water filter could save a village... It's called HOPE in a concrete box!

The morning began with 6 am devotions and then a gathering with the work group. The men from our trip were all sun screened and bug sprayed so they could jump on the truck at 6:40 to help with the water filter delivery.  

Left the rest of us behind to do clinics, and the ladies had a variety of odd jobs assigned.

They are an good group-- so willing and so available. We feel the strength of the Lord as we are up early and up late.  

This can be added to by the guys after they return from a trip that most people will never see: The people living in mud huts and trying to survive on the contaminated well water in that area. Truly lives are saved by their visit today with the clean water filters.
- Lori

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday... by Lori

Quite a rude awaking this morning when it was discovered that my phone did not change time. We were slowly moving to rise, and a knock came to the door to inform us that we had three minutes until breakfast... yes, we ran and got in quickly! It is the third time I was the last one in, and I'm pretty sure I will soon have to sit with my nose to the wall for punishment.

We worked a full clinic day at the water project doing medical and dental for the community. The weather here is warm (some might say hot) and yet a very nice breeze came into the clinic windows. 

Many people were busy outside the clinic area from our group.  Keeping Olivia and Alex out of the traffic flow was important--so of course fingernails were painted and games were wildly played. 

Ben H installed the car part that was brought in and finished it in time for a test drive tonight. The family here is very blessed by the way the vehicle now runs. YEAHHH.

Water filters were primed in the morning, and then the colors of pink, green, and now purple(!) were filling the yard.  They will be loaded on the work truck for deliveries tomorrow. The mission yard had become overgrown with some trees and vines, so those were cleaned up.

After all was done by 4:00 pm, [we were taken] down the road by another intern worker [for a] quick trip to the ocean front.

Supper is now cleaned up. Ben and Ben were the kitchen help this morning, and now we are putting together hygiene packs to give out at the clinic tomorrow. We were able to wash some clothes in the washing machine and felt relieved to be rid of that dirty, smelly pile.....for this day. :)

It is a great team, and I am very grateful for them.
And for each of you at home who hold the whole effort up in prayer. It is the strength of our days.
Thanks you,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday... by Lydia

Well you've all heard of our rough start... but I'm happy to inform you that today, for the first time on this trip since Chicago airport, our whole team is officially together again! :) Praise God for this victorious outcome! :) We know that it was the enemy's attack on what God is wanting to do through this small group of people in Haiti. But our God always wins the battle! ;)

Our days at Alexandre's place were very productive and also exhausting. ;) Kate and Lori did a fabulous job with medical/dental clinics. The rest of us did some crazy-intense wall moving/brick loading/rock moving/yard clean-up type of stuff. ;P We are all rather sore and tired to say the least, but it was so awesome to be able to help him with his work since he's been so kind and helpful to many other people. :)

Tonight we are all settled in at the Rollings Water Project and, let me tell you, a shower has never felt so good! ;P (It was our first one on this trip... ew I know. :P ) lol. Tomorrow will be the start of clinics here and more odd jobs for the rest of us! With swimming in the ocean for our free time. :D

I'm always so struck by the incredible creativity of our God in His creation here! The view is truly breath-taking in every way. :) Thanks so much for your prayers and support back home! God is truly at work! :)

Lydia (and the rest) :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sunday and Monday... Fellowship and service!

Sunday morning, Tim was able to join us! His passport was found on the previous plane. After picking him up from the PAP airport, we went to Michel's church for service. 
Then we took the kids out for lunch, and headed over to Sue's orphanage for a quick visit. Late afternoon, we all went back to the church where Tim shared a message on John chapter 3.

~~~According to the choir kids, they had a fabulous day and really enjoyed their time with the group! Thanks to handy facebook messaging, I enjoyed hearing from some of the Haitian young people how much they enjoyed meeting new team members and seeing old friends. They only wished the rest of us who had gone on past trips could have been there too. :)


Today, the team began their day bright and early, at Alexandre's home in Port Au Prince. Best to wake up with the dawn and get some of the work done before the sun gets too warm. (“Hot” is a word we do not use to refer to temperature in Haiti... it's just “warm.”) ~~~

Lori started dental clinics, while Kate began the medical clinics. The rest of us started rebuilding the wall. We also had Jeff and Fresnel help us. They were great workers! It was so amazing to see how much of the wall was done since we had helped with it during our last trip in May. We are hoping to get the wall finished for Alexandre.

The work that we did was moving the broken bricks onto a truck, driving it around to the back of the house, and unloading it. Also unloaded new bricks and moved rocks. This work is all done by hand, so we are all tired, but happy to see the last part of the wall going up! Th[is was] Johanna's birthday, and we are all looking forward to seeing Ben again. 
- Deborah

~~~I'm told the wall looks great, and they took a bunch of pictures! :)


Ben had his appointment to expedite his new passport this morning. I talked to him around 4:30pm this afternoon, so here is the update on his day and travels. Good news: His passport is all up-to-date and he is, once again, on his way to Haiti!~~~

Ben (with slight paraphrasing): “Today was pretty crazy... but it all worked out well, which is a blessing!
The GPS in the rental car quit working on the way into Chicago, so it took a while to find where I was supposed to be, but I got there. Then, while filling out the paperwork at the office, they told me I needed a picture of myself in addition to my expired passport photo. (Seriously... Who carries around photos of themselves normally?) I didn't have one along, so I went to find somewhere to get a picture taken.

After talking to a man in the lobby, he directed me to a place where I could get a photo taken, so I did that, returned with the photo, and then completed the paperwork for my new passport. Instead of giving it to me right away, I was then told to come back in four hours to pick the passport up. That meant I had to first return my rental car, since it was due at 1pm. I took a bus back to the airport, and spent some time reading for a while. 

Then, since I needed transportation to go and pick up my passport, I got a taxi.
My taxi driver was very nice Muslim man. We had some awesome conversations about spiritual stuff. Then he even took me out to eat at sister's Chicago restaurant, paid for my meal, and wouldn't allow me to to tip him.” - Ben

~~~Such a blessing from an unexpected source... God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Lord willing, seeds were planted through some of the things that Ben was able to share with his kindly taxi driver and his heart would be open to God's working in His life.

Ben caught a flight from Chicago to Miami, FL this evening, and should arrive around 10:30pm. After spending the night in the airport, his Haiti bound flight leaves early and should land him in Port Au Prince around 8:15am. Praise God for working out so many details to assure his safe and uneventful reunion with the team, and please continue to support the teams ministry through prayer! ~ SP ~~~

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Because they would tell you if they could...

~~~ Ok, here's what I know...

The valiant team of six (Deborah, Jen, Kate, Lydia, Ben C., and Lori) arrived safely in Port Au Prince, Haiti, last evening, and made their way to Alexandre's home where he graciously put them up for the night. I heard they then proceeded to sort through the luggage, while organizing and assessing the baggage situation in the "can-do" fashion that is typical of this large-hearted group. Praying for you guys!

Timothy made good use of his extra time at the Ft. Lauderdale airport by spending time in God's Word, and was in good spirits last I heard from him. He spent the night in Florida, and Lord willing, took a plane to PAP this morning and has rejoined the group by now... perhaps even in time to worship with the precious congregation at Michel's church, if all went as planned. :)

Ben returned to Fond du Lac, WI, last evening around 8pm, spent the night at my family's home (he sure needed the sleep!), and is at church right now. I know he is looking forward to his meeting in Chicago to renew his passport on Monday morning, and is anxious to be on his way to rejoin the team on Tuesday. Prayers that all of those details would go smoothly would be wonderful.

In spite of the overwhelming set-backs, the team has already begun to brighten the lives of those around them. God has shown Himself strong and has worked even the seemingly impossible out for good like only He can. Please praise Him for His faithfulness, protection, and care in even the little details of this trip, and ask for His continued hand of blessing and guidance so that the team can continue to serve Him and others during this mission without further complications. ~~~

Lori, Kate, Timothy, and Ben C. preparing to board their plane from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale... Let the adventure begin!
As always, I'll keep you posted, and thank you ever so much for serving with the team by supporting them in prayer! ~ Sarah P. ~~~

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Passport FOUND! :D PtL!

~~~ PRAISE THE LORD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They found Timothy's passport!!! He will be continuing on to Haiti after all, on an early flight out of Fort Lauderdale tomorrow morning, LORD WILLING. What a mighty God we serve! :D

Passport is NO LONGER MIA...! God knew where it was the entire time and enabled it to be found somewhere on the Chicago based plane.  Thank you all so much for your urgent prayer that it would be found. God has answered, and this time with yes! 

When finding a needle in a haystack honestly sounded easier than locating a passport in an airport, we are extremely thankful that our Heavenly Father has done the impossible, recovered what was lost, and will continue to work this situation out for good! Moral of the story: God is faithful-- all of the time... We just need to trust Him, seek His will, and wait. ~~~

~ Sarah Poss, serving State-side with the Haiti team <3

Passports... an urgent matter of prayer!

We have had another problem! Timothy has lost his passport. We are now leaving Fort Lauderdale, Florida, without him. He is going to continue looking for it. It is somewhere at this airport. Pray he finds it and can join us

What is even worse is the fact that he had FOUR checked bags of supplies under his name, and they won't let us take them. We don't know what is in them... dental instruments? Rollings' things for the water project? Medical?

We are all very disheartened at this point as we leave for Haiti with two less team members.

Prayers are definitely needed, so thank you!

Deborah (for the team, just over a half hour ago)

~~~ Passports seem to be causing a depressing amount issues for our team as they attempt to begin their venture to Haiti... Two team members down, and they have not even left the US. Please lift them before God's throne and beseech Him for His help... that he would encourage their hearts, give them His peace, and enable Timothy to locate his missing passport so he can hasten along on his way to rejoin them with the sorely needed luggage! ~~~ SP

Once again, the adventure begins... :)

Greetings, everyone!

We arrived safely to Chicago O’Hara airport around 11:30pm on Friday night. By 12:30am, we were hungry and craving pizza and, after Tim's many phone calls to several places, we finally got pizza ordered! Hooray for Dominos! Pizza at 1:30 in the morning tastes quite good. :)

Started checking bags in at 4:30am like we usually do, when we got some shocking information-- Ben Huizenga's passport had expired! He is not able to leave for Haiti with us today. **My heart sank... I never would have thought to check my passport expiration date.** :( The airline clerk at check-in said Ben could wait until Monday to get his passport expedited, but he would have to pay extra for his last minute flight change.

While Lori continued to check in baggage to the grumpy check-in lady, we took a moment for group prayer. A surprisingly short time after that, the lady became more helpful and cheerful. It was so amazing to see her change of attitude toward us... She even offered the phone to Ben to call for his passport, and she changed his flight until Tuesday departure at no extra charge!
The power of prayer could be seen here. What a mighty God we serve!

So now we travel on, without Ben, until Tuesday when he will hopefully be able to safely rejoin us.

Deborah :)

~~~ At this moment, LESPWA's current team of eight is soaring into the beautiful blue yonder enroute to Haiti via Fort Lauderdale, Florida... Members on this trip include: Kate Knier, Timothy Sandberg, Ben Campbell, Lydia Seibel, Jen Edgren, Deborah Easterhoff, Ben Huizenga (who will rejoin them shortly, Lord willing), and Lori Hellmer.

Please lift this wonderful group before God's throne in prayer asking for His continued traveling mercies, safety and protection during their stay on the island, and good health so that they can invest their all into ministering, being a blessing, and serving the precious Haitian people that God brings across their paths!

As often as possible, news of what God is doing in and through them during this trip will be posted on the blog so that you can join them in their joys, sorrows, and excitement as they spread hope around the island of Haiti through kind words, helpful hands, strong backs, and friendly smiles to those whose lives will be forever changed and by God's loving care and their willing hearts. ~~~

Because I left pieces of my heart on that beautiful island... Thankful for the opportunity to enjoy serving with them by assisting their news updates and blogging from the State-side of this mission. ~ Sarah Poss

Saturday, June 2, 2012

We are all home in our US residences once again.  The journey was wonderful and the team amazing.  We did work hard -although some of the most fun pictures are with our friends in Haiti.  Sharing time with the youth does rank very high on the list, and it truly is a blessing to be part of their lives.  Tim and Matt had some good teaching time with them. I was quite impressed when a few days later they were asked what they learned and they could list off exactly what the teaching was.  Brandon came on not knowing any of us and yet fit in just perfectly.  His laugh and wisdom were a big part of who we were as a team-and we can't wait to see him again.  Jerry was incredibly busy with camera in hand.  The photos will be shared as they will capture so much that we were too busy to see.  Dave and Karen Smith had to depart early, and we felt their loss heavily with them.  Deborah and Sarah were helpful on every request.  Those two can move stones and shovel dirt like none other. Denise was a huge asset to the dental team work and a joy to have the island time with.  We put in some veryyyy long days.  Carrie and Alisha have to sign up for every trip now too-as the nursing and non nursing (note ballet) skills were incredible.  Always the next question, when do we go back?  I hope to determine this soon.  Some may want to reserve time in January and make it then...you are all a part of helping the people of Haiti.  It is so much more than physical healing we offer, and the eternal things we pray are most prominently left with them, our Haitian friends and family.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hello all!

Here is a brief update on what our team has been up to. 

Yesterday, we headed out to "the land" and were pleased to see some great progress on the buildings! On the last trip a basic gravel and brick foundation was laid. This time, however, there were two structures on the foundations. We were meeting the church kids/choir from Michel's church at "the land". Our plans changed a bit as they often do here in Haiti. The bus with the kids arrived about 2 hours later than originally planned. When they arrived, we all loaded into the bus and headed to a beach location to have a church service and enjoy some fun and fellowship. Tim shared the message (with Michel translating) and we sang a few songs. Then we had lunch and enjoyed an afternoon of swimming, frisbee, and other water games. Saying goodbye to all of our Haitian friends was hard, but we were thankful for the opportunity to hang out with them for a second time while we were down here.

Today, after prayer, breakfast, and devotions, we loaded up the Rolling's van and the team headed for McDonald to finish up clinics at the school there. Jerry and Matt stayed at the Rollings to accomplish various projects. Matt worked in the banana tree grove, helped the workers with the water filters, and mowed the lawn. Jerry was taking photos and video of the water filter building process for the Rolling's website. A busy day for all!

As always, thanks for your prayers!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hello all! It is now the weekend, and we all thought that we would finally get a day to sleep in, but instead we decided to wake up early and start our day off by snorkeling. Everyone had an awesome time and we all got to see the coral reefs of Haiti as well as many unique colorful fish, along with a slimy white baby octopus (We almost died from shock). Some of us also just spent some time working on our gorgeous tan(lines) that we will all get to show off when we return on Tuesday. We can't believe that our trip is coming to an end! After snorkeling, we were able to get together with some other missionaries around the area. These former American/Canadian missionaries were extremely happy to get their teeth cleaned/examined by Denise and Lori. For lunch, we had a pot luck with more than enough food that consisted of hot dogs, pasta salad, coleslaw, chips, bananas, brownies, and of course it would not be a haitian meal without rice and beans. After lunch, we just spent sometime getting to know each other and shared our famous skit. We all had many questions for the missionaries regarding their life transition to Haiti, which lead us into many great discussions about the Haitian culture. We then spent some time just relaxing, some taking multiple hour naps, and some cleaning the deck off that we spent all of our time on. Tonight we will be eating Sloppy Joes and will just be relaxing and preparing to have a blast tomorrow with the church youth group that we spontaneously planned because we are all so close to these boys and girls. Thanks for reading the blog and have a wonderful weekend!!

Carrie and Alisha

Alisha- Yes, mom I am still alive!! Love you and see you Tuesday!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I think it's Friday, but the days don't really matter that much around here.  There's always work to be done and blessings given out to us by God.  We served in several directions today.  The medical and dental clinic was set up again here at the water project.  Some went to Michel's school to work with the children. Tim, Matt, and I put primer and then painted water filters.  The process is amazing and making such a positive difference in the lives of those who have them in their homes.  Something as simple as safe, clean water is such a gift here.  A huge thanks to all of you who have contributed in any way to this mission.  I know the Haitian people are appreciative of it all.

Karen Smith
Brandon created a centrifuge.

 Sarah, Deborah, Karen, and Tim were able to do some activities with school children.

Tim spending time with kids at Michel's school.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Update from Brandon

Hello America from Lespwa,

I am glad to report that everyone is alive and kicking here in Haiti. The medical staff (Dr. Dave, Alicia, Kerri, and I-Brandon) has been working hard with our lovely translaters to bring health and wellness to the people of here. We spent our first two clinic days, Monday and Tuesday, in Port-Au-Prince. Monday was a walk in clinic day, which in Haiti--just like in America, but a thousand times as much so--means that it was ca-ray-zy. The gang arrived early on Monday morning with the relevant suitcases piled on top of our mobile clinic (a.k.a. rickety van). Tim, Matt, and Michel (the groups guide, translator, and general godsend) were in charge of getting the supplies which you (our readers) have generously donated into the church. Once inside, the medcial staff feverishly unzipped bags and made decisions about what was essential to have ready access to and what could be kept aside. Then Karen, Deborah, and Sarah (if there was anyone else assisting, I apologize: twas a crazy day) put common meds in easily dispensed baggies (tylenol, advil, tums...especially tums, the education we did on diet was sorely needed. They don't know that there is a relationship between what you eat and how you feel...this is a bit of an exaggeration, but they kinda see eating as a good thing to do, not an essential...but there is a lot of salt and a lot of msg; no veggies and not that much fruit. People were so thankful when we told them that a good diet could keep them from some of their terrible stomach pain). We have recently started putting pictographic instructions on the bags at the direction of our gracious host Leslie...a wonderful, vivacious Canadian missionary.

Before the setup was even remotely complete the pews started filling up with patients [aside: given the widespread poverty in Haiti, there is a known and generally accepted policy regarding free medical care. This policy is not exclusive to--and in fact is usually more extreme in--Haitian run clinics. Those needing medical care walk early, early, early in the morning to the Hospital/Clinic (yes, this is how the hospitals are usually run as well) and line up to see the doctor. The line will often be so crowded that one person is squashed against the next: if one were to have an arial view the line would look like a caterpillar from the very end of the game caterpillar: for those not up on their 80's video games, a very very long caterpillar. Thankfully the church where our clinic was held was large enough that the patients were able to sit comfortably apart in the pews with room to spare. Dr. Dave, Alicia, and I (Kerri was still finishing up her last final and gettig ready to head to the plan at that point) were each set up with a translater and we saw patients throughout the day. Everytime someone was finished being treated I turned around and turned back and a new patient was waiting there. And the pews just kept filling and filling all day. So it was wonderful to be able to help so many people.

The really busy workers were Denise and Lori. Sometimes a Haitian can go for years (maybe decades...maybe a lifetime) without dental care. So they were working long after all of the medical patients had been seen. That goes the same for most of our other clinic days as well (not to say that the medical staff hasn't been exceedingly busy). I wouldn't be presumptuous to speak on her behalf. But I know that she's seen some harrowing mouths over these past few days.

The non-medical people had some good talks with the kids from the church and gave them some real inspiration and leadership. This segues into my next point nicely. One of the most important things that we have been able to do for the people of this country is offer them some decent education. This is the type of education that every single person has been able to offer. We have related the importance of brushing, good diet, good hydration (Let me just say that the humidity is higher than the temperature and to put it gently would be to say its balmy, and it is not cool...and we're on the shore), abstinence, the link between cleanliness and disease and I could go on and on. That night the kids put on a little talent show for us and we sang some songs for them. Their dancing and skits were definitely a highlight of the trip. It was wonderful to know that we touched so many people.

Well I hear the lunch bell ringing (metaphorically speaking), so consider this the conclusion of Brandon's Post, Part I


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

 Denise working on a patient at Michel's church in Port au Prince

 Having some fun with the church youth group/choir kids!

 Lori at Alexandre's house

 Alisha, Brandon, and Ruth preparing meds and supplies for clinics.

Sarah, Tim, and Deborah unloading a truckload of sand at Alexandre's.

Matt and Alexandre
Hello all!

Hope you are all well! Just wanted to type up this quick post to let you know what we've been up to the past couple days. We spent yesterday at Alexandre's house in Port au Prince. While the medical part of our team did clinics and dental, the rest of us assisted Alexandre by getting supplies for building a wall around his house. We moved rocks, cement blocks, cement bags, sand, and gravel. It was a lot of work and we were all exhausted by the end of the day, but it was awesome to be able to be a blessing to Alexandre. He and his family were great hosts and constantly provided us with cold water throughout the day.

Yesterday afternoon we loaded up the Rollings truck with our luggage and left for the water project. Tim and I travelled with the luggage. The rest of the team went with Chris in the Rolling's van to pick up Carrie from the airport before heading to the water project. Yonese prepared a delicious Haitian supper for us! It tasted so good after all of the granola bar meals we had been eating!

Today we did clinics in McDonald at a school there. We were at this school on our last Haiti trip, but didn't get time to see all of the children in the clinic. It was wonderful to be back to finish the other children who had not gotten the medical examinations last time. It was also neat to see some familiar faces which included the principal, Gabriel, and some other missionaries.

The warm temperature and high humidity has been very taxing on our energy, but I believe we are all happy to be here! We have had a couple of team members feeling a little under the weather lately. Please continue to pray for our health and that we would be able to willingly serve where God has called us!


Monday, May 21, 2012

The beautiful children of Sue's orphanage.

A great time taking the youth out for a meal! 

Youth sharing at Michel's church.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kids at Sue's orphanage coloring pictures!

Haiti... We're back! :)

Greetings family and friends!

We safely arrived in here in Port Au Prince, Haiti, and are at Sue's orphanage. The flights went well, and God blessed us in the various airports with wonderful assistance and opportunities to learn flexibility! A huge thanks to Deb who assisted us with our tremendous amount of baggage at O'Hare airport! 
Tonight we are watching a movie with the kids here at the orphanage. So fun!! For those of us who have been here before, it's exciting to see lots of familiar faces, and for those here for the first time, it's an opportunity to make some new friends! 
We are all looking forward to spending time at Michel's church tomorrow and can't wait to enjoy hanging out with the choir kids! 
Thank you to all of you who are supporting us through prayer! We couldn't do it without you all!

God bless!

The journey started at my home on Friday night at 9:00pm.  It is a great group and I am so thankful for the investment of many.  We have quite the clinics to get up and running, but first to have this time with children and then the church and youth group tomorrow will be great.  I know that people in Wisconsin will understand our joy of opening a large bag of beef sticks tonight for our supper along with peanut butter on tortilla shells.  For desert a nice selection of granola bars.  Yes, we are well cared for in ways that meet our every need. We got a bit of naps on the flights so everyone is refreshed and not crashing yet on the air mattresses that await our well traveled bodies and minds.
We will have time to update and help you share the time with us on the island.

~ Lori

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greetings from Haiti!

Just wanted to post a short update. Almost everyone woke up this morning feeling refreshed and well rested. We went out for prayer and Bible reading with the Haitian workers here at the water project and then had breakfast and devotions. The breakfast consisting of rolls, cereal, and coffee was great! After breakfast we loaded up the vehicles and everyone (except for me) headed to do clinics at a school near St. Marc. I spent the morning working on a project for Chris. He is growing some type of cactus that produces passion fruit. So I built a type of rack to support them as they get larger. It turned out pretty well!

Later this afternoon, Chris has agreed to take a few of us on a hike. Apparently it is a rather strenuous trip...but a few of us are really excited for some serious exercise.

Continued prayer for health and strength would be greatly appreciated!

Hope all is well back in the states!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Water Project

I haven't posted anything yet so far on this trip so I decided to take a few minutes now to share with you all some of what's going on.

Yesterday we got to walk with Sue's kids to their school and say our goodbyes. Although I plan to be back sometime, it's still so hard to say goodbyes! We then loaded up the bus and headed off to the Rollings. After arriving and unloading the bus we enjoyed a relaxing early afternoon and later got to up the mountain to the natural spring with Chris! It was so much fun! We all had a blast! Supper was amazing as well! We ended the day visiting and playing some games (yatzee and skip-bo).

Jeff left for the airport this morning and we are already missing him. He was an amazing addition to our group! I'm missing him the most cuz I'm now the only guy in the group. Thankfully I have Chris and Ryan to hang out with when I need a guy to talk to! I'm really enjoying getting to know both of them better. While Chris and Lori took Jeff to the airport, the rest of us got some projects done here at the water project. We mowed the lawn, raked leaves and grass, cleaned out the banana tree canals, painted filters, washed sand, etc. It was really fun to help out! Lunch was delicious as is all the food we get here. We seriously are treated so well! All of us appreciate the hospitality that we have received from Chris, Leslie, Ryan, and Sheena! This afternoon, I helped setup a computer for a friend of the Rollings while the rest of the team went to set up the medical supplies for tomorrow's clinics. It's been an amazing day!

God bless!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

After a long, exciting day we are all very exhausted and enjoying oreo's :) We started off this amazing day leaving Sue's orphanage after a hectic morning. Alarm clocks sounded at 4:45 am and the bus arrived at 6:30. It was very difficult trying to get 14 people ready for church. (we are very limited to bathrooms, mirrors, and lights, etc.) Upon arriving at the church we were able to have some down time for about an hour. We utilized this time to talk with other people attending church that day. The church service was incredibly moving and powerful. The Haitian culture speak with with compassion and their words truly come from their heart. After the Haitian pastor spoke and we all received communion, pastor Jeff had the opportunity to lead the sermon while Michel translated for him. Pastor Jeff preached about spiritual complacency and the people attending church really enjoyed his word of the Lord. The church service lasted about 2 and 1/2 hours and it was now time to bond with the youth.

First all 14 of us, translators, and numerous Haitian youths piled onto the bus to visit Felix's house. Lydia and her family sponsor him so she had some gifts to give to him and his family. Felix showed us in and introduced us to a few of his sisters, then brought us into the house to meet his mom. There were chairs set up for us and everything. They were so sweet! We visited for a while then everyone headed back to the bus while Lydia handed out the gifts. A highlight was definitely seeing Felix's face when she handed him his new mp3 player! His smile was SO unforgettable. People were definitely tearing up as they said goodbye there.

Next we piled back into the bus to find food, since we hadn't eaten since breakfast at 6:00. It was now 1:30. Mind you, some of us didn't even time to get breakfast. The bus arrived at a fast food restaurant and our faces lit up we were so excited. The youth group that traveled with us stayed on the bus thinking they were not able to come with us into the restaurant. Michel explained to them that this food is our gift to them. It was a blessing to be able to feed them with this delicious food. The bathrooms here were exactly like the bathrooms in America (they were clean, the toilets flushed, there was soap, and an electric hand dryer). The Haitian girls were very entertained and amazed by these high tech bathrooms. When we walked into the restaurant called "Epi dor" we saw over 20 Americans (what a good representation of America). These were some of the first Americans weve seen in Haiti so far on this trip. Michel ordered us each a HEAPING plate full of good Haitian food. We were served rice, beans, vegetables, and a choice of chicken, beef, or fish. The food tasted absolutely phenomenal and we definitely stuffed ourselves too full. Lets just say we were all full beyond belief.

After our delicious meal (and COLD soda & limeade!!!), we all joyfully piled back into the bus to continue our tour of Port Au Prince. We stopped and took some group pictures at the capital and enjoyed other sights along the way. Spending time with the Haitian youth was SO amazingly fun! We spent time memorizing their names, singing songs together, watching them enjoy using our cameras to take pictures and videos, and asking for the creole names for the things we saw. Our attempts to repeat the words generally prompted enormous amounts of laughter and everyone had an immense amount of fun.

When we returned to the church around, most of the Haitians went home to get ready for the evening youth event. We used the time to practice our group song ("All In All" sung in a round) and work out the parts of our skit. Around 5:30pm everyone sat down and the service began. Our evening worship was filled with special numbers performed by the Haitian youth, words of challenge and encouragement shared by Pastor Jeff, Carey S., Deborah, & Matt, impressively talented dance numbers, jokes, and our skit. Eventually, the whole of Haiti will recognize LESPWA by "one-two, one-two!" [If you don't know what that means, you will have to come to Haiti to find out. ;)] We had such a great night that no one wanted to leave.

Saying goodbye for the last time was extremely hard on all of us. We exchanged contact information, gave tons of hugs, and shed some tears. Over all, God blessed us with an incredible day. Tomorrow we get to sleep in until 6am and then leave Sue's to head to the water project...

G'night. :) God bless you!
Alisha, Carrie R., Lydia, and Sarah

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The group was out practicing their skit for Sunday night. It gets a lot of laughs no matter where we are. The timing is quite difficult but we should be ready. We are joining up with the church for a celebration with singing and other talents as shown above.

The children either love having a picture taken or else or shy or refuse. This little girl have obviously found joy in posing for us. After that she really liked riding on Jeff's tall shoulders.

Group photo on the journey...we are all still smiling and able to stand still for a few moments without children jumping up to be held. It is a great time together!

We renewed friendships as the nursing and dental clinics went on today at the church. Everyone was very happy to have time together.

On the way back to Sue's orphanage we stopped at the market that Americans shop at. It was a surprise to see something so familiar from home in the cooler. Most people here would go to market outside, along every road, and down each alley. We picked up a soda for everyone and it seemed like the greatest reward of the day.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6th

Well, this is the first time I am posting on the blog, so we will see how it goes....Today was pretty hot out, got a nice tan! =) We went to a new spot today that not even Lori had been to, so that was interesting!! We did a medical clinic there, and I helped with that for the first time.... I counted pills, and put them in bags for a few hours, and although I LOVE the kids, it was nice to get a break, and kind of see how the clinics work. We also had big bags of rice and beans and oil that we passed out to the patients along with small bible tracts. It was also our first day doing an outside clinic, it has always been in a building, so it was a little more exhausting because of the sun. I must say, I absolutely love Haiti, and definately want to come back, but I am VERY sick of the bumpy roads, and no shocks in the bus!! Its getting kind of old, because the rides are usually long, but its definately better than walking, so I am thankful in that aspect! As much of a great time as I have had, I have seen a lot of sad things, and the living conditions just break my heart, and I wonder why I am so blessed to come home to America and such a wonderful roof over my head. I think the most difficult thing I have had to see and experience is saying "no" to people. I can't explain the breaking in my heart when a little child with no shoes points at mine, and then at thier feet. Or when they simply ask me for water..... I feel like crying just thinking about it. The kids at Sue's orphanage are sooo sweet, and I will be sad to leave them. It is a great thing that Sue has commited to, and I totally give her credit. Living in Haiti it not always the easiest thing, and I have only been here a week!! Love to all my family and friends at home!!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5th

Well today was very similar to yesterday. We did start a bit earlier. Lori woke us up (very nicely of course. ;) at about 4:50 a.m.... and we were on the road by about quarter after 6. Clinics went very well, ending a little earlier today at about 1. Those of us who are not medically inclined, had another great day playing with all of our new little friends! Much to our delight (well for those of us who have come on previous trips) some kids from another orphanage that we have stayed at previously stopped in for a visit! It was so great to see old faces again and be reunited once again. :) But alas all good things must come to an end and after some tearful goodbyes, we headed over to Michel's house for a truly Haitian lunch provided by friends of his. Fried plantains (yum!), conch, and picklese (very spicy.... :P) oh and of course some great coca-cola! :D

From there we headed to the land that we have a building project going on. It was beautiful out there as usual and we had a great time meeting all the kids (and some adults) that came running after our bus and followed us all the way up there! On our way out we threw candy out the window for them all. :D Needless to say that only increased our following. ;)

Now we're back at Sue's orphanage in PAP relaxing! But it'll be back to work again packing bags of rice for the rice feeding we'll be doing tomorrow.

It's only been 2 days into it, and I'm already so amazed by God's goodness in bringing us here and using us to accomplish His purposes! Please continue to pray for us here as we do our best to honor Christ, by reaching out to the Haitians. :) Pray that the medicines will do their work for the people who are sick. Pray that we will continue to be united as a team and that there would be no division. And most of all, pray that the people we encounter will see and hear the gospel message through us, and that it would change them forever! :)

Till another time,
Lydia :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hello from Haiti!

We have internet (for now, anyway) and Matt got the blog back up and running! Hooray!

Jan. 2nd: After travelling to Chicago, the team enjoyed an evening in the airport. We talked, played games, and found unique spots to rest. I have some pictures to prove our resourcefulness. ;)

Jan. 3rd: Our travel adventure really began around 4am. Much to our surprise, when checking in, we were informed that a current embargo limited checked baggage to only two bags per person! Problem: We had five more suitcases than they would allow us to take. Solution: We began our first major team building exercise - fitting the important contents of those large suitcases into the other already full pieces of luggage. With the Lord's help,we successfully re-shifted everything and our luggage made it on the plane in time!

The rest of our travel was virtually uneventful, and we arrived in Haiti to be greeted by hoards of people! We politely, yet firmly practiced saying "NO" to the much too helpful Haitians, and loaded our luggage onto the bus that Ruth, Michelle, and Wendy had waiting for us.

Riding from Port Au Prince to Sue's place was the first of many, many exciting bus rides that we will enjoy while down here. We are all amply impressed by our bus drivers' talent. With sometimes inches to spare, they have capably driven us around, entered gated communities, and backed out of tight places, without bumping anything!

Jan 4th: Today we spent the day at Michelle's school (he's the principal there) where Lori and some of the others did clinical work helping the people with their different ailments. The rest of the group played with the energetic kids... ENERGETIC being the understatement of a century. :) The kids were not the least bit shy and we were immediately surrounded by them wanting to be held and hugged. We played soccer, drew pictures, and just played with them. They did get a little jealous if one kid was getting to much attention, but otherwise they were happy energetic kids and it was hard to say good-bye at the end of the day.

As for the clinic aspect, 5 of us organized many different medications on the stairs of the church making this our pharmacy. The patients were given numbers and called when it was their turn. Four different stations were set up and the patients sat down and told us their symptoms, of course with the help of a translator. Many patients came in with high blood pressure, anemia, flu, respiratory infections, ringworm, fungal infections and various other illnesses. The line of people waiting was long but they were very patient and appreciative. A man had a laceration from using his machete but it didn't require sutures! The gummy vitamins were a real hit with the kids.

Thanks for your continued prayers and God's blessings to you all!
Deborah, Alisha, Mary, & Sarah for the crew