Team Haiti – Finishing Strong

21 May

This will be the last update from Team Haiti. We will be heading out in just over 24 hours, so I wanted to update you on the last couple of days in country to tell you about our eventful week.

Since our last email, we have been blessed to experience many good things and have been able to walk alongside so many people in a tangible way to meet needs throughout the city. It has been such a pleasure working with this team. Everyone here has a heart of gold and has been working feverishly to extend God’s grace in its various forms.

We spent two days working with a couple of creches, homes that prepare children for adoption. Our team fell in love with those kiddos. It was all I could do to not let them pack a few in their suitcases to bring them home. : ) The great thing, though, is that both of the homes were very nice and are sending a lot of children to forever homes from their facilities. We got to hear many stories of how they rescued these children from dumpsters, from hospitals where mothers had abandoned them, etc. Such stories of compassion for the least of these, including many of the orphans who are living with physical or mental disabilities!  We have been so encouraged by their stories of faith this week as they have been trusting God for years to help them care for hundreds of orphans along the way. 

Yesterday our team went to Cite Soleil, the poorest slum in the Western Hemisphere, to help deliver almost 10,000 gallons of water. It is estimated to have about 400,000 people living in this area. The conditions are bad: lack of water (especially clean water), poor housing conditions, little to no resources, including jobs. It was a very eye-opening sight for the team. One of our team members, Saundra, was actually given the wheel to drive the big truck! She is a truck driver for McKesson Medical Supplies, so she was right up her alley all day driving through the slums of Port-au-Prince. : )  She was laughing, though, because she had people riding ON the truck, hanging off the side, she had to dodge people, vehicles, goats, pigs and children in the streets and had to weave a big truck through narrow streets in the slums. Quite the difference for her compared to being back home. But she did great and we were really proud of her. You can imagine the stares of the Haitian people as she drove by. I’m sure that was an unfamiliar sight for them. : )

Once we got the truck into the slum, people started lining up frantically to have a chance to get some water from the truck. People came from everyone with 5 gallon buckets, basins and other various containers. (I will be posting a video for you to see this day in action, so once we get that online, I will post it on the J117 blog.) Everyone was so appreciative of us being there to provide clean water for them. Ladies were coming up and giving us hugs and saying thank you and children were all smiles and clung to us while we helped fill the containers. It was one of the best days thus far. Lesson learned, though: don’t take water for granted!  We are so fortunate to have easy access to clean water. These people are fighting for their lives to just LIVE.

Today and tomorrow we are helping to distribute water filters to families in communities that our World Orphans church partners serve. Today we visited about 15 families and provided the newly constructed water filters for them. These filters are basically made out of two 5-gallon buckets with a water filter in the middle. When used properly, they will provide clean drinking water for each family for the rest of their lives! Since water borne diseases are such a big problem here (cholera, bacteria, protozoans), these gifts to the families are a big deal. We were able to visit with each family and share stories with each other, enter their home to see how their live, and encouraged them with Scripture and prayer before we left.

Final prayer requests:

– Amanda has been sick the past day or so. She is doing MUCH better now and is almost back to normal. Pray that she feels 100% better in the morning and is able to finish strong.
– We have one more day of ministry, but many of us are starting to drag a bit from going so hard all week. Pray for strength and perseverance to get through ONE MORE DAY.
– We will be leaving on Sunday morning. Pray for safe travels for each person as we go our separate ways after we reach Miami together.

We really appreciate your support and prayers along the way! Team Haiti has been amazing and it has been such a blessing serving with each of them. They are amazing people with beautiful hearts that love the Lord and people. I can’t wait to see what God does with them when they return! I know that they will not be the same and are already praying about how God wants to use them to continue serving as an advocate for the orphan and the poor as a result of this Journey.

Pictures and videos to come, so check out the Journey 117 Facebook page in a few days!

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