Tag Archives: Team Haiti 2011

Helping the Children of Haiti

22 Aug

In May of this year, one of Modern Postcard’s Graphic Artists, Callie Himsl, journeyed to Haiti with World Orphans to help children affected by the devastating earthquake. Amazingly, this trip was the second time Callie used her own personal time for volunteer work and to do her part to create change in the world. Check out her moving story.


Sweetly Broken – Reflections on my Journey to Haiti

2 Jun

Jeni reflects on her recent Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of her blog, check out http://sweetlybroken-jenileeann.blogspot.com/

I have been meaning to blog about my journey to Haiti and the amazing ways that God moved in my heart through this trip. I have had a very hard time coming up with the words. But since I have been asked to speak at 3 local churches, I figured it was time to put words to this journey. Praise God that I will bring Him more glory as I share.

I could not have known how God would allow me to be broken when I started on this journey last fall. I knew it would be big, because as I planned and counted the days, trips were never for sure and were postponed. I kept saying, “In God’s time.” I knew in my heart I would get there EXACTLY when He wanted.

I was incredibly sad that I was not able to go in December, but now I see so clearly that He had a greater plan. I ended up going on a Journey 117 trip with World Orphans, totally different than the original trip. It is a journey that is designed to educate you on orphan care and how God wants to use you to bring justice to the least of these. Continue reading

Coping with Tragedy in Haiti: Losing a Child

29 May

Lauren, a recent nursing graduate from Texas, shares about a traumatic loss during a  Journey 117 trip to Haiti in May 2011. To read more of Lauren’s blog, check out http://chosenbyyou.blogspot.com/

Are they just a number?

It has been almost a week since I have been back from Haiti and it has been an emotional roller coaster. Each day I wake up and with each memory I hold onto, I still try to process it all. Here, I want to begin by re-telling some of the life-changing stories that happened while in Haiti.

At the beginning of the week, my team and I experienced a traumatic passing of an infant that cut down deep within me but changed my life forever. Bear with me as I try to vividly re-tell the story. On Monday, we had the opportunity to visit a home for dying and abandoned babies. When I first heard of this home, I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to go and hold, feed, and bathe babies, but I did not fully understand the heart-wrenching sights that I was about to see. When we arrived and I stepped foot into this home, my heart immediately dropped and I fought tears like never before. Wiping my face with the sleeve of my arm, I made my way down the stairs and before me were rows and rows of cribs filled with sick and dying infants. I cannot express to you in words how many there were; row after row and room after room. As I looked, these infants didn’t even seem to have an identity; their bed was labeled with a number. As I tried to process this scene, my mind began to think, “Are theses infants just a number here?? Is this real??” Inside, my heart was screaming as I looked at each infant. Even though they couldn’t’ understand, I told them, you matter. You are not just a number to Christ. He cares for you. He knew you even before you were formed in your mother’s womb. He loves you so much. This pain will end soon. Hold on little one. I was angry and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I walked through the row of cribs and touched each tiny little hand that reached out for me, starving for love, and begging me to pick them up. I immediately scooped up a sweet baby girl and as soon as she was in my arms, she stopped crying and her head laid on my chest. Again, I fought tears. I looked at her face to find that she had a severe eye infection. It was oozing and she looked as if she was in a lot of pain. She felt warm to touch and I’m sure was suffering from an infection that her little body couldn’t fight. In my mind, I began to think back to my hospital at home and the place where I would work. If I were to hold an infant like this in the states I would be gowned, gloved, and with a facemask on for protection from any type of disease, but with this little girl in my arms, I didn’t care. I stroked her head as she laid on my chest. I went to the side room and prayed over her as two of my other teammates gathered around with their sweet infants. Tears fell. My heart was broken and I couldn’t understand. Time passed and I held this little girl, trying to get every spoonful of food I could down here; her belly was huge (protein deficiency) but her arms and legs were so skinny; she was greatly malnourished. It was time for their nap around noon and as I placed her back in her crib, she cried and cried. I picked her back up and she stopped, as peaceful as she could be as long as she was in the warmth of my arms. I had to put her down, telling myself that I could get her again after her nap. We left the room and let the children sleep while we visited another orphanage for a few hours.

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I am back…but my heart remains in Haiti

29 May

Lauren, a recent nursing graduate from Texas, shares about her Journey 117 experience in Haiti in May 2011. To read more of Lauren’s blog, check out http://chosenbyyou.blogspot.com/

As I sit down to write this post, tears fill my eyes as I think about Haiti. It has now been two days since I returned and even though I am back here physically, my heart and mind are still in Haiti. The past nine days of my life have changed my life forever. I have seen poverty in a whole new way. I have seen things that are heart-wrenching and at times I had to stop myself and ask, “Is this REAL? Is this really happening?? How can God let this happen to His children? Why God, Why? These people didn’t choose this life.” These questions bombarded my mind while in Haiti and as I fought through tears I prayed for understanding and that God would place within me a love that is so deep. I prayed and prayed for God to break my heart for what breaks His, and that He did. I know the things that I saw and the things I experienced break the heart of God as well. He hurts and this was not his intention for his children but it all goes back to the issue of sin and where it all began, in the Garden of Eden.

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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.  Continue reading

Team Haiti Update: Coping with Loss

17 May

I wanted to take a moment to write a quick update to all of you. The past couple of days have been rather emotional offering some extreme highs to extreme lows. Yesterday we were at home for sick and dying children. The scene was terrible: cribs of babies everywhere, most of them crying to get your attention because they just wanted to be held. Several of the babies had visible illnesses or deformities that were just heart-wrenching. We grabbed as many babies as we could handle out of the cribs and just spent hours loving on these kids and helping to feed during meal times. Some of the babies were 18 months or 2 years old but you would never guess it; they appeared to be just weeks old because the diseases had taken its toll on their bodies.

At the end of the day there a baby got really sick and one of the girls who happens to be a recent nursing graduate noticed that the baby was not breathing well and that the mother was next to her crying. Confused as to what was going on, she tried to figure out the situation to see if the workers responded to this scene. After a while she stepped in and took a look at the baby. She was clearly sick and not getting enough oxygen. Another girl and I were called in to help. Stepping into this surreal situation, we tried to do what we could. We had little to no medicine to work with and inefficient supplies. The baby stopped responding to any stimuli, so we started doing CPR after we lost a pulse and the baby stopped breathing. Continue reading

Team Haiti: Update from the Field

16 May

Hello again from Team Haiti  –

Just a quick update for you all…..

We are doing great! We have been really busy the past couple of days and are already feeling physically and emotionally worn, but we are energized by what we see God doing here and are excited about what He is teaching us through this Journey thus far.

Yesterday we were able to work at an orphanage that has about 35 children living there. We spent the day playing Frisbee, soccer and volleyball. We organized relay games which they LOVED. We made balloon animals, painted fingernails, jumped rope….the whole nine yards. It was a busy and exhausting day, but the children were filled with so much joy to have all of our attention and love. There is only a couple of caregivers for all 35 of these children, so we were excited to be able to provide some dedicated, focused time on each of them during our visit. The children were especially clingy and wanted our affection which shows us that they probably don’t get much of that on a normal day. While we enjoyed receiving and giving hugs and kisses all day, it also broke our hearts to realize that this was probably not the norm for them and that they so desperately longed for that kind of attention. Continue reading

Team Haiti: Safely on the Ground

14 May

Team Haiti has arrived!

All 12 of us made it safely to Port-au-Prince today and are currently getting settled in at the World Orphans’ guesthouse ready to get a good night’s sleep. Tonight the team spent some time together getting prepared for the busy week ahead and planing for the upcoming ministry outreaches. You wouldn’t believe the mounds of donated supplies that our team came with! : ) Additionally, since this is our first day together as a team, we also spent some time doing team building activities to get better acquainted with each other so that we can work well together as a unit from the get-go. Very excited about the week ahead of us! Everyone on the team is great and has a HUGE heart to serve.

About 3 of our gals our sick, so remember them in your prayers. Actually, Hannah was up all night with a stomach bug and didn’t know if she would even be able to make the flight, but she came anyway. As of a few minutes ago, she feels NO nausea and was able to hold some food down! Thankful for her healing! The other girls have head colds, so please lift them up. Continue reading

Incompetent Leaders in Our Fallen World

6 May

Blog post by Luke S., Team Haiti 2011 

Jesus speaks of the responsibilities which stem from positions of power in Luke 12:48 (NIV), “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”  Or to go with the more popular way of saying it today thanks to Uncle Ben (Spiderman): “With great power comes great responsibility.” This adage has been around for centuries and still as prevalent today as it was in the time of Jesus.  Sadly in our fallen world we do not have competent leaders that use this power responsibly. Their primary responsibility lies in protecting the citizens of the nation that elected them to office.  When looking at the numerous countries around the world today that are living in poverty, one cannot help but ask how did things get so bad?  In many cases around the globe, the leader (or leaders) of a country is the one responsible for their country’s misfortunes.  For example, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s party stole $21 million from Haiti’s poor economy.  The $21 million allegedly was pumped into private firms, which had ties to Aristide’s “charities.”  The fraudulent leadership by Aristide continued to increase poverty rates in an already poverty-stricken nation.  This of course then leads to a wide array of issues, one of which is orphans.  This is a top-down affect and when counterfeit leaders are put into positions of authority, the sad and real consequences are soon to follow, such as producing orphans in the streets.

Luke S. will be serving on the Haiti Journey 117 Team leaving in May 2011.

Illiteracy and the Cycle of Poverty

6 May

Blog post by Callie H., Team Haiti 2011

The inability to read and write plays a large role in the cycle of poverty. Illiteracy limits ones involvement in social and political life and can prevent employment. This can stall one’s ability to break out of poverty if education and/or employment is never obtained. This is an issue all across the world in over 22 countries.  771 million people in the world can not read or write, 64% are women. Illiteracy is also the root for crime, forced labor, child soldiers, and other forms of injustice and poverty. Continue reading