Sunday, February 8, 2015

Highlights from our week (from those under 16)

I chose this picture because I finally got to see one of the oldest Haitian’s. Her name is Marie and she is 105.

-Josiah (age 11)


I love this photo because the kids in my arms had the need to be picked up. It fills my heart to see all of the kids dive for you.

-Mark (age 11)



Water truck was my favorite day because it felt good to give people water for free. I also liked that day because I enjoyed playing with the kids. I chose this picture because I spent most of my time with him.

-Cade (age 11)



My favorite day was water truck day because I had a blast at both stops. First stop I was nervous, then I met a little girl and she was hugging me the entire time. The second stop at the beginning was much like the first stop – many kids were excited to see us. They were yelling “Hey you!” (like they always do). This stop was much more crowded and 3 little babies were around me asking for me to pick them up. I am so glad that I had a blast on Thursday and every day! I will never forget this trip.

-Natalie (age 11)



I chose this picture because it shows how content and happy they are when they have very little.

-Micah (age 12)


This is my favorite photo. It’s my favorite because I love how the little girl is so excited to see and taste the cold water. I also love that we are able to provide clean drinking water for the Haitians so they don’t get sick.

-Hannah (age 13)



My favorite day was when we visited the elderly. Antchola was my favorite, she reminded me of my great grandma. I rubbed lotion on her hand and I felt like Jesus was with us.

-Dakota (age 14)


Day 3 - Titanyen

Today our day started with a drive up the mountain to Grace Village in Titanyen (about an hour drive from the guest house). We had  a tour of the grounds including the bread ovens, aquaponics, class rooms and family style homes. Grace used to consist of dormitory-style living but this style of living proved to not be the best way for the children to adapt due to increasing behavior issues.  Grace implemented family style living in Haitian-style homes and this has made a huge difference in the children’s behaviors and demeanor.  We played on the playground with the children and gave out soccer balls and jump ropes. After Grace Village we headed to visit three elderly (Maricia, Antchola & Marie). All 3 women were very happy and seemed very grateful to have us visit. We washed their feet and massaged their arms and legs with lotion. What a treat for all of us, visiting the elderly is a highlight of my trips, they are all so frail but so strong. I believe their faith gets them through the hardest times. Marie is about 105, amazing women, a true blessing to interact with and visit.  I would love to provide them with so much more but they are so vulnerable and anything of value or use is stolen from them.  Before we left, we sang and prayed for each of the women. I pray God heard our prayers and will continue to provide and protect these amazing women. Our last stop of the day was Shalom Orphanage. There are about 14 kids, ages range from 2-16. The kids were quiet and sweet, so very sweet.  It is a tiny place with not the greatest conditions, although the children seemed taken care of. We gave them beach balls, snacks that Cade’s class made, soccer balls, jump ropes and bubbles.  I love and hate the orphanage visits. It is so heartbreaking. I love it when I am there with them and seeing their faces light up brings me joy, but leaving tears my heart in two. I think we all want to sneak a little one to take home and love.  Finished the day off with Pizza at Pizza Amore, God truly has blessed all of us with this trip.

- Lucy

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Shopping, Sharing and Spoons

Friday, February 06, 2015

We started the day off with a tour of The Apparent Project ( where we watched their artisans (who go through their training program) making pottery and medallions that would be made into jewelry and ornaments.  The selection of Haitian made beadwork made from cardboard (many made from cereal boxes donated by General Mills) was awesome.  Needless to say we are all going home with some Haitian made gifts – or for ourselves! J  All proceeds go to help mothers and fathers in poverty to be A PARENT to their children. They’re also educating and taking care of the needs of street kids who don’t have a parent. They are using media and art to make the needs of Haiti APPARENT to those who can help, and doing it all with the hope that the love of God will be made APPARENT to those who humbly serve, and He will be known as a parent to the parentless. That’s their vision from their website.

A walk to the Palms Hotel gave all some water time or just time to relax in the beautiful weather.

Our next stop was LePhere Orphanage which is home to 33 orphans ranging from 3 to 18. There was a hot game of soccer, manicures and pedicures for all the girls, and jump ropes for all.  Lots of laughs, shouts, giggles and smiles all around. This again proved the universal need to be loved…and we all gave freely.

Our tap tap went just a short distance down the road to Gertrudes, which is an orphanage for special needs children who have been abandoned or orphaned. Again, the universal need for love was evident as we played with these children. Some who had been there on prior visits noticed a great improvement in how children interacted and in their surroundings.

We arrived back at the Guest House to experience a full Haitian dinner…the food was great…again! We all shared our word that described our feelings for the day: connection, soccer, giving, stinging, love, exciting, reunion, questions, wheelchair, impact, smiles, touch, feelings, active exploration, draining, chaotic.  Our quiet time ended in a most rambunctious game of spoons! We can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings…

God is good and we are blessed.  Thanks to all who made this trip possible…may you likewise be blessed for giving.

The Grandmas...Mavis and Nanc

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Water Truck Day

Today was very fun! We went to Cite Soleil and delivered fresh water to the poor. We played the hand slap game with all the kids in Cite Soleil. After we got back, we went swimming at the Elite Hotel. After that we played soccer with the neighborhood kids. They were REALLY good. We also gave them a soccer ball. 

- Cade and Josiah

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

We are in Haiti!

We made it! 

The team is in Haiti, at the Healing Haiti guest house.  Our flight arrived early and we successfully retrieved all of our luggage, we were able to enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool before an awesome taco dinner, and some on the team even had enough energy for soccer!

Everyone is tired from a long day of travel, but doing well, and looking for a day in Cite Soleil tomorrow delivering water.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Packing Party!

Ready for Haiti!
It's hard to believe something we have all be planning for and getting excited about is finally knocking on our doorstep!  Our parent/ child team leaves for Haiti in just 9 short days.  We will be gone February 4-9, 2015. 
Tonight we had our team packing party. 
Over 200 donation bags were packed up, and prayed over. 
We are ready!
Pictured below:
Hannah, Josiah, Natalie, Alicia, Dakota, Lucy, Dawn, Chris, Nancy, Mavis, Janelle, Micah, Mark, and Nate.  (Not pictured are our North Carolina contingent joining us in Miami: Jason and Cade)

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Hey everyone! So just to give you a heads up I am writing about our team’s day from the perspective of a return goer on a Healing Haiti Missions trip. This is my third mission’s trip with Healing Haiti. My passion level will go through the roof in the second half of this. First I would like to give you what I think would be a first time goers view and then my perspective.
Today we brought  20 children from Grace Village which is Healing Haiti’s Orphanage in Titanyen .  We arrived at GV and loaded the kids up on the Top Top(20 person van with crazy colorful writing all over it) we rode about 25 minutes to a beautiful private beach that we had all to ourselves.  This was an award for good behavior.  The kids were so so so so excited to be there. They all wore life vests and jumped right in. They splashed, threw a soccer ball around, played Frisbee and monkey in the middle. Some built some sand castles and others just loved swimming underneath the oncoming waves. It was a blast and as always I feel we were the actually the ones who were more blessed by our time with them. They are so full of life and joy. You can just see the light of Christ even though they have suffered much pain.
We ate lunch together and then were treated to having a girl Luchida who had come with us not from Grace but was about 10 years old sing a song in English that she had just learned the day before. It was so beautiful and brought most of us Americans to tears. This girl literally could win America’s got Talent or something. But she gave all the Glory to God! After that we played some more in the water then had to head out. I was very bittersweet to be ending the day.
On the way back we stopped by the mass gravesite from the earthquake. We heard the stories of both of our translators. It was hard to hear them tell their stories and just realize they do this most weeks for teams but they do to help people understand how absolutely beyond comprehension how devastating the earthquake really was. I was truly thankful for their willing hearts to share.  We wrapped up the night with word of the day and some praise and worship since we have an amazing professional musician on our trip. We laughed and cried together as we talked about our day and watched the picture slideshow of the day which we do every night we are here and it is always awesome to see our day from almost an outside perspective.
Now if you would like I will give you the same story but from my perspective. My heart, my passion that has been revealed to me because I came to Haiti a year ago is for children who did not choose their situation but are stuck in it and struggle with feeling truly important and loved by someone.  My prayer was that I would get to bring some of the kids from Grace that I have a relationship with and who remember me. I prayed that numerous times before we left.  I was so excited to realize that 3 of the girls that know me were able to come. I did for a brief minute get to see them the other day when we did our tour of GV but this day allowed me to really reconnect to them.
Right as we were about to pull out of Grace Village someone said some of the children could ride in our top top so I ran to the door and yelled for the girls and knew and two were able to come. So for 25 minutes I got to sit with them on each side of me talking in Kreyol and English, sharing my snacks with them and cuddling in my arms to block the wind as we traveled along a beautiful coastal highway. It felt like I had not seen 2 of my own children for 10 months and now I was going to get 4 hours with them. How could I possibly do this well? On one side I was so excited to see them but on the other my heart was so broken for these girls.  Just the ride on the top top filled and overflowed my heart but spending hours with these girls playing and seeing them wanting to spend time with me was right to the brink over overwhelming for me. We had so much fun it was such a joyful day. Giving piggy back rides, throwing the Frisbee and playing monkey in the middle. Building a sandcastle and diving under waves with them riding on my back.  In those moments we were truly free. There was no pain, no suffering, sadness, no longing and no tears. Just joy pure joy but then reality hits….. Time to go…. Back to their reality of living in an orphanage and back to mine that I would be leaving Haiti soon. 
We took pictures, gave hugs and said our good byes because we were not going to be stopping at GV on the way back. This was hard as well because my heart just longed for more time with the kids there.  I don’t know what was going through their mind and hearts at that time but I struggle with that.  Was I to connected that it hurts them to see me leave like it does me seeing them leave? Does the thought of someone they maybe wish could be their parents leaving maybe bring them pain? Do they struggle not being able to communicate with me and know they have no idea if I will ever be back or when I will be back.  Just writing these words pains my heart to think that such an amazing joyful day may cause pain as well.
I sit on the top top. My fellow missionaries telling stories about their day, some rest and contemplate their day. Me I just sob. Tears flow from beneath my sun glasses in an attempt to hide the fact that I cannot hold back the tears. How can I have been in such a joyful bubble just minutes ago and now my heart feels broken into a million pieces.  I stand there as the top top runs down the highway praying to God that they felt important, that in that 4 hour bubble they felt special, they felt loved and that they went home knowing how much God really loves them.  That they now have more joy and more hope. That they know to someone I am important. I am remembered. I’m a somebody. I am loved……………
I now sit here, eyes welled up. It’s 2:10am and I don’t want to go to sleep because I know what tomorrow is. I will get to see them for church tomorrow one last time for this trip. How do I process I am leaving them again? My heart is so heavy.  I pray and Jesus reminds me that as much as I love them His love is so much even more then I could ever ask or think.
Not why but what…… What is God trying to teach me……My heart weeps…….My soul hurts…….
But I know God has a good plan and purpose for me and for those children and I am so blessed to be a part of it. I take comfort knowing I could not make every day of their life happy but I believe I was blessed to help them have joy that comes from the Lord, at least for today. And it may not seem like much but it means the world to us that were free in the bubble. It may seem like nothing but it was everything…….
Shawn Smith