Hello friends and family. The Haiti team will be working with a ministry called Mission of Hope. You can find out more about them by clicking here.
(top row, L-->R) Kendall Jones, Garrett Morlan, Lindsey Lide, Hunter Abston
(second row, L-->R) Steven Ruf, Jordan Moore, Morgan Biggus, Mark Perez
(third row, L-->R) Savannah Wirth, Justice Boyette, Bekah Hitt, Bryana Bookwalter
(bottom row, L-->R) Logan Cotrell, Tiffani Brooks, Alexis Erickson, Chasse Daniel, Kaden Parham
monday february 24
Trying to put an experience such as this into words is challenging. The glory of who God is has been revealed differently to each individual on our team. It's been so beautiful to witness. We all count it as an honor to have experienced such intimacy with the father and the nation of Haiti. Saturday morning we had the PRIVILLEGE of going into the village of Bercy. To paint a little picture for you... Just envision a yellow school bus pulling into a village of houses that had no electricity, no running water, no grass, only rock and dust and sheets that served as doors to their homes. We step off the bus to be bombarded by the children of the village. As soon as our feet hit the dirt we were looking down upon open arms of children who wanted nothing more than to be held and embraced. Most of them had no pants, some were completely unclothed. We were in the village Saturday to of course love these beloved kids, but primarily minister to the adults in the village. We had a local pastor, a village champion and translators alongside of us. The pastor would approach a home in the village and ask for their grace to come and talk with them. The first house was very intimidating. Our team split into two groups and we went into two different parts of the village. We had to truly rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom so that we could form conversations with the adults while still loving on the babies. It only took one house to break the ice and it was game on. The team began to lay hands on women who were sick and needed healing. We were able to lead 6 people to Christ and were graced with the prayer of an elderly women in the village. One of the most breath taking moments was when we walked up to a house and a different elderly women began to welcome us into her home. She wanted all of us to come in. Before we could even ask her if she needed prayer she was asking us for prayer. She removed her shoes, and bowed before us as we laid hands on her and prayed that the kingdom would be released over her. We went around this village (which was huge) and prayed with families and children for around 4 hours until it was time for lunch. We left that part of Bercy to eat near the beach until we returned after lunch... No way could we eat in front of them... It was hard enough to drink water from our water bottles in front of them, knowing we could not give them water because then we would have to give the whole village water (there is an average of seven kids to one women). After lunch it was time to just love on the people in the village by playing games... We painted little girls nails, played soccer, gave out stickers, blew bubbles, jumped rope and laughed with the children. Hunter from the pervious days had made a huge connection with a little boy named KingKing. He had no pants but Hunter like a champ carried him around all day. He loved to take pictures of himself on Hunter's phone, so Hunter made him his background. Everytime he would see the picture of himself he would let out a good belly laugh and show every kid that was around (there were a lot). Like KingKing, there was another little boy who captured the heart of people on our team. His name was DeeTee. He was a three year old little boy who was literally lifeless. No matter what we did to try and make him laugh his facial expression never softened, it never changed. He was malnourished with a bloated belly ( which typically means worms and or a hernia, that results from crying so hard). His hair was orange which was a sign of being malnourished and he could barely walk. This little boy just sat in Becca's arms with little to no strength to even lift his head. We couldn't not do something about it. So Becca and Savannah went to the villageChampion and the Mission of Hope intern and showed them DeeTee and the urgency there was for him to get some water. Because he could not speak (and tell other children he had received water) they got permission to take him onto the bus and loveHim back to life. One of the translators along with Hunter went with them on the bus as they slowly gave him water. There was thankfully food left over from lunch and one of the translators Joseph brought over a granola bar and peanut butter. Becca slowly fed him the granola bar and then with her fingers peanut butter. They did this until it was time to leave the village. As they were walking off the bus KingKing and his sister were there looking for him. We put him back onto the ground where he took off running with more strength than we had seen in two hours of loving on him. It was the most beautiful sight. We got to bring him back to his mother where she saw the residue or peanut butter and knew we had fed her son. It was such a life changing moment. To be able to give out the love of the father, a love that loves with no expectation, a love that wants nothing in return, a love that says I will love you right where you are at was truly a blessing. This was only one of the amazing love stories that occurred that day.The picture described for you at the beginning perfectly describes the scene that we walked into in every village, everyday. Children who came to us with open arms waiting for us to love them and help for that moment to fill the holes been placed in their hearts by the sin of the world. Saturday was a very awesome day for me because in the two days previous I was not feeling it. I loved the kids so much but I wasn't able to feel the presence of God with me at all and my spirit wasn't touched. I was amazed at cultural difference and it did break my heart to see the horrendous conditions they are having to live in everyday, but my heart still wasn't completely there. The night before our ministry day our team just prayed for an anointing of The Lord to come upon us and that the Spirit would move. Of course I was praying this hard. Then on Saturday we split into two groups. The first house we went to the woman already knew The Lord and so we just prayed for her. Then on the way to the second house a little boy comes up to me with no pants on and reaches up to me so that I'd pick him up (I did and ended up holding him for the rest of the time there.. Literally, but I LOVED IT!) that little boy filled my heart with so much joy. Anyways at each house there was another story was told. The second house there was a woman holding a baby two months old. We asked if it was her child and she said no, that the mother was mentally insane and wasn't capable to take care of it. Other stories of hurt and a longing for more came at each home. The thing that broke my heart was the fact that the majority of the people we talked to believed in God and Jesus but hadn't accepted him into their hearts for reasons like they thought God would tell them when it's time to accept him. My heart burned for them because I knew Gods heart was to have them accept him then! Ultimately we got to pray for each of the amazing people and I know God is moving there. The rest of that day we were able to spend time with children and just have fun! Sunday was an experience in itself because we got to experience a Haitian church, which is so cool. Everyone seemed to have a lot of joy, life, and passion in them. Though we weren't able to understand all the time it was a fun experience. Then later we went to Madame cheap cheap to do some bargain shopping. After that we went to a couple schools to get a tour, one was in the village of Leveque, and that place captured my heart. There was so much hurt and pain within their walls and all you could really do is pray that God would release his peace, love, and grace upon the people and then for us to just love on the children and show them what love is. A word that came in handy there was ume buelle (not sure if that's the exact spelling) but it means beautiful. So many of the little girls and boys are being bullied and told they are ugly. I met one girl who was even bullying a girl we were trying to minister to and she was calling her ugly. So we changed that fast and started calling her beautiful, and by the end I saw a start of peace and love come to her. There were other instances in which I just felt overwhelmed with the fathers love for the people there and when it was time to leave I was so torn. My heart ripped in half and The Lord had his way. He healed me and restored me. He showed me his love for someone other than myself and it was radical. When I got back I remembered I had seen some of the orphans playing so I ate fast and went to go hang out with some of them. One girl I connected with named Sonese was great. She was sassy but ended up opening up to me a little bit. she also contained a mindset that she wasn't beautiful and she didn't see Jesus' true love for her though she'd accepted him into her heart. It broke my heart once again. Though through that it made me realize even if these children are living in an environment centered on Jesus they still have holes and hurts contained in their hearts that haven't been dealt with, and they don't know the fathers true love. Monday was hard for the fact that we weren't able to go back to the village once more to see the children. God still moved though. He blessed me by allowing me to see one of my favorite people here named Atise. He is such a wonderful man and is such a father. His son matinsly also brought so much joy and life to all of us. We were able to learn so much from them and from the other translators who were so nice and welcoming to us. Monday was a fun day and we got to bless this man by painting his house. Though through it all it was sad to think that it's our last day getting to go into the villages. Our team as a whole have been able to pray over this nation and we trust The Lord is going to love and move in this place even if we aren't here.
friday february 21
Man oh man today was such a great experience!!! We saw the kingdom of God come to the village. Today we were in Bercy again. Instead of it being just a time where we got to play with the kid’s we got to paint their local church. The whole team had a part in painting. As we were painting, the children were right beside us the whole time. They were wanting to help and it didn't seem like they wanted to help paint. I think the only reason they wanted to help was to be close and do the things we were doing. It took us about 3 hours to paint the church from the inside to the outside. After we got done painting we got to go eat lunch ON THE BEACH! Yes that sounds super exciting, right!? It wasn't quite what we were expecting! Haha! From afar, it was gorgeous, but the closer we got, the more trash we encountered. Of course, we made the most of it as a team and caught a few pictures. When we got done with our lovlely beach lunch we went back to the village to do some village time. This is really where we saw the kingdom of God released! We got back and the children of course embraced us again and this time, there were A LOT of them. We played games we sang and had fun. All the Haitian little girls wanted to braid and do the girls on our teams hair. They even managed to cornrow Hunter, Garrett and Justice’s hair. It was super funny. Something that was really cool was there was a little girl who was paralyzed from her waist down. We saw her sitting all by her self in her wheel chair. It was so hard to watch so what did we choose to do… “lasso the lonely” (PD phrase) we go and we pick her chair up and we take her over the ditch to where all the children were playing. We as children of God wanted to see the power of God come and we wanted to pray for healing. We asked the translator to ask if we could and she told us yes. As Hunter prayed the kids swarmed around and began just to watch. Even though she wasn’t healed the Lord did something cooler. By his grace through Savannah dedicating time, she asked the Lord to come into her heart later. She was not the only one who gave their heart to the Lord. A total of four people did! PRAISE THE LORD! The Lord is doing so much in the heart of our family her in Haiti and He is using us in a mighty way. Thank you so much for all your prayers!
We don’t know when the next update will be due to the internet connection! But we will update as soon as possible!
Thanks love your SCSL family
thursday february 20
Sorry for the delay on the update! Mom’s and Dads Grandma and Grandpa were all doing swell! It has been a really busy past couple of days. Full of ministry opportunities. Yesterday began with us landing in Haiti around 9:30 driving to the Mission of Hope base and eating lunch. Right after lunch we hit the ground running! We went to Bercy (The village we’ve been designated to work at) to do some village time which consist of hanging out and playing games with the local children. When the children saw our bus pulling up they all bombarded us ready to play. It was such a life changing moment. Children hungry for attention not hungry for anything else but the affection no one has ever given them. They all wanted us to pick them up and hug them. Some of them were naked and some of our initial reaction was to be a bit timid! When that would come up we had to think WWJD.. Jesus wouldn’t deny a child that was naked, so why should we? The fear of them peeing all over us began to fade away. Ha! After we got off the bus some of our team stayed to play with the kids and the rest of us walked around the village getting all the children. Some of first thoughts were “ We can just take there kids?” and the Village Champion told us “of course” as if it was normal. We got to play and love and play and love and love and love and love! That’s the main reason we’re here is to love. Love the way Christ love. The love that knows no bounds, a love that is not conditional. That’s exactly what our team did. We've loved like it was all we had to give. We pushed passed the culturally acceptable way of looking that merits love and we loved like Jesus.
wednesday, february 19
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." -Hebrews 11:6
Today was quite an adventure. Started off leaving Columbia at 5:30am to arrive in Charlotte at 7. Which we made it on time. Then we sit and wait and wait for our flight to leave which was scheduled to leave at 11:20. Welp it got delayed until 12:40. So we pray and just rely on God knowing that he knows what was about to happen. When we landed in Miami at 2:15 the man tells us that we have already missed our connecting flight to Haiti and that we will have to fly out in the morning. My mind of course clicks in to God is sovereign and he will hold the plane. Yes, you knows what's next.. 17 of us running literally as fast as we can to the gate that we were supposed to fly out of. Felt as of we ran 5000000 miles. We were sweating and out of breath. Savannah and Chasse fall off of the golf cart they were riding on! Just a little laugh for ya. (Yes they are both completely okay!) when we get there all of us are tired are legs are In pain, and no we didn't make it to our flight. Lucky God is still sovereign and knew that we wouldn't make our flight. So He puts us in a supper nice hotel with food and a pool. (Completely for free) we could be bummed at the fact that we're not in Haiti or we could rejoice and know that God knows exactly what is going to happen. That when we don't know he knows. God is always good. Today could be a day were we question God and wonder why he does the things he does but as a team we are completely relying on God in every situation that we have. Knowing that he is faithful to those who are faithful, that he will always come through! So now we sit and we wait to see what's next. So we will be leaving tomorrowmorning at 7:00AM arriving in Haiti around 9:30AM. We will update as soon as we can but at soon as we land tomorrow we hit the ground running due to being a day late. Prayers are wanted! We love you guys.