Haiti - Orphanage 2011

Haiti - Orphanage

Dates:  September 9 – 18
Ministry Partner:  Connect 2 Ministries, House of Hope

The House of Hope orphanage shelters over 50 children who have either lost their families, or have been turned out on the street because their impoverished parents can not afford to care for them.  The Grace Heart of Thanks offering has already been used to rid the orphanage of rats, and the Grace team will work to render the facility more kid-friendly and will also teach a Vacation Bible School, showing Christ’s love to the children and the staff in a variety of ways.

Updated Sunday, December 11
Heart of Thanks - Haiti Teams Video

December 10-11 we rejoiced as a congregation for how God worked in Haiti through our two teams sent by the Heart of Thanks offering last November. Watch footage and interviews from both teams in the video link above.

Updated Tuesday, September 20
E-mail from Laura
We are back from Haiti, after a rewarding ten days serving in the orphanage there. We painted rooms, built bunk beds, did VBS, played with and cuddled kids. Although I believe the Lord helped us accomplished much work, the best blessing was the time with the children. Not one of us wanted to leave them there on the last day. Thank you to all who prayed for us!

Updated Wednesday night September 14
Facebook status from Bethany
Seeing children in beds that my hands made has got to be one of the coolest experiences ever!

Updated Wednesday, September 14
Phone call to the team

We spoke today with our host Greg Barshaw, team leader Daniel Luther, and team member Deb Bahr.  They tell us that the time at the orphanage has been amazing!  The children love being loved and are very responsive, the team has been working great together, and they are seeing progress in making the orphanage kid-friendly.  Many of the kids will sleep in beds for the first time tonight, provided by the team.  The poverty has been difficult to experience, but the team is excited to be able to make a difference in these kids' lives.  Keep praying as they move into the second half of their ministry.

Updated Wednesday, September 14
E-mail from a team member describing Sunday and Monday

Well, kind of a crazy Sunday morning.  Got up at 5:00am and the church started at 6:00.  It was amazing to watch these people worship our Savior in their language.  It was loud and passionate.  There is no air in the church and 1200 people trying to fit in the building.  I can see why coming to church would be the highlight of their week.  Every person dresses like they are going to a wedding and they give money even if it is only a dollar.   But you can see the love of Christ in all of them.

The rest of the day was restful we just took naps and organized the crafts and toys for the kids in the orphanage.  We are all very excited to spend time with the 52 children at the orphanage tomorrow. 

Day one of the orphanage........Today we woke up, had breakfast, loaded up the truck and drove about an hour up to the top of Haiti. You could still see the poverty all over the place, people buying and selling things like fruit, shoes, and stuff that you would see at a junk yard.  The smells of the city are car, meat, and just dirt. It is really hot here.  It can really get to you so you need to keep your heart right before the Lord or you can tend to complain.  

As we start to climb this hill to the orphanage it starts to look like driving into the country. It was so beautiful and much cooler than being in the city.  It is cooler and there is some pretty countryside.  When you reach the orphanage the truck stops and you walk down this rocky hill to a big metal barn door.  As the door was opened up there were 51 Haitian children looking up at us.  They were dressed in their best clothes, with hair done and kinda shy.  We walked in and greeted them.  We started our VBS lesson and within 10 minutes they were sitting on our laps, playing with our hair, and happy to be with each one of us.    

Throughout the day we played basketball and soccer with the boys.   We also played soccer against a boy named Stephon and a young girl Roselene. They are both our interpreters so they spoke very good English.  We have become very close to both of them. Stephon is 16 and he goes to the church and the school that is located at the church.  He is fun, a good athlete and full of energy.  He has a great smile and a wonderful laugh. It is amazing to see his love for the Lord. Roselene  is a 22 year old girl who just graduated from the church school.  She has a love for the Lord.

(The message was ended quickly and sent because the Internet connection was going down)

Updated Monday, September 12
E-mail from Deb Bah

Everyone is all good! We arrived here safely with Greg waiting for us here at the airport...and all 22 pieces of luggage made it as well!!!  Miracle!  We had breakfast and then napped-blessing:).

Greg then took us on a tour of outside the church base. We went walking in an outdoor market...very crowded but very educational.  It's amazing how much rubble is still here and most of the buildings have not been rebuilt or repaired.  Then we went to an orphanage that housed 20 disabled kids that no one wanted. That was hard but playing with them and seeing their smiles made it all worth while!  They just want to be held and want someone to care about them.  We all loved that!  (This was not the House of Hope Orphanage where we will focus our time, but was another orphanage that our hosts work with).

We are feeling great and are looking forward to a great week!!!