Haiti 2013

On November 7th, a team of folks from Trinity Church traveled to Haiti. We worked with the Mompremier family, a missionary couple that our church supports. Our team did several projects in the 9 days we were there. You can read our trip blog below.

By God's grace and the faithful support of family and friends the trip was very successful!  Thank you all for your support, especially your prayers! 

 

Haiti 2013 Blog

  • We Are Home

    Bon soir everyone!

    I wanted to share a quick note to everyone that our team returned home safely this afternoon and we have reunited with our dear family members. 

    Deepest thanks to all of you who have supported prayerfully and/or financially. Prayers were definitely felt and answered!!! God really blessed our team with the spirit of unity and love. :)  It was evident that the whole team enjoyed serving together, along with the Mompremiers, local Haitians and other teams that visited from Iowa, South Dakota, Tennessee. Our team gained powerful insights about God's heart during this trip and we are currently processing how we can apply what we learned to our lives here in the states. 

    Mesi an pil ("Thanks so much" in Creole) - - - Ines Shih

  • Last Things

    This is our last full day in Haiti.  Tomorrow we will head to the airport early in the morning, fly to New York, hopefully have a good night’s sleep, and then fly home to California on Sunday.  Though we are all looking forward to going home to our family and friends it is always a mixed bag as we will miss the people of Haiti and the work God has done while we were here.

    Today the team spent a little time serving others and the rest of the time debriefing their experience here as well as saying their goodbyes.  Though we have only been in Haiti a little more than a week, the relationships feel deeper.  We bonded quickly with those here.  It is one of God’s blessings.  They already feel like family.  We came wanting to serve in Haiti and we leave loving the people of Haiti.

    My schedule has been a little different as I have spent the last few days training pastors on how to read, understand, and teach God’s Word.  The pastors we are working with have had a limited education, and so we focus on the basics.  But the time is rich.  What these men lack in education, they more than make up in faith.  They walk miles to be able to learn God’s Word, anywhere from 4 to 14 hours away.  They give up a week’s worth of work, which is a big deal since pastors aren’t paid here. 

    I am always blessed by their love of Jesus and God’s Word.  They soak up God’s truth like a dry sponge.  They model for me what it means to put your life on the line for Jesus, and that simple faith trumps Biblical understanding every time.  I want to grow in God’s Word, but even more I want to grow in how much of my life I put in God’s hands.

    Please continue to pray.  There is still much that could side track us as we make our way home.  More importantly, pray that we clearly hear from God on what He wants us to take away from this experience.  It is easy to either be overwhelmed by being back in the affluence of the United States or bury yourself in its luxuries.  Please pray that we discern between guilt and God’s genuine voice in our lives.  Thanks! - - - Joel King

  • Living Water

    Bon Soir (Good evening) from Haiti!  I am writing here on Tuesday evening as we come to end of another wonderful day.  We are sitting around the table in the volunteer quarters sharing stories from our day including our two “adopted” teenage team members (Emily & Julia) who have joined us while their dad prepares to teach with Joel this week.

    Today was unique because we split up today more than in the first few days.  Joel and Tom left early this morning to drive 4 hours north and see the site of the Living Water well that Trinity Church sponsored.  The whole school of 60 children and a dozen other from the village came out to thank them with a song, words of thanks and prayer.  It is a national school, but the Christian Principal was very happy to pray with us and let the children sign a hymn to us.  Then, we also got to travel to the local team headquarters for Living Water International and visit an active well drilling site to the work in progress.  It was a blessing to see the people’s gratitude and the change in their sanitary conditions as a result of the clean water, and it was a greater joy to give God the credit and make sure the people heard that. But, even a flat tire coming home was a blessing as Joel & Tom had some precious time to just play with adorable some local kids along the roadside.

    The ladies on the team were even busier back at the UCI  campus.  They began the day with a long list of projects to be done to bless the missionaries here, centered around some organizing of a cache of school supplies.  They also prepared over 50 bags of rice and cooking oil for food distribution tomorrow or Thursday and taught an English class to 2 sets of 1st graders.  Then, because it was the Haiti Day of Prayer, they gathered with university and school students and adults to pray for Haiti.  Karen even got to homeschool Kerri Mompremier so that Kristie & JeanJean could focus on the day of prayer. 

    God continues to bless our efforts and we continue to be stretched as we make ourselves available to what God has in store!

  • The Shoe Fits

    Bonjou! Greetings from Haiti! It’s our third full day here in this beautiful country and it began slowly for some, mostly due to fatigue, but picked up speed shortly after 8am. After our Haitian hot chocolate and oatmeal a few headed to the market. There were four team members that got to visit for the first time and although live stock was not what they were looking for, they loved the experience! Once back from town we got started with making sandwiches for the Vacation Bible Camp and fitting the young kids from the local elementary school with the shoes you all so graciously gave. The smiles on their faces, pretty much said thank you!!

    Lunch was next and it helped break up our fun filled day. After lunch we were privileged to teach English to a classroom of second graders. They were so full of energy and were eager to learn how to say different emotions like happy, sad, tired, mad and hungry! They caught on amazingly quick. That hour moved fast and before you knew it we were off to La Bila nutrition center for VBC. The kids there soaked up the skit about Joseph and the coat of many colors, the craft, the snack and recreational sports. In the middle of the festivities there was a very welcomed light rain that made the time in the sun bearable! Time interacting with the precious kids ended too soon, but it was time to head back for some needed rest before dinner and meet new friends.

    The bunk house we’re staying in now has guests from California, South Dakota and on Thursday, Tennessee. It’s a full house and we love every minute of it. When we started this day we prayed for the Spirit of unity and as Ines, Tom and I reflect back on the day, that prayer was faithfully answered!! Stay tuned to see what God does with our team tomorrow…. Haiti’s national day of prayer! Bondje Beni Ou!!! (God Bless You).~~~Cathie Lockwood.

  • Sunday in Haiti

    Today, our team visited the church on the Mompremier’s campus. It was a joyful experience worshipping with the local Haitians. Joel was invited to give a sermon during service and wore his Sunday best for this special occasion! While he was speaking, the rest of the team went to Sunday school and performed a skit with the kids. We taught them the story of Joseph and the coat of many colors.

    Immediately after church, we joined a team and walked several miles to pray for Nelson, a former witch doctor, who has been experiencing persecution from Madame Lixon, a woman whose husband, a witch doctor, recently passed away. On our way, we hiked in the lovely countryside and it was a picturesque scene of saints marching to battle spiritual warfare. As we hiked, the Haitians were singing worship songs to the Lord and our team chimed along. There is boldness and love in the community here.

    After we prayed for Nelson, we went to Madame Lixon’s home and we had the blessing of praying together in community for both her and her sick daughter. Madame Lixon has decided to pick up the practice of voodoo in her husband’s place but expressed her desire to know more about Jesus. Praise God that her daughter has already made a decision to believe in Jesus and asked for prayer. Please be praying for God to soften Madame Lixon’s heart and for Salvation.

    This afternoon, we joined the youth group. Tom gave a lesson on the commandment of love today. One youth shared how encouraged he was to share the gospel to reflect God’s love. Tonight, we will have a game night with the local university students. - - - Ines

     
  • Christmas Kids

    Today was supposed to be a day of rest and time to get organized.  We did do some of those things but we also did a lot more.   This morning we got to tour the campus including the finished second story of the elementary school and the filled-to-overflowing dorms at the university.  Those of us who were here last year were amazed at how many things had changed and improved.  Mark, one of our team members from Westgate, ended up teaching an impromptu science class to eager college students hungry to learn.  

    This afternoon, we visited two nutrition centers to take pictures of the kids for Trinity’s “Bless a Child in Haiti” Christmas project.  What a blessing to us!  At the first center the two Haitian leaders took all the pictures while we played jump rope with the kids, tried to teach them tic-tac-toe, helped them with coloring pages, and took dozens of pictures.   The second center was out in Labok, the same town we were able to bless last year through the Haiti Christmas project.  Both Tom and I were able to meet the children that we sponsored last year!  And while the children at this center were at first hesitant to engage with us, at the end we had a time of spontaneous praise and worship singing favorites like, “Father Abraham,” “Jesus loves me,” and “Praise ye the Lord”  complete with arm motions and lots of laughter.  We will get to run a VBC for these same kids later in the week.

    Many thanks to all of you who are praying for us!  We are all healthy and in good spirits. - - - Karen Miller

     

     

  • We Made It

       At about 7:30 PDT on Thursday the Haiti team gathered at Trinity Church to load our luggage into a pickup and pray together with a band of Trinity AND Westgate supporters who came to see us off.  The trip to SFO was uneventful and our flight took off at 11:45 on time.  The flight into Port-au-Prince was equally uneventful, although we did manage to have the very last row on both flights!

      The team made it to Haiti with all our belongings and luggage intact and thanking God for his travel protection in getting us here.  Thank you for those who prayed over us today.

       The Mompremiers had a bus waiting for us at the airport and at about 2:30 EDT we started out for our 5-hour drive to Pignon.  As a first-timer in Haiti, the drive gave a very clear picture of the Haiti we are here to serve in.  Port-au-Prince is a crazy hustle-bustle of people, motorcycles, cars, “buses’ of various types surrounded by street after street of make-shift shops and often-half-finished buildings under construction. The traffic was gridlock in many spots so it took a while to clear the city, but then we got to see the rural side of Haiti.  It’s a beautiful land though trees are scarce due to deforestation.  Then we drove through village after village on our way to Pignon, some on paved roads and some on dirt roads with the occasional stream to navigate.  Along the way, the sun went down and we found ourselves navigating winding, sign-less dirt roads in the dark for our last hour or so.  It was a very physical reminder of how darkness is a real threat to the people of this land – from despair or hope to see how that is beginning to happen in our time here this week. --- Tom Green

  • Commissioned

    Bonjou!  Our Haiti missions team was commissioned by Trinity Church yesterday and I was so blessed by the prayers and the presence of family and friends. One of the highlights was being greeted by my nephew and nieces with their written blessings on cards. They are praying that God will help me not to be scared of tarantulas or bugs. Very important! :) 

    We also experienced a great first group work effort and managed to pack most of the gifts, school materials, crafts, shoes, clothes, snacks, water pumps into bins and suitcases. This included the strategic effort to pack the skittles and pop tarts. ;) 

    I feel so incredibly blessed by our loving missions leader Karen and team members: Lynn, Tom, Cathie, Heejin, Jenn, Joel and Mark. Please keep us in your prayers that we may serve together in the love and unity of Jesus. May we become completely present to love each other and the people we meet in Haiti. May God show us how to be more like Him and to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

    It is absolutely surreal that we are leaving this Thursday, November 7th! I am feeling mixed emotions of excitement and nervous butterflies... Thanks so much for all of your encouraging words, prayer support, financial contributions, and love. We are all going together in spirit and I look forward to sharing when I return, November 17th!  Jezi renmen ou! ("Jesus loves you" in Creole).  - - - Ines

     

  • We leave for Haiti in 8 days!

    It is hard to believe that we leave for Haiti in just 8 days.  After months of planning, praying, and preparation we are almost a week away from take off.  I am very excited to return for my fifth time in six years.  However, I am even more excited for the rest of the team, especially those who are going for the very first time.  It is definitely a life changing trip.  The team often will experience God in ways that they had never experienced Him before.  It is not that God is any more present in Haiti than in the Silicon Valley, but we tend to be more spiritually attune to Him because we are in unfamiliar territory.  This attentiveness yields a rich experience with the Holy Spirit, and a deeper understanding of Jesus who so lovingly laid His life down for those lost in darkness.  It is always amazing to me how much more we get than we give during these short trips.  Please pray that God transform both those we are ministering to as well as our own souls. - - - Joel King

     

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