First Baptist Church Mathiston | Haiti

| July 07 to July 13, 2012

Local Host:
Staff: Bethany Richardson

Trip Journal Updates

We Are Here!
by Bethany R. | July 7, 2012
We have officially arrived in Port-au-Prince Haiti! We made it through customs and got on the bus to head to our lodging location. We ate our first Haitian meal, met the host Pastor Samson and our local community leaders and spent some time getting oriented into our new home for the next week. We are tired, but looking forward to a full and exciting day tomorrow. Be in prayer for our fellow team members who are arriving tomorrow! Bondje Beni nou! (God bless you all!)

Sunday Morning
by Marlo | July 9, 2012
The past two days were wonderful. Sunday morning, we had the opportunity to worship with our Haitian brothers and sisters in a massive church nearby. That afternoon we went to an orphanage full of joyful children. We met Sister Mona and got to see how passionate she is about the children in her orphanage, the people in her community and the country as a whole. After a hot day of playing basketball, frisbee, soccer and pushing children in swings, everyone was thirsty. Sister Mona let us serve the children cold water. We got to see how precious a cold cup of water can be.

Alongside Our Haitian Friends
by Marlo | July 9, 2012
Monday was our first day of work. After walking up a fairly large hill, we arrived at our worksite, a school/church in the city of Mariani, which had collapsed during the earthquake. The construction workers were ready for us when we got there. We passed buckets of concrete back and forth to create the roof of the church. It was great being able to work side by side with the members of the church. After working, we got to go back to the orphanage and see the children we had met yesterday and continue to build our relationships with them.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to more bucket passing and working with the people in the Mariani community.

Building Blocks
by Marlo | July 10, 2012
Today was our second day at Mariani. Our work was ready for us as soon as we got there. Sitting at the edge of the property was a pile of blocks. We set up a line and passed the blocks. We passed the blocks all morning. We moved the blocks from one side of the property, up the hill and into the church. Today, most of the work was in the shade, which was a nice change from being on the roof the day before. At lunch, we had a big bowl of Haitian Spaghetti to give us energy for the rest of the day. After lunch, we split up, some of us continued to work, passing buckets of concrete. While the rest of us went down to meet and play with the children from the church. We taught them Bible stories and gave them toys and balloons.
We are so thankful for the strength we had today to move so many blocks and the energy to enjoy the wonderful children in the Mariani community.
We are looking forward to the hard work ahead of us tomorrow and the opportunity to continue to build our relationships with the construction workers and the children of the church.

Coconut Moments
by Bethany R. | July 11, 2012
Tonight we experienced the full process of purchasing and eating sugar cane from a local vendor. After our meeting over "Coconut Moments" and learning all about sugar cane and the opportunity we were going to have, we headed downstairs to find our own personal sugar cane vendor waiting!

He carries all of his daily merchandise in a wheel-barrow and slices up the sugar cane rods right in front of you! Next, you grab on to the end of the cane and he cuts it to the length you desire. It was such a fun experience and it tasted good too!

Last Full Day of Ministry
by Marlo | July 12, 2012
Today, we moved blocks and passed buckets full of concrete, while learning Creole words and phrases. We laughed and worked and some of us played soccer up until lunch time.
Today, the pastor of the church had a special surprise for us. He bought us sweet, sweet mangoes and watermelon to show his appreciation for the work we are doing. They were delicious! We learned how to eat mango like a Haitian.

After lunch, half of us continued to pass buckets of concrete, while the other half began the children's ministry. We taught about the life of Jesus. We did crafts, sang songs, danced, and played games. We were able to buy juice to share with all the children.
We had a wonderful time with the kids. It was a great way to end our last full day of ministry!
Tomorrow, we will be spending the morning with the kids and construction workers of Mariani. Then we should be getting some recreation time.

Work and Recreation
by Bethany R. | July 17, 2012
We decided for today to take the morning of our recreation day and have Kids Ministry one last time. It was priceless to get to spend those last moments with all the children of Mariani.

For our time of rest, we took a drive up into the Kenscoff mountains to Lookout Mountain. Here we got to look over the whole of Port-au-Prince and buy some souvenirs from the local vendors. We then stopped at Eoidor, a local Haitian chain restaurant and had Cheeseburgers and Fries! Can you believe it?

We topped off the night with a closing meeting with our staff, Pastors, Ministry leaders and everyone involved in making our trip a success.

It's been good to serve the Lord in Haiti.

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