Life is Hope Group | Haiti

| December 28, 2012 to January 05, 2013

Local Host:
Staff: Bethany Richardson

Trip Journal Updates

We have arrived!
by Bethany R. | December 28, 2012
Praise the Lord!

Even with flight cancellations, long drives across the state and delayed flights, we are finally here!

We spent the afternoon getting settled into our lodging location and getting familiar with the area. Some children live in the same area as us, so some of us played soccer and frisbee with them.

After a delicious meal of rice, chicken, fried plantains and salad, we are going to head to bed early and get some rest. Please keep us in your prayers as we begin our week of work in the morning!

Beginning Construction
by Bethany R. | December 29, 2012
We started out the week right with construction at 9:00 sharp. We worked hard carrying cement for the wall and blocks to begin building upward.

So much progress has been made since we were here last! We are working on the last of the walls this week, praise the Lord!

Life is Hope
by Bethany R. | December 29, 2012
We ended the day with an afternoon of fun at Life is Hope Orphanage.

The kids were so excited to see us and here is a video of how they showed us their excitement.

How sweet are they? They were too cute trying to get a little closer to us when the bigger kids weren't looking. They were so ready to play! We cannot wait to go back tomorrow!!

Sunday Morning Church
by Eric R. | December 30, 2012
This morning, we woke up bright and early to attend the service at the church on the construction grounds. Between our group and the Haitians, it was a packed house!

It was an absolute blessing to worship together with the Haitians this morning. Most of the group agreed that the best part of the service was when we sang the same song in English as the Haitians sang in creole. Although our languages were different, God was still worshiped and glorified!

Sunday Morning Testimonies
by Eric R. | December 30, 2012
We spent a good portion of the service this morning hearing testimonies of God's faithfulness and power. Many spoke, including both Americans and Haitians.

Preparing Gifts for the Kids
by Eric R. | December 30, 2012
After church and a hearty lunch, we took some time to organize the donations our team for the orphanage. Our plan is to hand out a gift bag to each child at the New Years/Independence Day/Christmas party on Tuesday, so we split up all the donations into different clothing sizes for boys and girls.

It was a pretty large task, stuffing over 100 bags with toys and clothes, but we are excited to bless the children with a great gift this Christmas!

Children at Life is Hope B
by Eric R. | December 30, 2012
Once we finished preparing the gift bags, it was time to go play with the children! We took time to go see the children at Life is Hope B, where many of the smaller children live. It was absolutely wonderful to see the joy on their faces, knowing that for just a short time today they would all get the love and attention they desire.

After eating dinner and worshiping together, it is time to head to bed. We are excited to get plenty of rest and begin a full day of work tomorrow at the construction site!

Travay Anpil!
by Bethany R. | December 31, 2012
Whoa, what a long day of hard work! We travay anpil (worked a lot) today!

We completed many tasks throughout the day to get started laying block on top of the foundation we finished on Saturday. Many buckets of rock and sand were passed and we made excellent progress today!

Tying Re-bar
by Bethany R. | December 31, 2012
Some of the men in the group spent almost an hour making sure the re-bar and molds were secure and set properly before the concrete could be poured.

Passing Buckets
by Bethany R. | December 31, 2012
Even our little guys worked so hard today helping to pass buckets and carry blocks. They've made quite a few friends on the work-site and spend a lot of time playing and talking with them. Way to go Sam, Jake and Matt! We can all learn a lesson from your hard work and intention-ality with the children.

A Little Love
by Bethany R. | December 31, 2012
This afternoon after filling our bellies with Macaroni Casserole, we headed back to Life is Hope. It is so cool to go back now and see the kids day after day. They are beginning to learn our names and relationships are beginning to form. We challenged each other last night to give all the love we have within us to the kids, not leaving anything left.

Today, like everyday so far, a little more love was given. We are finding however, that no matter how much we give, we receive far more.

Bonn Ane!
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
What an amazing day! We spent the entire day at Life is Hope orphanage, throwing a big party for the children to celebrate Christmas, New Years, and the Haiti's Independence Day. January 1st is one of the biggest days of the year in Haiti, and we wanted the children to join in the festivities!

We started the day off with some group singing and worship, with songs in both English and Haitian creole. The children absolutely love to sing!

Lunch is Served
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
It is an Independence Day tradition in Haiti to eat squash soup -- a soup made with squash, meat, potatoes, and spaghetti noodles. We were blessed to get to eat this traditional lunch with the children, which was prepared by the ladies at the orphanage.

We served the children and workers the soup, helped the little ones carry it so they didn't burn themselves on the hot food, and then enjoyed a portion of it ourselves. It was delicious!

Fresh Fruit
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
Along with the squash soup, we also served the children fresh mangoes and bananas.

Joyeux Noel!
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
Although Christmas has come and gone, we knew the children didn't receive anything for Christmas and we wanted to take the opportunity to give the children a Christmas gift. We gave each child a bag with clothes, toys, and candy. Seeing the children's faces light up with excitement was easily the highlight of the day for many of us!

Sharing the Gospel
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
Before opening the gifts, we shared with the children the real reason for us giving the gifts. We explained that the gifts represented Christ's coming to earth and giving his life for us so that we could have our sins forgiven. We also led the children in prayer, thanking God for sacrificing His son for us.

We praise God that Tommy was able to share the gospel one on one with a child this afternoon who ended up accepting Christ!

Ending the Day
by Eric R. | January 1, 2013
We ended the day with dinner, some group worship, and a small fireworks show to celebrate God's blessings. We are looking forward to a full day of work tomorrow as we continue the construction on the wall!

More Buckets! More Concrete!
by Eric R. | January 2, 2013
Today, we had another great day of construction on the wall at the orphanage. It's amazing how much progress has been made so far this week! We are hopeful that the last block for the wall be be laid before our work for the week is done.

The main job that most everyone get involved with is passing buckets of concrete. This takes everyone joining in to quickly send full buckets of concrete and return the empty buckets. In the picture, you can see several of the men passing buckets to fill in a layer of concrete.

Passing Buckets
by Eric R. | January 2, 2013
In the picture, you can see an empty bucket being passed back through the line to be refilled. If you don't pay attention while the buckets are flying, you might end up covered in concrete!

Spending Time With the Kids
by Eric R. | January 2, 2013
After a long day of construction, we took time to visit Life is Hope again. In the gift bags yesterday, every child was given a red t-shirt. Today, we saw many kids wearing them. It was such a blessing to see the children happily wearing the new clothes they received as gifts yesterday!

"One at a Time" Clinic
by Eric R. | January 2, 2013
While playing with the children at the orphanage, we noticed that several of the kids had cuts and wounds that needed attention. Using the first aid kits available, Linda, a nurse with Jasper team, began treating the children as best she could.

We are planning on spending more time tomorrow looking at each of the children and treating any issues that can be easily taken care of.

Baths, Medicine, & Naps
by Bethany R. | January 3, 2013
Today we changed up our routine a little bit. In the morning time, around 14 team members headed to the orphanage to begin a full day of bathing the children and setting up a medical clinic.

We wish everyone could have seen the children's reaction when we explained they would be getting a bath! They all ran to the bathroom, clothes flying the whole way and formed the cutest line of little naked Haitian babies you have ever seen.

We set up a system of bathing, drying and dressing each child, after that they went to the medical clinic where they were inspected from head to toe.

Many children were treated for runny noses and small wounds. We ended the day with the majority of the children going to sleep on their cots. There was such peace at the Orphanage today. Thank You Lord!

Feeding the Children Again
by Bethany R. | January 3, 2013
The children also received a lunch of ham sandwiches and cookies for lunch. Oh how sweet it was to see their faces light up!

Putting up the Wall
by Bethany R. | January 3, 2013
While half the team worked at the orphanage the rest of the team finished up at the worksite. We completed all the work with the columns and the last part of the wall (that we could help with). Praise the Lord the gates are almost complete and the top cap will be finished this weekend! The walls are almost complete!

A Day of Rest
by Eric R. | January 4, 2013
Today, we set aside time to rest and relax after an amazing week of ministry... but before resting, we spent the morning making some final stops at both Life is Hope orphanages!

Still feeling that Christmas spirit, we gave Christmas gifts to all the children at Life is Hope B, as another orphanage that is on the same property as our lodging for the week. The children at Life is Hope were every bit as excited to get a gift as the children at the party earlier this week!

After dropping off the gifts, it was time to make a final stop at Life is Hope A. It was so great to see the children one last time, though it was absolutely tough to say goodbye at the end of the visit.

We had lunch at the Sugar Cane Museum (burgers and fries!!), then it was time to head to the beach for some rest, worship, and reflecting on the week of ministry.

It's hard to believe our week is coming to a close and we will be flying home tomorrow. We can't wait to get home to see family and friends we have missed and tell them all about our adventures this week!

Heading Out
by Bethany R. | January 16, 2013
As we headed out of Haiti, our hearts were mixed with sadness and excitement. As we saw the kids one last time and said our goodbyes, we vowed in our hearts to return again.

So it is with that vow in our hearts that we look to the future. This isn't a goodbye to Haiti, it's a See You Later.

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North Olmsted Evangelical Friends Church

God bless you all!

Gina Wooten

A big shout out and blessings to all of you, but especially my precious friend (more like daughter) Shanika McCrae!! Her team at UAB is really missing her, but will give her up a few more days to share her love with all those wonderful children. The pictures are so inspiring. Praying for you all, God is giving taters about now. (Shanika can explain!)

Jeannine Dixon

God Bless all of you and all your hard work! The children look truely happy! <3 , Jeannine

Jeannine Dixon

I loved the video of the children singing! Enjoy your Independence Day Celebration with all the kids! I know you will bring them great smiles & hearts filled with joy! <3 's 4 HAITI !!!!

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