First Congregational UCC | Haiti

| April 05 to April 11, 2014

Local Host:
Staff: Eric Richardson

Trip Journal Updates

Welcome Pelicans!
by Bethany Richardson | April 5, 2014
We have arrived! After a long day of travel and filling our stomachs with excellent Haitian food, we are turning in for the night listening to the sounds of the city. Looking forward to a great day tomorrow!

Off to Church
by Bethany Richardson | April 6, 2014
This morning we had the privileged to join in with Saintete Church's worship services. It was beautiful to hear the congregation sing in Creole and French and fully realize how big our God is. He is a God of the nations!

Nancy shared two songs on the flute this morning and blessed the church. She even made a connection with a young girl from church who plays the flute.

Sharing the Word
by Bethany Richardson | April 6, 2014
This morning at church, Jeffery shared a bit of Scripture with the church. He got a great laugh out of the children and the congregation when he shared about the fresh produce in Michigan and how he's very well fed (patting his tummy for good measure). Later, at the orphanage, the kids who recognized him patted their own tummys to greet him! It's the little things that can bring the most joy. So funny!

Good Shepherd Orphanage
by Bethany Richardson | April 6, 2014
After lunch, we had the chance to visit Good Shepherd Orphanage. Last year, Jeffery's heart was touched by Sister Mona, the orphanage director and her love for the Lord and His children. We got to play with the kids, learn names and simply live life together. We loved getting to hold the little ones from the community. Brandon and Joe especially loved getting some time to play sports with the boys.

College of Pastor Cassy
by Bethany Richardson | April 7, 2014
We started off our beautiful day in Carrefour, Haiti with school ministry at the partnership school of Good Shepherd and Saintete church. It's named after the man who started it all, the orphanage, schools and church - Pastor Ernst Cassy.

We had over 300 children at school ministry and we taught them all about Michigan. We showed pictures of our journey to Haiti on a map, snow, lighthouses, lakes and blueberries. We also sang songs and prayed over their day. We loved getting to watch their smiling faces as they sang songs and as they learned about how tall snow can get in Michigan!

by Bethany Richardson | April 7, 2014
After school, we had the chance to visit and fellowship with the children and adults at AshCa Disabled School and Home. We loved watching Phito, one of our Haitian staff members, lead the children in song. It was also fun to watch Brandon, Joe, Maddy and Isa feel right at home with the children and spend the time loving on a few children the entire 2 hours!

We taught them about Michigan and blueberries again, and they loved learning! They asked so many questions about our home and what blueberries are like. Mike shared with them about farming and growing plants and what his job is like.

Ultimately, the time spent at AshCa was one of our highlights from today. These children bring such joy and hope into this world. Be in prayer for their director, Francios, who is pictured with us. He is walking in the way of the Lord and desires prayer for the future of the children at the home.

Food Ministry
by Bethany Richardson | April 7, 2014
After lunch we were able to help serve the community children a meal through a feeding program sponsored through the orphanage. Way to go Lynn, Isa and Nancy for setting every plate and Stewart, Jeffery and Ben for making and passing out juice! It was a lesson in patience and thankfulness to watch the children wait for the portion of food they were receiving, knowing for some, it will be the only meal they receive that day.

Trees at GSO
by Bethany Richardson | April 7, 2014
For our final ministry today, we had the opportunity to bless Good Shepherd Orphanage with over 10, semi-mature trees. These trees are an investment in their future, serving future orphanage generations to come. The boys who are living at there now, helped us plant the trees. Wow, they are hard workers!

Songs and the Sower
by Bethany Richardson | April 8, 2014
At school ministry today, we taught the kids from Psalms 100 about making a joyful noise unto the Lord. We brought different kinds of noise and music-makers with us, and showed the kids that when we put all our voices together, we can make a joyful and beautiful noise!

After singing with and for the kids, we acted out the parable of the Sower. The children loved participating and acting as seeds that were scattered by the sower.

The Principal took time at the end of the program to thank us for serving with his school during the week. It was such a blessing to hear his encouraging words!

Respire Haiti
by Bethany Richardson | April 8, 2014
After school, we took a drive to Gressier, Haiti. We partnered with Respire Haiti, a school and ministry that focuses on Restavek (child slavery) outreach. They began just over 3 years ago and now have over 500 children that attend school and participate in a feeding program. Over 70% of the roster is comprised of children from Restavek families and the ministry provides training and education to these families involved.

We were able to partner alongside their ministry and plant trees at their school and spend an hour doing outreach in the community through tree ministry, praying with various people. It was a beautiful time of prayer, connection and relationships.

Lovin' on the Kids
by Bethany Richardson | April 8, 2014
We got to spend our last afternoon with the children of Good Shepherd Orphanage and it's feeding program. We played for over 2 hours with the children, connecting and having fun. One of our favorite moments was getting off the bus and hearing the children call our names!

Visit to Kawa Farm
by Mel Trollman | April 10, 2014
Among the many things Good Orphanage is involved in, they are also connected to a farmland two hours away where they would like to build a hospital and a university campus. It is a beautiful land with rolling hills, palm trees and grazing animals. A water reservoir channels water to the farm land. A beautiful building sits on the hilltop where their orphanage used to be. We were amazed at the peaceful beauty.

Planting at the Farm
by Bethany Richardson | April 10, 2014
Yesterday we also got to plant trees for the community at the farm. Meeting with some of the locals, we got to talk and connect with them about our time in Haiti and bless them with trees at the same time.

Surprise Adventure
by Bethany Richardson | April 10, 2014
Yesterday afternoon, Sister Mona took us up a hidden path and we waded up a creek to come to a large waterfall. It was so beautiful to see and was quite the adventure into the mountain! It reminded us just how big of a Creator we serve.

Coconut Moment
by Bethany Richardson | April 10, 2014
At the end of the work day, the locals presented us with a buffet of fresh coconut. Yum!

Recreation,The Beauty of Haiti
by Bethany Richardson | April 10, 2014
Today we got to experience the different aspects of Haiti's beauty. From driving up to a lookout at the top of a mountain, we got to see over all of Port-au-Prince and then heading to the beach to enjoy the cool water. It was such a great time spent relaxing and reflecting upon the week, and enjoying the beauty of Haiti.

Make Disciples of all Nations
by Bethany Richardson | April 10, 2014
Our most incredible experience of the day was getting to participate in Brandon's decision to be baptized. In a beautiful moment of following Christ, Jeffery, his father and pastor got to baptize him in the beautiful ocean. It was a special moment indeed.

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