Cumberland Presbyterian Church | Haiti

| April 12 to April 18, 2014

Local Host:
Staff: Bethany Richardson

Trip Journal Updates

We Have Arrived!
by Eric Richardson | April 12, 2014
After a long day of travel, we have arrived in Haiti! After landing in Port-au-Prince, we hopped on the bus and drove two hours north to the town of Thomonde where we will be serving this week. The drive through the mountains was beautiful!

Once we arrived in Thomonde, we had a great dinner of fried chicken, rice and beans, and fried plantains. It was delicious! After dinner, we had an orientation meeting and met Pastor Julien, who is the pastor of the church we will be working at this week. It was a blessing to hear his story and his heart for his ministry in Thomonde.

We are looking forward to resting tonight and worshiping at church tomorrow!

A Great Morning of Worship
by Eric Richardson | April 13, 2014
After a full night of rest and a wonderful breakfast, we departed on our walk to Pastor Julien's church. The walk itself took around 20 minutes, and was a great chance for us to see the community of Thomonde.

During church, we were blessed to hear Christ being worshiped in another language. We sang two songs in the service, and had the opportunity to hear several choirs from the church sing songs as well. For many of us, it was an eye opening experience of how big the God we serve is!

The message, taken from Philippians 2, was about relying on God despite all the circumstances that may happen in our lives.

Life Stories Training
by Rudy Bazin | April 13, 2014
Getting to know more about each other after lunch today through what we call Life Stories training. It was great to break in small groups and hear more about each other's lives!

First Impression
by Rudy Bazin | April 13, 2014
First impressions are always the best. This afternoon we got to mingle with these amazing kids by jumping ropes, playing soccer and eating mangoes Haitian way. It was so incredible to see how a language barrier could not keep us from blending in all at once.

First Day of Construction
by Rudy Bazin | April 14, 2014
Our first day working on expanding Pastor Julien's church was quite an experience. We passed lots of buckets of cement, carried rocks and were taught how to sift sand Haitian way by kids in the community. Pastor has been waiting for about 15 years for help and he praises God that He finally sent His help.

It was so awesome to have the pastor along working with us as well as some of his church members.

We felt really blessed to be a part of such great work that our God is doing in this community and at Pastor Julien's church.

Kids Ministry
by Rudy Bazin | April 14, 2014
Taking a break from construction to sing with these kids and teach a bible story today was awesome. A big thanks to our interpreter for making it possible!

Tree Ministry Day 1
by Rudy Bazin | April 14, 2014
We were blown away by how friendly and welcoming the people in the community were as we went to their homes to plant a tree and get to know them a little.

Afternoon Sports Ministry
by Rudy Bazin | April 14, 2014
Wherever there is a ball, there will be Haitian kids--even if it isn't a soccer ball! So much fun spending time playing with the kids this afternoon.

Excited For Tomorrow
by Rudy Bazin | April 14, 2014
We are looking forward to walking again to the church tomorrow for another awesome day of ministry!

Planting Trees and Seeds
by Eric Richardson | April 15, 2014
Today, we had another opportunity to go plant trees in the community. But we were doing more than just planting trees--we were planting the seeds of Christ's love by getting to know the people in the community, taking time to hear about their lives, and spending time in prayer with them.

We pray not only that the trees we planted will grow strong and provide fruit for the families, but also that Christ will bear fruit in their lives!

Construction Day 2
by Rudy Bazin | April 15, 2014
You can tell progress is in the air. We had so much fun knocking the church's old wall down using picks and hammers. Foundation is now up, tomorrow we start laying blocks!

Sports Ministry
by Rudy Bazin | April 15, 2014
All reunited like one big family. The fun has continued again today hanging out with these kids. It is so incredible how open and trusting they are to us. Definitely looking forward to such precious moments again tomorrow!

Rebuilding the Wall
by Bethany Richardson | April 17, 2014
In the morning we jumped right into work passing buckets of rock and dirt, mixing cement, passing cement and carry blocks to build the wall! We love that we now know enough words in Creole to understand the foremen as they tell us what they need us to do. "Bucket, ti woch, gwo woch, why why" Buckets, little rocks, big rocks, hurry up! We are feeling more comfortable and at home everyday.

Water Break!
by Bethany Richardson | April 17, 2014
For all those mamas and dads back home, we are staying safe and hydrated as we work in the intense sun. Here we are taking one of our many water breaks inside the church.

For the Kingdom!
by Bethany Richardson | April 17, 2014
After only an hour and a half of work, here's a picture of our progress! The wall is going up! By the end of the day, the wall was almost complete. We praise God for the progress!

Painting Faces
by Bethany Richardson | April 17, 2014
Today in kids ministry, we painted faces! The kids loved getting to choose a design and a color. In return, some of the older women and parents painted our faces! We had so much fun connecting with the children for the last time. We have learned names, played till we were exhausted and given more hugs than we thought possible. We pray that in the years to come, we will not forget the children here and the joy they brought into our hearts. We pray blessings over their bright futures!

Haiti is a Beautiful Place!
by Eric Richardson | April 19, 2014
For our recreation day on Thursday, we drove an hour and a half north to a waterfall and cave named Bassin Zim.

Bassin Zim is an amazingly beautiful location, with three separate pools and several waterfalls. We spent most of the day swimming, visiting the cave, and enjoying the wonderful Haitian sunshine. It was an amazing picture of the beauty of God's creation!

Last Stop at the Church
by Eric Richardson | April 19, 2014
On our way back from Bassin Zim, we stopped at the church for one more glimpse at the construction progress. It was exciting to see that the walls were almost completely finished!

Visiting Pastor Julien's Home
by Eric Richardson | April 19, 2014
Our last stop on Thursday was visiting Pastor Julien's home. We were able to bless him with the donations we brought, as well as pray for him and his family.

Heading Home!
by Eric Richardson | April 19, 2014
Friday morning, we packed our bags and headed to the airport. Haiti exceeded all our expectations, and we are returning home with a new understanding of Haitian culture and what life is like for people in other places. It has been an amazing week, with more blessings than we can count!

Subscribe to journal updates:


Cindy Singer

Every night I couldn't wait to see what kind of pictures I was going to see from that day! You guys did an awesome job! It has been a blessing just from your pictures. I can only imagine how all you feel. I hope you all have safe travels home. Love you all!

Vickie Stines

By the looks of all the pictures ya'll stayed very busy. Can't wait to hear about it all. I will be praying for ya'll to have a good night and a safe trip home love ya

Brittany,Blake Broadbent

Glad y'all had a great trip??! Prayers are with you????. Hope y'all have a safe trip back????! So proud of all of you??. Love you all(:?????? you should be proud??! We all are!?? I hope all of you had a awesome trip ????! We were praying for you all!????????????????????????????????????????????!

Diane Gipson

As you part ways with your new friends you will leave a part of your heart with them. It will change you forever and it does hurt so badly. But as we all know life's most precious gifts do not come without pain. I pray my hardest today for you and your new friends. I pray that they and you find comfort in knowing that someday you will meet again. I know you have been blessed and have been a blessing. I love you all and safe travels. Diane

Paula Emery

So good to see you all working hard and interacting with the kids! Such a blessing! Continued love and prayers to you all.

Brenda Tate

Great seeing all of you loving on these sweet children and working so hard. I would like being there with you. Remembering all of you in prayer, especially Kim Foster..

Jonathan Clark

I am so proud of you and the important work you are accomplishing. I know you are going to have a greater appreciation for what you have and what a wondrous God you serve. safe travels. Prayers, Jonathan

Karen Zarecor

What great things are happening this week! It's awesome to see the wonderful smiling faces. I can't wait to hear about the work God is doing.

Patrick Wilkerson

Your trip looks AMAZING!!! I can't wait to hear all about it when you get home! You are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Be Safe!

Tori Hinshaw

It looks like you guys are having lots of fun and are doing lots of good work! I love reading the entries and seeing the pictures!! (Maggie I love the hair)

Linda Morgan

I love seeing the pictures you have posted and also reading about all the love you are demonstrating there in Haiti. You are the hands and feet of Jesus. What you are sharing and the blessing you bring home will change you. Have fun and be safe. Looking forward to hearing about it in person.

Aaron Ferry

Exciting to see the pics and read all of the updates. You all look great and it is such a joy to see the smiles and love that you all are sharing with one another and your new friends. Take good care. Continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. Peace~ Aaron, Mary & Paxton

Heather Black

Love the updates! So happy that things are going well. The pictures say a lot! Thanks for opening yourself up to do whatever service is necessary! Prayers for your continued efforts! Love, Heather~

Vickie Stines

We are enjoying the pictures and updates on your day and praying for you as you allow Jesus to do His work through each of you keep up His great works, can't wait to hear more , Love you!!

Betty Carmack

I've heard you are all doing a wonderful job! I am sure you will make memories that you will have for a lifetime. Keep up the good work! Everyone have a great time and enjoy the experience.

Paula Emery

I love seeing what you are doing there! So proud of all of you and we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Make the most of every minute and we can't wait to hear about your experiences! Love and prayers to all.

John & Pat Hudson

We enjoy reading the updates. We are really proud of all of you. We will keep you in our prayers. God bless all of you.

David Foster

Good morning everyone! Just a quick hello to you all and especially Mitchell and Kim. I thought I would give you a weather report this morning sleet and a little snow falling at 5:00am this morning! Yes we have winter mix until around 9:00am. The pictures and posts are great! You all are doing amazing things! Love to you all!

Abigail Mathis

I'm glad to see y'all made it there! I pray you all have a great time and touch many hearts.I can't wait to her all the stories.

Troy Martin

Glad to get a brief update each day. Hope the group is adjusting. I know each of you are embracing this opportunity. I wanted to say hi to everyone, but especially 2 extra special ladies in the group.

Becky Cowan

Hey Anna, we are all glad to see you made it safely. I can see from the comments and daily Journal that you guys are doing well. I hope your trip affords you an especially inspiring time with the people of the town, and your relationship with Jesus Christ. Serving is a wonderful opportunity for inner growth between you and our Lord and Savior. Be Safe! Have a great time. Love you from Becky, Amy, & Cindy Marshall

David Foster

Thank you for posting pictures and keeping us updated! I already see God working with the smiles shown on peoples faces! You all will have these memories for the rest of your lives!

Michelle Markham & Scoby

Praying for the lives you serve & how those lives touch you as well! Grateful for your safe trip there & your journey so far! Caleb's right---keep a journal, even if it's just a list of fun things that happened each day. BONDYE BON!

Heather Black

So excited for you all! Prayers for your work this week. I know that God is going to bless you all in an amazing way. Thanks for being the Pelican!! Love, Heather~

Diane Gipson

Eric and Rudy thank you, thank you for these updates !! I love them. I just adore seeing those little hands and faces of those precious little children So proud of our youth group. So many people at church today sent prayers and blessings. And please let the golfers know Bubba won! (:

Beth Rhoton

I am anxiously awaiting the news as to what today brought for all of you and the people of Thombode. You are constantly on my mind, heart and prayers. You are an extremely talented group of people, and there is no limit to what you all can accomplish. God has great plans for you. I love you all!

Faith Gipson

I am so glad to hear that you guys made it to Haiti safely! I pray that God does miraculous things through each and every one of you during this trip. Cherish every moment! Journal and take lots of photos! You are all in my prayers. Love you dearly!

John & Pat Hudson

We are glad you arrived safely. We are so proud of what you are doing this week. You will be in our thoughts and prayers this week. We are looking forward to your next posting.

Andrea Smith

So proud of you guys! I know you will serve well. I hope you touch many lives and are blessed immensely. Thanks for your service and all praise be to God.

Lisa Sissom

Grateful for your safe travel and excited that you have this opportunity before you! I will be praying for you each day and trusting that God will provide whatever it is that you need to serve His children there. I send my love to you and to the precious people of Haiti!

Jill Zarecor

I have a quote from Mother Teresa that I thought was WONDERFUL, so here it is. I am writing a paper about her and I thought I would share! :) “Today I met a boy….. He told me he had nothing to eat. I gave him the money I had for carfare; it was all I had. I came home on foot. I did this for Jesus, and how happy I am!” Sorry I keep posting so much!! haha I'm just really excited for you! Go be like Mother Teresa and love those precious people for Jesus!

Jill Zarecor

I am so glad you got there safely!! I'm so excited for you all and seeing your pictures makes me excited just as much as when we went to Belize! Keep your hearts open and enjoy the wonderful people you will meet! I can't wait to see more pictures! God will work through you so much this week and I can't wait to hear all about it!

Coyle & Brenda Clark

We are so glad you arrived safely. Our prayers are with each of you and know you will be blessed in ways you never imagined.

Karen Zarecor

May God provide you the energy all week to serve where you are needed! Thank you for accepting this opportunity. You are being lifted up in prayer daily. We can't wait to hear about the people you meet and the memories you're building.

Kelli Wood

So glad to see that your team has arrived safely. Your team and the ministry you'll be doing will be constantly in my prayers. I pray that God will be revealed in a mighty way in the lives of each person serving. May the Gospel be seen and heard this week. May you truly be the hands and feet of Jesus. BJ, praying that this will be a special time for you to spend with your seniors.

David Foster

It is great to see you all have arrived! God has truly blessed each and everyone of you in a special way. This group is a special group and we are all praying for you! Your lives will be changed forever!

Diane Gipson

Hey everybody so glad to see this!! You all are on my mind and in my heart and prayers ! It goes by fast so soak up every minute. Glad to read they fed BJ some chicken ! (: Love to all! Diane (ps you all made it to Haiti quicker than I got back to Winchester!Construction !! But since we all had safe travels that's all that matters!)

Aaron Ferry

Hey gang. So glad to see that you've made it safe and sound. So excited for what is in store for our group. Thankful for all of you and can't wait to hear about and see your daily experiences. May you all be open and receptive to God's movement and working in you, through you and all around you. Keep building bridges of hospitality, generosity and love. Build circles of community and trust. Peace be with you. Take good care.

Michael Clark

Hey all, Glad you made it safe. Have a great week and everyone back home has you in their prayers. Enjoy this wonderful, exciting time serving God and the people of Haiti. Pastors Michael and Amber

Caleb Norris

Hey guys!!! I'm glad to see you made it safely. Cherish every moment in the coming week and try to keep a journal. You don't want all these great memories to go unrecorded. Have a great trip and I'm praying for you all!

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