May 25, 2017 – We have gotten word from some of the team members that the mission team has made it safely to their lodgings and met the children of the orphanage. Thanks to God that travel was uneventful! They have settled into their rooms and look forward to an exciting and productive week of service.
May 26, 2017 – Our Team was hard at work today. After going to Double Harvest Nursery, where new morimga trees, almond trees, avocado trees, citrus trees and garden bed lumber were purchased, our team worked hard and played hard. They labored in the rocky soil to plant these new trees, dug deep into the earth to create new garden beds, then played and sang songs with the children. Miss Kathy even got to see the fruits of her labor years ago – a palm tree she planted when it was a mere 12 inches tall is now towering over the landscape, providing shade and shelter from the blistering sun. We are ever so grateful and in awe of the hard work put forth for these young ones.
May 27, 2017 – Today was a hard, hot, drippy workday for our Haiti Mission Team. It was reportedly 90° and 80% humidity – meaning that in this weather, hard labor like our team performed was brutal. The garden beds were put together, set in place, and filled; and, the clothesline was installed. To quote Miss Kathy, “Hot day, successful day, 6 garden beds made and getting filled, clothes line welded and holes dug. Nothing says mission better than 20 kids gathered around and wanting to help and holding hands and learning new skills like drilling and leveling and welding and digging holes.”
If that isn’t a village nurturing a village, what is?
The nurturing has gone both ways, too. Miss Lis shared this on her Facebook Page: “This trip has been such a blessing! The children are absolutely wonderful! I have completely fallen in love with each and everyone of them! To see a child take a single Pringles chip and split it between himself and two other children without hesitation warmed my heart and at the same time broke it. I’m hot, sweaty, and exhausted but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything! I’m definitely coming back next year!”
We were also given a distinct insight into the world our team has entered through an e-mail Miss Ann sent out to us: view it here.
May 28, 2017 – Sunday service with the Christian Assembly of Elim was an amazing experience for all of our team members. Three hours’ worth of praising God in song, worship, and sermon, followed by communion, showed just how deeply God is felt in their hearts. Afterward, Angel Boxes were distributed to the children while enjoying bead making and ice cream (a rarity for the children indeed): it was like Christmas in May for the children. Thanks to our own angels here at WMPC for preparing the Angel Boxes.
Singing His Praises – video from Miss Kathy
May 29, 2017 – We have had several team members comment on their activities today:
Miss Kathy has shared: “Clear beautiful day although a tad warm. Finished garden beds, goat fence tomorrow. Got clothes line painted and in the ground. I folded a ton of children’s washed clothing. Made reservations for wahoo bay beach party. Wahoo!!.”
Mr. Eric has shared: “The dictionaries were a fantastic hit! All the teenagers came over and said “you have no idea how much this means, and how much it will help”… Apparently knowing English is the key to a future…”
Miss Jenn has shared: “This was my Memorial Day I’m in Haiti working with a children’s home. We put in 6 raised vegetables beds, played with a Haitian baby, painted and set clothes line poles ( they wash clothes by hand for 25 kids and cook in the kitchen you see in the pics) and I taught swimming lessons to a young boy. I was a good day, bless from the smiles of the children.” She also shared a photo gallery, available here.
May 30, 2017 – Today was the last day of work for our team. The garden beds, clothesline, and even a goat fence with a gate are all finished. The team and children worked together to package beans, rice, and cornmeal for distribution tomorrow to the village. Then, as a special surprise, the children had organized a celebration in honor of Miss Kathy’s 11 years with the ministry. She writes:
"Today was our last full day of work, got the clothesline up and strung, got raised garden beds finished, got goat fence up with a gate. A visit to all the classrooms at yummy bilingual school. Got hundreds of pounds of rice And beans And cornmeal for packaging And distributing to the village. And then a wonderful surprise celebration for 11 wonderful years in this ministry. I am so blessed (and I still have an ugly cry face, but with joy): cake and champagne and a special letter to mamma Kathy and a dance. Folks, life is not much sweeter than this. My heart is full. Thank you Western Blvd Presbyterian Church, Pinetops Presbyterian Church, White Memorial Presbyterian Church and all the others who have joined us. All 94 special disciples." - Miss Kathy
May 31, 2017 – A few more details were taken care of at the orphanage today, then the team went out into the village with food for distribution. Afterward, a visit to the Apparent Project brought new insight into the struggles that Haitian mothers face in raising their children. Miss Kathy writes: “Projects at the YJCF orphanage finished today!! Planted the avocado, cherry, mango, lime trees and 12 morangas. Farmer Denar promises to water 5 gal of water per day. Delivered rice beans and oil to Despinos families. Got to see some beautiful children we have watched survive over the years always seeing us with huge smiles. It gets to me every time. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
Miss Jenn also shared: “We visited the Apparent Project today. This place makes beaded jewelry from native clay and recycled cereal boxes. Everything thing they use is recycled and they have mothers working there that can bring their children so they don’t have to choose between working and leaving their children. This place is helping Haitian mothers feed and give the children a better life. We also finished planting trees and fed the community outside the children home with $1000 worth of rice, beans, cornmeal and oil, which will fed about 15 or more families for 2 weeks.”
June 1, 2017 – Today was the final day of our team’s journey before returning home. Miss Lis writes: “Today was the hardest day in Haiti. Jen, Kathy, and I are sitting in the back of the bus crying like babies! Saying good bye to those children broke my heart! The days of digging in rocky “dirt” were nothing compared to leaving Yave Jire for the last time. Yes I miss my kids and my mom and the rest of you people that I love in one way or another, but I am not ready to leave. I have fallen in love with everything about Haiti. Even the noisy over crowded streets and the incomprehensible traffic patterns! The architecture, the sounds, the language, the smells, the heat, the sunshine, the plants, the people, the list goes on, but most importantly the children, so full of hope and love! This has been the best week of my life! I kinda laughed when everyone told me that this trip would change me but you were all right! I’m definitely coming back next year at the latest! Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us and followed our journey! I have to go cry some more now.”
Miss Kathy also shared: “Wow oh wow. The end of our time with the Yahve Jire kids. Had a blast at the beach. All the fundraising efforts was worth it to hear the squeals of delight when the kids saw the ocean. Such an incredible day. Swam in the ocean, ate a huge lunch, swam in the pool. This is life at its finest!! Then the goodbyes. They say if you toss a coin into Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. I say if you hug a child goodbye in Haiti you will be back to hug another. My heart is again full!!”
Tomorrow, the team will travel home via New York, New York (of all places!) and reach Raleigh late night. We have enjoyed seeing the amazing, huge difference the team has made in the lives of these children and thank our team for everything they have done in God’s name. When we awake on Saturday morning, our team will be home with us and have some wonderful stories to share. God bless!
Miss Jenn added “Our last day in Haiti we took 42 children,nannies, friends, family and our team to the beach. Wow the day couldn’t have been any more grandeur. We saw lots, rode a bumpy school bus, sang Jesus Love’s Me, swam in the teal blue ocean water(not any pics of us in the teal blue because I’m in it) , listen to laugher from all around the teal blue, built a sand castle, had my 1st sugar cane treat, shared a meal together, swam in a pool and made the baby laugh. God made it a perfect day for us to said Goodbye and see you again, and with tears in our eyes knowing we are forever changed because of the time we spent with the amazing children of Haiti. That’s Gods Love!”
June 2, 2017 – Our team has made it home safely! The journey has been amazing, educational, emotional, and a true blessing. Our team has truly done God’s service. Miss Kathy said: “Home, glad to have served, glad to be home!! A.C. and my bed. GOD IS GOOD GOD IS GREAT!!! Thanks to our airport drivers – what a stress reliever!!”
We thank you all for your hard work, and we thank our church family for supporting your fantastic adventure.