Thursday, May 15, 2014

More stories from Haiti, Days 3 - 5!

-          Day 3

-          We spent a major part of the day training w/ local disciples and community there.  One of the hard things for me personally was seeing all of the children there.  The kids don’t get much attention so the great part was that they were SO happy to have us there, we were able to give them attention and spend time just playing with them.  The difficult part was seeing how great their need is and not being able to do much to meet that need.  Most of these kids have super skinny arms and legs because they are malnourished, they don’t know when they will have water or food, and you really can’t give out any type of snacks to them, because if you give one out, within less than a minute, you have around 20 more kids asking for something and it grows and grows.  Thankfully the time that we had there, we were able to at least provide bags of water for all of them and small sandwiches for the people going through the training.

-          Afterwards we went to honor the handicap.  So around 2 years ago Nick (one of our team leads) had started a handicap ministry and they had still been meeting every week since then!  So we wanted to celebrate that by washing their feet and feeding them dinner, praying for them and ministering to them.  Also, the handicap in Haiti are seen as the lowest of the low.  They are completely neglected and treated like outcasts.  So it was pretty special to honor them in this way.  It was pretty moving also for our team, hearing some of the team members say it was one of their most memorable parts of the trip.  A lot of these people have never had anyone wash their feet for them, some didn’t even have feet to wash, so we washed their hands.  That evening 2 people also got saved and there was a woman who was deaf and mute who our team had met the day before.  She was there this evening and got prayed for and the Lord healed her!  I came in during the end part of it, and saw her eyes filled with tears.  Pretty amazing.

-          Day 4

-          We went to a Haitian church service!  Yes it was entirely in Creole, for 2 hours, had no idea what they said.  But the format of it felt like a Lutheran service.  Afterwards we went to the Orphanage that is set up by the Church we attend (the Rock).  This was such a blessing to see these 19 children.  They were being mistreated and abused; who knows where they would have been when the last orphanage was shut down, and God picked these kids up via the Rock Church.  The property they have is nothing major compared to the U.S. but in comparison to what most children have over there, it is pretty nice.  We just spent time with them, playing soccer, basketball, balloon animals, holding them.  And afterwards we spent the rest of the day at the Point training the disciples and community again.

-          Day 5

      Another highlight of the trip for me was when we went to the hospital to minister to people there.  After visiting the children’s ward, we went into the pre-op/post-op room for adults.  We did not have a translator at first, so we prayed for them and told them the few phrases in Creole we knew like, “Jesus loves you.”  (Jezi renme ou)  As we walked out, one of our translators arrived (Damas) and we still had 20 minutes left, so we walked back into the room.  One of the men in the corners spoke excitedly to Damas when he saw he could speak Creole and English.  I asked Damas what he said and he told me that God had given this man a vision in a dream one night and he shared it with him.  Here was his dream:
o   There was a man standing with a 4 pronged fork and asked ‘from where do you get this power?’  The fork edges represented 4 names of people who needed to hear the gospel and get saved.  God gave him 4 names in his dream.
-          So this man had been given this dream a few days back and the day after he had his dream he was driving somewhere and got into an accident.  He was unconscious for 3 hours.  When he woke up, he was in that hospital room!  The 4 names he had been given were in that room!  2 of the men had been moved to another room somewhere in the hospital, but the other 2 men were still there.  So this guy was asking us to pray for them!  So we ended up sharing the gospel with them while other Haitians came into the room and listened.  These 2 men, along with a young boy in the corner of the room, received Christ as their Savior that day!  It was crazy to be in the middle of seeing God speak visions and dreams to someone, and using that to bring salvation to these men!  Praise God!


More stories to come.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

HAITI RECAP, DAYS 1 and 2 - Stories

So we wanted to share about our highlights from our recent Haiti trip!  God did so much and we tried to journal most of it down so we wouldn't forget the details.  Most of our pictures from the trip are on our facebook page, so this will be primarily dedicated to stories.  We wanted to go over each day and share specific stories of how God touched our lives, and others' lives:

-          First day landing in Porte Prince and driving to Jeremie, here are some crazy things we saw:
o   Extreme poverty, most homes are made out of sticks w/ tarps as a roof, or metal aluminum sheets w/ scrap pieces to hold together, most homes are 8' x 12' and that's it,  people everywhere, tons of children, trash everywhere, they do everything on the side of the road, sell goods, cut meat, build furniture, cut steel, play, landfills full of trash w/ pigs in them, and people selling food right next to them.  Police driving by w/ automatic guns, security companies guarding gas stations w/ shotguns, every animal (cows, goats, etc) has ribs showing from malnutrition, women carry everything on their heads, boys (7 or 8 yr olds) walking along the highway w/ maschettis.  I know right, I'm thinking to myself, "Where am I?"  
-  Then when we got into the countryside it was SO beautiful.  A complete jungle, very green, hills, trees, etc.  A complete contrast from the city.  We landed in Porte Prince in the late morning and took a 8 1/2 hour bus ride to Jeremie.  The first part of the trip was paved roads, and the last 4 hours...lets just say it was like driving through the middle of nowhere on a dirt road w/ rocks and huge potholes all over the place, going around steep drop offs (like Colorado) with one lane while 2 cars are passing each other.  It was an experience we'll never forget!  We arrived in Jeremie at night and went to bed after unpacking.
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      Day 1: Cultural emersion!  We went out in groups of 3 into the town without a translator!  We had a sheet w/ things to do on it, like change money at a local bank, find cafĂ© to send an email, find water well, pray for people, ask them about their relationship with Jesus, etc.  It was really challenging to do this without a translator, but God was faithful to line up different people along the way to help out.  Mike’s group (one of the guys on our team) went out and along the way they encountered a Muslim man.  Even without a translator, they were able to speak w/ him and lead him to Christ that first day!  Crazy enough, all throughout our trip we kept seeing him over and over again.  On day 2, we saw him and he went evangelizing with Mike’s group!  (talk about on-hands discipleship!)  And later on in the trip, when Mike’s group was lost, they encountered him again and he took them to his house!  They prayed over his pregnant wife, which he told them he had led her to Christ after he became a Christian!  Praise God!
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      Day 2: The second day of ministry was evangelism/outreach day.  We grouped up in 3’s w/ a translator this time!  We were initially dropped off into a handicap area and asked by our leaders to pray for handicap people and invite them to our dinner/foot washing event we were going to have the next evening.  So we walked around for about 15 minutes and could'nt find any handicap people!  So Daniel (our translator) asked us if we felt led to pray for anyone to let him know as we walked and we could pray for people and talk w/ them.  So as we walked and prayed and asked God to show us the work He was already doing, He led us to specific people.  The few highlights for me was our group praying for a woman who had had a stomach issue for 3 months and she got healed.  We then walked down to a group of men by their motorcycles (motorcycles are the main transportation in Haiti, they use them to taxi people around town).  We stopped and one of the men approached us, I asked him if he had ever heard the gospel before and he said ‘No.’  So we began to share Jesus with him and pretty soon, there was a group of around 35-40 men completely surrounding the 4 of us.  We were entirely encircled by these men as they heard the good news of Jesus.  So after sharing the gospel, one man especially had many questions and we went back and forth for about 45 minutes while the group still surrounded us, and then we invited anyone who wanted to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus to pray with us.  So around 20 people received Christ that moment and were able to get some of their phone numbers to have local disciples follow up with them.  Afterwards we were walking back to our large group and we stepped aside to pray for a woman with a headache who was a Christian.  We layed hands on her and after we prayed she began waving herself like she was hot and was saying something in Creole.  Daniel, our translator, told us that she said she had no more headache!  It was a pretty amazing 2nd day to our trip and through the other groups that went out, God did similar things (healed people and many came to faith in Christ that day).
o   Other things we experienced on Day 2: Our team being a part of feeding over 150+ children and having to turn 40 of them away because of running out of food, multiple mothers trying to hand their babies over to us, Yes, this is not a joke, there were women who saw us and were trying to give their small babies away to us for good.

More updates to come on days 3 and 4 next.
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