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Haiti

Emily, Luke, and Abbie’s Stories...(Haiti Day 4)

Emily, Luke, and Abbie’s Stories...(Haiti Day 4)

Hi! My name is Emily Steinhouser and all I can say is that I am in love with this country! Already on day 2 God has shown me His overwhelming love for these people and has put something on my heart I was not expecting. I am excited to share it with you all!

To start off, going on this trip was something I have dreamed and prayed about since the 5th grade, now going into my Junior year I was ecstatic. I was nervous about setting up expectations that couldn’t be met and having to readjust when I got here. So to prepare I felt God telling me to go into this faith adventure with no expectations. Which I have to be honest, is difficult for me. I’m what you call a “planner,” I prefer for things to be organized and perfect in order to be done right. So you can imagine how “going with the flow” was not in my day to day routine, but nevertheless I went along with it.

As a result of being a planner, before this trip I had my life mapped out and like some people, never questioned if it was the one God has called me to live out. During these past two days I have been praying for the boldness to step out of my comfort zone and to not feel anxious in the process. I can say with certainty that those prayers have been met during my time with the kids so far. As soon as we stepped off the bus today at the orphanage these kids made sure you felt their love and after that any anxiety I was feeling was washed away. From praying over strangers, playing with the kids and getting to know the culture I have felt as sense of purpose. That not only stepping out of my comfort zone allowed for deeper relationships, but also that being in this place feels natural. I am not exactly sure what this means but I am so excited to continue to explore this change in my heart.

Hi everyone! I’m Abbie Nelson and I have the pleasure of returning to Haiti for the second time this year. Last year, I immediately fell in love with this country and everything in it. From the kids, to the community, to the power of God’s love, I was obsessed and couldn’t wait to come back. However, in the last couple of weeks leading up to the trip, I felt a feeling of uneasiness. I didn’t want to leave the comfort of our homes and come to a third world country. I didn’t want to come and go through the heat and hunger for a week. I was also afraid that I wouldn’t have as good of an experience as last time. So, I began to pray that God would show me why I was meant to return. Sure enough, the past two days have been filled with reassurance and have shown me the clear reasons of why Haiti has been my calling. I’ve immediately fallen back in love. The amount of  joy I feel when I am around these kids is overwhelming. In some ways, I can’t even explain to you how insanely full and happy these kids make me feel. In the back of my mind, I’ve always known that mission trips are what I’m meant to do, but this environment has yet again made it so clear to me. I’m so excited to continue to witness God’s love and power throughout this trip, as well as where this path will take me in the future.

Hey everyone, my name is Luke and I am super happy to be reporting from Haiti. Today we went to our partner church in Haiti with the leaders and Pastor Sam and we spent time with the kids at the church. When we arrived on our bus, the kids rushed out and held our hands. One boy named Marshon, grabbed my arm and guided me into the church. After we got all situated, the kids began to sing in creole and it blew us all away. During crafts me and Marshon colored together and we instantly had a connection. I gave him my hat, we would always stay together, we played frisbee with 2 other kids and Matthew, and basically just had a great time. Today was a great day for me. When I first arrived at our first stop I was super nervous and kept to myself. But today God really touched me and told me to get out though and do what I called you to do, to spread the light and love of Jesus Christ by forming relationships with the kids and showing them love. I am really hoping to see God do more work through me these next couple days. Bye everyone, Catch Ya on the Flip Side.

Beca, Ethan, and Ashlynn’s Stories...(Haiti Day 3)

Beca, Ethan, and Ashlynn’s Stories...(Haiti Day 3)

Hi, Beca here. “She wants to know if you’re coming back,” Elsie translated for me.  I had called her over because I needed a translator to understand what the small girl was whispering in my ear.  Though this girl and I had been together nearly all day, I hadn’t exchanged any words with her except for asking one another’s names – even that was hard for me to understand through her thick accent.  None of this mattered to her.  From the minute we arrived at the small church, this girl had been holding my hand and following me everywhere I went.  Even though it has only been one day here in Haiti, I already have a variety of stories I could share.  I could tell of the little boy who kept asking us to make bracelets for him but giving them to others who were less outspoken  or of the kindness of the people living in the small town as they welcomed us into their homes and talked to us about their lives and faith.  I return, however, to the question asked to me by a small girl: “Are you coming back?”  We had been communicating all day without words, so the words she chose stood out.  Today was important to her, a day she will remember, and I know I will remember it as well.  Our different homes, languages, and ages could not prevent me from loving this little girl or her from loving me.  I know I am just seeing the tip of this love that surpasses boundaries; I can’t wait to continue to see how it shows itself this next week.

Hi, Ethan here. Today I experienced one of the most powerful moments of my life.  During street evangelism, it was my turn to speak with one of the locals about Jesus. As my group approached an older woman in a small shack-like structure, I began thinking about what I should say and how I could connect with someone so different from me.  I introduced myself to this woman and began talking to her through a translator.  She told me that she regularly attended church and is a follower of Christ.  I asked if there was anything that I could pray for.  She told me that her back and leg were causing great pains and suffering. Then I asked if she had a family.  She told me that her son had passed away.  Through the eyes of this woman, I saw a past of sorrow and hardship.  The woman explained to me how she was wishing that her life would change and that the overall condition of Haiti would improve.  While praying over this woman, I could hear her crying.  I knew that this was the voice of God speaking through me to her.  She was very grateful for my prayer and I felt spiritually fulfilled for the rest of the day.  I had never felt God’s power in that way before today.

Hey guys, I’m Ashlynn! Going into this trip I had no expectations, but I’ve learned so much in just one day. I’ve experienced the most welcoming and loving people in Haiti that I have ever met in my life. I made friends with a few girls that were my age and even though we couldn’t chat about everything we wanted to, we bonded in ways that I could have never imagined. For example, they braided my hair, we made bracelets, and just sat around each other and enjoyed the little time we had together. What I loved the most about the people I met throughout the day, was the fact that they had no expectations of me and they accepted me even though I don’t know their language and I’m new to their culture. That made me much more relieved and led my pathway to learn, grow, and just have fun with my day.

I truly believe that God has placed me on this trip to learn from other people and to show me that there is so much more than the small things I worry about on a day to day basis. I put so much pressure on myself and who I will be in the future, even though I know that it’s all in God’s hands. Seeing how other people live, I’ve realized that my life would be much easier if I was as open and accepting as the people I’ve been surrounded with in Haiti. When I come home, I will keep an open mind to new experiences and situations that will come up. I can’t wait to see what doors will open as I become more open-minded. I am so thankful for this opportunity that God has placed in my hands to grow my relationship with him and as a person.

Lots of Travel...(Haiti Day 1 & 2)

Lots of Travel...(Haiti Day 1 & 2)

Hey everyone,

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for our team as partake in this Faith Adventure in Haiti.

After getting to LAX and catching a red-eye to New York, we caught a plane to Port-au-Prince, landed safely, went through customs smoothly, and met up with our church partner, Pastor Sam, quickly after exiting the airport. Once we connected with Pastor Sam, we hopped on a bus and drove six hours to the hotel we are staying at.

For the following blog posts my hope is that you hear from the students what they are experiencing. I want them to be the ones to share their stories of how God is moving here in Haiti.

Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. We cannot wait to share with you our stories!

- DAVID BEAVIS

 

HSM Staff:  David Beavis

HSM Staff: David Beavis