One Trip Ends, Another Begins

My final day with B2B was spent relaxing at Kaliko Beach on Côte des Arcadins. The missionaries and their kids spent a good amount of time poolside or collecting sea shells and dried-up starfish and sea urchins. Most of that time, I spent with them at poolside, while also taking some one-on-one time with God.

Beaches are one of my favorite places to go. When I look out into the ocean, I am reminded of all there is in the world. I look out to the horizon and see opportunity. I see where I stand in the world. I take the time to just sit, pray, contemplate, and enjoy the moment.

In 2010, when I went to South Carolina with my high school mission team, we had devotion on Edisto Beach. We waited until twilight to place a cross in the sand, sing a few songs, and pray and listen to God. We learned of His redeeming grace that is often seen in the sacrament of baptism. The water washes away in a moment all that was in your past and brings you into the world in a fresh way.

Yesterday, I took the time to walk out into the ocean – about knee-high – and read some passages to remind me of the rite of baptism, the living water, and the love of God. I returned to sit by the poolside for a while before lunch.

Today, I have already met up with the Philadelphia portion of my group for the Servants In Fellowship half of my trip. The Cincinnati group is expected to arrive at the airport around 730, and get to the guest house around 800-830.

It is my hope that in the past week, and in the one forthcoming, we were/are able to share a sliver of that love and living water with those in Haiti.

I asked if I could write the devotions for the Servants in Fellowship trip this year. As the week progresses, check back in for what we have been doing, as well as to follow along with the devotions as we get to them.

Koman Ou Rele?

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Often times when I travel to Haiti, I am not Drew. When I respond to the question ‘Koman ou rele?’ I am often misheard and become Joe or Jru from then on. I don’t know what it is, perhaps I don’t respond loudly enough, perhaps I don’t annunciate, or maybe it is just how I say my name.

I don’t really think too much of it usually, but for whatever reason, I found it existentially important the other day. My name is my identity. But what is in a name? Is it the deeds that one does? their past? their future? What does it tell about the person that is truly important?

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t tell anything. Not to humans. We use it as a marker in memory for someone we met. And even then, I can think back to many people of which I never learned their name and how great of a time we had together. Outside of that, you have no reason to have a name. In this world, at least.

The importance in a name lies with this: God knows your name. Just as Jesus knew the name of Zaccheus in Luke 19 before ever meeting him, God knows your name. He set you aside from all the others to do something specific, whether it be to minister to those in other countries or minister to those in your workplace. He knows your name and everything about you because you are worth something to Him. You matter. You matter enough that He sent His Son down to die on a cross for you.

When those around you mishear you or don’t bother to get to know your name (or anything about you for that matter), take heart! For the God who loves us all individually knows your name. He knows everything about you-your past, present, future, what you do, what you think, your faults, your shortcomings, your successes, and your strengths. He loves you for all that you are, no matter your name.

Haiti 2016: 28-29 Jan

 

For the most part, the past two days were pretty low key.

Yesterday I accompanied Brent on a trip to Valerio Cazan, where a good amount of furniture and appliances can be purchased-kind of like an Haitian Sears. While he went to purchase a new oven and check to see if an item that was requested was in stock, I went ahead and looked at about how much certain items would cost for when I finally come down to live in Haiti more permanently. I took the low- and mid-range prices and for furniture and appliances alone (not including security money, rent, vehicle, general support, etc.) came up with anywhere between 8810 and 22460 (recommended to go closer to the higher end of these figures).

Work on getting the paperwork done continued, and I helped with translating English to French for a few documents. Some of the staff had a Skype meeting that I was able to listen in on while doing said translating, so I was able to see how some of the inner workings of international non-profits work.

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Today, I went out to Titanyen with the Hickman family to visit a home of seventeen children. On the way, we stopped at Yulti’s, a nearby Haitian restaurant, where I had griot (triple fried pork). I always look forward to eating Haitian food. I also saw the water up close for the first time.

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When we arrived at the home, I was able to see more of what a captain does. We played games with the kids like “volleyball” and a game that involved putting a spoon in your mouth and balancing a bouncy ball on it while walking-kind of like those ‘don’t drop the egg’ type games. We didn’t stay too long because the kids hadn’t eaten yet-we didn’t want to postpone their meal.

A stop to City Market to pick up a few things (including Casino cookies for me!) happened on the way back to the guesthouse.

Dinner was with the Ravenhorsts and Holly’s sister, Bri, at their place.

I got back to the guesthouse in time to join the Fudges during their family movie night-High School Musical 2.

Haiti 2016: 27 Jan

It came time for the missionaries to go in to get some medical checks, and in order for them to all go at one time, they had me substitute for Janice at the school. All morning, I was in charge of making sure the nine missionary and two Haitian kids did their studies. Since each one is at a different grade level, this mainly involved them working from workbooks specially crafted for that grade level.

The day began by having a Bible lesson: review of Matthew 8:23-27 and why instead of being afraid, we should have faith in God. I let the kids know about my fear of raccoons – hopefully they won’t use it against me sometime!

Once we were done with the lesson, we sung a few songs about God being a superhero and about the books of the Bible.

Time for working in the workbooks came and went before recess, where the kids can have a snack and play for a little while.

After recess, we returned inside and while some doodled or colored, I read two chapters from a book on George Müller. They learned of the first Bible studies he attended and felt God and his father’s rejection of the fact George wanted to become a missionary.

After a total of four hours, the missionaries arrived in time for lunch, when I ate and ran an errand to Cassandra Supermarche with Jeff. We returned to the main office/guest house where he caught up on e-mails. After a short time, we unloaded blocks from one of the ministry trucks that will be used to build an additional shower/toilet area.

Dinner was with the newest set of missionaries and their kids at the other building, and good conversation was had. I had a few questions that I have for the other missionaries, but will have plenty of time for that later.

After returning to the guesthouse again, the Fudges and I played some games and watched funny videos on Youtube. If the medical stuff had lasted as short of a time as expected instead of four hours, the day would have included a trip out to another home. Instead, I’ll be able to do that on Friday.

Keep checking in!

HAITI CAN BE A DANGEROUS PLACE

Heartline Haiti Blog

Recently the United States and Canada have issued strong travel warning for those traveling to Haiti.  Haiti indeed can be a dangerous place, and in 2011 I posted the following blog to sound out the warning.  It seems that it is time again to send a strong warning about what a dangerous place Haiti can be.

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I often receive e-mails from people that would like to come to Heartline to visit and help out.  We do appreciate those that come with a purpose, for they certainly can make a difference.  Often, I will hear from someone or from a group that would like to come and who ask if Haiti is safe.  I confess that I get rather irritated when I hear that question.

I usually reply back cordially and ask if God has called them to come to Haiti.  And if the answer is yes, then I tell…

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Harvest Care and The Lighthouse

The past two days have been filled with work and fun.

Yesterday, I shadowed Jimmy, who is one of Back 2 Back Ministries Haitian-born staff. In the morning, I recieved one of my first full job descriptions as a captian (as some of you may know, I am in the process of finding a long-term opportunity to do ministry to the people in Haiti) – although it was entirely in French, so I’m sure I may have misunderstood some of what was said! If so, I’ll certainly be told otherwise.

As Jimmy explained it, it is his job to go to his assigned orphanage to find their greatest needs. The kids may need new clothes, the water system may need work done, sanitation may need improving, a birthday might be coming up so gifts may need purchasing, etc. He goes to the orphanage director to see what needs to be done. If there is a birthday or special occasion (sometimes just randomly), he will bring something special for the kids.

It just so happened that Luckson’s tenth birthday today (26 Jan). Jimmy found out that he wanted a new bike to help celebrate, so Jimmy went to  Back 2 Back to find out if that would be possible (it was). Yesterday morning involved driving for a while in order to get to Maison Handal, one of the grocery/Home Depot-esque places in Haiti, to find a bike, helmet, and pads for Luckson, as well as ice cream for the rest of the kids at Harvest Care to enjoy.

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In the afternoon, JD, another Haitian-born staff member, joined us as a translator when we went to the home. I recieved a quick tour (a few times by different kids). Yet again, I was reminded how bad I am at futbol by a few of the boys, until returning inside to play with some of the younger kids.

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Today was a day of work that was more labor intensive. I went to The Lighthouse with Dan in order to install a new door for a room that the kids can meet in private with their psychologist. All but one of the kids were at school for most of the day, but we had Ricardo to help when he could.

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Cutting the plywood and chalkboard (really just painted on), measuring, installing, building the frame and getting the door on took all of the morning and some of the afternoon. We went to a booth down the road to buy lunch before we finished. Today was chicken  and rice with bean sauce. It may look unappetizing in the photo, but it is one of my favorite meals when I come down.

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We began the sheetrock for the other side of the doorway before heading over to where most of B2B’s missionaries live.

The rest of the afternoon involved helping Dan run a soccer cam that he started last week. The missionaries’ children all are involved, and what was a group of nine quickly became a group of at least twenty when some of the local children saw what we were doing within the walls.

Dinner was Taco Tuesday, inspired by The LEGO Movie.

I figured I would take the time to update now that I had some time to kick my feet up. Keep checking in! Sometimes it’ll be a report of what I’ve done, sometimes it’ll be more profound. We’ll see as it comes along!

Driving

I often say of Haiti’s roads that there are two lanes: mine, and everyone else’s. Today while driving around to pick up birthday presents for one of the children at Harvest Care, yet again this held true. In what would be the intersection of two two-lane dirt roads in the States, a cluster of twenty-five vehicles (motorbikes, trucks, cars, tap-taps; pedestrians, cyclists and marketplaces not included) all were fighting for a turn to get through the cross section. In the States, we have traffic lights and stop signs to regulate traffic; in Haiti, not so much.

Anyways, at the center of this grouping was the vehicle in which I was travelling. The Haitians are used to this, but I saw no end within the hour, as there were more and more cars joining in the struggle.

Many times in life, we are like this: fighting against the rest of traffic. We try to pave our own way, not letting others influence the outcomes of our lives. Pretty soon, we get stuck. When everyone sees it as their lane and everyone elses, the world around us becomes difficult to maneuver around.

Eventually, some of the drivers saw the need to back up their vehicles in order to allow others through, making it easier to get themselves through as a result.

What is important to remember is the ability to work together for a common goal. Christians are called to follow in this model: often seen in the practice of confessions. When we confess our problems, our dreams, our shortcomings, etc. we are better able to hold each other accountable and lift each other up when it is needed.

I encourage you to take a lesson in the experience had multiple times today (many more will come throughout the two weeks I’ll be down in Port-au-Prince).