Sunday, February 10, 2013


 Today was a day full of rejuvenation and relaxation. We began the day by attending church at Grace Village. Pastor Weseley's sermon focused on Luke 5:1-11... Simon Peter was told by Jesus, after a long day of fishing, to go far out into the water and cast his net. Resisting at first, Peter finally did it. Only to have so many fish in the nets that the nets began to break. Now, we know that the common moral to this story is that we need to be like Peter and be fishers of men just as Jesus told him he would become. Pastor Weseley enlightened us with another takeaway from this passage... Notice how the fish listened to Jesus and went to the nets, yet Peter resisted listening? How is it that the animals respect and listen to Jesus, yet we humans resist Him so? Food for thought...

After church, which was an amazing revival for the spirit and soul, we took the kids from Grace Village outside to fly some kites we had purchased upon receiving a generous donation from a special, three year-old little boy. It was a beautiful sunny day -- vibrant blue skies with a few puffy clouds mixed in and a spectacular display of color floating throughout.

After our time at Grace Village, we spent the afternoon shopping at the markets along the way up the mountain. The further up the mountain we traveled, the cooler and more beautiful our scenery became. We stopped at the top for a soft drink and to enjoy the Port-au-Prince Overlook. Spectacular view!

As we sat together and shared our favorite moments of the week, it was clear that two in particular were shared by all. On Friday we returned to Gertrude's orphanage for the disabled children. We went with the intention of helping the staff since we knew from two days prior that they were short-staffed. We arrived and  realized they were not short-staffed. However, the children who usually go to school all day were home for the Carnival holiday. And indeed, they were handling more children than they were used to. God brought us there for a reason!

We began by just playing and interacting with the kids -- the usual. Then the two amazing teachers at Gertrude's put glittery paper crowns on all of the kids' heads in honor of Carnival and began to lead us all in some Carnival songs. That's where it all began. It ended a couple of hours later (yes, two hours straight!) ... and in that couple of hours we sang, danced and laughed with all of the staff and the kids. Music was blaring, adults were singing and literally everyone young and old alike danced together! If I could only capture the expressions on the kids' faces. There were children in wheelchairs, who are usually calm and expressionless, with huge smiles on their faces trying to move around (dancing) in their chairs in response to the excitement and joy which surrounded them. The kids came to life! And the adults came together, language differences aside, and became like one family celebrating together. THIS is why God brought us to Gertrude's that day!

The other highlight of our week was taking some of the Grace Village children on a field trip to an orphanage close by, Juno's orphanage. We conducted essentially a Sunday school lesson (Bible reading, lesson, craft and snack) for 30 children in all. The stark contrast between the children at each orphanage was apparent from the moment we arrived. And the Grace Village kids were amazing shepherds to the other kids -- mingling among them, helping them with their crafts, and becoming "big brother" to them. Before we left we presented them with the seven Bibles we had brought with us. Juno was overjoyed to receive them because they have no Bibles at his orphanage. He said that was the best gift he could ever be given. God showed us yet again where He wanted us to be and how He wanted us to serve. And not only did He have plans for us to serve that day, but also for the kids at Grace Village to serve.

Over the course of the week it was clear the momentum of our team's mission work was building. Early on in the week we served with some reservations, inhibitions and hesitations. By the end of the week we had become more bold in our serving. And now as we return to our homes, our families, our lives... We pray that God will continue to build upon the momentum that He has developed within each of us to continue to serve Him for His glory.

Thank you for following along with us on our team's journey. We are praying for you and your journey in service to Him. Please also continue to pray for us.

The St. Michael's Team

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Planting Seeds

We started the day with another extravagant breakfast then headed out to Grace Village to serve the kids and take them on a special outing.  We arrived at Grace Village to pick up the children who had earned the privilege to leave campus and serve alongside us.  Each adult was assigned a partner child and we loaded up two tap-taps.  We were off to Juno’s orphanage (Juno is the orphanage director) for a Bible lesson, craft activity and snacks.  They eagerly welcomed us with songs in Creole.  Pastor Wesley from Grace Village, prepared the hearts of young and old for our lesson with worship.  He closed with a round of the chicken dance, the universal call to peace and calmness before a Bible lesson. 

We led the lesson about God’s wisdom and turning to the Bible for discernment and determining what is right. We did a skit demonstrating the difference between God’s way and the world’s way.  We reviewed the books of the Old Testament and found that the children needed some refreshing.  The children dove into the craft, creating a bookmark with five steps to knowing God’s word.  The children enjoyed tracing their hands and selecting the ribbons.  We prepared a snack of graham crackers and peanut butter in the tap-tap.  Fortunately, we also purchased water along the way to wash down the peanut butter, a near oversight caught by one of our team members.  The children lined up dutifully behind the tap-tap to receive their snack.  Everyone enjoyed the graham cracker sandwiches under the shade of a mango tree.  We prepared to say our farewells and gathered up the Grace Village kids to say goodbye to Juno’s.  We dropped the children off at Grace Village and returned to the Guest House for an early evening and a trip to a Haitian market.
We may never see the results of our service due to the nature of short-term missions.  Our challenge is not to strive for the end product, but to do what is right for the moment and time.   We can’t wait to know the end before we start.  Paul explained this more clearly in I Corinthians 3:7: “So neither the one who plants or the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.  For we are coworkers in God’s service, you are God’s field, God’s building. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”  Today we were blessed to plant a seed.  The children struggled with the names of the Bibles because they did not have Creole Bibles at the orphanage.  By providence, we had seven Creole Bibles that we had brought for our planned lesson.   Pastor Wesley gave the Creole Bibles to Juno.  Juno graciously accepted these as “The most precious gift” that they could ever receive.  We only see our small part.  We trust God is faithful and will use His Word.  This was our last service trip, so we pray that others continue this work as they respond to His calling.
We had the pleasure to witness our Grace Village kids shepherding the children of Juno’s orphanage in reading scripture, assisting with craft, and joining our praise and worship.  A number of these Grace Village kids had resided in this same neighborhood just over a year ago, and now they have returned to be an example of service and encouragement for these children.  The seed planted in them at Grace Village has now created positive momentum.
The Grace Village kids are bearing fruit.  They  have been watered by Healing Haiti and the mission teams that have come before us.  This reminds us of the John 15:5 and 8 verses: “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”  It is inspiring to see the nurturing of Grace Village bearing fruit in these children, fruit that is now ripening to be harvested.  We saw the continuing of this ministry at Juno’s with the pairing of gracious actions and God’s Word.
This team is here for that purpose. “The church exists for nothing else but to draw people into Christ, to make them little Christs.  If they are not doing, that all the cathedral, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.  God became man for no other purpose. “ – C.S. Lewis

posted by Dan and Margie

Friday, February 8, 2013

Free to Love

Our team began our fourth day in Haiti by worshiping at the tent church.  Although most of it was in Creole we were surprised by how many songs we recognized and could sing along in English.  We were inspired, rejuvenated, and filled with His love and glory.

Today was a day where we could pick and choose how we spent our day. We decided to go to Gertrude's home for disabled children, and then to the hospital for sick and dying children. So back at the guest house, after worship, we enjoyed our delicious breakfast, and a quick change for Gertrude's.

We arrived in time to play with the children before lunch. We sang, and danced  to American and Haitian songs. One of our translators, Wilson, had a great time leading those songs and dances! The room was full of smiles, laughter, and fun!

We arrived back at the guesthouse for some extra time to rest. Some team members went to the neighboring pool, while others took the time to journal, nap, and rest. Then we got cleaned up and all ready to visit the hospital for sick and dying babies. When we arrived, we entered the room with they sickest babies. The aids were giving the babies their medicine for the day while handing us the bowls of food to feed the babies. We all had different experiences in feeding the babies. Some of them seemed very hungry and scarfed the food right down! While others felt too sick to eat. It was hard for some of us, especially the mothers and fathers, to accept that the children could not eat due to their current condition. After we had fed them and changed their diapers, we had time to hold and love them up! Some of the babies were so comfortable that they fell asleep in our arms.

Next, we went to the other room where the children were feeling better. Some changed diapers while others brought the children out to the playground to play! The children loved to have the one-on-one time with each of us, just as much as we enjoyed to play and love them to our fullest. Some of us had it easy on the benches snuggling up babies, while others were used as a human jungle-gym!

The hardest part of the day was having to say goodbye to all these children who blessed our day. Overall it was a great day of many emotions! We went into today hoping to make at least as much of a difference in their lives as they have made in ours.

We are free to run, free to dance, and free to live for YOU!

Alexa Hofstad and Michelle Weisenburger

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Posted by Scott Olson
Thoughtful Thursday-
This third day of missionary work found us experiencing a wide range of emotions and processing the thoughts that went with them.
We began with a visit to Grace Village. This is the location of the bright and colorful orphanage that my 5th graders had the opportunity to see on a video that showed the reaction of the Haitian children when they first moved into the facility. It was a treat to see the place in person. There is an amazing future envisioned for Grace Village that includes hydroponic farming, a fish hatchery, and additional space for expansion.
Today's journey also brought us into the homes of some elderly Haitians that Healing Haiti has identified to assist due to their fragile health and lack of family members to care for them.Visiting with these people in their one room, dirt floored dwellings and trying to provide a small amount of solace through sandwiches, applesauce, water, lotion filled hands, the singing of songs, and prayer was tremendously moving to say the least.
We stopped off at two other schools to tour their facilities and visit with some of their students. At one of these, we managed to do a masterful job of creating a mild frenzy among the first and second graders. Knowing how challenging it can be to re-focus students' attention on the lesson being taught, I of course had nothing to do with such distracting behavior. Ha ha ha "Ay you" (story to follow upon my return home)
Before returning to the guest house, our driver/interpreter/all-around-great guy Junior decided to bring us for a brief stop to the mass burial site of an estimated 300,000 victims of the January 2010 earthquake. Sensing the spirits of all these souls stirred a deep feeling of reverence in me. My thoughts turned to the realization that our time to make some kind of lasting impression is so limited. Though we at times might feel small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things, we must push past that and move forward with the confidence that we do in deed each possess some special gift. Your sharing of it could have a much more meaningful impact than you have any idea of really knowing.
Goodness, these deep thoughts might be rambling on. I better head to bed. We have a 5:30 a.m. wake-up tomorrow to jump start another adventuresome day.
Sorry, the lateness of the hour leaves no time for photos tonight.

Scott, Dad, Mr. Olson


Today was another busy day.  After a delicious breakfast, we began our journey.  We spent our day serving in Titanyen, a city outside of Port-au-Prince.  We visited Grace Village for a tour of the grounds.  It is so beautiful with it's amazing color and life.  The children were on a short break from their school day and were busy playing on the largest playground in Haiti, we even caught some playing hopscotch!  (I must add how lovely the hopscotch painting was!)  I'm not sure I can fully explain it's splendor - vivid colors, joyful children, smiling faces, growing gardens, swimming tilapia, lesson filled chalkboards, gracious long-term missionaries, and I could keep going on.  We delivered to them many of the supplies we collected from our generous supporters at home and continued on our day's plans.  Three women of our team, Lisa, Michelle and Karen, stayed at Grace Village to assist in alterations of school uniforms.

Next we visited a nearby school called Jean Garry's.  The children greeted us chanting "Hey You!" in their sweet sing-song voices.  We briefly visited with the youngest children, both giving and receiving huge hugs.  We were shown around the school and saw the small rooms, filled with students focused on learning despite our distractions.  Since the children know their families need to pay to go to school, the children seem geniunely happy to be at school.  We brought them some much needed supplies to share with their children, as well.

Our next stop was Edmond's home.  Edmond is one of the elders in Healing Haiti's ElderCare ministry.  We found him sitting on his bed when he welcomed us into his meager home made of stone and tarps.  We ministered to him through song, prayer, Bible verses, lotioning his arms and back, feeding him a peanut butter sandwich, applesauce and water.  Such simple things to us, but so comforting to him.  He seemed to enjoy every moment of our time with him and there was a certain peace about him when we left his home.

Then, we visited Izna, an 89 year old woman who was outside, hunched over near a small shed outside her home that she shares with her son.  Her home was made of tarps, surrounded by a cactus plant grown to serve as a fence.  She was happy to see us and enjoyed our songs and prayers, as well as, a massage of her arms, legs, back and scalp.  We brought her some water and food, as well.  She was eager to receive this, appearing both dehydrated and hungry.  We were asked to check on a few items that had been given to her, all of which she explained had been taken from her, by her son.  She also explained to us that while she was letting out her son's cow, it charged, pulling her arm and hurting her hand and shoulder.  Our Nurse Practitioner, Cara, looked at her hand and we believe it may be broken.  We were able to return with an ace bandage that Cara wrapped for her.  There is a possibility that a nearby physician will be able to visit her.  While we were honored to serve her, it was so sad to see her frail body and vulnerable state.  At home, most elderly in this condition are treated with both dignity and respect.  Additionally, they would likely be living in either a nursing home or with their family.  This is one of many disparities I have noticed throughout our trip thus far.

After leaving Izna's, we started driving back to Grace Village to pick up the rest of our team before visiting the other three elders.  Much to our surprise, we stopped on one of the main streets along the way and a sweet, yet spunky, joyful woman entered the tap-tap.  We quickly learned that it was Camisane, one of the elders on our list to visit for the day.  She is known as the "charcoal lady" because she buys bags of charcoal and sells them on the side of the street.  We had stopped across from her charcoal stand and ministered to her on the tap-tap with food, music, prayer, and lotion.  When we asked her if she had any special needs, her response through our translator was, "She needs everything.  Her money is done.  She has no more money to buy more bags of charcoal."  She was also very worried that her home may be taken away and she will have no place to live.  It was very humbling to realize that this woman who seemed so joyful when we first met her has such heavy concerns on her heart.

We returned to Grace Village for our seamstresses, who had a very productive, busy time of measuring uniforms and sewing.  Although they measured all the uniforms, they didn't sew as many as they (as Americans who like to cross items off their to-do lists) would have liked.  However, we were reminded that we are in Haiti and things move a bit slower, and everything they did was a great help and blessing to the missionaries who are responsible for completing this large project.

We then visited Angeline, a 79 year old elder, in her concrete home.  She touched many on our team in previous visits, so we were anxious to see her again.  We arrived to find her sitting on her mattress on the floor.  Her prayer request is that she is able to stand up because she doesn't want to stay on the floor all the time.  Once again, we ministered through prayer, song, food, water, and lotion.  We were overcome with emotion at this stop and felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as we sang to Angeline.

We visited Mariedeloude, who is a younger "elder" at age 43, due to her mental disabilities.  She had a tidy home and was surrounded by children and her sister.  We also served her with song, prayer, water and food.  Her home was neat and tidy, though sparce inside and built of tarps outside.  Many of the items we checked on for her had been stolen as well.  She had a smiling spirit and gentle quietness about her.

A solemn stop in our journey was at the mass burial site of the Haitians lost in the earthquake of 2010.  It is said over 300,000 individuals are buried here.  We climbed the hillside and were in awe of the beauty of the country God created here.

Our last stop was at Redempteur's School where we were given a brief tour.  This was a very small building that taught over 300 children.  It was by far smaller than even the cafeteria my children eat in at home.  He was passionate about his school, his children and serving the Haitian community through the hope of the children.  We provided some of our supplies to him, as well.  He requested our prayers and support for his needs.

Although our day was filled with emotions while serving some of the most vulnerable among us, we were served by their grateful spirits and their gentleness.  For today, we were able to be the hands and feet of our Savior.  At each visit, we sang a song, "God is so good, is so good, is so good to me..."  I couldn't help but to think how good God really is to me.

Melody Sandell & Vicki Barton

Healing Haiti Team Members (Tap-Tap Singers Extraordinaire!)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Posted by Scott Olson
Visionary Wednesday -
Our adventure began this morning with a stop at an ecole (school) that Healing Haiti has helped provide a great deal of support. This was where some of the school supplies that many of my 5th graders donated found a useful and grateful home. It was eye opening to witness how genuinely excited these children were to have the opportunity to learn. As we were driving to our next location, I began to notice more and more schools along the way. It gave me the feeling of hope for the future of Haiti through the power of education.
It was nearly lunchtime when we arrived at an orphanage for children with special needs. By the time their lunch was ready, I had latched onto a little fellow who would spin himself around while throwing back his head in a manner often associated with blind people. I would later discover that he was born with cataracts in both eyes, would soon be having surgery, and is expected to gain his vision. Hallelujah! I sat with him in my lap, and fed him a bowl of a white rice and bean concoction. Since I was his server, he was given the opportunity to become a member of the clean plate club. He readily accepted and proceeded to enjoy bite after bite until every spoonful was gone. The experience of spending time with so many of these abandoned children opened my eyes to how often these poor unfortunates are cast off as being ones that through no fault of their own make us feel uncomfortable. I grew deeper in my admiration for those individuals with the heart to provide care for these children on a daily basis.
May we all be filled with the spirit to make attempts at pushing our comfort zones in order to stretch the limits of what acts we are truly capable of performing.

Wonderful Wednesday

Our day started in the usual fashion when we piled in the tap tap around 9:00am to the call of "kennel up."  It was another interesting traffic day as we headed back to Cite Soleil.  We visited a school of about 650 children from the ages of 3 to 20 run by a wonderful, gracious man named Elder.  It was amazing to see the students in such poor circumstances thriving and excited about learning; from the youngest who were practicing their letters on the chalk board to the oldest who were learning Spanish, Chemistry and advanced Math.

Piling back into the tap tap, we headed downtown to visit San Fil home for the elderly.  Here we were divided by gender and gave the residents a "spa day."  We applied lotion to dried skin, hair oil & pomade to dry hair, and shared smiles and singing.  It was somewhat quiet and somber when we arrived, but with the help of our interpreter turned song leader, Brunet, the mood was considerably lightened when we left.  It was incredibly moving and peaceful to hear the mix of English and Creole languages singing "How Great Thou Art."

We ate the Healing Haiti version of trail lunch - Cliff bars, jerkey, trail mix, granola bars and Propel - while traveling back toward Cite Soleil to visit Gertrude's, an orphanage for special needs children.  Here we arrived just in time for the children's lunch. We were each given a plate of rice & beans and a spoon and started to feed someone.  After that, the real fun began!  We got almost everyone outside in the playground area that even had a swing for wheel chairs - although, we took them out of their chairs to swing because we could fit six kids at a time that way.  A little later, we went back inside and tried for some quiet time on the floor mat.  Some were more successful than others.

The last stop was a home for sick and dying children.  We spent time just holding children and sharing love.  Some were well enough for games of peek-a-boo, to give high fives, or even escape from the crib and follow us out when we tried to leave.  Some were too sick to be held.  It was heart-breaking to see so many little ones and not have enough time to hold each of them - and to hear them cry when you put them down.  We plan to return there on Friday to spread a little more love.

At each location we delivered donated supplies collected by our faithful supporters.  THANK YOU!  The school was so thankful for notebooks and pencils, much needed in the poorest slum on our side of the globe.  At San Fil they also run an education and food distribution program for mothers of infants and some of their supplies were handed out before we were all off the tap tap.  At Gertrudes, we changed several diapers, using new velcro diapers that we brought along.  All in all, it was a busy wonderful day.

Hands On!

Today was all about the power of the human touch!

 We visited a home for sick and dying adults, a home for disabled children, and a home for sick and dying babies.  At each location we saw how powerful and calming our touch can be.  At the home for sick and dying adults, we rubbed lotion on the ladies bodies and rubbed oils into their hair.  We would start with their arms and legs, but usually they would want lotion on their back and chest as well.  They really enjoyed the head rub as well. We used the oil or pomade for their hair and most of the ladies wanted to keep what was left in the can.  One elderly lady even took a scoop and tucked it away for later.  Their hair is much more coarse and dry and they use these products to soften it.

At the home for the disabled children, they were short-staffed and we helped with serving lunch and playing with the children.  This location was a little harder for me as I was not as quick to interact with them.  One girl had just arrived a few days ago.  She was found alone in a pile of garbage and had been dropped off at Gertrudes by social services.  Up to today, she was not very responsive.  It was amazing the way that she responded to sitting on our laps and cuddling.  We played with a parachute and I was sitting underneath with her and another girl.  She started giggling as she watched those around her having fun and as she looked at all the pretty colors.

We were able to stay a long time at Gertrudes and had the opportunity to try to settle the kids down for a nap.  I was still holding the new girl and ended up sitting next to an older girl - she was probably around age 12.  She had the most beautiful smile.  As she noticed that I was holding the little girl, she got a little closer and I was able to hold her hand.  She grabbed on and would not let go and every once in a while she would turn to me and smile.  She wasn't able to move real well because of difficulties with moving her legs, but as soon as she saw that my lap was free, she moved closer-wanting to sit on my lap. I was able to rub her back and hold her hand and if I stopped she would shake my hand to tell me to keep going.

At the home for the sick and dying babies, it was amazing how quickly the babies settled down.  It was fun to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to them and they would quickly respond by snuggling in, almost sleeping in your arms.  As we tried to share our time with some of the other kids and put them back into their crib, they would cry for a long time.  Unfortunately, we were not at this location for very long, but we are able to go back later this week.

As I close this day, I need to remember how powerful touch is, that even something so simple as a pat on the back can be so impactful and be such a blessing.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Post from Scott Olson:

Majestic Monday!
For all concerned parties-yes, I have awakened from my slumber. Clearly I was exhausted from all the work involved with preparing a week of plans to keep my fabulous fifth graders engaged in new knowledge acquiring. Bonswa to all of you in room 209. I hope you got your week off to a splendid start.
Today found my amazing team and I delivering the essential necessity of water to those whose place in life leaves them without. We also had the opportunity to provide an equally critical element in the form of love. We nurtured an assortment of needy children seeking to be held and given attention. It was an incredibly moving experience. I can still feel the presence of one young boy as he nuzzled his head into my neck as I held his small warm body.
Tomorrow will give us new opportunities to provide joy, over comfort, and attempt to make this little corner of the world a happier place. But hey, we all do that on a daily basis wherever we happen to be. right?!
Until my next post, I send you warm feelings from Haiti.


Providing water in Cite Soleil, February 5, 2013

Today was our first day serving our Lord in Haiti.  After a long travel day yesterday, we were excited to get started.  Today we delivered water to those who do not have the luxury of running water from a tap.  We began our day at 8.00 am for breakfast and were on the road to meet the water truck at the water well heads by 9.00 am.  Each truck load carried 2500 gallons of water.

Our first stop after the truck was filled was in Cite Soleil, the poorest city in the Western Hemisphere.  For those of us who had never been to Haiti, it was overwhelming to see the number of kids that are reaching out for something as simple as affection as soon as we stepped off the Tap-Tap (our transportation in Haiti).  They were there waiting for us and jumped into our arms or grabbed our hands immediately.  Their faces showed such happiness and excitement to have us there.

While half of the group worked diligently to fill water containers and assist the Haitians with getting the water to there homes, the other half of the group was able to provide love and support to our young brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was very moving to see how the simple gift of water can make such a difference in someone's life.  Matthew 25: 35 is printed inside the Tap-Tap and what a fitting verse this was for our experience today "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in".  After this load of water ran dry we had the opportunity to walk with the kids down by the waterside to play and sing songs with them.  They loved it....almost as much as we did!

One girl had a big impact on us. Her name is Fuse (foo-say) and she is 11 years old. She should have been in school at this time of day. Unfortunately we think she is a Restavek, which is a child whose parents cannot afford to care for them and are sold as a slave to another home. These kids do not go to school, but clean and cook and are usually physically abused.  when they are 16, they are kicked out of the home.  They have no education and no skills to make a living and are on their own.  Knowing this might be her future was heartbreaking.

Our next two loads of fresh water were also delivered to different areas of Cite Soleil.  Even though we were blocks away from previous stops it was common to see some of the same kids running to find us at our additional delivery points.  Some locations were easy to manage and individuals waited in line to get their bucket filled, while at other times there was chaos as Haitians were worried they would not get enough water.

What a humbling experience this was today.  It was very rewarding to provide physical and emotional support, as well as compassion and love to those who have been through so much and have so little.  In the book of Isaiah, as Israel was being restored, the Lord states "They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water."

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to serve you today by providing water for those who are thirsty.  Thank You for your provided safety over our group today and please continue to guide us on our mission to serve you.

Posted by: Mike and Cara Herrmann

Monday, February 4, 2013

At long last - We've Arrived!!

Our first day together is always long and started at 3:45am in the airport this morning after we plowed through several inches of fresh snow and below zero temps to begin the hurry up and wait process that is international travel!  I'm glad I wore socks with my sandals to the airport since my feet were just a little cold in the snow drifts in my driveway.

Thanks to all the family members who got us up and ready on time and to those who drove us to the airport when they should have been in bed like "normal" people!

Our travel was largely uneventful (which is a good thing).  We did get delayed on the ground in Miami for several hours which brought us into Port-au-Prince just as it was getting dark.  That just added to the mysteriousness of coming into a strange land where things are nothing like we normally experience.  However, in a tribute to the Super Bowl, we did have a temporary power failure in the new airport baggage claim area. 

We've already greeted old friends from prior trips who work here on the staff and made new friends with some of the folks who've been hired more recently.  What a great staff - looking out for us as we serve others, translating for us, driving us around, cooking for us, keeping us safe and making us laugh when we feel overwhelmed with all of it.

It's now 10:30pm and some have gone to bed and others are busily preparing for our tomorrow activities.  We are blessed to have a group with a wide set of skills and temperments and experiences (all right, ages).  They are eager to serve and ready to see what God has in store for them as we begin in earnest tomorrow on the water truck making deliveries to the poorest people in our hemisphere.

Submitted by Tom Solberg