Sunday, July 24, 2016
Let me start by saying that it was such an honor and privilege to be along side these incredible high schoolers this week. It was so amazing to not only see God work in the people of Haiti, but to see God work in our team’s hearts as well. Today we went to church at Christ the King. It was so awesome to worship with people we had gotten to know throughout the week. After church there were clothes set up in the back for them to grab on their way out. We had lunch and afterwards, some of us sat in on a meeting about future plans with Christ the King, while others played with some kids outside. Eventually we had to say our “See you laters”. For many of us, this was very difficult. So many wonderful friendships have been made this week, and some of us do not know when we will see our friends next. After we left the church we came back to Wahoo Bay. It was a wonderful afternoon of relaxation. There was beach time, hangout time, and I personally took a nap (This week wore me out). We had a delicious last meal and then headed to worship and devotion. Tonight Tyler gave us three questions and had us split up into small groups to answer them. Some of our answers will be shared on Sunday in church. Our bags are packed and we all ready to load the buses at 4 in the morning. We cannot wait to share about our incredible week. So many new lessons have been learned and so many hearts have been changed. Coming on this trip has changed my life, and I think it has changed quite a few others as well.
“One of my favorite part of the week was when a child, whom I had never spoken to, ran into my arms from across the field. He threw his arms around me and rested his head on my shoulder. This showed me the power of God’s love. Even though I had never seen this boy before, he knew that I would love him. Every interaction in this week has been so important, and without God, I would never have gotten to experience this love.”
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Wow, today was such an adventure! The day started at 8 this morning with a delicious breakfast and then we headed up the mountain at 9! Our original plan to go up the mountain fell through, so we found an alternative! Some of our team rode in a pickup truck, but the leaders and a few of the older students got to ride motorcycles. It was such a great experience and the views were out of this world. It was about an hour up the mountain and when we arrived we were greeted with the sweetest mountain. We did a skit of our Peter walking on the water story and led them in making the Christ necklaces. They were so grateful for us and it was so incredible to see their love for one another and patience. We had the opportunity to play with the kids and explore the site. We began to head down the mountain to go back to Wahoo Bay. In the afternoon many of us went to the beach and some of us sat around and talked. We had dinner and a wonderful devotion led by the seniors and graduates. Tonight has been filled with fellowship, laughter, and so much love. This has been such an amazing trip and there is so much undeniable love in this trip.
Friday, July 22, 2016
Today was such a beautiful day filled with God’s unfailing love. The VBS story today was about Peter walking on the water. The kids absolutely loved the story today and had a blast with it. They got to participate in the story by being characters in the “boat”. They all got squirted with water when the storm came in the story and they all burst out into laughter. Hanging out with the Haitians was amazing today because throughout the week we have really begun to develop relationships with many of them. We know more than just each others names and can truly call each other friends now. Before our bible study we worshipped with the young adult Haitians. Tyler lead us all in a song, and then one of our translators, Durony, lead us all in a song. It is so amazing to see the language barrier broken through worship to the same God. In bible study today we talked about why God lets Christians do bad things. The women in our group prayed for the Haitian women that had not yet accepted Jesus into their life, or simply just wanted to be prayed over. We all laid a hand on them and prayed for them individually. It was such a beautiful way to see God work in both the Haitians, and in our lives. Today was our last workday at Christ the King and tomorrow we will be headed up the mountain! Back at Wahoo Bay we had a great evening in the ocean and then worship and devotion of our own. We discussed God’s faithfulness and what/who God is calling us to be faithful to back at home. It was such a great day and we cannot wait for tomorrow!
“I have experienced a whole new level of joy this week. It is so refreshing to be a part of a community that is full of kids that are filled with such happiness and love. These kids are so in love with life and with the little that they have, it is so inspiring. They are such an amazing example of true happiness and love. At one point in the week,I was sitting under a tree with a boy named Stevinson (one of the first kids I met and began building a relationship with), and we were drawing pictures in the dirt. I drew a heart and he pointed to it and said “love” ,then pointed to himself and then me. It made my heart incredibly happy.”
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Today was a day that was filled with so much laughter. Theres is so much love in this group and its amazing how all of us have connected already. Today in VBS we did the story of Elijah and Baal. It was so fun and the people playing the prophets got to dance around an altar and the kids thought it was hilarious (we did too)! For the craft we decorated a prayer journal and encouraged them to write a prayer in it already. When we hung out with the kids lots of the girls painted peoples fingernails. There were multiple games of basketball and lots of piggy back rides. In bible study today we talked about violence in the bible. We discussed why God allows bad things to happen in our lives and how we can overcome these challenges. Back at the hotel it was a wonderful night of bonding. We went to the beach and played a really fun mind game. After dinner we had a great night of worship and a devotion about continuing to live our lives as a servant. As an activity, we all were servants to each other and washed each others feet. It was such an awesome experience to see everyone serving each other and all of us accepting that. Afterwards we continued to all play games as a group and really get to know and love one another. We are having such an amazing time and cannot wait to share our experiences with you.
“A little girl who i had never seen or talked to before ran up to me, hugged me and said, “I love you”. The amazing thing was that i didn't even know her name and she automatically loved me. It really warmed my heart and it showed me the great amounts of love all the children of Haiti have for everyone., no matter who they are.” -Dani Torgler
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
We woke up today with plenty of rest and smiling faces. As soon as we got to Christ the King we started preparing for our morning of VBS. Today’s story was about Jesus calming the storm. To act out the storm we had squirt guns and squirted the kids with them during it and they got the biggest kick out of it. For our craft we made a Jesus necklace with a finger light on it, representing that Jesus is our light. During our hangout time with the kids, a big group of us played “Little Sally Walker Walking Down the Street”. It’s where you stand in a circle and sing this song and stop in front of someone to dance when it is your turn. Everyone loved it so much, and some of the Haitians even started learning some of the words in English and they kept singing it for the rest of the day! In our small group bible study the women talked about their opinions on feeling inferior to men. We discussed cultural differences in Haiti and America and how the women can know that they are equal to men in God’s eyes and that He loves all of his children the same. In the men’s bible study we talked about mental integrity. We discussed the difference between facing temptation and facing sin and how to not let our thought life lead to causing us sin. We reviewed how important it is to guard both our hearts and our minds. Tonight in our own devotion we are continued to look at the phrase “I exist everyday to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world” and we focused specifically on “broken world”. We discussed our own brokenness and how God takes that and makes it new.
“I saw Landon just covered head to toe in sweat because one, it was so hot, but two he was outside playing non-stop with the kids. He didn’t let the heat, or being uncomfortable get in the way of giving everything he had to serve and love the kids.” -Tyler Tollefson
“Today was a really cool experience because for the first time this trip I witnessed the Haitian children trying to repeat english back to us. Instead of just speaking in Creole, they tried to mimic our words and communicate with us in english. It was amazing to see that not only we were making an effort to connect but they were reaching out as well.” -Kara Torgler
“Today I was touched by two of the little boys, Tchuko and Keadon, even though they know I am not nearly as skilled as them at soccer they always want me to be on their team and encourage me and give me hugs when I fail.” -Annie Overman
(The pictures won't upload, so I'll try to post extra tomorrow!)
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Wow, what a wonderful first full day in Haiti! This morning when we arrived at Christ the King we were greeted with a thousand hugs from our Haitian friends. After we were done saying good morning we headed into the church to prepare for our morning of VBS! Today's bible story was about Moses parting the Red Sea and about God’s light over us. The kids made paper lantern crafts that they got to take home with them. The next few hours were just spent hanging out with the kids. We had a blast just talking, playing basketball, playing soccer, learning new handshakes, and playing hundreds of rounds of thumb wars. We were served a delicious lunch on site and then went back out to lead a bible study with the young adults. As a large group we sang a few worship songs, and then we divided into boys and girls to do small groups. The women talked about how we can trust the bible. We talked about any doubts we had and why we know the bible can help us overcome those doubts. The men talked about spiritual integrity. Tonight we had dinner, bible study, and some really great fellowship time within our group.
This week we are unpacking the phrase “I exist everyday to demonstrate God’s love to a broken world.” Last night in our own devotion we discovered what exactly it means to “exist” and tonight we discussed what it means and why it is important to “demonstrate God’s love.” We are all having such a blast here and making so many memories. Please continue to play that God uses us to shine a light while we are here.
“One of my favorite things that happened today was when I was given a cashuma fruit from a kid named Kervinson he was very sweet and I tried to give it back to him, but he wouldn't take it. Another thing that happened today, would be that another boy, named Micheal, gave me all of his rubber bands that he would wear on his wrist, which all the kids want. I just think it is amazing how much these kids give when they have so little to give.”
Here is a picture of Kervinson holding the fruit that he gave Claiborn!
“Starting off the week with a bang and getting the feel for VBS and young adult ministry! Kids both from Collide and Haiti loving every second of it as relationships are developing. Dabbing with Haitians is also fun:)”
Monday, July 18, 2016
We have made it and we could not be more excited. After arriving in Haiti we packed all of our suitcases into the bus and headed over to Christ the King, where we will be spending our time this week. We unpacked all of our supplies and connected with some of the kids. For some it was a long time coming reunion, and for some it was a brand new overwhelming experience of love. We were served a delicious meal and then we headed to Wahoo Bay Resort! Tonight will be filled with some dinner, fellowship, worship, a bible study, and some highly needed sleep before we start with the first day of VBS in the morning.
“Stepping off the bus and being greeted with big smiles from the kids I had bonded with the previous trip was incredibly heartwarming and was followed with big sweaty hugs. I am so excited to continue to build our friendships with each other and relationships with Jesus this week.”
“I’ve been waiting a long time to return to Haiti and there is nothing better than experiencing the kids joy and excitement to see us. It warms my heart and I cannot wait to spend more time with them this week and see Jesus shine through them.”