Our trip to Haiti was an amazing experience. I have been home now for several days and my heart and mind are still so full of emotions and excitement, that I am having a difficult time figuring out what to share. If I told every story and every instance where God showed His graciousness to us, this blog post would be so long that no one would read it!
Our team: Debby, Wendy and Jason, checking our luggage in San Francisco, all fresh and ready for adventure.
I didn’t know quite what to expect going into this trip, but we had certain things that we did want to accomplish while we were there. We wanted to meet all of the sponsored children, get updated information and pictures of them and have them write letters to their sponsors. We also hoped to meet the children who have not yet been sponsored. We wanted to meet all the teachers and see the school in action, and learn about life in the village. We also wanted to establish stronger relationships with the people who we are working with on this project, specifically, Gilbert and Claudel and others who work at the school. Although we did not have time to meet every one of the unsponsored children, we did meet many of them and we accomplished all of the other things on our list and then some!
Claudel took us to all the classrooms so we could meet the teachers and children.
We also got to bless the school staff with a luncheon in their honor, small gifts to help them as they teach and care for the children, and a small monetary bonus to show them how much we value and appreciate the work they do, thanks to the generosity of our church family.
The teachers looked through the little gifts we brought them while Debby shared a short message of encouragement from Colossians 3:16,17
We brought three duffle bags and a large suitcase full of shoes and socks for the children. Even with so many, we sadly ran out of shoes before we ran out of feet to wear them. We do have a few more pairs that we just could not squeeze into our luggage, plus quite a few pairs were donated by Debby’s brother’s church in Texas! We will get the rest of the shoes to Carrefour Poy as soon as we are able. We also brought gifts from sponsors to their children & little toys for all the kids.
Debby and Gilmine helping a student find a pair of shoes in our little shoe shop
One of the things that made this trip so amazing is that we had the privilege of seeing so many different aspects of Haiti. We stayed at Pastor Gilbert’s humble but comfortable home in Port-au-Prince. We spent several days at the school in Carrefour Poy and one afternoon visiting families in the village, walking past several voodoo temples and seeing a little of what daily life is like for these children.
We drove through tent cities in Port-au-Prince, both the newer & slightly “cleaner” ones and the original, extremely cramped, dirty & disorganized one.
One of many tent cities in Port-au-Prince
Pastor Gilbert took us up into the beautiful lush hills to the south of Port-au-Prince where he said the “big shots” live and showed us a beautiful view looking down on the city and the bay.
Port-au-Prince from above
Then we headed back down into the hot, crowded streets of downtown Port-au-Prince where you can still see earthquake damage that has not been cleaned up after 3 years.
Damage from the January 2010 earthquake
We visited street vendors and a regular grocery store called “The Eagle”. We witnessed a baptism in a river near a little rural village, and spent an afternoon enjoying the hot sands and clear, blue water at the beach.
A beautiful beach in Haiti
I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced so much in one week in Haiti and to have the privilege of investing in the lives of these beautiful children. This overview could not possibly cover everything we did. We will be posting a few other blogs with some more specifics about our trip in the near future.
Until then… “Orevwa!”
Posted by Wendy