Day 1 — Goodbye Nashville, Hello Jacmel!
Well guys! The whole team has made it onto our flight to Miami. No major mishaps thus far, and everyone seems to be getting excited for our trip as our arrival comes closer and closer every minute.
I have a knack for getting to travel with an empty chair next to me on the plane. Can’t complain about that — I’m Totally sprawled out right now in two seats and it’s awesome. However, I can’t help but think this is God’s humorous way of reminding me of how UN- spacious our ride to Jacmel will be from PAP. Good thing we’ve got a great crew full of people I can’t wait to get to know more. I’d say a 3-hour hot and sweaty ride in a packed tap-tap is as good a time as any for that
After arriving at Port Au Prince, our group grabbed our bags and met Jean Mary outside. He loaded our bags up and we crammed in Haitian style and hit the road for Jacmel! It was a 3 hour drive through the mountains and we were just as hot and sweaty as expected, but Ella kept us laughing along the way. Not to mention the laughter we experienced as Steve, Kayla, and the rest of the crew learned the importance of “keeping your arms and legs inside the vehicle” in PAP, and that stop signs are merely a suggestion! Over all, we were so happy to be together, and so ready for our final destination!
When we arrived in Jacmel we got set up in our respective hotel rooms and headed out for dinner at the pastor’s house. Tonight was stew with goat, potatoes, carrots, and rice. We also got passion fruit juice – it was great! After dinner we were able to linger some with Vio and some of the other children Vio was very excited to see us, but even more excited that Philip will be coming next week!
Soon after, the tap-tap arrived to take us back to the hotel. When we got back we took the opportunity to debrief on the day and talk about our plans for tomorrow. Steve and Kendra asked if any of those who had come for the first time had anything they wanted to share – first impressions and such.
Jennifer noticed that the people are so happy in spite of their conditions and thought that was really beautiful. Steve reflected on Matthew chapter 10 and encouraged us to show Jesus to everyone we encounter. Kendra mentioned that although there is a language barrier, we should have the confidence to show love in spite of that. And Christine made a great point: “Love extends beyond any language barrier.” This is so very true.
Finally, Chris talked about Romans 12:6, and said that each of us has a unique way of giving back to this community – and that we are to give according to the grace that has been given to us. The bottom line is that everyone can contribute something – the most important thing is loving on the kids as they love on us, and letting everything else go.
Tomorrow we rise early for devotion and some sanding on a house nearby. Then VBS starts in the afternoon. We can’t wait to get our hands dirty and get started!
Until Next Time!
A few years ago I started sponsoring my first over seas child. His name is Vio Roberto Nelson. The best part about going to Haiti is getting to hang out with Vio. We laugh, play games, and you can tell he is very grateful for this American who helps provide a good education and some food everyday. When I go I bring him some clothes, get him some toys and that is life. That is what sponsorship is about.
Until, more recently the family life of my little buddy Vio wasn’t so good. You see in Haiti many families are made up of many kids the mothers have by different men; the current man that she stays with and the children they have together take precedent to the other children that might not belong to them both. With 1 family having 4 or more children it is hard to take care of an extra child from a previous relationship. This is what has happened to my adopted Haitian son Vio. It broke my heart, but having worked for 5 years with Restore Haiti I know there is hope for Vio. We have currently taken him out of the living situation that he is in and are putting him in a house that was built so that children like him could live with the pastors. There he will continue to learn the teachings of Jesus, be fed physically, clothed, and grow up as the man he is supposed to be. I know this is what happens because I go there- I see the feeding program and I see the results first hand. With your ongoing commitment to sponsor a child with Restore Haiti we will ensure you they will be receiving the best life possible.
That is why I am asking you if you would like to sponsor, or if you know someone that could please forward this e-mail to them. I went over on Labor Day to enroll more children who’s family life is much like Vio or worse. No parents, abusive home environment. We even enrolled a 14 year old girl who has never been to school. When we speak to each child we ask what they would like to be when they grow up. Many say teachers, doctors, nurses- all have a dream and that is what I want to establish with Restore Haiti- we exist to make their dreams become a reality. I had a dream this past spring that 300 more students were enrolled in the program. There are 300 on the waiting list as we speak- so there are many who saw a glimpse of hope this past labor day, but are on the wings waiting for someone to come on board and become their sponsor.
There are many options for you to help:
1.) Enroll a primary student- Preschool through 6th grade. It is $30 a month- this will send them to school and get them 1 hot meal a day and empower their family with livestock or training in a skill.
2.) A 1 time fee of $300 will send a secondary student (Jr. High or High school) to school and pay for their school fees for a year.
3.) $64 per month will sponsor a cook who works for 6-8 hours a day on this feeding program- thats roughly $3.00 a day. Sponsoring a cook is sponsoring someone who will feed the 500 kids that could be sponsored by the end of 2010, which is our goal.
Please consider sharing these opportunities with the people in your life. You can reach us with any questions, or to sign up, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you again for helping us find those out there who have a heart to help the future of the world.
Sharing the Blessing,
Hello Everyone! I hope your summer is going well! There is a lot going on with Restore Haiti- we have several teams travelling to Haiti this fall and are beginning to make plans for 2011. One of the projects we are working on at the moment is helping out the children in the community we work in by collecting school supplies. Because of the Earthquake in Haiti, the schools will be closed in September for their summer break and then open again in October to begin the new school year. Would you like to help with some “back to school” supplies for a child in Haiti? For some states (including TN) this weekend is tax free weekend for purchases such as these, so this is a great time to spend just a few dollars to help our friends in Haiti. We will be sending teams in Oct that will deliver the supplies to the students.
We need the items by mid-September, but since sales are going on now, you can get started! If you are in the Nashville area, connect with us to drop it off. If you are out of Nashville, you can ship them to Restore Haiti, 1016 Longhunter Chase, Spring Hill, TN 37174. This project is being coordinated by Ruth Howe, so if you have additional questions, you can reach her at email@example.com.
Here is the list of school supplies the students will need, they should come in at under $5 if you check the various sales. If you want to buy a backpack, weve found those for under $15. If you choose to do the supplies without the backpack, please put them in a gallon size ziplock bag so that they are condensed and we can easily pack them for the teams travelling to Haiti.
-Pencil and Pencil sharpner
-2 Spiral Notebook
-Loose Leaf paper
Math Flash cards
Finally- if the supplies are wrapped in celophane (for example) lets unwrap them and get rid of the packaging before we send it- the last thing needed in Haiti is more trash!
Thanks so much for your help!!!
Today marks the 6 month anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Haiti. Ive spent much of today reflecting on the past few years of my involvement in Haiti, and the drastic turn that it took on January 12th, 2010. I continue to be amazed by your generosity and support of what was once a little project a group of friends had taken on to help bring change to one community in Jacmel. It is an odd feeling because along with that amazement, I feel so burdened to do more, and with all of us working together, I know we can. We have had a unique opportunity; in the midst of tragedy the eyes of the world were turned to a country that already had my heart, and God has blessed all of us at Restore Haiti by bringing each of you along side of us to bring relief and great assistance to our Haitian family. I wanted to remind you that Haiti still needs our help, and let you know that although the recovery process is slow, you are making a difference. Many more children are in school, are eating a hot meal each day, and are getting the assistance they need not only to survive, but to thrive and dream of a great future for themselves, their community, and their country. Many of you have been able to travel to Haiti and see first hand the hope and joy that is so evident in the people of Jacmel. With the strategic partnership of Conduit Mission, the rebuilding and relief efforts continue to move forward. In the short term- tents, tarps, food, water, and critical medical supplies provided by you were the first to make it in to the community of Jacmel after the earthquake. For the long term impact a water filtration system has been installed and we’ve just about completed a home to house the on the ground staff, long term volunteers, and several women and children who are currently living in tents. There is now a permanent medical clinic which will be the first one to serve the 7000+ members of the community where we function, and we are taking steps to be able to open a school and larger feeding center so even more children in the community can be the recipients of education and a daily hot meal.
Six months later, as many of you who have traveled there with us can attest to, the rubble can still be seen, tent cities are still visible wherever there was once any open field, and people are still hurting. Your continued investment in to this project is showing the Haitian people that we are in this for the long haul. In closing, I wanted to bring you some words from our Haitian friends Pastor Jean Lafleur of Restoration Ministries, Fedony Charles who runs the day to day operations of the programs in place in Jacmel, as well as some words from our great friend and partner Darren Tyler of Conduit Mission (www.conduitmission.org). I have included their thoughts below and I encourage you to take a moment to read what they have been thinking and feeling today as we revisit the tragedy that happened six months ago. Thanks again for all you’ve done- keep Haiti in the forefront of your hearts and prayers! ~Theresa and the Restore Haiti team
Hello everyone! My mother died on October 2, 1991 but I can tell you her death did not bring so much sadness over me as January 12, 2010 has done, I can safely say that was the darkest moment of my life, I wept in such a way that I have never done before. That earthquake in my beloved Haiti has left a special mark on me personally. In spite of all that, I am so glad by the way the Lord has used Restoration Ministries and its many partners to bring a sense of HOPE to many people in Jacmel. We are totally committed to help in the rebuilding effort of Haiti also we will keep pushing to make a difference by changing Haiti one child at a time….Thanks for your great support. Shalom, Pastor LaFleur
Hi people! So much has changed six months after, I did not remember that today is the 12th. I thank God because you all worked and you still are working to change life and things in Haiti. It is not totally done. Remember before the quake, how bad was life in this little country. But, I am sure God will continue to provide by using yourself and other people to make the transformation. God bless you!!! Fedony Charles
I first met Pastor Lafleur about 5 years ago. There is no way I could’ve known that seemingly passing introduction would’ve turned into a life long partnership. I count it an honor to stand alongside Pastor Lafleur and the team at Restore Haiti as we serve the people of Haiti. We were there before the quake, we were there during the quake and we will be there long after the quake. There are times when God taps us on the shoulder and asks us to reassess our walk. Those times are usually a time when He asks us to dream bigger, to aim higher, to move with more boldness. This quake in Haiti has caused all of us to ask ourselves the hard questions. It’s caused all of us to dream bigger. What Satan has meant for harm, there is no doubt that God will use for His good. Personally I’ve been changed from the inside out. At times I’ve felt helpless, at times I’ve felt frustration and even anger at the systems that were meant to help the people being used to dehumanize and humiliate them. For me it’s a reminder that we serve a savior in Jesus who knows what it’s like to be marginalized, dehumanized and humiliated. It’s times like these that I simply have to go back to the cross. A God that would do that for all of humanity is a God that has Haiti’s best interests in mind. Conduit Mission is in this for the long haul. We believe that God has a plan for Haiti, and are blessed to play a small part in the big picture that He is painting there. Darren Tyler
Want to learn more? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.restorehaiti.comLearn More