The week of June 3rd, 2013 will forever be a week I will gladly remember. Woodland Hills Family Church sent their 5th trip on Monday morning, and our team started our journey to Carrefour Dufort, Haiti. We teamed up with Cross International to visit the school, Institution Baptiste Foyer Divin, where we received an overwhelming welcome!
On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. In August, 2010, Woodland Hills took their first trip, met Pastor Fequis and saw that the Institution Baptiste Foyer Divin was destroyed.
(even though the earthquake hit this school there is still so much beauty within it)
Five trips later, on June 4, 2013 we were able to see the new school, beautifully and structurally built. It currently is being used for a Primary School, grades K-6th, Church services on Thursday mornings and Sundays, a medical spot for the community on Thursdays, and a community shelter. It has withstood two hurricanes! The children at the school are provided a meal. The school also provides jobs to the community for teachers and other employees. Most importantly, it is teaching the children about Jesus, as well as being a light to the community at Dufort!
We were blessed to attend an assembly the school had on Wednesday morning. The Joy in these kids is unbelievable.
Here in the states so many of us, me included, think we need “stuff” to bring us happiness. We believe we deserve the newest iphone or the fastest internet speed. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad – I’m just sharing what I saw and the amazement of God. He is the only source of pure Joy for all of us. Clearly “stuff” does not bring it. If that were the case America would be full of joyful, unselfish, happy people. And we all know that is not the case. I am so glad I’ve been able to witness life without stuff.
Pastor Fequis is an encouragement to all, as he has given up his land, home and life for the sole purpose to share the gospel and work for the Lord. I am blessed to have met and gotten to know this man! On the last day he and his wife wanted to bless us with a Haitian prepared meal. I was so excited! The amazement was in how they prepared for our meal. Pastor Fequis was right in the middle of getting the area ready for us to eat. They brought over their dinning room table and chairs so we would have a nice place to sit. They even mopped the concrete floor under our table. Each setting was placed and our meal was served! Let me tell you, it was delicious! Their hospitality was out of this world!
Thursday morning we were able to join the community at the church for a Prayer and Worship Service. The first step I took into the building I could feel the presence of the Lord. I absolutely loved their raw and true form of worship. Such a powerful and incredible service.
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction,faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
The people I met were a perfect example of these verses! I am challenged to live in such a way!!
James will always have a piece of my heart. It all started when he communicated to me that he wanted me to sketch his profile. How long has it been since I’ve done this, but I gladly took on the challenge. With so many eyes watching and him sitting so still the sketch got done and let’s just say – I was a little rusty. But it was a joy to have done that for him. After that we were glued together! The coolest thing was that we could communicate perfectly between each other, while neither one of us could speak each others language. (although we both had good efforts to try to learn)
Thanks to my brothers, I know how to make an origami swan! There were a group of boys I was sitting beside and we found ourselves with nothing to do after I had run out of the few lines of Haitian Creole I knew. I had asked them what their name was and told them mine. So, I started teaching them how to make a swan! Desire, Williamson, and Natural stayed with it til the end and made perfect swans! I think I ended up making a good 40 swans! I loved it!
(photo by Travis Brawner)
At the end of the trip we were able to donate tons of hand sanitizer to the kids and teachers at the school. We also took their school pictures and handed those out. It was such a joy to watch them receive these simple gifts with such passion of joy and excitement!
It definitely was too quick of a trip but I am extremely honored for the opportunity to have gone and the chance to meet such wonderful people. Thank you to Zach, Zachary, and Adler for taking time and leading us through Haiti. Thanks so much for teaching us Haitian Creole so that we could, somewhat, communicate! You have to be great teachers because I have tried, multiple, times to learn Spanish and its never stuck as well as Haitian Creole. So, thank you for putting up with all my questions!
I am blessed to have gotten to go with the team that I did. Our team dynamic was incredible and we all had great spirits the whole trip. Never once were there complaints or negative attitudes. The girls were a blessing to be around and provided laughter for the whole trip. We were blessed with two great Godly men to lead us. Never once did I not feel safe or worried. We joked and called them our two book ends because if you watched our group as we walked anywhere there would be one guy in front, all 6 girls filled in and then the other guy would follow-up. (… not to mention we got to spend the whole week with Deuces Wild!!)
Thank you, Haiti, for being full of Joy, full of Faith, and full of life! You see all that you have as the “glass half full!” You have encouraged me more than I can express! Mesi Ampil & Bondye Beni Ou! -(Thank you so Much & God Bless You) – I look forward to returning!