Sunday, May 5, 2013


The trip could not have ended on a finer note.  After attending the inspiring service at Grace Village and touring Port au Prince, we were invited by Jean to attend a celebration of his sister's son's first communion.  His sister's family were so kind as to open up their home to strangers and extend their hand in friendship as we celebrated together this milestone event.  The family was so welcoming that we felt like we had known them for years.  To attend was an honor that was not lost on the team.  It was a wonderful evening gifted to us by some gracious new friends.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Trusting the Lord

Today, the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to lead the children's ministry at Grace Village, along with the vivacious Creole interpretation by Pastor Wesley.  The lesson today was about Gideon in Judges chapter 7, made us realize that the Lord was not only speaking to the children but to all of us here at Healing Haiti.  How do we trust the Lord with everything that we have seen, heard, smelled, touched and walked?  The enormity of the needs of the Haitian people has left a mark on all our hearts!  These enormous needs are similar to Gideon's initial large army.  Our initial reaction is to want to bring in a large "american army" to see immediate resolutions to these needs.  However,  will this be glorifying us or will it be glorifying the Lord?

The Lord speaks clearly that we need to totally trust him and that the resolutions should glorifying Him, and Him alone.  Just as the Lord didn't want Israel to boast in their own strength, the Lord wants us to have humble hearts and follow his lead in all situations.  Here in Haiti, it is not about following our own agenda, but trusting God's purpose for this country.  Sometimes, these needs seem so big and overwhelming that it is hard to trust there is a plan in all of this.  But when we listen and obey God's Word, the end result is that Our Lord is glorified and we see that God's plan is greater and far larger than we could ever imagined.

Yes, the Haitians have many needs, but amongst trying to meet some of their basic needs during our time here in Haiti, what is actually happening, is we are the ones being touched by the Haitians.

Glwa pou Bondye!

Emily Bruhn
Sue Peterson
Deb Hulbert

Pictures of the faith lesson for the kids at Grace Village

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 4

We started the day as we always do with a great breakfast prepared by the wonderful Haitian staff here at the guest house. After pancakes and eggs (with Nutela) we dropped donations off at a needy school then headed over to Grace Village for a tour and to visit with the Elders in the town. Our third visit was with Elie who is approximately 65 years old but can’t remember exactly how old he is or what year he was born. Elie lives with his daughter, son-in-law and two grand daughters. Upon entering the home, which was extremely small and warm with little ventilation, Elie was very happy to see our group and immediately said that we were sent by God and pointed up to heaven! He was so grateful for the lunch we brought him which included a peanut butter sandwich, hard boiled egg, juice and salmon and applesauce for later. After he ate, we asked him about his family and we were introduced to his son-in-law, Derice, who doesn’t have a job yet and is expected to provide for the family. After our conversation our group washed his hands, arms, face and feet while another team member played the guitar for him. We were honored to wash his feet which gave us such a deep feeling of compassion and love for Elie. He was so gracious and looking up to heaven, thanking God again for our love and attention to his needs today. 

I told Jennifer when we were leaving that Elie is such a Godly man and I would like to grow old just like him!

John and Jennifer

Today was harder than I ever imagined it would be. Before I Left for this trip I thought that going to home for sick and dying babies would be the hardest part for me, but I was so wrong. Home for sick and dying babies was also heart wrenching but at least they get there basic needs met. They have a bed, food, clean clothes and even diapers. People come to snuggle them and they are protected from the outside world by the home they are in. 
I guess I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t make any assumptions about the water runs we would be doing in Cite Soliel, the poorest slum in the world. When we arrived at our first water run before we were even out of the truck the people had started a line for water and the children were already lined up behind the tap tap waiting to be picked up and loved. The first child to grab my arm was a nine year old girl who asked me my name and then grabbed her little brother and handed him to me. Another girl came up to me and held my hand and with her other hand held on to my upper arm and studied my skin and rubbed and squeezed my arm. She looked up at me and smiled and pointed to my bandana. At first I thought she wanted me to give it to her but realized she just wanted to know how to say “bandana”. I repeated the word to her a few times and she repeated it. She told me her name was Deleda and when I told her mine she repeated it perfectly. She was so beautiful and smart. I guess a lot of the times when you go on water runs the children will ask for things that you have on; headbands, hair binders, bobby pins…ect. Delada never asked for anything. She took out bobby pins from my hair and then would put them back in. She just wanted to play with my hair. I told her she was pretty in Creole and she repeated, “pretty?”, to me and I said “wee, you!” and pointed at her . She smiled and hugged my arm. A few minutes later she looked at me and stroked my hair and told me she thought my hair was beautiful. We took a seat on the side of the road next to Jennifer, another teammate, covered in little ones. We continued to try to communicate, repeating each other’s names and ages. She asked me if the other team member was my mom and then was trying to communicate something to me about her mother. I asked a translator for help and he told me she was telling me that her mother passed away. I held her tightly and tried so hard not to cry. I looked down and saw her tears and cried with her and told her I loved her. Soon after that our team and the kids took a walk out to the “beach”, which is a pier covered in garbage. Pigs and goats are eating the trash and many people are using the bathroom as we walked through. Delada would push and pull me when she saw that I might step on something, which I thought was incredible since she was walking through garbage and glass with no shoes on.  We sang and danced with the children. In the middle of all of that garbage was a beautiful, happy, joy filled few minutes of dancing and laughter. When we had to leave my heart felt so heavy. I hugged Delada one more time and told her I loved her and would see her again someday. I was choking back tears as we got back on to the truck and it hurt my throat not to cry. I couldn’t hold it in for long. I wanted to take Delada home with me. I prayed that God would never let this hurt leave my heart and to not become numb to everything I have seen and heard. I don’t want to forget. I want to make a difference and do whatever I can for the people of Haiti. A piece of me will never leave this place.  My heart is broken for these people and children and it will never be the same. 
-Amanda Jean 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Searching for Answers

"We learn something from everyone who passes through our lives... Some lessons are painful, some are painless... but, all are priceless."        unknown

What can we learn from a very young girl who has lost her mother and quietly weeps as she tells us her story?  Only later to help us avoid stepping on broken glass with our sandals even as she walks along barefoot beside us.

What can we learn from a mother who desperately needs medical attention for her young child when none is available and we are unable to help?

What can we learn from small children whose only joy for the day is to have some strangers hold and share a laugh or kind a word with them for a few fleeting minutes?

Is it that life is unfair?  Why are we so blessed while others struggle with famine, disease and crushing poverty?

Anyone who enters Cite Soleil is faced with many of these sole searching questions.  None of which has an easy answer.  All I know is that even in the most destitute places you can find hope and joy.  Sometimes it's not easy to see and even more difficult to believe. Yet it's there as shown in their faith, spirit, and undying hope and determination that the future will be a better place and even though it may not come tomorrow, it will come nevertheless.

I find that I learn something new every time I come to Cite Soleil and every lesson stems from the heart and soul of the people.