Every year we run into this issue. Seems like half the island moves their clocks forward, and half doesn’t. Another reminder of one of our differences. In America, we look at time as a precious commodity, our schedules are so packed with activities that we often can’t get it all done. In Haiti, time is something you cannot run out of. There is always tomorrow.

So yesterday morning we started our day waiting an extra hour for breakfast to get ready because the clocks at the hotel had not moved forward. We were worried we would be late for church, but apparently the church had not moved their clocks, either.

We got to go to children’s church this trip, a first for us. Lots more interactive, and they were able to translate it for us. We even got to do our Good Samaritan skit again. We did Bible drills, where we called out a verse and the children raced to see who could find it in their Bible first. I played, too, and lost a lot. I like to say it was because I was using a Kreyol Bible, but the truth is they would have probably beat me with an English Bible.

One of the advantages to the time issue is some extra free time. It usually gets filled with relaxing, and sometimes dancing with the locals by the pool.

In the afternoon, more time issues. When we showed up for our afternoon activity, there was nobody there. Turns out this time we were late because this group had moved their clocks forward and we had assumed they would not.

While we were waiting, we visited a couple of houses. The team was very impacted by one family whose home was still damaged from the hurricane and who could only send one of their five children to school. They said despite their circumstances that they knew God was with them because they were still alive after the storm, and that they would rather have Jesus than silver and gold. We prayed over them, and it was very emotional for the family and the team as well.

Since our activity that was planned did not work out, we went to a presentation that was being given to some young adults about entrepreneurship. After, we got to introduce ourselves and ask each other questions.

Before heading back to the hotel for the night, we took a walk down a local road to the home of our Haitian team leader, Wislaire. One of the big differences in our past trips to Port-au-Prince and our trips to La Croix is the freedom to immerse ourselves in the culture.

– Dave Breaux, Mission Trip Leader

Day in the Life

Yesterday morning we did our “day in the life” activity. For my group, we visited the home of one of the leadership council members, Chery Yolande.

While there, we did chores around the house, including doing the laundry by hand. We also got to eat some of the sweet potatoes that we had picked the day before.

Then we sat on the porch talking to her son, who spoke excellent English. He had completed University to be an agricultural engineer, and had spent time in Minnesota for training. He talked to us about that, and how he and his friends had set up an organization to take advantage of that time in America. Whenever one or more of them is in the states, they send back money that is used to send kids in Haiti to school.

We asked about the house across the street, so they went over and asked the owners if we could look around. They gave us a tour, and then gave us all a piece of cake.

In the afternoon, we went to a new locality that we had never visited before, Ka Rekillem.

After we sang some songs with them, we told the story of the Good Samaritan, and several of the team members acted out the story.

Then we went to a nearby field and played games with the parachutes we had brought.

After we finished playing with the children, we visited several houses and prayed with the people who loved there. Many had the same request, that we pray that their family stay close to God.

– Dave Breaux, Mission Trip Leader

Sweet Potatoes

Yesterday we travelled to La Croix. A 5.5 hour bus ride that took up most of our day. Then we got settled into our rooms at the Villa Mimosa Hotel.

After, we met with the leadership council. Each of them welcomed us, told us not to be afraid, that we were home. And having been here with teams five times before, I know that they mean it.

We left the meeting and walked to the field behind the church. If you have followed my blog before, this is the field that we planted plantains in a couple of years ago that was destroyed by the hurricane. Last year we were encouraged to see they had taken advantage of the trees being gone and planted corn. Now, the path to the field is filled with new growth.

The field itself is now planted with sweet potatoes. We dug up a few as we walked through the field.

After, we stopped by Gelee beach and tried some coconut water.

Today will be our first full day in La Croix. We are heading out now to spend the day with a family, helping them with all of their chores, and preparing a Haitian meal.

– Dave Breaux, Mission Trip Leader

Familiar Sites and Sounds

Our team sat down for their first meal in Haiti. The smell of Haitian cooking is a powerful memory trigger for me. Fried plantains always makes me happy.

Today was mostly a travel day. We will stay overnight in Port-au-Prince, then get up early in the morning and head west to La Croix.

Pray that the team rests well tonight, and that we arrive in the village tomorrow full of energy and ready to experience what God has planned for us.’

– Dave Breaux, Mission Trip Leader

Flexibility – Day 6

Today God’s presence was overwhelmingly evident in the absolute best of ways. One thing I have learned when going on trips is that flexibility and room for the Spirit to move is a must.

This morning the guys and I accompanied Aaron to a meeting with a local pastor. His church is looking to become a multi site church and wanted to seek wisdom and advice. God showed up and showed out in some impressive ways as always during the meeting and following.

After our meeting the Associate Pastor of the church we were meeting with invited us to come to the high school he works for. He wanted to introduce Aaron to the principal. The principal is a strong Christian and they are very interested in Celebrate Recovery as many of the students here are dealing with hurts, habits, and hangups. Aaron is now scheduled to speak to the students on Monday morning during their assembly. Praise Jesus!

While we were in our meeting Amanda and Katelyn got to spend some quality girl time together. Amanda has the gift of hospitality and is amazing in the kitchen. She helped plan out seven freezer meals to prep so that the Comer’s will have simple easy to fix meals to enjoy once the team leaves.

This afternoon we had the opportunity to clean up around a local basketball court and to hang new nets. This is a court that Aaron enjoys playing at. It is a wonderful way to meet new people in a non-intrusive way.

The team grilled out at the Comer’s Home this evening and enjoyed the company of several others.

Today was an amazing day. Please pray for the team as they continue to digest all of the ways that the Spirit has moved this week and for our family’s who have been so supportive, taking care of things back home so that we can be here.

St. Kitts Day 5

Day five did not disappoint.  Wes and Will started the day at the men’s prison where Will once again was able to usher in the Holy Spirit by leading worship and sharing his testimony. Wes was also able to share his with the men. It was a very fruitful morning as one man accepted Christ as they wrapped up. Praise Jesus! The men were very receptive and glad to have the team there.

We then had lunch at the Comers and the ladies prepared to go to the women’s prison. Amelia, Katelyn’s friend, joined us for the CR session. It’s safe to say we were all a bit anxious but the staff were so welcoming and gracious. We immediately were put at ease watching the women light up upon seeing Katelyn and so warmly welcoming us all. The “residents”, as they affectionately called themselves, enjoyed hearing about families and lives in the states.

During my talk, I had noticed that the previously somber prison guards were nodding along in agreement and offered me so much encouragement. The ladies seemed so pleased to have someone that could relate to them. Sometimes, we all just need someone to come alongside us and say, “Me, too.” The ladies then asked lots of questions, good questions, honest questions, hard questions. It was such a sweet time of learning and growing and connecting.

The last part of the visit was spent doing Celebrate Recovery work. Today’s session was on forgiveness, forgiving ourselves, others and God. Many of the ladies shared decisions to forgive. It was incredible moment that only got better when another sweet woman told us of her decision this past week to accept Christ. We all clapped in thanks and joy, including the prison guards!

An absolutely perfect morning was capped off when one of the young women asked to sing a song. Before we knew what was happening the entire women inmate population was holding hands and worshiping in the prison courtyard… again, including the lovely prison guards. Lots of hugs and sweet words were exchanged as we said our goodbyes.

Back at the Comers, Katelyn prepared a delicious Cottage Pie (Shepherd’s Pie with beef instead of mutton), and homemade Sour Sop ice cream. It was amazing! The guys left for men’s bible study and, since it was the super moon, us ladies took the kids to the beach to see it.

This may very well go down as one of my top 10 days ever. From souls won to hearts encouraged to comforting meals to super moons, God’s loving kindness was with us every moment of this day. Only Heaven knows the impact of today, this week and the work of the missionaries on this island but getting a small snapshot has been such a gift.

Written By Team Member: Amanda Woods