To touch base once again. We have made the transition from Deyemon to St. Marc and everyone has made the adjustment well. To fill you in on what has been happening…
We arrived in Port Au Prince and made it through customs and immigration with no problem. In Haiti, you step out of customs and into the outside world of porters grabbing your luggage to “help” you and then asking for money. We as leaders were busy shouting to the teens over the noise of the crowd and yelling porters to keep close together and hold tightly to your bags. We made it to our waiting trucks where we loaded our luggage and then the teens. (We have seats for the teens and there is a “cage” built around the truck to protect us from people grabbing at us.) Once loaded, we head into Port Au Prince to an OMS missions hotel, where we roughed it in nice beds and a beautiful swimming pool. We were able to meet another mission group staying there and going out daily to work on homes for those in need.
The next morning we were on our way to Deyemon. After eight hours, we arrived at our sight, high in the mountains, tired but excited to see our worksite and home for the next few weeks. Our contact, Pastor Wilfred, could not have been any kinder. We had beds with sheets made up for us in a very nice dorm style house. The girls were in the big building up the mountain where we held our classes and had meals. The boys were in a smaller house at the foot of the hill beside the church and school. Every morning the boys would come up for breakfast and everyone would march back down the steep rough “road” to the work site. It wasn’t very far but our legs felt like it was a mile away with the steepness of the mountain.
The teens quickly made friends with the local nationals and their children. They would play together and in the evenings, during free time, they would play some soccer with the local youth and adults. They take their soccer very seriously down here.
Our project consisted of painting the classrooms, building desks with benches for the classrooms and painting the sanctuary and outside of the church. The floors of the classrooms were leveled with cement, doors were made and installed for classrooms, and the preschool benches were all painted fresh bright colors.
I don’t think the team really understands the impact that they have made on these people. The idea that teenagers would come all this way to help their church, school and the community is overwhelming for them. The small act of walking the grounds to pick up trash made a huge impact on the pastor and the church board members…they are talking with their people about taking pride in what God has given them and keeping it clean.
Our last day at Deyemon was a Sunday. Following the sermon, the team was asked to come forward, the church showed us how happy they were to have us and continually said thank you, thank you, praise God! They then proceeded to lift hands and pray over the team. It was a wonderful experience having the three weeks in Deyemon and I think life changing for most of our team members.
Once again thank you for allowing your children to be part of this team.
Caitlyn – Hey families, (waves to everyone) We are getting ready to come home now, but ready is the last thing I feel . I can’t wait to talk to my friends and family and to eat some home food, but I know that I will miss Haiti- (to parents) your children, Mrs. Barber’s homemade bread, and the daily fellowship and closeness to God that I’ve had here. This last house we’ve stayed in is feet from the ocean. I love swimming and laughing in it with some of my new friends for life. Even as I write this update now, I hear the soothing waves crash as I lay in a hammock next to them. God’s creations are so beautiful. so anyway, please keep praying for us and that our spiritual growth will keep growing as we finish our last work project and go home. I love you Mom, Dad, and Sarah. See you soon! XOXO