St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Monday, October 22, 2018
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 
Haiti Mission Trip September 2018
 
A team of wonderful souls went with the North American Haiti Partnership mission team Monday, September 2018.
The post come for different people on the team. As you follow these post, please keep them in your
prayers as well as the rest of the Team Members.
 
Monday, September 24th
Good evening! The team arrived on time in Haiti and was greeted with a hot blustery wind as we unloaded on the tarmac and walked into the airport which was bustling with other teams and Haitians returning to their home.  After quickly getting through immigration, we spent some time collecting the 26 checked bags plus everyone’s carry-on bags.  Customs is always like flipping a coin, you never know whether it will go in your favor or not.  After some extended scrutiny over what we brought for donations……we finally were headed outside and met our local staff members anxiously waiting for us!  Lots of hugs later, we left and traveled to Pastor Baptiste’ house where we greeted his family and left several of the suitcases full of Christmas toys for the kids in his school, office supplies for the teachers, school supplies for the 200+students, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap for the kids, and fabric for the sewing ministry at their church.  Wow!  What an amazing load of donations that they can really use!  We are so thankful for all the donations we have received, as well as the prayers that brought us all to Haiti for another amazing week! During VBS this summer at Sixes UMC, the kids wrote ‘a message of love’ to their Haitian counterparts in this school, and on the last day before Christmas break, these notes will be read to the students and the toys will be passed out!  We can’t wait to see those pictures!!!!  
 
We finally made it back to our ‘oasis’, the Palm inn.  The swimming pool looked SO inviting, but no time today for that, maybe tomorrow evening.  After checking into our rooms and moving our pharmacy, optical and medical cases into the rooms, its time for dinner.  They 'flew in' curry chicken especially for Doc Jacobs (lol), and everybody else had the great spaghetti or grilled chicken and vegetables.  Afterwards, Doc led us in a devotion from the book of Psalms about following Christ and seeing the Haitian people as God sees them, being present in each day to be used by God.  Remembering that it is all about relationships, and we aren’t in a hurry at our clinics.  We have time to talk and pray with people, and do what is on your heart from God. 
 
Now for the fun part…..we spent the next hour or so packaging doses of medications to use in our two clinics tomorrow….Beverly called it ‘controlled chaos’…lol…it was definitely teamwork to help get us ready, and we are very thankful for the help!
 
Its nearly 10pm, and finally time to get unpacked and our rooms straightened out then get some well deserved rest!  We leave for clinics around 7:30 tomorrow morning.
 
Thanks again to everyone for your prayers and financial support to get us here!  We expect to see God working in a mighty way this week, and as Pastor Jake said Sunday, it will only take a small crumb of His power!!!!!
 
In His grace,
Lori Stanley-Chase
   

 

 
HAITI UPDATE: Tuesday, September 25th
 
Good evening!  We ushered in our first full day of clinics today.  Our first stop was at Pastor Baptiste’ school. St. Andrews UMC started this school and has continued to help support it for many years, and Sixes UMC joined them in this mission of hope for these kids that would otherwise probably not be able to attend school (most schools charge to send your kids there, unless they are supported like this one by some churches).  These are radiant, well mannered kids getting a wonderful Christian education, complete with English classes taught by our own translator Benson.  The first picture has a story behind it (as usual), and our team got a good laugh out of it.  The 2nd picture features our own Dr. Jacobs and his translator is a previous translator of ours who is now attending Medical school and had this week break between semesters, so he is doing some ‘clinical’ hours under Doc Jacobs’ tutelage.  The 4th picture is of our ‘newbie’ team member, Beverly, who is a preschool teacher and ‘fell in love’ with these kids that she taught songs and movements to, told a bible story, etc etc.  She is a wonderful and sweet little ‘energizer bunny’ that fits like a glove with our team!  The 5th picture shows the kids ‘hamming’ it up with Jane for a picture, with some showing their new cross necklaces that Beverly gave them!
 
After this clinic, we traveled on to Pastor Clerzius’ church where we served for a few hours with a great demand for glasses and meds that they cannot access or afford in most cases.  Pastor Clerzius is another longtime friend whose smile can melt a glacier and who is kind beyond words.  He is also a part time Dentist who uses Home Depot type tools (with or without anesthetic), and he has also started a school in his church building!  Whew!  These pastors we work with are SO involved in so many things in their community, reaching out with all their possible resources, and meeting every need possible.  After clinic, we had lunch downtown at our favorite Epidor cafe and returned to the Palm Inn for 1.5 hours of ‘down time’ before dinner, devotional time and sharing then prepping for 2 more clinics tomorrow! 
 
Devotions are always an integral part of our mornings and evenings.  Our morning devotional was led by Achka, one of our primary translators.  His devotion was on the primary commandment to Love God, and then to Love your neighbor as yourself.  Brad pointed out that if you don’t love yourself then it's hard to love your neighbor, and we must remember that we are made in God’s image.  We had a great discussion and prayer to start the day!  The evening devotional time was led by Cheri. Her theme was about taking time to recognize all the blessings around us and how they usually go unnoticed when we are involved in the ‘world’ around us. We are so blessed that we take it for granted and don’t see or appreciate what we have in our lives of indulgence in the US.  Those differences are striking when we serve with our Haitian brothers and sisters here.  We are starkly reminded of how we are so ‘self sufficient’ in the US that we forget where all of those blessings come from. Even though we stay in touch with our primary friends here, its still very easy to become lost and indulgent in our world at home. She reminded us of her analogy of God’s blessings on us are like pouring chocolate sauce over ice cream and it running all over us and covering us completely!!!!  The ice cream lovers in the room especially can identify with this comparison!!!!   
 
Many thanks to our friends and prayer warriors!  Keep up the good work!!!! :).  Till tomorrow-

 

 

 
HAITI UPDATE: Wednesday, September 26th
 
Good evening friends! 
 
Our wonderful day started with a devotional by one of our primary translators, Gel.  He is a sweet and loving man who was very nervous about doing his devotion in front of us, but with some encouragement, he did.  He told us he had planned to do the devotional over one subject, but God put on his heart to change his topic so he did!  His topic was HOPE!  One of our favorite subjects, and something that the Haitian people especially grasp and hang on to.  It was based on Romans 5:1-12, …'we boast in the hope of the glory of God’.  Hope is a big part of the Haitian life.  They have so little to worldly standards, but with God, they have all they need!  After the devotion he shared a little about his testimony. He was so nervous about the devotion but it was really ‘spirit-led’, and blessed us all!
 
 We know its hot in the Atlanta area, but it seems to be worse here than yesterday, maybe its because we can’t escape into air conditioning every time we want to and make the room so cool that we have to put on socks…There was no breeze today and only one fan in our first clinic (our second one was outdoors in a covered area) so it was hot and stagnant most of today.  Our first clinic took us to downtown Port-au-Prince where we visited with Pastor Abraham and his school and church members that need to come to the optical and medical clinic and pharmacy.  Bev also did another amazing day of VBS, assisted during the first clinic with one of our primary translators (Benson) where they sang loud on “He’s got the whole world in his hands”.  At the second clinic site, she was assisted by our driver who tried to get into the hand motions of the song, but his English is pretty minimal (sounds like our French/Creole).  Fortunately, the kids were learning English at an earlier age there, and they would repeat everything Bev said in unison!  
 
The second clinic site was Pastor Exantus’ school in Port-au-Prince.  He is married to a woman from Virginia, and we are always glad to converse and catch up with him, and with his lovely wife and daughter that we should see later in the week.  We saw a lot of patients that needed some high blood pressure education and medication, and the optical clinic saw ALOT of kids who wanted their eyes ‘checked’ (this is code for them wanting glasses because its sort of a ‘fashion statement’ here…lol). We felt blessed to get to visit with his congregation and staff. 
 
Lunch today was at a different Epidor (cafe with hot foods & deli), then back to the Palm for some refreshing (both in the pool and with the room air conditioning), and maybe a short nap, then time for dinner, devotion and sharing.
 
After a delicious dinner, Jane led the group in a devotion about         .  She read a story called “can you smell that”.  It was about a pregnancy that ended in a very premature child with multiple problems.  It reminded us of Doc’s shared vision of building an advanced care hospital ‘Bethesda’. This child grew up showing no signs of mental or physical problems but one day asked her mom if she “can smell that”, and what the child was talking about was the smell of God that the child had remembered when she was newborn with a nervous system so raw that the parents couldn’t even hold her, but they prayed that God would….and he did.  That's what the child was remembering! (A true story).  
 
HAITI UPDATE:  Thursday, September 27th
 
Bonjour friends!
 
Well, you know its been a long day when its 9:15 and you have just finished devotion/sharing/prep for tomorrow (still have showers and updates to do), but it has been an exhausting yet wonderful and exhilarating day.  
 
Our day started with our sweet driver Blanc blessing us with his devotion on Jesus’ first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding in Caanan. He reviewed this miracle and the circumstances surrounding it and answered devotion questions.  What was even more special was that up to 2 years ago, Blanc had never spoke a word in English….but now could converse somewhat in English, and apparently had been teaching himself over the last 2 years.  It is only after pushing him that he will speak in English, but he has a pretty good vocabulary, and is really stepping out of his comfort zone to speak to us in English.  He obviously enjoyed doing the devotional, which was also a shock, considering he has been such an introvert and never says more than he has to!  Way to go, God, for blessing him with more language skills which will help him work more often since he is already a very good driver (which is saying a lot when we are talking about driving around Haiti).
 
Speaking of ‘stepping out of your comfort zone’….tonight was Beverly’s time to do the devotional.  She was obviously very anxious, and even this morning said she didn’t know if she was ready to speak in front of the team.  Tonight, however, she did a wonderful job of speaking on bravery and courage, and had a devotional with her that she was reading on being brave and stepping out for Jesus.  She is so animated and exuberant and sweet and energetic and flexible and easy to be with and….on and on and on. She was voted ‘Rookie of the Year’ for her many qualities she has displayed on this trip!  She really has ‘fit’ in and become cross trained in all of the areas except medical (but that's not out of the question).lol.  Thanks Beverly for blessing us with your decision to join us, we love you and have officially adopted you to return with us!
 
As for the clinics, we made the long but always interesting trip to Pastor Baptiste’ church in Onaville this morning and worked several hours taking care of his congregation in the beautiful place he has built.  Everybody was very busy (medical, pharmacy, optical and VBS), and the time went fast! Pastor Baptiste was so glad we had some extra time to spend and make sure that everyone that needed help was taken care of to the best of our abilities.  We saw all ages with a wide range of issues.  After clinic, it was time to go to the lunch we were looking forward to (yes, we know its sad to look forward to homemade pizza and cinnamon rolls) but we had tried the pizza last year and were VERY impressed.  It was run as a ministry through Healing Haiti, and was also a bakery that provided work for 28 employees - some that worked all day at the bakery and some were local vendors that would purchase the bread at wholesale each morning then resale it in their neighborhoods for a small profit.  They have done so well that they are expanding and planning to hire more employees!  Praise God!! The manager was from Minnesota and had moved to Haiti 3 years ago to work with in this field.  The pizza is extremely good, hot, fresh, and all the ingredients are from local sources AND we pre-ordered the cinnamon rolls from scratch to be hot and fresh for us as well!   WOW….this place will continue to be on our scheduled stops!
 
After lunch, we made our way on to Caberet area and the Haiti Deaf Academy.  We came here last year for the first time, and fell in love with the kids and the staff.  Imagine with all the difficulties in Haiti how hard your life would be if you were deaf!  Most kids live on campus for 9 months a year, and have a great place to learn sign language and have school and playtime with their peers in a nonjudgemental environment.  They are so sweet and loving!  We did medical and optical checks on all 32 kids there as well as about 10 staff members (all but 2 were deaf) and took care of them the best we could.  It was a great opportunity to interact with them, learn some sign language, and provide them with much-needed care, as well as receive great blessings from the visit.
 
We returned to the Palm Inn, had dinner, devotion/sharing, filled the med boxes for tomorrow, have all gone to our rooms now to get some well deserved rest.  Prayers for continued blessings of seeing God in so many ways, of continuing to step out of our comfort zone, and to remain healthy!
 
Hope you enjoy the pictures, we have!