Haiti Mission: Day 4 – Water Filters, Home Visits and meeting the village

Our day began with Haitian coffee on the porch & breakfast, followed by preparing 40 buckets for our first day of water filter demonstrations.

Each bucket is labeled with the mission team and date so there is a record of when the filter went into service.

Richard

The 2+ hour long water filter classes are arranged by the local church and taught by our translator team members. Other than helping out and being willing to drink the safe, filtered water, the Americans fade into the background as much as possible. (Linda served as our “Vanna White” and helped hold up posters.)The water filters are an outreach project of the local Mellier Methodist Church, and we are blessed to partner with them.

Lamaire and Linda lead the class

After lunch, our team filled snack bags for the school children here. (It got very hot this afternoon so we rested in the cool building in the hottest part of the day.)

In the late afternoon, we were guided by church leader Richard around the village to check on filters distributed by earlier teams.

In the evening, we played with children – so many wonderful children!

We are looking forward to another full day tomorrow. Thanks for taking time to read about our mission trip.

I wish this kind of work was free to do. Each water filter system we bring to the families of Haiti costs approximately $35, our sporting equipment and VBS supplies add up…if you feel led to contribute, please consider donating through this link. Your support is deeply appreciated. Thank you!

Haiti Mission – Day 3

Our morning started with a Methodist worship service – 2 beautiful hours of singing, praying and listening in French and Creole. Our sermon was on the body of Christ – what a beautiful setting to be reminded that ALL of God’s children are valued in the Body of Christ.

About 200 people filled the pews today. A surprise before worship was the chirping of of a baby chick inside the church:

After a lunch of Mamba peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we headed out in a “tap tap” (a Haitian style taxi) to see a little more of Haiti:

I’ll post videos of Haitians driving when I get to a space with more internet capabilities.

It’s evening now – time for bucket showers and nighttime devotional time. Tomorrow we begin our water filter program with VBS-type time in the afternoon.

God is alive and at work – so evident in the deeply moving worship, infectious laughter and community of hospitality. We thank you for your continued prayers and support!

If you are reading this and want to support the ministry of bringing clean water to Haiti, please consider donating to through this link.

Haiti Mission – Getting settled in Mellier

My family has a couple of traditions during mealtime. We always say grace (at home it’s usually a silly one) and then we each share our highs, lows and something we are looking forward to. We brought that tradition to dinner here in Haiti tonight, so I thought I’d share a few highlights from our day:

Today, my high was getting reunited with some special Haitian friends, Rodny and Nadege:

I also spent about an hour with children sitting on and around me watching videos on my cellphone (they especially loved videos of baby Lucas singing). It was a gift to be present with these children…even if it was for a lot longer than I expected. Sometimes we need to be reminded God calls us into times of “being” instead of “doing” all the time.

My only low for the day was that it took a while to get our water set up, but it did lead to some cool moments of drawing water from a cistern – new skill for my resume:

I am looking forward to going to church in the morning, especially after hearing the choir rehearsal tonight:

We have been able to go on a few walks around the village, here are some of the sights and people we have met along the way:

Tomorrow is our church and Sabbath day, Monday we begin water filter work.

Stay tuned for more!

(Photo credits to Anna Lee and Linda Connor too – if some of the photos don’t post due to spotty internet, I’ll edit the post later…)

Haiti Mission: Day One – Travel Day

Our adventure has begun, and already we started practicing our abilities to have humor and flexibility! Our 5:30am flight was delayed an hour, requiring us to change connecting flights to Port-au-Prince. This adds a few more hours in Miami as we travel to tonight’s destination, the Methodist Guest House in P├ętion-Ville.

Allow me to introduce you to our team (going left to right in the photo above):

Linda is a retired schoolteacher and avid traveler. A member of New World UMC, she is known for her calm presence, sweet energy, and for being a yoga teacher. This is her first trip to Haiti.

Barbara is a member of Central UMC in Waco. While serving at the United Methodist UMCOR mission Sager Brown Depot, she learned about our trip from retired NWUMC deacon, Gordon Johnson. Barbara’s love for Haiti runs deep – she’s lived there for months as a missionary and she jumped at an opportunity to return. We joke that we’ll have to watch her closely to make sure she doesn’t “accidentally” get left behind when we return.

Keith represents Water to Life, our partner organization, and is a member of Keller UMC. Keith led my trip to Haiti in October 2017. Water to Life works to build long-term, sustainable relationships with the communities it serves. When we enter the village of Mellier tomorrow, the fruit of this will be evident when people warmly welcome their “Mr. Keith.”

I’m the fourth one in the picture, Erin, associate pastor at New World UMC. (Photo credit goes to my dear husband Dennis who woke up to drive me to DFW airport at 4am.) This is my second trip to Haiti. I am excited about giving hugs to the sweet people in Mellier. It is my hope that this mission trip marks just the beginning of a long-term connection between our congregation and Haiti.

Anna is also a member of New World. She has been to Haiti twice on medical mission trips. A great story about Anna’s connection on our team: when Anna met Barbara at our pretrip meeting, they both sensed the other looked familiar. The ladies went through all the possible ways they could have met. It turns out that Anna met Barbara many years ago while volunteering at Sager-Brown Depot. It was Barbara’s love for Haiti that inspired Anna to follow God’s call on her heart to serve in Haiti, too.

And here we go!

-written from seat 27B on AA flight 1042-

Haiti Mission: Day 0

In about 20 hours, our mission team meets at the DFW Airport. We meet at 3:25am to give plenty of time to divide up team supplies and get checked in. We fly to Miami first, the Port Au Prince.

Between now and then, my to do list is long:

  • Pack my own luggage
  • Pack team supplies
  • Make sure Lucas gets to wave at the garbage men (it’s Thursday and he’s 3)
  • Remember to take anti-malarial medicine
  • Pick up about 8 things from a store – tarps, clothesline, markers, hand sanitizer, a big bag of candy (“bon bons”) to pass out to the kids in Mellier…
  • Fill out trip insurance information
  • Check in for flight
  • Send team email with gate information and remind them to remember their passports
  • Go to bank to get cash to pay our Haitian team
  • Work up a plan to complete our fundraising
  • Greet kids when they get home from school
  • Hopefully have a family dinner
  • Spend time with Dennis
  • Spend time wondering what I may have forgot (might as well add this to list since I’m doing it anyway)

It’s a lot. I’m excited and a little daunted.

So, in the quiet of my home this morning, I start with the most important task I have to do today, I pray (feel free to join in from wherever you are):

Holy and gracious God, we thank you and praise you for this opportunity to travel to Haiti. We know that you are already there. We ask for your safety as we travel, we ask to be made aware of your presence. As we rush to get all of the details completed, calm our spirits and remind us that you have got this all in your hands. We commend this trip to you, we ask for your blessing. May we as your servants share your love with others, and may we receive your love through the hospitality of strangers. In Christ’s name we pray, amen.

Click here to contribute to the Haiti mission