Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Funday Mar 3

Sunday Funday!

First, please accept our deepest thanks for all of your prayers this week.  Your prayers were felt in the evidence of the work that we were able to complete this week, our safety, and our team cohesiveness.  We were able to interact with every elder in Healing Haiti's program, both in Titanyen as well as the elders new to the program in Cite Soleil.  That's 48 elders in total that received assessments from nursing, therapies and social work!

After the week of hard work (which included not only seeing the elders and completing the assessments, but also "care conferences" each evening until well after dark) we had a day of rest.  Our day started as normal with breakfast together, then we loaded up the tap-tap and left "on Haitian time" and arrived in Titanyen just in time to be 20 minutes late for church!  The worship service was in full swing when we arrived, and the band was the same musicians that blessed our elders on Wednesday at Fleri.  They had first-time attenders stand up to be welcomed, and of course they had to switch to English so that we were even able to know that they were speaking to us :) 

From church, we continued to travel north to Wahoo Bay Resort, where we enjoyed the beach, seafood, frozen fruit smoothies and RELAXATION!  It was a beautiful day and a good time was had by all.


We experienced the evidence of God's hand on our week---it was all His. For those that returned from last year it was so rewarding to see the prayers we prayed come to fruition. We had prayed for more efficiency in assessments and we found a way.  We were able to see with our own eyes some of the home modifications we recommended last year.  We prayed for more elders in the program and an expansion to Cite Soleil and both became a reality!

Thanks so much for joining us in supporting the elders in this program through prayers whether this week, last year, or time beyond that. Please  pray for needs to be met for these wonderful people.  If you would like to be a part of sponsoring any of the new elders, go to www.healinghaiti.org to learn more.

Until next year . . . Going Deeper Elder Care Team <3


                                            See your late night bloggers below LOL


Saturday, March 2, 2019

Saturday- Cite Soleil in Hope Church! March 2nd

Saturday - Day 2 of Cite Soleil Elders

Today, we did what we set out to do!  This was the first time an event like this had been attempted in Cite Soleil and it exceeded our guarded expectations.  Our plan for the day was to establish a clinic-like setting in Hope Church.  We set up different stations for elders to be assessed by nurses, therapists, and social workers.  There was also a station that offered hand/foot washing and massage.  Each elder was greeted at  the door as they arrived, then were walked to one of the stations, where they were met by our team members as well as one of our interpreters. When no stations were available, they were welcome to sit and listen and participate in worship songs and each were offered water, juice, and crackers.  All in all, we completed assessments on 14 of the elders in Cite Soleil! 
After the assessments were completed, we all joined with the elders for a brief session of worship songs and prayer over the elders, the pastors, and Hope Church.

Then it was back to the guest house for us.  It was bitter-sweet to unload the tap-tap, knowing that our time serving in Haiti was completed.  BUT!  Our hearts were grateful that we had completed the tasks that we had come here to do.

So . . . it was off to Pappillion Marketplace for some SERIOUS shopping, smoothies and snacks!  We definitely found a way to stimulate the Haitian economy :) 

We will be headed back to Titanyen tomorrow morning to attend Grace Church, then will likely find a way to a beach for a little bit of R & R! 








Friday- Cite Soleil March 1

Day 4-Cite Soleil

We took our first trip to Cite Soleil today.  If you don't know anything about Cite Soleil, it is the poorest slum in the western hemisphere, and has been for decades.  In a typical Healing Haiti trip, the purpose of going to Cite Soleil is to deliver water to 3 different neighborhoods in a day.  During that time, you get a glimpse of the daily life of what it must be like to live there--to have to wait for your clean water to arrive, then hope that you're  fortunate enough to get water before the truck runs out.  Hopefully, you will have someone to help you transport your water or the ability to carry it yourself.  The children are always look forward to the visits, with people to play with, hold them, and generally just give them love.

We did participate in one water truck stop, but afterward, we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go deeper into Cite Soleil.  We visited the home 12 different elders homes, in 2 separate teams.  We accompanied the pastors of Hope Church as they delivered meals to the elders in their homes.  During these brief visits, we were able to do a quick assessment of the needs in their homes (doors, roofs, bedding, etc.), as well pray over the elders.  We saw doors that were tied on with rags instead of hinges, newspaper pages lining the walls to help insulate, and rooms that would flood with rain.  We were able to get our 2 teams in/out of these homes rather quickly.  Each elder will be assessed fully by the nurses, PT, OT, social workers Saturday in more of a "clinic" setting at Hope Church, but this allowed us to get a visual on their homes prior to these assessments.  Our two pre-med graduates were able to observe the visits in Hope Clinic.

Prior to leaving Cite Soleil, we were able to get a tour and explanation of the two pods that have been added to Hope School.  One of these pods is the most up-to-date technology available anywhere wouldwide including iPads and apps that are top-rated for education.  This will provide the most advanced technological education available, and will allow children from Cite Soleil to compete internationally.  The second pod is a sewing pod, where people are taught sewing skills to be able to secure jobs in Haiti.  These two opportunities will provide job training and education to advance these Haitians out of poverty and be able to compete in any job market.

Knowing the history of the ground that Hope Church is built upon makes this even more remarkable.  Hope Church was built on a garbage dump, where they had to dig down 80 feet to even lay the footers for the building.  The first step was the opening of the church 3 years ago.  Then began the school, now the clinic and now here we are with pods focusing on job creation. And even more remarkable is that Cite Soleil has a huge stigma attached. They are judged for even just being born there. This is the reason this church, school, clinic, and these life-changing pods are planted in Cite Soleil. It is to change the legacy of Cite Soleil, one Haitian at a time.

After a brief break and dinner, we spent the rest of our evening (until most were retiring to bed) in prep for Saturday's elder assessments.

As a happy aside, we were able to celebrate the birthday of one of our 2 Jakes.  Jake Colombo was surprised with a cake, which we ALL thoroughly enjoyed!  Happy Birthday, Jake!











Thursday, February 28, 2019

Elder Trip: Thursday Mid-Day Worship Feb 28

Hello again from Haiti!
Today was our 3rd day of serving in Titanyen.  We started our day as an entire group with a return visit to one of the elders that we had assessed on Tuesday.  She and her family are experiencing the conclusion of her journey here on Earth.  Our visit consisted of showing love to her and her family, through music, through physical touch, prayer, and interaction with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Our focus on our trip has been the Elder community here and addressing their issues.  One of the issues (that not many people want to talk about) is end of life issues.  Please be in prayer for her family as her time is not long, and she will be taking up permanent residence in her Heavenly home.
Our next stop was back to Fleri Bakery for another event with our elders.  The plan was to have a local musician and his friend to come and share some music with the elders.  When we rounded the corner into the bakery's lower level, there was not just the musician and his friend, but 2 other musicians set up with a full drum set, an electric piano, electric guitar and 3  GIANT amps.  There was a row of elders already seated right in front of the band, and the music had already started.  We were the late-comers to "our" own event!  Let us say, that this 4-hour music event turned into Thursday mid-day worship!  The elders enjoyed the music, a bakery pastry (or two), and even a few moments when the elders were led to stand up, clap, wave their arms over their heads, and sway their bodies from side to side!  It was Silver Sneakers--Haiti version!  To worship music!
During and after these 4 hours of worship, a few of our other team members were still working on projects for the elder assessments.  One threesome took the trek by foot up the STEEP hillside up to Grace Clinic to finish an assessment on an elder who is staying in the clinic for observation.  Another group went to do a home assessment to find out what home modifications could be made for an         were saying hi to us, and we enjoyed the scenery of the ocean and surrounding mountain.  It occurred to us that this is the real Haiti today.  We have not seen protests this week, but we have seen the effect of the riots on the food supply for the elders.  Haiti and their most vulnerable are still recovering.  Please continue to pray for peace and safety for all.





Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Elder Trip-The Beginnings. Feb 25/26

Bon Jou!

Our Monday travels were a success! Eight of us arrived together and we picked up our two stragglers later! This night was all about preparation and team introductions as half our team is returning from last year and we have five new goers who joined us.

Tuesday we hit the ground running. Stuffed with fresh mango and hearty French toast we lathered up sunscreen, took a quick team picture, and we hit the road to Titanyen. Titanyen is the small city in which we will be doing the majority, but not all of our ministry. Here we have an established elder program with 35 elders who receive care from Healing Haiti and later in the week we will visit Cité Soleil where our elder program is expanding.

This mission trip is unique in that it’s designed to focus solely on the elders in a medical capacity. They currently receive visits from other teams throughout the year, however on this trip we do medical assessments to determine needs and how we can serve them best. Our team is comprised of nurses, pre-med students, social workers, physical/occupational therapists, and wonderful volunteers who are willing to fill in the gaps.

Yesterday (Tuesday) we broke into 2 teams and made visits to elders in their homes. This is a unique opportunity to meet them where they are at. It gives us a glimpse into their daily life and helps show us needs they made have. Sometimes the elders don’t even recognize their own needs due to the fact that they are used to the limited resources. An example of this in the US would be housing modifications for elders with limited mobility. Grab bars, smaller steps, commodes, tall toilets, etc. Our team watched and assessed as our elders navigated around their home. If you can picture it, the areas outside and around the home are not paved and they spend most of their time there due to the heat in their homes. The ground is filled with rocks and unsmooth terrain. This would be hard for anybody, let alone our elders with strokes and less mobility. Through our assessments we can provide resources such as above mentioned that can improve quality of life.

The rest of our week will look differently each day, but for now we feel success and confidence in what took place on our first day of home visits. Our team has felt extremely safe and we are thankful for this provision. Our Haitian translators are familiar faces as they worked with us last year. They make the language barrier feel very small and our protection very abundant.

We thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Gratefully,

The Elder Team.



Elder Trip- Fleri Fair- Feb 27

Greetings!

We are writing this with grateful hearts as we have completed our second day and it was a huge success. There are no words to express how blown away we are by the work that only our God could do.

Today we had a health fair at Fleri Bakery where we invited members of the elder program to come enjoy fresh baked pastries from the bakery where we spent the day doing a variety of things that we cannot do sometimes at all or as easily at home assessments. These things included creating cards, having their hands/feet washed, lotioned, nails clipped, etc. They also received medical assessments if they were not seen yesterday. Friends, this was AMAZING! Here are just some of our many praises that we want to share with you:

1. An abundance in numbers:
We had a larger turnout than expected! One of our team member's, Brian, went with one of our drivers on our tap-tap (our large vehicle) and picked up elders, all day long! This allowed for more people to attend than last year. Praise God!

2. Connection without communication.
Our team-member, Lori, was able to connect with our elders WITHOUT an interpreter for most of the day and managed to work alongside them to create beautiful cards. She never went without a crowded table or without a smile on her face. Praise God for human connection!

3. An abundance of assessments:
Our clinical staff completed no less than 30 medical assessments! Assessments are lengthy!! To get an idea of what an assessment looks like, picture going to a doctor but having to explain your whole life, your medications, your problems, etc. without any help from a fancy electronic medical record.  Our goal is to assess for overall well-being...to name a few: vision, physical mobility, pain, living conditions, food intake, bowel and bladder issues, etc. The amount of questions we have is innumerable! And picture while trying to assess difficult problems such as medication management and you are going through an interpreter! Some of the words we use don't translate simply into Creole and this makes it even more difficult with our translators--who are phenomenal by the way. So to say that through the help of our interpreters we completed this many medical/physical assessments is an absolute miracle. Praise God!

4. Care through touch.
Our elders received nail care through hand and feet washing/applying lotion/nail clipping and painting nails for the women of course. Besides this being a helpful medical approach to keep hands/feet sanitary, it is something the elders (and ourselves) enjoy. The act of human touch with massage and cleaning is something that transcends countries. It is a humbling experience to attempt to scrub the years of dirt worn into skin and caked under nails. It is a moving experience to physically sit that close to someone who has likely not received this kind of connection before. And to do something that can be arduous and dirty while knowing that these nails will grow long and dirty again before we know it, is a pleasure to do. To serve just because Jesus asks is absolutely enough. He doesn't ask for clean nails for the rest of their lives, He's only asking for today. What a privilege.

The care for our elders continues as the majority of the team is still going over notes from the day and making plans for the future. The work never ends here in Haiti, and we are so grateful to serve in each and every moment.

Prayers for tomorrow as we do another day at Fleri, but this day with different intentions. We hope to have a day filled with worship through music and fellowship. Even though these elders live in the same tiny town of Titanyen, they can be isolated due to physical limitations and other obstacles as basic as ill-fitted shoes. To see their faces light up at spending time with one another is worth it's weight in gold. We look forward tomorrow with the hope and expectation that God will supercede our man-made plans.

We covet your prayers,

The Elder Team






Thursday, January 3, 2019


Day 4 ~ Word of Life

We started our service of the day at CRS orphanage. We teamed up with another group to play with the kids here – with basketball, jump rope, coloring, beading, sidewalk chalk, ‘dance lessons by Paige’ and others. The kids seemed very well taken care of and well adjusted. The staff were so friendly and happy to have us. After we had played for a good long time the administrator gave us a tour of the home and it was, of course, very interesting to see the way they live. 


Then it was off to visit the elders in Titanyen.  We first stopped and bought their meals and drinks in a small restaurant, then took what felt like an ‘off road’ drive to the different homes in the area. We loved visiting them and showing God’s love through the human touch of washing their feet, trimming nails, hand, feet and neck massages, music, prayer, scripture and, in general, encouraging them in their faith.



After this we went to Healing Haiti’s Fleri Resto (Flourish Restaurant).  We enjoyed a great meal of 5 different types of pizzas, some typical Haitian dishes and other appetizers. We were then given a tour of the bakery by a very well spoken and prepared young man. He gave a lot of interesting facts about the growth of the work over the last several years and hints of what is coming in the future.  Another blessed day in Haiti!