Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Team Beckman - Day 3 Grace Village & More

This morning I woke up and was already very sore and exhausted because of the day before, but I was very ready to see what God had in store for us today. Today the plan was to go see a few of the sites that the foundation has developed and are currently running now. A big part of what Healing Haiti is working on is job creation. Whether that is farmers, bakers, doctors, and just about anything else, they are creating sustainable jobs for Haitians. Many of the places we went to today were focused around this idea. We started off by seeing newly purchased farm land in Haiti that will soon be used to employ many people. This land is still unsure of its purpose in what it will grow but, from what I saw, it looks to be a very great idea to help a lot of Haitians. Hearing of some of the possibilities and potential got me very excited for the future. It will be interesting to maybe come back one day and see what has become of it as well as much of the other stuff I saw today.
The next place we visited amazed me. Grace Village is a small community put together by Healing Haiti in order to take orphan children and put them in a family setting as well as put them in school and raise them through this small village. Through this village is also many job opportunities for Haitians on top of the care given to the kids. Another place visited by us today was Fleri. It is a bakery started by Healing Haiti to again create jobs. Hearing of the success of this bakery and the restaurant attached with it made me feel very good and amazed. By the way, some of the treats we ate were some of the best I have ever eaten. Our last part of our day was spent visiting four elders. We went to these elders and would wash their feet, bring them food, sing to them and just pray with them. I had the pleasure of washing one of their feet and it will truly be a moment I always remember. The feeling of humility surrounded me and made me very thankful for the life God has given me. God has shown me a lot in Haiti already and we are just through a few days. I am excited for what is still to come. I am having a great time here.
-Jared Knigge

Wow, what a great three days it’s been! So far, the food has been great and the work has been exhausting but rewarding! The water truck yesterday not only made me sore, but it also taught me humility, compassion, endurance, and love. It was by far the most humbling experience I’ve ever had. Today was a much needed physical (but not emotional or spiritual) break. I started the day off right with full breakfast, including eggs, pancakes, and freshly squeezed mango juice. We then took the tap tap to Titanyen, where we first toured Grace Village. It is a school, medical clinic, and orphanage, which was started by Healing Haiti, and is fully staffed by local Haitians.
Next, we did elder visits. This was my favorite thing to do because we delivered food and water to each of the four elders we visited, washed their feet, and we sang and prayed over them. This was so great because it really stripped away my sense of pride as a “wealthy American”, and humbled me. Next, we visited Healing Haiti’s restaurant and bakery “Fleri”. In Creole, fleri means flourish, which is very indicative of the bakery’s progress, and a wonderful example of the job creation and economic empowerment that the organization strives to create. Finally, we stopped at the mass grave, which is a memorial where over 160,000 unidentified victims of the 2015 earthquake are buried. This was a truly surreal experience because I remember seeing this earthquake on the news, and all around me I’ve seen the extreme results, which the people are still struggling to cope with and recover from. Thus far, the trip has been amazing, and I am ecstatic for day two of the water truck tomorrow!
               -Kory Sillivent

A serving and loving heart was required for a day like today.  I never saw myself getting on my hands and knees to wash someone else’s feet just the way Jesus did.  It was a truly magical experience to be able to literally be the hands and feet of our awesome God and to serve in his name bringing to these elders water, a hot meal, and our love and serve them with washing their feet and rubbing lotion on them.  The smile we got from these people and seeing their hardship and trying to make it even just a little better was by far the highlight of my day and I am so glad to be able to meet these awesome women.  Some of these women even had children that they were taking care of in their old age where back in the U.S. it would be the complete opposite when the young is supposed to care for the old.  “Hey You!!!” is a term in which I thought that just on water truck days we would be hearing from the children when they wanted or needed something but whether we see these little kids in passing, playing, or soccer games with or against them it is mainly the only way we have figured out how to communicate with people who don’t know the first thing about the English language and we don’t know the first about Creole, so a LOT of pointing is done to help try to explain on both of our parts.  I can’t wait to see what these next couple of days bring and what we will do and help serve our mighty God.

-          Alec McClain 

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