Monday, July 15, 2019

Family Team Day 1 / Travel Day / 7.15.19


Travel day is always a long day....  For some on our team, their travel day started Sunday evening! Our team is made up of four families. The Lake’s from Portland, The Buller’s from Calgary, the Uetz’s from Wisconsin and the Loween’s from Minnesota.  We all met in Atlanta for our connecting flight to Haiti this morning.  We (and all of our luggage) made it safely to Port-au-Prince this afternoon, and we have gotten settled in at the guesthouse. 
 


We feel honored and blessed to serve with this fantastic team from North America.  It truly is amazing how God can put these teams together.  Strangers from different states and even countries, that by the end of the next 7 days, will be good friends for life.  The kids have already found a common bound.

Thank you to our friends and family for all of your prayers and support.  We look forward to what God has in store. 


Trent and Marcia

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Day 2: Teach Haiti, Dios, Papillion




Today’s word of the day was “joy.” The people in Haiti radiate joy that becomes infectious. Our day today started out with a trip to a local school serving children grades K-10. We had the opportunity to interact in the classroom and were very impressed with their French and love for education. We were able to create friendship bracelets together and communicate through the human connection. Something that will be taken away from the experience there today was how view vacation. Most students in the USA look forward to vacation and leaving school, but the students at this school want to continue learning, getting nourished, and being with their friends.



One really inspiring piece of today was the commerce of Haiti. Having dinner out and trying new food was something that was surprising. Lunch was a smoothie from Papillion, and it tasted delightful. Our last stop today was Dios, an orphanage for special needs children. We sang songs with the children and danced with them. After our visit, the team was touched by the connection we made through our short time there.


Going back to the word of the day, joy. The Haitian people are filled with true joy and that is something we can take away when we leave. Are we living our life with joy regardless if we are having a good day or bad day? Joyous people don’t get bogged down with the challenges of daily life, but appreciate the good in every day.

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.