Every morning the sun rises and creates the most beautiful scene on the mountains right outside the Back2Back campus, where we are staying, and this morning was no exception. This was an amazing way to start off our day with our usual activities of small group time, quiet time, and trauma competent care training.
Today was a little different than what we have been doing all week. Today we stayed on the B2B campus and did work projects to help out the people involved in the Hope program as well as the staff here at B2B. Some groups worked on the soccer field that was recently added to the campus. They put concrete around the soccer goals to level them out. Another crew added dirt to the areas surrounding the goals, which was the first step to have a grassy knoll on the B2B campus. Next, the cement crew worked on the construction of a patio near the pool. This location would be used for the meeting of other missions groups staying at the B2B campus. The third group painted. They painted houses for the staff and the kids in the Hope program and also touched up every previously painted nook and cranny on the B2B campus.
After several hours of hard work all around the B2B campus, we went to El Pollo Loco for dinner, but instead of just some average chicken, we found out what Jesus’ love tastes like. In whole, our group ate about six chickens and every wing and leg was delicious. Needless to say, their chicken is crazy amazing and the perfect way to end a hard work day. After dinner, we went across the street to get dessert, where every person got a little cake of their choice.
When we got back to the B2B campus, we went to a session with Jed, a staff member, about staying connected once our trip is over. We heard Jed’s story and a previous Hope student’s story. Both were powerful and moving. In all we learned that being a “supporting character” is very important in staying connected to this trip. A “supporting character” is someone who encourages, helps, prays for, and loves someone even in the hard times. This message moved a lot of us tonight. It was an amazing end to the day.
Stay Tuned for tomorrow!
-Just dudes being guys aka Mary and Hanna
Day 3 – After breakfast, another TCC training, and a devotional on JOY in our lives and how we can share that joy internally and externally. Following devotionals, we headed straight to the Douglas Children’s home and got to work. Luckily it wasn’t as hot as yesterday, so we were able to work harder and longer. Lunch was some delicious chicken burgers with watermelon, japanese peanuts, and apples. During lunch, several of the crew members were not themselves. After many hours of hard work in chemical and gas fumes from the cleaning supplies and the powerwasher, there were a few naps taken to shake off any weird headaches and it took a couple hours to fully recover but we finished out the day strong.
Day four started out with breakfast and then another great TCC training. Following training we dived into a great lesson about finding HOPE in God’s word and the power of transformational hope. This was a perfect transition into our finishing of work projects for the next two days. Fence posts were planted, bathrooms were powerwashed, and the sand crew mixed concrete for a new building on the campus. We finished and had lunch of sub sandwiches, orange slices, and chips at Douglas. After lunch we headed back to the main campus (LDM) and got to swim with the kids from Douglas and celebrated a birthday of a girl named Dana who lives at Douglas. Dinner included a variety of incredible, fantastic, and nutritious tacos and an amazing dessert of fried tortilla topped cinnamon sugar. The night only got better as we shared extended worship with the other church staying on campus, over an hour of singing, praying and independent spiritual growth. Words can’t describe the power of the Lord’s presence in Monterrey tonight, and many, if not all of our hearts were moved and redefined by this night. Following the break of the gathering for worship, Jack pulled out his guitar and the TPCC crew held our own further extended worship on the porch of LDM. After a night of lifting up our hands and acknowledging God’s plans for the rest of our week and future, we are refueled to start tomorrow with refreshed and full hearts.
Well! We’ve made it here in Monterrey, Mexico. After long and strenuous hours of travel, we have all made it safe and sound. Unfortunately, Angie, Rachel, and Elly did have some flight complications and lost luggage, but they were able to join the rest of the team late last night! Yesterday consisted of getting acclimated to the Hope campus and meeting some of the staff and members of Back2Back.
Today was full of many new experiences and challenges. We started off our morning with THE most gorgeous view of the Sierra Madres mountains. It’s unreal! God’s creation is so breathtaking and stunning. After devotional and small group time, we started our Trauma Competent Care training and learned ways of how to get involved in the kids’ lives.
A big highlight of the day was getting to attend a church service in Spanish with some of the caregiver families and their children. It was an incredible experience. We were able to understand through a translator, but even without it, it was clear that the presence of God was there.
After church, we went to Casa Hogar Douglas, which is the children’s home that we are going to serve at throughout this week. We started some work projects, played with the kiddos, and bonded over bacon-wrapped hot dogs (yep – they were delicious).
We have already seen God moving in huge ways, and it’s only been two days. We cannot wait to see what else He does this week!
-Kelly and Elly
Our young translators: Alienne, Luma, Watson and Elmise
We awake early, eager to go home. On this final day, as throughout the week, Gerald has coffee ready for us. During devotion, we reflect on the past week, marveling at how well our team gelled. We had not one single moment of strife. Each member filled whatever gap was needed. Our hearts were truly filled with the gift of serving, not just for Haiti, but for each other as well. Gerald not only had coffee for us each morning, but also enough water for showers each night. During down time, Beckie and Denise could be found sweeping floors and wiping down the table. Creativity sparked in the kitchen with many breakfast casseroles. No basic oatmeal here, we had baked oatmeal, egg casseroles and much more. Along with our crock pot desserts, Erica and Nathan concocted chocolate pudding cups complete with graham crackers and marshmallows. Sangela’s (Pastor Payot’s wife) delicious dinners were accompanied by Julie’s coleslaw topped with Ramen noodles and chopped almonds. (And here I thought Ramen was a food group for college students.)
But now, the morning is becoming bittersweet. We hug and say our goodbyes. Pastor Payot reminds us, “it is good to visit, but also it is good to go home”.
Translator Kensom chillin’ at the beach
Nathan’s turn to be the patient
Who’s’ gonna dive for it?
Martie rocking out the church
Hugs and goodbyes
Beckie and Leonne
Rest Day – yay! We all worked very hard this week. We are eagerly looking forward to our day at the Comier Plage Resort and beach. We invited our young translators to join us, as they, too, worked very hard. Although they live in Haiti, they have not had the opportunity to visit the resort. We watched with joy as they swam in the ocean and sipped on fruity drinks like tourists.
At one point, Nathan stepped on a sea urchin. Our young translators quickly sprang into action, pushing Dr. Doug aside, as they meticulously pulled each barb from Nathan’s foot. They did such a superb job; Nathan was able to join the beach volleyball game. As he is an athletic trainer and athlete himself, he clearly dominated. Perhaps our young friends did too good of a job????
Lunch and a day at the market complete our outing. We are exhausted but very content with the day’s adventures and the beautifully carved, wooden bowls we scored.
After dinner, we attend one last church service. Many prayers were offered for our safe return home along with hugs and goodbyes. As Martie is again filled with the Holy Spirit, she takes the microphone right out of the hands of Pastor Payot. In true diva fashion, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Martie leads the church in a rousing rendition of ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’.
That night we thank God for a beautiful day enjoying the ocean and beach, and especially the love of our Haitian family and friends.
Today is our final day of clinic. Erica, Nathan and Morgan really step up as Dr. Doug and Beckie accompany Leonne (wife of Pastor Ernest) to Milo for a physical at the hospital. Dr. Stan supervises, but it is evident the three are really on top of their game. As we see the last of another 155 patients, it is now time to pack up the supplies until next year.
It has been a long week with a total of 635 patients seen. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve, knowing there is still much work to be done here. There are still many in Caracol who do not know Christ, many others who practice voodoo, and now with the addition of a mosque in Caracol, our prayers and presence are needed more than ever. We will continue to pray for Haiti and we thank God for the opportunity to witness to those in Caracol and Roche Plate.
We spend the remainder of the evening packing and organizing the remaining medical supplies.
Dinner brings forth another surprising dessert. Once again, who knew chocolate brownie cake could be made in a crock pot?
We complete our evening devotion and head to bed, looking forward to our exciting rest day tomorrow.
We are ready to begin our second day of clinic in Caracol. The school children and patients keep us busy for most of the day.
After seeing 155 patients today, we conduct another benevolence walk. At the first house, Martie’s prayer touches everyone. With shouts of “Hallelujah” and hands in the air, we all feel the power of the Holy Spirit in Martie. As we continue to walk through the village, Gary picked up a few friends along the way. It appears that Morgan is not the only pied piper in the group.
Julie is non stop today. She’s in charge of the pharmacy, it’s her day for devotion and her day for meals. In addition to preparing baked French toast for breakfast, Julie made dessert for dinner. The delicious aroma coming from the crock pot had our mouths watering all day. Who knew you could make a cherry dump cake in a crock pot!
With the many songs Julie has pre loaded onto her phone, we offer up much praise to our Lord before we settle into our devotion. As it is Wednesday night, the praise continues long into the night with the late night church service. Though in Creole, the voices are beautiful and the praise unmistakable.
A long day in pharmacy for Gary
Denise enjoying the benevolence walk
Gary picked up a few friends along the way