Filed under Haiti

Perspectives from Haiti: Having So Little, Having So Much

This week in Haiti has taught me more about how to treat patients than I ever could have imagined.  I had never been on a mission trip prior to Haiti, so I really had no idea what to expect.  I imagined Haiti to be plain and desolate; the people to be broken and hopeless.  When we went to church on Sunday, I realized I was completely wrong.  Upon seeing us in the pews, the orphans ran up to us and claimed us as their own.  The adults at church had smiles on their faces and were enthusiastically singing worship songs.

As we pulled into our first clinic of the week, Haitians were lined up waiting to be seen.  We immediately jumped into seeing patients.  It surprised me that even though there was a language barrier, I could pick up on their ailments rather quickly. The patients were very thankful for our services.  Holly said it best “in America, a lot of patients are not thankful and we often forget why we got into medicine and PA school”.  Her words really resonated with me, as I often get lost in seeing patients and forget why I actually wanted to be a PA.  I wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives, no matter how small that difference was.

Kinsley had said “God made Haiti beautiful and had good intentions for the country, but the sin of people has made Haiti the third world country it is today”. I fell in love with the beauty of Haiti this week.

The joy of the Haitians had the biggest impact on me.  They have so little.  Obtaining clean drinking water is difficult.  The children at the orphanage had been abandoned and were unwanted.  Dou Dou always had a smile on his face, even after cleaning up our bathrooms after two days with no running water.  All of this made me realize how much I take for granted in America.  We have so much more than the Haitians and orphans, yet we are not thankful.  Seeing their joy in the midst of such poor conditions has given me a new perspective on approaching my life in America.

Ashley Romano

Haiti Medical Team Update

What a week it has been here in Haiti with our medical team!  Thank you for your prayers; I can assure you they have not returned void. We have such a great group of team members and while we have had a couple fall ill, everyone is doing well for the most part.

After a long day of travel on Saturday, we started our week with a great time of worship on Sunday at the orphanage and spent the afternoon with the children.  Monday was a very long day as we began check ups on the 175 children, including dental screenings and giving over 300 vaccinations.  We treated several kids who were quite sick but overall the children were doing well. Using newly purchased equipment we were able to screen their vision and fit for glasses as needed. Tuesday was community day at Lundi; again a very long day where we saw over 200 people from the community.  A great number of them received medicines and had decayed teeth extracted–services they typically can’t find nearby or afford.  Many were able to see clearly with glasses for the first time in years!  The highlight of my day was seeing a young woman who was about 5 months pregnant. Using a new Doppler machine she was able to hear her baby’s heart beat for the first time!  We then prayed over her and the baby; it was really special.

Yesterday we hit the road to Bon Bon, a community about 30 minutes away from where we are staying. Today we will go to Gomier, another church plant in a nearby community about 45 minutes away. The church at Bon Bon is less than a year old and the building itself is still unfinished; nonetheless we cleared space in the midst of a huge crowd and set up another community clinic. I wasn’t sure how we would see them all.  Fortunately it isn’t up to me; God is faithful and always works out the details!

Over 300 people were seen, over 80 received eyeglasses for the first time and nearly 50 dental extractions were performed.  Unfortunately there are some we cannot help medically. As we were setting up clinic, a family brought in a young lady on a cot, lifting her high above the crowd to get to the front of our triage line. The similarities to the story in the Bible of the cripple being lowered through the roof to the feet of Jesus were unmistakable. She is 27 and had abdominal distention from some type of cancer. We gave them some funds to try and start her process to getting to a larger hospital but the reality is that she will most likely die very soon. Prayer and compassion were what we had to offer her.  For those of us who like to fix things, these experiences are a gut-wrenching reality check to remind us that true healing does not come in the flesh. Romans 8 tells us this: all of creation is groaning. The bondage to decay is very real but liberation from this fate awaits the children of God.

 And therein lies the urgency of the call to Go and Tell. Pray that the small ripple we make here is multiplied exponentially with the others that have come and will come to bring those in need of healing to the feet of the Great Healer.


Haiti Picture Update

Enjoy a quick picture-style update from our current Haiti team!

The Chicken House!

The Chicken House!

Dou Dou and his wife at their home site.

Dou Dou and his wife at their home site.

Dou Dou's home site

Dou Dou’s home site

Games with community children.

Games with community children.

Paint the Wall

Blog Post by: Carol Goad

Paint the Wall


I recently heard the story of an orphanage in Mexico.  The orphanage just wanted people to come love on the kids.  Just simply love them.  Groups would come in and do exactly that but there were times, the people would ask what could they do?  They wanted to do “something of value”.  They wanted to see immediate results.  So the orphanage would ask them to paint the wall surrounding the orphanage.  Did it need painting?  Absolutely not.  It had been painted multiple times by other groups who just didn’t get it.  They wanted to see something tangible – something physical.  They wanted to go home and tell everyone how they had spent the week painting that wall around the orphanage.  The groups were thrilled with the task but those poor kids lost out.

I just got back from my first trip to Haiti and I totally understand this story.  The precious kids at the orphanage simply want our love and attention.  I had heard stories but to experience and put a physical name and face to these children totally makes a difference.  We started traveling on Friday afternoon, spending the night in Miami and getting up at 4 a.m. (YES A.M.!) to fly to Port Au Prince.  We arrived in Port Au Prince and I finally got to meet Dou Dou!  He is everything I’ve heard and more.  What a blessing he is to everyone at Long Hollow.

Sunday, we headed to church services at the orphanage.  I entered and was overwhelmed with the worship atmosphere.  They know how to worship!  One by one the kids started trickling over to our laps.  I had a little boy wrap his arms around my neck, I closed my eyes and thought “this is heaven!”  After service, the first thing they wanted to know was if we were going to come back tomorrow and give them shots.  (Not excited about that prospect).  We quickly informed them it would be VBS and got smiles all around.

Monday morning, we arrive to throngs of children surrounding us – so excited for VBS!  Our team assembled and I was blessed to be able to lead worship.  They have such beautiful voices and love to sing.  It was incredible!  Then story time.  Dou Dou was our interpreter and I noticed from time to time, all the kids would say Amen all together.  I asked him later if he told them to say Amen.  “No”, he replied, “when I say something like God is good, they know it’s important and respond with Amen.”  I was amazed.  What a lesson to learn from these kids.  Then we got to play and make friends.  It was hot (98 degrees) with 5 or more kids hanging off of you but you just don’t care.  They are all that matters in that tiny spot of the world. 

Monday afternoon we head to Pastor Dony’s church for another round of VBS with the village children.  We were told to expect about 50 but we had close to 100 children every night.  We did VBS, then again, simply played and loved on kids.

One of the highlights for me was getting to see Dou Dou’s house that is under construction.  His lovely wife was there so the bonus was getting to meet her also.  Long Hollow… he is so proud of that house.  Our money is making a wonderful investment in his family’s future.  We also got to see the chicken houses.  This meant so much to me because I host Treehouse and I watched as the kids from Long Hollow gave their money to buy these chickens.  How great it was to go back and show them pictures of what their generous offerings were doing!

The last day – oh the last day – imagine someone tearing your heart from your chest and stomping on it, then throwing it around.  One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was board the bus and drive off.  I hung out the window as they called “Will you come back?”  Without hesitation I replied “YES!  I will come back.

me our group

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Haiti Medical Trip Update

Our mission trip started with a true adventure as we boarded some very small (2-3) seater planes to make the trip to Jeremie from Port au Prince.  All of us were quite relieved to arrive safely at the guesthouse.  On Sunday we went to church and spent time at the orphanage before returning to prepare for evening clinic.  Monday and Tuesday we held community clinic in the mornings and did orphan care and vaccinations in the afternoon.  Thank goodness the kids forgive us quickly for all the “pikis” (shots) they receive.  We met and cared for several new orphans as well.  Several team members have also run a VBS in the afternoons.   Today (Wednesday) we ran community clinic all day.  In total, we have seen over 400 people in the community as well as all of the orphans.  We ended our vbs with the orphans and some of the team singing and praying for brother David as he goes into surgery.  We are excited to be running medical clinics off-site for the next 2 days in downtown Jeremie and another local community.  We have many stories of Gods love and provision to share when time and computer access allow.  But for now, know that God is showing up big time for Team Hope here in Haiti.



CR- Haiti Edition

Haitian Ministry With a Slightly Different Twist: By Henry Bieber

In July of 2012, Alan Tucker, Danny Spano and I joined a team heading to Haiti. We looked forward to loving on the children and encouraging the work there at the orphanages, but God had also laid on our hearts a different vision for the people of Haiti. Building on relationships that our church already had, our desire was to begin the process of talking with pastors of churches,, about the ministry of Celebrate Recovery.

So, we left for Haiti, bearing our suitcases filled with leader’s guides and participant guides and excited about the possibilities of carrying the message of the Gospel through the vehicle of CR and the eight principles that come right out of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. God blessed our times spent with Pastor Moise Vaval and Pastor Doni St. Germaine. We had some great conversations with them and they were excited about helping their communities with hurts, habits and hang-ups. We left our materials with them, instructing them to work the program with some of their members and letting them know we would return and offer some more training when they had familiarized themselves with CR.

Fast forward: 6 months later. We returned to Haiti with a team of our CR leadership and offered 3 training sessions for 25-28 people over the course of 4 days. What an exciting time we had, sharing our experience in CR and how God was using it here at home and sharing the vision of what this tool of recovery could mean to the people of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Source de la Grace Church! God also allowed us the opportunity to preach in 2 services about the 8 Principles from the Beatitudes, so the entire church could get a glimpse of the vision.

We left encouraged that they were catching the vision of how this could be used to introduce people to the message of the Gospel and help people recover from their hurts, habits and hang-ups. It was a humbling, encouraging experience for our team to be able to see God use them to “carry this message others” especially to the people of Haiti. Please pray that God would raise up leaders in this ministry that have a heart for hurting people and patience and compassion.

The Rescue

Easter is coming.

This is a big day for those of us who claim Jesus as savior. It’s the day when we celebrate sacrifice, glory, salvation and grace.

This year our church has added a very special element to our Easter celebration. The Rescue.

The Rescue encompasses everything that Easter represents. The Rescue is our way of responding to the Grace we have been shown through the death and resurrection of Christ. The Rescue boldly proclaims that without Christ we have nothing. We have been rescued from our sin and we can only respond in obedience; sharing the news of Jesus Christ… reaching those who are enslaved or persecuted and protecting the most innocent and vulnerable people in our world.


God loves them. His heart breaks for them.

As should ours.

I pray that as a church we show up in big ways this Easter. I pray that we can take a stand against the wicked acts of the world. When you prepare your heart for giving this Easter weekend please remember that your gift, your act of worship, will extend far beyond the walls of this church.

The Rescue offering includes the following initiatives:

The Home for Orphan infants and preschoolers in Uganda

Disaster Relief equipment for local outreach

Tin Roofs in Haiti

A home for our ministry partner in Haiti

Unreached People Groups in North Africa

Sustainable revenue and nutrition projects in Haiti

A second Hendersonville Campus

Daily food and care for orphan children in Uganda and Haiti

The fight against Sex Slavery in Asia/India

Education/University in Haiti

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Final thoughts: Men’s February Construction Trip

Blog Post by: David Aust (first mission trip to Haiti)

So how do you process and come to terms with a construction trip to Haiti? I still can’t answer! This being my first trip to Haiti, I tried to not have too many preconceived ideas of what to expect. However, I could never have been more amazed and overwhelmed at all that God is doing and the many ways He is accomplishing his plan.
By nature and design, I am a task oriented person. So when this trip’s purpose and plan was to build bathroom petitions and wire a building, I felt that this was an opportunity that I could be used in a way to serve others. The part of spending time at the orphanage and loving on the kids sounded great but honestly was outside my comfort zone. Little did I know, this was the part of the trip that God wanted me to see and experience. I am still overwhelmed at the love and joy the kids have, show and give. I often say that english is a foreign language to me but it is still hard for me to comprehend that even though I can’t speak their language we can sit for hours and never need a word. The smiles and expressions say it all.

IMG-20130214-00248    The phrase ” they have nothing” when talking about the orphans may be accurate of their earthly possessions, but seeing the joy of Jesus in their hearts and smiles convicts me of how little I trust and depend Jesus. I realize that they have more wealth and riches than I because they have a clear understanding that Jesus is all we need.
Yes, we stayed on tasked and accomplished all that we set out to do and much more from a construction point of view. But this trip for me was much more about seeing and realizing that Jesus is all I need. Seeing a group of guys and orphans all drawn together under the name of Jesus changed my world.


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Progress.  It can be measured in so many ways.  Grades on a report card, inches on a growth chart, completion of a building project.  Yet so often, as we look for outward physical progress, we miss the real progress, what God is doing.  I am glad we didn’t miss that this week.

Our construction team of 17 men came to Haiti with 2 specific objectives.  We were to wire the ESMI university building for power and lights and we were to build dividers and shelves in the bathrooms there and at the School of Joy next door (ESMI’s secondary school).  We came with goals to make progress-to complete these projects in the week we had.  But along the way we saw progress in many other areas.

Those of us that have been a few times saw the continued progress the orphans are making in Jeremie.  They are a little better behaved each trip, less whiny and needy, more content to just spend time with you.  But this trip we saw an even bigger step taken.  About 20 of the older kids were leaving for camp on Sunday and at the end of their 2 day camp they were going to go out into the towns sharing their testimonies and sharing Christ.  All of this was occurring during Carnival, a 3 day celebration of partying and voodoo rituals.  What an awesome opportunity for these kids not only to learn about Christ, but also to share their faith and spread the Gospel in such a dark place.  Progress.

As our team got into the work, it was clear that God was making progress among our team.  It was a team of 17 guys with widely different backgrounds and experiences, some very skilled, others unskilled (like me).  God blended us into a unified and well oiled machine, completing work well ahead of schedule.  We were able to take on additional projects, including lighting the School of Joy and building shelves for each of the mamas at the orphanage.  God’s hand guiding and helping us is the only explanation for such speed and efficiency.  Progress.



 As we were making progress on the work, God was making progress in each of us too.  We had some amazing group times as men shared how God was breaking their hearts through interaction with the kids at the orphanage.  Men shared how God was opening their eyes to real needs as they interacted with local kids and young men while working around the university.  Although it was a construction team-men only, there were still quite a few tears shed.  Progress.

As tasks were completed and jobs finished, I’m thankful we got to see and understand the real progress.  When the lights came on in the university for the first time, eyes got big and smiles appeared on the faces of the local helpers.  It was about much more than electricity and bathroom dividers.  When we installed the first set of shelves for one of the mama’s at the orphanage, she dragged us back inside and gestured to the ceiling saying ‘Bondye beni ou, Bondye beni ou!  mesi! mesi!’ (God bless you, God bless you! Thank you! Thank you!).  It was about much more than shelves.  It was about serving the mamas who so unselfishly serve and love on orphans every day, teaching them about Jesus.  It was about providing a functional university and school where young people can learn and have a future.  Most importantly, a place where young people can learn about Jesus and have a future in Heaven.  Now that’s real progress.



Thank you God for your progress in us and for using us to be a part of the progress You are making in others!

Blog Post by: Mike Morris

If you are interested in serving on a Construction trip to Jeremie Haiti please contact us! We are currently recruiting for our July 12-20th Trip! Click here for more details.

Haiti Men’s Trip Update


The men’s February Haiti team has been very busy this week! Check out this update from the team and keep praying for them as they finish out the week!

 ”Much progress so far!  We believe all work will be complete by mid afternoon on Wednesday.

Administrative building has lights and outlets in every room.

All bathrooms in the admin building and the school of Joy are complete.

We also put lights in the lower portion of the school of Joy. (Would have done the 2nd floor but we and the local supplier are now out of wire).

We built 17 sets of shelves and every mama has one in her room now.

We also built the kids some stools and small steps out of the scrap wood.

Finally, We built 2 sets of shutters for Pastor Dony’s office.”



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