Singing at the Hands and Feet Children’s Home in Haiti

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This video is of Brisso, one of the Haitian staff members of the Calvary Chapel Haiti Initiative, leading songs with the children at the Hands and Feet Project children’s home – the ministry of the Christian band Audio Adrenaline – in Jacmel, Haiti. Brisso has worked as a translator for CCHI since the initiative started. At 21 years old, he is an example of the great hope of a generation of young Haitian men devoted to living as a true disciple of Jesus. His heart is tender-minded and his gifts are tremendous with children’s ministry but also with leading worship and sharing the Gospel in message.  In fact, during a visit to the Sisters of Charity orphanage, who care for the poorest of the poor children, Brisso was brought to tears seeing the condition of some of the children. But through his commitment to follow the Lord, there is hope that others like him will rise to lead Haiti – at least in the Jacmel area – in the way of Christian love and service.

Please pray for Brisso. Pray that he continues to follow the Lord with discipline and passion. Pray that other Christian men continue to invest in edifying him. Pray that the Lord continues to provide him with opportunities to share the gospel. Pray that those with whom he interacts will see Christ in him.

If you feed them, they will come…

From James…

Since our arrival, we’ve all known that today was mountain village day.  Though unsure of the plans, we’ve learned by now that blessed are the flexible, which was no truer than today.  Our typical mode of transportation has been the back of pick-up trucks.  Today, however, we loaded into the back of a flat-bed truck and bumped our way through busy streets, trash heaps, and flowing creeks.  The first two we have been accustomed to but the creeks were new.  So new, that we got stuck!  20 people in the back of a flat-bed truck sitting in the middle of a creek with water nearly covering the tires was a real test of our flexibility.  So we prayed…and prayed…and prayed.  We had a German brother who specializes in automotive repair who was able to get the engine cranking and the tires moving.  You would have thought the Lord was returning by the way we rejoiced.

When we arrived in the mountain village we immediately knew it was different than the other towns we’ve been to.  The houses were spaced further apart and there seemed to be fewer people.  Man were we wrong.  Once they saw the truckload of people unload at the church with food and soccer balls, they started to gather….and gather….and gather.  Even while we taught children’s lessons, face painted, and played games, kids and adults continued to gather.  By the time food was served, nearly 300 people had crammed into the tiny church.  300 people!  At one point I asked the approximate value of the meals and based on my 6th grade Math teacher calculations, we were able to feed the hottest meal of the week (for some of them) for $300.  In essence the Lord provided the children of the mountain village a meal for $1 per person.  We were all humbled by the simple power of the Lord manifesting himself among the people.

So, what did I glean from today?  Blessed are the flexible for they shall find patience with the Lord.  The people we encountered today were hungry and we gave them something to eat–even the ungrateful ones who complained for more or simply took more than their share–because God sent us to do so.  The situation with the truck was just a literal “bump” in our road.  Not necessarily a test but not necessarily something to overlook.  If nothing else it was an opportunity for God to be magnified.  Why was the man born blind?  So that the Son of Man could be exalted.  And Christ was exalted today.

Lessons on Marriage from the Mission Field

From Pat…

It’s hard to believe but our last full day being in Haiti is almost here. In so many ways, I personally, have such mixed emotions about it. On one end, I long to remain here as this island, as most of you know, has such a significant impact on my life. Like I’ve said in a previous post on this blog, the D.R. and Haiti are like a second home to me. But nothing compares to what really is my true “home” – my family. So while I look forward to getting out tomorrow and visiting the orphans tomorrow, a huge part of me is also excited that I’m one day closer to seeing Jenni (and my kids of course). But I miss my bride.  She’s been on my mind a lot today actually (olive juice). Two of the team members who are on our trip this year are engaged and throughout the trip I (and a couple of the other married guys) have had a sweet time just investing some great conversations about being in Godly relationships…especially in an engagement.

I wasn’t sure how this trip was going to be with an engaged couple on it (they got engaged two weeks before we left for Haiti), but I think in many ways it has proven to be a tremendous blessing for them. In Haiti, we get dirty, smelly, sweaty and really see the “real” aspects of one another. That especially occurs in the trucks on our way to and from our various ministry sites, when we’re all riding in the back of the pickups traveling on extremely bumpy, dirt roads. We end up having to grasp each other to keep our balance.  And usually by the end of our hot days, we end up not smelling very pleasant on the return trip back to the mission house. And then at the end of the night, when we’re all exhausted from serving all day, we typically have some pretty intense and emotional devotions, which can lead to wonderful, in-depth conversations, Needless to say, we have gotten to know each other really well. So, in many, many ways, the trip has probably served as a great blessing for Christian and Heather to prepare them for their future marriage. We are all definitely praying for them throughout their engagement and are excited to see the Lord prepare the way for His presence to be upon their future family together.

But with all the conversation on marriage, like I said earlier, it made me think of Jenni, my wife. And not to get too mushy, but (okay…shoot…didn’t want to cry)…I’m so blessed. While we have had our fair share of struggles in our marriage, there is nothing I’d want more for a life partner. I hate not being with her. I hate not experiencing all the moments of serving alongside of her, especially here in Haiti…a place that has such significance also to her. I want her to share in my memories and be a part of them. That’s why I can’t wait to get back to her…my forever home. It’s going to be hard because I know that she will struggle with really being able to share in my joy of my experiences here. And at the same time I too will struggle with understanding exactly her week being back in Chattanooga with the kids.

When thinking of this spiritually, it even makes it more significant.  If I feel this way about Jenni, my earthly bride, it’s such an amazing joy to know that our Lord loves us so much more deeply, for we are his bridegroom. Just as Paul explained to the Roman church…

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.

I’m sure the Lord is sad when He sees his Bride separated from Him, because of our sins. But it’s in such joy that we also get to fully know that our failings, transgressions and complacency can’t get in the way of His love for us. It is just a great reminder of how we too should feel about our own wives (or husbands for you wives reading this).  He longs for us to be in His presence always.

I can’t wait to see her. It’s going to be a sweet coming home to be in her presence…because in all honestly, I’m just a better man when I’m with her. Thank the Lord He placed her in my life. I’m not sure I’d be sitting here writing a blog while on a mission trip in Haiti or pursuing the full time mission field if it weren’t for her Godly example, her encouragement and the ways our time together helps me to grow spiritually.

Can’t wait to see you soon Jenni. I love you.

Movie Ministry, Everything and an Amazing Response

Today was another great day of physical worship (workship) for the Lord, as once again, we had three teams head out in different directions. The construction boys headed back to the Calvary Chapel Haiti Initiative property to hang more barbed wire and to take and set up some bunkbeds at a children’s home run by a woman from Holland (Lia). Another team spent the entire day visiting orphans at a few different orphanages (simply loved on them and they even had the opportunity to feed and give drinks to the neediest of the orphans. And the medical team visited other orphanages/ministries where they gave medications out to those who needed them long before today.

Most likely the most memorable moment of today though was tonight’s evening outreach on a side street in downtown Jacmel, just down the road from where a few preceding teams helped to renovate a school.  The CCHI staff set up a large portable movie screen and then showed the movie titled God Man all in Creole which illustrated the Gospel in a very unique yet direct way. Immediately following our Calvary Chatt team performed the “Everything Skit” (which I fully got on video…will post when I return).  They were awesome and the onlookers responded in a wonderful way. And the best part of the night came after Pastor Zamore (a pastor of one of CCHI’s partnering Haitian churches) asked if anyone wanted to commit their lives to Jesus. To the surprise of even the staff, as many as 30 came forward…the most they had ever seen respond to the Lord after one of their movie ministry nights. Praise the Lord.

Anyway, tomorrow the entire team (all 33 of us) head out to a mountain village called “City of Lights” where we’re doing a full-day evangelical ministry outreach to youth and adults. It’ll be a good break from construction.

A quick update tonight as we got in a bit late, but all is great here in Haiti. Thanks again for your prayers. We can’t wait to also hear how the Lord is reaching you all throughout the week as well.

So for now…bon nuit.

Pat

Fire Ants and Sun Burns. Lessons on Being a Bondservant of Jesus.

From Pat…

It’s bed time so this will be a somewhat brief update. Today, my day was spent at the CCHI property doing construction work. To put it more bluntly, Andrew, myself ,two of the German team members, and the Haitian property caretaker/watchman (his named is Tito)  spent most of the day digging ditches with pick axes and shovels to lay some new ground electrical wire. That sounds simple enough although throw in the intense heat in the Haitian sun and an all day battle with some fire ants and it made it a pretty trying adventure. But as Andrew and I were talking we agreed that the work gave us an amazing perspective on what the Haitian people do everyday. This is their reality each day.

In fact, I had a conversation with one of the CCHI staff members (Sam) about Tito, who lives inside the fenced in compound. I asked him where Tito sleeps and Sam simply pointed to the ground. And then he said, “Well he sleeps either there or sometimes we find him sleeping in the freezer that we haven’t hooked up yet.”  WHAT?! That is unbelievable. Here I was complaining about the fire ants and sun and this man sleeps on the same ground that we had been toiling on all day. I then asked Sam on average what Tito makes for his service to CCHI. His answer…$30 per WEEK. Yes, per week.  And you have to meet Tito to really appreciate this. This simple man (in his 30’s but looks like he is in his 40’s because of how the sun, work and lack of nourishment have taken a toll on his health) never ceases to smile and is the first to join in on the labor. I have no right to complain. Not anymore. Not when I see someone like Tito. And the Lord, through Tito and the work I endured today, supplied me with another great perspective.

We are called saints throughout the Bible. And when we hear that word it can come across as haughty and glorifying in many ways. But also throughout the Bible, we are also told that disciples of Christ are to follow Him…follow His Way. What’s “The Way” of Christ? To place ourselves low and to serve others so that those around can witness Christ living and working through us. We’re called to be, what Paul addresses in all of his letters, the bondservants of Jesus. To be bound in obedient service to the Lord. And if that service means to dig ditches in 95 degree sunlit weather with fire ants…well, then “pick up the cross and follow me.” Do it for the glory of the Father. That sounds crazy. But you know what? I think I’ve learned more from service working arm in arm with Tito than I ever have by sitting around in my office at work.  My service also may be a part of a much bigger plan that the Lord is also using to bless the lives of others. At least I certainly hope so. I hope that through our work for His sake, the Haitian people will have a place that they can visit to be filled physically, mentally and most importantly spiritually. And that in itself is worth every ant bite, every sunburn and dehydrating dizzy spell. Ultimately, He is using our obedience to bless His children whom He loves beyond our wildest thoughts.  Praise the Lord.

On other news, many may be wondering if we have witnessed any crazy events from announcement of the Haitian presidential election results tonight. Nothing happened throughout the day, but tonight while we were cleaning up our dinner and getting ready to meet up for our evening devotion we heard some cheering and gun shots in the distance, so we figured the announcement was finally made and that at least some group of people were celebrating. Needless to say, we still don’t know who won (although I’m going to check online as soon as I’m done writing this) and we are so far away from any events happening in the streets (if there are any). We definitely are interested to see if the results will have any effect on our plans for tomorrow. But we’re not worried. We’re just moving forward in our service.  Although, the wife of the coordinator of the CCHI flew back into Haiti today from the U.S. after visiting her mom. On her plane to Haiti she sat next to Wyclef Jean, who she said was extremely nice, and although he didn’t agree with all of the Christian messages, he truly appreciated the work that CCHI (and the visiting churches) have done to transform and lift up Jacmel.  (She had photos of herself with him too) Of course, directly in front of her sat Sean Penn, who she said wasn’t as pleasant. But is anyone surprised to hear that?

As the director of the orphanage here in Haiti where we adopted Gabe and Addie likes to say… “And life in Haiti goes on…”  Yep, it sure does. And tomorrow more work will be done in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by far will have the largest impact on this nation.

Amen to that!   Bon nuit tout moun. Pa nou pita. (Good night everyone. See ya later.)

PS – Jenni, Gabe, Addie and Ash…I can’t wait to be serving full time in a similar capacity with you. I couldn’t think of a more amazing way to share family memories than to work in the service of the Lord alongside those who I love the most. I long for that day to be here soon so you too can share in the experience (even if we have to endure the long work as a bondservant in His name). Until I see you…Mwe rinmin ou.

PPS: Sorry, I guess this wasn’t so short.

PPPS: Be sure to comment on the blogs. Our team loves reading them each night.

Shoes and Food

FROM JAMES

On what I thought was a fluke, I ended up being the only male who traveled to the schools and orphanages today.  It turned out to be blessing from our Father.

The differences in the students we visited was vast.  At the first school the children gathered in an outdoor classroom (out of necessity, not preference) and were neatly dressed, prepared, and well behaved.  Though a few were distracted from the lesson, most were attentive and responsive.  It was obvious they had been well-trained in the ways of education.  The lesson was on peace and Sam, as always, spoke with power.  We concluded with the children composing a letter to Jesus thanking him for the peace he had given them.

The second school, which doubled as an orphanage, came with a forewarning from Sam that these children were 100% more misbehaved.  He didn’t exaggerate.  There was no obvious teacher, the children were more sickly, and definitely more interested in “le blancs” (white people).  He warned us not to allow the children to sit in our laps because all children would desire to do so and more chaos would erupt.  The children were so unruly that Sam decided to skip the lesson and go straight to the letter.  The teacher in me was instantly frustrated with their behavior–messy, disobedient, and disorganized.  But in the midst of all this chaos, God revealed his heart.

These children needed love.  They didn’t need rules, order, and a lesson.  Their hearts weren’t ready for it.  They needed a hug, a smile, and to laugh when the bearded man fell down during Ring Around the Rosies.  They needed adults who allowed them to braid hair, look at digital cameras, and teach them new games.  They needed love.  And Christ said whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me.  As challenging as it may have been, we were loving Christ.

Which brings us to the next event.  Some how Sam gathered a group of children at a local church.  Word spreads quickly around here but at the beginning only 10 to 15 kids were present. Since Sam had been feeling a bit fatigued, I volunteered to teach the lesson.  It could not have been better timing.  After a quick briefing on the topic I began his lesson on peace.  Not being sure of how certain questions would be received, I opted for more open-ended questions.  Using Matthew 6 as a reference, I asked the kids about some of their worries.  At first they gave typical kid answers: making bad grades, getting disciplined by parents, etc.  But what broke my heart was when they provided more revealing responses: shoes, lack of food, being hungry.

By this time more kids had filtered in, almost doubling the attendance, and I was able to share with them some powerful truths.   If they look at the birds that fly, the beauty of the ocean, and the fruit of the trees, they see the love of God.  But even greater than this, God made them beautiful. God made them in His image.  If He takes care of the animals and trees, how much more will He take care of them.  Not only are they beautiful, but God wants them to trust Him for everything.  Everything.

Earlier I said that teaching this lesson could not have been better timing.  I’ve been struggling with some fears during this trip.  Fears related to safety.  I have never valued safety in a way that hinders me from taking risks yet, recently, I have found myself being hindered, or restricted, by my fears.  Fears to speak.  Fears to move forward. Fears to hug sniffling kids.  Fears to obey the command of Jesus to “Follow Me.”  I intellectualize my fears and justify my resistance. Yet, Jesus says, How much more will I take care of you.  Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.  Follow Me and you will have no reason to fear.  Sam was quick to bring up to me that the very lesson I taught was the very truth I needed to hear.

Please continue praying for our team.  Please pray that God would save us out of all our troubles, or restrictions related to fear that keep us from obeying (Ps. 34:6).  And please, please continue writing comments.  We read them as a group at night and celebrate when one of us receives a comment from a loved one.

BON NUIT!

P.S. I love you, Tracy.  We’ve been praying that Lucy sleeps better.  All the kids loved the video of her eating the tomato.

A Day of Worship and Ministering to a German

From Pat…

Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin has left a crimson stain
He washed it white snow.

How appropriate that tonight we joined for our evening devotion and sung “Jesus Paid it All” and when the devotion was over everyone didn’t want to stop, so we just kept singing more and more praise songs. It was a perfect moment when as one unified group we couldn’t resist the opportunity to respond to the Lord in worship. All of this came after a sweet day, starting with a long Creole church service (two teams at different churches) and then an afternoon at the beach, where three of our team members from Calvary Chapel Chattanooga were baptized among onlooking Haitians scattered around the shore.  I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a significant moment for Hallie, Rob and Bebe.

We also enjoyed some time looking over some slides showing the progress that the Lord has accomplished through the teams serving at the Calvary Chapel Haiti Initiative. It’s such a powerful testament to the unified Body coming together for His glory in the strengthening of the people of Haiti. We’re thrilled to once again be a small part of being His hands and feet.  And when we wake up tomorrow morning (most likely around 6am) we will get started on the work He has laid out for us, beginning with some construction projects at the CCHI property and visits to a couple orphanages.  Later in the week we will have the chance to visit with the ministry of the Hands and Feet Project (which is the Haitian ministry of Audio Adrenaline) and then a village evangelical program in a remote mountain village on Wednesday. We can’t wait to share about those moments.

For those on Facebook and are friends, I’ve been trying to upload a couple photos. I hope they give you a brief snapshot on what we’ve experienced. I look forward to sharing more photos in days to come.

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From Andrew…

As we find ourselves a few days into this amazing adventure, I wanted to share a couple thoughts God has placed on my heart as well as ask for your prayers in a specific work he is doing here.   As we began the process of gelling as one group yesterday (our house is filled with not only CC Chattanooga folks, but also others from CC Corona and CC Germany!) we discovered a sweet kingdom opportunity.  One of our German teammates (Michael) does not know The Lord and has basically come on a dare.  Through some open conversations with James Morrison and myself we quickly discovered that God is REALLY putting him in a place in life to encounter the perfect and unfailing Love of Christ.

So this morning, as Michael and I sat together through an “all out” Creole worship service (my own coined term!) he turned to me and mentioned that he had not seen true praise to The Father before.  There was no concern for a building or processes, but just praise.  I responded simply that God is on His Thrown, and we can’t help but respond when in His presence.  Later Pastor Dave shared from Jeremiah and Romans about the Hope and Future God has for us.  Sitting there, with tearing in my eyes, I was overwhelmed to know that the very things Michael has been seeking out were being spoken of at the very moment.

Later James literally stood in the ocean and talked to him about the gospel for an hour, sharing the one and true good news.  I don’t know where these conversations will lead and I don’t know how God plans on using our team in Michael’s life.  I do know this though, today truly was a “day of worship”.  Not because we sang songs (and still are!) but because lives were surrendered to Him (Hallie, Rob, BB), the Gospel was shared and hearts were willing to live all out for the sake of The Kingdom.

I will close with this simple request, be praying for Michael.  We never thought that 30 people from two states and two countries would spend days traveling to Haiti to evangelize to a brother from Germany (we do still plan on working with the Haitians still, don’t worry!).  But here we are, so ask that we will be obedient in being used by God.  Pray for patience, but boldness.   Pray for our words and actions.  May they simply demonstrate more of HIM and less of us.

P.S.  Robin, Wade and Chloe, know that I love you much and miss you so.  Thank you for your willingness to interrupt your lives so that I can be put in this place to truly surrender myself to The Lord here in Haiti.  I am honored to be your husband and father and am carrying the love you have for me, and for The Father, to each person I encounter here.

Love,  Andrew (Daddy)

Holy Heat

From Heather…(& Christian)

Holy HEAT!!

I’m sure when we get back to the states we will be less excited about Summer haha. Heat or no heat, Haiti is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen 🙂 There is such a sweet spirit circulating in the CCHI house, among the team members, and even more in the relationships between us and the Haitian people.  Lynda, the daughter of the grounds keeper here at CCHI has made missing my brothers a little more bearable. She is equally as rambunctious and sassy as the four of them! She is a sweet 11 year old, hair-braider, and winner-of-all-games. I still can’t figure out how she ended up with all the Aces and Kings in our card game.  Today we got to go on our first outreach to a “Kid’s Club”. They sang This is the Day, and Papa Abraham. They love bubbles! And balloons 🙂 We road in the back of a pickup for 45 minutes! It was a bumpy ride, but it was by far the best way to experience all that Haiti had to offer physically. Not only that, but we were able to go through the marketplace. I feel certain that every motor vehicle is equipped with a horn… There is so much going on! All I could do was sit and take it all in. The horns, the women carrying tubs on their heads, the precious children running around, and the greenery that surrounds it all. All that comes to mind is the old hymn, How Beautiful Heaven Must Be 🙂 It is truly beautiful.

We are loving spending time with the other groups that came in to serve. There is a group from Calvary Chapel, Corona (CA), and Calvary Chapel from a German city I probably can’t pronounce 🙂 They are all so fun and easy going. We can’t wait to get to know them better! Some of the team members are leading the devotionals… Everyone so far has done such a great job. God is continually moving and using us not only as a blessing to the people of Haiti, but to each other. Pray for Christian and I… We will be leading the morning devotional on Wednesday. I might have forced him into that one. Ha!

On a personal note… Momma, I know you’re reading this! We love and miss you guys. So so much. I keep thinking how much you would love to be here! The Florida beaches just don’t compare! Squeeze dad’s neck for me… and give the boys a kiss from us. Tell Adam hello, we love him, and thanks for everything. We will talk to you soon!

Mom & Charlie, thanks for praying for us and supporting us as we prepared to come out! Charlie you would love the country. It’s mountainous, has beaches, AND there is lots of handyman work to be done. Mom, the kids are so precious! I played with them all day. Soccer, push-ups (of course I had to show them who’s boss), and this new game with wheel and a rod. The would tug at your heart. Tell Shelly and the brothers hello. I miss ’em! Dad and Rachelle, Heather is taking pictures to show you guys. Dad we could really use your musical talent in our group. Only Pat has any kind of talent; he can play guitar, and he sings! Next time we’re tagging you along. Rachelle, the food is SO good. And way spicy! We might weigh the plane down on the way back haha. We wish you guys were here. The church is going again soon… You guys should consider it! Love you all.

 

PS: James wants to give a shout out to Tracy! Miss and love you!

We Made It and Blown Away

Blog, Haiti, Hispaniola, Pat No Comments

From Pat…

We Made It…

After a little late start (3:30 a.m.) and three flights (ATL to Miami, Miami to Port au Prince, and a small propeller plane from PAP to Jacmel, we finally made it to the Calvary Chapel Haiti Initiative team house around 4:45 (3:45 p.m. Haiti time, which is currently on U.S. Central Time). It’s a sweet feeling to be back in Haiti, smelling the salty, sweet (and hot) air, seeing the “mountains beyond mountains” and hearing the sounds of busy life and Creole. Ahhhh…it’s almost like home, minus my family. Jenni, Gabe, Addie, and Asher (and Oscar and Hoosier), I miss you guys so much, and if you were here it would be a total feeling of being “home.”

Tonight we got our orientation on the plans for the week and the rules of the mission house and then finally scarfed down a plate full of amazing Haitian spaghetti. Caitlyn Delaney, you’d be happy to hear that I’ve already taught a few others how to play Euchre.  We’re the only team here tonight but our group of 10 will jump to 28 tomorrow as we will be joined by a group from Calvary Chapel Corona (CA) and a Calvary Chapel team from Hamburg, Germany (a church plant doing a missions trip…how awesome is that?!). So we’ve taken advantage of the short lived space before the house gets a little cramped (28 people, 2 bathrooms and floor space for beds).

One prayer request. Malaria is worse around here this year. We have bed nets and bug spray to wear each day, but a good dose of prayers for protection would also be great.

We also got our plans for the week. Some construction projects (electrical, barb wire etc.) at the CCHI property by the airport. Some children’s ministries in a few of the villages and schools. Visiting several orphanages. And an evangelical day in a more remote mountain village. All of this is 90 degree weather (which I know sounds nice to many of you reading this from your colder climates…but trust me, it’s sticky and sweaty hot).  We are also going to a few Haitian church services on Sunday and then following it up with a team trip to the Haitian beach, where a few of our local team members have asked me to baptize them (AWESOME).

We’re just happy to be here. And after a pretty sweet devotion tonight, we’re all very much looking forward to crashing hard for the night. Be on the lookout for tomorrow’s update from a few of the other team members.

And one last thing, our entire team wanted to give a shout out to our other team member who couldn’t make it on the trip. CLAY, we miss you buddy and had some great time praying for you. You definitely will be on our hearts throughout the week.

Until tomorrow, Bondye beni ou (God bless you),

– Pat –

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From Rachelle…

Blown away – That is what I have been feeling since Sunday when God began taking me on this journey of coming back to the place where i left my heart last summer! it is truly an act of God and a gift that He allowed me to come along… He literally took the desire of my heart and expedited it!! His peace followed me along the way… His word has filled my Spirit …. and His faithfulness is … as always… constant! on our way here He continued to blow me away by giving me this…

“… if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness… ” Isaiah 58.10

Haiti is hungry… Haiti is afflicted… we have the Light to shine in this dark country… Praise you Jesus for speaking thru your Word. Thank you Jesus for being the Light we have to show to the beautiful Haitian country and its people..

… On a personal note… mom and dad i love you dearly, please trust me with God as i’m in His will… we are here safe! and i’m so thankful and joyful for it… Tiff… thank you for being a friend like none other – I LOWE YOU! (and please email the blog link to mom and dad at sprankel@volstate.net — THANKS! 🙂 ) Becca… its different w/o you here! Annika and Walker i love you much!!! Sassy and Fiesty – i know you miss me!!! how could you not! 🙂 Aunt Mertie – thanks for being a great support and prayer warrior. Please tell Gr’ma we are here and i love her! Shea/Shannon … your blessing to me is beyond anything i could have imagined!!!! you guys rock!!! Pam thanks for reminding pat how much i wanted to come back! i love you! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support!!! love to you all!!!!

~Rachelle~

2011 Calvary Chatt Haiti Team Intro

Whether you already follow our blog at www.respondinternational.org or you have come here for the first time, thank you for your interest in learning more about our upcoming short term missions trip to Jacmel, Haiti (April 1-8). Our group of ten, being sent out from Calvary Chapel Chattanooga, will be utilizing this blog to relay our thoughts, interactions, insights, experiences and prayers throughout our trip.  If we are able to get internet connection ,we are planning on updating the blog each night, so please be sure to come back and visit (all posts related to the team trip will be under our “Haiti” category on the blog, but of course feel free to also view our other posts).  Although my name (Pat) will be posted as the blog author, I’m hoping to allow some of the others to relay their perspective and thoughts (we’ll be sure to include their name on the blog posts). Please share the posts with others and respond in the comments feed. We would love to know that you’re following the work the Lord has called us to do for His sake.  Read More…