St. Andrew United Methodist Church
Friday, November 17, 2017
Open Minds. Open Hearts. Open Doors.
 
Haiti Mission Trip September 2013
 
Carol Haisten went with the North American Haiti Partnership mission team Thursday, Jan. 17th, 2013.
The post come for different people on the team. As you follow these post, please keep them in your
prayers as well as the rest of the Team Members.
 
9/21/13 - Day 1
Everyone,
 
The team has arrived in Haiti safely with their luggage.  They have checked in to the hotel and are getting settled.
 
Praise God for a safe arrival.
 
Bekah Hamrick
 

9/22/13 - Day 2
Everyone,
 
The below was posted on Sixes UMC website last night.  In case you aren't checking that site, I will visit it each day and send to you what they post in addition to what I hear directly from the team.  
Having been to Haiti, I can tell you that it is heartbreaking to drive and walk through the tent cities and see the extreme poverty these beautiful people experience every day.  It will also be very difficult for them during the medical clinics - it can be very hard to see.  Please continue to pray for them.
Thank you.
Bekah
Greetings from Haiti! We arrived safely. On the flight, we weren't"t all together. Catherine was sitting between two missionaries, and I ended up sitting next to a Haitian man who now lives in Nashville. We had a great conversation and I had him read over my sermon (tomorrow I am preaching at a church in the capital city.) We are all looking forward to an amazing week! From the airport, we drove through the most heartbreaking poverty we have ever experienced. People living in dilapidated tent cities.  At the airport, customs seemed concerned that we had trunks full of medicine (part of our time is devoted to medical missions, helping locals with a variety of medical issues.) Tomorrow we will worship with the locals (I am preaching, but will have a translator - they speak Creole.  We welcome your prayers and miss you all. We will send another update tomorrow - it will be a busy but awesome day! 
Joe
 
9/23/13 - Day 3
Everyone,
 
I have 2 updates to send in one email.  Charles Chase sent the email below for me to forward along (there's a possibility he sent this to all of you as well so forgive me if you've received his email twice).  
I also have pasted below the note put on the Sixes UMC website tonight.  
Thank you as always for your prayers.
Bekah (for the team)
Good Sunday!  We all had an amazing day - The Lord did some pretty amazing things! This is an amazing and fun team and we are having a great time together.  We had powerful worship thanks to our Haitian host church. Afterwards, we set up for a medical clinic. The poverty of the people will break your heart. But the children possess such a sweet joy - they have almost nothing, and yet took so much delight in the balloons we gave them! Tomorrow will be another action-packed day! We pray for our families back home  - we are doing well. 
 

 9/24/13 - Day 4
Everyone,
 
Today's update is forwarded from Charles below.  The attached photos were taken at the medical clinic at Pastor Clerzius' church.  
 
Thank you for praying for the team.
Bekah
 
Download image.jpg (139.4 KB)   Download image1.jpg (143.7 KB)
 
Greetings from Haiti:

It was another hot, dry and dusty day-but God's grace and love showered us in awe for these amazing Haitians!

We had dual projects going today. John Seufert, Bill Pierce, Tyler Walton and Charles Chase all went with Pastor Jean Baptiste to Onesville to the site of His church. He has been holding service on Sundays for a few hours (Pastor Joe-don't get any ideas here) in his suit out in the scorching sun each week, and his hope was to get a temporary shelter/tent structure to give them some shade.  Instead, the 4 architects (in training) laid out a great 27x36 shelter, priced it out and bought materials for the structure. The locals immediately started the structure and the hope is to have it ready in time for the medical clinic on Wednesday.  A big undertaking but a much needed structure for the approx 150+ coming to church there already. 

Doc led the rest of the group through a medical and optical clinic at Pastor Clerzius' church.  The medical/pharmacy group saw over 100 patients and the optical group fitted over 40 pair of glasses- but that wasn't the best part- these praying missionaries were praying over the people all day and especially Catherine McKechnie and Kristen Sellers were calling on the power of The Lord for mercy and healing. One lady in particular had cataracts that we're clouding her vision. Catherine and Kristen were praying for new eyes to see through, and at the end of the prayer, the lady reported that her vision had improved, and she could see!   God is good and even more powerful when we believe in his abilities and expect those miracles!  The people were rushing to be the next to sit in the 'prayer chair' and having these ladies pray for them-we've never seen anything like this in the good ole USA....

The 'most valuable player' award for today has to be a tie between John Seufert for proving that you Really Can use mathematics after high school to frame out odd sized walls and to Pastor Joe who also gets the 'Honorary Pharmacist' award for his coveted pill counting and pharmacy organizing skills. That award will be presented by the current Master Pharmacist, Carol Haisten.  

Back to the hotel in time for a refreshing swim, then dinner, sharing and a beautiful devotion by Carol on Hope for Haiti.  Looking forward to another blessed day tomorrow!  

Oh, and by the way, we are all fine - hugs and kisses to our loved ones back home, even if they done miss us yet......


Lori and Charles
 

 9/25/13 - Day 5
Everyone,
Below is the update from Tuesday forwarded from Charles.
Also, I've pasted below the message from Tuesday on the Sixes UMC website (www.sixesumc.org).  There are also a few more details there if you want to find out more about their days.  
 
Thanks,
Bekah
 
Tuesday, September 24 - 8:30 p.m.
 
Today was a great, albeit long day. The weather here is very hot (temperatures hovering in the mid-90"s and very humid).  We set up our makeshift medical facility in a church. We saw over 120 patients from an area 'tent city.'  One thing about a Spirit-led mission trip is that we don"t come with the attitude that we are here to rescue he people. To the contrary, we want to come and see (and experience) what God is already doing. Unfortunately, sometimes mission trips have an attitude that we are he heroes riding in to save the day. But we have been blessed as much as we have served. In so many ways we have learned from the Haitians. Also, by getting away we are able to be more deliberate and intentional about looking for the movement of God. We certainly have seen that. I was able to walk with the pastor through the tent city. These small houses have dirt floors, no furniture, and the stench of raw sewage in the streets. We met so many amazing people - parents of young children who pray and hope for a "better" life for their children, smiling kids who have big dreams, and folks who were displaced by an earthquake three years ago and still live in a musty canvas tent on rocky soil. Many people will say, "Why travel to another country when there are so many people in the U.S. who are in need?" First, as a church we are committed to serving those in our community, and we do so in so many ways. In Acts 1, we are told to minister to those around us, while also going to the "ends of the earth."  We are called to reach into our world, and the Kingdom of God is bigger than our national boundaries..
 
Tomorrow we are heading to a more rural village outside of Port-au-Prince, where we will offer a medical clinic at a church that meets outside in a rocky field. Their pastor is a young, energetic leader who has members of his community arrive at his family"s home every single day at 4:00 a.m. for prayer. They are passionate and hopeful that God will bring about revival in their nation. 
 
We love and appreciate your prayers and support, and while we look forward to seeing you soon, we are having a blessed time!
 
Joe
 
 

 9/26/13 - Day 6
 
Today started off different, we took the team up the mountain to over see Port Au Prince. What a view. This is the team, interpreters and drivers (picture attached). 

From here we headed to vision and medical clinic. This is where myself( Charles ) Bill, John and Tyler planed the roof and walls. When we arrived it was a welcome site to see a roof to work under. Our clinic lasted about 4 hours and without the new roof we would have lasted maybe 2 hours because of the sun and wind blowing the sand. 

We saw about 100 at this clinic. Going through both medical and vision. We were all blessed by what we saw in these people and their love for God. 
After lunch we returned to the home away from home to open a clinic for the employees and their families. Where maybe 30 to 40 came. 
In closing for today, the smiles we get after the people get meds to make them better or glasses so they can see, was well worth this trip. We want you to keep us in your prayers. 
 
Charles Chase
 
Everyone,
 
The pasted update is below from Joe on the Sixes website and Charles' email update is below as well.
Thanks as always for your prayers for the team.
Bekah Hamrick
 
Download image3.jpg (132.1 KB)  Download image2.jpg (187.5 KB)
 
Wednesday, September 25 - 8:00 p.m.
 
This morning we took an hour-long van ride through the congested streets (where traffic laws are non-existent, and the car's horn is used far more than the brakes.) We headed up towards the mountains, stopping to take some pictures of the gorgeous views. The Haitians are proud of their country, and there is a great deal of natural beauty. We set-up our makeshift medical clinic in a new church building, which had three walls and a tin roof. We saw a lot of children. Towards the end of the day, we handed out candy to the children, but the adults also asked for some. 
 
The kids at our eye clinic were so excited to get glasses. I would pull out my I-phone and would take pictures of them with their new glasses and then show them the picture of them. They were mesmerized by this -after all, the vast majority had never seen a picture of themselves (in some cases, not even through a mirror.) 
 
This is an amazing and fun team, and while we work hard, we are careful not to wear us out.  We typically finish our "Field Work" by about 3:30, giving us some down time before dinner, which is then followed by prayer, a devotion, and personal reflections on the day. 
 
Joe
 

 9/27/13 - Day 7
 
Everyone,

Updates from Sixes UMC website from today and yesterday.
 
I'll send out an additional update when I receive one from the team tonight.
 
Thanks,
Bekah
 
 
Friday, September 27
Happy Friday! This morning we visited an orphanage and provided a medical and vision clinic for the children and workers. The children at the orphanage, because of the medical missionaries, are in better health than the average Haitian child. The infant mortality rates in Haiti are very high - a lot of babies die. Likewise, many woman die during childbirth. 
 
At the orphanage, a big tub on the roof collects rainwater and thy have a long PVC pipe that they funnel into the community, sharing the water. As a result, when the disease of cholera killed thousands of people in Haiti, who generally get their drinking water from nearby dirty rivers, the folks of this community were okay (thanks to the clean water from the church). 
 
Tomorrow we fly out of Haiti at 3:30 and will arrive back in Atlanta at 6:54. In other words, while we have been in another world down here, we are still so close to the United States. That"s the irony of it - we are a two-and-a-half hour non-stop flight from Atlanta and yet we find ourselves in one of the poorest countries on the planet. 
 
We have had an amazing week and have met so many  wonderful, warm people. Even the poorest, seemingly desperate people have exhibited hope. The truth is, I know many Americans who feel overwhelmed by hopelessness. We can learn a lot from he Haitians. 
 
This afternoon we spent a little bit of time in Port-au-Prince, a city of close to 10 million people. The streets are lined with individual vendors, many of whom are children, selling various items. The other night I was riding with a local pastor.  At a stoplight, a young boy, who appeared to be about six-years-old, came up to the car and started cleaning it. This was his way of trying to make some money. So many children are doing whatever they can to earn money for their families. 
 
One of the most profound things about our trip is the fact that we are working with local pastors to empower them. We are not coming to rescue the people - we know that only Jesus can bring about true life. We need Jesus as much as any Haitian does. 
 
We look forward to seeing our church family on Sunday. Until then, know that you are loved!
 
Joe
 
 
Thursday, September 26
 
We have breakfast each morning at 6:30. At the hotel where we are staying, they feed us very well. We have breakfast and dinner at the hotel, and a local pastor and his wife provide lunch. 
 
This morning we came back to the rural town of Onaville, which is about 45 minutes from our hotel. Pastor John Baptiste started a church here because there was no church in this remote area. There are no cars, so people will walk miles to get here. The pastor not only leads worship services for the community, be he also helps with the physical needs of the people.  A couple of years ago, after the earthquake, he sold a car, a much-prized item here, to buy the land of the church. He lives 45 minutes away, but ministers so lovingly to the people of that community. The people will walk from literally miles around. Speaking of walking, the people of Onaville walk more than a mile to collect water. The folks, primarily women, will carry buckets of water to their homes. The women here have the amazing ability (and balance) to carry huge jars and puts on their heads. The Haitians we have met are hard-working people who hope for the day when economic opportunities will be possible. 
 
On a brief side note, the most common form of transportation, other than walking, is the bus. These are not your typical MARTA-style buses. In Haiti as in many other third-world countries, bring in very old, used school buses from he United States (some are donated). As we drive through both urban and rural areas, we will see old yellow school buses with the names of their previous owners (the school system that used to operate them). Today, in the community of Delmas, we saw a bus that said "Cobb County Public Schools." Granted, there may be more than one Cobb County in the United States, but it made us think of home, wondering if an old school bus from Marietta or Kennesaw or Acworth has a new lease on life in Haiti!
 
Tomorrow will be our last full day in Haiti. We will have a medical clinic at a local orphanage. In the afternoon we will have some free-time to visit downtown Port-au-Prince.
 
Our devotion this evening was on us being the Body of Christ, each with a purpose, opportunity, and influence. This is an amazing team, and I know that every single one of us had a life-altering experience. I would challenge everyone to consider coming on a future trip. 
 
I look forward to what tomorrow will bring!
 
Joe
 
 
Please pray for safe travels.
Bekah Hamrick