Trip Recap – Spring Trip #1, Pastor Placide
In March, we were back in Haiti, excited to be partnering with a wonderful partnership pastor in the city of Jacmel. Pastor Placide is one of those pastors that Eric and I have done ministry with in the past, but typically only visiting the orphanage or helping with a project – this was our first full week partnering with Pastor and it was full of blessings.
Our team from First United Methodist Church in Colorado hail from near the four corners! Talk about an incredible heart among these people – they truly desired to come and serve in any way that was desired by Pastor Placide.
Check out their trip journal at https://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/mission-trip-journals?tripid=4080
We spent the week installing solar lighting inside the orphanage, building a water filtration system, making school desks for the older kids, doing outreach in the community, putting on a VBS program for the kids and spending lots of time playing with them each day.
My highlights of the week –
- CHURCH: this church service was easily the most joyful, powerful and unified worship of my life. These people know how to celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior! Here’s a brief video of some of the choirs that sang at church!
- Easter Egg Hunt: while being in Haiti over Easter, our team brought the makings for an awesome Easter egg hunt! We left out the piece about the Easter Bunny and just shared with the children our love for a fun game on Easter. The kids loved the idea and were so excited to search and find the eggs, and especially getting their little gift inside! My favorite part of this activity was watching the house-mothers and their reaction. They were beside themselves laughing and giggling at the silly kiddos.
- Prayer and Bible service: at the end of the week together, we arranged a service with Pastor Placide, his housemothers and fathers and all of the children. One of our Haitian staff members, Stanley, spoke over the children about his life growing up and how God saw Him into adulthood. He explained to the children that they each have a purpose and are valuable to not only the people there that love them, but by our great God in Heaven, the one who created each of them on purpose. His testimony was incredible and there wasn’t a dry eye in the building. Forgive me for the paraphrasing of this section of his sharing:
My father once told me: “The richest place in all of the world is at the cemetery.”
“That’s where you find all the untapped potential, the unfulfilled purpose, the long-forgotten dreams of those who are laid to rest. You see, within each of us lies the potential for greatness, for world change – right inside each of us – of you! It is our responsibility to go through this life searching that greatness out, because the world needs your greatness, it needs your dreams and purpose to aide it in changing and growing. In this room, I see future professional dancers or soccer players or musicians, I see doctors and scientists and pastors. I see entrepreneurs and inventors and so much more. But you know what the Lord sees? His children. He wants you to recognize the potential He has put within you, and He’s the one that wants to help you reach it.”
I love watching our staff minister to people in their own country. It’s such a special thing, the bond that they can make with a child or an adult. And so as Stanley continued to talk, I sat with tears streaming down my face at the courage it took of Stanley to share his story and the beauty of how He was allowing it to be used for the glory of God. The children were listening intently, I pray that maybe it touched their heart in a profound way. After that, Pastor got to present each child with a new Bible of their own to keep and then we prayed over their futures.
- But the best highlight came just after, as I got to speak to the housemothers, other workers and then Pastor himself and encourage their service and dedication to the children. I got to look them in the eye and say “we see you, God sees you and this is so important.” So much of the time as a mother and friend, just having someone say to me “you are important and this job is important” is so validating and rejuvenating. What a wonderful, special moment for us to share as we prayed over them all for continued strength and energy for the coming year.
- The last awesome thing was our great friend Genevieve came to Haiti with us to nanny for Edison! And wow, it was so awesome to have her along with us and watch the love she poured into Edison. Thank you Gigi for your sacrifice and love.
It was such an awesome week and we feel blessed to have been a part of it! Thank you to everyone who followed along with us while we were in Haiti during this time and prayed for us – we could feel your prayers!