Week 3 – Meadowview, Mathiston and Crosspoint – Pastor Valcourt
For our third week of ministry this summer, we had the chance to serve with Pastor Valcourt in Mariani with 3 teams:
So wow – what a busy, productive week!
Our ministries were:
- Construction, helping put windows in at the church, which means one thing – cement work!
- Kids ministry at the church and orphanage
- Feeding program help for the community kids
- Tree/Bible Ministry (evangelism)
- And flex time with the orphanage children.
This team has been coming to Haiti for 4 years now. Their first trip was with me in 2012, when I came down with a bad case of shingles in the heat of a Haitian July. The first thing I noticed back then was their graciousness. This 21 year old girl was supposed to be leading a large team of over 70, in 3 locations with 4 groups present – and I came down with shingles. Go figure right?
But their team showed me love.. They weren’t upset with me because I felt bad – they took care of me.
This group is full of veteran mission-goers. And their attitudes reflect that. They are so incredibly flexible and patient and willing to do whatever is needed. I remember the first day, we got to the orphanage and it was scorching hot outside. I was walking around just checking in on everyone and I find their men from the group, fixing the broken basketball goal. No, I didn’t go get them tools, they were just using what they had lying around.
It’s the perfect picture of the servant hearts of this team. I love it.
Their group leader is a big ole’ teddy bear/goofball/reminds-me-of-my-dad-kinda-guy named Brent. Oh man, what an awesome guy. He is always sure to bring a smile to my face and make me laugh. Back on that trip in 2012, Brent was just a participant. Now, he leads the teams that come to serve! So cool!
I’ve got a lot of favorite moments with this team from the week – Farkle, James, watching the girls teach Herwine the whip at the orphanage… but one of my favorite memories happened a few days before the team was there, when Eric and I were confirming details one last time with Pastor Valcourt. We were trying to jog Pastors memory of the team. And as Eric said, “Brent from Mississippi” he excitedly said “oh yes! the man who can carry the blocks of many men!” Haha! To make it even sweeter, Pastor pointed out Brent in front of the whole church on Sunday, to tell the community that the BIG man was back for the week.
These little relationships are always my favorite moments. Where we are just friends, joking together and loving life together.
Brent in the red, 2012
Brent in the white, 2015
This was Meadowview’s first time in Haiti. Bringing mostly girls with them, they knocked down all sterotypes that girls can’t do hard labor! Passing blocks and cement, working hard everyday. Their group leader is named Jason Green – and he’s the nicest man in the world (we’re convinced). Like, seriously, everytime Eric or I would chat with him on the phone before the week we would get off and say “That’s the nicest man I’ve ever spoken with!”
Some of our favorite moments were spent in conversation with this crew. I loved hearing from them about their hearts for missions worldwide. These girls were just solid. I have a beautiful picture in my mind of Daphne playing with some of the kids at the worksite, 1 on her back and acting like a dinosaur to scare the other kids. It was so precious.
But probably the craziest connection of the whole week was this girl named Kaitlyn. From the moment I saw her I thought “I know her from somewhere…”
Turns out, she’s a friend of friends of ours! (Hey Lindsey and Lacy Carter and Cody Bray!)
I loved getting to know her more throughout the week, hearing her story of where God has lead her in her life and her new move to Florida. I’m praying for community for you Kaitlyn!
This last team was a small group, but don’t let that fool you. They made up for their size with heart. From day one, I loved getting to hear their passion for God’s work.
Hallie, 10 years old, (I think, right? Haley?) was a joy to have on our team. Her innocence and innate gift for speaking to others was so cool to see. It’s not common for us to have younger folks with us who are less than 10, but when we do, I love it and Hallie showed why. Every night when we would circle up for highlights, Hallie was bursting at the seams to share all of the awesome things God had shown her through Haitians, through her teammates and through the service she was doing.
I very clearly remember sitting on the rooftop on the second to last night and she began speaking about the things she was learning: how grateful she should be for the food she has at home, how materials don’t matter, how she was inspired by the Haitians and their faith in Christ, how she needed to serve at home more and I looked at Haley, her mother and said “she’s getting it.” Her little heart was overflowing with joy and goodness and her mind was working to see the world with a new perspective. Her having that perspective so young will be powerful in her future.
In short, this trip was nothing short of awesome. The partnership and the willingness for our teams to grow together was so special.
Before I wrap up, I want to ask you to pray for Josette. A young girl whom Jonathan (from Mathiston) and Hallie got to meet on Tree/Bible Ministry, was very close to making the decision to claim Christ as King in her life. She said she just needs more time and she was given a Bible to continue studying the word. Could you be in prayer for her to make that decision?
These three teams were an absolute joy to work with! Our southern accents felt so at home throughout the week. Thank you guys for coming and letting us serve alongside you. Can’t wait till next year! (or, for December Jamie!)