Week 8 – FBC Longbeach and New Life Community – Pastor Clement and Pastor Valcourt
So wow, sorry for the long pause in these recaps! We just got back from Haiti for Christmas and I am lagging behind on wrapping these up – but no fear, I will complete them today! 🙂
Our final week of the summer was a hectic one! We had some changes happen in staffing due to medical issues and ended up combining two teams together for the week. FBC Longbeach and New Life Community. Both of these teams have solid partnerships and their people are no stranger to missions – we were pumped to end the summer with such incredible teams!
Moving into FBC’s second week with us, (should’ve been their third week, but flights were cancelled, so the trip was as well :() we switched gears and started focusing on their medical clinic trip in Bertin. I, (Bethany) focused primarily on this location during our week, while Elizabeth focused on leading our other team, New Life Community from Texas.
New Life is one of our oldest teams in Haiti with PPM. They’ve been coming and serving alongside Pastor Valcourt in Mariani for 5 years! Did you read that right, 5 years of partnership. Of church families praying for one another and hearts connecting through service to the Kingdom. Eric was our “big boss” and made sure the behind the scenes things ran smoothly.
Story time- the last time I led Doug’s team from New Life, was my first summer with PPM in Haiti and I had a nasty case of shingles with a team of 70 serving in 4 locations – in July at that. I would go deliver lunch to all the teams in the morning and finish about 2:00, then take a pain pill for the afternoon and lay down. The one thing I remember is Doug’s team coming and checking on me in my room during the week to make sure I was resting and hydrated. Here I was supposed to be leading them and checking on them, and here they were checking on me. Sometimes, God just shows off in His own way.
For New Life, the week was full of construction, kids ministry and other relational ministries. It is so much fun to watch the kids in the community and at the orphanage recognize them as they get off the bus. The normal yelling of “hey you!” or “blan” is replaced with “Doug! Shandy! Hannah!” etc. as the kids run to greet them.
Another thing that New Life got the chance to do was to worship inside the church building that they have helped build by hand over the past 5 years. They have seen the church building through every phase, level and stage and to get to worship alongside their Haitian church family inside the beautiful new facility was an awesome thing.
For FBC, the week was medically focused. We had 3 doctors seeing patients for 3 days – and I can’t even tell you the final count. I do know that on day ONE we passed out 80 tickets to patients and ended the day with 180 patient charts! Our doctors didn’t rest until everyone was seen that could be seen that day–we were on the mountain until 6:00 pm. There 3 life saving surgeries given during the week to small children – God was present among us during the week that’s for sure. And although it was a medical week, we also had the young kids on the team ministering to the children as they waited, sometimes all day, to be seen by the doctor. Pastor Clement and Pastor John from our team also got to share the Gospel with every person who came to the clinic. Praise the Lord!
A special part of the medical clinic was that Pastor Clement had 4 nursing students from the church in Bertin come and serve alongside our doctors. Not only did they get credit in school, they were an invaluable part of our ministry during the week!
What a cool week to end the summer on – as for me, one of my passions is medical ministry. And for Eric and I, it was a week of solid partnership, teams that have depth to their ministry goals and come to Haiti to serve with all they have. It was a blessing to be able to serve alongside Doug and his team from New Life for the second week.