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First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, CT

Serving In Haiti
June 29, 2013
Community: Mariani
Staff: Eric Richardson

We're Here!

by Veronica and Joshua | June 29, 2013 8:47 PM

We made it here safely! We had a traditional Haitian dinner and met our sister team for the week. We heard from some of the ministry leaders we will be partnering with and they are very excited we are here. We are settling into our new home for the week. We can't wait to see what God will do!

What a Day!

by Joshua and Veronica | June 30, 2013 7:38 PM

What a fantastic day! We were up before the sun, getting ready for church in Mariani, the city we will be serving in a lot this week. After a breakfast of homemade bread (from Good Shepherd Orphanage), ham, cheese, and Haitian coffee, we loaded the bus and made the quick drive to Pastor Valcourt's church. The permanent building is still under construction, so the congregation meets under a tent. This is an added ambiance to the three hour service spent with our Haitian brothers and sisters. This is truly a blessing. Today was extra special: we were warmly welcomed, it's Father's Day in Haiti, and there was a baby dedication. Our sister team was invited to sing a couple of songs as well. As if this morning was not enough blessing, we came back to our lodging at MEBSH to a full blown Haitian meal of turkey, rice and beans, Creole sauce, scalloped potatoes, pasta casserole, and mixed vegetables. This was complimented by hand made passion fruit and mango juice. After a bit of rest, we loaded on the bus again and headed to Good Shepherd Orphanage, where Sister Mona gave a history and tour of the grounds and ministry. God is on the move at GSO! God is on the move in Haiti! We are excited to see what He has invited us to this coming work week! Check out some pictures from our day below.

Two Babies Dedicated Today

by Joshua and Veronica | June 30, 2013 7:40 PM

It was very cool to be a witness to this!
Two Babies Dedicated Today

Planning VBS

by Joshua and Veronica | June 30, 2013 7:41 PM

Planning VBS at Good Shepherd Orphanage with our sister team. Big week to come!
Planning VBS

What a View!

by Joshua and Veronica | June 30, 2013 7:43 PM

The view from the roof of the new building at Good Shepherd Orphanage. Not bad! And behind, are the mountains. Haiti is a beautiful country with even more beautiful hearts for the Lord!
What a View!

First Day of Ministry

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:43 AM

Today we started our first work day with Vacation Bible School at Good Shepherd Orphanage (GSO)! We had five different stations consisting of crafts, Bible story, games, face painting, and fun! The children were having so much fun and can’t wait for the next two days! After we finished up with Vacation Bible School we came back to Cote Plage and had some lunch and headed out to Mariani to do some construction! After the hike up “the hill”, we passed buckets of water so that the two men, Simone and Bernard, helping us could start making concrete. After the concrete was mixed we began about two hours of passing buckets of concrete down the church to fill foundations for the walls. During those two hours there was a rain storm for about half of it. We couldn’t stop because then the concrete would harden but none of us wanted to stop anyway. We finally finished the footer and took a small break while the rain ended. After the rain we had some sports ministry with the local kids in Mariani. There was, of course, a pick up soccer game, Haitians vs. Americans (guess who won?) and a lot of singing and dancing with the girls. Today has been a blessed day and we can’t wait to keep going tomorrow! As Sister Mona (the lady that runs GSO) says “God put us here to play” and we are finding that to be very true. Pray for us tomorrow as we continue with VBS as we are expecting about twice as many children as we had today, and also as we continue with the construction! “WHYWHY!”

Face Painting

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:46 AM

Doing some face painting and coloring during our first day of Vacation Bible School!
Face Painting

Snack Time

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:48 AM

The kids waiting patiently for some juice and crackers during snack time!
Snack Time

Passing Buckets

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:51 AM

The team passing buckets of concrete in between two buildings to fill the footer!
Passing Buckets

Post Rain Storm

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:53 AM

It got a little muddy after we continued passing buckets while there was a rain storm going on! God blessed us with some cooler weather which actually felt wonderful!
Post Rain Storm

Soccer Time

by Emma | July 2, 2013 11:56 AM

After we got done passing buckets, we played with the kids in the community, and of course, a game of soccer had to happen!
Soccer Time

Noah's Arc and Moving Dirt

by Emma | July 2, 2013 7:53 PM

Today we started the day off with a delicious breakfast of Peanut Butter and Jelly then it was off to Vacation Bible School at Good Shepherd Orphanage. The day went great and the kids learned about Noah’s Ark. They got to color sheets and make pipe cleaner eye glasses! After a long day of VBS we ended it with some singing and some snacks! After we stopped in for lunch we headed out to the work site, and instead of moving buckets of concrete we got to move buckets of dirt! We had to level out the ground where they made the footers so that they could start laying the foundation. We found out that the place we’re working on is bathrooms for the church! Some of us were given the opportunity to use a pick axe and break up the ground while some of us shoveled the dirt into the buckets to be passed. When we finished the dirt buckets we had another sports ministry with the kids in Mariani. Of course another game of soccer was started and this time we had a group that was coloring and making string bracelets! We also had some Haitians showing off their gymnastic talents! It’s been a long day and we are all anxious to get some sleep! Pray for us tomorrow as we have our last day of VBS and continue work at Mariani!

Playing Around

by Emma | July 2, 2013 7:59 PM

Playing with the kids during the games station of Vacation Bible School! They loved the parachute and were giggling very loudly!
Playing Around

Here's Lookin' At You

by Emma | July 2, 2013 8:04 PM

Two of the VBS participants enjoying the pipe cleaner glasses they made. Who knew pipe cleaners were so versatile.
Here's Lookin' At You

More Buckets!

by Emma | July 2, 2013 8:09 PM

The team had a great attitude while passing more buckets! This time full of dirt!
More Buckets!

Sleeping Baby

by Emma | July 2, 2013 8:18 PM

Some children get so worn out by the end of the day, all they want to do is take a nap! Luckily we are there to help!
Sleeping Baby

Last Day of Ministry

by Emma, Josh, and Veronica | July 3, 2013 7:53 PM

Today we started our last day of Vacation Bible School and construction at Mariani. At Bible School the children learned about how Jesus fed the 5,000! Then we got the chance to feed the 5,000 (or maybe just about 100, but it felt like 5,000!) Today we had the biggest attendance as more neighborhood children came and joined us at GSO. We enjoyed listening to the children sing songs about Jesus, even though there was a language barrier. After lunch we went to Mariani to finish up some construction. We started by moving two huge piles of cement blocks and then passed buckets of concrete to make columns that are the entry way for a new clinic! Each five gallon bucket is only filled about two shovel fulls of concrete. So basically we passed at least 75 buckets per column, and there were 2 1/2 columns. After we finished the construction we started sports ministry and another soccer insued. At the end of the game it was tied so the game went into penalty kicks. Team America came out on top by one PK (this time). Some of the group had fun with the other children by coloring and making string friendship bracelets! Tomorrow we head out to the beach at Jacmel to enjoy the sunshine and some much needed rest. The drive will be about two hours through the mountains but the views will be worth it. Pray for us as we travel and enjoy the new parts of Haiti.

Human Jungle Gym

by Emma, Josh, and Veronica | July 3, 2013 7:55 PM

Chris providing entertainment by being a human jungle gym for the kids at Vacation Bible School!
Human Jungle Gym

Working Away

by Emma, Josh, and Veronica | July 3, 2013 8:00 PM

Another day of passing heavy objects! This time it was two piles of cinder blocks!
Working Away

All Together

by Emma, Josh, and Veronica | July 3, 2013 8:02 PM

The whole group in front of Mariani Church.
All Together

A Little R&R

by Emma | July 4, 2013 8:44 PM

Today we had our day of fun and recreation! We took a bus through the mountains for three hours to the beaches of Jacmel! The beaches were picture perfect and we enjoyed our day of sunshine! When we returned we ate Pumpkin Stew which the Haitians eat on their independence day! The cooks were so nice to make it for our Independence Day! We then did our closing meeting at GSO on top of the rooftop over looking at the ocean. After the meeting closed we were treated to a few “fireworks” which were just enough to celebrate not only America’s independence, but Haiti’s as well. We were also blessed to enjoy the freedom we have in Christ every day! Tomorrow part of our team flies home so pray for safe travels. The other team travels to St. Mark to visit a church and hospital that they helped sponsor. Pray for safe travels for both teams and that we continue to keep Haiti in our hearts when we return home! Happy 4th of July!!

A Little Sunshine

by Emma | July 4, 2013 8:45 PM

Some of the team enjoys a break from the waves.
A Little Sunshine

Happy 4th!

by Emma | July 4, 2013 8:46 PM

Fireworks on the roof after our meeting to wrap up a great week!
Happy 4th!

Rest and Relaxation!

by Emma | July 5, 2013 8:17 PM

Today we started our day bright and early and dropped off our sister team (and one of our own, Eric) at the airport to head home! We then ventured out to Saint Marc, Haiti to see the school and hospital that Partners in Hope has helped build! We all crammed into two cars and trekked up, what seemed like, a mountain and got to see the new vision property for the school! The children and their parents were there to get their test scores and were a little shy! After the visit to the school we got to drive back into town and see the hospital that has been built! It was eye opening to see but also a great experience to know that now all the little babies have a chance at a great life! After a delicious lunch buffet we headed out on the road to Club Indigo where we will stay the night! We enjoyed a day on the beach playing volleyball, basketball, and just relaxing by the pool! We were surprised by a thunderstorm that left the sky absolutely beautiful later in the evening! Pray for us as we travel back home tomorrow! For a safe drive back in to Port Au Prince and a safe flight back to the U.S.!

Schools Out!

by Emma | July 5, 2013 8:19 PM

The team checks out the school and its new vision property! God has great things in store for this place!
Schools Out!

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Nicole Hadley

July 3, 2013 9:54 AM

Great work! Love seeing you all and hearing about the daily adventures and mission. Keep up the good work. We are so proud of you!

Joan and Jack Mather

July 2, 2013 11:29 PM

Wow! Jack - we are really amazed at the amount of work you are all doing. Great Job! Passing buckets of cement has now changed to passing buckets of dirt. We enjoy seeing all the photos and especially the ones we can spot you in, Jack! Every body has a smile and obvious good spirits while "pitching in" and it looks like there is good fun going on as you truly help out. We look forward to the daily news and check each day for the next adventure. Love, from your Los Altos Grandparents.

Nicole Hadley

July 1, 2013 11:25 AM

Thanks so much, love the update and photos! So happy to hear all is well.

Bonnie Hann

June 30, 2013 9:36 PM

-June 30- Now THAT"S an update! Thanks for some great insight, detail, and pictures! LOVE the group picture - everyone seems to be smiling - whew! xo Bonnie Hann

Bonnie Hann

June 30, 2013 7:13 AM

Pleeeaaassee add more detail!! Like what's a "traditional" Haitian dinner and what is your new "home" like?? We are dyin to know, ya know! That way you won't be so pestered when you come home, so like, spill the beans! xo Bonnie Hann

Nicole Hadley

June 30, 2013 5:59 AM

Yippee! Wishing you a wonderful first day full of new experiences and service. Praying for you all- Nicole

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