We Made It!
by Mel Trollman | December 27, 2014 10:08 PM
We arrived safe and sound in Port au Prince, Haiti this afternoon. It was about a 45 minute bus ride to Good Shepherd Orphanage where we are both serving and lodging. After a tasty meal of fish, salad and cooked bananas, we had an orientation meeting and then settled in for bed. We are so looking forward to the ministry we will be doing here, and the exciting week God has in store for us!
by Mel Trollman | December 28, 2014 9:57 PM
We woke up bright and early for breakfast, and then headed to church. The service lasted about 3 hours! But it was excellent, and the congregation waswas very welcoming. Paul taught a 15 minute mini-sermon and a few of us sang for the church. It was wonderful seeing how another culture worships the same God as us while having the opportunity to share a little bit of our own culture as well. Some of the songs they sung in Creole and French were actually recognizable tunes from hymns we all know.
A sentiment we often hear here in Haiti:
We may be from different countries, but we are one family in Christ.
by Mel Trollman | December 28, 2014 10:03 PM
After returning from church, we ate a huge meal for lunch and then rested. Instead of napping, some of us decided to hang out with members of the other teams staying at our lodging or playing card games on the balcony.
The Name Game
by Mel Trollman | December 28, 2014 10:12 PM
We played a memory game in the afternoon to help us remember one another's names. There are over 35 of us put together, so it was a lot to recall! We also shared our stories in small groups of 4 to practice the kinds of conversations we will be having throughout the week. After all of that, we broke into our team groups to go over what we will need to do ministry-wise throughout the week. Our team met on the rooftop to enjoy the setting sun and cool breeze.
Service Project at GSO
by Mel Trollman | December 30, 2014 4:22 AM
In the afternoon, after visiting Bertin, we ate a delicious meal of spaghetti back at Good Shepherd Orphanage. It was Haitian-style spaghetti, which means the sauce option was ketchup! It's actually quite good for those of us who were willing to try it.
We spent the late morning and early afternoon at Good Shepherd. We told the director that we wanted to serve them however they thought was best. They were thrilled as there is always plenty of work to be done at Good Shepherd! One of their great needs for manual labor is clearing out a guest house apartment where they hope to host missionaries and other guests in the future. The construction of it is actually finished, but up until now it has only served as storage for left over construction materials. We spent a lot of time moving bricks from the porch area over to a barn on the other side of the property.
We also gently took down a wall that they had constructed for the Christmas party earlier that week. Is was hot during that time, and it was hard work. But we did it merrily!
1st Day of the Feeding Program
by Mel Trollman | December 30, 2014 4:37 AM
Good Shepherd Orphanage is very involved in taking care of not only the children who live there, but the children in the community as well. Each day they open up their gates and provide a hot meal for the kids from the impoverished neighborhood. All they need to do is show up with a spoon.
We were asked to serve the food to the children at the program. The only problem was the food was over an hour late! We went into to the pavilion where the kids waited for their food in an attempt to distract them and just spend time with them. Needless to say an hour later of waiting, they were hungry, restless, and anxious. Put those all together in a high-energy group of children from a less-structured, impoverished area, and you basically have the definition of what it means to bounce off the wall.
It was tricky spending time with the children in an enclosed, warm area. It got loud and the children all wanted to play with us. We were outnumbered! We didn't have enough limbs for the arm wrestling required, and couldn't switch off holding them fast enough. But Deb and a few other musical members of our group thought of the perfect idea to calm the wild kiddos. They started to sing. Talk about charming snakes! As much as hungry children could be calm and quiet, they sat there listening to the beautiful notes lingering in the air. It was very cool. And, well, right after that the food finally came! We served the meal and the children went home with full bellies for the night.
Calm and Crafts
by Mel Trollman | December 30, 2014 4:43 AM
After our long, exhausting and wonderful day of serving, it was fun to relax with the orphanage children in the afternoon making jewelry, constructing paper planes and kicking a ball around. It's all about relationships here and the time we spend together. That's the sweet spot where God really shows up and works through you. We are willing to be that vessel this week as we continue to serve Him and offer our love and time to the kids here.
ASHCA Take Two
by Mel Trollman | December 30, 2014 9:23 PM
We spent our Tuesday morning at ASHCA playing with the kids once again. They love the crafts we bring for them like coloring pages and play dough. It's wonderful seeing their faces light up for something so simple as a fist bump or smile. Watch out families; these kids are capturing our hearts, and we just might have extra passengers when we come home to the states.
Many Hands Make Light Work
by Mel Trollman | December 30, 2014 9:41 PM
During the late morning hours and mid-afternoon, we worked on painting the back wall of the guest house. We had to sand it down first and then move some benches to help us reach, but we made quick work of it.
In the afternoon, some of us continued with painting while a handful if us participated in the feeding program. Sister Mona was there today to talk to the kids and guide us in what to do. They are obviously very well loved and taken care of by the GSO staff.
by Mel Trollman | December 31, 2014 10:26 PM
Wednesday morning, we went to ASHCA to continue our ministry there. It was a good visit and we enjoyed bringing smiles to their faces. It was hard saying goodbye to them knowing we will be leaving Haiti tomorrow.
For lunch, we did something a little different; we went to a restaurant called Epidore. It's basically Haiti's version of American food. We were also able to go to the delimart across the parking lot and shop where Haitians shop. It was different and a lot of fun to venture out from the compound walls.
Painting and Potatoes
by Mel Trollman | December 31, 2014 10:48 PM
We wrapped up our final ministry day with painting and the food program. The building is now painted and looking eggshell-tastic! While some of our team painted, others did the feeding program, passing out food to the community children and playing with them. 4 of our ladies and young adults were also asked to join the cooks in the kitchen to help them prepare a pumpkin soup feast, which is the traditional meal Haitians eat to celebrate the new year.
Happy New Year!
by Mel Trollman | December 31, 2014 10:51 PM
We couldn't finish the New Year without a New Year Celebration. At our nightly meeting on the rooftop, we worshipped, talked about what we were taking hone from Haiti with us, ate sugar cane and played with sparklers. It was a fun treat to do in honor of the new year.