Saturday, August 1, 2015
As I sit here thinking about what all has happened this past week I can’t help but be reminded of past missions I have been on. I look back to my first trip to Montana when I was only 13 and seeing all the older youth work so hard to keep a reputation that had preceded them. My only thought was will we be able to carry that and pass it on. Over the years we have kept ahold of that reputation and have always finished every job and more than what was expected. Sadly I missed the point it took me fourteen years to realize this but that was never the meaning behind a mission trip. A mission trip is not solely on what all gets accomplished through work projects; it is not measured by blocks laid, houses built or concrete poured. The mission trips we have been on are about lives changed and not only the lives of the ones we serve but ours as well. This is most likely the last time I will be on a mission trip with Russell, Logan, and Kenton. We have been on many of these together and we have discussed how we missed the meaning behind the trips over the years by being so focused on exceeding expectations. Luckily the youth realize this now. As they were sharing tonight about what meant the most to them not one said the house we built or the church being finished but instead the children who lives were changed at VBS, the family who received a new home, and how they themselves were personally changed. God has truly blessed our church with great youth who have a heart to serve, to step out of the comfort zone and come to a nation like Haiti to join in his work here.
This has been an amazing day! I am so thankful for this opportunity. At the house dedication the owners of the home gave us all a certificate which read “it is better to give than receive.” I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness of the family I Hannah and I got to see our sponsored child today. He has grown and is doing well. Our translator was a big help today as we talked with him and his sister. My heart melted when I watched Hannah play with him. The Haitians have to pay for their education, they value it so much. I saw the park today full of children.. Right now he is the only one in his family that is receiving sponsorship. I hope I can always hold the memories made . I pray that we will continue to live on mission when we return home. Thank you again for your prayers. Love to all.
I am such a blessed woman! I am not a regular on the mission trips but when I get to go some of my favorite memories are watching God work through my family and friends. I don’t add much to the work force and they don’t let me too close to the small children without doing a pat-down and a luggage search but I love to do what I can. Bill has such a passion for mission work and it has been passed down to our sons and I pray that it will be a passion for generations to come, and they will also want to travel to places where they can serve others. I know God has some big things in store for my family in the near future with additions to the family and growth in ministries. I am so excited to see what God is going to do and I feel ready for whatever it may be. Thanks for following us as we journeyed and your prayers are what made all this possible. I count it a privilege to call you my family and friends. I love you all and I will see you sometime Friday.
Today we had the house dedication. Logan and Kenton led us in a couple of praise songs then the Haitians sang a song. The house dedication was very emotional. The dad of the house got us all certificates because he said it is better to give than to receive and that just really touched my life. The whole family of the house was very thankful. When we got back home I went to the Ark and threw Frisbee with the kids before we went to lunch. We had lunch at Mountain Maid. After that I went back to the Ark and met a guy named Palnel he spoke English really well. After that we went to dinner and played some spoons
We started today off by going to the house for the dedication. We sang a few praise songs, and then Bill spoke. Afterwards, the dad that is going to live in the house said a few words. At the end of his speech, he brought out certificates for each of us with our names printed on it. He said it was better to give than to receive, so he wanted to give something back to us. It was such a simple gesture, but it wasn’t expected, so it meant even more. We came back after the dedication and went to the playground. Shannon and I played Frisbee all day with the kids who were there. We met a few more Haitian people today, and it was awesome to get to talk to them. We even tried to teach them and Feto, Johnny’s little brother, how to throw a football. They caught on pretty quickly actually! We played all the way until dinner. I’m very sad that we have to leave tomorrow, but I’ve had an amazing time here, and I can’t wait to share all my stories with you all when we return home. Please pray that we have safe travels. See you all very soon! P.S Preston, we have great gift to give you when we get home.
Today was the last day in Haiti it was an amazing trip it defiantly reached out to everyone who came. Its not an experience you can put into words this trip was truly all about Jesus and amazing. This trip has made my relationship with God better than ever he spoke out to everyone here and showed us soooo many things on this trip I’m blessed that God called me to go on this mission it has showed me a whole different outlook on things and made me realize how blessed I truly am. I can’t wait to come back to this amazing place and do more work for God and experience meeting more amazing people and just spreading Gods word. Haiti mission trip 2015 was definitely a great success!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Today was my last full day in Haiti, it was very saddening. We did the house dedication, and the most important thing to them was giving a gift to us for working so hard. They gave us a certificate, most people would have thought it was doubt but I cried because they showed us how much they cared that we built the house. Then, we went to meet our sponsor children. My day took a downhill then because my family’s child didn’t show up. I let it get to me for a while but Bron made me get up and play with the kids. Afterwards we went to mountain made a resteruant on the compound. I order chicken and fries, and then daddy and I shared a banana split. Next we went bartering, dad bartered for me. I got a chain bus for my backpack, a carved rock, a small painting, a necklace, a wrap around headband, and a metal Phillipians 4:13 hang for my room. Today was a sad day but a good day at the same time. Thanks for the prayers!
Hard to believe this is my last night in Haiti, today was a day with a lot of mixed emotions. The day started out with us traveling to the house that we had completed for the dedication service. It began with us signing a couple songs and then the Haitians sang a song. Tyler opened in prayer and then Bill led the service. Then we were able to present the family with a few gifts. Then this is usually the end of it, but not this time. The husband of the house wanted to speak and share with us; he then stated that he had a small gift for each of us. He proceeded to read each of our names and ask us to come forward and he presented each of us with a color certificate that read “Honor and Merit”, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. It was dated and had his family’s name on it. I did not feel worthy to take this, for someone who has nothing to give gave more than I could have ever given. He then went on to say that he was so blessed and would continue to pray for us each and every day that God would continue to work in us and through us. I have never experienced this in any of the trips I have been on before, and I know I will never forget this. Later in the day several of our group got me to meet their child that they sponsored and we got to watch them play at the Ark for a few hours. Being the last evening and the last bible study it was very special, I enjoyed listening to each person share with what God had done through them this week. No words can describe what was shared, this is one that you would have to be here to understand. Looking forward to getting home and seeing my baby girl.
I was very thankful to get some extra rest this morning, but sad that this is my final blog and last day in Haiti. Our day started out this morning with the house dedication ceremony. I remember the dedication ceremony for the house we built in Mexico almost 11 years ago, but that did not compare to the service today. We began the ceremony by singing praise songs with the workers and the family of the house. Then, a small group of Haitian men sang a couple of songs in Creole. It was beautiful to see everyone worshiping and celebrating together! Bill spoke for our group, and then, both the father and mother of the family we built the house for thanked us for blessing them this week. I have been on several mission trips in the past, but none compare to this one. Never before have I seen people work so hard alongside us and be so grateful for our work. That was a true blessing this week! One of the best moments of the trip also came for me at the house dedication ceremony today. The father of the family wanted to thank us for our work, so he created certificates for every single person in our group, printed them, and put them in individual manila folders. I can only imagine how much money he spent making them, but he wanted to thank us for our work. I can’t wait to frame mine when I get home as a daily reminder of this trip. This afternoon, we were able to do some shopping at the Mission which was fun! This evening we had our final group worship service, and it was awesome to hear how each person’s life had been changed during our trip. I am so truly thankful for the opportunity to serve this week and cannot wait to be home to share about the week. Thanks again to everyone who has been leaving us comments. Continue to pray for us as we travel home tomorrow! Love you all and can’t wait to see everyone!
I can’t believe this week is over with already. I’m really sad that we have to get up tomorrow and leave this place. You may have read all the blogs or watched videos, but you don’t really know how amazing it is until your actually here. I shared with the rest of the crew tonight how thankful I was for God giving me the chance to go on this mission trip. I needed it very bad. This is the first time in a long time I’ve actually felt close to God. I’m also very thankful for all the great people I’ve spent with this week. I’ve made new friends in our crew and with Haitian people. One of them is Johnny. He lives below us in our compound. Johnny is a person I will never forget. He has such a big heart and every single time you see him he has a smile on his face. You can tell he really loves Jesus, and on top of that he is a blast to hang out with. Johnny will always have a special place in my heart for what he has taught me, and I love him so much. To top this all off, I’ll never forget the memories. Playing with all the children at the church, late night card games, and almost throwing up from eating the famous Freedom Soup.One thing that is sad though is this might be the last time the Morlan boys get to go on a mission trip. This week we had Tyler , Kenton, and Logan with us. I love them like brothers, and the week would’ve been boring without them. I really really hope they can go on another one with us because it would suck if they couldn’t. Besides that,I just love this group of people so much, and every single one of them are family to me. God has impacted everyone this week so much, and I recommend to anyone if you have a week and a little bit of extra cash…go to Haiti. You will not regret it.
Wow! That is all that I can say about this week. I have been blessed to be with such wonderful people and family. I’m so sad that we have to leave tomorrow but I know that God work is never finished. The kids this week have impacted more than ever. They have showed me that I have no reason not to be smiling. Today started out amazing and it ended the same. We started with the house dedication with was beautiful. The family was so appreciative and the dad of the house gave us all certificated. After that we meet our sponsor kids. I was so great to see Dawnensky after two years. He is such a blessing to have. It was great to see how much he has grow. The first time I meet him he was very shy but today he was all over the playground. He held my hand the entire time, unless he was playing on the playground. We also went to the zoo, he loved it and he never let me go! He loved playing soccer, so we played for a long time. He was definitely the highlight of the day. I am going to miss him so much. After that we went to Mountain Maid and ate. We went to bartered, I only got a bracelet. Then I took a nap. I went though some emotional pain! Because of Tyler, Russell, Logan and Kenton. They said this might be their last mission trip…. This week was amazing I don't want to leave. Dad I cant wait to see love you. Preston sorry that we missed you and Trey on skype. it was all Emily’s fault. She didn't listen to me.
We are finished! We went to the house dedication service, and I cried when the homeowner gave us thanks certificates. Today we went to eat at the mountain maid to eat, then bartered. We cleaned and packed, and will soon leave. We shared our feelings at the bible study. I have learned so much this week. I am truly blessed to have went on this trip, and hope to return in two years with my sister. Please keep BHM in your prayers so that this dream can become possible.
Our week is complete, and with it what could likely be my final mission trip with this group for a very long time. As we sat and reminisced tonight, I thought back not only on this past week but also over the last 10 years. The Lord has blessed me with opportunity after opportunity to go with Him to projects near and far, with some of the best people I have ever met. He has been so good to me. It was fitting, at the end of all of these trips, that He reminded me one final time that the project is never the purpose. The job is never the goal. God did not put me on earth at this place and time to accomplish a list of chores that He needed done. He placed me on earth to love Him, and to share that love as I go along His will. Life looks so complicated from where I’m at right now. But His word assures me that it is never more complicated that this. I leave this with a portion of scripture that has become very special to me: Psalms 115 1. Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory. For the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness. 2. Why should the nation’s say “where is their God?” 3. Our God is in the heavens, He does all that He pleases. … 16. The heavens are the LORD’S heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. 17. The dead do not praise the LORD, nor do any who go down into silence. 18. But we will bless the LORD from this time and forever more. Praise the LORD!
I am blessed and given more than i ever deserve. God gives strength to those who pray, God gives peace to those who pray, God shows grace to those who pray. God has opened my eyes in ways i couldn't have dreamed. Debbie you are right there will be a fire and i will shout it to the mountains. The holy spirit is real and he is moving. God has my heart its time for us to show the world that.
Well, today was our last day in Haiti. We will be leaving the compound at 7:30 AM tomorrow to catch our flight home. I am definitely not ready to leave. This morning, we had a dedication service for the house we built. Our team, the Haitian workers, and the family were there. The service began with a prayer, then songs in both English and Creole. We started with one of my favorite songs, Blessed be Your Name. Singing this song while looking out over the beautiful Haitian mountains was truly awesome. We sang How Great is Our God next, then the Haitians sang a song in Creole. Bill talked for a bit and mentioned how blessed we, the team, were for getting to be a part of the family’s life. This family was so unbelievably appreciative of the work that we did. The father presented each of us with a certificate, thanking us for our efforts. I never expected a gesture like that. We were surprised and truly blessed. After the service, we went back to the compound. People who sponsor children through BHM were able to meet their children while the rest of us started to clean up. We later joined them on the playground for awhile before lunch. I spent the whole time playing frisbee with Emily Conley and different groups of kids. The kids were part of a kindergarten class on a field trip to the playground. Seeing dozens of kids swarm the playground with huge smiles on their faces made me so happy. I think I was smiling the whole time I was playing frisbee. We ate lunch at the mission’s restaurant, Mountain Maid. I ordered a Havana hoagie (steak, smoked ham, and cheese) and fries. I was in pain after finishing the entire footlong, but of course, found room for dessert. Emily, Allie, Hannah, and I shared a banana split. It was magical. After lunch, we embarked on our bartering adventure along the street in front of BHM. The vendors were very, very persistent. After my first purchase, I became more confident negotiating prices and standing my ground. Logan said that he was initially worried about me bartering, but was proud after he saw me in action. I had fun bartering and am definitely happy with my purchases. By the time dinner (beef, shrimp, and vegetable stirfry) rolled around, I was still full from lunch, but indulged anyway. For dessert, we had cake and ice cream…homemade Mango ice cream…(*insert salivation here*). Today was exceptionally hot, so both helpings of ice cream tasted especially delicious and refreshing. After dinner, we had Bible study, a very emotional, tear-filled Bible study. People spoke about their personal experiences this week and how God worked in their lives. God has changed all of us. I have a whole new appreciation for everything. I am blessed well beyond what I deserve. My parents have provided me with more than I could ever need, or want. As if I didn’t cry enough during our time of sharing, my eyes welled back up when my messages from Mom, Dad, and Lauren were read. Then, when Eric said that I had a message from Stan, the tears rolled. Thank you, guys. :) I love and miss you all. Your messages have been so great throughout my time here. I do not want to leave Haiti tomorrow, but I am excited to see and talk to you all again. I am so, so thankful for my experiences here. The country and people of Haiti will always be important parts of my life. Pa volo Jezi (Don’t cheat Jesus), because God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good.
Today was super fun. We got to barter. I got a machete and a few bracelets. i got a few gifts for family but I'm not going to say what yet. I am excited to come home but sad to leave all my little friends. I got to meet my sponsor child Alisha. She is so sweet. I have decided that i will raise the 25$ a month myself instead of having my parents pay. she has a little brother named jelly. There family is so sweet. I also got a picture drawn from her too! It is of three people holding hands with a flower. I don’t get it but oh well.
I can’t believe that we are leaving tomorrow morning! This week has went by so fast! This morning, we went to the house dedication. It was such a blessing to see the family so happy! Much to our surprise, the father gave us certificates to thank us for working our their house. It was the most adorable thing I have ever experienced. It was so awesome because after we took the group picture I looked over at Philipson and he was wearing a Crimson Tide shirt! Of course I got a picture with him!! Afterwards, we went to meet our sponsor child. Sadly, Berwick didn’t show up so I was very upset. But then we went to Mountain Maid for lunch. After that we went bartering! It was so much fun! I got 4 bracelets, a wooden circle with a map of Haiti on it, a jewelry box, a piggy bank, a horn that is a water bottle, a metal cross, a purple candy bowl and cuban cigars. I got presents for Brent, Mom, Dad. Aunt Ronna, and Nana. (I think you can figure out what I got Dad.) i only got to barter for the bracelets. Tyler did the rest of my bartering for me!! I wasn’t really sure how to barter so Tyler said this time he’ll barter for me, but next time I have to do it for myself. I am having a lot of fun here, and I don’t want to come home. But as most of you know, we come home tomorrow! We leave the compound at 7 AM! That’s really early!!!! But I’ll survive. I love and miss you Brent, Mom, Dad, Aunt Ronna, and Nana!! See you guys when I get back!! Except for Nana and Aunt Ronna, I’ll see you guys when you guys get back!!
I can’t believe our time here has come to an end. This morning we all attended the house dedication. It was a very moving experience as the home owner gave each of us a certificate of appreciation. I’m not sure how he was able to do this, but we all began to tear up and cry as he passed them out. Afterwards, many of the youth were able to meet the child they are sponsoring. Unfortunately, our little girl did not come today. Riley was so disappointed as were we. She was so hoping to meet and spend time with her. I pray she is safe, and that she will receive the mail we send and that she will grow and prosper. Lord willing we can return in two years to meet her. Afterwards, we went to Mountain Maid, a restaurant, then to try our hand at bartering. Logan M. thought I was going to give in to the price, but I stayed firm. I must say the bartering wasn’t difficult, however, just saying no all the time and not being able to purchase something from each vendor was difficult. Much has been revealed during my time in Haiti. I realize that I haven’t made God the priority he needs to be, and major changes must be made at home. If I constantly stay in my comfort zone then what good am I to God or others? None. Those, in Haiti, that know God hold to His word because His promises are all they have. Then why don’t I do the same? Self-centeredness. The opportunity to serve is everywhere and no act is too small. So as I return, I pray that I will not return to my old ways, but let God lead and direct my path. I am thankful he gives us more chances than we deserve. I love you Faith and can’t wait to get home to you! Please pray for safe travel. The journey home will be long but seeing our families will be well worth it. Love to everyone!
Well another adventure is ending and soon it will be back to the normal everyday stuff. Get up at 6 go to work before 7:30 work all day till 4 then go home. Not very exciting but it could be; the mission doesn't end in Haiti, it can carry over to anywhere. Just because we aren't surrounded by an unfamiliar environment or hundreds of miles away, it can be in the town we live in. I will miss this place though, all the people and places, it is all hard to leave behind, especially for two years. I hope to come back sooner if possible, but if not then hopefully i will get the chance to come in two years. I hope this has changed all the younger kids hearts and no one returns how they came, I know it has changed mine. I hope that this feeling will never go away and that we can continue this burning desire to serve when we all get home. I heard a really cool phrase today at the house dedication and it goes “ When Jesus says yes, how can we say no”. I hope these words never leave my mind and that who ever reads this finds some way to have it inspire them to do something for God. A lot of things are about to change in my life, some physical some spiritual. I hope that i remain on the path that God has put me on, inch by inch i feel as if I am finally getting somewhere. I’ll see you all real soon, and begin telling the stories of our grand adventure. I love you Tess.
Last full day and the packing and cleaning begins. The day started with the dedication which was awesome. I can’t write the words to describe what you feel giving someone a house who deserves it. The emotions that run through me is indescribable. You feel proud to be a part of something that changes lives, humbled by the fact that God allowed you to do it, awestruck by the work of our team and the Haitian workers and finally you feel the love between brothers and sisters in Christ. There are more than that but that gives you an idea what is being felt. To listen to our group sing praises to God beside the house was fantastic. Tyler’s prayer was one for the books, you could feel the love of God flowing through his words. To then hear the Haitians sing was just another blessing. Then it was my turn to give the message for then new house. Talk about being humbled. Like usual, my emotions got the best of me when you think about what the house means to the family. Then the husband spoke and then the wife. For the first time the new homeowners presented us with certificates with our names on them. It is so nice to work for someone who not only deserves it but appreciates it. This family has blown me away with their love for our group. As we were leaving the dad came to me and gave me his name, address and phone number and told me that when we come back to call him and he wants to be a part of our next work project. WOW! That’s never happened before either. Our group took up a collection and gave it to the family to help them build their outhouse. We were allowed to give up to $100 which is 1,060 gourds in their money. Then it was back to the compound. As soon as we got there it was time to meet our sponsor children. My family sponsors 2 boys and one of them showed up. He is 7 now and is a cute as I remember. His name is Evans and he is in the second grade. We learned that his mom died last year and so the dad now stays home to take care of him. We gave Evans some gifts and then went to the ark to play. My boys played soccer with him and frisbee as well as play on the ark. It was great. Then out of nowhere, about 70 kids from two summer camps came and filled the ark. For everyone who worked on the ark, you would of been proud. At one time there were 13 kids climbing up the cargo net and the slide was filled up. This site made me realize just how important this playground is to this area. Laughter and screams of joy filled the air. We sat there for about 2 hours watching and listening. Then it was time for lunch at the Mountain Maid and then to barter. Lunch was great, yes I got another banana split and shared it with Bronlynn. Then to watch the kids barter was funny. They were fierce in their negotiations and got some good deals if you ask them. Tonight will be our closing Bible study and then pack and clean. As I think about this Bible study, it will be the last one here for at least a couple of years. That got me thinking about the phrase “one last time.” I look around the room and I see my boys, Russell and Logan Gibson. These 5 young people have been with me for over 10 years and have been all over the world with me. This just might be the last time I have them all together on a mission trip. Like always, that brought a tear to my eyes. Then I look around and see the new 5 that are ready to take their place and that makes me smile. I believe the torch has been passed to the new generation of warriors for Christ and that excites me. This has been a great 2 weeks and I have seen God work through them and in them. I believe the future is bright. We leave the compound at 7am and then the journey home begins. Keep us in your prayers as we begin to come home. This has been another trip for the books. Love you boys and my girls
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Today was our fourth and final day of work. Although I am definitely worn out, I am more disappointed that the trip has gone by so quickly. I finished up my work in Haiti at the church site. On the rides to and from the site, Logan Gibson and I kept watch over our translator’s son, Philipson. We braved the treacherous journey with one hand holding on to the truck and the other protecting Philipson. Logan held him around his shoulders and I kept his head from hitting the truck. Philipson never talked to us, but he held on to us tightly. I did not labor much on the church. Twice, I was up on a ladder painting the outside walls of the building, and I helped transport concrete in a “bucket brigade” so that the floor of the stage could be poured. Other than that, I was with the kids most of the day! During VBS, I was a line leader, so I led my eleven kids around to games (cana, cana, goose; aka duck, duck, goose), crafts, and Bingo. They had so much fun! Cana, cana, goose was probably their favorite part. Skirts are not the ideal garb for such an aggressive game, but I joined in. Hearing the kids recite their daily Bible verse was cool as well. They yelled it with such enthusiasm over and over again. I attempted to read the verse in Creole, but I was not very successful. At the end of VBS, five kids accepted Jesus into their hearts as their Lord and Savior! Those five made for a total of 23 kids over the past two weeks that committed their lives to God! After VBS, we jumped rope, blew bubbles, played with stickers, tossed some frisbees, and took more photos. Oh, and I got to hold another perfectly precious baby! I could not help but smile the whole time I was with the kids. These kids walk around hungry and thirsty in dirty, ripped clothing, and yet they are constantly smiling and laughing. Leaving the church today was hard. I wish I could see those kids every day. When we got back to the compound, we had dinner (lasagna and cream puffs), followed by Bible study. Kenton stepped up his cousin game tonight. Someone spilled grape pop on the floor and my foot while we were playing Spoons. Kenton got down on hands and knees under the table to wipe off my feet and my shoes… I have the best cousins/big brothers a girl could ask for. :) Tomorrow, we are having a dedication ceremony of the house we built, and going shopping. I’m excited to see the family again and to try my hand at bartering.
Today i was at the church site again. There was not much to do. I sifted sand for a little bit and then went to play with the kids. After that i went to watch Johnny, our translator, Fetho his little brother, and Jude our other translator play soccer. I can not remember which team won though. Then we had VBS and I was a group leader. I had a little girl in my group named Lovemika who would not let go of me. For the games at VBS we played canna canna goose. The kids loved to pick the adults. After that I played with the kids the rest of the day. We played frisbee, soccer, and blew bubbles. When we got home from the church we headed straight to dinner. Once dinner was finished Riley and I went to the Ark to kick threescore ball around. Then it was time for bible study which Elizabeth lead and she did a really good job. Then we played some spoons with Johnny and now I am going go bed. Love everyone back home.
Well today I ended up at the house site instead of the church, but everything worked out, and the house is finished! I shoveled sand all day while Hollis sifted. We make a pretty great team if I do say so myself. The sand we sifted ended up being the perfect amount that they needed which was an awesome little God sighting. In the evening we had our group bible study, which I have been enjoying very much. Bill has really been challenging us to listen to what God is trying to tell us through this whole experience. He is definitely working in my life as well as many of our other team members. I can’t wait to share with you all when we get home. Tomorrow is our last full day, and we are very busy. I can’t wait see what God has in store. Love you all.
Today was the day we finish the house and it was the last day of working for both groups. I am so sad that we have to leave in two days. I have been so touched by the kids here and I am so sad that I won’t get to see them for two years. Today at the job site I did stucco on the bottom of the house to make sure water wouldn't get in the house. The family are so thanking for their house and can not wait to be in it. While we were working Robison said that we are not princesses because we were working; which I totally disagree with. When we go back to the house i didn't really do anything it was pretty chill day for me. Dad love and miss you! Preston , Emily said that i\ft you comment on her blog then we will buy you something!
Thanks Mom and Dad for your comments on our blogs. As I mentioned before, Eric reads them aloud to our group every night, and we all appreciate hearing from you back home. Maybe when we come back in two years, you both can come with me! Today was our last day of work, and it was definitely the hardest day for me so far. When we first arrived at the church this morning, Shannon and I were assigned to paint….on a very tall, scary ladder. We took turns painting and holding the ladder because it was so hot and hard to stand on the tiny rungs. Our group also had to finish pouring concrete inside the church today; so, after painting, we made yet another bucket brigade and passed buckets of concrete for a couple of hours. My biceps and forearms are going to be feeling it tomorrow for sure! Today was our last day of VBS, and it was another amazing time with all the kids. We made tote bags with the kids handprints, and they all absolutely loved it! Almost every child laughed as we painted their hands because it tickled. I am pretty sure that some of them may have never seen paint before because they just kept staring at the paint on their hands. Karen, we sure have missed you this week! Thank you SO MUCH for all the time you spent helping us get the crafts ready to bring. FIVE more kids accepted Christ which was yet again amazing to watch. I am so thankful that I was able to be at VBS everyday this trip. I wouldn’t trade my time with the kids for anything!! After VBS, Lloyd taught me how to stucco. It took me a few minutes to catch on, but he said that I was doing a good job…better than some other people he tried to teach, not mentioning any names, Tyler! :) Even though I couldn’t talk to the older man who was working with me, he would just point and show me where I needed to add mud. He took so much care to ensure that the wall was as close to perfect as it could be. It has made me consider how often I just do what is required or what is good enough to get by instead of giving my best. This is just one of the many lessons that God has been teaching me this week. Today was also a great day because I was able to give a Bible to Vilcient who had asked me for one on our first day. He has been learning English for the past year, and I know he will take care of it and use it every day. Tonight, Logan and Kenton played and sang worship songs for our group. It was great to just relax and worship with everyone here. Tomorrow morning we are going to the house dedication, to barter, and pack to go home. It is hard to believe that our week is over. I know that I am going to miss Haiti, especially the people, but I am thankful for the time I have been able to spend here. It has truly been a life changing experience. Thanks again for all the prayers from home. We have been blessed with great weather all week, everyone has stayed healthy, and we were able to finish our jobs. PTL! I have bathed, braided, and blogged, so I think it is time to sleep! Love and miss you Mom, Dad, Libby, Laura, Bethany, and Tiera! See you soon! Logan
Today was successful! We finished the church and the last day of VBS was a success!! We had 5 kids come to know Christ today! I got to be a line leader again today and it’s such a blessing to see all the kids laugh and have a good time! There is this little boy, his name is Philipson. He lives in BHM with his dad, Philip. He is probably the most adorable little boy I have ever met! He is a very quiet and shy boy, but once he gets to know you, he is a chatterbox!! He went to the church every day with his dad, and just sat by himself. I felt bad for him so I went over there and just sat with him. I could tell he was nervous at first, but then he became a chatterbox. I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, but he just seemed to enjoy having someone sit with him! I also made another friend named Fito. He is Johnny’s little brother and he doesn’t speak much English. He can speak enough to carry a casual conversation. He is 15 and he is amazing at soccer!! I was super sad that I had to leave the church this afternoon because I had to leave all the friends I had made. I will be glad to be home for clean running water though. But I seriously don’t want to leave. For all the people who know me well, I get very home sick very easily so me saying that is a once in a lifetime thing. But Aunt Lori can testify that i did state the words “I don’t what to leave.” I love you Mom, Dad, Brent, Aunt Ronna, and Nana. Aunt Ronna and Nana, I hope you’re having fun on your cruise, but I’m pretty sure that everyone here now knows every single thing you do because Eric reads the comments out loud. Everyone always says before we start, “We know Aunt Ronna/Ronna is going to put something about her trip down in the comments.” We all still love you though! Stay safe everyone!!
Five more kids at VBS gave their lives to Christ!!! Praise God! Today was the last day at the house and it is complete. The family we have been working for have such sweet spirits. When the wife, Cherry, came today, she said to me, “Look at my beautiful home.” I agreed. It is beautiful!! I can’t wait till they move in. She also insisted on helping, so she sifted sand with us. Cherry also said that when we come back she wants to be a part of our team. What a blessing! I added stucco to my skill set, well maybe it should go under the heading of things I have tried. Our translator, Robinson shared his Jesus story with us. What a powerful young man! Sitting and talking with him is like reading scripture. He has such an easy and comfortable way of sharing the word. I really enjoyed hearing his story and sharing about our different cultures. During bible study several people mentioned that they did not want to leave. This place and the people are special, and I along with others will miss the new friends we have made, but I think we will also miss the togetherness, the oneness, the purposefulness, and the mission. Bill said tonight in bible study that for one week we are not distracted. I think what we experienced is what the early church experienced. For one week “we devoted ourselves to the apostle teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayers.” Even now as I listen to Logan play guitar and a large part of the room sing praise songs even while they may be braiding hair or playing cards, I am reminded of the scripture that tells us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching, and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in our hearts to God.” We need more of this in our lives! Again thank you for sharing this experience through reading the blogs, watching the videos and sharing your encouraging comments. Pray that the ones that gave their lives to the Lord will get discipled and grown in Christ. Tomorrow will be a busy day with the house dedication, meeting our sponsored child, and the “bartering” outing. Thank you again for your prayers. Love to you all.
Today was a sad day. We had to leave the kids. Most of the day we played with the kids and played cona cona goose. (duck duck goose). Some of the day I got to hold a baby boy. I dont know his name but he was so calm. Most the girls bought a necklace and it was made of parer they were 3$ American money and 30$ of their money. Today was fun and I am excited for tomorrow. I get to meet my kid and we also get to go bartering. Vicky told me you can get a machete for under 10$ so i am gonna get one!!! If my mom is reading this….there is nothing you can do haha.
What an experience! I have worked with children most of my life and a lot of them were needy children but none so needy as what I have seen on this trip. I knew that this would be the most difficult part of the trip for me because I have a tendency to want to “fix it” for the kids I work with. Well I can’t “fix this” here, but the most amazing thing I have learned is that they don’t want me to “fix it” because it’s only my eyes that see them as broken. I stood at arms length from most of the children to start with because of some past heart aches and wounds that this “foster mom” can’t get past, but yesterday I allowed myself to interact with a small girl and a 4month old baby and I was able to just play and not try to fix anything. Yesterday’s experience allowed me to be a little more open today as I worked with the children in VBS. I painted their hands for the craft and I asked them their names and we smiled and laughed as it tickled their hands. I also held a second baby and was able to hand it back with a smile. I must confess that I am not completely cured because I am trying to talk Bill into letting me bring Feto home with us so we can help him get the education he wants. Feto is 15 and in the 6th grade and he wants to learn English so he can work with his brother Johnny who is a translator for the mission and works very hard so that he can pay for Feto to go to school. Needless to say I have not convinced him as of yet but I don’t give up too easy! Some habits are harder to break than others, I guess? Thank you again for your prayers and comments. Much love to my family and my church family! I miss you all and look forward to being home on Friday!
House complete! Like everyone else before me, we finished at about 4:15pm today. There were only 3 Haitian workers there today so we got to do a lot of the work. Like always, the team did awesome. For the second day in a row, Emily sifted the entire day until we no longer needed sand. Hollis was her partner in sand today. Yesterday we noticed that we did not have enough gravel to make the sand for today to finish the project. So, last nite I told Roger that we needed another load of gravel to finish the job. When we got to the job site today, there was a dump truck load of gravel at our site. Our translator told us that the home owner worked all nite last nite to get gravel for us today. I need to say that he did it with a 5 gallon bucket. He probably had gotten 2 tons of gravel. Talk about being humbled. To work all nite to gather gravel, 5 gallons at a time. He worked along side of us today and his wife came at noon. Tomorrow they will be home owners as we will have the dedication service and the house is theirs. Like all my trips here to Haiti, I will say that this has been an awesome 2 weeks. This time I got to share it with Bron which made it better. I enjoyed serving with my boys again and working with the youth and adults. Both weeks the teams had to work through some very hot weather with no rain. The people who worked on the projects did an incredible job and our church family should be very proud. They represented God with honor. I enjoyed watching the youth play with the kids here and how well they interacted with everyone. Great 2 weeks of work and now for the day of meeting the kids we sponsor and bartering. Gonna be a great day. Love ya Boys and my girls
Kenton Morlan signing in tonight and the day was a beautiful one. We finished the house today and i learned how to level a floor Haitian style. All i did today was start out mixing concrete and thats what i did most of the day mixing and handing it out. It wasn't too bad but after that my father and i swept the floor and got it cleaned up to level and fill. It was very fun and a very skilled trait, i did not master it at all. But the Haitian boss told me i done pretty good of course he didn't speak much english and was a nice man but hey i took it as a compliment. Every time i did something he would go back over it haha but hey i was learning and had a great time doing so. Im so blessed to be on this trip and be a part of this team of great people. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts, Ive been praying for you all as well. Miss my church and youth group, cant wait to see them soon, and my dog as well. Continue to pray for me and the team as i will continue to pray for you all. God bless you and l love you.
As many have mentioned, today was the last day of work. I did get to try my hand at putting mud on the foundation between the rocks. Needless to say, no one has asked me to stay and work for them. My skills may be less than desirable, but Benjamin, a translator, who also helps the construction crew as well, never complained. He simply went behind us and smoothed it out. The mother came again today to help, and Riley and I held the baby for quite some time. Since there wasn’t a lot to do this afternoon, we were able to sit and talk with Robinson our translator. It is a fabulous first hand experience learning about someone’s culture and hearing his testimony of how he came to know Jesus. I pray the Lord brings me back to Haiti again someday. I have realized how much I take God’s word for granted and how much I need to study His word. They quote scriptures and hold them dearly in their hearts. I will remember my time here fondly, but miss Faith terribly and will be glad to have our family back together again. Please pray for the house dedication tomorrow and the opportunity to meet our sponsor child. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon! Love you all!
Last day of work, my entire body is sore! Looking forward to tomorrow’s dedications and hitting the town to barter. The trip has gone fast and is almost over. Looking forward to seeing my wife and daughters. Being able to go on a mission trip is a privilege and thank you Lord for allowing me and my daughter to come to Haiti together. I pray Nic remembers this journey for the rest of her life.
The house was finished today! I sifted sand with Emily all day, making several more sifting songs. The owner’s kids were there today, and while I didn’t to hold the baby, I did read to the little girl. I doubt she understood what I was saying, but she was fascinated with the colors and pictures of the four books we brought. She also loved the bubbles we brought. Today was pretty basic, but it was still powerful. It was the last day of work, and I would do the entire trip again in an instant. I definitely plan on trying to come back next year. See everyone soon!
The work is completed at both the house and the church. The best blessing of all comes in knowing that 23 Haitian children that I can't have a conversation with here on Earth will be celebrating with me in heaven one day when language will not be an obstacle. Twenty-three children accepted Christ as their savior during 6 days of VBS over the past couple of weeks. There is nothing greater that we could have witnessed God doing over the past 2 weeks, and I am blessed to have been apart of His plan. Today has been a struggle for me on the technology end. My hard drive keeping all of the video of the trip is not cooperating at all, making editing the video pretty difficult. Hopefully it holds up for a couple more days. We will try and Periscope the house dedication ceremony around 8:30 am tomorrow (Wednesday). Becka - I will see you and the boys on Friday. I love you.
We read from Matthew chapter 25 in the Bible study this evening, and this revelation has given me a lot to think about. One group had been seeking to prove their righteousness by their works, yet failed. The other group had simply been seeking to serve, and in the process walked in righteousness. The first group, for all their good intentions, was blinded by their own efforts. The second group did by nature what they were always intentioned to do. The first group was condemned. The second was welcomed into eternal life. As the righteous stand before the exulted Christ on judgment day, they are redeemed not because they did good deeds that benefited mankind. They are redeemed because they served Christ faithfully, and in doing this they served their fellow man. The wicked are surprised to learn that the mission had been among them all along, but they had failed to recognize their opportunities because they were not looking for them where they should have been. We are not called work; we are called to serve. Our tasks are completed for the week. All major work is finished at the church and we will go tomorrow to officially give the house to its recipients. It has been a good week.
It is hard to believe today was our last day of work and what a great day it was. I was able to go back to the church site and we were able to finish the floor and all of the repair work that we had started. Between our group and the church family we went through 18 gallons of paint in painting the church. We did not get this finished due to running out of paint. The church at about 80% completed on the painting and the church family said that they could get the rest of the paint and complete the job. In talking with the pastor of the church he was all smiles from ear to ear and could not believe the amount of work that got accomplished over the past couple of weeks. He is already dreaming of seeing his church grow and have to expand it again. Just a couple of more nights here before we head home. Looking forward to seeing my baby girl Faith, it has been almost 3 weeks since I have seen her. God has been so good to me these couple of weeks here. It just reminds me of how spoiled I am and how much I am blessed. I too get so consumed with worldly things, in what I have or want and don’t even need. After being here I see so much that I need to change in my life. I really need to be more thankful for what I have instead of things I want and really don’t need. It is all material things and as you know you can’t take any of that with you and it will not get you any further in your walk with Christ. I have also been so blessed to spend this week working and worshiping with Marcy and Riley by me side. This is a first on the mission field for us. For the last 20 years they have only been able to listen to what God was going on the trips that I have taken and worked on. We all now can share and grow through this by experiencing it together as a family and it is my prayer that we all will grow closer and stronger in Christ through this mission trip.
I’m really disappointed about today being our last work day. I’ve enjoyed it here so much, and I don’t even know why I didn’t want to go. Today at the church I tried to spend as much time as the kids with possible, and I only painted for like 10 minutes. There was a little girl named Lovemeka and a boy named David…who was my favorites. David sat on my lap for about an hour today, and I gave Lovemeka my bandana because I wanted her to have it. I also made sure to take lots of pictures with them, which they love to do. To them, seeing themselves on a screen is so awesome. I love seeing their little faces light up. I’m so sad this week is almost over, and I hope we can come back in 2 more years. God has really blessed me with this trip.
Today was my last work day of the week and it was sad to leave the sight with all the kids watching us leave. I was stationed at the church and I sifted some of the day but then my sifted died! (It had a couple holes that could not be repaired) Then after I couldn’t sift we saw ten boys watching and Hannah and Nick invited them to play soccer. I decided I would play too; I really could not hit the soccer ball today. I was uncoordinated! After we had eaten the wife and children we were building for came by. The wife wanted to help and she told me that I could watch the baby. He was so easy to watch until he got hungry! Altogether I had a very good day! Thanks for the prayers and comments.
Well today I started out with music and leading a lesson at bible study; I never knew how weird it was to teach with a translator. I don’t think that it was that bad but it was still weird. I talked about believing in the impossible or in the perishable, I thought that I did pretty good for being like my second or third time preaching…….well preachingish. I liked it and I even got thanked by one of the guards he told me that the message really touched him. We got the house all done today, the Haitian work crew really like me; one guy doesn’t like it when I don’t work with him. One time he grabbed my hand and said come we work come come. It was really cool to have gotten the opportunity to work alongside the workers; they have been really helpful in teaching us to properly do things. I’m really sad that I have to come home, even though I’ve done all that I physically can I still don’t feel as if I did enough to help out people here. I really felt it at lunch time, a little kid got caught trying to sneak one of our soccer balls out and the boss brought the ball back to us. The kid just cried and cried cause he wanted the stupid soccer ball and it wasn’t even a good one it was a dollar store 3$ balloon ball. He stood right in front of me and just kept crying and crying it literally made me sick to my stomach, I wanted to just say take the stupid ball, but I just grabbed my stuff and went back to work. I hate not being able to give stuff away, it’s just stuff that we will never use again and we can’t just openly give it to them. It really sucks; I just want to help out people and seeing the amount of people who I just know have never had something as simple as a soccer ball tears me up. Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers not just them but also BHM, I want to come back in two years, hopefully with an army of Christians ready to change the world. I love you Tess see you all real soon.
Today was AWESOME!! I was at the church today, and we started the day sifting sand and painting the outside of the church. The kids were so eager to help that if you put down a sifting pan or paint brush, one of them would swoop in and grab it. I helped in crafts with Logan Gibson. Johnny had to translate for us. The kids made hangers that said Jezi loves and then they added their name with foam stickers and a cross. One little boy added his mom’s name to his. After they finished I would read their hanger. Often they would help me with the pronunciation of their name. I loved seeing how their faces would break into a smile when they heard it. Karen Tolley, thank you so much for the VBS crafts. The kids seemed to like them so much! Everyone came back together for the closing. After the closing I witnessed four little boys go up and talk to Johnny about salvation. “Let the Little children come to me.” I could not understand the words Johnny was saying but I knew I was observing God’s calling. As you can imagine, I was moved to tears. We found out later there was another child that accepted Christ. Praise the Lord!! After VBS we returned to sifting sand. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for my singing that you may or may not be exposed. The day was scorching and the heat got to me. Thank you so much family and friends for you comments. We get much enjoyment from them. Tomorrow is our last hard day and the final day of VBS. Please pray that we will finish our tasks, bless the families, and that more children will come to know Jesus. Love to all!
Today I was at the house site. The family we are building it for has a 4 month old baby boy named Shile and a 6 year old girl Nieka. The whole morning all we did was sift sand. To pass the time Robinson, our translator, taught Emily and I sentences in creole. We learned Soule la cho which means the sun is hot, ma pase Sab which means I sift the sand, pa volve Jezi which means don’t cheat Jesus. In the afternoon the mom of the house came with her kids. I got to hold her baby, he never cried once. We blew bubbles with the little girl. While sifting sand in the afternoon the mom never left the sifting pile not to even check on the kid. When we got home I went and sat by the ark to do my bible study since I was leading the group bible study. Also, while was down by the ark I threw the frisbee with some kids. After that was dinner then bible study which as I said I lead tonight. I was a nervous wreck by I survived. Right now we are playing spoons while Logan Morlan is singing us songs. That is all for tonight. Love everyone back home.
So today I went to the church. Today was honestly my favorite day. When we got there a little girl need help with her bracelet from Saturday her name was Lovemica. I took her to see Vicky and she fixed it them she was my shadow all day. We also painted the sides of the church. As soon as we started to paint all the kids can running to help. I had three kids that all wanted to help but I only had two paint brushes. So, I had to make sure all of the kids were sharing with each others. I was making sure the kids were painting the right things, while Lovemica was wanting me to play with her. After painting we when to vbs,which was great five boys got saved. I had to help a little boy with bingo because I didn't think he could read. I had a really great time and I am bummed that I cant go to the church, but excited to go to the house. I meet a little boy that I absolutely love and which I can take home with me. His name is Reginal he is super sweet. I am soo sad that I wont see him again, but maybe I can see him in two years. He was also one of the boys that got saved today. So that was awesome! I know that God is working here in the people of Haiti and also me. I know that God is here and working His mighty power! I love being here and don’t want to leave the kids. Dad love and miss you! DAD RUSSELL IS BAD MOUTHING MOM AND HE SAID THAT HE DIDNT LIKE HER ANYMORE… DO YOU WANT MICKEY TO HIT HIM ? Preston see you soon love you.
Worked at the Church site today where VBS was being held. Upon arrival the children remembered me from the last time I was there and began yelling “Police, Police” They are the favorite part of the trip. They love the attention and being played with. They giggle at everything you say even though we cant understand each other. They are very loving, holding your hand, sitting on your lap etc. They just crave attention. I held a new born baby for almost an hour today while the other kids gathered around me. I I would love to adopt one of those kids and take one home with me. They are so happy even though they are poor. There is just something about them that is different and it shines through in their personalities. After playing with the kids we sifted sand, stucco, mixed cement, etc. It is back breaking work but it is all for the Glory of God!
Today I worked VBS it was great getting to see all the kids excited to worship the lord and it was beautiful seeing 5 young boys get lead to Christ during VBS. We played many games with the kids and even though there is a language barrier the kids still talk to us and its amazing to see there faces light up when you simply give them a high five or kick them a soccer ball. Its going to be hard leaving the kids they bring joy to every moment and love having us there to simply have someone to play with. Will be praying for all the kids and people I met on this journey everyday.
We had a great day at the house today! We SIFTED!! But that is not all, we learned a lot of Creole. Our interpreter worked with Allie and Emily in some fun and favorite phrases. I of course was standing right there but remember very little but the phrases they wanted to learn were: “I am hungry”, “I am thirsty”, “ I sift sand”, “Don’t cheat Jesus” to name the main phrases. “Don’t cheat Jesus” is the favorite phrase of our interpreter Robinson. He uses it on any of us that take a break to get water or stop sifting, however, he never uses it on himself. I believe I have found the Haitian motto also, “There is always room for one more!”. No matter if we are traveling in the truck, sitting in church, having dinner, mudding inside a 12x20 house, or watching taxis pick up their 10th passenger they never seem to turn anyone away. They said that VBS could only take 100 and they had to turn away children but I have since learned that we snuck a few extras in every day. I have learned a lot while being here both about myself and about life. I don’t want to take the time to write it all out here because there are many waiting to take their turn to blog but it is my prayer that as I return to the life God has blessed me with, and to those I share this life with, the changes will be evident in both actions and reactions. I had a humbling conversation today with the mother of the family we are building the house for and just to hear what her everyday struggles are and what dreams she has for her family. Thank you all for your prayers it has been those prayers that have made this trip possible for me. I love you and please continue to pray for safety and strength to finish the mission.
Today was a great day. I got to go to the house again today and we finished the inside of the house. I didn't get to spend my whole day on the inside so i also got to sift some sand. Well the roof and carpenter crew showed up and started putting the doors windows and roof on. So they got about half the roof on and the main boss of the cement and brick called me outside and i had to go and hand him blocks, so i got to move blocks yet again. Well just handing him bricks wasn't enough haha. He then began to teach me how to take the blocks and a chipping hammer and break the blocks so they would fit in between the roof and the wall. That started off pretty tricky but i soon mastered the technique and finished it. The work wasn't super hard or straining but i got to meet the mother and two kids of the house we are building, such an amazing and inspiring woman. The story she told me about how her husband is a middle school teacher here in a public school and he doesn't get paid. But they both work hard to send their daughter to private school so she can have a good education. They plan to do the exact same for the baby boy when the time comes. My heart goes out to that family. This is why i love my Lord, the people you meet the inspiring stories and the opportunity to comfort those in need. 1 Cor 1:4 says, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” God is God of all and has my life and wherever he calls me is where i shall go. My god is great and with him nothing is impossible. Keep us in your prayers for strength and to keep our hearts and minds in the right place. I continue to pray for everyone back home i miss everyone and thank you Debbie and Preston for the messages of encouragement. I love you all and thank God for the people in my life. God bless you all and i love you.
Today I was at the house and most the time I was making and helping with the walls. Then with the time I had left I got to hang with the two kids. The baby was cute and the little girl was really sweet. When your in Haiti you really see what a world with nothing is. I am going to be honest and say, I didn't want to show anyone that I have been touched. I have been in my own world for the last few months and if my parents is reading this I wanna say sorry. I have truly been changed from Haiti. You don't even know how lucky you are until you have done the things we have to do. Going through town, people line up on the sides of the roads to sell anything they can. These people truly have nothing. I don’t mean that they don't have he right outfit to wear, or they don't have a the right shoes. These people don't have anything. Our cook Mary Lou wears the same shirt, day after day. We are not quite sure if its her “work shirt” or if it is her only shirt. Our truck drivers are only payed $4.50 a day. Thats is taking us to the house (25 min.) and to the church (2 hrs.) Lets not mention how awful the roads are. It gets to points where the truck is on a mountain side that looks like this…/////////////. They are not like most Americans that Have trouble with stupid life problems, these people are trying to find food every day. We think what they wear is funny? NO. Thats the least of their worries. I love Haiti and I better be able to come back in two years. When i get home I am going to spend the next 2 years learning their Language. Don't ask me how. HaHa.
Today was my final work day at the house. We sifted sand (the usual) , but I also got to stucco the house which was pretty fun. I got a lot of it in my hair though from Raegan and Kenton. Today was a very successful workday, and the house is pretty much completed. We got to meet the family and they were such amazing people. The mom let us hold her 4 month old son for awhile, and nobody could get enough of him.Her two kids played with bubbles with us for a long time and they were very sweet. Like I said in my blog yesterday, the kids are what have changed me. I can’t put into words how grateful I am to have came on this trip because I really needed it. It has changed my views on things and still is.I liked today, but I’m more than excited to go back to the church tomorrow and see all my little friends again.
Today was fun! I went back to the house today, and I actually did something other than sift sand. I got to stucco some of the walls in the house. We got the whole inside of the house done. It broke my heart when the mom came with her 2 kids. She gave her 4 month old son to Shannon to hold, and she sifted sand with us. we tried to give her a break many times, but she would not give up her spot of sifting sand. For the last 30-40 minutes, I played with the daughter and this little boy that came on the first day. We blew bubbles and used stickers. I got to hold the little baby boy, and he was so adorable!! I came over for the second time and, Bronlynn had rocked him to sleep. Once I got to hold him, he was awake, and he was very squirmy. I am so blessed to be here, and I don’t want to go home. (sorry Mom and Dad) I can’t wait to go to the church tomorrow and play with all the kids! I get to help in another VBS!! Tomorrow is gonna be a great day! Miss and love to all the people back home!! I have so many stories to tell you guys!! Also, Brent I miss you a lot, and I can’t wait to see you and compare stories with you! I love you!!
What a day! I was on the house crew today. It was real hot with no cloud coverage. I have to give it to my crew on how hard they worked today. Bronlynn, Emily and Allie never left the sift pile today. They sifted the entire day and was able to keep ahead of the stucco crew. Raegan, Elizabeth, Elainah and Shannon sifted and did stucco. They did a great job with the stucco. We completed the inside with the stucco today and have 3 of the walls dried in. The family of the house came again today and helped us work today. The mom sifted sand with the girls and the dad helped out with getting material. It was a great day to work with the Haitians and we worked well together. The other group had a great day today and i won’t go into detail because they need to tell the stories. I am still amazed at the people here and how friendly and the love of others that they have. I don’t know how many times today I was told that they loved me. The mom of the house gave us her phone number and told us that the next time we are in Haiti she wants us to call her so she can come and work with us. The people here are so willing to help out and they want us to know how much they appreciate us being there. I am very proud of all of the youth that are on this trip and those on the last. I pray that God changes here heart and they see how serving God can change the world. Pray for our health, at this time we are all good, safety and that we will get our projects done. We will be hard pressed to complete the church as they keep adding more to the list to do.. Love ya Boys and my girls
What a wonderful day it was. I was able to go back to the church site and work today. We started putting the finishing layer on the floor and it took the entire day. While working on the floor I got to spend some time talking with the pastor and he was telling me how this past Sunday they held church outside since we did not have the floor completed. He then told me how excited the members of the church were to see the work that had been completed and told me that there is new joy and excitement within the congregation. They can’t wait to see it completed. Some of the group continued to sift sand throughout the day and others were able to play with the kids and help with VBS. There were not many children there today but numbers don’t mean anything, the end result is all that matters and hearing the 5 little boys gave their life to Christ was more than enough. Praise God…… Hard to believe that the 2 weeks is almost over, we have 1 last work day to do and it should be a busy one. The house crew has the entire outside of the house to finish and the church group has to do 2 concrete pours and lay a block wall and then finish painting and putting the finish on the windows. Looking forward to another great day tomorrow and words can’t describe the joy I get from seeing Riley interact with the kids. She has been such a blessing to me just getting to see her smile and play with the children. With this being her first mission trip and the way she is handling it I can see many more of these in her future.
It has been a great week filled with new adventures and sights. Today was a finesse kind of day at the church so not a whole lot I could do there besides mix the mud for the finish on the floor. Since they didn’t have much need for me inside I finally received my chance to prove my natural skills in sifting sand. Not my favorite job of the week but still a job that needed to be done.. Tomorrow should be a great day for both teams, I will be returning with the church team to mix concrete for the stage, and the house team is finishing up the stucco on the outside walls. God has truly blessed us this week with great weather and the chance to accomplish all the tasks we started. I wish there was more to do and more time to spend here but until the next time I will pray God calls me back to Haiti to serve him again.
This morning, my team had Bible Study with the Haitians at the Mission. Kenton delivered the message. It was really amazing and inspiring to hear him speak. I know that he is a strong, Godly man, but I usually experience his goofy side. He spoke about comforting others because at some point or another, we all need to be comforted. He reminded us that although the world is full of pain, it is also full of love, and it is our duty as Christians to love and comfort people, because God loves each and every one of us the same. After Bible study we went to work on the house. Spoiler alert of how my day went: I blew my nose tonight and sand came out. I spent some time sifting fine sand again, which is used to make the stucco that coats the walls of the house. I was also able to work IN the house for the first time! I helped put stucco on the walls and sand them over. It was surprisingly cool in the house, and I really enjoyed working on the walls! I now have sand and cement throughout my hair (and apparently my nose, too). We were able to finish the inside walls, put the roof on, and put the doors and shutters in. One of our translators, Robinson, taught us new words and phrases in Creole, which was fun and entertaining. My favorite part of the day, though, was getting to meet the family whom we are building for. The father has been working with us all week, but the mother stopped by today with their two kids: Neika and Sheil. The mother, Chery, insisted on helping us work. She spent the entire afternoon sifting sand and refused to take a break. The only problem was that she needed someone to hold Sheil, her four month old son. So, NATURALLY, I volunteered to hold him. He is the most precious little baby. He never made a sound as the girls passed him around. We blew bubbles with his older sister, Neika, and I let her have some of my stickers. She stuck them on herself as well as all over us! I took her picture and we realized that she has probably never seen herself before… This was a humbling realization. These kids have touched me so much. I am so thankful I was able to spend time with them today. After we were back at the compound, we had dinner [rice, bean, beef, and veggie mixture, chocolate chip muffins, and Jello with fruit (Mangos, Dad! Mango…Mango…!)]. After dinner I attempted to kick a soccer ball around on the playground. I attempted this in a skirt that buttoned all the way down the front. Thank goodness I had shorts on underneath because, even after I unbuttoned the bottom button, I busted two more completely off! After soccer and my wardrobe malfunction, we had a really nice Bible study. Thank you, Mom and Dad for your message (they are read out loud to the entire team every night), and thank you, Lala for sending me one every day. ☺
Well it has been a great day I have worked really hard and tried to do my best. Even though I have physically worn myself out, I still feel as if I haven’t done enough. My heart feels broken as I look around and see how things are for BHM. There is a young man here who is just a year older than me; he has a degree in drafting design and he chose to come here and is going to stay until God tells him to leave. He could’ve done anything he wanted to; and yet he chose to stay because he feels as if he can help the people. I don’t know if God wants me to be a missionary or not but I do know that I feel like I make a difference when I work on a mission trip right up till I leave. Today I spread cement over the walls of the house, I did such a good job they Haitians asked for me to come back tomorrow. Tomorrow will be crazy not only do I have to lead music but I am also giving the message, I think that makes twice in my life maybe three times dad has ever told me that I was going to teach an actual lesson. I hope I do good, I have tonight to prepare; oh yeah dad didn’t tell me until about two hours ago that I was to lead the lesson tomorrow. As much as I miss everyone at home, I really wish that I could stay just another week and build something else that could benefit someone else. I feel sorry for the people who could’ve some on this trip and chose not to, they really missed out. I also feel ashamed after seeing how these people treat church and compare it to how we treat it. These people show up in the nicest things they have and when they sing they let it all out; they don’t care, and then we have people who try to make it through service and then when Mark says amen; bolt out as fast as they can. It makes me sad to think about all that we miss because we don’t think that church is all that important. I know that some people only get Sunday off of work but still, why not spend the day at a church worshiping the Lord or even doing something for God on Sunday. I don’t know everyone’s life, but I do know that God gave everything and the people of Haiti see it, so why can’t we? I love you Tess…………….and Matt
We were back to work today at the church. Of course, my first job of the day was sifting! Lori and I sifted until VBS. We came up with a few really great sifting songs which I hope make the video! Johnny, one of our translators, led our lesson and songs for VBS. He did an amazing job and kept all the children’s attention the entire time with his enthusiasm. Part of the lesson involved the children reciting the daily memory verse. Today’s verse was printed on 5 separate sheets. Johnny started by having the children read the verse from the sheets, and then he removed one sheet at a time until they were reciting the entire verse from memory. It was amazing that after only reading it a couple times almost all the kids had memorized the entire verse…and had so much joy and excitement while doing it! Lori and I ran crafts today, and the kids made doorknockers which said that Jesus loves them. After each child finished his/her craft, we went around and said Jesus loves and said their name which the kids all enjoyed. At the end of VBS, Johnny closed out by reviewing the lesson and giving an invitation. Four young boys stayed after to pray. It was so beautiful watching Johnny lead them to Christ. I bet you will never believe who was crying! To make it an even more amazing day, another boy came up a few minutes later and also accepted Christ! PTL! During the afternoon, we started painting the outside of the church. We painted the rocks white and the rest of it a peach color. Almost every child at VBS painted with us which was such a blessing! I wasn’t sure about the color choice at first, but when we were pulling out to head home, it looked so beautiful! Even though we have all complained at some point about the long ride to the church, it is probably one of my favorite times of the day now. When kids hear our truck coming, they all come to the road, wave, and smile which makes us smile of course! ☺ Tonight we had rice for dinner which I loved! I also had a Sprite. It tasted really good, but I cannot wait to get a Diet Coke when we get back to the states! Tomorrow is our last day of work and last day of VBS. Please pray that we all stay healthy, are able to complete all of our jobs, and that we have a great turn out for VBS! Can’t wait to see everyone in a couple of days! Love ya Mom, Dad, Libby, Laura, Tiera, and Bethany! And, everyone loves all your comments Mom. Thanks for taking time to read all our blogs and write to us!! Logan
Today went by surprisingly fast considering my only job today was to scoop, shovel, and sift sand at the house site. We got to meet the family that we were building the house for, and they are amazing people. The dad works at a public school, which means he doesn’t get paid, the mom stays at home with the 4 month old baby, and their 6 year old daughter attends a private school that the family has to pay for. The mom, Cheri, jumped in and helped us sift sand all afternoon; she didn’t even take a break. She was so appreciative that she was attempting to repay us. She even gave us her phone number and address and told us that if we ever came back she wanted to be a part of our work crew. God’s love definitely was spread to all of us through her compassion. Besides sifting, the translator at the house site, Robinson, taught a few of us some phrases in Creole. We put them to a song and sang them throughout the whole day. We laughed so much (not fake laughs, Preston) that our sides hurt. We have one more day of work tomorrow, and I will be spending it at the church doing VBS, which I am very happy about. The kids here are so appreciative and willing to do things we don’t even ask of them. It has humbled me to see how grateful they are for the smallest things such as a Frisbee or a jump rope. I’m sad that our time here in Haiti is going by so quickly, but I’m excited to come home and share my stories with you in person. Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Love and miss you all.
Today we were at the church. The guys were working on the final coat of the flooring, others sifted sand – again, painting on the outside of the church began and today was my first time experiencing vbs with the kids. The children here absolutely melt your heart! While we are riding in the dump truck to the church, and back, they line up along the road to wave at us. They are so excited! At the church while we were painting the people in the community jumped right in to help! The amount of effort it takes to survive a day here is sometimes impossible for me to grasp. The need for water, and lack of it right now, is crucial and a luxury that I have taken for granted. Gardens are literally on the side of a mountain. I couldn’t do in a week what they accomplish in one day. Looking forward to what tomorrow holds, and am thankful for God’s blessings. Thanks for your love and prayers. Love you Faith!
I was based at the church today, helping with painting, sifting, and VBS. It was so amazing how eager the children were to paint. At one point, I had two handing me full paintbrushes to replace used ones while I stood on cinderblocks. We came up with some more sifting songs while doing the fine sand. Then VBS came, and I was based at the games. We played “Cona Cona Goose,” their version of “Duck Duck Goose.” Running in a skirt is so hard, and I had to play for over an hour. The kids seemed to enjoy hitting me on the top of the head as hard as possible before running off. Five children were saved, and it was so amazing. I was followed by a brother and a sister today, Alecson and Francesca. They basically just loved to be near me, and loved the beeping noise my watch made. I am disappointed that today was my last day among the kids at the church, but look forward to finishing the house, and seeing how it affects the family. Love to everyone at home!
Today I was at the church, we did VBS and I was the line leader. My group was mostly boys, but they all listened. We did a game called “cona cona goose”, which in America it is called “duck duck goose”.(Those kids are like lightning bolts!) Then, they played bingo and had goldfish and fruit punch. Next, and finally, we made door hangers but they use them for other uses. At the end we sang some songs and we reviewed our lesson which was about “ The Fiery Furnace”. Altogether it was a good day! Please keep us in your prayers.
Monday, July 27, 2015
This has been quite the eye opening trip. From the huge mountainsides to seeing 4 people on a motorcycle and seeing people balance 100 lb. sacks of potatoes on their heads too. But the most amazing thing is the way that people pray and how thankful they are and they have nothing. Their prayers are longer than Mark Stump's sermons. Since I can't trade Elainah for a cow, what color goat did you want Bethany?
Sunday, July 26, 2015
As you have read, today was a much needed rest day. See Shannon’s blog for some great details. I did not go on the hike, but enjoyed a nap and washed some clothes by hand which was strangely relaxing. I get a special blessing from watching our group work together, play with the Haitian children, and interact with each other. I have known most of the youth since they were born and others for several years. Seeing them work hard and serve God has been wonderful and fills my heart with affection. To be able to share this with my daughter is beyond expression. The pastor this morning preached from Philippians 1 today. Part of what makes this week special is that we are in “one mind and one spirit striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. “ If only we can keep this mindset. Tomorrow I am back to the church for concrete work and VBS. Please pray that we will see children and even adults that will give their hearts to Christ. Debbie, I enjoyed hearing from you and your other posts, and I am happy to hear that the Galilean Girls will be visiting you tomorrow. I will miss being with them, but I think I might be getting to do some painting at the church. Nana and Ronna, so glad to hear you are having a grand time on the Pacific! Love you! Mary, you would love the kids here, and I am sure you would want to take a few home! Thank you for your prayers! Love to all!!
This morning, we attended a church that was about a ten minute ride from the compound. As we walked past the church at the compound, we saw lines of people waiting outside to get in, in addition to the hundreds of people that were already inside. We did not attend the church at the compound because it was having baptisms today, which Bill said could take over seven hours! Compared to other days of the week, the streets were relatively desolate. Almost every person we saw was on his or her way to church, dressed in his or her nicest clothes. The church we attended was beautiful! Another mission team was there too; its pastor gave the sermon, translated by the pastor of the Haitian church. My favorite part of the service was hearing a young Haitian boy, no older than 10, sing This Little Light of Mine in both English and Creole. After church we ate lunch at the compound (giant delicious hotdogs) and then a few brave souls went for a mountain hike. Logan was the only Morlan to go on the hike… He said someone had to take care of his cousin! So, Mom and Dad, you should yell at Kenton and Tyler for allowing me to risk my life without their protection! The hike lasted about three hours and was so much fun! The hardest parts were walking down the hill (I kept slipping and sliding on rocks) and climbing up one of the first waterfalls. If Johnny (one of our Haitian friends and helpers) and Colton (an employee of BHM) weren’t there, we could not have made it to see all of the waterfalls. They made us feel very safe! Logan saved my life a couple times too. Not even a second after I started slipping down the hill, he grabbed hold of my backpack and pulled me back up. My cousins are more like the big brothers I never had. ☺ The fifth and final waterfall was our turnaround point. We were able to stand under the water as long as we kept our mouths SHUT! This water is even worse than water from the faucet because the Haitian people bathe in it. Although unclean, the water felt so good and refreshing! The hardest part of the hike was the final stretch coming up the long hill back to the compound. We were definitely exhausted, but no one got hurt, and we all had an absolute blast! After we had a chance to relax and shower, we had dinner (chicken noodle casserole), and then Bible study (followed by cookies). Lloyd made popcorn for us tonight (not nearly as good as yours, Daddy), which I ate as Logan Gibson braided my hair, again. This time, she did a crown braid around my head. Logan has probably done at least twenty braids so far on this trip. She is amazing. Apparently, our water supplies that was SUPPOSED to last until Tuesday ran out today (Sunday), so Bill threatened all of the girls and said that if we didn’t shorten our showers, he wouldn’t allow Logan to braid our hair anymore. Mom and Dad, you’d be so proud of how little water I’ve been using here during my showers! Tomorrow, my team heads back to the house to coat it with stucco. It’s hard to believe that our trip is already halfway over. I hope the second half is just as amazing as the first.
We started our day by attending church about 10 minutes away from the compound. We rode in a dump truck in our church clothes which was a very interesting experience. Another mission group from Texas attended the church as well, and their pastor spoke the message in English and then the church’s pastor would translate it into Creole. A little boy also sang “This Little Light of Mine” in English and Creole which was definitely my favorite part of the service. After church, some of us made the brave decision to go on the hike. We took the easy trail down (Hallelujah) and made it to 5 beautiful waterfalls. We made a lot of awesome memories as well. Skyping was so cool too! I loved hearing that you guys are praying for us and are enjoying our blogs. Trey and Preston: I was so happy to see you guys! I can’t wait to swap stories when we get home. Love you guys. I’ll be working at the house site tomorrow for the first time, and I can’t wait to see the work that’s been accomplished in the past 2 workdays. Love and miss you all. See you soon.
Today was a day of rest for most of the group we had the chance to sleep in before going to church this morning. Their church service was similar to ours in many ways in how they started with announcements and singing then the prayer that’s about all I saw of the service. A woman sitting in front of me had a heat stroke during prayer and I was asked to help carry her out. When we got to the back of the church a man asked me to take her pulse and blood sugar while he got the blood pressure cuff out. This is a completely new experience for me to administer first aid in a third world country. We were able to stabilize her and she eventually walked on her own so I was able to return to service near the end of the message. After church many of the youth went on the hike while a few of us decided not to go again. We stayed behind and played with kids all afternoon. I love seeing the children play on the playground. It is amazing seeing all the kids laughing and smiling on something we got to be a part of two years ago. Tomorrow should be another great day for work, Russell and I don’t know what we will be doing yet so I’ll just have to let you all know tomorrow.
Today I went on the hike and it was a blast it was a great adventure I climbed up a water fall and hiked up huge mountains we got to see many people hiking up the huge mountains with huge things of carrots on their head they are incredible people it’s a great experience to get to see the different lifestyle and makes you realize how good we have it. We also went to church this morning they translated some English it was a good to see all of us from two different worlds come together and worship the same God so far it’s been a great experience, life lesson, adventure and most importantly journey for God.
Today was finally a day of downtime and rest….for some. Our day started out with church service at about 9:00, but most of the time you couldn’t understand what the preacher was saying. At one point in service, a lady infront of us had a stroke and Tyler had to help carry her out of the room. It was a pretty weird church service. Then we had the choice to either rest and stay at home, or go on the hike of death. I decided to go, but it was actually very fun. We walked down rocky mountains, up waterfalls, and got to talk to many of the Haitian people. My favorite part about this trip definitely has been the people. Building houses, sifting sand, and laying concrete isn’t what touches your heart. It’s the people. They are so kind and generous, yet they have absolutely nothing. We went on a hike for fun…these people take that hike everyday to bathe and get water. It amazes me how they live like that. We really don’t know what a bad day is. This trip has really changed my heart and opened my eyes. I’m ready to go out and work again tomorrow and make it a great day.
Today was a relaxing and enjoyable day! The weather was beautiful - not too hot, pleasant breeze, and children playing happily on Noah’s Ark. I even had a chance to kick a soccer ball to a few children. I won’t be joining a soccer team anytime soon, though. The best part was watching Riley play and talk with the children. She was so happy and I am sure she will remember this day forever! Looking forward to vbs tomorrow and what the day will bring. Praying that I am a help not a hindrance and God will be glorified. Love you Faith! Mommy misses you! Love to all!
Today was my best day ever. I went to church and it felt like it took forever because of the language barrier, but it only lasted an hour and a half. Then many went on a hike, but Allie and I stayed back to watch the kids play at Noah’s Ark. We brought down a Frisbee just to play by ourselves not knowing that our lives would be changed when three boys came by… We were throwing the Frisbee when I accidently hit one of the boys in the head .OOPS! When we got the Frisbee back he wanted to play so we started throwing it back and forth. Then, another boy playing soccer wanted to throw too, so of course we wanted to play. Not too long after another boy wanted to play, so we gladly said yes! We played Frisbee for a long time until I finally got enough courage to ask them their names. To my surprise one of them spoke some English. Their names were Landom, age 11, Sunfly, age 9, and Koreen, age 11. We played for three and a half hours and they asked if we could be friends for life. Allie and I were so overjoyed we were almost speechless! Finally our day had to come to an end and I had tears in my eyes. We said our goodbyes and they were on their way. As soon as they left I had forgotten I had not taken a picture of us together for the last time. Thankfully they had stopped to talk to each other before they went their separate ways and we caught them to take a pic. After we took it they were so surprised to see themselves . So altogether I had the best day imaginable! Thanks for your prayers!
I am so sorry that I didn’t get to write yesterday but I plan on making up for that tonight. Yesterday was a crazy hard but good day for me. I worked at the church location with team one. Our job was to finish laying the rebar down and pouring concrete. Doesn’t sound too bad but trust me it was hard work. We used forty bags of crete mix and mixed it all with shovels. We moved it all with buckets in a line. Tyler Morlan, Logan Morlan, Russell Nuckles, and I did most of the shoveling we had a rotation going when someone got tired or arms died we switched. It was a very tough day took a lot of muscle and water. Just imagine jumping into a pool with all your clothes on and boots. That’s what we looked like except it wasn’t water. We got home took our showers ate and laid down. I personally fell asleep and that’s why I didn’t get to blog yesterday and for that I am sorry. But today was an awesome service and an awesome time playing soccer with the kids at the arc. Yes I played soccer, crazy right, but it was fun it was a very good relaxing day and dinner was good. Keep us all in your prayers and I’m keeping you in my I love you all and hope your having a good week. God bless you all and I love you
Today was fun. We got to sleep in a little later than we usually do. Then we went to a Haitian church. I got to say, I don’t think I have sat through a service that long. Please don’t take that as a challenge, Mark. But anyways, after service we came back to the compound, and some went on the hike. I didn’t go on the hike because I heard that it was tiring and hard so I just stayed home and slept. After I woke up, I asked Bill how long I slept and he told me 3 hours. Then Marcy told me that they didn’t think I was ever going to wake up. But I woke up. Then Hannah and I met Riley and Allie down at the ark, and then we played soccer with some of the kids that were down there. It was really fun. After that we ate dinner. Then we had bible study at the thing by the ark. Then we skyped with the church! I can’t wait till tomorrow!!
When we woke this morning, we went to a Haitian church. It was interesting, with another American group from Texas. After we came home, some of us prepared to go on a hike. It was challenging, but worth it. I slipped several times, but got out unscathed but for a tiny scratch on my ankle. In the end, we saw five waterfalls, the last of which we went into. The walk was so pretty, but would have been better if there wasn’t so much trash. I would do it again in a second. Love to home!
Sunday for me is one of the longest days here. I would rather be out working on one of the house sites. This morning we went to a different church and it was a wonderful service. After that we came back and some of the kids went on a hike down the mountain to see the water falls. The rest of us just hung around the camp site. For me the best part of the day was seeing Riley get to play with the kids at the park. This is all she has talked about doing since she found out she was coming to Haiti with me. She has been down there playing with the kids for over 4 hours. What a blessing it is to see her doing what she wants to do and be so happy.
Today we got up at 7 am to get ready for church. After we got home from church some people went on a hike I did not. Riley and I went to the playground and threw frisbees with some kids. Three of the boy kids dragged me to the zoo and told me all the names of the animals in french while I told them in English. Later I figured out their names were Landom, Sonfly, and Korreen. Riley and I talked to them for abut three hours. They kept teaching us words in french and we told them back in English. Also Riley and I got dance lessons on how to nay nay and they taught us some soccer skills. After that I played soccer with some more kids. After that we had dinner then Sunday evening service at the compound. Then we Skyped, talked some more, and Eric read some comments. Thats it for tonight. Love everyone back home.
After two days of hard work, it was great to have the day off! We were able to sleep in until 7 AM this morning which was amazing. Our whole group and the BHM staff went to service at Thomassin Conservative Baptist Church. I thought that we would probably not be able to understand anything during the service, but there was another mission group from Texas who also attended. The pastor from their group gave the message in English, and then the pastor of the church translated it for everyone else. My favorite part of the whole service was when a young boy, around 10 years old, sang This Little Light of Mine in English and in French Creole. He had such a beautiful voice and you could tell that he had been practicing his English to sing it for everyone. Lori and I both cried of course during the whole song! It was truly a blessing. After service, we came back to the compound, had lunch, and prepared for our hike. Colton, our BHM team leader, Johnny, one of our translators, and Fito his brother, led our hike. It started off pretty easy and we went downhill on a steep incline for about a mile. Next came the tough parts. We had to climb several steep rocky cliffs and waterfalls. We were all thankful for Colton, Johnny, and Fito. If we didn’t have them to help us, several of us would not have made it to the top. The path we took was beautiful, and we got to experience even more of the countryside! I love it here :) We were able to make it to four waterfalls, and at the last one, we all got wet and took some pictures. The climb back down the mountain wasn’t too bad until we had to go back up the mile long steep incline. Our group had to make several stops on the way up. I just kept thinking to myself that I do not know how the people here climb it everyday with heavy loads of water and supplies. I was very thankful when we finally made it to the top that I have been working out for the past 6 months, because I would not have made it otherwise! I only added a couple cuts and bruises during the hike, so that was a bonus! Following our group dinner, we had a service outside. Logan led several songs for our group, and it was amazing to get to worship with everyone. After worship, we were able to Skype with everyone at home. It was nice to see some familiar faces and know that everyone is praying for us! Tonight Lloyd made us popcorn on the stove, and it made me think of home! I braided lots of hair in the past of hour and am ready for bed. Continue to pray for BHM, our group, and for VBS the next two days! Hi Mom, Dad, Libby, Tiera, Bethany, and Laura! Miss and love ya lots! Can’t wait to see you in a few days :) Eric just read our comments from yesterday for the group. Thanks Mom for writing me! Melissa: I hope you and Jaylei enjoyed the rest of your trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it when I get home! Logan