Port au Prince

Port au Prince
"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Back in Boston

We had an eneventful trip back to Boston yesterday from Port-au-Prince.  The flight, immigration and customs were smooth.

This morning, as I reflect on our time there, it's hard to imagine that we were playing with the children at King's Garden less than 24 hours ago.  It's difficult to leave them.

Play before going to the airport

Beautiful Port-au-Prince

PSC Haiti Team 2017

Stephanie and I have been to Haiti four times.  We've learned so much over the years, but still have much to learn.  As we've done in the past, we'll evaluate what worked well and what we can do better.

We are so grateful for the encouragement, prayer and financial support of the whole team.  Those things are a big part of what makes this trip possible year after year.  It is a difficult trip…emotionally, physically and spiritually, and we need all the help we can get to do what we do.  Thank you.

Mark



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Last night in Haiti

It always sneaks up on us…our last night in Haiti before we travel home.
Seems like just when we are getting into the swing of things, it's time to get on the plane.

We had a wonderful time worshipping and praising God this morning with the kids at King's Garden, then surprised them with our annual pizza party (wasn't much of a surprise since we seem to do it with them every year).  Anyway, it was a great afternoon of laughing and playing with the kids.


















We managed a football game (soccer) in the afternoon as the clouds from a cooling thunderstorm covered the scorching sun.  It was still hot and very humid, but we could play without passing out!  We also had a short volleyball game where we spent more time laughing together than actually playing.  It was so much fun.

The team is in good spirits and we've all been pretty healthy this trip.

Tomorrow morning, we'll go over to the hospital to spend the morning with them, have a short 45 minutes with the kids then over to the airport.

Thank you all for praying for our trip.

Mark


The Colors of Haiti

Boujour everyone. We had another blessed day which started with a luscious breakfast including an amalgame of juicy and colorful tropical fruits graciouly prepared by the cordon bleu Evelyn and master chef Dr. Morquette, then we headed off to KaliKo beach. We were delighted to have Dr. Morquette and Dr. Junie join us as they led the way. Our journey to the beach was full of panoramic views, the ocean to our left with diverse shades of blue and hue of green and mountains to our right with green flora, fruits trees...and specially the beautiful people of Haiti going about their daily lives. This one on a motorcycle, that one on a mule, smiling merchants by the road side showing off their colorful harvest... The very efficient monsieur Belaizaire with many hats was also a tour guide as we drove pass the memorial to the victims of the hurricane, the historic town of L' Arcahaie (birthplace of the flag of Haiti) and much more. The beauty of Haiti and its people warm our hearts. We arrived at the beach, got settled and most of us went swimming in the warm water (yes the ocean in Haiti is warm at all time, even in "Winter"). It was also a time of celebration: It was our superhero leader Mark's birthday, Xiaoman's very first time getting in the water... we shared laughters, testimonies… After a week on the field, this day was also a time for rest and quiet reflection. Habakkuk 2:20 "The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him"

          Ode pour Haiti
Que tu es belle Haiti!
Haiti, en toi je vois le mirroir de l'humanité
Continue de marcher unis
Bon courage
Que la grace de Dieu t'accompagne
Marches unis 
Bon courage
Tu n'es point seul
Du nord au sud
De l'est a l'ouest
Dieu t'a cree merveilleuse
Nous t'aimons tres fort
Que tu es belle Haiti!


Birthplace of the Hatian flag

Bananas in transport

Welcome to Kaliko


Swim time!


Beautiful horizon


Calm






Historic sugar cane boiling bowl


Chika-Chika Boom Boom up in the coconut tree!


Simply beautiful!



Friday, July 28, 2017

The Last VBS Day

Well, it's Friday! Here in Haiti that means our group had our last VBS lesson with the children at King's Garden.

Our VBS team, led by the incomparable Stephanie, has organized the VBS to center on the theme that "God Loves You." We have focused each day on one part of this sentence. First we explored who God is, then love and how to show love, and finally we celebrated "you" and the things that make each of us special in God's eyes. Therefore, today was a wonderful celebration of each kid who came to VBS. 

The VBS has started each day with a rousing couple of biblical Children's songs led (with expressive hand motions) by Jenn. Next, we review the lessons from earlier in the week. Afterwards, we dove into the day's message. Today it was about the subject of God's love; all of US!! This lesson also included the felt board and the creation story, which was a big hit with the children. We also played some games in which the children had the opportunity to share what makes each of them special. As you can see in the photo below, some of us felt a little silly thinking about what makes us special and different.

Our lesson was about "you"
After the games, our group used polaroid cameras to take a photo of each child (there were around 33, including children visiting for the day). Then each child made a heart shape using their thumbprints and stamp pads to decorate the frame of each new photo. 

The children really responded very positively to their personalized pictures and frames. They kept wandering back to the wall of photos throughout the morning to have another look at their picture and the pictures of their friends.
The craft of the day!!!
The afternoon went as usual, meaning the Park Streeters and children played all number of different games, many of which included stories, puzzles, bubbles, volleyballs, soccer balls and today a couple of juggling scarves!

The day finished with another delicious meal at the Morquette's house, which ended with Key-Lime iced cake and Dr. Morquette's famous discussion of Haitian history and culture. Needless to say, the team went to bed with our minds at least as full as our stomachs, and we pray for Haiti with renewed vigor.

As always, we are incredibly grateful for those of you thinking of our team and praying for us and for Haiti. Blessings!