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Archive for the '2015 Feb Community & Young Adults' Category

Free Gifts and New Life

Bonswa! C’est Alison, Michael H, and Katie reporting from Haiti.

Thursday was our last service day in the village, and it could not have been any more fulfilling serving the people of Titanyen. In the morning, our service project was planting fruit trees for the families that the Village Champions knew needed a tree. The trees were a free gift, meant to provide shade and food for the families, and they were also a great transition to discuss growing in faith with Christ.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6)

The families were incredibly grateful and we prayed over every tree and family. Here are a few highlights from the different families we served today:

The Dallas team (minus Peter, Travis, and Michael H) visited a house and ended up meeting Rosette and her sister, Madam Wilfred – both elderly women. Rosette shared that she had a relationship with Jesus since she was a little girl, and Alison (who LOVES old people) asked her to share her favorite scripture. It was so encouraging to see her quote Psalm 51 from memory, an amazing psalm of repentance asking God for a pure heart – and which happened to be the same passage we discussed for a devotional earlier in the week! She then got down on her knees when we asked to pray for her.

The Fort Worth Team (plus Peter, Travis, and Michael H) planted 12 trees today, but the very first house was one of the most memorable. As we walked through the outer gate, we were immediately greeted by a man in his 50s carrying a Bible and wearing the biggest smile we saw in Haiti. He was so excited that we were there to plant the new tree, and he had already picked out its very special spot. When we finished, he let us pray for him, then he prayed for us and shared how wonderful God has been to him and his family. We left even more encouraged by him than he was by us.

This afternoon we went to the soccer field and had a blast hanging with the kids. The Haitian girls found great joy in braiding some of our women’s hair, while the guys and a couple of women played a very competitive soccer game with some of the village boys.

Finally, we wanted to share a very special event that occurred today. On a Dallas team tree plant we saw God work firsthand in a young man’s life. After engaging him, he initially seemed distant and not eager to talk. We broke the ice with our free tree gift, and shortly after he began to warm up. We asked if he had a relationship with God, to which he answered “No.” One of our team members shared his story of how he came into a relationship with God and also shared Ephesians 2:8-9 with him. After this he said “Yes” to accept Jesus into his life. So we led him in a prayer to trust Jesus for the forgiveness of his sins. After the prayer, he was smiling and thanked us for sharing God’s word with him!

What was even more amazing was that this young man was the son of the woman we had prayed with earlier, who had asked for prayer for her loss of her 12-year-old child 6 months ago. And now she has a son who has new life!

In all these events today, we are humbled that God used us to share His word and truth to the people He loves so much. He showed up big today and reminded all of us that He is good, loving, compassionate, and very present with the people here in Haiti.

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Powerful Conversations and More on Wednesday

Written by Lindsey Fowler, Morgan Meharg, and Tiffany Charters

“Hump Day” was a great day in Haiti! Our team’s morning started with prayer on the roof in groups of 3-4 people. In the groups, we prayed for specific things to happen throughout the day. Some of those things were achieving boldness, being led by the Spirit, and being intentional. Like Monday, when the teams arrived in Titanyen, we broke into two groups led by our Village Champions. We were once again greeted by eager kids ready to grab a “blanc” hand!

One of the teams walked to one of the poorest areas of Titanyen. Many of the families still live in one-room homes that were built by relief organizations after the earthquake. Several of the kids had red hair and bloated bellies, which are signs of extreme malnutrition. During this time, we were able to engage with several families. We had the opportunity to pray over almost everybody we came into contact with, including a cute, 3 month-old baby! Some of our guys intentionally connected with the teenage boys, which was an answered prayer because we struggled with that on Monday. It was so cool to see all team members constantly having kids hanging off them and pursing conversations with adults.

After lunch, we returned to Titanyen for Kids Club! Kids Club was run by our rockstar Village Champions and translators. The kids sang, danced, heard the Gospel, played games and sports, and were given a snack. Not only did Peter share the Gospel in a way that the kids related to, he did it in a way that completely grabbed the kid’s attention and captivated them. The smiles on our team members’ faces as we were leaving was a glimpse of all the joy that came from loving on children.

Here are a few standout stories from the day:

  • At the first house we stopped at, we met a pastor of a local church and his family. He thanked us for what we were doing in his village, and Garrett thanked and encouraged him for bringing more hope to his village. It was a really encouraging way to start our day, praying with fellow laborers for Christ!
  • Tiffany and a couple of team members approached two women standing outside of a night club. We came to find out that the women were prostitutes. The Lord allowed the women’s initial resistance to fall down, and they listened to the entire Gospel explained. The women even allowed Tiffany to pray over them and for the night club to shut down. Talk about boldness!
  • Every night the Fort Worth and Dallas teams have come together for a time of worship. Tonight, we joined forces with 50 World Race team members and praised the Lord LOUDLY together on the rooftop! Even the security guards below were worshipping with us!

It has been incredible to see what the Lord has been doing in Haiti over the past 4 days! Our eyes have been opened to the fact that the Lord is moving all over the world. He is sufficient for all of our needs, regardless of what they look like!

Thanks for reading!

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The Kids of Titanyen Village

Written by Jeff and Kristen Fraser

There were at least 75 kids we got to play with on Monday!

We are keeping a quote book for the week. For instance, the kids are rather possessive and like to claim one of us as their very own “blanc” – a.k.a. “white person.” It was our favorite quote of the day.

The boys played soccer, frisbee, tag, etc., while the girls loved braiding our hair, singing songs, dancing, holding hands, and being held. It’s amazing how just looking into their eyes creates a deep connection with some of these kids. They crave attention and are satisfied just touching us. It’s incredible that we don’t even have to speak the same verbal language to be able to communicate with God’s love.

Here is one of the best stories about the kids: Mandy spent most of the afternoon with a 13 year old girl. They didn’t do much talking because of the language barrier. The girl walked Mandy back to the bus and, on the way, motioned for Mandy to close her eyes so she could pray for her! Even if it was in Creole, it’s such a beautiful picture of childlike faith that in turn ended up blessing Mandy. Naturally, Mandy motioned for her to close her eyes too so that she could pray for her as well!

Haiti Day 2-2 (2) Haiti Day 2-3 (2)

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From Front Porches to Relationships

Written by Jeff and Kristen Fraser

Monday in Titanyen was ushered in with a gorgeous sunrise over the mountains and Caribbean Ocean reminding us that God’s mercies are new every day. Today the teams spent strategic village time in the village, just around the corner from Mission of Hope’s ‘Central Campus’.

With four translators and two Village Champions, we split our teams into four groups to begin interacting with families and children. As soon as the bus dropped us off in the village, children swarmed around us and just wanted to be around their visitors. They wanted to be held and responded to; they were full of joy!

To join Mission of Hope’s vision of reaching every man, woman, and child in Haiti, we visited families to learn about their health and hygiene situations, with intentions of building relationships and sharing the gospel as well. We wanted to understand various things – like how and where they get water, how/if they receive medical care, details about their living situations, if they go to church and where, and ultimately if they have a personal relationship with Jesus. We also left hygiene packs consisting of soap, wash cloths, toothpaste, & toothbrushes.

God provided a way for all of us to interact and connect with these people, despite language barriers, living situations, and initial resistance. Most families were willing to listen and responded with gratitude.

We probably ended up reaching 10-15 homes, and most conversations lasted about 30 minutes. Many conversations were held on the front porches of cement block and tin roof homes, so we each did our best to find a shady spot! Several interactions included amazing stories and ended with families inviting us into their homes to pray with them.

Here are some highlights from our conversations today:

  • One woman in her 70s shared her testimony with us. When we asked her what her favorite verse was, she rattled off John 3:16 word for word, and said that she wanted to remain faithful until the trumpets sound at the end of the age. She knew her Bible and encouraged us to write His word on our hearts. We sang with her and her family, and she had tears of joy on her cheeks as we walked out.
  • One woman once worked for Mission of Hope. Her major struggle was that she lived next door to a voodoo home that was full of darkness. Her prayer was that she would remain faithful all of her days, and that if it was God’s will to live next door to this voodoo home, that she would be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ as a light.
  • We were talking with a sister and brother (ages 23 and 19). The sister was fielding most of our questions. Despite being slightly closed off at first, she ended up asking us if she could share her testimony with us… if that would be okay. Praise Jesus!
  • One group visited a 94 year-old woman. She kissed every single person in the group and even danced with some of the guys on the street!
  • Many prayer requests included: prayer for a job, prayer for health of their children, prayer for money to get married, prayer for problems in their village, prayer to stay faithful to God until the end of their days, and prayer for the discouragement that they face on a daily basis.

We also had a few hours to play with the children in a dirt field in the village – more on that in the next post!

We will have one more day this week of taking hygiene packs to families in the village and working towards building relationships. Eventually, MOH hopes to reach all of the homes in Titanyen. We look forward to hearing more stories of grace and sharing the love of Christ with the men, women, and children of Haiti.

Next up – Service Project Tuesday!

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Hit the Ground Running!

This week we had the unique chance to send two teams to serve in Haiti: a team of leaders from the Community Ministry, and a team from the Watermark Fort Worth Young Adult world! In a way, both teams are full of pioneers, since we’ve never had the chance to send these same sorts of groups.

Below you’ll find their first update, along with a prayer calendar and some pics of the teams!

We made it to Haiti yesterday with all team members and bags safely on the ground. We hit the ground running! (Literally, Travis Chapman had to start his journey off with a 1/2 mile sprint to go fetch his bag, which came on an earlier flight accidentally.)

Today we got to experience an awesome church service at the Church of Hope. Afterwards we toured the MOH campuses of Leveque and Bercy, where the College team will be staying in two short weeks. It’s amazing what MOH has accomplished at Bercy in just one year. They have significant future plans for a home for the elderly of Haiti, which are often considered “lesser than” in this country.

Tonight we were served a special Haitian chicken dinner by the high school women of MOH. We’ll start our strategic “village time” tomorrow, which will include various projects of tree planting, house painting, and evangelism by route of hygiene training.

Until next time!

The Community Dallas and Porch Fort Worth Teams

Download their Prayer Calendar here!

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