Thursday, November 13, 2014


Recently God has come through big in two distinct matters in my personal life. Delays that have been years in coming arrived. The measure of it I cannot fully comprehend, and perhaps never fully will. It was a surreal stretch of time in my life the last few weeks, still is a bit surreal. We are sitting at the gate in Chicago, our flight delayed due to the maintenance crew on board our plane doing a repair. It reminds me again God’s delays are often due to ongoing repairs. The healing of any culture or system of Government, and more precisely the people involved, often takes much longer than anticipated. We like broken stuff fixed immediately. We press God and others when its not moving at our pace. We hate the “in due season” clause. We think the season is now. We vent our frustration, and voice our displeasure. We claim God is deaf, that the heavens are brass, that God has forsaken us. We forget about the fact that God is also concerned about the process, that He is working all the time to heal the most important of broken things, our hearts, and the hearts of those around us. Our journey into Haiti has been really quite short compared to much many have done before us and are invested in now. Fourteen trips later though, we have seen progress in our seasons of travel. We have also seen things that appear to be going backward. Young men  and women who we have helped and ministered to, struggling to find footing in a desolate culture. Trying to find a place in a world that is fast leaving them behind. Have you ever pondered being able to see the world from a darkened, locked closet, and wonder if ever the lock will be removed, and if it is, what you had dared to dream would have passed you by. These kids have access to a key hole called the cell phone and Facebook, they are seeing things the generations before have not been able to witness in a brand new and very real way, via pictures, real time video, and friends communicating from that other universe beyond their locked closets. It’s one thing to conjure a reality from the spoken word of stories, it’s something different when you can see it in full color. Several are not dealing with the delays well at all. They are trying to get out of the closet on their own. And they are not handling the current status of their lives in the desolation zone well. The same could be said of our culture now as well. But the battle lines on the two fronts are completely different. The iPhone 6 slo-mo camera lens captures the reality of Haiti in incredible detail. The delays are often God’s slo-mo camera lens on our lives, giving us a chance to review, to take note, to absorb what we are missing at full speed. However, we often spend the time stewing and complaining. If it has taught me anything, Haiti has taught me to be very careful about what you do with the delays. Soon enough we are in the air, in the meantime, I wrote this blog, looking at pictures and pondering, peering deeply into what the camera lens captured that at first glance I missed. So I leave you with this, don’t begrudge the delays, they are a God send, don’t hold your breath because they will likely be longer than you would like, and seize the moment, it will pass soon enough, and you’ll likely regret your angst and press as you discover the God plan behind it all. This I continue to learn, albeit slowly at times. Blessings to all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Here is another one of those gripping photographic moments. The stark reality of a life lived in a world that is hard to understand or comprehend. The eyes, the face, the swollen belly, this is very typical of the mountain children we see. It's morning and he is fairly clean compared to what he will be soon! I am not sure what he gazes at, the children are often caught with a vacant stare, and one can only wonder at their thoughts. But I know from Rob's personal stories that they are often too hungry and thirsty to be able to cry anymore. Crying is wasted energy that only increases the hunger pains.


We are officially on our way home. This day was truly in Haitian form. The bus arrived but it turns out the driver was a little shifty. We had used him before, however since then things have apparently changed. We had to stop twice for gas, and then we had to stop at a security checkpoint and it turned out he was delinquent on his papers. True to his great feature set in his country, Robinson resolved the crisis, and we proceeded on our way. A trip that normally takes an hour and a half took us three hours. Rob was so disgusted with the driver he paid him and sent him back without him. He took a taxi to the bus station and is headed home on public transportation. I was pretty disgusted myself. Because we always figure to be at the airport three hours early, we made it in plenty of time. But we arrived at our gate later than we ever have. Now climbing up through the sky, enjoying the cool air falling on me, the stickiness of the last few days is drying and I'm trying to condition myself for the cold I will face tomorrow. By Friday morning I will be working outside again in conditions radically different than here. It's amazing how the body adjusts to the radical changes it gets subject too. And that brings me to my pondering thought. We see a lot of country between our run from St. Marc to Port. You see all kinds of sights and smell all kinds of smells. Not all is bad, but the good is swallowed whole by the vast amount of desolation. I watched as we passed a group of school children heading home up through a rugged country side, I wonder how they do it day after day. If ever people had a reason to choose an early exit, these surely would be at the top. But instead they are survivors. We learned our little Guerline (pictured in March between Krystle and Emma) endured a terrible and tragic death at the hands of the Typhoid Fever. She had a burn on her stomach that was so bad the pain drove her out of her mind before she succumbed to death. At first glance one declares God unfair, cruel, and unjust to let such a thing happen to such a sweet and gentle spirit, she was Krystle's age, she was part of an ongoing tragic loss we have suffered through in our Haiti work, and we lost her this summer. But our loss is only momentary, we sowed the seed and today I trust like our mission here this time, her young life was long enough, and her fiery death gave way to a place of peace, security, and love without end. God's plan and timing are impeccable, and each life, wherever that life is planted on this realm of our reality, whether it's the U.S. or Haiti, He is accomplishing great good, even in spite of the genuine evil that exists. Up here the sky is all the same at 36,000 feet. One day we will all discover the justice and mercy of God was shared equally among men, even when we are convinced sometimes here his judgement is impaired. I spoke from the amazing passage of scripture Sunday that is John 3:16. At 50 years old it is becoming a new rallying point for me. Loaded with theology, and redemption for all, I understand God is working all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose on an even greater plateau. My weeks in Haiti are not easy for me, I go because I am sent, I love the people, but the Island has a very harsh edge to it. God continues to thrust me out of my comfort zone, I follow His bidding. As I slip along the jet stream, as I flew to a people I loved a few days ago, I fly along now back to a people I love. It's a checks and balance thing for me, pursuing the will of God to rescue and save that which is lost. No regrets. Leave behind no regrets. Live and love your life in God, bask in what you have rich or poor materially, for we are rich in soul, something my Haitians have taught me well. My soul, and those who have travelled with us this trip have been stirred and moved once again as we have labored in the whitened harvest field, sowing faith, and hope, and love, I believe these are the indestructible things that will outlast time itself. So the road of time makes a bend ahead, I cannot see which way it goes, but I am confident in our Captain. I am certain of this journey. I am securely in the palm of God's hand. Blessings from the homeward flight path.


At what moment do you know it’s enough? On a journey like this, where you barrel along and there are never ending tasks to do, and improvements to make, how do you know? When the last drop of paint is used and it finishes the final wall, it’s a pretty good indication that your close. 38 gallons of paint on the walls! No sprayer, just good old fashioned rollers and brushes. Hour by hour, sweltering heat and all, we made it. One cabinet wrecked in the move, fixed. One closet for dresses, a linen closet for the bathroom, cleaning and organizing throughout, upholstery repair on a chair, love seat, and couch. Kitchen sink installed and working, shelving throughout the house to the tune of 34 to be exact. Pictures hung, Birthday celebration, 70 hotdogs later, and 8 bikes made for a very happy kid zone at the orphanage. The day started out blistering hot, the night was too, but the morning brought drenching humidity. However, you talk about home make over, this was it. It was a wrenching evening as the good-byes brought dreaded sorrowing emotions. One of the blessings was that we spent hours every day with the kids. There was an endless flow of activity, it’s not the place to come if you covet clean and quiet atmosphere’s. The difficulty the first couple of days is the psychological impact of the culture and weather, and at the end, its the challenge of the good-byes that sting and probe you to the depths of your being. There were lots of tears, as harsh reality drew it’s sword and severed our physical connection. There will be a few more in the morning, and then we will be on our way home. We finished well, I’m glad to report. And there are a lot of great things happening. At our children’s service yesterday in Desdunes, we had a totally different response to the David and Goliath story. It was because the kids had never heard the story before. It was one of those moments where you are seized with gratitude that such an opportunity came your way. 250 delightful children showed and the drama went off perfectly. For tonight, the rain has brought a temporary stall in the heat, so I am going to stitch this closed and try to get some rest. Tomorrow will be a day of travel, and I will be loading pics up to the blog as we hit the data stream in Miami. Thank you again for the words of encouragement, it helped us tonight in a dreaded place. Good night to all, and final blessings from St. Marc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


We are up and heading into the final push of our final day. The countdown in on! It's going to be a special day for the orphans as Beth's dream of getting them bikes has become a reality. She has diligently prayed in the $50 a bike for a long time, it was amazing how God provided right at the wire. The final money arrived the day before we left, and she had given up hope that it would happen this trip! Never underestimate how much God cares about the little things. Ray, Bob, and Deloris are off to get organized for the day, the rest will follow in a bit. I loaded up some photos last night and began my own decompressing. So much gets stuffed inside you on these trips and it takes a while for it to begin it's outward flow. But as I scanned through our photos from just one camera last night this is another show stopping moment, frozen in time to be revisited, to remind us what this is all about. Painting walls, building buildings, feeding the masses, buying the bikes, distributing clothing, giving fresh water... it's all about the people, it's all about the relationships, it's all about God at work in His creation to rescue, to save, to deliver on His own terms. I stare at a photo like this and ponder this little life, starvation has etched it's deadly brush strokes into her frame, what is her chance of survival? What kind of life will she live, will she ever leave the mountain? What has this momentary connection accomplished? Perhaps a thread of hope woven into her delicate heart will grow, and seed planted will find good soil, and this tender soul will race without abandon to her Creator, and what had appeared to be a purposeless life, God will show to us one day, and reprimand us for having such little faith, and such a darkened understanding of His ways. So I leave you with that thought for this day, the pondering of my heart as I lay my hands to the final tasks we will do this trip. Pray we finish well, that we have enough strength, that we serve without abandon, caring not for ourselves but only the mission we have been sent to do! God bless you this incredible day He has gifted each of us with!

Monday, November 10, 2014


There are countless moments like these in Haiti that turn your understanding of the universe on it's side. Where is your child tonight? This little girl was alone, and on a mission. A life far to serious for a smile for the camera. This is a little mountain girl, I don't know her name. We gave her a package of fruit chews for letting us snap her photo. This is a common sight in Haiti, but not a common sight to me. I pray against the day I can view this image with unseeing eyes and an unfeeling heart. She never moved when the car stopped and Brandon jumped out to get her picture, she stood and stared at us like a wild animal, but she is not! Here is a life God created and loved, a heart tender and yet hard. Toughened by starvation and pestilence, there is a unique gift here in this small package. We touched this life today, only God knows the reason why. We touched over 250 children today as we performed our David and Goliath story in a church in Desdunes. The pastor was kind enough to let us use his facility for our outreach. Once again your team was in form and performed splendidly! It was a very busy day, some good, some difficult, but overall, another great day in Haiti. Our trip comes to a close in less than 24 hours. It has been silver lined all the way. I am struggling to get posts up, but I am making it up for you by getting a picture up. Enjoy, and blessings to all back home!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


How do you say tired in English? Wait… I guess this is in English! Lee took off in Creole in her introduction at the service this morning and the Haitians went wild. After teaching Creole in the Sates for the last 8 weeks, I could tell Claudy, who was translating for us, was proud as punch of his student! The humidity went off the charts today! We started out our Sunday morning way too early. The blog I wrote last night finished at about 12:40 am. I had just fallen asleep when the generator quit at 1:21 am. I realized that team Captain Robinson after having been up all night for the long night prayer service, having not slept in over 40 hours was not going to awaken to put in more gas. The rain I mentioned in the last blog had the effect of raising the humidity so high the Haitians are complaining! I knew there would be no sleep until the generator was running again. After filling the tank and getting back to bed, sleep decided I was no longer a likely candidate. Somewhere around 3:00 am I must have drifted off. We scampered around to get ready and headed to church. Kelly had been hit with something that put him down for the day, but he went with us and laid in the American bathroom on the shower floor. Everyone really basked in the worship time with the Haitian Christians. It’s a very powerful and moving experience. I know I have shared this before, but this church has see real fire, it has stayed the course, and the commitment to pray is nothing like I have witnessed in my lifetime. A mother came forward and shared a story how God had spared her son in a car accident. Her emotion and gratitude were palpable, and she made clear no one was to get the glory but God! We spent the afternoon with some resting, and some cleaning and organizing in the boys Orphanage room, and Rob, Claudy, and I ran errands. We met at Claudy’s church with his pastor and a couple of board members to scope out another project at his own church. It was a great meeting of kindred hearts, and we are looking at ways to offer help. We had a little paint project to tend to in order to be able to complete the steps Wednesday morning before we head home. We will do the final coat of paint on Tuesday, but the changes today had more than the house glowing, it has the Orphans and our staff in utter delight. Smiles couldn’t be removed. Tomorrow is travel day, we go to pass out candy and re-enact the David and Goliath story on the dusty streets of Desdunes. It promises to be another great day in Haiti. It’s rather hard to believe we are closing out day 5 already. I must confess I made a discovery today that tore at my heart more than any trip into Haiti in a very long time. I am not sure what to do about it, and I have to be careful on this blog, but pray for God to intervene, and pray His will is done. We wrapped out the evening giving the orphans their new cloths, and what an experience that was. Our newest little one name Begoson was all about trying on his new clothes and tennis shoes. We are grateful to be able to stand along beside this work and support. So many out there have contributed, and tonight on behalf of the people of Haiti, we say thank you. It’s time to close, blessings this Sunday evening!


It’s late, but an update is deserving. It’s been a very busy day on the ground here. The flow of activity, and the demands of painting and organizing a house only half moved into has had it’s challenges to say the least. But the change is immense. Naromie climbing the stair case as I was wrapping up for the night exclaimed,  “Woy, belle!” Translated in English, that means, “Wow, beautiful!” Talk about a picker-upper! That in itself made it all worth while. But there is so much more. We had 6 doors installed, a major roof patch done, a large ceiling area built in and covered, a closet built and 10 rooms painted. We still have a second coat to finish on some of it Tuesday, but we hit the home stretch today. Walls were washed, cabinets cleaned, shelving installed, electrical throughout the house repaired and replaced, a new water delivery system installed, a kitchen sink and cabinet will be done Monday, pest control will hit the place Monday, more shelving will be done in the kitchen area, we are moving and shaking! More from weariness tonight. The project manager/ painter/ preacher/ blogger/ pastor is wondering what is next! The ‘Orphanage House’ as Rob calls it, is literally glowing inside. The essentials for living in the new house had been done, but it was not up to our specifications, and really not theirs either,but moving here is no different than home. I asked Rob for something today, and he said; “brother, since we moved, there are a lot of things I have not seen, and don’t know where to even look.” Hopefully that will get easier now as we have sorting areas being prepared and new organizational shelving and storage getting into place. You can be PROUD of this rocking team that has joined us for this endeavor. I have been stuck with a paint brush in my hand and done most of the wheeling and dealing with it there as well. The boys have been the gophers, Ray and Bob the Holy “Rollers”,the young girls have been quite the kitchen masters running all the meals including preparation. The ladies have been the cleaning queens! Lee has been stuck doing all the cutting in with me. We have fed more people on this trip than we have for years. At least 35-40 every time, every meal it feels like the story of the loaves and fishes, you wonder if you will have enough, but we always do. The BIG house is a huge people magnet. Rob’s old house, left behind with the remainder of a contract on it until April has become a home for several displaced young men in the church, it’s such a huge blessing. Our young sound man and drummer are among those now with a roof over their heads. There are so many God angles here this trip, it’s a little hard for me to get my head around it all. One man I care about deeply, a gifted and talented man with 3 kids and a brand new baby, worked for me on our second day. I paid him $20.00 American, I called him back later to do some more work for me and he couldn't come because he was in the countryside buying rice. He took my money and ran for food! He has had no work, and its been really tough. Shifting thoughts and on a different note, I have to share a quick story from the children’s service yesterday. Lee Grant put together a great little play act including a cast of characters from the David and Goliath story (AKA Haiti team members)! Ray acted the part of Goliath, and wow, what an act he put on. As Lee got to the part of the story where David (AKA Krystle) ran toward him swinging the slingshot, and the giant was hit on the forehead (meaningfully acted out by Ray) and he slowly fell to the ground, the place went wild as 500 Haitian children cheered. I could tell by the looks in the teams eyes no one expected that reaction. In America the kids would have been laughing too hard to appreciate the meaning of the story, but stripped of the media, and starving for insight, these kids ate the story up! It was another priceless moment in Haiti. Passing out the candy was a struggle this time, but that reaction more than compensated for the struggle. Tomorrow service starts at 6:00 am. I will likely be done with my message before most are out of bed! Tonight the young people decompressed by playing the rain. Not sure what the neighborhood felt about the laughter and hysteria taking place by the Americans in the dark, in the rain. Haitians hate the rain like some Northern Michigander’s hate the snow! But it provided some great stress relief, and the sound of their joy made my heart happy. I leave you with this, God is faithful and true! He does what He says, and it’s a marvelous journey! Thanks to all for your wonderful comments and encouragement, the team has deeply appreciated it. Blessings from St. Marc!

Friday, November 7, 2014


A few of us sit here in the midst of the long night service. A long day of painting was followed by children’s service at 3:30 pm, and then we set up a new sound board and did some training. We came back tonight to oversee the first run of the system, and it is working great. A thousand voices in a-cappella drowns away the frustrations of the day. It empowers, and renews the spirit. These committed people are going to pray the night away. A praying church is a growing church, and this church is growing! Tonights topic was the third week in a study on faith. My adopted sister’s brother was teaching, and I was astounded. He began with a song and his deep voice carried over the PA system to the hungry faces of the congregation who in rapt attention began to sing with him. The harmony of their spirits is a most compelling and convicting symphony of worship. Then he commenced quoting scripture by memory for about 15 minutes straight. As Rob sat translating, and I watched the faces of the crowd, I marveled they could actually sit for teaching at 9:30 at night. They are packed in so tight, their legs and bodies literally intertwine. I think if someone jumped upright, ten other people would probably fall over. Beth and Lee stationed themselves on the stairs, and it was so packed that every time someone went up or down Beth had to stand. She said it was like musical chairs for the hour and a half we were there. There are really no words that can describe the long night service setting. The needs of these poor people are so great, the only hope they have is in God. At least their vision and understanding is clear. I still struggle with the fog of prosperity, and while I am fully aware of the financial needs represented in our country and the terrible struggle of many, I am also aware that the recourses we have are much more promising than anything these dear people will ever realize in their lifetimes. But they have riches we know nothing of, and they are of the spiritual kind. I would feel squeamish in trying to preach to them about faith. For goodness sake, I am harboring snacks in my tent, 10 inches from my knee, what kind of faith does that take. A little boy who had not come into children’s service attempted to force his way through the gate as the children were being dismissed and hastened out and home. I had to be very firm with this young violater to keep him from entering and stealing from another child. After the dust settled and the kids where gone, he showed back up, and I had to recognize his bravery. In spite of my stern reprimands to keep him at bay, he showed up by my side 30 minutes later begging for something. I remembered I had a couple snacks in my backpack, so I made haste and got him a couple. It was as if I had given him a hundred dollar bill. He was so grateful, I and felt bad for all those who didn’t make it into the Childrens’ service. We cared for 500 kids, and it was a taxing job this time around. So now I’m back the house, the day is done, and my eyelids are refusing cooperation to stay open and focused.  We gave everything we had covered with one coat of paint a second coat, and tomorrow, some of that will get a third coat. Time to rest for tonight. Greetings and blessings from St. Marc!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I mentioned in my earlier blog about grabbing a paint brush. In Haiti, there is not good, better, or best paint. There is only awful! We are applying something they call oil-based paint. It’s runny, thin as melted butter, and the ‘off white’ covers about like a see through sealer. 14 gallons went on walls today. The second coat tomorrow should maximize our efforts of today. The green color in two rooms though is refusing to hide behind the light color we are laying over it. But as I was testing a second coat in the boys room tonight a couple of the orphan boys came in and stood behind me to watch Pastor paint. They ooh’ed and ahh’ed as they watch the wall transform from dingy green to a very clean ‘off white’ and I was re-energized for the task at hand. We will likely spend most of this trip with paint brushes and rollers in hand, the payoff is the delighted looks on the faces of the children and Naromie as the improvements are so drastic. We are washing the walls before we paint, so there isn’t anything by way of a dull moment, there are lots of nasty discoveries! Sometimes we have to take a break, the heat is hard to bear following the cold that is settling back home. We had a pump system installed to move water up to the tank on the roof, the mason came and did a roof patch as well as finishing the stairs that had to be resurfaced. The carpentry starts tomorrow, we have several doors to hang and shelving to build and install. By tomorrow night the entire downstairs should be sealed with the first coat of paint, and the rooms done today should be finished with their second coat. The Mission house was a bit of a trick to arrange last night, but tonight has been a smooth transition. This is an amazing gift to the team, and the space here has a very homey feel. There is some good de-compressing going on tonight, and Chrissyanne had a little Haitian food for those adventurous palate’s. It was tasty. One of her specialties is the ‘rice cake’, and it will be ready Saturday. It takes several days to make, I actually sent money ahead to have her get started. Saturday will be a delicious day! Deloris had a great devotional at noon, and we were inspired and spurred by challenging words. We are so dependent on renewal, the circumstances are so draining, and we push hard. We are grateful for the prayer support and comments that also keep us close to home in our hearts. It adds great joy in the difficult moments. The young girls are stepping up, they are proving to be great cooks! Taylor, this trips ‘newbie’ is doing very well, and actually declared she slept better here last night than she does at home. I think she was just trying to make me feel good. Day two is now closing its doors, and archiving to the history banks, it was a good day, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve this culture. It’s time to pause the keys and get some sleep, thanks for the prayers and support. May God bless you all!


Morning has come! We are all more rested this morning. The generator quit at about 4:38 am and the house went quiet, the air went still, and the heat wrapped me like a way too warm electric blanket. In the stillness I heard some rustling, and team captain Rob was up and putting gas in the tank, in a few moments, the generator purred to life, and the fans took off, and in the drone I drifted back to sleep for a bit. By the time we got downstairs house cleaning was fully underway. Each person here at the mission house seems to have a designated task. And they work so hard. I watched as one of the young girls collected a chair, and reached high above a doorway, felt around and came down with a bag of soap, she used a left over piece of plastic from a cornbread muffin bag from our flight into Haiti to put a few finger pinches onto it, and then to go and mix somewhere for some sort of cleaning. Did I mention nothing is wasted here. (I caught them going through our trash last night, recycle here means something different than in our country.) I know it’s a tiny detail, and obscure to most, but I marvel and am enthralled at the difficulties  that these people are subject to and take on with such a graceful ease in their existence. It makes we wonder how I ever get off griping and complaining about anything in my life. I type away on a speedy Macbook Air, hooked up to a battery powered internet router, while people around me scrub clothes, and floors and pans with their bare hands because they have no washing machines, dish washers, or clothes dryers. Strip away technology and life is quickly reduced to something radically different. My trips into Haiti are a safe guard against the callouses that are our culture. We get demanding about what is right and fair, and to a point, there is nothing wrong with that. Here though, you can make your demands, but they fall on deaf ears. A rigid, and course, and cruel climate scoff at you, its derisive face contorts and the Caribbean Island that at one point perhaps glowed with such promise, has become a tomb for the dreams of many. As we drive and walk the streets, I allow the pain of these people to tear at my heart, to rip at the callouses, to bare the raw flesh of my existence. To truly empathize there is nothing like getting in another person’s shoes, but be prepared, they don’t come close to fitting, and these that I wear now feel like wooden clogs to my being. Clumsy, uncomfortable, heavy, and very, very rigid. Already the pain is doing it’s healing, the exposure is purging, the antiseptic of denial while burning, also sterilizes the wounds the pulled callouses leave behind. It’s time to grab a paint brush and improve the wall color, the orphans are loving their new arrangements here. I think they feel safer, and the space is much more functional for everyone. The facility handles people well, we feel blessed to have located such a place for the dollars we had to invest. The air flow is fantastic upstairs and downstairs, it keeps the house so much more functional as a dwelling. So I leave you again for now, be blessed this incredible day!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


TSA. Need I say any more. We arrived to a security line backed up way too far for the early morning. 10 people decided not to show up for work. On the same day? Really? They figured out they had a problem with the Port Au Prince flight and created a separate line. That didn't fix much as half the plane was in line! Lest you were wondering, the whole team made it, but our plan from last night crumpled in the security line. You could feel the steam and frustration. It's the testing that goes with this journey. Travel in the states is no problem (compared to Haiti travel), because where we are headed the alternatives drop like bricks. It's time to pull up the steel britches. You have to get in a place of total surrender, and often we get these divine pricks to test our readiness. As we flew along, over the public announcement system in the airplane comes the news that we are now being charged $10.00 per passport for a tourist entry fee. Like I'm here for the tourism! I get that all the time, people saying oh so your going to Haiti for vacation. Right! When you leave here you need a vacation. The one plus is that we were just a very short line at the passport entry point. We were through passport control in a matter of just a couple of minutes. The airport extravaganza has changed considerably over the last year or so, and Claudy's brother was there to see us through customs once we found a lost carry-on, there is just no such thing as smooth sailing in Haiti. But the trip through customs today was as worry free an encounter as I have ever had! It was a little like crossing the Red Sea on dry ground! The waves parted, and customs agents walled up around us, and we crossed through with a friendly wave. We bussed our way up through the greenest countryside I have witnessed in my 14 trips, the air was pretty cool, there was a lot of chatter as we tried to catch up on all the happenings of the last few months. And then we arrived. At first survey, it is incredible what has developed. The new orphanage and house for Rob's family is really suitable. It's much cooler than the old location, and much more space. The team set to unpacking and organizing all our goods and food for the week, an inventory of projects for while we are here were set in motion, and we have had tons of hugs and fun with the orphans. Did I mention they are on school break this week! It should prove to be a very special time with them. Weariness has settled upon us all tonight. We are readying dinner, and then will shut things down for the night. The first day always has a surreal lag to it. Time stutter steps along as the heat and the exhaustion of the travel lays siege to the human constitution. So it's time to call quits to this blog for tonight. The brain has begun to refuse to function with any great clarity. More to come tomorrow! Blessings from St. Marc.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Finally, sitting at the gate! I have left this poor blog vacant for so long. No excuses, just a very blinding pace for several months. So much has happened. Some good, some unsettling. The last few weeks have been consumed with Creole classes and packing preparations. The rush to the finish line of this trip has been one extraordinary run! But God’s faithfulness is and continues to be a marvel and joy to us. We arrived at the airport this morning a few minutes late but the team was already firing on all cylinders. Ray was checking baggage, Brandon was the muscle, and we just flowed right into the process. We had one extra bag to check today at the steep price of $150.00. The AA ticket counter personal were wonderful to work with and on the final bag she announced she was waving the fee! I was shell shocked. The airlines have never given me anything. Finances have been tight and one of the prayers I have been praying is that we would have enough on this trip to accomplish what we are too accomplish. I have learned it’s in the little things God comes through the biggest sometimes, and this was one of those incredible moments that I brushed up once more against the divine sleeve of God. I’m glad in my rushing I have maintained awareness of the presence of His gentle and watchful care. Sometimes I wonder at the pace, I wish to pull back the reigns, to slow to a more casual gait. But as I sit and ponder now climbing up through the clouds, pressing our way south to the land of the impoverished,
I am reminded that soon enough I will no longer be up to the rush. My eyes will weary of seeing as the decay of time lays claim. My body will surrender to the force of gravity that pulls and drags each day. I refuse to be morbid, but I also refuse to not be real. That is why on days like these I also refuse to begrudge the rush. The alternative is…well…morbid! How’s that for perspective! We also have to be careful sometimes that it is us doing the rushing and not God. He is never in a hurry, is never late, nor early, He is always on time, always ready, always has His plan. Some perhaps will argue that rushing is in large part due to poor planning, and that can be partially true. But God equips all differently, some are geared for rushing because they can. And God loves to push us to our limits and beyond. So I’m a runner, and while I sometimes get out of breath, I love the racing! Not all I travel with are this way, and together we will make a great team, some are the home run hitters, some are great base runners, some are great coaches, some are great equipment tenders, some are good at stat entry. We have it all, and today, we begin the journey of another great God adventure to His field called Haiti. Claudy after teaching Creole classes for 2 months is going home with us. He has provided such an amazing gift in language training for 26 American students the last few weeks. I think he is happy to be returning home, especially now that winters chill has bit him a couple of times. His brother who works in customs is going to meet us in Port and see us out of the airport. This is also another great and timely gift. We will not have to pause at customs, nor have any worries about the difficulties that we have encountered there over the years. In doing some calculating, this is now my fourteenth trip, and I would be remiss not to ponder the faithfulness of God and be humbled.
In moments like these I am pushed to the sitting position, forced to a different awareness, to a calmer state of mind. I am forced from the drivers seat, the pilot takes over, and I’m along for the ride. A gentle reminder that I’m always along for the ride of life. I love these moments of awareness. And so D-day has come, we are under way, and covet your prayers for every step we take, every hug we share, every project we embrace. On a different note, I think I have the cell phone comment posting problem resolved. I worked with Alisa this morning, changed a setting and ran a couple of tests, and it looks like it worked. I do moderate the comments because I have the blog fully open for posting to keep it simple for all who are not tech savvy! So if there is a delay in your comment going up, it is simply due to the moderation process and when I get internet to check in. Blessings to all!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


woke with a feeling of dread in my stomach as I remembered it was our last day here. I never want that feeling to take over and make my day miserable but I seem to look at things through new eyes when I know my time here is drawing to a close. We had planned to take a walk up the mountain behind the church but time got away from us this morning. Robinson has 5 nephews that are our guardian angels while we are here. They fill the coolers with water and ice, keep the generator going, load and unload the car, carry our bags, help with the children, set up fans and just about every other little job you can think of. They are all right about my age and they are some of my very best friends here in Haiti. They all grew up in the village of Desdunes  but in an effort to get them out of that situation their grandparents had them move to St. Marc. The grandparents live in the states but all of these kids live in the grandparents house here in town. They are all by themselves trying to go to school everyday and make it through life. As we were talking to them this trip, Mom asked why they weren't going to church. Come to find out, they have no church clothes and no money to get any. I know at home that we believe we can go to church dressed in whatever because God excepts us just as we are and that is true but the Haitians follow the same standard my Dad and Mom taught me. If you were going to meet the president wouldn't you wear your very best? Then why wouldn't you do the same when you go to God's house? That is how the Haitians think and it is very important to them that they look nice. Mom promised that she would do her best to get dress clothes and shoes for all of them and they were so excited! Then they asked if there would be any way we could get them a Bible. It breaks my heart that I don't have these simple things to give them but I have high hopes of being able to help them.

We had our big school meeting today for all of the kids being sponsored for school from back home. We got there and were greeted by all kinds of children! The only problem being that three quarters of them weren't the school kids... They were kids who wanted to be able to go to school. So many hurting kids who just want to learn. We had about 50 of our 79 kids show up to write their thank you cards and get pictures. One of the young men that Grandpa Berg has been sending to school will be graduating this year and then next year I think we have 2 or 3 kids who will be graduating! It is so amazing to see all of our hard work to get sponsors for these kids paying off! Besides God, education is one of the only things that is going to help Haiti. Mom is so respected here in Haiti and Rob asked her to speak to a couple of young people from the church who are struggling right now. They are like any other young person anywhere who have struggles and quite often Rob will ask Mom to talk to them about their choices and decisions. She is like a mother to all of these kids and young people! As we got ready to leave the church, we had to say our final goodbyes to Claudy. It was the start to the many goodbyes we have had to say. The orphans came back to the mission house with us to eat dinner and have a little time with us. They didn't know we were leaving until we got to the house and told them. We have learned it is better not to say anything to them about leaving until close to time. It is so hard for them to let us in when they know their hearts will be hurt all over again when we leave. They are such strong kids and it took everything in me not to cry when we told them we had to leave in the morning. Samuel started counting on his fingers how many months until November and when I walked around the corner, Dina was wiping tears from her eyes. A lot of times when they hear we are leaving, they become very distant but I was so proud of how they handled themselves! We got more hugs in one evening from them then we have gotten the whole week which is really saying something! They refused to leave our sides all evening long. The Haitian kids love food! Any kind of food! They ask and ask and ask for food and will eat anything so when we pulled out popcorn and cookies you would think these kids had been given a million bucks! It was so much fun and a great way to spend our last night with them. When it was time for them to go, they gave us big hugs and got into the car. Manius went with them and saying goodbye to him was just as hard as saying goodbye to the kids. We waved until Rob, Manius and the kids were out of sight and then the four American women stood outside the gate and sobbed. Every trip gets harder and harder for me to leave. Poor Vanel stood at the gate watching over all of us until we could pull it together. We are finishing packing up and sorting through the things we are leaving here and taking with us. Klarissa has given us a wonderful show tonight dancing in a way that only she could! We got some pretty spectacular video footage! Now we are showering and ready to fall into bed. It will be an early morning and a long trip home. This past week has been amazing. I will come home if I must but my heart stays here in Haiti.

Much love,


Today has been a whirlwind of excitement! After we got up and around we went to go see the church up in the mountains that West Side Church is helping to have built. We picked up Pastor Isa and Claudy on our way out of town. I don't know what has gotten into us in the last couple of days but we just keep laughing like it's the last time we ever will! Especially Emma and I! She has become like a little sister to me! The four guys in the truck didn't know what to do with us but it was a great trip to the church! When we got there, about 20 children came running out to greet us. They were all very poor and malnourished and it just breaks my heart to see them having to live like this. It was just amazing to see how much a balloon and a lollipop affected all of these sad children. There were smiling faces everywhere! We gave them out to the adults as well and there they all stood laughing and blowing up their balloons! The church is looking awesome! It's unbelievable how quickly they are getting the work done! It's going to be a really great blessing for all of these mountain people to have it! On the way back down the mountain, we stopped to hand out candy to every person on the side of the road. It's crazy how happy it made each and every one of them. I like to believe that to stop beside someone who is just trying to carry water home, crush stones to sell for money or washing laundry in the river, to give them candy is a blessing. Even though it's not much, I like to think that this simple act is letting these people know that they are not forgotten. They are special. They are loved beyond their wildest dreams by their one true Father. It's like the song from Mary Poppins! "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!". A piece of candy from a complete stranger to help bring a bit of sunshine to another dreary day.

When we got back to town, it was time to get Vlad from school. Robinson let us get out and walk in with him and then got us special permission from the principle to be surprise visitors to Vladimir's class! His face was priceless when the four of us walked through the door! His class has probably 50 other children but he was so excited and happy as we took pictures of he and his classmates! His teacher dismissed him from the table and he walked out of there like he was the coolest kid there! It was great! After a very quick lunch at the mission house, we took off for more adventures! Grandpa and Rob dropped us girls off to the church to wait for the water tank to fill so they could pass out water and we could get pictures. While sitting there waiting, we got visited by about 35 kids. We each had at least two on our laps while the rest crowded around to touch us or comb our hair! This is one of my favorite things about Haiti. When I was here back in 2012, I taught Sunday school to over a hundred kids every Sunday morning. I would have 4-5 hours every week that were spent with all of these kids but on team trips I usually don't get any time with them. This is yet another side of Haiti that I will never be able to explain. To have all of these children love you so deeply when you don't know half of their names is something truly precious. They aren't expecting anything from you, they just want to be near you, to see you smile, to get hugs and kisses. Emma and I played ring-around-the-rosy and London bridge is falling down until we were sweated wet and could hardly stand up! The kids were beyond thrilled! When we told them we had to leave, they all gave us a hug and kiss goodbye multiple times for many of them. They waved and waved until we turned the corner in the Toyota. Times like these make me so sad. I love my home in Michigan so much but I love my home here in Haiti just as much and leaving after only being here for a few days breaks my heart. There are people here that are my family just as much as my Dad, Mom and brother and seeing them for a couple of weeks out of the year isn't enough. When I said goodbye this afternoon to all of the kids, I was saying goodbye to most of them for the next 6 months. From the church, we went to the orphanage to spend some time with the kids. We made crafts and blew bubbles but then we pulled out a new soccer ball, basketball and volleyball. We had different games going on all over the yard! Mom played volleyball for a few minutes, but then I took her place to play with Kenley and Emma played with Titi. It was a blast and the kids loved it! They were all asking if they could come back to the mission house after school tomorrow. They don't know yet that tomorrow is our last day with them. It is so hard for them to understand why we have to leave and why wouldn't it be? It's hard for me to understand why we have to leave. I just ask for extra prayers as we get ready for our last day here on the ground.

Before going home for the night, we went to visit a couple of the Monday night prayer services. There are four of them held at four different homes with a total of 400-500 people every week. The first one we went to see was behind the church, up the mountain just a little ways. The path up was steep so Rob had us go up in a "chain" holding each others hands. LOL is all I have to say! We must have looked like quite the group! Manius is the president of the first service we visited. This tiny house up the mountain was filled to the brim with people! It's just amazing! The second one we visited was downtown but it was just as full. Emma and I were talking about how we wished we could have things like this back home but people hardly make it to church Sunday. Back home, our faith is being smothered by the business of life. I totally understand because I live there and I know how life works but I have to wonder why we choose to rush through so many things. Like I said in one of my previous blogs, Haiti is a good perspective change for me. Lots of things I am thinking about tonight. Love to everyone back home!


Sunday, March 30, 2014


After finishing my blog last night our evening ended in a blaze...literally, when the neighbors tree went up into flames! As we stood on the balcony gawking at the sparks shooting out of the yard, Robinson ran over to make sure the neighbors were aware. Apparently they were just trying to burn their garbage but they went inside and the fire got out of control! It all ended well though! My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning and I really didn't think I could get out of bed, especially after such an exciting evening! We were all very tired but managed just fine. As we pulled up to the church, I got so excited! It can be long and hot during the service but there is nothing quite like it! Just like at the Long Night Service, there is not an inch of room to move but somehow we managed to walk up through the crowd to where they had saved a pew for us in the very front. Not even a minute later though, we were called up to sit on the platform with the Pastors. They always treat us like royalty and their honored guests. I feel bad sitting up front with a fan pointed at me while there are so many people who are standing in the sun, but I try to think about what I would do if any of them came to visit our church and I realize I would do whatever to make them comfortable. My favorite time of the service is the singing! There is no way to describe it, you honestly have to see it for yourself! You can take pictures and videos but you still won't understand. A picture is just that. A stand still image of one moment from one point of view. You can't feel the heat, smell the sweat, hear the music or see over a thousand people singing, clapping, dancing and praising The Lord. It's a breathtaking experience. Then came the time that I think we all dread and yet still love. The time to introduce ourselves to all of the church! Grandpa did great, as usual! I can tell how much he is respected by all of the people. Emma got a huge reaction when she said she wasn't yet fourteen! They were all so shocked and the Pastor even commented on it during his sermon! Robinson took time before Lee spoke and gave her many great compliments about all of her talents and how hard she has worked to help support Haiti and of course she soared through with no problem when she spoke. Apparently I made Mom cry when I spoke but I was shaking like a leaf while I was speaking! I am not a huge fan of speaking, singing or anything else in front of crowds but I try my best! Mom has such a heart of gold and shines during moments like these! In this culture it can be hard for women to earn respect from these people but Mom has it 110% and she was even asked to close the service in prayer. We were out of church this morning before church at home even started! We took the orphans as well as some other people back to the mission house for lunch and it was a very full car! 14 people inside the car and 6 outside! After a lunch of hot dogs and macaroni and cheese we were able to spend a good part of the afternoon playing with the kids and singing songs around the table. By late afternoon it was time to take the kids home and we had to run a few other errands. Grandpa got around quickly when we got home to go to the church for a little while and hear Manius preaching. Us ladies have had quite an evening of it! I think we are just tired but everything seemed to be hitting us funny! We have laughed until we cried about everything imaginable for the last couple of hours! And to finish off another wonderful day in Haiti, Grandpa brought back a couple quarts of ice cream! It was a huge hit here at home! We are hoping to get some much needed sleep so we can finish off our last couple of days well! Thank you for the prayers, we are all doing very well.

Much love to everyone,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ground Hog Day

This morning began with a sweet voice saying "Bonjou Krystle! Bonjou Krystle!" And an even sweeter face pressed up against my bug tent. Vladimir was trying to be a good boy but by 6:30 this morning he just couldn't wait any longer! He crawled into my bug tent for snuggles for a little while. All of the orphans were getting up by now too so the upstairs of the mission house came alive! While Mom, Lee and I were on the balcony getting ready, Mom made a comment that really got me thinking. She said " Haiti is like the movie "Ground Hogs Day". I have never seen the movie but I know the general gist of it. A man wakes up one morning and keeps reliving the same day again and again and again. Life in Haiti is just like that. You wake up, clean up, clean the house, eat some food if you are lucky enough to have it, you walk, you sweat, you go to bed and hope that something different and good happens tomorrow and then you wake up and do the same thing all over again. Life here in Haiti is pure survival on so many levels. There is not enough time or resources to relax or do something you want to do because it is all spent on just living. It makes me wonder how these people keep hoping and dreaming when everyone seems, for lack of a better word, stuck. The answer is Jesus. We all have hope when we have Jesus! Still, it takes a lot of faith to press through the trials these people live through! Haiti is not for everyone, but everyone needs a perspective change, and Haiti is mine.

It was another fun morning with all of the kids! Painting sun catchers, watching Robin Hood and playing Candy Land! Today has been the hottest one yet so we had to pace ourselves to go more slowly. The four of us ladies had the big job of putting 500 bags together for the children's service this afternoon. We were all sweated wet by the time we finished but we have so much fun together laughing and sharing! Next on the agenda was lunch... At least 30 PB&J sandwiches later, we were all feeling tired. Grandpa took a short nap and Mom, Lee, Emma and I got to just sit and relax for an hour. We also sang with a bunch of the family! It was so special to watch all of them!

Today was the children's service at three. When we got there Emma and I stood at the door to pass out the bags of coloring pages, crayons and verses while the others went to the front of the church to get everything else ready. It took longer to fill the tent with kids, and Manius even took Mom out to the street to announce it to everyone! The service was probably the most fun we have had with all of the children! It started with a couple of special songs by a few children and then went into a singing competition between the boys and girls of the song "Father Abraham"! Then came the story! Lee and Emma were in charge of it for this trip but all five of us ended up being involved! The story was "Jonah and the Whale" and it wasn't just read, it was acted out! The casting goes as follows: Emma was our narrator, Lee was our Jonah, Mom and I were the whale while Grandpa got to play the part of the Captain! If you haven't ever seen 5 Americans trying to act out a Bible story in front of 450 Haitian children then you have not lived! LOL! It was the best part of the whole day in my opinion! Grandpa wins the gold medal for best acting skills of the day! I don't know which part was better... Grandpa throwing Jonah (Lee) over the side of the boat, or Mom and I swallowing her up with a sheet! The kids loved it! The two girls did an AMAZING job! We passed out all of the candy bags without much trouble and then headed home. By that time it was about 6:30 and we got some dinner ready. It has been a wonderful evening spent on the balcony together sharing and laughing. Our trip has been absolutely wonderful so far! Sunday mornings start very early here in Haiti so we are all trying to shower and get to bed at a good time. It is bucket baths by lantern light for everyone because we ran out of water this morning! Just another day in Haiti! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments! They have been so encouraging to us! Much love to all of you!


P.S. Grandpa talked to Leon about the rig that he wanted him to come and pick up from the island. They brought it over on a boat (an 8 hour journey) but when they went to unload it, they forgot to anchor the boat and the rig dropped between the dock and the boat into the ocean. I don't know how they managed it but with lots of rope and block and tackle the Haitians pulled the 5000 pound rig out of the ocean. Grandpa has told them how to wash all of the salt off of it as well as other instructions so hopefully they can get it working. 

Bubble Wrap

I woke to the sounds of Haiti this morning! It was a hot night for all of us but we did get some much needed sleep. Mom, Lee, Emma and I busied ourselves with getting the upstairs of the mission house ready for the orphans. When we stopped last night to see them, we let them know that they would be coming to spend the day and night with us. While we were sorting through more suitcases, we had a wonderful surprise show up! Robins and Guerline came all the way from Gonieves to visit! Robins is the husband of Ynives and father of Sarabeth who both died in the earthquake four years ago. Guerline is a relative of his and was one of the first girls my age that I ever met in Haiti. I haven't seen her in close to three years now! The orphans all got to the house shorty after that and we didn't waste any time! We came loaded with games and crafts to do with them but we had no translator this morning. Claudy was teaching an English class, Manius was in Port with Grandpa and Robinson was on his way to Port to pick up Manius and Grandpa. I was so surprised when Robins stepped right in to help teach the kids how to do the activities we got out for them. Sarabeth would have been almost 5 now and it made my heart ache to see how gentle and kind he was with the kids when his own daughter is gone.

Grandpa made it back here to the mission house in time for a late lunch. His day yesterday went very well as did his meeting with the Rotary Club. Hopefully he is able to make good connections so he can send in the rig he has been working on. Our whole day was based around the kids and we had so much fun! Vanessa, our newest orphan is a doll! She is very quiet but keeps warming up more and more. I can tell how happy she is to be at the orphanage. All of the kids seem to be doing well. They have all grown! I love how the four of us all come up with our own ways to reach out to the kids since the language barrier can cause problems trying to communicate. Lee showed all of the kids how to jump on the bubble wrap we had used to package some of our breakable items! They were all squealing with delight over that one! Emma and I joined in on a four way game of monkey-in-the-middle with the boys, and I don't remember the last time I laughed so hard while I was in Haiti! Mom has a unique way of loving each of the kids like they need to be. We have a diverse group of children, all with different needs and Mom seems to always know who needs what.

After dinner, the five of us ended up downstairs at the dining room table in the dark. Grandpa started sharing stories about his first trip to Haiti back in 1998 and the conversation ended up turning to the adoption of Manise. To see Grandpa's eyes light up as he talked about how he found out about Manise and then everything that came afterwards to get her was so special to me. She is one of the biggest blessings God has ever given our family and I know I speak for my whole family when I say that. So many people are proud of her, from both America and Haiti.

Our last stop of the day was at the church for the Long Night Service. We stopped to see it last June when we came too, but I never can get enough of it. There are honestly no words to describe what it is like. So many people that you literally cannot move without bumping into or stepping on a person. So many people that there is no where to stand, let alone sit. So many of them come and stand for the whole night to pray, sing and listen to the preaching. There were 5 different pastors there to speak tonight. How is it that Americans get antsy after an hour and a half on Sunday morning? It is something to really think about. How desperately do we want God? We all need God, but how much do we want or long for God? These people want Him enough that it is no problem to stand the whole night long with no food, no water and no sleep. It is an absolutely unbelievable but wonderful thing to me! Now it is late. We are all eager to get showers and sleep! Tomorrow is another day and I can't wait to see what God brings our way! Thank you for all of the sweet comments from so many of you! We have been reading them every night and it is so encouraging!
Good night from St. Marc Haiti!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


4 o'clock came very early. Although thankful for a place to sleep, none of us rested as well as we had hoped. I'm sure excitement played into that! The four of us ladies were downstairs in the lobby just before 5 and I think we surprised grandpa that we were ready to go on time! We were some of the first in the line for security and about fifteen minutes after leaving our room we were sitting in a restaurant ordering breakfast! What a blessing it was to be able to sit and eat a good meal together! The flight was smooth and all of us were able to sleep. As we descended below the clouds and I saw Haiti, it finally hit me that it was really happening. The five of us worked together perfectly, getting through the different security check points and locating our eleven bags. Grandpa took the lead with his cart, I came right behind him with my own cart and Emma followed me with some of our backpacks while Lee and Mom brought up the rear. When asked what we had in our bags, Grandpa calmly started listing off things like clothes, candy and toys. For the first time in years they waved us over to customs to have our bags searched for medicine and other things of value. It took everything in me to remain calm and act as though this would be no problem. I instantly started to pray, asking The Lord to blind the custom agents eyes to anything of consequence but especially our generator which had made it through this far! Mom marched right up front to assist Grandpa with the suitcases. I prayed and prayed and prayed. One suitcase after another was put on the table and then waved through. She did two off of the first cart, two off of the second cart, one off of the third and then skipped the whole cart that had the generator and came back to my cart to search the duffel bag. She never saw any of the seven month supply of vitamins for eleven people or any of the over the counter meds even though we know that there was medicine packed in every suitcase save the one with the generator. Can I just say, wow? I think we were all a bit stunned as we walked towards the exit. I know I say this often but it's only because it is the truth! God is so good! Out the door we went and Robinson was there to meet us! A short walk to the Toyota, 10 minutes to figure out how to fit all of the bags in and on the car and then we were off! It didn't take very long to get Grandpa to the house where he will be staying at for the night in order to meet with the Rotary Club. It is a very nice place and he should be comfortable, though I think we were all sad to be losing a team member for a day! Our ride to St. Marc was great and we had a lot of time to talk and catch up with Rob Rob. As we pulled up to the mission house a familiar face poked his head out of the gate. When Mom got out of the car, Vladimir went running into her arms with a smile that could melt any heart! I was not far behind Mom and to my surprise Vladimir smiled even bigger and started calling my name! It has been 10 months since I last saw him and since he is only three I didn't think he would remember us! Boy, was I wrong! He has been a little live wire running through the house calling for us left and right! By the time we got bags unloaded and found the food we needed for lunch, it was three o'clock. It is very hot and since it was 1 degree at home when we left yesterday, it is a 100 degree difference. A bit of a shock for all of us. Lee and Emma have been amazing though! Not one word of complaint and they are always right there to help! Couldn't have two better ladies on this trip! We got to see the orphans for a short time this evening. I couldn't have been happier! They are always a bit shy the first time we see them but I know they are as excited as the rest of us! We cooked a late dinner in the dark and are getting settled in for our first night! So much has happened today and I feel like I am leaving so much out, but I am too tired to keep going tonight. Thanks for all of the prayers, we can feel them!



The first part of the journey is behind us but honestly it was the easy part of this adventure! We met up with the rest of our team at noon and checked all of our bags through without a problem, though I think everyone was wondering why we needed 550 pounds of baggage. We said our goodbyes, made it through security and even sat down to enjoy a snack together. Perfect airport experience, right? That's when we got the phone call. They wanted to take out our brand new generator because they can't be sure that gas has never been put through it. The only way they let you send them through now is if they are in the packaging straight from the manufacturer. Dad made some phone calls and assured them that it was brand new and they agreed to leave it alone but said there is a great chance of it being taken out in Chicago still. We have been praying over it all day. God knows what He is doing even if we don't always understand! The flight from TC to Chicago took place without a hitch. Mom even played some Taylor Swift out loud for the whole airplane to hear...oops! In Chicago we had enough time to eat our last "American" meal and then get to our gate just in time to board. The flight from Chicago to Miami is always the longest, almost three hours. It turned out to be a nice time though. Mom was sitting by a woman from Jamaica who has devoted the better part of her life to bringing aid to her country. Her two suitcases are full not of her own things, but of as many pairs of children's shoes as she could fit. It is so encouraging to meet up with someone who is giving their all to a cause. Her name is Dell and she is in her early sixties. Tonight, she is sleeping on the floor of the airport by her gate because she couldn't bring herself to waste money on a hotel room when there are so many people in her home land in need. I have no words to describe my amazement of this woman. If only we could all be more like Dell!

When I wasn't listening to Mom and Dell talk, I was talking with Lee and Emma. I was lucky enough to be sitting by them on our last flight of the day! We got to talking about Haiti, the orphans and just the culture in general. Two hours later, after lots of questions and me answering as best as I could, I realized how thoroughly I had enjoyed our conversation. To have people who are so engaged with the country and it's people before even stepping foot in the land is really amazing to me! Both of these ladies are going to touch so many lives this week! Grandpa has been a true gentleman and most definitely a trooper today! Between getting us where we needed to go, making sure we had plenty to eat and drink and standing outside the ladies bathroom watching all the bags at least 5 times today, I now know that chivalry is still alive! He is treating the four of us ladies like queens! After getting off the plane, we had quite the time of it trying to find the airport hotel due to construction. But Grandpa once again came through and got us here to our rooms! We have just over 4 hours until we have to be up and at it again! We should be in country about 9 o'clock in the morning! Blessings to all!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014


This trip has really snuck up on me! I think the reason being because I had already resigned myself to not be able to go on a trip until fall. What's the saying? Oh ye of little faith? Just goes to show how awesome and faithful God is! Tomorrow is launch day and I am so excited! It has been 10 months since I have been to Haiti, and I haven't been away from my second home for that long in the past almost 6 years of my life. 10 months since I have hugged or kissed "my" beautiful kids! I can't wait to see how they have grown but it hurts my heart thinking about the time I have missed. That makes this trip even more special to me.

This is one of the smaller team trips I have been on but I am so excited about the people who are joining me! My beautiful mother is our team leader this trip around. I love everyone who I have been to Haiti with but there is no one quite as wonderful to travel to this land with as my Mom. Her love and outlook of Haiti and it's people is a special gift that few have and I strive to have eyes like hers. Lee and Emma Grant are the other two ladies who will be traveling with us. I don't know them very well but in 24 hours that is bound to change! There is something about Haiti that forms bonds with people that you will never understand until you experience it for yourself. In the little bit of time spent with the two of them though, I already know that they are going to be amazing on this trip! I am especially excited for Emma. I was right about the same age as her on my first trip (14 years old) and it was life changing! The last person joining our team is my Grandpa Berg. It was a last minute addition but I am so glad that he is coming! I have been in country with him one other time when I was staying in Haiti for three months in 2012 and it was a real honor to be there with him. After all, he is the one who started our whole mission! I know God has great things planned for this trip! I will do my best to keep everyone updated with blogs, though I am a poor replacement for my very talented father! Prayers for our team are greatly appreciated!

Goodnight from snowy Lake Ann!