Greetings from Jeanella. Day one of the Beautiful Retreat for teen girls went really well! We conveyed the message that they were created by God and that they are very beautiful. We also discussed what makes them uniquely a woman. They had really good questions. We were able to get them to open up and share their personality and their family experiences. Very few of them have both parents in the home, only one of which had parents that were married. One of the girls had lost both of her parents and she and her siblings are living with their aunt. Please pray that these girls will catch a glimpse of biblical marriage; one of the main topics for tomorrow. We were able to establish a sense of community; this will help make the transition to more difficult topics as we move along. We are blessed with translators that are open to our candid topic. Both Jenny and I have been able to connect with J.C. and Kerline. We are working very well together as a team. God is SO good!
Greetings from Gayla and the PVBC “Medical Team”! Day one of the medical clinic went well too! We travelled first thing this morning to Savane Mole which took about 30 minutes. We set up the clinic inside the church. We had our nurses Lisa and Sarah W. interviewing each patient to find out what health issues they were having and they also got their weight, temperature, and blood pressure. From there they headed toward Shawn who is a Physician’s Assistant from the Northside team. Pat was in the Spiritual Station where she was telling each patient that Jesus loves them and she also prayed with them. Sarah D and I helped escort the patients from station to station and we also assisted Emily in the pharmacy (super fun!) Our team did a great job of pitching in to help each other and try to keep things running as smoothly as possible!
We had some challenges with a few supplies that we needed but didn’t have so we’ve already raided Jody’s clinic tonight so we’ll be ready for the tomorrow’s clinic in Marouge! Over all it was a great experience. We know that we won’t be able cure every issue we see but we do know that each patient was shown the love of Jesus today! Thanks to all of you who contributed money or supplies for our clinics – we really appreciate it! Also thanks to those of you who are praying for us!
Northside had an awesome, busy day!!!! Everyone loaded up the truck after breakfast to head to Savane Mole. It was a tight fit with almost forty people and all of our supplies for VBS and the clinics, but we all fit—somehow… When we arrived we set up the clinics, started VBS, and Sue opened up her salon. Ken did an awesome job with the eye clinic. Many members of the team jumped in and helped him with the exams and also met with the patients after they received their glasses to pray with them.
VBS went so well! The team did an awesome job and the kids had a blast! They especially loved the parachute and playing soccer with the team. It was so adorable to see all of the kids wearing their crowns. When Sue first started offering to do the ladies’ hair, they were timid and unsure about it. But once they saw how it worked and the end results, they ALL wanted their hair done! It was so awesome! For me, it was so cool to see these mommas who work hard every day to get a break and be pampered. Even though it was a hot day and everyone got sweaty and dirty, they were troopers and finished the day strong! I’m excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow as we head to Marouge for another day of clinics and VBS.
From the very beginning of this trip, I had resolved to keep things simple. I packed light, asked very few questions, and tried my best to be as low maintenance as possible. My goal in this was to alleviate the distractions that come along with the material/commonplace aspects of ministry and make room for the spiritual things. I have been surprised at how much wisdom there is to be gained from simplicity.
As a ministry student at a small Bible college, I am constantly bombarded by new ideas about Scripture, progressive worship styles, and edgy intellectual sermons. It isn’t all bad – in fact, I enjoy gathering new ideas for my ministry and gaining different perspectives to discuss with members of my congregation. However, it can be exhausting and distracting to use all my time trying to gain new knowledge and re-think Christianity. I have to constantly remind myself that the Gospel is very simple despite the fact that it is so often distorted by personal opinions and misguided thinking.
I found this simplicity really impacting me this past Sunday during the Haitian church service. As we gathered in the large tent, I did my best to sing along with the foreign worship songs and tried to ignore the occasional twangs that came from the slightly out of tune guitars. I’ll be honest, the musician/music minister in me cringed a bit, but I knew that it was all a joyful sound to the Lord, so I pushed the thoughts away and focused on the people.
The energy that these people had combatted the average American worship service (which consists of in-tune guitars, lighting, and smoke machines).
Our pastor then delivered his sermon through an interpreter. I was moved. It was a very simple message about the serenity prayer – asking God for peace and wisdom. There was no complex doctrine, progressive ideas, or great new concept. It was a very simple message that has been around since the beginning – rely on God and He will guide you through this life. I had heard it many times before, but this time it really ministered to me. I am still learning about simplicity and seeing the work of God in my time here. There are still a few days to go, and I know He has a great plan.
Thank you for all your prayers and support – God bless you!
– Brandon Davis
Had a little trouble uploading photos again tonight, I’ll try to get some more up tomorrow.