New Years Trip – BG and PVBC

Hello from Haiti! It is now 6:00pm here and we are getting ready for dinner! We got to the Mole at about 1:00am this morning! Though that may seem like a long day (and it was) it definitely was expected to be much worse. We left Atlanta at 12:20, arrived to Port au Prince at 2:20 and got to the bus at about 3:20. We left Port au Prince at 3:50 to begin our long trek to the Mole.

Our bus was ‘Patrick’ and was nothing short of awful. We began with good attitudes and great spirits that lasted as long as the paved roads (3 hours). Then we were greeted with bumpy roads that probably shouldn’t be considered as roads. The bus was loud and sounded like it was going to fall apart at any second. It got dark around 6:00pm and thankfully no one got sick!! Everyone stayed healthy and we stopped for two bathroom breaks.

In the back 4 seats of the bus were 100 chickens that were supposed to be tied up and in boxes. But like a lot of things in Haiti, our plans don’t always work out. After tying up about 4 chickens, the rest were wandering around, blocked only by the seat cushion on the ground. At about the 6th hour of the journey the chickens became restless. They began to escape their area and walk under the bus seats. Pretty soon we heard Troy say, “It’s a chicken!” and we all screamed as KJ picked it up and tossed it back 2 rows. This continued for the rest of the bus ride.

When we finally made it to the Mole we were greeted with many Christmas lights and all the staff members and Castillo kids! We ate a big plate of Haitian spaghetti and showered and went to bed.  This morning we slept in a little bit and went to church late. I went to children’s church along with Kaley, Hannah, KJ, Tim, and Jordon. We watched a movie and played hot potato and colored!

After church we ate lunch and had downtime until orientation at 2. Most girls took a nap during this time. Once orientation was done, we walked around the Mole and went to the beach for a few hours! The beauty always amazes me. We watched the sunset, played with crabs, and the boys swam! Now we are getting ready for dinner! Please keep praying for good health and that God does incredible things through us on this trip. Specifically pray for Jeanella as she is still overcoming her sickness.

Tomorrow we start our conferences so please pray the children are open and excited to hear what God is ready to tell them! Thank you all for praying for us, it means so much!

Love, Mikayla Minnick and Kaley Breault

P.S. Don’t forget to comment, we love hearing Jody read them!

****From Bowling Green

Bonswa from Mole Saint Nicholas, Haiti. We arrived yesterday morning at the airport and went to a hotel to relax and wait for the other group to arrive. We got to eat our first Haitian meal with our interpreter Andre. The other group arrived about 5 hours later and we got on the bus to ride from Port au Prince to the Mole.

The first few hours on the bus were enjoyable and eventful with chickens in the back, paved roads, loud Haitian music, and accompanied with about 20 other people. We got to see beautiful villages and people along the way and got to experience Haitian traffic for the first time, which was very interesting and hectic to say the least. We made frequent stops dropping people off and picking others up. Then the next six hours came about with small dirt roads winding up, down and around the mountains. These hours in the dark were not as enjoyable as the first 3-4. On about the 5th hour we made our first experience using the restroom on a dark Haitian beach, which was a struggle.

We finally arrived about 1:00 in the morning and got settled in by about 2:00. After showering, doing our devotionals and getting into bed we slept for the most we had in about 40 hours.

This morning we woke up at about 9:00 to get ready for children’s church where we listened to the Christmas story, colored, and watched a short film the birth of Jesus.

After children’s church we ate lunch at around 11:30, we had rice and a mixture of vegetables. When lunch was over we went to the orphanage to play with the orphans. The orphans are the most loving, caring children I have ever met. The minute they see you walking up to them they start running to you with arms open wanting you to hold them and spend time with them, and not wanting to let you go when you have to leave.

After playing with the orphans for a couple hours we came back to the cafeteria for dinner, we had hotdogs and egg dumplings with a spicy-coleslaw like side.  We now have a few more hours to spend before bed and get an early start with street ministry in the morning.

Much love, Emily Swiney and Lydia Armstrong


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  1. So incredibly grateful you all are there, safe and doing the work that the Lord has ordained for you all. Please know that we will be praying for both teams. Jeanella still lifting you up before the Throne of Grace for complete healing.


    Momma Broadway

  2. Very glad to see that you all made the trip in good spirits and the bus ride wasn’t as bad as expected. Praying for all of you as you start your ministry. Tell Hannah that we love her and miss her and are happy to see her smiling face in the pictures.

  3. Mikayla and team- Glad the bus ride went well and you all survived. i bet the chickens were hilarious. We loved looking at the pictures. Keep sharing your adventures and prayer requests. I miss you!!!! Love, Ben & Katie

  4. Hello all! So glad you all made it safely! Emily, you look so happy in the pictures with the kids – I know you all will have an amazing week! When Jody said chicks, I was imagining fluffy little yellow chicks…..WOW! Was I ever wrong!!!!! Please post any prayer requests and praises! Love to you all!

    1. Right? They told me the chicks were just a few weeks old (I thought they would be little baby chicks too). 🙂

  5. Mikayla……glad to hear you arrived safely. The chicken episode sounds hilarious. We will continue to lift you in prayer for safe travels, good health and amazing witnessing. We love you!

  6. So happy you all made it safe and so many others with you as well! You all look so happy and I know this will be a wonderful experience for all. Love you all and will be praying. I’m with Karen I did not picture such large chickens!

  7. So many people were praying for your teams yesterday as you traveled, specifically that “there would be little to no motion sickness and that the bus would not have any mechanical issues.” Sounds like God answered those prayers! Just wanted to share so you could see how God was already working around you and through you. Excited to see and hear how God continues to use all of you this week!

    Emily, Paul & Troy- can’t wait to share with grandpa about the chickens riding with you! Hope you got some good pictures! 🙂 Love you!

  8. Kaley,

    So glad to see your smiling face and to hear no one (including you) vomited on the bus ride. It sounds like the bus ride was quite eventful and one you will not soon forget 🙂 We are thinking of you and continue to pray for you, your team, and Jeanella. I am very proud of you and am sure God will be using you and your team for His good. We love you!!

    Mom, Dad, and Kelsey

  9. So glad to see these updates and loving the photos of everyone’s’ smiles!! We’re all praying back here for God to work in your hearts and that the people you encounter come to know His love even more through your efforts! (So proud of you, Tim!) Stay safe, everyone!
    With lots of love and prayers,

  10. So happy to see that you guys made it there safely with no motion sickness. We really enjoyed the photos and look forward to more! We’ve been praying for your safety and open hearts to why God has brought you there. I can’t wait to hear stories once you get back! (Troy- My mom says hi).

    Praying for you,
    Erica, Bryant, Michelle & Neeley

  11. So great to hear you all made it alright! I love reading the stories you guys write, and the chickens was probably the highlight of the bus ride! Keep telling us what to continue to pray for, whether it be opening the hearts of the children or for your own health. Also, play some soccer with the kids for me!

    You are all tremendous!

  12. Bonjour pv kids!! I know you are all having a fabulous time. You are not missing much here as Nebraska lost the football game. Don’t forget to play the “what” game and eat your rice in large quantities (it tastes better that way). That’s all for now!

    Hannah Mellema

    P.s. Shoutout to Jared

  13. JARED, Hope all is going well so far, praying for you always and that all those crazy kids are behaving. Pretty awesome first week of your new job. We miss you like crazy but know you are making a difference in the hearts of all those that God has prepared for you to cross paths with and I KNOW those kids are lovin all the love and attention you guys are giving them. Love you guys!!!!!!!

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