Hey guys, it’s Brooke! Today was a super exciting day. After breakfast, Shannon’s, Al’s, and my team went to Daniel for VBS and hut-to-hut evangelism. Daniel was about an hour by tap-tap, and it is such a small village. My team and I walked from house to house and asked what each needed needed prayer for, as well as spreading the word about VBS. A lot of the houses said they needed rain because they couldn’t maintain their crops.
At this one house, I got to hold a 8-day old baby girl. I almost died because she was so precious. At the same house, there was a little 1.5 year old boy who was so weirded out by my team and I. One of us would smile at him and he would cry and run behind his mom. Not as sweet as the feeling of holding a baby, but it was pretty cute anyway.
The next house we went to had this makeshift door made out of tin roofing. We knocked on the door to see if there was anybody there. Nobody answered and we couldn’t see anybody so we were about to give up and go to the next house. All of a sudden, this old man walks up casually holding his machete and a bag of fruit. Morgan, the NWHCM intern, assured us that carrying around a machete was about as normal as carrying around anything else.
At another house, there were kids EVERYWHERE. No kidding, there were probably 15 kids just at this one house. One of the kids was named Ashley. She had a pretty bad eye infection and she was clearly out-casted for it. It’s crazy how big of a difference a small act of love like holding a child’s hand can make. We took all the kids we could carry and hold onto to VBS with us. I had Ashley on my hip, and three kids dragging me by my arms. Two of them were so intrigued by my watch beeping and pressed all the buttons to keep it beeping. I want to take this moment to say sorry in advance to the other girls on my team because they set an alarm for 4 am and I don’t know how to turn it off. When we got there the rest of our big group was in the middle of acting out the story of Samuel. Originally the skit was for the kids that came to VBS, but the whole village came out and watched this skit. (Brady was a very convincing dead lion… he almost fell asleep center stage). Then we said goodbye to all of our new Haitian friends and got back on the tap-tap to go to Marouge.
Since we finished the teen conference for Mole St. Nicholas yesterday, we started the teen conference talks in Marouge today. I guess they already spread the word about us coming before we even got there, because when we finally arrived there was this huge group of kids of all ages by the church ready to play. Some of the team went off to play with the kids and talk with the teens and some of us went to go check out the church. It’s one room a little bigger than a Texas Tech dorm room, and the walls were made out of woven palm fronds. The whole church was covered with a huge tarp to keep the sun and rain out.
There was one girl in the church all by herself. She looked really young but said she was 19. She took my hand and told me that her head has been hurting for weeks but her parents don’t have enough money to take her to the clinic. After a while, we finally convinced her to go outside with us to play with the other kids. Even though Haiti is so different from America, we all knew the same childhood games… or at least a version of them. Some of the girls even taught us how to do this one hand game that involved 4 people. When it started to be getting close to time to start the teen conference, we rounded up most of the younger kids and did a mini VBS with them and sang some silly songs with them. Then, we rounded all the kids 12 and up into the church to start the conference.
The conference in total went pretty well! Cody, Shelby, and Kristen talked about God’s plan and how sometimes it makes you wait. When the talk was over, we split up by gender and by age. Shannon, Kristen, Shelby, and I had the younger girls. It was the first small group we had with them, so it was pretty awkward at first and they were all very shy. They started talked when we told them about times when God made us wait. My particular story was about how God’s plans made me wait to find the true friendships.
All of a sudden, one of the girls had question after question about when to pursue a friendship and when to walk away from one. It’s so cool and also heartbreaking to see the differences from my childhood to what they’re going through. These young girls had to grow up so much more quickly than I did. The main questions went something along the lines of, “Is it ok to be friends with someone if they can’t afford to go to school” or “Should I be friends with the girl that goes to school with me that has a learning disability.” Those were pretty textbook to answer, but the one that really got me was this: “What should I do if I want to sell my clothes to pay for my friend’s schooling but my parents don’t want me to?” Wow. What a selfless act from a 12 year old. When I was 12, I was busy trying to outshine my sister and soak in all the attention I could. That’s the reality of this culture. Some kids can’t afford to go to school and they get out-casted for it.
This week so far has been incredible. I have felt every emotion both bad and good while I’ve been here. I’ve felt rejection, confusion, fear, pain, and sadness. But I’ve also experienced unexplainable joy, fulfillment, acceptance, and most importantly, love. The good outweighs the bad by far. I’m a firm believer that God can more easily do His work when his servants are completely uncomfortable. And that sounds weird, but it’s totally true. Who willingly and passively lies in God’s hands while in your comfort zone? We’re not of this world… we were made to be uncomfortable. I’ve been out of my comfort zone from the moment I got off the plane, and I haven’t looked back since. God has done so much in the short time that we have been here, and He has done so much in me as well. When I leave, my heart will be left in Haiti. I am already so excited to tell everyone about this week when I get back.
Love and miss y’all!
P.S. Mom, Dad, Jordan, and Andrew: I love y’all, miss y’all and can’t wait to see y’all soon!
Today was really amazing! Last night I feel like some of the nursing students (Lindsay and myself) left the youth conference feeling a little discouraged. I wondered if the little information we were able to convey was even getting through to them or making a difference. There is a gigantic culture barrier so it is hard to explain healthcare when it is so different here. For example, one woman explained that she believes that her daughter has cancer. She then asked if there was anything she could do to get rid of it. As we know in the United States there is chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, etc. However, here in Haiti these options are extremely unrealistic. How do you look someone in the eye and say. “There is nothing we can do for that, you will most likely die.” So yeah, just tough situations to deal with. This morning I was extremely tired and a little sad that I wasn’t able to go hut to hut with the rest of the group. I just had to pray and ask God to change my attitude because it was not the best at the start of the day.
When we arrived at the clinic I recognized a few of the women waiting outside to be treated from the presentation we have given earlier this week. One of the women is about 8 months pregnant. (of course this is just a guess because most of them do not understand how or when you conceive). When she got to the exam room she told me that the reason she came in today was because she learned about her body at the presentations and had recognized some signs and symptoms that she had because of our presentation.
Once again I had to choke back tears (literally a common occurrence every day) because the purpose of these presentations was finally made known. However, my God is not just good but awesome and revealed something else. The young woman went on to explain that she had also taught her friend about the things she had learned and had encouraged her friend to come to the clinic as well. Praise Him!! God has a way of showing us our purpose in some pretty incredible ways and I am so in awe of everything he has done here.
The rest of our day was spent taking the children to the beach. Sometimes the language barrier can be so frustrating but at the beach there were no words that could have explained their excitement anyways. Their smiles and laughter was absolutely precious and I seriously might come home with 34 Haitian children.
I am immensely excited about tomorrow as we travel to a new village and carry a traveling clinic along with us. Keep the prayers coming yall!
Bailey- I hope Khaki isn’t missing me too much. Give him a big squeeze and a scratch for me!
Please feel free to leave comments. Comments will be read every night at dinner! You may notice a delay from when you post until it shows up on the blog as comments must be approved first.
Hey Emily! I’m loving being able to keep up with what y’all are doing over there– thank you for sending me the blog link 🙂 I’ve been super busy with the move, but I got to catch up with y’all tonight! I am so glad reading y’all’s chipper words. Some of the writers described times of discouragement, but it seems like y’all are keeping focused on Jesus & finding joy in Him even if things don’t go how you expected! Makes my heart happy. I’m definitely definitely definitely praying for you & your friends from WF (that’s who you went with..right?). I can’t wait to hear your perspective on things when you get home.. I love you!!
So great to read your post from yesterday (shouts out to you for the shout out) and I’m so happy you’re having such an awesome time! I adore reading all these posts and seeing all the pics; lovin’ the corn row look. Also it’s a daily encouragement and inspiration reading everything going on with you and your team in Haiti. It sounds like great things are happening and I can’t wait to hear more about it. I am so proud of everything you do; you truly have a heart of gold! My spring break has been okay, but it rained today which was wonderful! While I’m “holdin it down in the LBK” as you suggested I do, I miss you very much. I’ve been praying for your crew lots and I also pray that though it’s your 4th time to go to Haiti, you are able to have a unique experience and love people in new ways. I hope the rest of your time there is incredible and that y’all have a safe trip back. Can’t wait for you to get home so we can watch Friends and eat pizza, YOU’RE THE BEE’S KNEES MADDUX MARTIN!
Hey hey everyone!
I just wanted to let you guys know that you’re all doing some amazing work and it’s getting noticed back home! Well home as in the 806… Anyways, I was at work the other night and started a random conversation and somehow got on the topic of the Wesley Foundation and the woman immediately asked meto thank yall for everything but especially for the medical work you are doing. This lady has no ties to the Wesley or to the NWMC but she read about the work you all have been doing through these blogs.
Now I remember that around this time in Haiti last year, I was feeling very wishy washy emotionally so I understand the power these comments can have. So, don’t let the things you’ve seen or felt in Haiti make you feel guilty of what you have in the States. Instead, I’d encourage you to use what you have to help make the nation of Haiti a better place.
Also, a little update from LBK, all social media outlets crashed yesterday due to some phenomenon called rain.
I love you all and you are doing so well! Make every single day count!
P.S. Maddux, I think by seeing you wear cornrows, a new trend has begun in Lubbock. Congratulations.
P.S.S. Al, Penny and I had a party at the Wesley and… Well it may be better if you don’t know until you come back. Just know that the firemen said it was only light fire damage. ;p
LOLZ to Hailey and Maddux on Day 5. Didn’t get to read it yesterday but just read it and y’all are the bomb.com. Tell Kenson that I miss him dearly and he is still my Haitian bestie…I really hope he doesn’t still think I killed his goat. (I promise I didn’t, he be cray).
It is incredible to read this blog everyday and be encouraged by y’all’s hearts and passion for missions. I know the trip is coming to a close, and that is sad, but remember that your mission field is where you are. Keep giving 200% to the Haitian people and each other while y’all are there and when you come home, give 200% to the people in your life everyday. Don’t forget the lessons you learn in Haiti, keep them close to your heart. Anyways, I am so excited by the stories from this week! Y’all are awesome and super cool. I’m just rambling now, I love y’all. All of y’all. SO. MUCH. Keep up the kingdom work. 🙂
Tell the Castillo girls I said hi and miss them tons 🙂
BTW Maddux, I know it’s none of my business but this AnnaBeth girl sounds really cool…you should keep her around.
It’s so great to hear from y’all bloggers on day 5 and day 6 and to know what great and powerful things y’all r continuing to do in Haiti. Day 5 didn’t come thru yesterday so I apologize for a day delay in replying. So who is this Annabeth….I want the scoop when u get back Maddox. Somebody give Averie a big hug for me!
So good to hear the vbs, hut to hut evangilism, conference, clinics etc…r all going so well and seeds r being planted and ur already seeing fruit!!!!!! Jesus said this is to my Father’s glory, that u bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples John 15:8. You did not choose me, but i chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit….fruit that will last John 15:16. So keep working with all your hearts to bring them to fruition and continue to be oriented toward eternal goals. Blessings, love and prayers and miss you all,
Hey Haiti team!
We hope your trip has been incredible and it sounds like God has moved in crazy cool ways! We’ve been praying for ya’ll and we know y’all have been pouring out and given all you’ve got to the Haitian people! Keep loving those people well and tell Khalil we said we miss him and were praying for him and we hope his chacos are holding up 😉