Toner Group Day 4 & 5…

Day 4

Bonjour from Haiti,

This is Dana and Ariel.  We have had a busy two-days so we are just now able to tell you about our day on Saturday

We set sail for the fisherman’s village right after breakfast.  It was 35 minute boat there and back.  We got to see some beautiful scenery on the way. Then had to do some mild rock climbing to get up to the village, getting wet along the way.  We were greeted by some of village when we arrived and then Mama GiGi went around to gather the rest.  We colored, painted nails, played Jenga and then Mama GiGi lead us in worship and prayer.  We then passed out rice and beans we had packed the day before to all the families.  This will be a one-week supply of food.

(The missionary intern shared with us that some families have to choose which children will eat one day and which ones will eat the next day.  She also said that one momma shared that she was joyful that she didn’t have to choose which child would or wouldn’t eat because a child had volunteered not to eat that day.  Broke my heart hearing that.  Back in the states that would usually never happen.)  Our trip ended early due to wind picking up so we headed back, but the village was happy to see us Americans.

After lunch we started on Extreme Home Makeover- Orphanage Addition. Margie, Carrie, Cindy, Dana, and Ariel stayed with the kids, watching Toy Story 4 and coloring.  Tim, Jason, Clay and Bill headed over to Orphanage to start on hanging curtains and wall coverings.  Meanwhile Christina and Laura baked 200 cookies for the Christmas Party that evening.  We all then went over to the orphanage to finishing putting the rooms together, when it was time.  We all made beds, straightened up cubbies, and swept floors.  We were not able to do the reveal before the party like planned, but everything worked out in God’s timing and we got to do the big reveal during the party with all of the Momma’s present.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Christmas party finishing up last minute items and waited on the kids to arrive.  The joy on their faces on they arrived was priceless and couldn’t possibly be captured in photos.  The kids and momma’s did crafts, coloring bags for the kids & coloring puzzles for the momma’s, while we waited on Santa or “TonTon Noel” (Uncle Santa).  We were lucky to have the real Santa available for the party, aka Tim Martin.  The orphans were ecstatic when TonTon Noel arrived.  The orphans and momma’s all were able to get a picture with him.

The Americans then served the momma’s and kids a delicious meal.  Not sure of all the dishes, but some of the kids asked for seconds.  (Serving sizes are huge by the way J).

After the meal we all headed over to the orphanage to do the BIG reveal.  Koby’s donkey served as the bus lol.  After everyone was in position, we all yelled “MOVE THE DONKEY”.  (I, Dana, tried to capture the kids running to their rooms the best I could, but couldn’t.)  We revealed each room one a time. There was a space room & soccer room for the boys. And the two girls’ rooms had a unicorn & rainbow themes.  They orphans and mommas were so excited for their new rooms. We then headed back over the church for the kids’ talent show.  Not short on talent here 🙂  Had many drummers, singers, and dancers.  The party ended with everyone decorating cookies.

It was a long but fun-filled day.

***

Day 5

Hello everyone this is Margie and Carrie.   Today is Sunday, time is flying by.   This morning we had worship at the church that is on campus.   When I was up at 8:00 a.m. the pastor was already at the church and people were already starting to come for their Sunday School time.  Worship started at 9:30 a.m.   The church was filled with men, women and children.  What an awesome experience to be there and see how much they love the Lord.   You can see by the expression on their face and listening to them repeat scripture and pray even though we could not understand exactly what they were saying.   However, you could tell by the sound of their voices that they were giving God their all.   At one point, it really made me feel the joy of them expressing their love and thankfulness to God for what they have.   They may have so little but are so thankful from the bottom of their hearts.

After approximately half an hour the children…..all 76 of them…..yes I said 76 children……were dismissed for Children’s Church.   Dana, Carrie, Christina, Ariel, Tim and I went with the children and the others stayed in the church for worship.  The ones that stayed for worship shared that the pastor’s opening prayer (which they thought was the sermon) lasted for 30 minutes! (Don’t get any ideas Mark Lomison-this is from Carrie not Margie haha.)

After memory verse time in children’s church Pierre then talked to the children along with Christopher.   Christina did aerobics to a song. Tim read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.   All eyes were on him as he read the story.   Margie followed up the story by telling the children to Stand Strong and Follow God and what He would want us to do like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did.   We had puppets sing some songs, and Ariel and Christina had a real arm workout each holding a puppet up. The kids really loved the puppets. Their eyes were glued to the puppets. We then played a game, colored a paper and handed out paper helicopters.   We then ate lunch and had Haitian Spaghetti.   It was wonderful.   Now I am handing it over to Carrie to finish.

After lunch Christina, Ariel, Clay, Jason and Carrie went to the beach. We took along Abbey (the intern) and 3 of the Castillo’s kids. One of the things that spoke to me the first night we were here was when Jody was providing us orientation and she mentioned the fact that her family as missionaries also appreciate when groups like us come in because this provides American type socialization for them and their children. When I was thinking about the trip in my mind, of course I was thinking mostly about the Haitian people and ministering to them, however this really made me think about the missionaries and their children who are making this sacrifice on an ongoing basis and how they must have needs too!

I was glad we were able to take 3 of the Castillo’s children with us to the beach because we heard they love to do this. When we returned, Asher asked me (Carrie) to take him and Fabi swimming in their pool so of course I did. Again, another opportunity to spend some quality time with these kids. Later we had youth group back at the church. We had around 15 youth. We sang songs, prayed and Clay provided the lesson. After the lesson we played a couple games.

The first game was initiated by us and was called the human knot game. This game consisted of people standing in a small circle, they had to raise their right hand and join right hands with someone else in the circle. They then had to raise their left hand and join hands with someone else’s left hand but could not be the person they joined right hands with. This created quite a tangled mess. The youth then had to figure out how to untangle their arms and hands without letting go of each others hands.

Only one of the three groups were successful at getting untangled. After this game the Haitians wanted to play their game. This game was challenging to us because it involved knowing Creole numbers. I unfortunately was the first to bite the dust on this game. Laura and one of the Haitian girls were the winners. Clay at least made it to the end round.

After youth group Jason and Carrie played Euchre with Malaya and Abbey. Malaya is 14 and is also one of the Castillo’s children who LOVES to play cards. She has 71 decks of cards. She is an animal to play any type of cards with. We ate pizza for supper, then Christina led our evening devotion, we went over tomorrow’s schedule and ended with some playing the game Toss Up and some playing Up the River before bed.

We will end this blog with a riddle the Haitian youth shared with the group:

A lady had 6 eggs. She cracked two eggs, cooked two, and ate 2. How many eggs are left?

If you think you know the answer please provide in the comments!!

**

Here’s some pictures from our last two days. We are working on a special video of the orphanage reveal…so I can’t show you all those pictures just yet! But their rooms are INCREDIBLE! We could NOT have pulled off this special surprise without the team. This team has really encouraged & poured into all of us here. A lot can happen in a short week…and they have DEFINITELY left a lasting impression for all of us.

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