Tuesday, January 19, 2016


How do you even begin to put words to an experience that has affected you in such an intimate way? God Himself is indescribable and unexplainable and so to capture the changes that have taken place in the hearts of each individual person this week is difficult, but I’m going to attempt to anyway. Going into this trip, I had expected to see some things that were difficult or to have some moments in which I was not entirely comfortable, but what I had not expected was to fall in love with the people of Haiti. Seeing people who have so little, but are still so happy, so thankful, and so welcoming to us was incredible. Everywhere our group went, we were greeted with genuine smiles. Whether this was from the children or adults we were serving or from a complete stranger passing on the street, the happiness that radiated from these smiles were nearly tangible.

“How is so much joy in such a poverty stricken country even possible?” I found myself asking. If you try and come up with a rational answer to this question, you simply cannot. The only conceivable answer is through the strength, love, and grace of God.  A saying I read somewhere goes “If God is all you have, you have all you need.” I have never met a group of people who have exemplified this more than the Haitians. This realization starts to make you begin to search inside yourself and maybe re-evaluate some of the things you thought were important in life. For me, there was no definitive epiphany or “ah-ha” moment. As we are taught, God works in mysterious ways, and throughout the week I found myself being changed little by little without even realizing it at first. The small moments of a child falling asleep in your arms, “dabbling” in Creole, praying with the elders, or simply singing songs and joking around on tap-tap rides became the big things. Each night during our circle time or word of the day, these small stories prompted some pretty significant revelations and surfacing of emotions that had been locked away for a long time. I think we all began to recognize that it’s impossible to deny the miracle that God has created in His people and that when He is calling, you must open your heart and let Him all the way in. On one night in particular, we discussed the word “surrender” and how important it is to surrender your life to God and His plan. For me, I know that there will be times where I may stray away and not want to listen to what God is telling me and even in the times that I do follow His plan, it will probably be hard. But hopefully little by little, one small step at a time, I can strengthen my faith and commitment to Him. Each of us on this trip will have different struggles and obstacles upon returning home, but God is patient and merciful and through Him we can overcome.

This past week in Haiti had a bit of everything. It was heartbreaking, yet uplifting. There was confusion, yet clarity. There was brokenness, yet unity. Through it all, we were blessed to experience God’s overwhelming presence. In the end there were friendships gained, faith restored and somewhere along the way of this incredible journey, you realize that Haiti was the one healing you.

~Heather Herberg

Sunday, January 17, 2016


When the team woke up today, we were anxiously awaiting our beach day accompanied by the local neighborhood kids. After a delicious breakfast prepared by the beautiful Haitian women in the kitchen, our team packed water toys and applied a generous portion of sunscreen. Once the TapTaps were stocked with the necessary beach accessories, we invited the kids aboard the  TapTap  to depart for the beach. Everyone went around and introduced themselves. Shortly after conversations were exchanged, we began praising God in worship lead by one of the Haitian boys. He joyfully sang and encouraged everyone to sing at the top of our lungs! It was inspiring to see his passion for Christ through his devoted worship. Throughout the ride we challenged each other to TapTap surfing battles and sang familiar songs by Justin Bieber and Chris Brown (artists the boys pronounced as their favorites). It was absolutely breathtaking to drive into a location with a lush vista of palm trees, bright turquoise water and mountains reaching the sky. Our team has not experienced a vista quite like this yet. As we pulled up to the beach parking you could read the excitement on the kid's faces.
Upon our arrival, we quickly changed and eagerly stampeded into the caribbean water. A few of the boys needed help swimming and floating, which was a lot of fun to help them with! After countless water fights, chicken fights and super soaker gun attacks, we all enjoyed peanut butter sandwiches on the beach together. I throughly enjoyed watching the kids interact with one another, they are truly like a family. Face painting was a big hit! They loved asking for paint tattoos of the sun, Jesus, fish and palm trees. A few of the kids shared their artistic talent by painting creative tattoos on a few people in our team as well! Everyone charged into the water once again and resumed the water games. The kids really enjoyed the water. A few of the Haitian boys floated on the blow-up alligator, would tip off and jump back on. One little boy had the biggest smile and would swim around and visit all of us. None of us wanted the joy-filled day to come to an end, we dreaded hearing the departure warning to leave paradise with our neighborhood friends. The drive home was even more fun than the ride to the beach. We all bonded over our fun adventure, dancing in the TapTap and our love of God. 

One of the boats in the water was named, "God is my guide" in Creole. Later in the night during our circle time, we were given our beloved childhood toy, Play-doh and asked to create a symbol for the condition of our heart. I molded the boat I saw at the beach, because throughout this trip God has captivated my heart and encouraged me to trust Him as my guide. My heart is prepared to follow His guidance and trust the path He has chosen for me. After today, I aspire to do everything I do with the same passion and zest I have learned from my Haitian friends this week. 

Sienna Schneider

Saturday, January 16, 2016


What's your word? Every evening, after the mission team has showered off a hard days work and devoured a delicious Haitian meal, we gather together to summarize the days events in a single word. This task has proved quite difficult as a million different words come to mind as I recollect my day. Words such as hope, love, loneliness, hardship, and joy fill my head as I try to pick the word that best summarizes the days activities. As our journey nears an end, a common theme amongst fellow short term missionaries has revolved around healing. As each of us took turns sharing our word, we talked about the struggles in our life and how Haiti has helped stich together the wounds in our heart. For me, Haiti has opened up my eyes to my faith and the world like I have never experienced before by healing me from my own personal faults and giving me newfound strength and vigor to go forward with my life and continue to perform the Lord's works of mercy with the fire of the Holy Spirit that has been ignited within me.

However, to summarize the trip, my word is not heal, but real. What we have done on the mission trip cannot be fully understood without coming down to Haiti yourself and fully immersing yourself to love and serve the people of this beautiful country. Words cannot explain what it is like to pick up a child who is mentally handicapped off the floor of an orphanage and hold them in your arms knowing that they will return to the floor as soon as you leave. Yet, words can also not explain what it is like when the child's tense, suffering body eases with each stroke of their arm and how a gentle smile can turn into nonstop laughter as you blow bubble after bubble into the air. Many words come to mind as we made our way around the dirt roads of Haiti, looking out of our Tap Tap at the still remaining remnants of buildings destroyed by an earthquake six years ago or the suffering faces of children living in shacks made from endless pieces of trash lining the streets of the city. It is one thing to read or hear about the suffering of others. It is another thing to directly participate in the suffering. Who knows, maybe through this suffering you will be healed from many of your sufferings. I sure was from mine.

Jacob Mischke

Friday, January 15, 2016


This afternoon we traveled back into City Soleil for another water truck adventure. Our group felt a little more at ease going into this round. At our first stop, the kids seemed older and were thrilled to try some games with us. Members of our group were teaching the Macarena and karate moves, attempting magic tricks, and playing beauty salon. It is such a special feeling when you set a child down for a brief moment and upon your return to the group that same child runs straight back to your arms. I think each of us had our own little buddy that we held extra tight this afternoon. My special buddy was a boy about seven years old who seemed too big to pick up. When I finally caved and picked him up, he laid all his weight on me and seemed so at ease. He sang to me all afternoon. It is moments like these that make me feel so blessed to have this opportunity to serve these people and kids. They have given more back to me than I ever expected.

~ Megan


This morning we were up before sunrise. We were all asked to be dressed and ready to go to church at 5:45 am. As you can imagine, being college students, some of us were not excited about the early wake up call, but we all rose to the occasion. We walked into the church as the sun was rising and I was blown away by the energy that filled such a large building. I have never experienced people worshipping God the way they did. The Haitian people walked around the church with their hands reaching for the heavens as they prayed. One thing that struck many of us in the group is that the pastor asked everyone to pray for the people in Syria. It amazed us that this man who lives in a country filled with poverty can be so thankful for what he has and so loving to those who live so far away from him. The pastor ended his service saying "Today is going to be a good day." He repeated this statement countless times. The people of Haiti continue to blow me away by their smiles and their ability to love those around them. Their faith in God is unlike anything I have ever seen and we have so much that we can learn from them. They wake up everyday telling themselves that "today will be a good day," even in all of the suffering.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Haitian Angels

Today was a beautiful day as we traveled, toured, and served in the Titanyen area where Grace Village is located.  The students on our trip were excited to see and hear the stories of obedient hearts with our interns and Haitian staff throughout the day.

My word of the day this evening was ANGEL as God showed me some very special people who touched me in angelic ways.  My first little angel was my sweet sponsor child that I was not sure that I would run into during our Grace Village tour due to school being in session.  As we were preparing to leave one of the interns ran over and said she was coming out from lunch so we had a special minute to share a hug, small conversation, and photo.

Our team then had the opportunity to serve the elderly that are being supported by Healing Haiti and our last 90-year old lady we encountered was extremely sick today and not able to get up.  Her daughter said we could still come in to pray and sing for her.  As we entered her home, we came upon this incredibly beautifully frail "angel" dressed in a white slip lying on her side with her white hair flowing beside her.  It really looks like she may not have much time left here on this earth based on when I last saw her this past summer.  I was thinking of her life and all that she has had to experience in her 90 years in Haiti and what a glimpse it is compared to the eternity with our loving Father.  As we were nearing the end of our visit I whispered in her ear, "Jezi renmen ou", which means Jesus loves you.  The entire time we were there she had not moved and that moment with a slight smile she nodded her head "yes".  This special angel was at peace with where she was at and where she was going.

The 6 year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake this past Tuesday has been a somber experience.  We stopped at the mass grave where approximately 300,000 "angels" in heaven that weren't accounted for but whom God knows each so personally came into our thoughts and prayers for their families and loved ones still living.


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Worship, Soccer, and Crowns

Today we went to a Special Needs home. We began with an intro from the pastor telling us about the home and where it has come since he first started taking kids in. During that time, the child sitting on Taylor's lap kept making me and her pet each other. It was distracting, but so adorable and funny. We then moved on to spend the whole day worshipping. Those kids really loved music. Specifically, a blind boy who was a little bit older and closer to our age loved to sing and even led a couple of songs. He had the loudest clap you have ever heard! Although it was difficult to see the troubles that these kids will be facing, it was sweet to see how much they loved to praise God. You could see how each child touched us who were helping as you looked around the room. Even though some of the kids didn't know what was going on, each kid had something that would bring a smile to their face: the bubbles, being held, the maracas, or just singing their hearts out. Everyone joined in and really came together, all we needed was God and a Guitar.

When arriving at the orphanage for disabled kids a blind boy was waiting to greet us at the door before we were even out of the tap taps. As we walked in other children were sticking out their hands and greeting us, Bonjour. The excitement the kids had as we walked in the door was amazing. I took one step in the door and a young boy who grabbed my hand and walked me over to a seat. He only had one eye, but he didn't take it off of me. Then we all started to sing glory to God in Creole to start out the fun. This little boy held my hands and led me in clapping and dancing. It was amazing how we could connect with the kids through song and dance. I especially felt a strong connection with him as we danced and sang. He was such a sweet and energetic boy. I was taken away by how generous the young boy was. We brought lotion to share with the kids and he took a little for himself and then continued to rub it all over my arms and face and other friends around. We also brought applesauce for the kids and this sweet boy ate some and then gave it to one of his friends before helping feed other kids. He made sure that all of his friends were taken care of and before himself, and being he lives the lifestyle he does it is truly amazing that he would put others first. I feel blessed to be able to spend part of my day with such a wonderful young boy. He picked me out the minute I walked in the door and we spent the whole time together. I enjoyed all the smiles, singing, and dancing we were able to share, and I especially won't forget the image of happiness that were able to bring to each and every one of the children we spent time with today.

This afternoon, we rode the tap taps to the history museum of Haiti as well as another orphanage.  At the museum, we learned about the development of Haiti, from its discovery by Christopher Columbus, to its Independence in 1804, to the current day.  We ran through 7 stations led by an amazing tour guide who discussed in-depth how Haiti has come to be.  In the last station, the tour guide showed us a golden enclosed crown.  This represents a single monarchy, where as an open crown represents a ruler but everyone is heard.  This ties in with our second event this afternoon, where we visited an orphanage full of kids ages 3 to 17.  One of the activities we organized was to create and decorate crowns for the little ones.  We thought this was very unique that these two things tied together.  We also played soccer with the older kids, setting up stones as goals, and playing 4 on 4.  These older kids are absolutely amazing at playing soccer, and so happened to "school" most of us.  They are so competitive!  You can see the passion they have when they play soccer, as it unites so many of the kids.  We are truly grateful to be able to have the chance to see, play, and have our hearts opened to a whole new world here in Haiti.  All of the children that we have gotten to interact with have the biggest hearts and smiles and we look forward to the events of tomorrow!