Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday

Team Journal 5 
by Stephan H. 

August 17 
Church in Anse Rouge is a different experience. The morning service is scheduled to begin at 9:30 but in reality begins later as attendants continue to trickle in until 9:50! It is obvious from looking around that the roughly 100 people in the simple building are dressed in their “Sunday clothes”. 

Accompanied by a variety of musical instruments, the service begins with the congregation singing a number of hymns. In between, a few words are spoken to introduce the songs. 

After prayer we are welcomed by the one who leads the service. Although he repeatedly expresses his appreciation that we are here, he reminds his audience that it is not about us doing the work, God deserves all the honour. As he preaches he sometimes asks a questions and then the whole congregation responds. The entire service is in Creole and lasts about one hour and 15 minutes. Before the attendants returns to theirs huts and homes they shake hands and greet each other. 

We return to the mission for lunch where Judy, the cofounder of Lemuel, tells us about the religious changes that have taken place. About fifteen years ago Christians were hardly found in this area. Although this had changed, the connection with voodoo is still strong, even among regular church attendants. People often believe they've been cursed when difficulties and hardships come their way. Lifting these curses can only be done by offering sacrifices to appease the spirits. Judy also tells us that there are only a few that she considers true Christians. General Biblical knowledge is incredibly low and many people have a different view on what being a Christian really is. Some are satisfied with going to church once a week, while others go to church while living a life that does not corresponds with what the Bible teaches. Yet others view church attendance as an opportunity to meet others. 

Unfortunately, the notion of a personal salvation through Christ is often not fully grasped. 

In the afternoon we listened to a CD sermon by Rev. Roos on Romans 12 verse 12: a remarkable call in times of tribulation. This sermon was preached before in Chilliwack in May 2010.

Friday, August 29, 2014

A Fun Saturday

Team Journal 5 
By Christoph V. 

August 16 
We started the day with painting the remainder of the tables. When we were finished about one and a half dozen local children gathered at the school; as we had previously requested. 

They started out shy, but as they became more comfortable with us they quickly proved to be typical rowdy children. 

Our group organized the games and they played musical chairs, duck, duck, goose, and tag. The children quickly caught on to the rules of the games and seemed to enjoy them. Several of us introduced them to 'selfies' which they found rather amusing. 

As the children left for lunch we were entertained by the local adults who showed us an assortment of their talents. Two did tricks on their bikes and the others played songs on the piano, electric guitar and bass guitar. After showing their talents Maria played amazing grace as a Haitian sang in creole. 

 After lunch Sarah and Karen played basketball with some of the Haitians, while others fell asleep on the perimeter of the gazebo. 

 At 4:00 pm we piled into the box of the missions truck and headed for the coast. The drive was interesting but also a bit painful because of the poor road conditions. Our drive took about thirty minutes. The beach was beautiful and the water was very warm. 

Shortly after our arrival, the beach began filling up with locals. Some joined us in passing a ball around. They all tried their utmost to communicate with us. We also found some sea life, like sea urchins, crabs, scorpions, and colourful snails. 

We were back at the mission by 7:00 p.m.. Supper consisted of pumpkin soup with the usual fresh bread. At night we relaxed in the gazebo. 

 A Few Pictures 

The kids that came to play.


Playing games.




Selfies.


Sharing musical talents.


The beach.


Natural beauty.


Sunset.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Friday in the Village

Team Journal 4 
By Sarah S. 

August 15 
After a breakfast of cornflakes, eggs and some delicious watermelon and pineapple, we headed over to the Lemuel school where we finished painting the tables and chairs. 

 When the work was finished for the day, Sam, another volunteer at the mission took us on a tour to visit the local watering holes. One was an area that had a wall of dirt around it so that when it did rain the water could collect there and would be easily accessible by the community. The ground was so dry here that it looked like a perfectly formed jig saw puzzle! 

Our next stop was a watering hole where people would bring their animals once a day when the sun was scorching hot, so that the animals would drink as much as they could. This was amazing to hear and see as back home our animals always have water readily available. Sam told us that during times of drought, which were often, the animals would have to wait two days before getting a drink. 

Since water is so scarce the people of this community are very careful about how much water they use. This made me think of how privileged we are back home where rain is plentiful and water is never in short supply. 

After the tour we had a scrumptious dinner of pumpkin soup, avocado, and bread. We were then invited to a prayer meeting that would take place at a neighboring house. During the meeting the people all prayed out loud simultaneously. They also sang songs. We were all in awe by this; their singing was incredible and it was really neat to see the harmony between the people as they gathered together to pray and thank God for all His blessings. After the prayer meeting we, together with some of the Lemuel staff sang a few hymns together and then took turns singing our National Anthems. 

Later that night we headed out to the airstrip where we admired the stars and an amazing display of lightning. We also shared our granola bars with some Haitian men who were still working on building a house, even though it was already 10:00 p.m.! They planned to continue working till midnight! We were very impressed by their hard work and the fact that the only light to see came from a small fire they had built. 

Overall this was another great day that flew by and was filled with eye opening experiences. I am really enjoying myself and I thank all the people here at Lemuel who have been so welcoming and are taking the time to show us many new and interesting things. 

Some Pictures of the Day.

Freshly painted tables for the school.


Henk working hard.


Touring the area.


Animals drinking at the watering hole.


Lots of interesting things to see.




Stephan got too close to a cactus.


Sam, sharing his insights.


Group shot.


Evening prayer meeting.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thursday in Anse Rouge

Team Journal 3 
By Karen P. 

August 14 
Breakfast was served in the gazebo at 7:30 a.m.. Forty five minutes later we headed to the school where the guys continued to work on the window openings and  the girls started painting wooden chairs for the school. 

After a short break Christoph and Jarin took a sledge hammer to make a door opening in one of the walls; a very dusty job! Maria and I also took turns swinging the hammer! 

Meanwhile Henk, Jake and Stephan put together the window frames. Please note that it was 42 degrees Celsius while doing this! 

In the evening we split up into three groups and went out into the surrounding communities. It was really interesting to see how people lived in mud huts and cooked their dinners over a fire. 

It was also amazing how happy these people seemed even though they had next to nothing. Many of the children were running around half dressed. I guess if they don’t wear much there’s not much laundry to do either! 

Before supper we joined in with the soccer game again. We also took a group picture together with all the Haitian players! 

Supper that evening was spaghetti; which was very delicious! We ended the night playing Apples to Apples for an hour or two. 

The Day in Pictures. 

 Kids on the edge of the runway in the early morning.


Haitian ladies checking out the 'ti blan,' possibly the first white baby they've seen in their life! They soon discover that other than a slightly lighter hue, he is just like any other baby.


Working together.


Jacob levelling a board for the window casings.


Freshly painted chairs.


MAF plane picking up Will, Lydia and Alexander.


Alexander, waiting for the MAF plane to prepare for take off.


An evening stroll.


The highway.


Pack mule.


Bags of charcoal.


A hermit crab taking a walk. The ocean is not that far away.


Visiting people's homes.






Tuesday, August 26, 2014

First Day in Anse Rouge

Team Journal 2 
By Maria N. 

August 13 

Wednesday morning we woke up at 6:00 a.m.. After getting our belongings together we took a twenty minute taxi ride to the domestic airport where MAF's office and hangar were located. With Jason as our co-pilot we flew a twelve seater caravan to Anse Rouge. It was a beautiful 45 minute flight. 

With our bird's eye view we could see the sea-salt flats along the coast. I never knew that was how salt was made! 


The runway of Anse Rouge was made up of packed earth and gravel and the pilots had to keep an eye out for goats and chickens before touching down. As we deplaned it was funny to see a couple of kids on a donkey just walking on the edge of the runway as if it was totally normal! For them I guess it was! 


We then met with Krischelle, a missionary there, who gave us a quick introduction to the mission and a tour of the compound. The girls' rooms were quite modern, but the boys' dorm was a bit more rustic, much to Jarin's dismay. He did not appreciate the variety of exotic critters that would be his roommates; scorpions, cockroaches, geckos, and katydids! 


After breakfast we headed over to the school construction site where the guys got busy pounding holes in the walls so the window frames could be installed and the girls painted chalkboards for the new school rooms. 


After finishing the chalkboards the girls helped the Haitian women stripping lalo leaves (similar to spinach) for an hour or two. They said we did a good job! 


Just before supper we headed out to a soccer field, made up of sand and gravel, right beside the runway, and played soccer with the children from the surrounding area. It was funny to see the children come from all directions when one of them blew a whistle. We were all amazed by their skills and it was super fun! 


Showering was definitely a different experience than we were used to. The girls had a twenty second shower in a small space surrounded by flying critters, whereas the guys had two buckets and had to pour water on their heads with a small can. That concluded our first day in the Haitian hamlet of Anse Rouge! 



The Day in Pictures.  

Port au Prince from above.


The salt flats.


Caravan returning back to Port au Prince.


A typical Haitian home located beside the mission compound.


On the mission compound. Everything was unnaturally green due to some recent rainfalls!


The mission kitchen.


The girls' dorms.


One of the girls' rooms. Very nice!


Alexander chilling after his first MAF flight.


Eating breakfast.


Flowers in the desert.


A scorpion.


Jacob hard at work.


The girls painting the chalkboards.


A tasty Haitian lunch of rice and beans, plantain and picklies.


Working together we get the job done!


The girls taking a water break with Alex. It was sure hot!


Playing soccer.


Dinner time!


A katydid.


Sunset in the desert.