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Last Week in Haiti

Dear Friends, Family, Prayer Supporters,
Two weeks quickly passed since our last report was finished and hard
to believe we fly home on the 18th of Feb. Think we’ll all miss the
Caribbean Sea being our back yard. The hard work began two weeks ago,
digging trenches and working on the foundation of the orphanage, and a
dip in the ocean was welcome refreshment! Building the orphanage has
been our main focus, and it has progressed well. At this writing the
foundation, well, and brick walls are almost completed. Some Haitian
men were hired to work alongside our team, although this also
presented challenges due to cultural differences, much has been
accomplished. The desire was to complete the building in these last
three weeks of our outreach. This goal doesn’t appear attainable;
everything always takes more time in third world countries.
Difficulties arise in having proper tools, materials arriving on time,
and everything is done by hand.

Many of you know Kim O’Dwyer, Gleanings’ director Rick’s daughter, has
been in Haiti the last nine months, having started an orphanage. Being
in a very difficult, remote mountain location, Kim has decided to
merge with Miss Lynn’s orphanage.  Through generous donations most of
the money needed to build the orphanage has been received.

Kim is here with us at the resort with her two 18 month old boys,
Joshua and Josiah and Caitlin and Suzi have enjoyed playing and caring
for them. Almost two weeks ago she accepted another child, a 2 ½ month
old, beautiful baby girl, who is the size of a small newborn, like a
porcelain doll. The mother has 8 children, the father died three weeks
ago and she has no way to care for all the children. She actually
wanted to leave two other children, boys aged 3 and 5. Instead of
taking them, the mother was sent home with two bags of soup mix,
peaches and money to buy beans and rice. The current orphanage is at
maximum capacity with eight children and the desperate mother was told
she could return in a few weeks when the new orphanage is completed.
She went away with the satisfaction of knowing her baby will live and
enough food to feed her whole family the rest of the month. And we
were faced head on with the reality of Haitian families’ struggling to
survive! Cindy took most of the responsibility for Esther’s care, her
carry-on transforming into a baby bed, and soon realized she was no
longer accustomed to the wee night hours a baby requires attention.
She and Kim are now rotating the night shift. As of Thursday there was
a nanny hired, who has started helping with the children’s care.
Yolanda loves children and has been a great blessing; also becoming
acquainted with the children now, since she will be employed at the
new orphanage.

We were honored to minister in Miss Lynn’s church on two Sunday
mornings, sharing dramas and the Word. Gleaning’s soup and rice was
prepared and everyone was given a meal after one of the services.
They expressed their thanks, saying that usually the white people
don’t come “across the street”, attending our church and serving us.

Last week Ben, alias “Professor Katz”, displayed his talents by
teaching English classes every morning at the public school across the
street. We’re not sure who enjoyed it more; Ben or the students, but
he did a great job and the children now recognize him as Professor! A
group of us have also been visiting the children at Miss Lynn’s
orphanage every afternoon; loving on them and doing various craft
projects. Relationships have developed sweetly and we are now greeted
with squeals of delight, followed by hugs and kisses. These children
are truly precious and we have received so much joy by spending time
together.

Two community meals were served last week at the soccer field, which
is near the work sight, on Wednesday and Thursday. Valter and the
staff from YWAM Port-au-Prince came and cooked up 1,000 servings of
soup to show God’s love by supplying a practical need. We found that
most of the men working on the building cannot afford any lunch. The
community is very poor and hungry, with many of the boys running
around half (or completely) naked due to lack of money for clothing.

“Beach Day” was Saturday, as the eight delighted children were
escorted across the street to the resort for a picnic and swim in the
ocean. Coconuts were first knocked down from the palm trees for a
coconut milk treat. Their palate was then greeted, for the first time,
with hot dogs, along with french fries and bananas. Everyone enjoyed
play time in the water together and the outing was concluded by eating
the fresh coconut and a lollipop. This was certainly a day all will
remember.

This last week we are working to complete as much as possible of the
orphanage construction. John is planning to extend his ticket to
remain as foreman until the completion of the project, which will be a
huge blessing for Miss Lynn and Kim. We are thankful for his
dedication to the project.

Please pray that we will finish strong. The physical labor in the hot
Haitian sun is quite exhausting, but the team is pressing forward and
doing an awesome work that will be a blessing for generations to come.

Andria, Cindy, Tiffany and Philip also continue ministering to the
orphanage children daily and they have become accustomed to our
visits. There previously bare walls are now quite decorated from all
the craft projects they’ve completed. Having only two more afternoons
with them, it will be sad to say goodbye and we pray they will not be
too disappointed when our visits stop, but will remember the love and
good times that were shared. They will also go through a major
transition when the building is completed and they join Kim and her
five children in the new orphanage.

Our prayer during this construction, and everything we put our hands
to do, is that God will be glorified; that we will be an example and
testimony for Jesus,  as Matt. 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before
men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father who is in heaven.” Wow, shouldn’t we, as Christians, be living
our whole lives in this manner?

Remember us Friday as we return to California. Our flight is scheduled
to leave Haiti at 10:55 AM and arrive in LAX at 5:55.

Goodbye from Haiti.
Gleanings DTS Outreach Team

Gleanings DTS Outreach week Three and Four

Hello again from Haiti,
Here’s what’s been happening in week 3 and 4 of outreach:
Last week (week 3) we saw many accomplishments. On Monday we picked up
sledgehammers, shovels and rakes and demolished a small house, in
preparation for two new houses that will be built there. One of these
homes will be for the pastor whose church we ministered in on Sunday.
Every morning this week the work continued; clearing rubble, moving
blocks, digging trenches, and mixing and pouring cement. The tiring,
hot work was rewarded by having the foundation poured by Thursday and
the block walls going up Friday. Also, many relationships have been
built with the Haitians at the site, building not only physical
foundations, but spiritual as well.

A small crew stayed back at the house doing various necessary duties.
Two of these mornings they were privileged to assist in preparing the
soup for the afternoon feeding at the tent cities. Valter, from
Brazil, is the staff person responsible for the ministry he calls “The
Children Bread”. He has such a heart to show Jesus’ love by serving
the people food. He used our Gleanings’ soup mix as the main base,
adding beef (from the cow we helped butcher), fresh vegetables and
spices. It was quite tasty and nutritious.

Oh yeah, remember the pool you saw us hangin’ our feet in last time?
Well, Thursday morning we began emptying this pool of all its water.
With what, you ask? Believe it or not, 5 gallon peach buckets! Our
peach buckets are appearing everywhere, coming in handy for many other
uses, including washing laundry, mop buckets, a seat, and garbage
cans. Anyway, back to the task at hand. The house had been vacant for
some time and algae were growing in the pool. After more bucket
brigade on Friday morning, we began scrubbing the inside with soap and
bleach water. It was awesome to have the cleaning completed when the
water truck arrived at noon with the first of four tanks of water.  By
5 the pool was full and we were enjoying swimming at “Fun Friday”. We
had a great time with games, swimming, music, cheeseburgers and fries,
concluding the fun evening with a movie.  What an enjoyable conclusion
to a fulfilling week.

Fritz and Cindy landed in the hospital on Wednesday night with Philip,
their son, being treated for an allergic reaction to a “black, furry,
flying insect”, according to his description, that stung him the night
before. He slept soundly after receiving two injections to reduce the
swelling and pain that enveloped his right forearm. The Dr. kept him
in the emergency room for a few hours of observation and he was
released with two different medications, after we forked over a whole
$51.00, putting us home after 11 PM that night. He’s still recovering
from the reaction, with an itching rash, that is fortunately getting
better every day.  No one has the faintest idea what the attacker was,
but Philip certainly doesn’t care to see one of those black, furry
things again! He also had something else plaguing him that the Dr.
thinks is an allergy, with different patches of itching rashes on his
arms and legs. This actually started before the dreadful sting.  The
swollen arm was much better in a few days, but Philip continued to be
tortured by more unbearable itching and rashes that broke out even on
his face. I didn’t believe it was allergy and after finally getting
him to another Dr. he confirmed my suspicion of worms (parasites). One
dose of medication and within two days the itching was almost over and
Philip and Cindy were able to sleep again! God spoke to us about
suffering for the gospel of Christ, which was experienced first hand.

The “Tent City” ministry certainly hasn’t been forgotten about.
Ministry was in three different areas.  The strategy was to go one day
with ministry time; dramas, testimonies, Bible stories and the gospel
and return the next day to feed them soup. That’s exactly what
happened in three different tent cities.
Delighted children came running to hug and play with us on Monday when
we returned to the nearby Bel Vil tent city we had visited the Friday
before. Karly, Haiti YWAM staff, taught us some Creole songs to sing
with the children; well, we did our best anyway. They also enjoyed our
skits; a Bible story about Jonah, and Suzi concluded with a testimony
and led many in a prayer for salvation. It was then announced that
tomorrow afternoon we would be bringing a meal and they received their
meal tickets. They were required to form lines, one line for women
with babies, and one for the children, when we returned on Tuesday.
Valter is unable to make enough soup to feed everyone, but our prayer
was that the food would be multiplied, and that all would be peaceful.
There have been occasions where riots have broken out at feedings,
showing the desperation of the people.  All three soup and peach
distributions were peaceful, everyone was very thankful to receive
food and they responded with open hearts to the messages.

We were privileged to have Rick & Lynn join the team Monday night.
They are encouraging all of us, meeting and praying with each student
and participating in the outreach.

Our last day in Port-au-Prince ministry to an “orphanage” was
organized. Everyone was unaware that this orphanage was actually in a
tent city and we were shocked to see how these children lived. As we
gave the “mom” a barrel of soup mix she was extremely thankful. She
has such a heart for these children, and is also operating a school
and church for them.  We brought a complete meal, along with chicken
and a grill to BBQ, and by the time we had the chicken grilled there
was quite a gathering of people from the tent city. Having realized
food was being served, they came hoping to also receive some and the
food we had planned to feed 150 with was stretched out to feed about
500, although we ran out of plates and served the last meals on wax
paper. And they heard the gospel too! Thank you Jesus! We also had so
much fun performing dramas and dancing and playing outside with the
children. A special miracle was a story relayed by one of the orphans
who had a dream a week before we came. She dreamt that white people
came to serve them a meal and there was meat. This was certainly a
special treat for them!

Thursday, the 27th, we traveled to “Ocean View Beach and Tennis Club”.
I know this sounds really exotic, and for Haiti it is! Actually, this
is definitely the nicest place we’ve ever stayed on an outreach and
during off times we are enjoying swimming in the Carribean. Miss Lynn
is a friend of Kim O’Dwyers, Rick and Lynn’s daughter, and the owner
of the resort. She is actually the contact through whom Kim has gotten
most of the children she has in her orphanage. She has God’s heart for
the people of the village of Carries and has also started an orphanage
by renting a very small house in the village and hiring a Haitian
woman to care for the six children she took in just two weeks ago. She
took us to visit them on Friday morning and we also toured the site
she has been given to build an orphanage. God has given her a huge
vision for not only an orphanage, but a community center for seniors
and youth, a medical clinic and school. John has drawn the plans and
we broke ground for the orphanage. We believe that we are here for
such a time as this and we are committed to do as much as possible in
the last two weeks of our outreach to get this building up and
liveable! We have already dug the foundation of the 30 by 60 feet
building and are in the midst of pouring the concrete.  Since the
cholera outbreak Miss Lynn’s business has drastically shrunk and she
has limited funds, but is stepping out on faith to help the children
of the community who are in desperate need. There are many
malnourished, and countless have lost one or both parents and they
don’t have the necessities to care for them. Miss Lynn has also
sponsored many of the community children’s school fees. She’s and
inspiration, stepping out in faith believing God has called her to
Haiti for this time and purpose. She told us she has enough to get
started and if she never starts it will never get done.  Just last
week, she accepted two more girls, overfilling the current house.
Saturday morning we loaded our backpacks with soup mix and headed up
and down the trails of the village to pray for and give soup to the
very poor and sick. She has led many of them to Jesus through sharing
food and ministering to them and tries to visit them weekly. What a
reality check as we saw how these desperate people live with next to
nothing. On Sunday we were honored to minister in Miss Lynn’s church
and feed the congregation rice and soup following the service.

Please continue praying for our team. Thanks so much!

With love,
Gleanings DTS team in Haiti

Week Two in Haiti

Hello from Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
Last Sunday after church service we “suffered for Jesus” as Pastor
Peter amazed us with a delicious feast at his home. We thank you,
Lord, for the variety of food and fresh vegetables, after lots of
beans and rice. Our final day in Pignon, Monday, a few native boys led
us on an early morning hike up the nearby mountain, giving a great
view of the city. The rest of the day was spent playing with the
children and we all had a blast cooling off with a water balloon toss.

We’re now serving with YWAM, living in a large house, with a tent city
nearby. As we experienced our first rain here last night we thought of
and prayed for the many desperate Haitians living in tents. We are
blessed to have a foam mattress to sleep on, inside plumbing, a
swimming pool, a stable roof over our heads, and three meals a day. We
eat lots of beans and rice, but that’s OK! We only have electricity a
few hours a day, but that’s OK! Sometimes the water isn’t running
through the faucets, but that’s OK! There is a cistern outside and we
can pull the rope up and have a bucket full of water, and we have
purified water to drink, so that’s OK!  We do our laundry outside by
hand, but that’s OK! We’re getting eaten by mosquitos, but that’s just
not OK!

How exciting to see a truckload of Gleanings’ food being unloaded as
we drove up to the YWAM house and to realize we would be sharing it
with these people who are in such great need! Plans are to visit and
minister to at least three different tent cities while in
Port-au-Prince.   On Thursday we went to the tent city nearby, walking
through and inviting them to attend a program, and were well received.
 Our hearts were so touched by how they live and yet have joy and we
felt such love as some of the little children held our hands while we
walked through their tent community.  We then had a program with a few
skits and Andria experienced applause after sharing her testimony.
Some of the team felt God calling them to wash the people’s feet,
which was something new for all. We used wet wipes instead of using
water, which is such a precious commodity for them. At first only
children came forward, but eventually some young men in their twenties
and more adults also accepted the invitation. It was very moving and
our hearts were stirred with love and compassion for them. The rest of
the team was able to mingle with the crowd, meeting and praying with
them for their needs. We look forward to returning to this same tent
city. YWAM has actually only been in this house for three weeks and we
are privileged to be the first team to help establish relationship
with the nearby tent city.

Another highlight of the week was attending “Celebriz la Vie”,
Celebration of Life, on the anniversary of last year’s earthquake,
which was held across from the destroyed palace. An overwhelming crowd
of Haitians came to this five hour event to worship God and thank Him
for life, remembering the events of the earthquake, giving testimony
to God sparing their lives. Different ministries shared the vision God
has given them to rebuild the city and bring the people to Him. A
group of amputees sang a beautiful song of praise to God with such
joyful hearts, giving thanks for life! That was touching! The Haitian
crowd awed and blessed us immensely as they raised their hands and
voices to the Heavenly Father, giving thanks in all things. “Rejoice
always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is
God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  I Thess. 5:15-17

We were also reminding ourselves to stay in an attitude of
thanksgiving, as this was very long day for our team. We left the
house at 6 AM and picked up trash before the event – lots of it! Then,
after being in the hot sun for hours, we again gathered many more
garbage bags full of trash after the event. Their culture does now
have the western mentality of putting trash into trash cans, besides
the fact that they seemed to be non-existent. We were wondering why
the people gathered around to watch us putting garbage into bags, as
if it was some grand event. As Fritz asked someone he responded, “I’ve
never seen white people doing this!” Jesus has called us to be
servants in Matt. 20:26 He said, “Whoever desires to become great
among you, let him be your servants.”

John, Ben and Caitlin helped butcher a cow on Friday, which is being
prepared to add to the soup we will serve at the tent cities food
distribution. Well, if you want to know any of the bloody details
you’ll have to ask them yourself! The rest of the team helped wash the
very dirty, cement splattered windows and in the afternoon did a
prayer walk through the neighborhood.

Saturdays will be our days off while here and we enjoyed a leisurely
day of resting, reading, fellowshipping with one another and swimming.
 This was followed up in the evening by a service at the Brazilian
United Nations. Peterson George, the YWAM Port-au-Prince director, was
the speaker. He also invited Fritz to share about the ministry of
Gleanings.

On Sundays we will be attending two worship services and promoting the
Port-au-Prince DTS program by performing dramas and having two
students share something God has done in their life through the DTS.
They are praying for 50 students; 25 Haitian and 25 foreigners.

Thanks for your continued prayers. A few of us have had some
intestinal issues and colds, but nothing serious. We’d appreciate
prayer for our health. Also pray that we would have humble servant
hearts that please the Lord with obedience and for the tent ministry
times. Our desire is to see many receive Jesus, know His love, and
that He is the hope for their nation and each individual. We want to
love them with the love of Jesus and be sensitive to the Holy Spirit
in whatever He asks us to do.

We are in Haiti

Greetings from Haiti,
OUTREACH; putting into practice what has been learned, serving Jesus
by serving others, dying to our own desires and comforts, and being
Christ’s  ambassadors.  Our DTS team safely arrived in Haiti at the
turn of the New Year to begin a new phase of DTS.  After a 4 hr. drive
to the airport and 6 ½ hr. flights to Haiti, we were met by Pastor
Peter and informed of a 4 hr. drive to Pignon; where his church and
orphanage are located. We soon learned that traversing Haitian roads
is vastly different than travel at home. We piled our 30 plus pieces
of luggage into the bed of the truck and crammed the 14 of us into the
same truck and a small SUV. Our adventure was over some of the worst
dirt, stone and rutted roads I’ve ever experienced; not to mention
crossing a few rivers, replacing a dead car battery, 2 flat tires, 2
rest stops (one for water, another for the toilet, but no food),
lengthening our journey  to 8 ½ hrs. for a total traveling  time of
about 26 hrs., leaving us, needless to say, exhausted. As we know,
there is always good God works in every situation and we were
delighted to interact with the friendly natives at each stop, playing
with the children and viewing their way of life. Upon arrival we were
served a delicious meal of beans and rice, fried chicken, fried
bananas and soup, and settled into our rooms; exhausted, but well fed,
and thankful for our safe arrival.

Today is already day 5, Thursday, and 10 barrels of Gleanings’ soup
mix were unloaded at the church/orphanage. Pastor Peter blessed the
truck drivers with some and we are anticipating a village outreach;
doing dramas, sharing Jesus and being His hands and feet,  giving soup
to the beautiful Haitian people.

Youth meetings were scheduled for Sun. – Fri. night, which actually
included every age group. Our previously prepared VBS material has
been useful for the younger ones; they have especially enjoyed the
crafts and we realized that many were using scissors for the first
time! As we pray and seek God daily He is using us to encourage the
people in their relationship with God. Each of us already had
opportunity to share a testimony.

Tuesday morning we walked through the village of Pignon, experiencing
the outdoor market and having the privilege of visiting and praying
for patients in the local hospital.

Work projects consumed some of our daylight hours, including:
re-organizing a tool shed, building shelves and painting a room at the
orphanage, and electrical work.

Wednesday we took another “ 4 hour” Haitian “road trip”, which we
quickly realized would again be much longer than expected; almost 8!
This time all 13 of us squished into the king cab truck, 6 in front
and 8 in the small truck bed, and experienced still worse roads.  It
was encouraging, and a respite, to stop along the way and view other
churches Pastor Peter oversees.  One congregation at San Michel meets
in a shack obviously constructed from whatever meager means were
available.  A donation has been made to build a stable “shed”, which
will begin soon.

We are all enjoying spending time with and loving the orphans who are
still on school vacation this week. Chris and Philip play soccer
daily, Kayley quickly learns Creole from the children, and the girls
play clapping games.  How sweet it is to see their smiles and joy as
we interact with them in many various ways.

On Friday we visited an outstation (a group of less than 100
believers) in the village of Bye, about 30 minutes away, where we
performed several dramas and testimonies and preached the Word. They
thoroughly enjoyed and understood the skits, which Pastor Meli
informed us was a completely new experience for them. Afterwards, we
extended a call of prayer for sickness, laid hands on them and prayed.
Five or six women came forward when we extended a call for salvation.
Upon leaving they sang us a Haitian blessing song, whereupon we sang
the Gleanings’ blessing song in return.  Everyone who attended was
blessed to receive one or more bags of soup. Our team was thoroughly
blessed to be a blessing.

Hard to believe one week has already passed, sweet relationships have
been established and we will soon leave Pignon to return to
Port-au-Prince and minister with the YWAM base there. We are
anticipating and excited about all God will be doing. Thank you for
your prayers.

Blessings and love from Haiti,

Gleanings’ DTS Outreach Team 2011

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God  making his
appeal through us.” 2 Cor 5:20