The Children's Home

A new friend and partner

Carine Robert is currently a junior at Madonna University, where she is completing her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Leadership.

As a community service learner at Haiti Awake, she has been offering her time and talents as volunteer hours the last several weeks.

57504224_277454063195779_2411531975295762432_n.jpg

According to Carine, she has felt welcomed and supported at Haiti Awake.

Recognizing that our children’s home gives our children access to education and better living conditions, she has assisted in a number of tasks, as indicated by Saturday photos, including but not limited to, helping the children improve their French pronunciation, gardening, and assisting the children (especially the girls) in other activities.

This experience has made her aware of volunteering and the love of serving others.

As a service-learner, she is now part of the Haiti Awake family.

We at Haiti Awake are thankful for the diversity of viewpoint and experience Carine has brought to Haiti Awake.

We learn and grow

We learn and grow

But one of the most beautiful, soul-sanctifying things God ever does for us is to bless our lives through those we’ve come to bless, to expose the pride and superiority that makes us think we’re in perceived control of them, and to realize that God is the one who’s truly in control of all of us. Sure, people learn and grow from what we do, but we learn and grow as well by being in their company.

— Joey Lankford

And introducing our 2nd summer intern

I won't describe Hannah Hewling as a new family member, as I described Alexandria yesterday, because Hannah's been a part of Haiti Awake since the first Bridge team came in the summer of 2016.  Last summer Hannah stayed in Haiti with us for two weeks, and this year she's coming back to intern for the 2nd half of our busy summer.

hannah hewling.jpg

Hannah is a third grade teacher in Garner, NC, who graduated from UNCW in 2017.

While living in Wilmington, Hannah was a member of The Bridge Church, where she met Becky.  On her first trip to Haiti, Hannah instantly fell in love with the people and culture of Haiti. 

Hannah can not wait to continue to build on relationships she has made as well as, use her teaching background to encourage the children. In July,  She will be teaching English at the children’s home and assisting with the three teams during her trip.

hannah hewling antonide.jpg

How thankful we are at Haiti Awake for the many people God has brought to work alongside of our staff through the years.  People like Hannah bring fresh ideas and new energy to our efforts.

Looking forward to a great summer!

96 hours in Haiti

Exchange in the Atlanta airport last night.

Immigration agent:  "Where are you returning from?"

Me:  "Port au Prince, Haiti."

Agent:  "Why were you there?"

Me:  "To celebrate a 3 year old's birthday."

Agent:  "Excuse me?"

Me:  "To celebrate a child's birthday.  He's 3 years old now."

Agent:  "You went to Haiti to celebrate a child's birthday?'

Me:  "Yes.  That's right."

Agent:  "That's an unusual reason to visit Haiti.  But a good one.  Have a nice evening."

Caleb's last day as a two-year-old.

Caleb's last day as a two-year-old.

Yes, it was an unusual reason, but such a good one!  Going to Haiti this week was all about celebrating the goodness of God in the life of Caleb Steven Derard, my favorite 3-year-old.  Caleb's birthday is something I hope to be able to celebrate with him each year because his life is a miracle.

In case you've never read his birth story, you can find it here:


The short time in Hait this week was very productive, however, beyond just sharing a meal and cake with Caleb on Wednesday. 

To answer the question, "How was your week in Haiti?" I decided to share the schedule that we at Haiti Awake followed day-by-day.  I know sometimes people wonder what we do when there's not a team.  Well, this should give you some idea . . . at least of what we did April 16 - 20.

As I always say, no matter how long I am in Haiti, it's never enough time.  This short trip was definitely no exception.  Friday afternoon found us rushing to get to the airport and squeezing every last minute out of my time there.


Monday

  • Arrive on Delta 685

  • 3:30 p.m.   Meet with the children

  • Spend evening unpacking

  • 8 p.m. Meeting with Polo re: economic development and more

  • 9:30 p.m. Meeting with Steeve

Tuesday

  • Work out details of sewing project

  • Look at new places to take summer teams

  • Afternoon with the children

  • 9:30 Meeting with Steeve

20180417_102934.jpg

Wednesday

  • Shop for the children's home

  • Go to the market to get supplies for Caleb's party

  • Visit other missionaries

  • 11 am. Caleb’s birthday

  • Gifts for friends in neighborhood

  • Visit children

  • 9:30 meeting with Steeve

 


Thursday

  • 8:30 Go to immigration to finish application for my permis

  • Noon Meeting at hospital with medical staff

  • Pack bracelets and other Mission Made Jewelry items.   Pay everyone for a job well done.

  • 3 pm April birthday party for children and staff

  • Meeting with the wash ladies

  • After dinner, rooftop meeting to close out the week

 

Friday

  • 8:00 Meet with ladies again

  • 9:30  Meet with Steeve and Polo re: children's home

  • 11:00  Staff meeting

  • Noon  Finish last minute packing, eat lunch, grab a shower and dress for airport

  • 1 p.m.   Say goodbye to kids

  • 1:15 Leave for airport

  • Leave on Delta Flight 684  3:30. p.m.

The summer is coming up quickly.   We plan to host 6 separate teams in June and July.  Much of the next two months will be in preparation for hosting our friends and sharing more of what we believe God has called us to in Haiti - Community Development, Economic Development and Church Ministry Development based in Relationships, Gospel, and Hope.

Until next time . . . 

Mutuality

But as the friendships on the streets and in the neighborhoods grew, we came to understand that we were not ministering “to” our friends, but in ministry “among” them. We ourselves were being ministered to as authentic and humanizing relationships emerged.
— Christopher Heuertz

2017 in Review

It's been another year.  We have another opportunity to look back and see God's providence, His faithful hand, His leading...and to see that once again, we never walked alone.

1st morning in our care children.jpg

The first four months of the year were marked by change as the children came under our care. We also began to discuss the idea of expanding Haiti Awake outside of Port au Prince, hosted teams in the new upstairs guesthouse, launched our child sponsorship program, and added stateside coordinators - Hannah Telman, Liz Kyle, and Alicia Mercer.

Glwa pou Bondye.

16466502_10154434375272635_1081999226_o.jpg
Carrs in Haiti games.JPG
16936079_10202731122755493_818230921_o.jpg
march team.jpg
dre group.jpg
1.png

The middle four months were characterized by teams - five of them to be exact . . . in addition to the four we had already hosted in the first four months of 2017.  Fun times.  Busy times.  Times of growth.  Many of this summer's team members became sponsors to our children, and for that we are grateful.  

Relationships. 

Gospel. 

Hope.

dr murphy 2017.jpg
prison.jpg
seder and kids.jpg
Welch team.jpg

The latter part of 2017 brought great joy, as well as some hard times.  The children returned to school for their 3rd year of schooling since Haiti Awake began providing for their tuition, and we rejoiced. Haiti Awake was also able to open the copy center and begin its first chicken project during this same period. We are thankful that God continues to expand our resonsibilities. We also were forced to think about the brevity of life when Wesly and Idelmy were involved in a serious accident.   And we finished out the year with a wonderful Christmas celebration provided by friends and sponsors.

We look forward with great anticipation to where God will providentially lead in 2018.  We anticipate growth through new business opportunities as well as outreach and expansion of responsibility outside of Port au Prince.  But we recognize and affirm the truth found in Proverbs 16:9:

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Tout glwa pou Bondye. Toutan.

Happy birthday, Boss Man

From our first meeting . . . 

2013

2013

2014

2014

2015

2015

2016

2016

Until today . . . 

2017

2017

 

You are loved, Handy Oge. 

Happy 8th birthday!

The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
— Numbers 6:24-26

That Day When Your Dream Comes True

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
— Ephesians 3:20

In January when we asked the children, "What is your dream?", most responded with traditional jobs like "block layer," "translator," "nurse" . . . and as I looked at their responses, it was easy to envision how they could grow up to be these things.  

When I saw Kiki's card, however, I knew that it would have to be a God thing.

Davensky+(1).png

Today, however, Kiki had his first experience toward fulfilling his dream.  He had the opportunity to be the "co-pilot" on a Mission Aviation Fellowship flight.  

The very fact that this little 6 year old with big dreams was up in an airplane today, able to see the amazing beauty of his country, confirms for us at Haiti Awake that God has BIG plans for our Kiki . . . and that Jesus will complete the work He has started in Kiki's life (Phil. 1:6).... as He will for all of the children in our care.

To all the children, we say, "Dream big!'  

The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
— Psalm 138:8

Oh, and we did realize today that Kiki's not quite ready for flight school.   Nap time called during the flight, and even though he was so excited to be flying . . . he couldn't fight off the need for some zzzz's.

kiki controls.jpg

Thank you MAF Haiti for making a little boy's dream become reality.

Welcome, Frè Jacques & Sè Cilotte

Since mid-January, we have been earnestly praying that God would direct us to a more permanent caregiver situation for the children.  With the sudden departure of their former caregivers, the staff of Haiti Awake banded together and "made it work,"  but we all knew that eventually we would need a more stable environment for them.

Shortly after Hurricane Matthew, God allowed Jean Fritz Jacques to begin working with us.  His spiritual maturity, his gentle spirit, his quick smile were things that quickly endeared him to me personally.

And over the last 9 months, I have watched him become more and more a part of our family here at Haiti Awake.

In June, we were intensely praying that God would provide a good woman to mother the children, and one night in mid-June, God made it abundantly clear that Frè Jacques' wife, Sè Cilotte, was that woman.

Steeve and I had several meetings with the Sè Cilotte and Frè Jacques in June and July, and after much prayer and discussion on all sides, they have agreed to join the staff of Haiti Awake and move into the children's home to assume the role of house parents.

We could not be any happier for the children and for them.

The rest of the Haiti Awake staff will continue to be part of the children's lives each week through intentional interactions.  For example, Wesly will continue to sleep at the children's home to provide security, and Polo will continue to administer many of the children's programs.  Maken is so good with the children in loving them, being a friend, and organizing games, while Big and Donalson are great homework tutors. 

I am happy to be a part of this team, Haiti Awake. I’m a teacher, and I am learning to sew. I have been married for 4 years, and I am a Christian. I used to teach to teach a Sunday school class, and I have been to training for Sunday school. I am a member of Patriarche Eglise Baptiste de Cazeau.
— Sè Cilotte
I am happy to be a part of this team, Haiti Awake. I am a carpenter and cabinet maker. I learned this profession in school. I have been married for four years, and I am a Christian. I went to seminary, and I am preacher. I am a member of Patriarche Eglise Baptiste de Cazeau.
— Frè Jacques

Relationships Matter

The following is a guest post by Paige Carroll who traveled to Haiti with The Bridge team in August of 2016.  She and her husband, Jacob, are monthly supporters of Haiti Awake, and they are leading their own team back to Haiti in June of this year.

This past summer, I traveled to Haiti with Haiti Awake. During the first few days of my 10 day experience, I quickly picked up on something different about Haiti than what I was used to in the US. In Haiti, relationships matter. In the Haitian culture people genuinely care about one another. Haitians take the time to learn about what’s going on in the lives of those around them. Whether they know it or not, they are living by the motto of “Love your brother as yourself.” People on the streets stop to help a brother in need: they take care of each other; they build relationships and value those relationships.

Relationships Matter

Haiti Awake is no different from the culture of Haiti. The staff of Haiti Awake believes that relationships matter. They take the time to know and care for their neighbors. They build relationships with others, leading by example that iron sharpens iron. The Haiti Awake staff builds heartfelt relationships with the children in the Children’s Home; spending time, money and energy learning about what makes these kids happy, what gets them motivated, what helps them learn, not because it is part of their job, but because they have that desire to build a trusting relationship.

Once I returned home, I was eager to do whatever I could to continue impacting those relationships I formed in Haiti, as well as what I could do to ensure that relationships continued to grow across that country. Haiti Awake taught me that it is important to invest all that I have into something if I want to see it succeed. I want to see Haiti Awake succeed.  I want to see the Gospel known in Haiti. I believe that through the power of Jesus Christ, Haiti Awake is going to do great things throughout the entire country of Haiti -  from Tabarre to Cite Soleil to Tabarre to Les Cayes, to those places God has yet to call them to.

This is why I invest my time, my money, my energy, (my Target clearance shopping trips!), my heart, in Haiti Awake.

I believe in Haiti Awake.

This is why I support Haiti Awake monthly. I know that my support goes 100% to Haiti to meet these needs, that otherwise could be forsaken without my support.

People were created to be in relationship with one another.

Would you consider forming a relationship with Haiti Awake, and being a part of the work they are doing to bring Relationships, Gospel and Hope to the nation of Haiti?

That was then . . . and this is now

 

This morning while Kelly Shannon and I were talking,  Andy and Daniel Vestal walked into the lobby of The Bridge.    As we exchanged greetings and introductions,  I was struck by the fact that Andy and Daniel were part of one of our first Haiti Awake teams, and Kelly will be leading the next team in less than two weeks.

I tried to explain to Kelly how desperate the children were when Andy and Daniel met them, and I tried to explain to Andy and Daniel just how radically different the children's lives are today.

But there really aren't enough words to explain the transformation.

So I thought I would share a few pictures with everyone - so that we can rejoice together in what God has done in just two short years.

The photos on the left, top to bottom:

  • Andy sharing the truth of God's Word (January 2015)
  • Saying goodbye on the last day was so difficult.  We had no idea when (or even if) we would see each other again.
  • We all prayed, and then we prayed again.  And together we agreed that God had a plan for the children's lives.

Isn't it wonderful that God included Haiti Awake in that plan?

But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.
— Psalm 86:15

As we look back on God's faithfulness, we look forward with grateful anticipation to see what God will do in the children's lives in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.