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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

Selflessly Sewing

The following is a guest post, shared by our friend, Dori Nason.

For the past four summers, I have had the opportunity to teach 9-13 year olds how to sew with a group of talented ladies in my church. Power Camp is a ministry of Myrtle Grove Presbyterian that shares the gospel of Christ with kids (rising 1st -8th grade) as they are extremely active in various sports and arts activities. During the sewing specialty week, we teach the basics of sewing, and then tackle a project to take home, whether it is a pair of pajama pants, a wall hanging, or something equally challenging. It is amazing how much these kids learn over the course of 15 hours!

Historically, only girls have signed up for sewing camp. However, this past summer I was personally contacted by a homeschool mom who said her 11 year old son wanted to learn how to sew. Surprised by this, I wanted to learn why he wanted to sew. She responded that her son, “wanted to learn how to make clothes for his little brother and to make dresses for little girls in Haiti.” His answer touched my heart and I knew that we needed to add a new element to our week of sewing. 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.
— 1 Thessalonians 5:16

We were going to make something for someone else. God helped us move quickly into making this boy’s idea into a reality. Approvals were given, fabric and notions were donated, and a dress pattern was designed. We were blessed to be able to partner with Haiti Awake and teach our 11 students not only to make a backpack they could take home for themselves, but also a beautiful dress for a girl in Haiti. Decorating the room with the Haitian flag and a world map, we showed them pictures of Haiti and Haiti Awake’s ministry there.

Over the course of the week, 11 precious dresses were lovingly handcrafted and prayed over. We taught the kids that even though they didn’t know who would receive their dresses, they could pray for that person’s safety and that they would also come to know the Lord with each stitch that they made. As a final touch, we had labels attached in the dresses telling the recipient who made each dress. When I packaged everything up to take to Becky, I had no idea how our prayers would be directed later that summer as hurricane season started brewing.

Early in September, Becky started sending me pictures of the recipients of our dresses. These pictures brought so much joy to us! The first picture was of a girl named Phoebe holding the dress made by our inspirational young man. Next was of a little girl who lives near the ministry wearing her dress. It was their beautiful faces we visualized as we prayed that Hurricane Irma would turn before it reached Haiti. Those precious smiles will be forever etched in my memory. Stateside, we rejoiced as the hurricane turned and we received word that all at Haiti Awake were safe. Our prayers and stitches made a difference, not only for the recipients, but also for each boy, girl, and sewing instructor involved in the project.

The Lord continues to direct our steps

As humans, we will miss seeing so many things without God’s eyes. That’s why I’m so thankful to Him, because He gave us His eyes to understand things that we couldn’t, and to show us that He is always in control.
He provided what we didn’t expect and make us feel useful to help our brothers and sisters.
We have crossed rivers by walking, taken out trees from bumpy roads...
As a photographer I couldn’t use my camera as often I used to... because I felt the necessity to carry things and to do my best to help our fellows Haitians in need.
We are also thankful to Haiti Awake team, Redgi from Heart United, and other friends that were there to help during these three days.
— Hudson

We thought we had a plan for Monday.  The men were supposed to meet a friend at the airport and caravan down to Les Cayes with her group to start relief work.  Instead, that plan fell apart . . . just as another friend reached out to Haiti Awake and offered to partner with us for work in the same area.  I am very thankful for Crystal Funk and Hearts United with Haiti.  As the day unfolded on Monday, it became evident that this was the partnership God wanted for us to pursue for this week.

Here is the short version of what has happened on the ground so far this week.

Monday:  Polo got to Les Cayes by airplane thanks to Gene Schmidt.  Gene is a new friend, an amazing man, an excellent pilot.  Hudson, Wesly, Fre Jack (a friend from church), and Redgi (from Hearts United with Haiti) headed down with the truck later in the day.  Polo had already made contact with Pastor Joseph Jeneve Delpeche at Mission Eglise Baptiste Sud d'Haiti, and the men were able to sleep at his house all week.

On Tuesday the men bought supplies and distributed them.  But the day was not without incident.  According to Polo, they had a flat tire far away from where they could get help.  He said it was difficult to get the help they needed, but in the end they were able to get the tire fixed and finish the work they had set out to do, including buying rice and re-bagging it for the Wednesday distribution.

Today the men gave out rice in the pastor's community before going to his church where they met with the people and gave rice.  They then helped Redgi get iron sheets to people his organization knows and has worked with for years.

We passed a beautiful 3 days with the Haitians in Les Cayes. The pastor who shared in his house is a good men.
I pray to God for the people in Les Cayes.
God bless Haiti Awake. It can help the people in Haiti.
We need your help, Dear Father, like the Haitian song says, ‘Papa Bondye nou bezwen ou kounye a.’
— Wesly

Tomorrow the men plan to return to Port-au-Prince after helping Redgi with another project. The current plan is to return to the Les Cayes area next week - hopefully to help with fixing the roof at Mission Eglise Baptiste Sud d'Haiti.

 

I am thankful because God had given us this opportunity to help our brothers and sisters who were in need. And I felt so good working with some of the Haiti Awake staff and Jean Frtiz and Redgi from Hearts United with Haiti.
We worked as a team. We worked hard. The road was bad - trees in some road, but God was with us.
The Pastor this morning said the fact we come to help them it a prayer come true; they were hopeless. They said they will pray for us.
— Polo

Further, having Fre Jack on the team has provided wisdom and experience, as well as a point of contact who already knew people in the area, including Pastor Joseph.

Please continue to pray for Haiti as the road to recovery will be a long one.

We are thankful for a great team of Haitian men who are helping their fellow Haitians and making a difference in the community in which they are working.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
— 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Amazon Approved Charity

Haiti Awake is now an approved charity on Amazon Smile! Some of you might not know this, but if you make your Amazon purchases throughhttp://smile.amazon.com/ .5% of your purchase is given to a charity that you can designate. It is easy. Simply go tohttp://smile.amazon.com and sign into your Amazon account. Search for and choose Haiti Awake (Wilmington NC) and you are all set. Just make sure in the future that you start with smile.Amazon.com when you shop on Amazon (and most of the time it will assume you do or it will remind you). This is a great way you can support Haiti Awake as you shop for Christmas and all year long.