Student Leaders: SPRINT


Summer 2011 SPRINT Teams: Haiti

Trip Dates: August 10 - 24

Project Description:
Students will serve hand in hand in materially-poor communities and the local church.  Program includes construction work on a vocational school, Vacation Bible School, and medical clinic assistance.

Host:
Foundation for Peace

Estimated Cost:
$2700

View a digital story from last year’s team.

SPU Graduate Luke Davies explains the work of the Foundation for Peace in Haiti and Dominican Republic (Video produced by Mandie Sodoma)

Download tax-deductible donation information

Follow the team's personal blog

Haiti


Team Updates


August 21

Here's a text update from the team. On Monday I'll send their return flight info and some thoughts on how you can support them upon their return home.

Tomorrow the group will help Foundation for Peace staff distribute aquatabs for at-home water purification.

Thanks for your support of this team!

Owen.

------
On our way to tour Port au Prince. Tomorrow we are passing out aquatabs to villages and a last day at the worksite and goodbye ceremony Tues night. We are staying at Valentin's Tues night to be closer to the airport. Talk to you soon!



August 15


We can't believe that today marks our fourth day in Haiti.  With all the fun we're having, it feels like we've been here for weeks!  Today was our first day hosting VBS at Camp Hope.  We put on our prettiest skirts and dress shirts and headed to church.  On our usual drive through the different towns, it was refreshing to see that almost every person was dressed in their Sunday best for church, with their Bibles in hand.  Once we got to the church at Camp Hope (a miracle village where once tents were forms of shelter are now colorful homes, community water systems, outhouses and solar panels for lighting).  The people who worship here do so under a huge tent.  There were probably over 150 Haitians in attendance, and they were all very welcoming.  We enjoyed the loud music and enthusiasm from the Haitians - we even clapped and danced along!  After the two-hour service was done, it was time for VBS!

There are no words to describe how adorable and precious these children are.  They were so eager to hear us sing Creole and English Bible songs, and they caught on to the lyrics very quickly.  When it was time to pass out the crayons, construction paper and stickers, it almost brought tears to our eyes to see the children's faces light up.  We spent time coloring with them, rotating around different tables.  There were probably about 90+ kids, and we wanted to draw pictures with them all!  VBS lasted for about an hour or so, then we passed out lollipops to the children and said goodbye.  Working with the Haitian children has been such a blessing.  We remember one little girl in particular - Vlady, who unfortunately lost one of her legs in the earthquake and uses a prosthetic leg now.  Even after all that Vlady has been through, she has so much joy and love inside of her.  Many of the children we met today have overcome tremendous hardships, yet they continue to be strong, grateful and express so much happiness to one another. 

After our day at VBS, we headed to the lake for an afternoon of swimming.  With each day that passes here in Haiti, we grow closer to the Haitians we are in contact with (Pastor Valentin, FFP interns, our security men, and drivers) and our relationships grow stronger.  Just imagine a whole van full of both Haitians and Americans rapping to American hip-hop songs!  Drake and Chris Brown, anyone!? :) 

On our way back home from the lake, it started pouring down rain.  If you think our rain storms in Seattle are bad...wait until you've experienced rain here in Haiti.  Lightning storms are also very constant here, you can see the entire length of the lightning bolt from start to finish.  In the midst of the rain, looking outside onto the Haitian streets at the people walking around has been very eye-opening, but at the same time discouraging.  We would pass tents filled with people living inside of them, children running with nothing but underwear on and no shoes as fast as they could to find shelter and stay dry, and some were even holding water jugs almost as big as themselves, struggling in the rain to head home.  Once again, God showed us how sometimes, we tend to take the simple things we have back at home for granted: rain boots, umbrellas, towels, and even just a dry car to stay in for shelter against the rain. 

Tomorrow, a group of 19 people from New Jersey will be arriving in Fond Parisien, so we will be moving to the Peace and Love Hotel in town.  We appreciate you taking the time to pray and read our email updates!  Knowing that we have many people who support us back in the States is encouraging and gives us strength to get through each day.  Like we said in yesterday's update, we will not be sure if there will be internet access at the hotel, so we will try to email again as soon as we can.  Bondye beni nou (God bless you all) and we'll see you all in 9 days!

August 12

It's currently 7:14pm here in Haiti and we're all at home relaxing for the rest of our night. The church service we went to last night was amazing.  We have never experienced anything like it.  The music and singing were loud, passionate and expressive.  Not to mention, the service was over 2 and a half hours long!  The drive to the church was about an hour away, but our drives to any place never feel as long as they really are because of the scenery and people we see along the way.  The church welcomed us during this service and earlier in the day, we learned some Creole phrases to say to the congregation..  Pastor Valentin asked us to sing a song in English to the church, so we sang "Open the Eyes of my Heart, Lord" (there were probably over 100 people in attendance, if not more - so imagine the butterflies in our stomachs)!  

Today was our first day at the work site.  We started our day with a group devotion and delicious breakfast, and at around 10am, we arrived at the site.  The site is located on a huge lot, and Foundation for Peace hopes to eventually build a vocational school, language school, public water system, dormitories, and so many other resources to help the children and people in the community.  We are currently working on the foundation of the school, and our entire day consisted of standing next to each other in an assembly line and passing metal buckets of gravel to fill the foundation.  We literally did this from 10:00am-6:00pm, with maybe an hour and a half for lunch.  However, the work was extremely fun - we met more Haitian people and were in conversation the entire time!  We are picking up on Creole pretty fast :)  It's amazing to notice the ways in which God watches over us here.  For example, we were afraid to work in the heat at first, but He provided us with a constant, cool breeze throughout the day.  

Each day we are falling more and more in love with this country, culture and its beautiful people.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and thanks for all of your support. Tomorrow we are going to the depot to help organize donations from Foundation for Peace, and will be passing out these donations to the community.  Please pray that as we come in contact with more of the Haitian community, that we will be able to show God's love and be a blessing to them, as much as they have been to us so far.  We will email again as soon as we can! 

Bondye beni ou! (God bless you!)

August 11

Hello from team Haiti! It is 10:20am here and we just arrived in Croix-Des-Bouquets, where we will be staying at Pastor Valentin's house for the first four days. We were picked up at the airport by Pastor Valentin, and Foundation for Peace interns Esther (she goes to SPU as well) and Andrea.  

We stopped by the market on the way to Pastor Valentin's house to pick up some cold drinks and enjoyed seeing colorful "party" buses (they're actually colorfully painted and decorated shuttle buses) and lots of goats along the way. We're just waiting to eat a delicious lunch being made by Pastor Valentin's wife, and later this evening we will be attending our first church service at 6:00pm!

We're finally glad to be here and are anxious to start work on our construction project tomorrow. Haiti is a beautiful country overflowing with immense culture and the people are absolutely friendly and welcoming.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers, specifically for helping us adjust to the heat and that God would continue to open our eyes and hearts to what He has in store for us. Our journey is only just beginning!  

Love,
Linet, Kelly, Katie, Erik, Sarah and Kaye Lee   

August 10

Hello, friends of the Haiti SPRINT team!

This afternoon six Seattle Pacific University students began their journey to Haiti, where they’ll spend the next two weeks volunteering with Foundation for Peace (www.foundationforpeace.org), helping with a school-building project, Vacation Bible School and community health activities. Over the course of their trip I’ll send updates to keep you informed.

SPRINT (Seattle Pacific Reachout International) is SPU’s short-term missions program. This summer we’ll send nearly 70 students to 9 countries across the globe to learn from and serve alongside local community leaders. These students have been meeting together since February, and have spent significant time in pre-trip training to consider the impact of short-term service, ways to approach unfamiliar cultures and the role of American Christians in the global context.

Our hope for SPRINT is to provide opportunities for students to learn first-hand from leaders engaged in significant issues in their communities and to encourage others through their service. There’s more information on the SPRINT program on our website at www.spu.edu/sprint. On the website you’ll also find a brief biography of this team and the other groups serving this summer.


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