Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Today was an Amazing, but very heavy day. We started the day by visiting Elders School. Elder, the man who started the school welcomed us with open arms. We immediately made our way to the front of the class and jumped right into singing. The children loved it and especially loved getting their hands on the instruments. However, once we left the school, we learned that the children didn't get served lunch because we were there. That made us feel terrible, but we were reassured from Elder that the singing and love we shared filled their bellies much more than food for that day since they never have that.

Our next stop was Gertrude's, which is a home for the special needs children that have been abandoned. That rocked a lot of us and for me my flood gates opened. We played with the children and Loved on them like crazy. A boy found me right away and took his shirt off handed it to me and I put it back on. He probably did that one hundred more times. It was great and he was sure a joy to be around. Another little boy in a wheel chair grabbed my attention and when we broke out the instruments and started singing, I couldn't help but get him out of that chair and hold him the rest of the time. Not to mention the girl Kristina who climbed all over everyone, especially Mike while he was drumming. She definitely lovedwhat was happening.  


The last stop of the day was a place I know only God could give us the strength to get through. There was no way to really prepare ourselves for the General Hospital. We visited three buildings with sick and dying children. The first one we walked into my eyes could not believe what I was seeing. It wasn't long before Jeff and I tried figuring out who this one little girl belonged to. She was sitting up, but was the size of a one month old baby. The Haitian lady standing nearby tried telling us to not hold her because she had a very soiled diaper and no momma and has been abandoned. Jeff then figured out it was ok to pick her up, her little hand clung right to Jeff right away and because she had no momma, I then knew I had to hold her when he was done. He handed her over to me and right then we started singing the song "10,000 Reasons", we got to the third verse where the lyrics say "and on that day when my strength is failing, the end draws near and my time has come, still my soul will sing your praise unending"..... and that's where I lost it. I held on to her even more as if she was my own. As she was cradled in my arms, I looked up and saw Nicole and Jeff sitting on a bed with Raphael and he too was abandoned. He is thirteen, he stopped eating and his strength was failing. No words can really  be said on the power of that moment. When it was time to go, I walked back to the crib to lay her down on a terrible crib mattress. I walked into the hall, looked at her one more time through the open window and saw her holding onto the crib railing. She had nothing to hold onto, not even a stuffed animal. A piece of my heart was left in that crib, but today I got to be her momma and I named her ANGEL. We are all God's children and that is HOPE that we can walk away with at the end of a hard day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our Day in Cite Soleil

Today was our first full day in Haiti and it was water truck day. Delivering water to the people of Cite Soleil has become one of my favorite things in Haiti. To see His beauty and Love in one of the darkest places is an experience tough to describe, but our morning devotion from Matthew 25:31-46 was good preparation. "Truly, I say to you, as you did to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
For me personally, this being my second trip has so far brought a different perspective, but one I don't yet know just how to express adequately. I had what felt miraculous happen today. On my first time in Cite Soleil 6 months ago I left our last water stop on day one in tears over one baby. Today my feet were not on the ground even 30 seconds at that same stop (our first stop today) and my tears were flowing again over this same one baby. Today they were happy tears!
Last October at this stop, a mama handed me her crying, 5 month old baby, pulled the baby's shirt down and showed me a golf-ball sized abscess on her chest. She said her baby didn't sleep and wanted me to help. All we had as a first aid kit in the tap tap at the time was a few small band-aides and a half tube of bacitracin. I put the ointment on four little band-aides to try to cover this red, hot, closed infection and then gave the rest of the tube of bacitracin to her mama. Knowing how differently and the lengths we would go to treat this back home I couldn't help but think there was a good chance this baby would die. I struggled with that thought so much driving away from the water stop that day knowing this was completely treatable if only they had the resources. I did get to see her and treat her infection again, giving the mama more ointment our second day back in Cite Soleil 6 months ago, and while it was better than day one, it was still there. Today, as we pulled up to that water stop I recognized the place and instantly thought of her and started looking. As I stepped out of the tap tap today, I had taken no more than 10-15 steps and there she was!!! Mandy was already holding her as her mama handed her over so she could go get water. I can't express the absolute Joy I felt in seeing that little one's smiling face, and in seeing her mama. When I said her name Jenvien (sp?) to her mama, she said wi and looked at me smiling over the recognition. I pointed to her chest where the abscess had been and she instantly remembered, smiling and showing me this sweet baby's chest - completely healed! God clearly has a purpose for this sweet baby girl, now age 1, waiving and saying "Hey you"!
Amongst all the horrible, heartbreaking, unspeakable sites we each saw today, there were also moments of beauty and sites of joy. Dancing and singing God is so Good with the children will always be a sweet time I pray and trust they know the depth of. Watching team members dig in, hot, sweaty & dirty, serving, laughing, playing and bonding with the precious Haitian people brings such light in a dark place. I know I more clearly saw the Light in Cite Soleil today because God showed Himself to me boldly, only a few steps in.

Another moment to note today is the blast we had playing soccer with the sweet, guesthouse neighbor boys who not only schooled us with their amazing soccer skills, but also shared their sweet voices in worship with us in the tap tap while driving to the soccer fields! Their spirit is so strong and beautiful!

And lastly, Happy Birthday to our amazing leader, Karen!

Goodnight from Haiti!
Ke Bondye Beni'ou

Monday, April 28, 2014

We Made It!

We've got a really great team here this week.  4 men and 8 women, 6 of whom are returning and 6 here for the first time.

Shortly after arrival we had the opportunity to deliver Feed My Starving Children manna packs to a Tent City.  This was our first exposure to the beautiful Haitian people, some full of joy, some desperation.  While passing out food in in a tent city there is never enough for everyone.  It is a brutal, unfair process trying to decide who gets food and who doesn't. We know some will have full bellies as they go to bed tonight.  Wish that was true for all.

As we arrived back to the guest house we were full of emotions:  gratitude and guilt, underscored by the big question "Why."

Broken and poured out, Jesus died for us.  In this, He gave us the incredible gift of eternal life.  He also showed us how to live.  Broken and poured out.  We will approach the week being willing to let our hearts break and to pour ourselves out so that He can be made known.

-karen moen