Haiti 2013 Trip Recap (Part 2)

In my previous post I was able to talk about my first full day while in Haiti and the amazing experience of returning to a place I have grown to love so deeply. I want to try and cover my experience from Haiti in a few posts and what my experience was like in going with Help4Haiti.

On Saturday I woke up on the roof top to the sound of all the neighborhood roosters crowing, one after another in the hilarious neighborhood competition of who could crow the loudest. The odd thing is that they love to start this competition around 3am each morning. To say the least I barely slept that second night but I really enjoyed the cool breeze of the roof and the millions of stars that hung above me. Finally the sun began to creep up around 6am and I found a chair to sit and pray. There is something that I encountered sitting there on that roof that was so unforgettable. As the sun came up the Lord spoke to me so clearly that morning from His word and filled me with such an amazing peace and energy. I was excited for the new day.

That day was Saturday and after breakfast we ended up jumping into the cars to drive over to the main church to set up a sewing room and play with the local children in that neighborhood of Delmas 33. When I went to jump in the van, all the seats were filled and one of the Haitian boys had seemingly taken the one seat that was reserved for me. Lucky for me I got to jump in the bed of the truck and ride in the back with two other haitians, one of whom was mostly deaf and mute. The whole ride to the main church/ school was an experience that I had yet to have since coming to Haiti. Riding out in the open allowed me to see the streets in a totally new light that the protection of windows and air-conditioning seem to hinder. I got to ride through the streets of Port Au Prince in a way most common Haitians would on a daily basis and I absolutely loved it all. The sights, the smells and the feeling that I wasn’t separated from this third world population but was intricately woven into all of it. The experience was a blast!

That day we taught the children how to play the game “duck, duck, goose!!!” We had so much fun hearing them in broken english trying to say goose and then how they would all scream “gooey gooey gooey!!!!!” as the children ran around the circle. It was such a fun morning to bless the kids with little gifts and get to share the love of Christ with each of them. I didn’t want to leave the kids when we finally had to go!

Haiti mission trip help4haiti

That afternoon we went back over to the new city called Onaville where Help4Haiti is helping to build a new orphanage for the children that have no where else to go. We stayed there until sunset just getting to know the people there and playing with all the kids there. A friend and I actually went and walked around the neighborhood to pray for people. At one point a baby goat run up underneath me and I actually got to pick it up and hold it! Also we got to pray and minister to many families even though we had a huge language barrier. Love and compassion is something that the Holy Spirit can communicate through us as we live in obedience to Him. Love can be communicated in spite of any language barrier. It was fun to see this fact demonstrated as God’s love was poured out in powerful ways.

On Sunday we woke up at 4am to go to a sunrise service back in Onaville. The church meets in a little room with no power, no bathroom and at the time no roof. This is a big difference than last year as they were meeting in an open field twice a day to sing and to pray for their city. It was amazing to go and see the exponential growth of this church body. One thing that really impacted me while in Haiti was this church gathering. They had nothing but a little casio keyboard with a few batteries that helped them lead their songs. They had no visual aids, no AC, no microphones, no windows and not even a roof but the I felt the presence of God that morning more powerfully than I have encountered at the hundreds of churches I have visited all over the US in the last 3 years. The worship there was so raw and was so real. People were there for one reason, Jesus.

After that service we headed over to the main church where my amazing uncle Jimmy Chalmers preached. It was so great to hear him preach and to see the passion and fire that God has given him. When we left there we headed home for lunch and then got to rest up that afternoon. I took a short nap and went to pray in preparation to preach that night in Penier church where I had shared a year before. While in prayer the Lord reminded me of an exciting vision I had last year concerning that specific congregation. This reminder confirmed what I knew the Lord wanted me to share and I couldn’t wait to return to this church I had grown to love so deeply last year.

On the way to church we had made a stop at a Haitian senators home for a new years celebration that our pastor wanted to stop in at. Our team was able to pray and bless this senator. It was exciting to think that we got to make an impact and bless a man that has great authority and clout in the government of that nation. I pray that he would be one that would stand up for the cause of Christ and be a man that would fight for justice.

When we arrived at church that night the worship had already ended. I had to use the bathroom really really bad when we showed up so I found a place next to this concrete building. It was funny because a little kid came over and used the bathroom right there too. It was such an uncommon place to find myself right before I was about to go in and preach! I was so glad to be back in Haiti. I love that place so much.

Andrew Chalmers PReaching in HAiti

After our group got up to greet the congregation the pastor had me come up to share. We only had one microphone but I needed him to translate. It was an unexpected problem but we totally figured out how to make it all work and I was able to share what God had given me for that congregation. My prayer is that Jesus was made more famous that night in that city than it was before. I pray that He was glorified and not me or anyone else. We saw people touched by God and I know of at least one man that was physically healed. It was exciting to see the first-fruits of what I believe will be a full blown revival in that church.

As I told the congregation, I believe that the common people of that church are going to begin to see miracles and have powerful encounters and that Penier is going to be turned upside down. I am so thankful I was given the amazing privilege to share God’s word there again. Afterwards the Pastor asked me if I would be willing to take the position of Associate Pastor of that congregation and commit to come back through out the year to preach revivals. I have no idea if it would even be possible but it is really cool to have this opportunity before me. I love the hunger of those people and the blessing that they have been to me each time I have visited. I am so blessed by them all.

I will write about the last few days as soon as I can. Thank you all SO much for you prayers and for your support. Without many generous gifts and faithful prayer warriors I would not have had the chance to go because my budget would not have allowed. It was such a privilege to go and I am thankful for each of you!

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Before Haiti Journal

I’m leaving today to fly out and eventually get to Haiti tomorrow morning with a group of 18 other family and friends. I am really excited to get back to Haiti. This morning I was reflecting on the people and the places I went last year while there and how much I did not want to leave. I can’t wait to return even if only for a short time.

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We will be there the next week and have a lot planned in a very short period of time. We will be visiting with the orphans on Friday and then will be doing a series of services called a “Crusade” in a city called Onaville through the weekend. I am really excited to be back with the amazing people of Haiti. I definitely left part of myself there in my last visit and can’t wait to revisit old memories and make some new ones!

I won’t have any internet so once I arrive there I won’t add any posts until we fly back into the states next week. I’m hoping to take some time to journal and write down all that we get to do while there. Please keep our group in your prayers each day over this next week! We have a lot of amazing opportunities to impact lives all over Haiti and need people praying for God to lead and guide us all along the way.

Haiti orphan

Haiti Day 4

Haiti Orphan Girl

Here is one of the little girls in the orphanage that Help 4 Haiti sponsors monthly

Excerpt from my Journal at 1pm:

This morning we went to the orphanage at Croix de Boquet and spent 2-3 hours with the kids. It is only a few minutes drive from the pastors house. We had such a great time with the OVER 100 kids there. Its kinda overwhelming how many kids that is. We were able to love on them and give them something from us and all of our supporters. Most of the children do not have parents because they were killed in the earthquake over 3 years ago. Other kids there were just abandoned or dropped off there. Their eyes and smile are so unforgettable

Haiti Orphan

One of the orphans my parents support monthly

As Ive looked at the pictures this morning of all these children my heart has been aching again for them as if I were there all over again. While there God showed me really how he sees these as His children and how much he really cares for them. I had NO idea of how overwhelming the need for orphan care in Haiti was until I went, I met the kids and realized the need. There are thousands of orphans still without anywhere to go all over Haiti. Even the kids that are in orphanages are stacked several to a bed and eat only what they can afford that week. Their food is dependent on donors. No one in that nation has money to help them. Most people live off less than a dollar a day. I believe that we truly capture Gods heart when we relenquish our APATHY over situations like this and truly start to do something. How can we just sit an watch? How can we say, “Someone else will help them” and move on. It breaks my heart.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
    the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow…

Psalm 146:7-9

Future orphanage site Haiti

Later that afternoon we drove out to a new city that has been established in Haiti called Onaville. It was established outside of Port Au Prince simply for all those who lost their homes in the earthquake. It is a wide open area in a valley just between mountains and the ocean. Its beautiful but honestly barren. There are thousands of people living there but no real commerce or anything there.

The picture above is the site we visited where the future orphanage will stand. The pastor informed us that they need to build a new orphanage because the current site is being rented from the Good Samaritans and they are going to need the property back soon. His hope is to build this new orphanage rather than releasing the current orphans back out into the streets or already starving families in the community. The foundation for the wall has been laid, now all that he needs is about $100k to build the orphanage for all the kids. As we walked around the property our hope was to not only help raise the $100k for these orphans but to also bring a team back to help build it!

Haiti school orphans

Haiti Day 3

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Our third day in Haiti was really one of my most memorable days of the entire week that we were there. We got everything packed up and ready and drove back out to the school in Penier as soon as we could that morning. We took games, crafts, my guitar, bracelets to give out and even a story-board that my mom used to tell the Christmas story to all the kids. I was really excited about getting there and we expected over 100 kids to be there. We had six, they had 100 and we didn’t speak creole. I knew it would be an adventure…

Haiti Children Games Ministry

Here we were playing games with the boys on the roof…

When we got there it really was a challenge at first. Trying to describe how to play games without a translator is really hard. In the end its best to just stick to simple things you know they play all the time, like football (soccer). It was probably 90 degrees on the roof that day, a week before Christmas. After playing games we took them all back downstairs and did crafts with all the kids.  After all the crafts and games my mom then shared the Christmas story with them with this amazing flannel board type thing she made. The kids absolutely loved the visual aid as she told the story so candidly for all the kids. It was really fun to watch my mom, it reminded me of the way she read me stories before bed as a kid…

After she was done we gave out Salvation bracelets and shared the gospel to all the kids in the school. To my surprise at least 25-30 kids came up. The pastor who was with us spoke to the kids for a minute and then lead them all in a prayer. I began weeping with joy as I watched all these kids and teenagers receive Salvation!

Haiti Children

Here are some of the kids we prayed with

Afterwards we then were able to feed all of them lunch. Someone had donated $100 specifically to bless the children and when we asked the Pastor what would be best, he said give them a lunch. They do not typically offer food at the school and most of the kids just go without. You could see that it was a big treat for them. As I helped serve the kids I really thought about all the stuff I take for granted… I take a LOT for granted. I thought a lot about how spoiled I am. It was such a blessing to be able to bless them.

That night I got to speak at the Revival service and I shared about God’s love. This was great for me because I could talk on God’s love forever. One thing I didn’t realize though, is how hard it is to adjust to speaking with a translator. You have to pause mid thought and stay focused on what you’re saying while the translator speaks. Part of me wanted to listen to him when he began speaking! Haha, it threw me off a little bit. It was an amazing privilege to share that night and to be able to speak about the depth of God’s love!

In conclusion I want to include an excerpt from my journal.

12/18/12 10pm- Pastors house in Croix De Bouquet

I really do love it here. I love the people and especially the children. I’m so thankful for God bringing me here. He is showing me His heart that He has for everyone. Tonight in worship I watched the little Haitian boys dance and sing and I admired them. God spoke to me and said, “Thats exactly how I see you.” 

He sees us all as children. We are his kids and he finds so much joy in hearing our songs and watching us dance before Him. It makes me want to be even more childlike with Abba and not so big. When kids get like 12-13 they start getting that, “im too cool for school” attitude and it creates such a buffer in trying to relate to them.

That’s exactly what we do so often with God. He wants us to stay as innocent and filled with wonder as kids are… The moment we start becoming too cool or like we know it all is when we lose that connection. God wants us to come to him as kids…

Haiti Day 2

My first night I slept so well. I really could feel the peace of God from the moment we got there and could sense that people were praying for it. Its kinda hard to describe but I really had no worries. When I was on the plane I was dozing off and praying and God showed me this beautiful vision of me sitting on a beach just looking off at the ocean and simply said to me “Just relax, I got this…” I feel like this vision set the pace for the rest of my week in a major way.

In the morning we got everything together, had a spaghetti breakfast and first headed off to see the orphanage right down the street from the pastors house in Croix de Bouquet. We only stopped there for a minute because the kids were finishing their testing so we had to avoid being a distraction during that testing. Then we headed to the church/ school/ seminary in Delmas which is right near the airport in Port Au Prince.

Church in HaitiThis is the Church/ School we visited that morning.The church that we visited is one of fifteen the pastor has planted and oversees that are all over Haiti. This is the first church he planted 15-20 years ago and has grown tremendously. It has a school for 400-600 children who mostly pay nothing, they run over 600 people on sundays and also offer seminary training to people interested in doing ministry.

After visiting the church and meeting a few people there we then drove out to the church and school located in Penier. This church was actually destroyed three years ago during the earthquake and has been a work in process since then. At that church we were able to go visit over 100 kids that attend the school there from the surrounding community.

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After leaving the school we drove back to the pastors house to prepare for the next day with the kids. We put together an assortment of games and activities based ont eh time we had and hoped for the best! Then we ate some lunch and drove back up to the church for a revival service that night. My dad preached the Gospel that evening to over 65 people from that area and we also shared some songs with them. It was a great first night with the people there in Penier that we really grew to love throughout the week. This church only had power because of a generator and had nothing but bleak cinderblock walls but was still so full of life. Being there reminded me that church is not about the songs, sound quality, lighting or how elaborate a building is. The church is about the people all with one common goal to know God more.

Kids in Haiti

Hanging out with 3 boys in Haiti