Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Last Day

This trip has been awesome! Yesterday we went to a village and played with children. I had a lot of fun carrying and holding children. We played little games and soccer and stuff. This trip has been a great experience, I have definitely learned to appreciate the things we have in canada alot more. I would love to stay but I also want to come home.



Wow, what a trip! This has been my first mission trip, and it will leave a lasting impression on me for sure! Everything about this trip has been amazing, and I will come back with many stories to share. We have had so many laughs, cries, and happy silences, relationships have strengthened and new ones are made, and the mountains never get old. This place is beautiful, and it is amazing to see that within the poverty and destruction, there is more happiness and hope here than anywhere I have ever seen. The Lord is doing marvelous works here, and there is so much room to grow. I hope that the Mission of Hope can fulfill its dreams and can transform lives in every man, woman, child in Haiti.


Last Day!

Yesterday was our last day and we ended the trip off with a little bit of a different routine. We visited a village that not many for MOH visit, it was our intern, Kelly's first time visiting the village. We pulled up in our big huge truck nicknamed the "KING OF THE ROADS" and we were shocked to not see any kids around the general area. We then split into 2 groups and started walking around and then we crossed a river and then all a sudden I look around and almost every member of our group had a kid basically on top of them and some even had more than 1 kid. These kids then continued to walk and hold our hands and jump from person to person for the entire 3 hours we were there. There was a 14 year old boy who i guess he thought he was light,  because he kept on asking for piggy back rides form us and it was a workout thats for sure. After lunch at the MOH compound the group went back to the village and played with the kids. Us guys continue to miss our Floridian roomates that left a few days ago.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 10

So its the last day here in Haiti. We leave for home tomorrow. I've had a great time here, even though I've been sick for the past couple days. Being sick in a place far from home really sucks. But other than that, its been so cool to be in this amazing country. This trip has been a real eye opener. I have seen how happy the people are, even if they don't have much. I am definitely going to have a new perspective when I get back. I'm also going to have lots and lots of stories to tell everyone. Also lots of pictures for everyone to see. 

Can't wait to see everyone tomorrow,

Zach Gerrits

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reflections of the Trip

The trip is coming to a close, and everyone had great time building relationships with the Haitians and with our own group. The trip has been a great experience learning more about the beautiful country of Haiti and its culture and being able to help it and its people. I have come to realize how nice and kind the people are here and how much they appreciate our help. It is really hard to express my feelings and thoughts as so much has happened when we were here. Not only are we becoming close with this country, our group became really close friends with the mission groups here at Mission of Hope Campus with our intern leader Kelly, our Haitian translators, the "Texans" who went on work projects with us, and the "Americans" which are the guy's roommates. We have a good time building relationships and working on projects together. The church services are really fun with lots of energy and dancing with everyone happy to express there faith for God. We have been doing alot of painting on the houses that are being built by Mission of Hope, and have been doing village work and walking through villages and praying with random people. It is also really exciting as on Saturday, one man who we prayed for said he didn't believe in God, but by the end of the prayer he came to accept Christ. So there are alot of stories to tell when we get back and everyone is having a great time and coming closer to God. It's AWESOME here! See everyone soon.

- Justin VanderVelde

Day 9

This trip has honestly been unreal. I have been here for 9 days now, and I can firmly say that it has been some of the best days of my life. I have built new relationships with people on this team, and especially with the Haitian community in several different villages and on the compound. 

Our team's focus village was Minoterie. There are some things I have seen and heard in this village that have just shaken me and showed me that I'm living a very selfish life back home, and it's something that needs to change. There are children that have almost nothing, and some of them don't even have parents, but yet they have the biggest smiles on their faces that reflect happiness and thankfulness towards us for giving our time to play with them, hold them, hug them and be there for them. There is something about holding a little girl or boy's hand here in Haiti compared to back home. it's something that I can't explain, but it melts my heart and it makes me feel like I need to do something more. It breaks my heart to hear all the sad stories in people's lives as we go around to different houses in Minoterie and pray for them and their families. 

I made one really good buddy in Minoterie. His name is Shnider, and he is 11 years old. Every time we drive into the village and he sees me hop off the bus, he has the biggest smile, and instantly grabs my hand and wraps his other arm around my arm. Meeting him is something that I'll never forget. A little child has taught me so many valuable lessons that books and teachers couldn't teach me. 

There is only one full day left, and it honestly saddens me. I feel like I'm not suppose to be leaving yet and that God is telling me that there is more for me to be doing here. I know that God has a plan for me and His people, and I'm excited to continually see some of the parts of His plan. I've come way closer to Him throughout this trip. This is a trip that I'll never forget, and I can't wait to tell you all my amazing experiences with you when I get home. 

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers 

Kendra Slagter

My Story

This has been an amazing 9 days. We as a team have grown so strong with our relationships. There are alot of people on this mission team that i have never really talked to in my life, but coming on this mission trip and spending time with everyone on the team individually and as a group has really brought me closer to them. I have made some new friends that i probably would have never talked to if it wasn't for this mission trip.

I am so glad that i made the decision to come on this trip. I have found many answers that I have been looking for, and this has definitely been a life changer for me. It is amazing how cool it is in Haiti. The culture is so different and it is amazing just looking around and seeing the amazing view of mountains where ever you look. It really saddens me to see how people live here every day. They have the worst living conditions I have seen in my life, but some how there is always a way to get a smile on the kids face, weather it is to put a wheel on a stick and role it around or just give them a hug and time of day to talk and play with them.

There is only 1 full day left and the week has flown by. I will miss going out to the villages and playing with the kids and helping families out and putting a huge smile on there face, and spending time with the team and getting to know these people more and more everyday, but i am also very excited to go home and tell everyone about all the great stories i have to tell about the trip. we head out tuesday morning and will be on a new adventure home.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers with us as we are here.

See you soon :)

Dan Heeg

A Trip of Change

Well, the team and I have been in Haiti for 9 days now. This trip has been full of change in so many ways. It was such a neat experience to come back, everything was and is familiar and to have that feeling is great. The week started off a little tough, seeing the Van Pelts go home a little quicker than planned but in the end it was the right choice for them and that is all what matters. Throughout the week I saw a variety of things that just made me think. 

Last year, there was a girl from the village of Leveque that I had met and held for most of the afternoon. Well, we were back in Leveque several times throughout this past week but it was just yesterday that I saw this girl for the first time since last year. She was in the same faded old orange shirt, all ripped and torn up. This really struck me. I felt as if time has stood still for them, yet I've had a year full of changes. I missed connecting with the people of Haiti over this past year. 

There are so many highlights over this past week that I'm having a hard time putting it all into words. I am just so grateful and happy to be back here, I've loved it all. We have one more full day left tomorrow, then Tuesday morning we head out. 

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers with us as we are here. 

See you soon! 

Jill deBoer

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birthday Shoutout

This is a birthday shout out to Michael Reid! Happy birthday from Colette! 
(Also, note to family: I have a new love for peanut butter. Haiti has changed me.) 

Getting Out

Alright, so today was super awesome. We got to go to this amazing beach resort which was really fun. We all got a ton of sun and some of us (including myself) got burnt. Oh well...c'est la vie. Unfortunately I've been spending a lot of time back here at the compound, sick, which hasn't been much fun so I don't have many stories of going to the villages and painting houses. It was nice to get out today and relax at the beach. SHOUT OUT TO MY MOM AND DAD, Miss y'all. I've been buying you guys some pretty awesome souveniers. Obviously there are too many Texans here and I, for one, have found myself talking with an unavoidable Texan accent. Hoping to be able to enjoy the last 3 days of the trip but also looking forward to going home. 

Let's Go to the Be-each!

So today was BEACH DAY! We've been working all week and our schedules have been jam-packed with lots of activities, like going to villages to hang out with the kids, painting houses, church, etc. Having a relaxing day at the beautiful resort was really refreshing and it was super nice to relax (and tan too). The ocean was really beautiful and the resort made me feel like I wasn't even in Haiti because it was so different than what the rest of Haiti looks like. The culture here is extremely different than in Canada and some of the things are quite shocking to see. There are always people on the streets and driving is COMPLETELY INSANE. Basically, if your vehicle doesn't have a horn, you're toast. 

We've had lots of good times so far as a team and I'm having an amazing experience in Haiti. Helping out all the people here is so amazing and all of them are so appreciative. We've gone around in villages to pray for the people and they invite us right into their house! 

My favorite moments of this trip have been involved with working and playing with the kids and just loving them. They are all super smiley, excited and happy all the time! They love to be held and talk with us (even though it takes some translating because they talk in Creol). All the people here are just so friendly and wave to you and say hi to you when you're just passing by. I love all the people here, pretty much I just love everything about this place.

SOOOOOOOOOO to sum my trip so far up in one word, it's been FANTASTIC. I'm so excited to have this opportunity to be here and I just love Haiti. Still missing all my friends and family back home, but I'm going to enjoy the last 3 days we still have left in Haiti and enjoy every minute of them.


B-B-B-BEACH DAY (And Many Other Fabulous Things)

I actually feel extremely tan right now... WHADDUP. As you can tell, it's Emma. Today what we did as a team was we went with a whole bunch load of other teams to the BEEEACH. I really love the beach. Like, a lot. We tanned, swam, jumped off rocks, went jet-skiing, bought things, etc. It was a blast. 

So today I didn't get to hang out with l'il children, which kinda sucked, but there is still time! The past week has been absolutely phenomenal. Yesterday I got to pray over a little girl who had burns all over her body and I got to talk to her and just show her that she's loved.  That's one of the reasons why I am having such an amazing experience; I get to make others feel loved. Some of these women that we pray over invite us into their homes and let us see the way that they live (honestly, their homes are extremely humid). But just the fact that they invite us into the place that they live even though they don't know us kind of shocked me. They didn't even know me, but they just told us to come on in! So amazing!
Another thing I realized in the time that I've been here is that a lot of these kids walk around in bare feet. They walk on these stones and you know the way we cringe or walk really carefully when we're walking on stones? They just walk right through like it's completely normal. Even if there's glass there. The kids also just join up with our groups when we're walking through the village, and their parents don't even go looking for them. This culture is just so different than anything I've ever seen before. 

So that's basically all I have for this blog post. I hope e'erybody's doing wonderful at home. MISS YOU ALL. Mainly my beautiful mother. HEY MA, hope you're coping without me. I know it's hard, but you'll get through it. And to Papa and Meg, stay cool. It's only 3 full days of being here and I will see y'all on Tuesday. I've started saying y'all by the way because we are hanging out with people from Texas. It's all good... But I might come back speaking in a Texan accent. Whateva, doesn't even matter. 
Kay bye. 


I love it here in Haiti. I love everything about it ! It's all so beautiful & it's hard to meet someone who doesn't make you smile. The children are what is sticking with me the most, no matter what you're doing or where you are they follow you & want to be with you. They are fascinated with my hair, they all braid it or touch it & all the women grab it too. They love to put their hands all over your face & poke you. They're honestly the cutest. It's hard to see their living conditions & what is so normal for them. When we're painting or playing with them we will take water breaks, but these kids have none with them & are just as thirsty. They'll ask for water & it is so hard to say no to the little cuties, but we have no choice. Other than them asking for water they are super happy & content with just being around us. It's feels so great to show love to everyone here & give them a glimpse of hope. Being here in Haiti has opened my eyes to both poverty & beauty; & it's really showing me what's important in life & how much I have. (I'm also learning to haggle to get things "cheap-cheap"). Today I went jet-skiing with Regan, we went so fast I flew off into the ocean... Quite the experience I must say. Too fun.
God has been good & I look forward to what the last few days have to bring ! 
Miss ya'll <3. 

Laura Heeg

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Also written on Day 3

Hi there! The last few days in Haiti have been pretty awesome, warm, beautiful and full of Jesus Christ. Haiti is a place where people don't need the next best thing, and to them "simple" makes them happy. Being in Haiti last march, everything seems a bit familiar and recognizable. Saturday was a day to see everything again, settle in, get to know everyone at Mission of Hope. Sunday, having the opportunity to attend the awesome worship service, lead by haitians was amazing. The Faith these people have here is so cool, and its great to see how God is working in every one here in Haiti.  Today, we took off to Minotrie, a village where we painted a couples house, but also built relationships with tons of kids around us. To see the smiles on the kids faces when we are with them turn to frowns and tears as we leave breaks my heart. So many different encounters throughout this tip reminds me of how great our God is, the kids continue to ask me "Do you love Jesus?" ...these kids definitely brighten up your day. I think all in all I am super excited to be back in Haiti, God continues to show me new things on this Journey. I am really looking forward to the next days in Haiti and the experiences I will have. Its really great to reunite with "Vincent VanderVeen" our former chaperone, he is perfect for this trip, so is Jackie the other chaperone. Everyone here is super friendly, and that makes everything so great. ....Haiti, so far has been everything I thought and then some. God is Good! SENDING A SHOUTOUT TO MY LITTLE BROTHER KENTON, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE YOU :)


Written on Day 3

Alright so the past couple days have been absolutely amazing. Haiti is such a beautiful, beautiful country. There is so much to see and do at all times. There are gorgeous mountains, crystal blue waters, and Haitians are probably the nicest people you will ever meet. We've already went on a few excursions including a trip down to Leveque which is a village that Mission of Hope built, and we visited a school that they built as well on Sunday. On Sunday we also were shown a movie about Mission of Hope and then one of the leaders talked to us about child-sponsorship to help children to get a proper, Christ-centred education. That's when Dan came up with the idea to sponsor a child. Dan, Emma, Colin, Ben, Zach and myself all sponsored a girl who is in grade 12. Her name is Michel Sandina. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up. I feel so blessed to be part of a child's education. We will have the chance to meet our sponsored child next week Monday. That's also really exciting. Today we visited Minotrie, which was another village where we painted a house for a couple. The kids in the village mobbed us and were fantastic to be around. I bounded with a little boy who was ten years old. His name was Stanley and he would not leave my side. He was constantly giving me hugs and asking me about myself, to which I tried to reply with as little English as possible. I wasn't very successful. The kids loved being photographed and taking photos themselves. When I started videotaping them they were all so excited that they were "in the movies." When we had to leave Minotrie Stanley ended up crying... I did not want to leave after that. He was such a sweet and tender boy that loved the whole team. I was so happy I met him. So far, it has been a fantastic time in Haiti.

- Caitlyn

Van Pelts

Hi, everyone, it's Vince VanderVeen.  We'll update you really soon on all the activities that we have done so far, but first I want to share some news about our team.  On Sunday morning we were all sad to say goodbye to Michael and Meghan VanPelt as they returned home to Canada.  Michael shared very openly with the group about the reasons why it was the right thing to do, and we were all honoured to listen to him speak from his heart.  We grieve with them, and we also continue to support them and pray for them as members of this team.   Again, we are sad to see them go, but we are glad that they were able to come and see Haiti with us.  We pray God's blessing over them as they return home to Canada.

Sorry for the lack of communication

So we are really sorry that we have not been posting anything. The internet here has been really finicky and we haven't been able to get it to work since we've been here. We will hopefully be able to post a couple blogs every day however since we haven't been able to get the internet every day I can't promise anything. 

We are all having a really good time and everything is going really well. Tomorrow we are headed off to the beach for a day of relaxation after working hard all week. We have painted about 3 houses, and spent 2 full days in the villages praying for people and playing with kids.

- Teagan

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maybe The Last Blog Before We Leave!

Everyone is getting excited as it is almost 30 hours until we depart. I remember hearing in the announcements at school that a team was going to Haiti. I instantly signed up without even thinking it through, which is not normal for me, but I think made the best choice to come. The trip is coming up so fast with every hour ticking off and I am super excited to go. I think we are going to have a great time and everyone is going to feel God’s presence in Haiti. As I just did my Profession of Faith in January, I am looking forward to actually make a difference in the world even if it is a small one. I never really have gone on a mission trip like this in a different country, so this is my first time. I think I will really come to appreciate with what we have here in Canada, and how we are so blessed by God. I just can’t wait to share God’s blessing with everyone else. We can be His hands and His feet. Romans 8:28 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” See everyone when I get back! “N a wè pi ta!” (See you later in Haitian)

Justin VanderVelde

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We're Almost There!

I can't believe we're leaving on Saturday already! I remember being so excited when I first found out I was on the team, but now that we're so close I don't think "excited" is a word that fully describes how I feel. I guess I'm a little nervous because I haven't done anything like this before, but overall, I'm so ecstatic to be able to serve God in a way I've never done. I hope and pray that God will work with my team and myself in ways that we haven't experienced before. God is so amazing and has blessed me so much by providing me with the opportunity to travel to a country as beautiful as Haiti and allowing me to work with His people through this mission trip. My team is amazing and everyone has such a drive to serve God. I am so blessed to surrounded by so many fantastic people. Now I'm just counting down the days until our trip begins! 

- Caitlyn Breukelman

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

3 more days

HAITI IN 3 MORE DAYS! AHHH it's so soon! I literally cannot believe that Haiti is in 3 days... It seems like just yesterday that I felt daring enough to even express interest in the trip. But now it's all starting to sink in, and I'm SO EXCITED. I'm all packed, but I still know I'll end up forgetting something when it's time to go. I would have never thought that I would ever be doing this, especially cause last year I had the opportunity to go to Haiti but I wasn't ready. But this year, it's in the plan and I'm all set to go and see what God has in store for me. I'm really excited to work with all the kids in Haiti and learn more in my walk with God. 

I can't wait to jump into this new experience and spread God's love to all the people in Haiti. This will be the first mission trip I've ever gone on, and I'm really excited for what it's going to be like. Everything will be so new, but I trust that God will keep my safe and be with me the whole time. I'm really like the team and I'm just so pumped for this trip!

-ashley sluys