Saturday, July 31, 2010

We are here :)

I knew I would eat my words as far as telling you guys all about this blog and then it not working out to where I could update you as much as I would have liked to.... but yes.. we are HERE. and doing great. just now having a little bit of time to sit down and write.

our flight into Haiti was uneventful... praise the Lord. no issues with our flight or our bags getting here. the airport was tore up though... they took us in a shuttle to an area where it looked like they stocked things and customs and immagration was in there. Nader was there to pick us up as soon as we walked out the door... a first! It was a comfort to see his face. He was also picking up a group of 29 (outrageous) to go to a different part in Haiti. Some of the women in the group were soo sweet and we were able to have some sweet conversation with them while we waited at Tortug'Air. Mary Kate and I also met this Haitian film maker headed to Port de Paix to show his film.. His name was Raymond. Just a blessing to have people to talk with and share life. Our flight was not scheduled to go out until 3 pm... but Nader couldn't handle it... so along with the help of the Most High God... Nader was able to get our tickets bumped up to 11 am! This was such a blessing... easpeciall now that we didn't have to sit for hours in the rural airport with nothing to do. So we boarded the flight made our way to Port de Paix. Anne-Marie told me she was in surgery earlier in the day but she was there to greet us about 20 min after we got off the plane... another blessing for God. We road moto taxis to the "tap tap"stop... those rides are ALWAYS an adventure. However, the tap tap seemed to be more of an adventure than I could have ever imagined. We must have sat in it for an hour before it even left the parking lot... and then the ride was bascially like hell on earth for my bottom. Anne-Marie and I didn't even know where our legs were... and I'm shocked that when I got off that I even had a pulse in my right leg. Mary Kate, Kasey, and Marrah held on like troopers. :)

By the time we made it to Passe Catabois it was around 3 30 pm. Did I mention that our day started at 3 30 am?!?!?!?!?! And we were all so exhausted. But as I would have imagined it would be, the excitement from the familiar faces of friends and people I now call my family would keep me awake until long after the sun went down. So many great hugs and smiles :) I am excited for the other girls to get to know them as I do. Caitlin and Leah were a sight for my sore eyes as well! So good to see them and hug them :)

On Friday... we woke up and began our day by treking to the homes of some of the kiddos. They love to share their lives, their families, and their love! So fun to go see some of the children who do not get to come down as much. I think it was good for the girls to get to see how the people live and just how giving they are with whatever they have. Mary Kate told me last night, "it was just amazing to me that even though they seem to have nothing, the shade from the sun and the chair was exactly what I needed at the time. they didn't have to give it to me but they did"
We visited Fedna's house and then we made our way to Jan KellĂ˝ and Rosmanette's house... and then we went to Christnet and Louvnet's home as well. All of their families were so welcoming and willing to spend some time with us. Jan Kelly rustled up some oranges for us that we were able to snack on during our little adventure... I just love that kid. After our 4 hour trek around Passe Catabois :) :) ... we went to the hospital to say hello and to tell them that we would be back. I cannot wait to sit and do puzzles with them and to just share life. Most of them are in with TB, HIV, and mal nurtrition. Soccer at 3... the usual. I was too worn out though. Kasey and Marrah ran around with them for a while and then Miss Leah came for a while longer. Callou made his appearence as usual. He is always so angry. My heart breaks for him. I finally was able to see Michellda... she was too sweet. And then she braided my hair :) Mary Kate was the wise one and stayed at home for some QT.... part of me wished I had done the same.

Today we have "plans" to swim in the river with the kids.... something we are VERY EXCITED about :) To bring some joy to the world... as if they don't have enough to bring to mine already :) Just to see their faces light up when we talked about it was priceless! Leah, Anne-Marie, and a few others are headed to PDP today to see if they can get the rest of our bags and to find Leah's boxes. Say a prayer for them... alot of Camp Hope's supplies are in those boxes... we just have no idea where in Haiti they are. That's Haiti for you.

Will update you again as soon as we can. Looking forward to today and all that it will hold. Living, loving, and believing that love is the only way to true life.

We love you!
Jess, Mary Kate, Kasey, & Marrah

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fort Lauderdale adventures :)

my heart has been so blessed already... even just by being here in ft lauderdale with my teammates... the adventure has begun!

this mornings flight was fairly uneventful and we landed in memphis on time. while we were in the memphis airport i got a call from keith lashbrook who runs Lashbrook Family Ministries in Haiti... they are caring for Sandra now in port de paix.... he called to tell me that things are working out to where we will be able to go to PDP on the 4th and spend the day at their ministry and i am going to get to spend some time with my sweet angel :) he was so encouraging, welcoming, and precious as he opened the door for us to be a part of her world! i could not be more thankful :) we are all pretty excited to see what the Lord is doing with their ministry in PDP. he told me that their ministry has almost 100 children in it... ranging from 7 months to 21 years old... all i can say is WOW. this will be a heck of an experience.

after our flight into ft lauderdale we claimed our bags (all of them... PTL) and spilled condoms all over the baggage claim area in the process... haha... it was too funny! we almost offered some of our condoms to a couple making out in front of us at the baggage claim. YES, it was that bad! but we decided to save them for our haitian friends :)

next up was heading to our hotel... which turned out to have AMAZING BEDS. hunger was kind of an issue at 2 pm so we decided to get some food at the mcdonalds down the road instead of crashing as soon as we got there. BTW.. ft lauderdale prides itself on being walker friendly... mary kate, kasey, marrah and i would have to disagree. jay walking was not even optional in this case... it was a must. after our mcdonalds run we came and napped for a good while in our AMAZING BEDS... kasey decided that 2 hours was long enough so she woke us all up and we headed to the beach!

-- this would be in the middle of a very large intersection with NO CROSSWALK.

our taxi driver that picked us up at the hotel was haitian... such a sweet man! we talked the whole way about life and about haiti... and even offered to take us to the airport in the morning at 4 30 am! what a trooper :) thank you, Lord, for sending Jean to us!

the atlantic has no trace of oil (in case you were wondering)... the water is clear and beautiful. it felt good to just sit and enjoy the water, the sand, my friends, and the sunshine. we chatted a little bit about haiti and what to expect tomorrow as we make our way in... and we sat in silence some of the time.

---marrah performing cart-wheels on the beach.. and yes.. you guessed it... sand was EVERYWHERE.

italian food was on the menu tonight at this cute little authentic italian bistro.... beach side and all. we experienced our second disgusting make out session of the day... what is it with ft lauderdale and extreme PDA???

our second cab driver was also from haiti... his name is mark. he just kept saying OVER AND OVER AGAIN "i wish i could come with you guys.. it is so neat that you are going to my country". he was so sweet and even offered to pick us up in the morning as well. the way the Lord provides is seemingly overwhelming sometimes.

thankful for a great day with my friends.. and for God's faithfulness in our lives. we are excited about heading into haiti tomorrow. asking the Lord to use us for His glory... and asking Him to continue to make Himself known to us through the people that we meet, the things that our eyes see, and the experiences we walk through.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Welp... here we go... AGAIN... :) or as my haitian friends would say... ANKO :)

Myself and 3 of my friends will start our journey to Haiti in 4 hours... with us we will be bringing...
6 very large black bags that look suspiciously like body bags filled with all sorts of goods: all the way from things like food, little girls dresses, colors, & balloons to pregnancy tests, medications and 2,069 codoms (to be exact).

Mary Kate and Kasey are here at the house with me tonight. We cannot wait for Marrah to join us... so excited to be going to Haiti with these three!

My heart cannot wait to hug the necks of some of my favorite people in this world... Anne Marie, Fre Jal, Wilfet, Louvnet, Krishna, Kuku, Yolta, Michellda, Fedna, Weatness, Rosmanette, Jan Kelly, Beth.... and I am so excited to welcome new friends into my heart!

Haiti has this way about it... and I cannot wait to love on beautiful people and to come to know Jesus more through them. His Word promises that He is with the least of these... and when are with them, we are with Him. Please pray that we will seek to know the Lord and to glorify His name. His fame and His renown is why we are going.. to live and to love.

Just a snapshot of the days ahead:
Wednesday, July 28 --> fly to Ft. Lauderdale & stay the night
Thursday, July 29 --> fly into Port au Prince Haiti and make our way to Passe Catabois
Friday, July 30-August 4--> our days will be spent in Passe Catabois doing whatever the Lord has for us to do... it could be working in the hospital and the clinic, swimming in the river with children, feeding malnourished children, working with Camp Hope, or shelling peas in the homes of the people. whatever we do... We do it all for the glory of God. And all in the name of LOVE.. God is love.
Wednesday, Aug 4--> later in the day we are going to try to head to Port de Paix to visit the orphanage where a very special little girl is :)
Thursday, Aug 5--> we will be heading back to Port au Prince to work with Heartline Ministries.. also.. my new friend Megan Boudreaux will be joining us for a few days! we are all really excited about this!
Friday& Saturday --> we are going to be doing whatever Beth comes up with us to do! jump in head first with what heartline may have for us to help with... praying for sweet time with the haitian people and just to serve them. you can check on HEARTLINE to read more about who they are and the awesome things they are doing in Haiti!

Please follow us on our journey! We will be updating as much as we can... Excited to share what the Lord is doing through us, in us, and around us.

"we love because He first loved us" 1 John 4:19