Thursday, June 23

Last Day... Let Us Praise!

So, our time here is coming to a close.  What a bittersweet moment!  While we are all anxious to see our loved ones back home, leaving Haiti is hard.  The women took a final trip to Missionary for the Poor, and spent the day loving on the wonderful residents there.  Gina helped David (a resident with CP) write letters, Sara and Francy performed massage and myofascial release on almost all the residents, and Meghan and Trish took the residents for walks.  The men did phenomenal work at the Village of Hope School.  They finished the ceiling, and started and completed the vestibule.  It is honestly astounding the amount of work they managed to complete!  As this is our last night, following this summary, we are all going to take a moment to reflect on our week.

Meghan

I have said it over and over this trip, but I am going to say it again… this trip was such a blessing.  Thank you to everyone who supported us spending our time here.  Arriving at the orphanage was overwhelmingly emotional, but once I got my wits about me, it was hard to leave.  Honestly, leaving it today was almost as overwhelming as arriving.  It was so hard to say good bye.  But, hopefully we will all be seeing each other again soon!

George

This has been my second trip to Haiti, and I continue to be amazed by the spirit of the Haitian people. Although they have been subjected to poverty and lack of necessities due to their corrupt government, they live joyous and productive Christian lives. Their positive attitudes and smiling faces are an inspiration to me. I will always remember this trip and will strive to keep the plight of the Haitian People in my heart and soul.

Sara

This was my first trip to Haiti, and I was immediately struck by the natural beauty of the country-the hills and beautiful trees and plants.  I have met so many wonderful people-our missionary hosts, members of the team from Purdue, and the orphans at Missionaries of the Poor who stole my heart. We worked hard and accomplished a lot, but there is still so much left to be done and so many people in need. I am definitely hooked, and I’ll be looking for my next opportunity to return!  

Jim Cantrell (Jimmy)

We took our project to the point where we could not continue (building out the computer lab.). We framed and installed the ceiling as well as installing the lights. We also installed the new door, framed in and walls installed. A very good week.

Jim Culp

I have been so blessed on this trip; from seeing another culture and comparing it to how I live, is just so unbelievable.  I have been reminded time and time again how blessed I am.  At graduation, the kids reaching out and wanting to grab and hold on, and how well behaved they were, was so touching.  I feel blessed by my parents that they gave me the traits that helped me serve God.  I thank God for giving me the opportunity to come here and pay forward a small portion of what I have been given.  I pray that what I have done here will benefit the people of Haiti.  As in my other mission trips, I will be leaving part of my heart here.

Gina

Wow, where do I start, to say my heart is moved every time I’m here is an understatement!!!  What strikes me and leaves me in amazement every time, is the progress I see.  Yes, I said progress!  From a group of 40 kids meeting under a tree, to a student body of 651, receiving a formal education, and a Christian education no less. This is only possible by God’s grace and the support of many, many, many people.  To think that Joyful Spirit is just one team in this network of teams.  Wow, that is the body of Christ working together! I hope and pray that a many people as possible that read this blog, or hear of Village of Hope will join us, in serving Our God, in such a meaningful and amazing way.

Francy

On my second trip to Haiti and the Village of Hope I felt the spirit of Christ Jesus with me constantly, from the time we arrived, to the work we were privileged to do in the orphanage, the school and exceptional graduation event with wonderful music and dances performed by the children ages 3 to 5 to the hosts and staff here at Hope House. I have been blessed working with a great team and thank all who prayed for us back home.

Danny

This is my first trip to Haiti, the Village of Hope, the School, Medical Center, and the Orphanage.
What a blessing it has been to get to serve here with the Joyful Spirit team. What an impact these beautiful Haitians have made on me; it has been a life changing experience. Rob and Trish Low are the best hosts! They have taken care of the team and they are both such a Godsend to us and to Haiti. Thanks for your prayers.

Steve

My third trip to the sunny dusty island of Haiti. Another great week of construction / building maintenance, to improve the high school and the new computer room. Hopefully, by the grace of God, my blessings to a group of wonderful folks, or my extended family, has helped.

Gene

On the way down I was seated with two young ladies that were on their first trip to Haiti and were dumfounded when they asked if I have been here before and I said yes, this was my 14th year. They asked what was my best advice and I said do not be surprised by anything you see, hear or experience. I have been thinking about that answer all week and realize the better answer would have been to embrace every experience, that is how you grow in life and in faith. The folks we interact with remind us that it is not what you have but what you do with what you have is how your life will be defined.   


 

The Magnificent Purdue Team!

This trip we were greatly blessed by the addition of three wonderful individuals from Purdue, Bill Larson (also a member of the Board of Directors), Dr. Bob (an engineering professor ) and Claire (a graduate student of engineering).  They were here to survey and soil sample the dozens of acres that Village of Hope owns out at the Village of Hope School.  The long term goal is to move Hope House out to this land, and also to plant large gardens and orchards, as well as raise chickens.  This would make the overall operations for Village of Home much more streamlined and efficient.  It would cut out a lot of travel time, and allow for some revenue to be generated by renting out the current Hope House.  The gardens, orchards, and chickens would also allow for real world application learning with the students.  Bill, Dr. Bob, and Claire accomplished an astonishing amount of ground work while they were here to make this dream a reality, and we were so lucky to have them!






Big Man on Campus... TORO

Introducing the big man on campus here at Village of Hope... TORO!

Toro's many talents include fitting his 40 lb. body onto anybody's lap, cleaning out peanut butter jars, tearing apart soccer balls until they are unrecognizable, and gracing us with an abundance of St. Bernardish drool.  He greets us every morning, and every evening when we get home.  Life here wouldn't be the same without him!