Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Haiti!!! Here we are!!

 OH has decided to open the door to Haiti! We are so excited! I had never been to Haiti before but have heard about all the need that is here, especially since the earthquake. There are 7 of us on this trip to scout out Haiti and find the best places to bring a team back to. To introduce you to the team above from left to right it is Ryan, with 29Eleven Productions, who is here videoing our trip for us, Alice, who attends UT Knoxville, Melodie, my adoptive Momma friend from Virgina, Morgan is another UT Knoxville gal, Lauren, my daughter and UT Knoxville gal, Deborah is from Utah and our Sponsorship Coordinator, and then myself. It's a great team of the three of us Momma's, the younger three rising next generation, and then there is Ryan, poor guy, surrounded by all these women.  If you follow OH, you know we travel to Ethiopia every year several times. I had my brain wrapped around a third world country mission trip, which it is in Haiti, but we board the plane in Miami and landed on the ground in Haiti in TWO HOURS!! What?? We step off the plane in this third world country that looks much like Africa and it's only 2 HOURS AWAY from America?? That is the hardest part about this trip to wrap my brain around. How can there be this much poverty so close to the people who could help them?
 So travel is a bit different in Haiti, ha! We load up in the back of a covered truck surrounded by a cage and head out through the streets of Haiti. The first thing that hits us is the HEAT! It's HOT here! And this is not even their summer! I can't imagine!

The poverty looks very familiar here, much like I've seen in other third world countries. 

It's always so hard to realize that most of the world lives like this off of two dollars a day. I'ts so easy to forget this living in America. 
 I think Haiti is beautifully surrounded by mountains and landscape.
 Our first day, we arrived at the guest house which is run by such an amazing couple and ministry. Greg and Michelle Roberts run Chadasha Foundation here in Haiti. They are from Knoxville, TN and have lived here in Haiti for two years running this ministry while waiting for their Haiti adoption to finalize. They moved their whole family down right after the earthquake. They have their own children's home which houses about 17 kids. All but three are chosen for adoption. Some of these kids stories will break your heart about where they have come from and what they looked like before they came to Greg and Michelle. It's amazing what they have done to help these kids. They are currently looking for sponsors for the three kids that don't have a special family coming to visit them. We will be bringing more info on those kids and you will see more of Michelle and Greg's story in our upcoming video.

Our whole team fell in love with the kids at the children's home. 

 We also met Carley while staying at the guest house. She has been here interning since November. She shared her story with us the first night and it is truly amazing and one of incredible redemption. She is a wonderful story of an Ordinary Hero. You will see more of it in an upcoming video. To put it into a sentence, her life was a mess, she had been in rehab and decided to come to Haiti. God led her to a hospital and a little boy dyeing of Aids. She befriended the mother and helped nurse the baby back to health enough where he could leave the hospital and return to his mother.
We were able to travel into their tent city and meet this beautiful mom who, herself, has Aids and looks very frail. We watched her love on her sweet, sick baby, and all our hearts just broke.
The connection and love that Carley has with this family now is beautiful. She credits this beautiful baby who was dyeing from Aids for saving her life. 

 The children living in this tent city are amazing. Most of these families are still displaced from the earthquake.

 They loved seeing themselves on Ryan's video camera.

 Carley had to say an emotional goodbye to this family as she is returning to America this week.

 You will definitely not want to miss this story, coming out soon! You can read more from Carley on her BLOG. 

Yet again, we are so humbled by what we saw and the beautiful children that live in the middle of it. 

We then traveled up the mountain to a beautiful spot that overlooks all of Haiti to get the big picture of where we are. BEAUTIFUL! The landscape was beautiful as are all landscapes up at that level. 

BUT the closer you get, the more you see that beautiful landscape turn into dusty roads lined with debris scooted over to the side from an earthquake that devastated this country two years ago. You see people walking barefoot with torn up feet, carrying buckets to get water.  
 You see looks on some of their faces that tell you that they have lost loved ones and have been struggling to survive.

Let's not look from afar, let's get close enough to love on them and see how we can help. 

Once again our hearts are moved by the children. It doesn't matter if it is Ethiopia or Haiti, children in need are children in need! They are everywhere, whether it is 24 hours away or 2 hours away!
 Many of us think we have to travel across the globe to land in a third world country but in all actuality, it's only 2 HOURS away.

 We have all already made new friends here.

We also enjoyed going to the Haitian church service. They didn't speak a lick of English but they sang American songs that we picked up on. It was awesome singing "How Great Thou Art" with all of them. Very neat to see people in other countries all worshiping the same God, singing the same songs of worship.

 More to come! I just got you caught up on our first couple of days. It's been amazing, met some awesome Ordinary Heroes, met some amazing kids!  Our third day is coming next.
We walked through a village and had some awesome things happen.



  2. I don't even know what to say but thank you Kelly for bringing Hope across the Globe and inspiring others to follow after God's heart for ALL people.

  3. I believe there is a nurse that is from Hlopkinsville that moved there not long ago to be there at an orphan home for her mission. What a blessing it is that you are there! God bless and may the Lord led you to the right places at he right time! Luv ya! StAy safe! Jackey Hargrove Folz

  4. My oldest daughter who will be 13 in 2013 really want to go on a Mission Trip with OH!! Please let me know if this is a possibilty next summer, thank you. Praying for your trip.

  5. What to say....I don't know. I just know this is a God thing. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Awesome to see you all working in Haiti. Our small group from church has just partnered with Children's HopeChest to care for an orphanage of about 40 kids in Fond Blanc Haiti. God is working in Haiti for sure, but the needs are overwhelming--and like you said, it's so close to our American lives. We all live in Florida, so it is literally just a short flight across the ocean. Amazing!


  7. Loved reading about your trip. I am ready to go too!!