Haiti 2016: Mission of Hope

Haiti Team 2016: Chelsea Borg, Sarah Bruekelman, Morgan DeWeerd, Jessica Haverkamp, Amber Huinink, Tyler Huinink, Jonathan Kloet, Grayden Van den Mark, Meghan Van Dyk, Hannah Van Staaldinuen, and Braden Zandstra with Pauline & Ed VanderVelde

Chelsea Borg, Sarah Bruekelman, Morgan DeWeerd, Jessica Haverkamp, Amber Huinink, Tyler Huinink, Jonathan Kloet, Grayden Van den Mark, Meghan Van Dyk, Hannah Van Staaldinuen, and Braden Zandstra with Pauline & Ed VanderVelde

“Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.”
1 Chronicles 16:24

A team of eleven Grade 11 students, along with Mr. & Mrs. VanderVelde, went to serve at Mission of Hope in Haiti during the March Break.  Building on the connection from the Van der Mark family who worked at Mission Of Hope (MOH) from 2008-2011, we were the fifth HDCH team to extend our time and support with this Christian organization in Haiti.

“We knew it was going to be a special trip where God would work in amazing ways but we had no idea how right we were. This trip changed our hearts in ways we could have never imagined.” (Jessica Haverkamp)

4Almost every day that week our team travelled to the village of Meseye to serve the Haitian people who lived there. We painted two homes, took the time to visit and pray with the villagers, gave out aqua-tablets so they could purify their drinking water and played with the children. The children we interacted with wore no shoes, tattered clothes and were covered in a layer of dust which softened our hearts to every child we met.

“The children swarmed around our bus when we arrived with gigantic smiles on their faces! They would immediately maul us and request to be put on our shoulders. We got to play soccer, football, tag, and jump rope while building relationships with these beautiful children. It was very difficult to say goodbye to them. They will forever leave a lasting impression on our hearts.” (Braden Zandstra)

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Time in prayer was spent prior to this trip for each student travelling to Haiti in connection to their relationship with God. Our first devotion included the chance to reflect on our personal relationship with God so we could compare how we felt by the end of the trip. MOH also provided a 21-day devotional book to use before, during and after serving in Haiti that incorporated the themes: following, compassion, service, baggage and more.

“It was amazing to see how we responded to the questions and listened to other people’s views and opinions during our group devotion time. One night, we shared our spiritual gifts and what we appreciated about one another. It was a very emotional and powerful night, which made our group grow closer not only to each other, but to God as well.” (Hannah van Staalduinen)

 

16Together we had a chance to see God’s beauty in the hearts, smiles and joy that we felt interacting with our Haitian interpreters, villagers and the orphans living at MOH. Going back to the village that a past HDCH mission team had worked on brought tears to my eyes as I could see the evidence of our short-term mission work that has been built on a long term relationship with MOH in Haiti! We felt God’s presence worshipping with the Haitian church, in the beauty of His creation with the morning sunrise and as we travelled through the countryside.

“As a group we attended two Haitian church services that revealed Haiti’s relational hospitality and love for Christ. Perhaps it was witnessing two different cultures sharing a relationship with God or the chance to become both vulnerable and comfortable around each other; nonetheless, the Holy Spirit was at work in our teammates’ hearts, and God was showing us how to love like Haiti loves.” (Sarah Bruekelman)

During our village ministry time we had the chance to plant seeds of faith and take part in the harvesting; our team was invited to witness the baptism of a local villager. As a team we opened ourselves up to the Haitian culture and had the chance to strengthen our faith in our risen, Saviour; it was an absolutely amazing experience for the entire team!

PVanVelde

 

Pauline VanderVelde
Teacher & Trip Chaperone

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