We sent our first team out to the epicenter of the earthquake in Haiti to assist Pastor Kelly Fleury with 46 orphan girls, two orphan boys and one baby. The baby’s mom had gone to the hospital just prior to the quake and is believed dead. The entire orphanage has been destroyed including the home, school, bakery, pastors house car and assorted small buildings. Moral was very bad and there was little being done and they were trying to take care of basic needs of the kids. The Pastor said they were outside the school in a field when the quake hit which is something they almost never do at the time. All the children and several hundred other village kids that attend school there survived is a miracle.
Our team came in Sunday afternoon and immediately started praying and worshiping. It felt like all eyes were on us, even ones peering over the wall. We bonded immediately with the kids and few adults there. That night we went out with all the kids and pastor to a field next to a tent and shack city for the last night of the revival meeting with other local pastors. Some of our team helped lead some woship, preach and share in one the amazing nights together with the Haitians. The pastor and people said they could see we cared about them and new hope and excitement was brought in. The presence of the Lord was all around us worshiping together and Jesus was glorified our team knew we were in a significant work of the Lord and excitement was high.
The next two days we worked extremely hard in the hot sun knocking down unsafe buildings and removing rubble in the bakery location so that we could start setting tents up for the orphans to live in prior to the rainy season. Once we started all the Haitians there plus some men from outside started helping and we began to move forward as a community rebuilding. Even some of the 4-5 year olds were carrying a piece of block to help clear areas! The orphanage also lost the well that caved in. But though a dream one of our team members saw a well the night before we got there and saw a man digging at the bottom of it hitting water. The next day we helped them get out as they lowered a young man down into it who dug and hit water. They are now putting the pipe into it and hooking up a pump to use this new well.
Praise God for his guidance! Our team contacted the US Marines nearby who brought us MRE’s (food) and bottled water to sustain the orphanage for a while. At night we worshiped with the kids, gave a short teaching and testimony. Each of us where surrounded by kids wanting to be held and loved and we have fallen in love with them. At worship service in the orphanage we saw two woman give their lives to Jesus. One was a pregnant young lady and one older. Salvation is occurring!
Our women on the team talked to the girls about purity and their value. We have also been providing basic first aid needs and the next teams in are going to branch out in the area covering medical needs. The navy medical team has also contacted us to see how they can help. We are looking at a joint effort with them to do more medical coverage.
We are seeing that providing needs is good but living, working, praying and worshiping together with the Haitians is transformational. This is bringing the kingdom of God in. Our team will continue to rotate in as we work together in here. Praise Jesus. We believe we are more blessed than anyone as our hearts continue to grow in love with Jesus and these people. Thanks for all the prayers. They are moving mountains. -Mike Ditto
Incredible is one word to describe our time. When we first got to the grounds I felt a bit uneasy and unsafe but we immediately started worshiping and the spirit fell bringing His security and safety. The atmosphere changed as we sang “O How He Loves Us” in Kreyol. It was so awesome to see the CRI team, before doing anything, establish worship on the grounds.
From the very beginning I feel that our team communicated though the language barrier that Jesus loves you and you are not forgotten. We did not go to drop off a box of food and leave but we established relationship. The girls at the orphanage have lost everything material but their hearts are so full of love that you would never know it through their beautiful faces. At any moment you could find yourself holding a little girls hand. The Haitian people are so loving and so hungry for love. Our presence, I feel, restored dignity and hope to these people who have lost what the world would say is everything.
As we bring hope we are learning how to love. These people are showing us that when everything else is fading away only “love” remains. In the face of massive destruction worship is arising from Haiti. During their Sunday night service the joy and gratitude was overwhelming. The people were dancing and singing with all their hearts. Lauren, one of the girls on our team, shared her heart and prayed for the people. She cried telling them how beautiful they are and how God see them. So many were overcome by the Father’s heart and how God has not forgotten them. I feel that the prophetic picture over Haiti is the Father saying, “Haiti, I want you. Haiti, I have not forgotten you and I will do anything for you to let me draw you in with chords of loving kindness. Hold on Haiti for you are my beautiful one and the one in whom all my delight is in.” I am so excited to partner with these people and watch how Jesus restores hope and dignity to even more than what they had before. -Hurley McGahan
When we arrived at the orphanage many people came to see what was going on. As a result of the immense need our arrival appeared to be viewed by the local’s as an aid drop of some kind. In other words we were just going to drop off life sustaining necessities. Many people immediately started asking for food like water or whatever. Of course our visit would be based on much more than that. Little did we know that God had a plan to use our team in a tangible way at a revival meeting that occurred that evening. During this meeting Mike Ditto was asked to preach. The anointing of the Lord fell on him and he spoke a message of hope for the future and love of the people of Haiti. This was followed by a passionate prayer from the microphone by one of our team members, “Lauren”, and a time of our team praying over many who came forward. It was then, that I believe that the community realized this visit was different. They realized that we had come not only to physically help them but to partner with them relationally and love them genuinely. The next day we began the physically demanding work of demolition and clearing of rubble. Our plan was to make the floor slabs of their home area for placing the tents they are living in so that they will not be in the mud as the rain season is quickly approaching. The atmosphere of the people was distinctively different! They now understood that we were there to make an investment in them and their future by helping them start to return to some sort of normalcy. We were there to help and empower not drop and leave. We were there to build relationship and to love them…to be the face of Jesus. -Rodger Lester
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