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MelissaInMissions JUNE 25TH, 2010
HAIT I PHOT O
Brief review: The last 5 months I have been working with YWAM as the assistant school leader of the DTS (Discipleship Training School). After the 3 months lecture phase was over in Los Angeles, I took off leading an outreach team to Haiti for 10 weeks. The first month we were in Haiti we spent our time alternating weeks working on/around the YWAM base in Saint Marc, and living in and disciplining a tent community of displaced Port-Au-Prince victims outside of a Medical Clinic (which, pre 3 months ago, was used as a public bathroom for the past 10 years... fun fact!) The tent community was often exhausting, but so great. Along with just hanging out with the people there, we had various teachings most nights which were open to anyone in the surrounding area, many times ending with some great prayer times. We also were involved in a lot of community development. We took on the task of finding out as much about the people living in the tents as possible and creating case files for each tent: their
This has been the hardest newsletter to write yet, it feels nearly impossible to capture and sum up.. I have an idea! Go to Haiti! :) (my subtle plug haha)
stories, skills, needs, desires, etc. Combining this information with everything else we could gather about the community, we worked to create sustainable jobs for the families- ones that can get them going on enterprises that would last far beyond our time there. The people went from milling about, bored, aimless, tired and ready to argue, to smiling and joking and seeming like they had a sense of purpose. SO AWESOME, and it's just the beginning.. many teams will continue the work we started. The weeks we were not in the tent city, we worked on the Saint Marc YWAM base. There are so many important things YWAM Haiti does. The YWAM base has multiple uses: in addition to running a DTS and various other ministries, it houses a school, a church, a distribution center, and tons of trailers etc. which are used to store and sort food, clothing, medical supplies and other essential needs for the Haitians. YWAM at the time was responsible for feeding about 10,000 people a day, so a lot of time was spent just moving mass amounts of beans, rice, salt, and vegetable oil from containers to trucks for food distribution. (110 pound bags, Our whole team is jacked now! haha) We spent the last month right in Port-AuPrince where the earthquake that the world heard about happened. The devastation there is beyond belief, something I have not even come close to experiencing in all the places I
have traveled to. We assisted in rebuilding a church/school in City Soleil, (the poorest area in the Western Hemisphere. Instead of the "white people" just coming in to do the job we were able to work alongside them in the assembly line passing down the buckets of cement and huge rocks. Something very common among the Haitians is unrestboredom, apathy and lack of initiative. Our goal was to leave them feeling empowered to continue rebuilding their community. While in Port-Au-Prince a lot of riots and political unrest was going on due to potential upset in Presidency/the Presidential Race, food is running short and the people blamed the organizations (YWAM being one of them) saying we have all the money. A lot of kidnapping and shootings occurred making our stay in Port-Au-Prince all the more exciting haha. The last week in Haiti we rode the back of a truck on top of all our luggage (almost alway how we were transported) 6 hours into
WHAT NOW YOU MAY ASK?
What a privilege and honor it was to go be an extension of Himself in a devastated nation like Haiti.
the mountains to a remote village with no running water or electricity to bring Jesus to them. We were able to really love on and bless the orphans and the surrounding families while being there. We got to see the beauty of Haiti, what it looked like before the earthquake, truly a beautiful country. It was such a blessing. Our team was tremendously challenged. Living in tents for 9 nights we woke up with all our possessions drenched. Our safety was compromised many times, many of our possessions stolen (Cameras, wallets, ipods, clothes, backpacks, as well as $2000 of team money), the list could go on but God gave us the strength to endure and we provided hope for so many. I have enjoyed reflecting on all that we as a team got to see God do. I know that God will continue to use the devastation to provide opportunities to minister and bring glory to Himself. There is no doubt that God is in Haiti!
Well, I am currently in Swan River where I am patiently waiting for Pablo to arrive in August. As most of you know Pabz and I are very open about marriage. We’re bridging the gap between friendship and marriage currently which is why we felt it heavy on our hearts to take some time to ‘meet the parents’ and create a foundation for our relationship. In saying that, we are not totally sure what that looks like since neither of us has done this before! I will be working for my dad, as well as at Timberland again in hopes of saving up some money for the journey ahead. Pabz will also be taking on the challenge of working for my dad while he is here :) Our plan is to go back to YWAM LA to serve there in the future. (In a year or less) Back to what we are both so passionate about. Although I don’t understand or have all the details figured out, I do know that God is in control and will continue to lead as He has in the past. If you are currently supporting me financially and do not feel comfortable to continue doing so while I am in this transition, I understand. Simple call Rita at 604.436.4433 but if you would like to continue helping me pay off past mission debts and prepare for the future, that would be GREATLY appreciated. Your donations will continue to be tax deductible as they will still be processed through the YWAM Vancouver office. Thanks for everything!