Dedication Day!

We had a rich day of God sightings as we dedicated both homes that we completed while here.  Please ask any team member about the story of Rosita.  It is a God sighting on huge proportions and reduced most of us to tears!  We also had a chance to travel to a mission school where 7 team members have sponsored children through the BHM sponsorship program!  Unfortunately only 2 of the 7 students made it to school today as the road has been significantly damaged by the rain.  In fact, we got there by a 45 minute ATV ride.  Pretty fun experience.

Our team has been nothing short of phenomenal under sometimes trying and always tired circumstances.  From the outside you have never know it and the Kingdom has been advanced in Haiti.  God is moving in Haiti and it is not a lost cause.  Not even close.  This is a country of warm people, who work hard and have a desire to better their circumstance.  The spreading of the Gospel will be the change this country needs to advance.  We are honored to have been a small part of that.

We are leaving the mission early tomorrow and will return late Saturday night.  We are short on time tonight as we prepare to leave, however we will try to update again when stateside tomorrow.

Please pray:

1.  On time flights and smooth travel.  Most of the team is ready to come home and be with family.  It has been a difficult trip (in a great way!), tiring and spiritually full of excitement.  Something more familiar will be a welcome sight.

2.  Pray for the families that received homes.  Pray that those homes would be an open door for the gospel to be spread and a light for others to see the power of Christ.

Thanks for you support, we love and appreciate all of you reading!

Woodlands Haiti Team

Two is not enough. Moving to Plan D

What a terrific day!  Yesterday we decided that we would ask the folks at the mission about dividing up our team to use us more effectively.  So, we divided into 4 teams today.  2 went back to the two homes we started with (which are now nearly finished), one team stayed at the mission and wired a house and fixed a number of things that were in need of repair and the fourth team went to start a third house.

We all stayed busy all day and we even had 6 buckets of warm water for bucket showers tonight!  Never did any of us think we would look forward to a bucket of warm water.  Lots of tired people today, but we are all in good spirits.  Everyone is healthy outside of a number of bumps, bruises scrapes and scratches.

Today we had a chance to celebrate Michael Becker's birthday, listen to a great message during morning devotions, had a great team building exercise moving a truck full of sand by bucket brigade and hopefully we were all lights for Christ.

What have we learned in the last 2 days:

  1. If you have plans, forget them, they don't matter

  2. Bodily functions are funny, especially “Boom, Boom”

  3. Asians are viewed as a kung fu fighters in Haiti, ask David

  4. Hatians want to talk to you about themselves.  Just ask

  5. Motorcycles are at least 3 person vehicles, and 5 is ok

  6. Motorcycles are also utility vehicles for transporting rebar

  7. A large generator in a small room will produce enough heat to make hot water by days end

  8. Dumping half a bag of cement on your head is good for your complexion

  9. Take off your baseball hat before carrying block on your head.  Try it once, you'll see why.

10. Haitians know how to sing “Happy Birthday” in English.  Really sweet....

11.  The Boss Man in the white shirt does actually work sometimes

Prayer Requests:

1.Our team is in great spirits but really tired.  All 11 guys are sleeping in a 20 x 20 room.  Imagine the smells & sounds.  The ladies are right next door and are experience the aftermath of the men's room as well.  Prayer would be great!

2.That the homes we are finishing will be a gift from God for the families receiving them.

3.Continued patience as we deal with the realities of cultural differences that continue to challenge us.

4.Continued good heatlh.

See you all soon.  Thanks for the prayers!

Woodlands Haiti Team


That lady in the pink dress is that kids uncle. Ok?

Language translation can really be a challenge sometimes and we learned that again today (see the title of this blog.  Actual response to a question we got today.  We even asked to confirm 3 times)

We now have 1 house nearly complete and the second house is about 3/4 done.  We are making good progress and learning the lessons of patience and really trying to see why God has us here.  We have thought it was to build a house, but it sure seems that is may be for something other than that.  At our team time tonight we sang Open the Eyes of my Heart as a prayer for the rest of the week.  Please pray that we continue to seek what God has in store for us!

This is a shorter update as we have very limited time on the computer right now.  Know that our remaining two bags showed up (nice work prayer warriors!), everyone is healthy, and we are getting along really nicely.  Lots of love and laughter!

Prayer Requests:

1.  Focus on the work God has for us, not our agenda.  As a team we are really praying about this right now, in a very good and healthy way.

2.  If there is work besides the 2 homes we can help with, that we would find it and jump right in.

3.  The work of the Baptist Haiti Mission.  It is a huge organization in a challenging place.

4.  That children in Haiti would be sponsored to go to school.  BHM has a sponsorship program.  Check it out!

Will try to write more tomorrow.  Thanks for your prayers!

Woodlands Haiti Team

I Boss Here. You Boss there. Ok?

Great first day on the job site.  We all learned  a lot about working hierarchy in Haiti and became quite familiar with the concept of the Boss man in charge.  Our team was split in 3 with 7 going to one site, 7 to another, and our lone skilled electrician wiring a rebuilt house at the mission compound.  We had the pleasure of about a 45 minute ride in the back end of flat bed truck, which surprisingly works best standing up and holding on while trying not to look ahead out of fear of what may be coming at you!

Each team nearly finished the block wall construction of each home and we met some great Haitian masons that helped us along in learning the process of being a “Haitian Mason”.  Tomorrow our hosts are taking us to a local market to shop in the morning before continuing our work which will involve thin coating walls we built today.

Fortunately we received some of our bags today although we are still missing two.  That's kind of done being funny now because underwear only last so long.  Pray for our team members missing bags, please?  Please, seriously, no slacking on this one.

Things we learned we today:

1.You can be a boss of many things, choose wisely

2.44 kilograms is not the same as 44 pounds.  If you are mathematically challenged that's about 100 pounds....on your back.....down a mountain.....both the snow.

3.Dinner is at 6, not 6:15.  Call us what you want, but don't call us late for dinner anymore.  Not cool if you are a guest of someone making you dinner.

4.Haitians don't understand German, even though DuWayne seems to think so.

5.Apparently when you are told to not bring tools, you should.

6.Centipedes will bite your toes in the dark and if you would like to avoid them, stay near to Lisa. She will kill them dead, in the dark, under your bed.

7.You can't get clean in a bucket shower

Things to pray for:

1.We need 2 more bags.  Please pray we get them

2.Pray for the families receiving the homes.  That our work would be a testament to God, not to us.

3.Pray for our families at home.  Communicating is difficult and it is hard on them for all of us to be gone.

4.Continued good health for the team

Woodlands Haiti Team

Thoughts from Chef Neff

Haiti is a very populated country.  The streets are very colorful with the colors people wear, and signs.  The streets are very crowded and by our standards very chaotic.  Doug Galuk would love driving here, but I am glad we had a very experienced Haitian driver to take us from the airport to the Mission.  Most of the trip was uphill on very narrow roads.  The houses are built right up the steep hillsides just like they are in Peru.  For those of you who have not been to peru inagine houses built on the same slope as the tobogan run at Iverson park.  Really it is that steep.  You wonder how the houses can stay on the hills let alone how people get things to and from them.

Most of us went for a hike today, down about 1000' then back up it.  We went to see a waterfall, and it was very pretty.  But a vertical hike down then just as far back up.  I was sucking some serious wind along the way.  I am clearly not in Matt's pre iron man condition.

Today we got a chance to see a part of the mission compound, and meet the people who work here.   They are a dedicated group of missionaries who have a great organization.  It will be fun getting to know them this week.

We still do not have most of our baggage.  It will get interesting tomorrow if we still do not get it.  You can only reuse one set of clothes so long.  Plus many things we intended to use on the project were in our bags.  Prayer for our luggage would be appreciated.

So far the team has been very supportive of each other.  We have shared what few supplies we have with the limited luggage we got thru.  But it would be a lot easier with the things we packed.


Have you seen our luggage? If so please send it to Haiti. Thanks!

We have arrived at the Baptist Haiti Mission and have been welcomed with open arms!  Unfortunately, we are missing 12 pieces of luggage, many of which have team members gear for the week.  On the fortunate side, we have a great team and it is pretty hilarious to think about wearing the same clothes all week.

We made it in time to be late for church, but we did have the opportunity to share communion with the Fermathe Church and catch the sermon, at least we think it was the sermon.  That language thing is difficult for most of us, but Gordon gave us the Cliff's notes version following the service.

After church, we had a great lunch and many of the team went on a hike down the mountain, through the valley to a great waterfall ending.  The hike ended approximately 1000 ft below us, and yepper, we climbed back up.

This evening we joined the missionaries here for bible study and worship time.  We also learned that we have a closet piano player among us.  The recruiting pressure for worship team back home will be intense!

Things we learned today:

1. You really only need one change of clothes

2. You can get semi clean with 1 gallon of cool water in a bucket, as long as you have a coffee mug to splash the water over your head with.

3. Wet shoes still smell bad

4. Piano music is wonderful especially when you didn't know someone can play

Prayer requests:

1.  That at long last our baggage would arrive. We are currently missing 12 bags

2.  That our work that begins tomorrow would be a blessing to the families we serve and would point people back to the mission

3.  That our families back home are doing well and persevering while we are away

Thanks for your prayer and reading.  You are a blessing to us all!

Bon Swa

Woodlands Haiti Team

Anyone going to Haiti? Can we bum a ride?

Hello from beautiful Miami! That's right, Miami. Bet you thought you would be hearing about the beautiful Haitian countryside and the wonderful Haitian people that we encountered today. Yep so did we.....but today was apparently not our day to get there, so we are spending the night here and catching a new flight bright and early tomorrow. Tonight we are reminded that this is Gods trip, not ours, and the good news is that our team can sleep in tomorrow until 4:45 am! Great news!

A great team is forming and we made a wonderful worship time tonight reprising old camp songs, telling stories and even singing in rounds. Felt like the mid 70's and there were a lot of great laughs and prayer time. Maybe that's what we needed before leaving the country. Maybe God needed our singing for the many people checking into the hotel while we met. Or maybe our plane just broke down earlier today and that's all it is. Who know's, but its fun being part of the plan, whatever it is!

We would ask for the following in prayer:

1. That we actually have a flight that gets us to Haiti safely
2. That all of our luggage arrives in one piece
3. That our team comtinues to grow in unity and remains focused on Gods work, not ours.
4. That computer issues would resolve so we can continue to blog

Carry on good friends...until later

Haiti Mission Team

Haiti: The Journey Begins May 5!

On Saturday, May 5 we leave bright and early to head to O'hare.  Our destination...Haiti.

We are a group of 15 individuals from Woodlands Church who are traveling to Haiti for a weeks period to rebuild homes and to serve the churches, families and schools there.  We will be working with the Baptist Haiti Mission and doing a lot of construction work.  As a group, we are excited to be a part of this journey, to see what God does through us individually and us as a team and to see what God has to teach us along the way.

Please continue to follow our blog throughout the week.  It will be updated as regularly as possible with stories and details about our team, our work and our trip.  Please partner with us through prayer, lifting up to Christ the people we'll be working alongside of, the people we'll be serving, the people we'll be sharing with and the people on our team.   Nothing will matter without the Lord's hand in this mission and without Him guiding our way.

Thanks for following the blog!

In His Grip,

Team Haiti!

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