God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, Psalm 46:1-2

Pou chèf sanba yo. Se yon chante pitit Kore yo pou yo chante tou dousman. Se Bondye ki tout pwoteksyon nou, se li menm ki tout fòs nou. Li toujou pare pou ban nou sekou lè nou anba tray. Psalm 46:1-2

Saturday, May 15, 2010

For more videos and pictures, go to JoAnn's website (linked on the side) or {http://athousandwords.smugmug.com/JoAnn/haiti/12033790_HAhax#860347531_HDgMy}

Haiti Reflections

(back: Andy, JoAnn, Don, Tammy, Lee, Caroline, Dawn, Kim)
{front: Marlene, Ellen}

There is something so exciting about going on a short-term trip.
A new place: Haiti.
A mission: to help.
A week: enable change.
Packing your bags you feel so stressed--do I need that shirt? Did I pack my toothpaste? Do I really need to bring a headlamp? And then you go out and buy some extra things: granola bars, some throw away towelettes, a journal, a new camera battery. And then you lay in bed and think: "Is this really a good idea? What if something happens? What if I get malaria?"

Somehow with our many questions, we convince ourselves that this is a trip we can do. That God can use us, his people, for some display of his glory.

What everyone always comes back saying is that the trip was more changing to the goer than the people we go to. I think that's the way it's supposed to be. The kingdom serving each other and being blessed. Even with the lack of sleep and surprises of new friends, language barriers, food confusion and travel weariness; we are blessed. I was blessed to be part of a medical team, even though I am not medical. We were able to do various things in the hospital: check blood pressure, take temperatures, hold babies, organize shelves, wash hair, rehab, give a new pair of crutches, and jump rope with children.

Is there hope for Haiti? With the thousands of organizations all pooling their money and time, I hope so. What we saw there was broken homes and broken families. Mothers who lost children and children who lost mothers. We handed out milk to children in a camp
and it was so exciting to be part of the hands that give daily bread. To see the children coming unhindered and realizing that the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" is more beautiful in that moment than ever before.

What did we realize in Haiti? That there are a ton of problems. The roads are atrocious, which makes travel difficult. The infrastructure is non-existent. The corruption is prevalent and prevents a lot of good works from reaching their destination. That the church has an opportunity to be a witness in this tragedy. What is the church? It's people partnering with Haitians to make a difference. It's trips going to Haiti and growing a love in their hearts for a people that were once strangers, but now have names: Kervens, Gregorie, Juanito, Bob, Max.... It is a time for us to figure out long-term strategies for what will help people find employment and build homes for themselves and have hope for a healthy baby who will grow up educated.

The Haitians are a singing people. They love to sing. When the earthquake hit, we were told there were songs of mourning being sung in the street. They sing to the radio. They sing in the hospital. I think they sing because it's hopeful and beautiful in the midst of so many things that aren't.

I loved being in Haiti. There are so many thoughts to share. Sorry this is so scattered.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Photos from another team!!!!

Hey all!
Hopefully JoAnn will start blogging the experiences of another team just returning. I know that there are lots of people who want to hear about whats going on there and we all have people we think about and pray about daily.

Thanks JoAnn for going and thanks for sharing the photos!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunday March 28th - Haiti Night @ Elmbrook!!!

Haiti ... Sunday - March 28 - 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm - Elmbrook Chapel ... all are invited to a Haiti Night .... to increase your understanding of the current situation in Haiti and to learn of Elmbrook's commitment to Haiti. Let an incredible slide show from the two teams we have sent touch your heart!

Also - we continue to dialog with Samaritan's Purse as to any long term commitment in Haiti for Elmbrook. The situation remains desperate and at this time, only medical people are on the ground. They have asked that God's people pray for SP ... i.e. how, when or even if, non medical teams should be sent to Haiti.

New Orleans - with the 2 year commitment to help SP rebuild the 9th ward in New Orleans, we would love to fill up every team.

MEN are still needed for 3 teams:

April 18-25, 2010 (team meeting is March 28) - Robin/Pam Knoll-Team Leaders
May 9-16, 2010 - Don Reichle - Team Leader
June 20-27, 2010 - Sue Bruk - Team Leader

Contact Mary Ann Lee at mlee@elmbrook.org if you are interested in any of these teams

Pam Knoll and Mary Ann Lee

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Non-Medical SEND Teams forming!!!

Hello Everyone:

Mary Ann Lee wants you to know that two non-medical teams to Haiti are forming. The first is scheduled for June 14 through 20. The second one has not been firmed up, as yet, but will be some time in October. If you are interested in either of these teams, please contact Mary Ann at mlee@elmbrook.org.

The team will be serving in Haiti with Mission Discovery. The focus will be clearing debris/sorting materials/working with children. This will be a SEND team which means SEND training is required. It will have a project code so that tax deductible donations wil be accepted. Strong emotional stability is required as this is still a disaster area. We will need strong backs for the difficult work and strong hearts and minds for dealing with traumatized children. The cost is expected to be approximately $1,000 including flight/food/housing/transportation. If that changes, we will let the people know who have expressed interest in these teams.

Wishing you God's peace,

Joline McCord

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday, 1st Day Home

I miss the team already (although I can think of a lot of other things I don't miss). I'm going to start posting photos and adding blog updates to some logistical things for future teams to read about. I'm trying to answer questions and collect better photos then mine from other team members so I'll keep updating the blog as questions come in. Again, thanks for all of the prayers, support and all of the work done behind the scenes! There is an amazing need for support down there and a whole lot of people praying for help to come from somewhere. Ellen just shot me a text that she got a good night sleep so she's ready to go back. I think I'm going to need a couple more nights before I'm ready.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Back in the US and safe

I just talked to Marc. The team is safely back in Florida waiting to catch a flight to O'Hare.

Traffic in Port au Prince is... challanging

So we all get up around 5am to get ready for the bus ride to the airport. Except for Ernie who got up around 3am to administer anesthesia for an emergency c-section. We knew it would take hours to get to the airport and the traffic is absolutely horrible. Fridays are even worse and we just couldn't be late for our flights. Its a good thing we left early. Our bus crash is better described as a fender bender but it was all the excitement we could stand, with a loud bang! Lots of screeching tires followed by several minutes of trying to get the bus and the SUV separated. Then we had to get the bus driver and the SUV driver separated. No one got hurt and all the damage to the bus was cosmetic. What a way to end the week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday- Last Full Work Day!!!!

Crazy busy day! Really just like all of 'em. Except this time half the team got to leave the hospital after lunch to go to a local orphanage. The hospital has been trying to place some orphans living on site and today they got a local pastor who runs an orphanage to agree to meet with us. It turns out it was a trick. They were way over any reasonable capacity and couldn't ever take any more children, but he wanted us there to talk about his needs!!! It was just what we had been waiting for!!!! I raced back to the hospital and we grabbed all of our uneaten food, medical supplies, toys, and some "extra" vaccines. 7 of us went back and vaccinated children who stood very quietly and willingly let themselves be stuck in the arm in exchange for some beanie babies, toys, and a bunch of other kid stuff that somehow got into our bags that were only supposed to be loaded with lifesaving medical supplies and foodstuffs. Several hours later there we so many smiles on the faces of these newly vaccinated children. The only smiles bigger then the kids were of course ours. We are beat down tired, emotionally exhausted and smelling worse than any human should but we were all just elated! It was awesome and uplifting and just too cool to put into words. You will just have to wait to see the photos, but trust me, it was exactly as you probably image it. The kids were so cute and happy and just wanting to high-five or smile and laugh and play with their new toys while the adults started preparing their first meal of the day. We owe a huge thanks to all of you who forced those stuffed animals on us, they had no place on this medical trip; right up until today when we needed them just as badly as those kids.

The Supreme Master Ching Hai is still Cooking!

This is a very complicated organization...

I'm going to give them all due respect for the work they are doing feeding people and working their tails off. The vegan life-style is one I don't understand but I won't make fun of their choice. Their worship of a person is obviously quite contrary to the bible and can't be reconciled with the truth, but their good works down there and their honest and sincere compassion are without equal. Again, I mean no disrespect, and I truly appreciate and thank Master Ching Hai for the food and compassion. Thank you for the food, and thank you for continuing to feed the orphanage for as long as you possibly can.

Follow the link if you choose, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction... (Mark, I have no words)