Cross of Glory Church HAITI Short-term Mission Trip

Trip Dates:  July 7-14, 2017

This is an intergenerational trip of senior high students and adults to Haiti! We will be partnering with ReachGlobal in bringing the gospel to the local community, rebuilding hurricane damaged areas and engaging in kids, sports and adult ministry! Pastor Kyle is leading this trip.

Team (Left to Right): Nicole Halverson, Alicia Hauger, Kurt Weimer, Jessica Nelson, Jodi Zastrow, Samuel Nelson, Max Zastrow,
Pastor Kyle Monroe, Alex Nelson, Noah Reinke, Steve Nelson, Natalie Venjohn, Kent Paulson, and Zochitl Contreras


Photo Galleries Below
We will post photos from the team as we receive them. Please check back!
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Day 1
We arrived safely in Haiti after starting our travel at 5 pm on Friday from Minneapolis. We spent a very eventful night in Miami at the airport hotel. Lots of alarms going off and announcements going off. The flight was very smooth to Haiti, as was the process of getting through the Haiti airport. We are praising God for his mercy and provision in getting us here safely and without issue.  We spent the afternoon getting acquainted with our surroundings. We took a walk around the community and hiked up a very large hill and we were treated with a spectacular view of God’s Haitian creation. We all enjoyed a wonderful Haitian chicken and rice dinner on Saturday night. We had a very sweet time of singing and prayer and turned out the lights on day 1.

Day 2
Sunday morning, and that means church!!  What a precious time of worshiping alongside Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ.  The service was passionate, authentic, God focused, and worshipful.  It was also two hours long so Pastor Kyle was very happy.  We learned about the history of Haiti from our dear Haitian brother Frank and had a chance to pray with him.  In the afternoon we spent 2 hours helping some Haitian young people learn English through playing games, charades, and other games.  It was so sweet getting to know these students and also to share about ourselves to them.  Seven of us drove to a community soccer game.  This was a really cool event.  We played with Haitian kids and took lots of pictures and Kurt and Pastor Kyle may have won a dance-off with some Haitian youth.  Dinner, devos, prayer, and lights out on day 2.  Please continue to pray for God’s work in Haiti, the Haiti people, and our team. Love from Haiti.

 Day 3
Our first work day! Lots of anticipation and not many expectations. We woke up not really knowing what God had for us, however, we came home completely in awe of what encounters and experiences we had.  We started off bright and early (more like dark and early) and traveled an hour and a half to a different community called Jan Jan (pronounced jon-jon). The ride was bumpy, and a lot of people came out and waved to the white people in the white vans. We parked the vans in a soccer field and walked the remaining way up to a small community up in the mountains. Immediately we were welcomed by LOTS of children ready to play. The adults of the area were equally excited and offered us Haitian coffee and hot chocolate, fresh coconut (water included), and homemade bread. The men got right to it and started right away with the house and we tried to help but we were too short so we played soccer and jump rope with kids. After a while Jen explained about the church being built near by and we went up more mountain trails to check it out. When we got there we saw that big water drums needed to be filled for the mixing of the cement. We made three trips of carrying huge jugs of water to the river and back. Soon into our first trip to the river, we all found ourselves with a jug in one hand and at least one child in the other, this silent encouragement and endless smiles gave us immeasurable joy and made the trips easier. We were tired beyond belief and told ourselves we had to stop complaining because people do this every day, more than once. Later that day we went back out into a different community to a well, and helped young children carry huge amounts of water back to their house. Again we were reminded of the incredible privilege we have even here at the Haitian queen for clean water. Humbled, we came back, had an amazing meal, showered off, and gathered to talk about our experiences of the day. God constantly reminded us of the extreme privilege we have and we knew that we have no right to complain or whine about the amazing life and opportunity God has blessed us with. No amount of words could cover all that we have observed and learned. Work day 2, here we come.! Much love: Zochitl and Natalie.

Day 4
Work day 2 was a slow start, we all woke up moving slowly (especially Max who woke up 5 minutes before we left). Thanks to Kurt for waking up early and for making us all scrambled eggs this morning. Off we go to the same location as yesterday and as we got there, we decided to haul the rest of the water needed before the sun got too hot. Welcomed by kids again, we made our trip a little easier by using a wheel barrow for the heavier jugs. Was it hot? Of course. Did we make a stop at the river after and cool off for half an hour? Yup. Did we totally act like actual children in the river? 100%. Back to the house building site we go. The guys decided to take out the big guns and get half of the roof done today. Our translator (who doubles as the most awesome child we have ever seen trapped in a semi-adult body) taught us a bunch of Haitian games we could do as a group and we spent a good chunk of time playing games with the kids. On this trip we have run into many circumstances where the language is a huge barrier; however laughter and smiles do not need to be translated. We played games until we had to say our goodbyes for the day. The children holding our hands didn’t want to let go, and neither did we. Its impossible not to leave a piece of ourselves here in Haiti. A little downtime and a lot of water later, we were ready to go to a local café owned by some missionaries here in the area. All we have to say is Iced coffee is a blessing. Smoothies and sandwiches were enjoyed by many, and the company was enjoyed by all. A lesson was learned today about poverty and its many forms. Poverty isn’t just monetary -- it is also relational, personal, and most importantly, spiritual. We are more than excited to see what tomorrow brings. Much love from the tired team: Zochitl and Natalie.

Day 5
Getting up for the last work day was easy until we remembered it was our last day in Jan Jan. We got off to a later start and walked over to a clinic founded in 2010 by some missionaries. Before we started going through the clinic, they explained to us how their medical system here in Haiti worked. The need for medical assistance is great, and despite the doctors' and nurses' best efforts, they are still unable to meet the needs of everyone. It was surprising to see how many people were outside the clinic, especially just after it opened, waiting to be helped with all sorts of medical issues. We were also surprised at how well supplied the clinic is, even with a significant gap in their financial resources. Our last trip to Jan Jan was long and rough but we enjoyed every second of it. Immediately, we were once again swarmed with children and no complaints would ever be given about that. Honestly, we spent a lot of time doing odds and ends that needed to be done while the adults started on another house in the same small community. The time seemed to fly by between hauling palm wood siding, and playing with all the small children we could find. Before we knew it, it was time for our last goodbyes. It didn’t seem real when we were praying over the families that would be living in the houses we started. The reality of the fact that the children we were hugging goodbye we would probably not ever see again wasn’t something we wanted to admit. But finally leaving, we came back to the Haitian Queen to play with the English-speaking students from Dave and Sharon’s school. We were all very exhausted from working the past three days, we didn’t feel like playing soccer with them, so instead we chillaxed and played Uno, Jenga, and Pictionary. After they left, we sat down to a delicious Haitian-made meal, which consisted of white rice, chili, and bread-fruit. After debriefing with da team, we're all enjoying a cool, rainy night, looking forward to a relaxed day tomorrow.  – Alex (25% credit to Natalie and Zochitl)

Day 6
It was weird getting up today and not going to Jan Jan. Instead, we got to sleep in (if you call sleeping until 7:30 sleeping in), walked over to the empty lot next door, and “shopped” for Haitian memorabilia. Having spent too much money, we piled into the vans and proceeded to travel 45 minutes to the beach. When we arrived at the beach we lathered on sunscreen and headed into the tropical ocean. It was nice to enjoy our last day in Haiti relaxing and enjoying each other’s company in God’s beautiful creation. We snorkeled and swam for a while until a delicious lunch consisting of lobster, fish, fried plantains, avocado and slaw was served. It was absolutely delicious! After we finished lunch we continued to look for shells, snorkel, shop and swim until the thunder roared and we packed up and headed home. After we all showered, drank water, and applied a whole lot of aloe vera we sat down for our last Haitian meal. We’re all sad that this is our last night, but spending it together in devotion and prayer was the way to end it. As we reflected on the past week we realized there were too many highlights and joyous moments to be shared in this update, but we cannot wait to tell you all about our experiences when we return. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers and we’ll see you tomorrow!  Much love, the team