Love>Fear in Haiti: Kids, Missions, and FREEDOM

God has been doing a mighty work in Haiti in the past few months through the Maryville Vineyard’s partnership with Josh and Amanda Armstrong of Reach Haiti Ministries. Lives are being restored, children are being saved from abject conditions, people are being brought to Christ, and God’s love is being lavished on the people of Haiti. Read on to find out what’s been happening.

 

Kids Helping Kids

In April the Kids Helping Kids team discussed good health habits and the items needed to maintain proper wellness with the children at Maryville Vineyard. They collected items to send to the Child of Purpose Orphanage and the Vineyard kids helped bundle the items to send to their friends living in Haiti!

The Vineyard children prepared hair beads, lotion, band-aids and tissues for each of the children at the orphanage. And with the overwhelming generosity of Dentek, Inc. they were also able to package toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss for the kids at the Child of Purpose Orphanage in Haiti.

The Kids Helping Kids team would also like to thank Wood-Maryville for creating the wonderful donation box in order for the team to collect much needed supplies to send to the orphanage. They would also like to thank all of the individuals and families who donated items to send to Haiti.

For the month of May, the Kids Helping Kids team decided to provide a hot dog party for the kids at the Child of Purpose Orphanage. (The party was given while the Vineyard team was there on a mission trip in early June.) They decided to have the Vineyard Kids tell them what they were doing in Creole using pictures. The first picture they took, “Bonjou” means “hello.”  “Jwi Fet Soisis Ou” means “Enjoy your hotdog party”:  “Nou Renmen Ou” means “we love you”; and the final picture, “ou espesyal,” means “you are special.”

"Hello!"

"Enjoy your hot dog party!"

"We love you!"

"You are special!"

The Vineyard kids had a blast taking the pictures and holding up the signs.

In June the Vineyard children learned about Tipapa, Nestle, Esterline, Lovely, Gregison and Arly. They learned that even if something is ordinary, it can be made into something extraordinary! For our special project this month, the Vineyard kids raced to break and unpeel as many old crayons as they could, so that they could be made into special up-cycled crayons for their friends in Haiti. They reviewed some of the Creole phrases they have been learning and learned how to say several different colors in Creole.

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The Vineyard Kids also got to see special pictures of the kids receiving the gifts they packaged up for them the past several months as well as pictures of the hot dog and pool party that the kids sponsored.

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In July, the Kids Helping Kids team heard several individuals talk about their experiences on their mission trip to Haiti. They were able to see lots of pictures and learn more about what life is like in Haiti.  For their special project this month they celebrated “Christmas In July”! The kids helped separate and individually package Christmas ornament crafts to send to Haiti for the kids to have for their Christmas party in December. With the funds they made from their bake sale in November of 2013, they were also able to provide Christmas stockings, Christmas-themed water paint activities, Christmas stickers, and several other holiday crafts.

 

Haiti Mission Trip

In June a team from Maryville Vineyard spent a week serving in Haiti. Youth minister Cory Trube and a group that included several teens held a VBS at the Child of Purpose orphanage, witnessed to prisoners, and shared with churches involved with Reach Haiti Ministries.

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Youth group member Noah Cope says that he went into Haiti without knowing what to expect and left “humbled, renewed, and with a fire in me that burns brighter and stronger than ever.” He shared a couple of events that stood out for him:

“One of the most memorable moments of my trip was visiting the voodoo temple. Josh Armstrong spoke with the men there and it was awesome to see him speak truth and basically put them in their place, because they control so many of the people’s minds in the community. Another moment that stood out was visiting the police station in Gromone and talking to the people in the holding cells. One of the prisoners translated for Makalya and I, and all three of the men were intrigued by the story of Jesus and gave their lives to Christ right then and there. It was just amazing to witness God in such a direct way.”

 

The Maryville Vineyard will be sending a medical missions team to Haiti in October.

 

Freedom House

Reach Haiti’s newest initiative, Freedom House, was not part of the plan, but as soon as Josh Armstrong saw the need, he knew he needed to act quickly. He explains:

 

“I had been working with a young man locally. He started telling me about the absolute desolation of where he comes from, and it sounded like a great place to plant a simple church. I also felt The Lord calling us to respond to the needs of the children in the area. When we arrived, after the most difficult journey I have ever taken in my life, I found the worst conditions of any area that I had ever seen in Haiti (and I’ve seen it all in Haiti!). There were absolutely no schools, churches, clinics, or roads. We got there by following goat trails over several grueling mountains. The children in the area were all without shoes, decent clothing, or access to any form of education. Almost the entire population is illiterate. The only structures that I saw anywhere were tiny shacks and voodoo temples.

 

“Nearly every child was severely malnourished, and showed signs of worms and skin disease. In a phrase—absolute, abject poverty. Many of the children are believed to have been restaveks (child slaves), and we immediately began a research campaign in order to discover their situations in the homes they were living in. After the research was finished, we shared the need with friends in the States, and our staff here in Haiti went into full-on rescue mode!”

 

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Through the efforts of the ReachHaiti Child Advocacy Board and a rescue team in Haiti, the Freedom House was launched. It now has 13 children from four different zones in Haiti that have been rescued because of the love of Christ—and more will be taken in! They are  thriving and happy.

 

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Coming Up

The Second Annual Glow Trot 5K is coming up on September 27, 8 p.m. at the Maryville Vineyard! Runners, walkers, and community members will be gathering together, illuminating themselves with lights, glow swag and much more to light the way through the streets of Blount County! 100% of the proceeds go to Reach Haiti Ministries. Last year’s inaugural race was a great success, raising $11,000 in proceeds and 367 racers registered. This year they aim to raise $20,000 and increase race participation to 600. Sign up here by September 13 for the earlybird discount.

 

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If you’d like to partner with these ministries, please visit Josh and Amanda’s Reach Haiti site to learn the many ways in which you can help.

 

Picture Gallery

 

 

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