Celebration of Hope
Wow! What an amazing week! First of all, we had two teams in that worked together as one. That was AMAZING!!!
Hats off to Shanda Gobeli and her husband Tim, from Strength of Heart Ministries. Their vision is impacting the lives of many people living with disabilities in the USA and now in Haiti.
Shanda brings first-hand knowledge of what’s helpful and what’s not to the training sessions she holds. Members of both her team and the Who Will Go Missions team (led by Steve and Marlene Miller from Jacksonville, FL) participated in an instruction period where Shanda accented important aspects of ministering to the disabled: Look into their eyes; see them as people not as handicapped; be helpful; show that you are happy to see them; sit next to them in a position where they can see you comfortably.
Prior to the team’s arrival, Strength of Heart purchased goats for 41 families with disabled members. Their first three days here were spent visiting these families. They visited, prayed, played, laughed, sang, and helped provide for some of their specific needs. They also invited each of the disabled individuals to join us for a celebration of Hope at the missionary compound on Thursday.
This event was one of the most amazing things we’ve been involved in. The team members cheered and clapped their hands each time another invitee entered the compound. They greeted them, set them up somewhere comfortable, offered them a drink, and began bringing them around to participate in whichever activities they could. There was coloring, running (or wheeling, as the case may be) under a parachute, manicures, and other things. There was a time of praise and worship, prayer, some words of encouragement, and lots of one on one time spent between the team members and the “party goers.” God’s love and heart for each person was evident throughout the day.
We are excited to be partnering with Strength of Heart to continue ministering to this group of sometimes forgotten people in Haitian society. Mission of Hope’s maestro, Odenet Michel, who has worked tirelessly over the years with the Handicapped Association, will be joined by Pastor Hakine (driver and local pastor of the St. Etienne campus and church at MOHI) in leading the efforts on the ground. We covet your prayers for both Strength of Heart and MOHI as we endeavor to work together in reflecting the love of Jesus to these beautiful people.
The Who Will Go Missions team, along with some of the Strength of Heart team members, too, joined our Haitian workers on the roof of the choukoun. I’m so excited to see just how beautiful this project is turning out. Paul Fallon, the architect who designed our amazing school building, would certainly be proud of Lex’s design of this roof. (In case you couldn’t tell, I am captivated by it, myself!)
They also spent time in the school, praying and sharing stories with the students. The students especially enjoyed their rendition of David and Golliath – Golliath (played by Steve Miller) in particular! The parachute was also very popular.
Our dear friend John Armour brought along Pastor Donald Byrd, as they joined the Who Will Go Missions team. We were blessed to have their help with carpentry, plumbing, preaching, and prayer.
We are so excited to welcome Lily Joy Sutton into the world. The Sutton Family, as many of you already know, work with the Hands and Feet Project here in Grand-Goâve, Haïti. Andrew and Angie arrived here when Faith was not even two months old. They stayed at the MOHI missionary compound while overseeing the construction of the new Hands and Feet Project village here in Grand-Goâve. Eventually they were joined by another sweet baby, Glory – who now joins Faith as a big sister to Lily Joy. This family has been an intrinsic and active part of our church family at MOHI and we are so excited to continue watching these children grow and develop here in Haiti. Felisitasyon Fanmi Sutton!!!
Those are the highlights of the week. As you can imagine, it was pretty awesome. Here are just a few more pictures I’d like to share with you. Thank you so much for joining us on this journey!