(Please read below for more photos and testimonies from the team members…)
A team of 11 people, led by Pastor Keith Eberhard, left for Haiti in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, Nov. 20th, arriving in Haiti on Monday, Nov 21, and staying until Saturday, Nov 26th, in the host missionary’s home.
While there, the team took 3 days for painting the complete inside and outside of the newly built Children’s Home (that Church of the Rock has been partnering with New Life Haiti to build over the past year).
Children's Home before painting began
Other activities included ministering in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in two evening church services. They shared biblical thoughts, gave testimonies and clothing and school supplies in 5 schools and one hospital for handicapped victims of the Port-au-Prince earthquake. They distributed food packages to 20 disabled seniors. They counselled and encouraged the host missionaries that we worked with and helped organize and distribute medical supplies to nearby hospitals and medical clinics. On two occasions they visited a hospital/orphanage for disabled children, praying for the staff and the children and giving clothing and medical supplies to the children and medical staff. They visited two other church/school situations but did not have the time to minister in those locations. Then on Sunday 27th, just before our flights out of Puerto Plata, DR, the team was able to minister in songs, testimony, drama, and preaching in a Haitian church in the city of Puerto Plata.
The support that came in from church members and the team members families and co-workers for this mission project and the people of Haiti was tremendous. In total, over 500 pounds of clothing and school supplies were distributed, and $800.00 of food was purchased in Haiti for distribution to the needy. Donations also provided for the paint and other supplies needed for finishing the Children’s Home.
In the ministry times, many leaders and other individuals were ministered to prophetically. Through prayer and the Word of the Lord there were significant physical healings of chest pains, lumps in the throat, pains in the hips, knee problems, headaches, plus many other infirmities. Over 100 people were personally prayed for by the team. The host missionaries said that of the 12-13 teams that they have a year, our team was one of the best teams that they ever have had. They and the other pastors and leaders were greatly encouraged as they felt that God personally ministered to the spiritual needs of them and the people of Haiti.
The prayer support of family, friends, and the church prayer teams was so important, for these days of ministry in Haiti were not done in a situation of ease and luxury.
The team would rise before 6:00 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 6:30 and then keep going, often till 10 or 11:00 p.m. On one day, because of the remoteness of where we were, the team was not able to have a lunch break. The next day we had a piece of bread with ground peanuts for lunch to tide us over till supper. Three team members picked up some type of stomach disorder from the food, water, or exhaustion. Many of the team had large itchy welt-like bumps covering their bodies caused by bites from mosquito, spiders, or some other insect. (Most of the swelling and itchiness did not disappear till well after returning home.) One team member developed a chest infection and laryngitis by the end of the trip and another had strep throat the day after we returned to Canada. For many team members, sleep at night was difficult because of the heat, the mosquitoes (even though there were screens on the windows of the home in which we stayed), or other physical things as listed above. Yet in spite of these negative things, each of the team members adamantly declares that because of what they saw God do in their midst they are eagerly wanting to go again. They have adventures and stories to tell of God working through and in them. They declare that this trip has changed their lives.
THANK YOU FOR PRAYING! THANK YOU FOR GIVING!
From the team members:
CALEB: “The mission trip to Haiti was better than I expected. I enjoyed visiting and performing skits/songs at the schools and churches. Seeing the smiles of the Haitians made me happy. I especially enjoyed the church service we participated in on the Wednesday. I enjoyed how excited they were during the service. There was a joy that I had not experienced before. I had never seen the Holy Spirit move like that before in my life (all 12 years of it;). I learned that God can move in ways that I don’t expect.
Overall, I’m so glad I got a chance to go with this mission team. It was an honour to serve with them in Haiti.”
JERRY: “I really appreciated the chance to serve in Haiti with the mission team. I appreciated the preparations that were made by the team in learning the songs and skits before we left. It was also an honour to represent Church of the Rock and all of those people who donated money and supplies to bless Haiti. The trip was exhausting but I feel a sense of accomplishment. We were able to finish painting the new children’s home on the inside and outside. I also enjoyed giving out supplies and performing at the various schools and churches that we visited.
“I was humbled by the sincerity and warmth of the Haitian people. They may not have much in the way of material wealth by North American standards but the joy and passion that many of them have because of Christ reminded me that Jesus is all that you need. I have come back with a renewed desire to seek after the Lord daily. My life is nothing without Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of that sometimes with the speed of our life here in Canada. My experience in Haiti was a reminder to cut through the busyness of life and to focus on the important things of life beginning with my relationship with Jesus.”
NICOLE: “When you know that you are going on a mission trip you have certain things you expect such as the work, what the conditions may be like, what you may be doing but you can never prepare for the amazing things that God will do to you and through you and others while on the trip. Haiti is a magnificent place. Away from the majority of modern day technology and the modern day expectations is a country needing help. Many believe that it is a hopeless country but once you see the hope in the faces of everyone who has Jesus in their heart you would believe that it is a country filled with hope and love.
” Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 NIV.
“That is Haiti. We are the ones who have been blessed in many ways through out our lives and it was an amazing feeling seeing how truly grateful others are to something as simple as a pair of shoes or a toothbrush and toothpaste or…. even a pencil. Haiti and the awesome missionaries who are there will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”
GREG: “Haiti was an amazing journey of growth and wonder with hardships and joy. My heart goes to all the people there. You could feel the presence of God everywhere – although many were poor, you just knew God was overseeing their lives and bringing joy to their hearts.”
ARNOLD: “Haiti: a country with great beauty and in great need. The beautiful, green, tree-covered mountains overlook a poverty-ravaged country. The people try to make whatever living they can. They dig the riverbeds for sand to make cinderblocks. They sell whatever they can get for enough profit to get by another day. But many are learning about the true Saviour and his love from people like Debbie and her son Rick, who hosted us. It was our privilege to go with them to many church/schools and show God’s love to these beautiful people.
“I saw God move and touch the people from the littlest child to a very conservative pastor who allowed us to minister in his church and was greatly ministered to by God. We danced withthem, prayed for and with them, sang for and with them and enjoyed God’s Word.
“It was also a privilege to watch a group of very different people become a team which built each other up, covered each otehr’s weaknesses, learned from each other and reached beyond ourselves to minister to those we came in contact with.”
We are currently accepting applications for two more upcoming missions trips. The first is for the team that will be ministering in Ensenada, MEXICO from Feb. 18-26, 2012, and the second is for the team going to UGANDA for 2-3 weeks in July/August, 2012. Application forms can be picked up at the World Cafe in the church foyer, or by sending a request to: larissa [@] churchoftherock.ca.
Also, THIS SUNDAY MORNING (Dec. 18, 11:00 AM) there will be an information meeting in room A1 for anyone interested in the February MEXICO trip. Come on out!