The Celebrate church team from Knoxville, Iowa arrived safely in Haiti yesterday afternoon. They are already learning new things such as the importance of a steady water supply and how to communicate without words. Right now their greatest prayer, as Cassidy puts it, is “that God would use me to love and bless others this week, in whatever way He sees fit.” 

Hello to all friends and family! We arrived safely in Pignon, Haiti this afternoon around 1:00pm. Writing to you tonight is Steve Bellon and Cassidy Krichau. Our group stems from Celebrate Church in Knoxville, Iowa. While most of us are tired and travel-weary, we are excited to begin serving and learning from the people of Haiti. 

Immediately after landing, we were awestruck by the raw beauty of the mango trees, mountains and bright, smiling faces greeting us on our way to campus. After introductions and a quick lunch, we hit the road to visit the market; this was challenging and eyeopening. While many had seen photos and heard stories about how tough it would be, reality stuck as we strolled through, seeing firsthand the intense level of poverty and hunger in Haiti. Another challenge we faced is the communication and language barrier. We want so badly to converse and show love to the locals, but we feel we can’t accurately depict how we feel to them. We are learning to love them with our sincere smiles and hugs.

On our next turbulent truck ride, we visited a suspension bridge. The river beneath the suspension bridge has many uses, such as: a motorcycle washing station, a laundry outlet, livestock watering holes and bathing. Bridging the gap between two sides of the river, this bridge has improved the lives of many. A few of us walked across, while others explored underneath – both provided unique opportunities and experiences. 

After returning to campus, we had the opportunity to love on children of all ages in the campus courtyard. A pickup soccer game broke out, and Celebrate’s team lost 6-5. When we heard the dinner bell ring, we excitedly rushed for the dinner tables for an authentic, Haitian,  home cooked meal. Our wonderful cooks, Beatrice and Evenie, prepared a delicious feast. It consisted of chicken, cheesy potatoes, rice, fried plantains, spicy pasta bake, okra and a freshly made passion fruit juice (SO yummy). We are all looking forward to our next meals prepared by these lovely ladies! 

As we’re writing, we are resting and waiting for a campus tour. Devotions on the rooftop will bring our busy day to a close before we settle in for a much-deserved night’s sleep. We’re all excited to take on tomorrow, as our first full day here begins. To close out this daily blog, Steve and I would like to each say a short prayer request for Haiti. 

Steve’s: “This week, I would like for my mind, eyes and heart to be open for God’s will 

and way. I really hope and want to grow this week with no interruptions. “

Cassidy’s: “My prayer is that God would use me to love and bless others this week, in whatever way He sees fit. I know it may push me to serve in ways I’m not used to, but I’m excited to grow for Him.”

Thank you for reading— we’ll talk to you again soon!