Blog is written by Dayon Kjellberg, member of Iowa Group and from Carroll, IA. Dayon is visiting Haiti for the third time, but first time with MH4H and in Gonaives.

Today is Monday, October 15, 2012.  This is our third day in Gonaives, Haiti.  Our team arrived on Saturday afternoon after a beautiful drive north from Port-au-Prince.  My husband, Brent, and I have been to Haiti two other times.  Still, the beauty takes my breath away.  We were fortunate to drive along the coast up to Gonaives and many times were able to view the ocean. 

 

The Iowa Group in front of the school with a class of kids, Principal Leboise, and Silentor.

Upon arriving, we were greeted with many friendly faces!  I forgot to mention on our way to Gonaives, we were treated to some American french fries!  We were also thankful for the air condition on our 3 hour drive to Gonaives!  Thank you, Silentor!  We quickly unpacked and drove over to Etoile to see the compound (school/church/etc.) and survey the home that would be our project for the week.  There were many children playing soccer on the school ground when we arrived.  They stopped their play to watch 5 white people get out of an automobile.  The difference in our color of skin doesn’t appear to mean anything to them.  We quickly made friends with them and would spend a week showing  each other the love of Christ. 

 

This week, the group from Iowa will be finishing the room in the background for this family.

Raymonde, a woman in her 60’s, was carrying heavy rock into her home’s foundation for our men to finish work on it the following day.  What a strong woman!  Not only in physical strength to carry those rocks, but in her emotional and spiritual strength as well.  She had hope and gratitude written in the lines of her face.  I was thankful to God that we would be serving her but that she, in a sense, would also be serving us!  She blessed us that next morning by joining us at the church service! 

 

Here are the trusses being built for the new home. Very hot job!

On Sunday, we were fortunate to be able to attend a Haitian church service at the compound.   It was awe inspiring to praise the same God together with people of a different culture!  In the afternoon, the men helped finish the prep work of the foundation so that cement could be poured.  A hot job!  We all tried to find shade whenever possible!!  The women fellowshipped with the young children and then met with a group of youth to interact and teach them about our faith and learn about theirs.  It was neat to see and feel the connection we made!  After supper, we spent an evening under the stars viewing constellations and reflecting on our day.  It was a perfect end to our Sabbath!

 

This is the house, before being worked on.

Those of you who have been to Haiti may understand that many times during the night one is awoken to a choir of dogs.  Well, needless to say this did occur so we were not disappointed!!  As we arrived at the school this morning , we saw the children lining up in uniform (yellow and black) to sing the Haitian national anthem as they raised their country’s flag.  What a neat thing to experience as we saw the pride in their faces when they turned to make sure we were watching.  Not to mention, the trumpet player that stood on the roof and played as the children marched to their classrooms. 

After the children settled in their classrooms we spent an hour distributing shoes to some preschool students.  They weren’t quite sure what to think of us Americans with our sunglasses and cameras!  The men went on to the Haitian Home Depot to buy supplies for their project.  When they returned, we all served lunch to the students before heading home for lunch.   The afternoon proved rough for the guys as the sun was scorching hot!  The gals hung out with the young ladies at the school who are learning to sew.  We worked on a project where the students took a T’shirt and made several cuts, hand sewed and then stitched over top to finish the T’shirt into a bag.  It was really neat.  The girls are hoping to make them and sell them someday.  All in all it was a productive day and we are all pretty tired.  Sooo…all for now! 

Thank you for your prayers!!!!!!

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