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Jerusalem Baptist Church - Spencer, NC - September 20 - 27, 2014

The Jerusalem Baptist Church team plus one led by Rev. Dr. David Bracken arrived in Haiti on Saturday, September 20, 2014.  Dianne Jinwright, Watts Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC. joined Jerusalem Baptist Church (JBC) on this mission assignment.  In addition to the pastor, the JBC team includes: Willie Mae Abel, Dennis Black, Jimmy Hailey, Arthur Jones, and Thomas O'Kelly.

Saturday - Sunday, September 20 - 21, 2014

Upon arrival the team rested and got up early to worship with St. Paul A.M.E. Church where Rev. Francois-Albert Murat is the Pastor. Following Sunday Service, the team took a tour of downtown Port-au-Prince which included a stop for lunch and the Musee du Pantheon National Haitien (MUPANAH).  MUPANAH provided the team with a tour through Haiti's history and a gallary of local artwork. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

"One of the most interesting things was the 7:30 am drive to Lambi Village the first morning. The vendors were already out early, setup and selling. I am learning that the people of Haiti are hard workers with an entrepreneurial spirit. It was such a pleasant sight to see the school kids who were well groomed with colorful uniforms that were neat, crisp, and clean coming out of tents and huts. As they traveled to school, they looked just as nice as kids who lived in homes.  

Once we got to Lambi Village and actually saw the duplex homes, it was a sense of reward knowing that we helped in a small way. Everyone said Bonjour, and was friendly. Many villagers worked with us and the construction crew on building the duplex. Even women worked to prepare mortar by shaking the rocks out. Many of the duplexes in the village had structures around them. It appeared as if the families wanted a private patio. However, it would be nice if there was an enforced code for fences in the village so that all homes could look neat and not have poorly constructed fences that make the home look shabby. 

Today, I focused not only on the work (painting the exterior of one duplex) but also the people around me. I was able to have conversations with young males who were painting alongside me. When asked about their future ambitions, they all mentioned that they wanted to go into politics. It seemed as if politics was their way to a better life. As we talked together, we found that we were more alike than different. 

As I walked through the village, it bought back a lot of memories. I can identify with the kids in the village because I too have lived with outdoor toilets and water from wells and pumps until the age of 12. However, some of the families in the village continue to live in tents. For me, this was an eye opening experience. This is my first mission trip and it will forever keep me in remembrance of my past and help me to be sensitive to the needs of others. This trip will also help to strengthen my heart for what God wants to do through me for those who are less fortunate." 

Submitted by Willie Mae Abel

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"The first day of my trip was spent greeting the women I had met in 2013. They all remembered me and greeted me with affection. I visited the homes of six of the women where we prayed for various needs such as a job for their husband, healthy delivery of a child, money for bills, the success of a business and other concerns. In the home where there was a husband, he eagerly took part in the prayer and thanked me for coming to pray for them."

Submitted by Dianne Jinwright
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Tuesday, September 23, 2014
The team received an orientation from Jonny Jeune today. He told us a lot about 'Lambi Village' that opened my eyes and gave me a lot of information.  We also took a tour of the newly constructed homes, tents and shacks.  The people were just as proud living in tents or shacks as those living in a completed home. Everyone was so grateful for what they had. Back home, people never seem to be able to get enough - it's hard to explain. It was good to see people appreciative for the small things, truly grateful and praising God.  It was hard, I saw babies sleeping on the ground in some cases without beds. 
I spent time interacting with the kids today. The first day was focused on work so I did not interact with them as I did today.  I had more time to look into their faces instead of just saying 'bonjou, bonswai and what is your name'. Instead of working all day we had time to walk arouond the village and ask questions. The parents were always off doing something so the kids were always around and wanted to get my attention to talk or to ask for a photo. There was always someone nearby who interpreted what the kids were saying. Thus, there was no language barrier. 
For instance, the kids just asked for a pair of sandlals; America kids would ask for so much more.  One item will make these kids week. Whereas, I see kids at home get a video game as a gift, the next day they want something else.  I see their appreciation for the little that they have versus wanting more.  
I hope that God will continue to use me to help people. 
Submitted by Thomas O'Kelly
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014
By working with the people we are giving them hope. We look into the eyes of the people of the village they are no different than we are, it's only that their circumstances are different. They are looking for people to share with them, not necessarily for a handout. The relationship that has developed by working in the village instills in them self-confidence and they are heading in the right direction. 
This experiecncce has taught me about the details of God's mission to the world. We are the change agents through which God works to bring about change to improve the quality of life to others. My greatest desire is that this opportunity will help change the mindset of people at JBC to employ a missional attitude.  One family at a time or one village at a time- realizing that we cannot change the world overnight. 
Submitted by Rev. Dr. David Bracken, Pastor
Thursday, September 25, 2014

I believe my second trip to Haiti was more rewarding than my first. It was very gratifying to me to see how the women at Lambi Village were doing since my first visit. To see those that have moved from their tents to homes, those that were pregnant when I saw them last and now have healthy babies, those that are getting married, and those that have started businesses and are now able to support their families. 
I was deeply moved by the women who welcomed me into their homes to talk about how they were doing and for prayer. Prayer that their children have great intelligence and do well in school, prayer for a easy delivery and a healthy baby, prayer for money to take care of their families, ...
I am so impressed by the hope of the Lambi Village women that to me reflect God's protection and love for His people. To God be the glory for allowing me the opportunity to see how He makes a way out of what seemed, by my human eyes, to be the impossible.
Submitted by Dianne Jinwright