Tag Archives: Haiti

Painting With Love at Respire Haiti – The 2016 Haiti Trip Report

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Respire Haiti assists with education, medical care, economic development and “Restavek” awareness in the city of Gressier, Haiti. At the end of October, a team from Timberline traveled there to assist wherever the greatest need was. Facing the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, there was surely much to clean up. Here’s a report from Nicole Sutton about her experience: 

“I never thought of tires as something you could paint.”  That was what we were all probably thinking as we stood outside of Respire Cafe in Gressier (grey-see-ay), Haiti, before a ten-foot wall made entirely out of used tires.  With a paintbrush in hand and a tray full of blue or green, we began the long, tedious task of covering the tires in layers of paint.

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Throughout the week, all eleven of us worked on various tasks, including building and painting an espresso bar, installing a speaker system, painting the outside trim, and painting the inside walls, ceilings and bathroom.  Two women from our team walked up Bellevue Mountain each day to work with the special needs classes at Respire Haiti.  Every single one of us came with different skills to offer and each of them were put to use: working with power tools, drawing, painting, barista, electronics, and working with special needs.

While working in Gressier, we learned to be flexible with our projects and to do our best with limited supplies and time.  With the right attitude and lots of patience, we were able to get nearly all of our projects finished.  Visiting an impoverished country like Haiti was truly eye-opening.  In America we often take for granted that we have running water, paved roads, electricity, food, shelter and clothes.  That isn’t always the case in Haiti where everything is extremely limited.

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Josh Anderson, Megan’s husband, was extremely grateful to have us from Timberline Church.  He used to attend nine70 at Timberline when he lived in Fort Collins.  He was impressed by how quickly and efficiently we were able to work at Respire Cafe. Josh hopes that we take what we have learned in Gressier and put it to use in our every day lives in Fort Collins.

It was amazing to see what Respire Haiti has become since Megan Boudreaux founded the organization five years ago.  At the school, a vast majority of the children are sponsored.  Parents pay only $8-10 per year for their children to receive a good education, two meals per day and a safe place to play and make friends.  God has provided the right people and the right skills to allow the school and clinic to run strong. His love completely surrounds Respire Haiti.

If you are interested in discovering more about Respire Haiti, please go to: http://www.respirehaiti.org/home/

Team Heading to Haiti

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When a young woman visited Gressier, Haiti on a short-term missions trip in 2010, not an hour had gone by and God had already begun working in her heart. In 2011, she founded an organization called Respire Haiti, which aims “to encourage, educate and empower restaveks, orphans and vulnerable children” (respirehaiti.org). Now with the help of a full staff of teachers, medical professionals and mission teams, Respire Haiti provides nutrition and water, physical activity, safety for girls, medical care and education for over 500 children annually inside their 14-classroom campus.

From October 23-30, 2016, Timberline will send a mission team to assist with a special project with Respire Haiti. Our eleven team members, led by Josh and Nicole Stone, will be bringing school supplies and other needed items into the country. The team will help with assisting in remodeling a cafe with building materials that were generously donated by Timberline Church. In the afternoons, they will help with English, dance and music classes in the school. The team will also focus on fellowship with people in the community as well as the staff at Respire Haiti.

The team hopes that their efforts will have a lasting impact on those they encounter. Please pray for this team as they visit Gressier, Haiti. They will need prayer for safety and strength. Also pray that God will keep their minds and hearts open as they experience the culture in Gressier. The team also trusts that God will use this time to speak to them in life-changing ways as they experience His work.

For more information about Respire Haiti, please go to: http://www.respirehaiti.org/home/

To Finish The Work: Pray, Give, and Go

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As we move closer to Missions Week 2015, the Love Reaches team is continuing to share the stories of others engaging in missions with their time, talent, and treasure.

Pray:

“I have close friends that are missionaries that I pray for on a daily and weekly basis. Other missionaries I pray for whenever I look at maps (which is quite often). When I receive the monthly missionary email, I pray for each of them at that time as well.” ~Troy Knuppel

Troy and his wife have gone on several missions trips and treasured the prayers of others. “When we are out on a mission trip, to know that there are people that are diligently praying for you back home is encouraging, strengthening, and humbling. We had multiple times where very specific prayers were answered, even if they were not answered exactly how I thought it would happen. To be prayed over as a team and be SENT out is a remarkable experience.”

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Give:

“It is a joy to give to missions.  My wife and I budget a fraction of our tithe each month for support of missionaries.  It is also fun to spontaneously give to someone going on a short term trip or for a special need for a particular missionary. Our giving method is usually the way that gets the money to the person as efficiently as possible. I do like to have updates and good communication from missionaries I support.  I definitely like to feel like I am part of the team.”  ~ Anonymous

“I started giving financially to missions in the ‘70s when I was in high school and college.  Now we have most of our giving automatically withdrawn from our account. We try to make giving to missions a priority and have tried to teach that to our kids. Giving financially to missions has freed us up to know what is really important in life and what will last for eternity.” ~Anonymous

“I came on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) in 1980 and spent 17 wonderful years working with college students in the U.S. as well as in Eastern Europe. I was responsible for raising all of my financial support and thankfully I never really had any financial worries because God always took care of everything right when I needed it.  When things became challenging and I knew I was in a Spiritual battle, I would remember that it was not just some organization that paid me to do a job.  I knew that the support came from God and that He used people in a financial way to keep me on the field.  I always felt like I was part of a team with my financial supporters.”  Marianne Elsheimer

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Go: Troy and Kendra Knuppel (also leading a trip this summer!)

From Troy – Kendra and I went to a Missions Celebration in 2010 and a fire in us was ignited that had been simmering for a couple of years. I believe that I always wanted to go on a mission trip. When Pastor Mark asked me if I would like to go to Haiti, I did not have any expectations of what it would be like and just wanted to enjoy the entire experience. The first time I stood in the orphanage, I was changed forever. My heart grew many times for children, especially for the suppressed and persecuted. I have gone back many times since that first trip in November 2011 and would go back in a minute.

If someone is thinking of going on a mission trip or as an Ambassador, I would say GO. When you are in a foreign land, your senses are heightened to a point that you cannot do this without divine intervention. And then you live where Paul did: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Cor 12:9)

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Go: Marlene Zbacnik (returning to El Salvador this summer!)

From Marlene – I came to missions in a roundabout fashion. I never thought of a pharmacist being useful for a medical team. Doctors, dentists, or nurses, yes. But me? No. It truly was a case of God equipping the called because I had no idea what we should take for medications or how to package them. We learned as we went along.

In my first two years as a volunteer, I only supported the teams going out and gathered feedback when they returned. We transitioned from using gleaned physician samples to directly ordering medications and supplies through organizations whose mission is to support medical teams like ours. One of my favorite things is seeing the teams help package the medications before the trip because it is so cool to see them start to work together and begin relationships that will be forever cemented in the shared love of God.

The youth construction side of my missions life wasn’t planned either. My daughter Mariah wanted to go to El Salvador as a sixteen-year-old. After attending the meeting with her, I offered to help chaperone if they needed parents. (I always had a secret desire to see what a construction trip was like, but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being with 20+ teenagers in a 3rd world country!) Well, my husband passed away the end of May when we were scheduled to leave in July. One of the first things Mariah asked when we were more coherent was, “Are we still going to be able to go?”

The answer was “Yes, Ted would have wanted us to go.” Working hard with the kids and studying the Bible passages from the Book of James during that trip was healing in its own way and I know it added to my recovery. That year, there were three mother-daughter teams and ENLACE wanted to film a Mother’s Day promotion for the next May. What Mariah and I said so touched the leaders that they used our testimony. Kind of amazing that brokenness ministers to others.

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Go: Pastor Tim Heist (also returning to El Salvador this summer!)

From Tim – My first missions trip was actually a Christmas present that I will forever be thankful for. A church student ministry leader and mentor of mine approached my parents about the possibility of taking me and a few other students on a trip to England to partner with an organization and church for a VBS style kids camp in the heart of Eastern London. My parents, looking to create a great environment of learning about Jesus, the global church, and finding ways to challenge me, thought the trip was a great idea. That Christmas morning I opened up a present and felt confused. It was a piece of luggage, every 15-year-old’s dream. Little did I know how much that gift would change my life!

We went on the England trip in February of 2003 and when I look back on it, not only am I shocked how young I was, but I am thankful for what that trip taught me. It taught me the value of being on a team and serving. It taught me that no matter your age (young or old) you have a part in the work God is doing through his church,  It taught me that Jesus changes lives. Throughout that week I was challenged by the team I was serving with to go beyond what I knew was comfortable and step out into trusting God. It’s hard to fully put into words, but it was a physical trip that showed me a need for a spiritual trust in Jesus.

If you are considering a short term trip or perhaps a longer one, I would encourage you to step through the doors God opens and go. Going takes courage, trust, and a lot of hard work as you prepare and fundraise, but trips like these have forever changed my life and could be a positive change in yours. Will it be hard? Hopefully! Looking back on this trip, and the many others I have been on since then, it is through the trials, daunting fundraising, and the situations where I didn’t know how to respond, that God makes himself known. Every summer we take students to El Salvador to partner with a church and be a catalyst for change in the community. We tell our students to never let money keep them from going. I would encourage you the same way: If God opens a door for you to serve and experience His work in the global church, Go! After all, we never truly know how life changing a small conversation can be.

For me, it was a leader’s invitation. What will be the start of something great for you?

God’s Kingdom in Haiti

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Bright smiles shine across the faces of children as they learn about the life of Jesus and stories of God’s love. In November 2011, Timberline Church began a partnership with One Child Matters in Dubuisson, Haiti. This is a sponsorship based program, giving people the opportunity to financially support and pray for the precious children in Haiti by name. The financial support helps provide the children with schooling, food, and basic medical care.

In June 2012, a nine-member team traveled to Dubuisson to build relationships and do stucco work on a church building.  They interacted with the church community through a time of worship and teaching. It was exciting to feel the presence of God’s kingdom in Haiti and see the children touched by Him.

Dubuisson Haiti June 2012 Construction sifting inside church

During the summer of 2013, a team from Timberline Church met with a team from Ohio and travelled to Haiti to share God’s love and build lasting relationships with the children. Sponsors also had the privilege to meet their sponsored children face-to-face. The teams organized activities for children of all ages during Vacation Bible School. They painted and did crafts, played under the brightly colored parachute and held an intense soccer tournament.

The teams discovered what it meant to live in poverty and witnessed the poverty-stricken conditions in Haiti, causing relationships with the children to be that much more moving. Stay connected to the Love Reaches story to find out more about upcoming trips and sponsorship opportunities as this church-to-church partnership continues to develop.

(Courtesy of Storyteller Nicole Sutton)

Handcrafted With Love – The Haiti Trip Report

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What do plastic cups, beads, paint, and playing in the dirt say about love? More than one can imagine.

In late June, a team from Timberline Church met a team from a church in Ohio and traveled to Dubuisson, Haiti. Over five days, they organized Vacation Bible School activities for various ages of children, participated in a community soccer tournament against a powerful team of Haitians, and interacted with the church community through a time of worship and teaching. After church, they went on a walk through the community and came face-to-face with the poverty-stricken conditions that made interactions with the children that much more moving.

On their first day in Haiti, after getting settled into their hotel, the team headed over to the site where they would be working with the children. Between the cinderblock church building and school was a schoolyard consisting of dirt, rocks, weeds, and random trash. No playground equipment. No swings or slides. No bouncing balls full of air or baseball gloves.

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But when they went inside, they found rows of Haitian children dressed in their best complete with fancy hair and shined shoes, sitting very prim and proper and waiting to be introduced to the Americans. After introductions, they went outside to play while the leaders met to finish planning. Despite the language barrier, the team started a game of duck, duck, goose and spent much of the afternoon running around, swinging children around, carrying them on their shoulders, and generally embracing the moment by soaking up the energy of all the happy children with their sweet little faces.

Each day working with the children, the team did the same activities and stories adjusted for the different age groups. The children decorated recyclable-type grocery bags with paint as a way to carry home their other crafts and as a tangible reminder that Christ carries our burdens. Windchimes constructed from plastic cups, straws, and beads represented the movement of Christ in our lives and symbolic bracelets with different colored beads told the salvation story. In addition to time spent singing songs, stories about Creation and the Resurrection, snacks, and lunch, they also spent time outside kicking rocks, chasing each other, and playing with a colorful parachute. The excitement in the eyes of the children and the smiles on their faces were more bright and beautiful than the colors of the parachute.

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The final activity was washing the hands and feet of the children, then painting fingernails, toenails, faces, and arms. The personal attention was a way to explain how Christ washed his disciples feet and show the children how very beautiful they were in the team’s eyes and in Christ’s eyes. At the end of the day, it was hard to tear themselves away from the precious children, their rapt attention, ingenuity, and innocent excitement.

As one team member said, “Thank you Timberline for sending us to Haiti to share God’s love!”

Team Heading to Haiti

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On Tuesday, June 18 at 11:50 p.m., a group of ten adults and teenagers from Timberline Church will embark to Haiti and connect with ten more team members from a church in Ohio. During their time in Haiti, they will be leading Vacation Bible School. On Saturday, they will be joining the kids in a soccer tournament, and then attending a church service on Sunday.

While they are gone, please pray with this team for:

  •  God’s love to be displayed in Haiti
  • The children to be touched by God
  • Protection for team members
  • Unity between the two church groups
  • Safe travels
  • Wisdom

Divine Partnerships

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Why does Timberline Church keep sending short-term missions teams to the same countries over and over? Because over the years we have developed strong partnerships with other ministries already operating within those countries and are able to come alongside and support their work.

One prime example of these partnerships is evidenced in Guatemala. In addition to outreach around Guatemala City, medical teams have reached hundreds of needy people in outlying areas. In 2013, we are sending three teams to Guatemala. See the LoveReaches website for trip dates and links to more information.

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Similar relationships are being developed in Dubuisson, Haiti. Our initial contacts with the Son of God Orphanage transitioned into a partnership with One Child Matters, formerly Mission of Mercy. Teams have traveled to Haiti to build relationships, help with construction projects , and discover what it means to live in poverty. In addition to sending teams, we actively recruit child sponsors to financially support and pray for these precious children by name. Our ultimate goal is 300 sponsorships to provide schooling, food, and basic medical care. (Click on the One Child Matters graphic on the LoveReaches website to see the children still needing a sponsor!) We are strategically working with other churches to partner with us in this community. Consider joining one of the three trips to Haiti this year.

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Our partnership with ENLACE in El Salvador actually began when Pastor Mark Orphan went to college with Ron Bueno, the founder of ENLACE and a special guest during this year’s Missions Celebration. Timberline’s first team went to El Salvador in 2010 and the youth have been active in keeping this relationship growing. ENLACE’s vision is to come alongside and equip local churches to help alleviate poverty in their communities. They are currently working with 60 churches in El Salvador. Teams from Timberline Church work with the church communities on projects, in the schools, and through medical teams. During this year’s trip in July, the youth will focus on building eco-stoves while the adults will focus on providing needed medical care.

Rather than trying to capture the corner on the market or reinvent the wheel, different parts of the Body of Christ in Fort Collins, Guatemala, Haiti, and El Salvador are working together to change lives around the world. Now that’s a divine partnership.