Wednesday, July 8, 2015

C2 - Haiti Trip Update, Wednesday

Plaza of Independence, Gonaives
As promised, yesterday Fr. Effener gave our missionaries a special tour of the city of Gonaives. The team visited a hospital operated by the Sisters of Charity. One of the doctors walked them around the hospital where our travelers witnessed heartbreaking sights and struggles. Although difficult to see, they were uplifted to see the power of God’s healing and His love and mercy. The Sisters of Charity truly are doing God’s work and serving the poorest of the poor. They are a blessing and an inspiration.

The next stop on the tour was the University of Notre Dame where Fr. Effener teaches a course once a week. By happenstance, the group met the Bishop of Gonaives and enjoyed his company as they continued to tour the campus. The team then visited the Catholic Cathedral of Gonaives. They were encouraged to see various curb, sidewalk, and road improvements in progress throughout the city. The final stop of the evening was to have a dinner of pizza, steak sandwiches, and fries at a local restaurant.
Catholic Cathedral of Gonaives

This morning, the C2 team went to 6:30 am mass and had a breakfast of spaghetti, hard boiled eggs, bananas, peanut butter, and coffee. After breakfast, they jumped right into camp activity with energy and enthusiasm. 

John and Kelsey helped the older students make bracelets while Kelli and Carly helped the middle school children make lovely multi-colored paper ribbons that will be used for decorations eventually. Carly also helped the younger children color craft paper images of fruits and flowers. The whole gang participated in rousing games at recess including jump rope and jacks. John enjoyed playing soccer with the boys despite the grueling mid-day heat.

Carol, Kelsey, and one of the animators did blackboard exercises with some of the older students where they wrote words and common phrases in English and Creole side by side. The days at camp are not only filled with fun and laughter, but helpful lessons for our young students. It’s the connections between our travel team and the camp that strengthen the foundation of our church to church partnership.

Lunch was a nice break for the team featuring roasted goat, fries, rice, and a rich sauce. They also sampled a special fruit drink with pieces of grape, mango, melon, and pineapple. Word on the street is the fruit juice was a bit more popular than the goat.

The team has encountered a few challenges including dealing with the heat and minor aches and pains from the journey. Carol cannot brag enough about the team’s spirit, positive attitude, and willingness to engage. As a team they are having fun and shining God’s light onto the children of St. Anne’s.

Our missionaries are more than halfway through their trip. We are so thankful that God has blessed their journey so far with so many great experiences. We pray that he continues to bless their remaining days at camp. Share your prayers for the team in the comments.


  1. Kelli , Kelsey , Carly , Carol and John keep shining God's light of hope and joy on everyone you meet. So proud and humble as I pray for you. Much appreciation for travelling in the name of Nativity. Honored by your service to our partnership.--Bruce

  2. Tom & Emily ComberiateJuly 8, 2015 at 11:09 PM

    We're praying for you guys! We hope the second half of your trip is as spiritually fruitful as the first!

  3. I continue to be amazed by our travel team. You are a blessing to us and we are grateful for the love you carry to the community of St. Anne's from all of us at Nativity. Also, looking forward to hearing from you all about your experience. Praying for each of you this week with gratitude for your service. - Nancy

  4. I ate goat meat yesterday too! Mine was prepared quite differently (in sausage form), but I was thinking of all of you at the time, wondering if you would be getting your first taste of goat yesterday as well. :)

    I am so awestruck by your energy and enthusiasm! Every day I wait for the blog update, and read it in amazement - God's love is working beautifully through your open hearts, and you are making a huge difference in the lives of the children. Daniel continues to send me more pictures and video of you all at camp, I will try to get more of them to Carol for all of you to see. Thank you so much for representing us so well down there. My prayers continue for you as you finish out the week, for continued strength (I know that Haiti heat is tough!!) and safe travels home. Can't wait to see you all again, hug you, and hear your amazing stories in person. God bless you all!!


  5. Keep up the great work! John, soccer in the mid-day heat of Haiti? You raised the bar for future sporting events!

  6. Keep up the great work, team! John, soccer in the mid-day heat of Haiti? Way to step it up!

  7. Kelli is so great to see you smiling! What a joyful picture.