Where to begin? Today marked our first full day in Haiti, and it indeed was full. Yesterday was an exhausting day full of traveling and new experiences for many. This morning, all I heard was, “I slept so well last night.” “I never woke up once!” Our team definitely needed the rest we received last night to begin the day. During breakfast, conversation buzzed about how each and every one of us were excited to see the precious children that have stolen our heart. We got on the bus to embark on our bumpy, windy, tilty and HOT drive to the orphanage so dear to our hearts. As we arrived at the orphanage, the children quickly ran to give us hugs that never get old. Clay Pierce passed out animal crackers, which was like watching bees swarming a hive; they could not get enough. “More, more, more” echoed throughout the air and the bag quickly ran out. Some of our team went to touch up the paint on the pavilion, while the others got in a line to move rocks of all sizes to get ready to lay the concrete for the kitchen. We loved, played, sang and talked to the children throughout the morning. We left for lunch, talking about how God worked that morning and how we needed to reenergize for the busy afternoon of construction ahead.

This is my first time in Haiti, and on the first day I realized why we joke about schedules and time while we were here. We got back from lunch and we were ready to start on construction. We played with the children for what seemed like a long time. We waited, and waited, and waited for Boss NoNo to show up to give us the okay for construction. Of course, we didn’t mind spending the afternoon with the children in our arms sleeping, laughing or talking, but we needed to get started on the foundation of the kitchen. Boss NoNo arrived and the beloved bucket line returned. We all lined up to pass buckets filled with the sand required to make the concrete. We passed the buckets for roughly 45 minutes. We took a “shade break” to play with the children because we were quickly becoming tired passing concrete in the hot sun. Time quickly passed, and it was time to go to dinner. We said good-bye to the precious children and told them that we would see them tomorrow. We got on the bus and drove the familiar drive back to the orphanage. After dinner, we worshipped and broke down the busy, exhausting, incredible and emotional day.

I asked some of the team members their favorite memory of today. Here they are:

“I gave Jobenson the letter Lacy had for him. His smile was so big and he would not leave my side after making that connection.”

“Meeting the children for the first time and automatically feeling at home.”

“Being reunited with Stephanie and seeing the smile on her face and hearing that sweet laugh.”

“Seeing how happy the children are and how much they have grown since the previous trip.”

“I sang “Bless The Lord” with a child and I will absolutely never forget that experience.”

“Seeing my little girl run up to me when I step off the bus. She remembers me every trip and it melts my heart.”

“This is my first trip, and none of the children really know me. A child came up to me, hugged me and told me that she loved me. That really showed me God’s love.”

“Santonio said ‘Pastor Randy’ with his arms reaching up and melted in my arms as I picked him up.”

“Gladina was sick this morning. She was running a fever and not feeling well at all. I prayed over her and waited for Kristen to bring her some Ibuprofen. When Kristen came (not knowing I had prayed over Gladina), Kristen asked Gladina if she could pray over her. Kristen then proceeded to pray almost word for word what I had just prayed for Gladina.”

Please pray for our team; pray for our strength to complete the tasks set before us tomorrow. Pray that we will show God’s steadfast love to those wonderful children. Pray that we will show Christ’s love through every action and that we will be willing to do whatever He calls us to do.

-Alex and Breanne