The mission of Hope For The Hungry is to "Share the Bread of Life with a Starving World". God has called us to serve people who suffer from hunger that is both spiritual and physical. According to scriptural mandate, we offer food for the body and salvation for the spirit to those who do not know Jesus Christ and will suffer eternal death without Him.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Journey to Ferrier, Haiti

Friday, July 21 -
We had another early start today. We woke up for breakfast at 4:30 in order to catch our flight to Ferrier. The flight was quite an experience for us but it got us there and back so we are grateful we were able to fly to visit the girls!

We arrived in Ferrier after a very bumpy ride from the airport. When we pulled in to the girls home all of the girls and staff were waiting for us. They were excited we were there but were most excited to see Jude and meet Millie, the youngest members of our team. Let's just say those two were the life of the Ferrier party and they loved every minute.

After a very warm welcome from the Ferrier girls home, we took a walk to check out other projects Together for Haiti has going on. The first stop was the Ferrier church. Pastor Jean Aix told us the history of the church and how the Lord has made it a beacon of light in a very spiritually dark place.

Next we saw the Kindergarten and Primary School. Although school is out for the summer, there were some summer lessons going on so we were able to get a glimpse of the work that is done there.

Then, we went to visit Rosena, a dear friend and one of the first children who grew up in the children's home. She is currently the Director at the Ferrier Village, a compound with family style homes for vulnerable children.  It is wonderful to see her worship the Lord by serving "the least of these". What a testimony!

Photoshoot time with Kyle
After we finished visiting, we headed back to the girls home. Although we had only a short time there, we took photographs of all of the girls, passed out shoes and backpacks, recorded clothing sizes with our IAM ministry friends and ate lunch! It was quite the afternoon... I love being able to bring down tangible items like shoes and backpacks for the kids. They are so grateful and appreciative. It's something so small that anyone can participate in which truly fills a need. Thank you to all of the supporters who made it possible!

After we said our goodbyes we headed back down the bumpy road to the airport. The plane ride back was just as exciting as it was going. This time the Suttons sat in the very front row, and watched out the cockpit window the entire time. We even saw the pilot TEXTING during takeoff!

After we landed (safely) we started the drive back to the mission center. We were stuck in Friday afternoon traffic for what seemed like forever but finally made it up the mountain to our temporary home. After another delicious dinner, we all headed to bed. Traveling is exhausting!

Please continue to pray for us. We are seeing a big picture of what the Lord is doing through Together for Haiti. We love seeing how He is working in so many areas and are excited to see where the Lord will use Hope for the Hungry to be His hands and feet. Join us?

- Jen Sutton

Walking through Ferrier
Pastor Jean Alix showing new Executive Director Larry Reeves
the Church and School in Ferrier

Inside the one of the Kindergarten classes 
Narah and the girls trying on new their backpacks.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hope for the Hungry and Together for Haiti

Thursday July 20 -
We are so grateful to be spending a few days in Haiti. Our journey began Wednesday at 2:30 in the morning. Although it was early, our team was eager for what was ahead. After two pretty uneventful flights we made it to Haiti by early afternoon. Our team is made up of Hope's Executive Director, Larry Reeves, Hope's Founder, Dan Kirkley, a Hope staff member, Jen Sutton and family, a professional photographer, Kyle Pierce, and an IT supporter, Mike McIntyre, who brought laptops for the University students. Our purpose this week is to taste and see all that the Lord is doing through our ministry partner "Together for Haiti" and determine how we can best partner and serve them.

When we arrived yesterday, our partner, Pastor Jean Alix Paul, brought us to tour Agape, a huge church plant he started a few years ago. It is in Petionville, a large city outside of Port-au-Price and is a great model for future church plants in the area. The church reaches thousands on a weekly basis as it focuses on evangelism and continues to grow through the discipleship of new believers. We will worship there on Sunday and look forward to experiencing it ourselves.

Today has been our first day of exploration. After breakfast we walked up to the boys home in Guibert and tried to take in the magnitude of all that takes place on this compound. This land houses the Mission Center, a three story elementary and jr high school, a boys home, and a church. The property is used for all of these things and more. Last week there was a huge teachers' training, a few weeks ago there was a children's camp for a few hundred children and just today, there was a blood pressure clinic being held for around 100 people in one of the classrooms. If there is open space Pastor Jean Alix fills it up however is needed to share the gospel and serve the community.

After lunch, the team went to Marothiere, another town where Together for Haiti has a school and church to see the work being done in that community. The Lord is doing wonderful things there and it was great to see progress.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with the children in the home. Lots of basketball, running around playing tag and even a walk down the mountain to fill up some water buckets. All in all it was a great day.

Tomorrow will be a crazy one. We are catching an early flight to get to our girls home for a few hours then turning around and flying back here. It'll be a crazy travel day but we're looking forward to seeing all of the Ferrier family.

Please continue to pray for us. Pray for good rest tonight because we are pretty exhausted. Pray for the hectic travel day tomorrow. Pray that our flight plans work out and that we don't get stuck in Ferrier overnight. Also, pray for us as we are seeing such a great need everywhere we go. Pray for clarity for each of us as we try and discern the Lords call for our ministry.

Love Haiti
Next we headed to the Mission Center to unload all of our bags full of shoes, backpacks and laptops we will be distributing in the next few days. We then headed to Jean Alix's home for dinner. It was a delicious meal that was much appreciated after a long travel day. We arrived back at the mission center after dark and all went to bed, exhausted from a busy day.
Jude playing with the boys

Thursday, July 21, 2016

VBS Day 4

Today was our final day of VBS and it went amazingly well. We all hit our stride and everything worked in the best way possible. We had over 400 kids in attendance today and it was so exciting.

In today's assembly we were able to share about how God  can use us even when we do wrong and we talked about the forgiveness that only comes through Jesus Christ. We were able to share the plan of salvation with these kids and we have already heard of 3 who accepted Christ for the first time!  We are continuing to pray for others as there are many who are being counseled by teachers and other Haitian leaders. 

The VBS went really well and we were so happy. We could not have made it without the help of the Lawson family and the team from Agape. We have formed some amazing relationships with these partners and will miss them greatly. 

The rest of our day was spent preparing to leave: we sorted and cleaned up everything from VBS, did a little souvenir shopping and then spent time with our friends. 

Tonight we had an "American" meal with the Pastor, his family, and the people who have been serving us this week. The Lawson's cooked pizza and made a cake and it was a lot of fun. 

All in all it has been an amazing trip and it is hard to believe we head home tomorrow. There are many stories to share... too much for the blog, so please ask us about our trip and the people we have grown to love this week.

Pray for the kids from the VBS who have heard truth this week and pray for them to come to know Jesus.
Pray for us as we have to say our final goodbyes tomorrow. 
Pray for safe travels and protection as we make our way home. 
And pray for each of us as our lives have been changed this week and we will have to transition back to life in the States.

Thank you for all of the prayers this week. We have felt them and appreciate them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

VBS Day 3

Today was our 3rd day of VBS and it is going really well. We have each found what works for our classes and are really enjoying ourselves. It is such a joy to see these kids from 3 years old to adults just worship with their whole hearts and lay it all out there. It is so humbling to get to witness this and be a part of it. 

Today we focused on how David did what was right even when it was tough. The kids really listened to the lesson and we hope are taking in these truths. We are seeing more and more of the personalities of these kids come out as they are getting more and more comfortable with us being here. And they are participating in every aspect of the VBS. They've memorized 3 different scriptures, countless songs, and have crafts to display in their homes. 

At the end of VBS each day we help serve a meal to the kiddos, which is such a special moment for the kids, because for some of them it is the only hot meal they will have that day. Our first day turned into a little bit of chaos, but we have it down now. There was a little boy at the end who was scrapping any leftovers from his friends into a bag to take home and share with his family, and it broke our hearts to see this, but it drives home the reality of what so many of the kids live in. And although we cannot help every hungry person we were able to help 400 kids get a hot meal today, and some shared them with others. This moment reminded all of us of how important it is to pray over each plate we serve, to pray for these kiddos and to share their story, because everything we can do for these kids here helps. 

After VBS we got to take part in a special tradition. We brought backpacks, church shoes, school shoes, and some snacks for each of the boys in our home. We shared that these shoes came from friends back home who were praying for them. As we called each of their names and they came forward to receive their bags it was so cool to see the smile on their faces. And for Bervens, Sayini, Benjoumie, and Leonardo this is the first time that they have received this gift because they are our 4 newest boys to our home. So thank you to everyone who gave to this, because we got to accept the thank you'd and hugs in your behalf. 

Later this afternoon several of us went on a small adventure with our friends from Agape. We took a hike down to the river where we get to see a small part of haiti's countryside, which is beautiful, and we got to explore and play in the water a little bit. This was a fun trek that opened our eyes to the paths some of the kids travel just to attend school. The rest of the night will be spent preparing for VBS and spending time with our friends.

Pray for us as tomorrow is our final day of VBS and we start the process of saying goodbye. 
Pray for us as we have many new faces that will be in our minds and on our hearts. 
Pray for us as we are starting to miss home and family a little. 
And pray for us to finish strong.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

VBS Day 2

It has been an amazing day! Today we taught the kids about David and Goliath and how God can use us in big and small ways. We start each day with an assembly, and today's lasted almost 2 hours, because we were on a roll with singing and learning scripture. 

Our kinder class which has over 60 kids broke off and did their own thing today with Shelby and Ruth. They had a lot of singing and dancing and then split up into rotations through the different crafts and games. Our Haitian friends are really helping with this class and are pouring into these kiddos. 

The older kids worked through the same schedule as yesterday, starting with  assembly time then to their classes. Class time is shared with Haitian teachers and Americans rotating through. I wish I could put into words how great it is to see each of these kids and classes thriving and seeing our Haitian partners pour into the kids. They are the ones that will stay and continue the growth in these kiddos and it is so great to see them lead out. 

Our VBS had well over 300 kids today. 

After VBS we have been hanging out with our friends here. We are getting to know our friends from the Agape church in Petionville, and playing with all the boys from the home. 

We had a big rainstorm hit this afternoon, which means wherever you were when it started is where you stay. So we were all spread out. Some were hanging out in the boys home, others in the dorm with the agape church, and one lucky one in the school kitchen helping wash dishes. We all loved it and it was great just to be in Haiti and to be with those we were with. 

Today marks the half way point of our trip. Time is flying by, but we don't want to miss out on anything. We are making the most of everything. Praying everywhere we go. And trying to share Jesus in any way possible, through serving, smiling, dancing, playing soccer, washing dishes, and anything else that comes our way. 

Tomorrow is a big day, as we will be passing out the shoes and backpacks we brought for the boys. It is such a fun time to get to celebrate and pray with them for this next year. 

Pray for our VBS and that it would continue to go well and the kids would understand the truths we are sharing. 
Pray for our boys who will receive their backpacks and shoes tomorrow, that they will know they are loved and prayed for by so many. 
Pray for us as we are loving our time here and connecting with so many people.

Monday, July 18, 2016

VBS Day 1: God can use you no matter what!

"God can use you no matter what!" This was the theme for day one of VBS and our focus for the day. Going into today we were all a little bit nervous, because a team of 5 of us was supposed to lead a VBS for up to 500 kids. If we were to try this on our own it would have been an utter failure, but we trusted God to work in and through us and to use us to bring him glory. And it happened in the coolest way. 

Our team was joined by the Lawson's, a family of four that works with Hope and is spending a big part of their summer here. We were also joined by the local teachers and church members serving in their own school and church. And finally we were joined by a team of trained Haitians who serve at Agape church in Petionville who are joining us for the week. So it is the coolest picture of the church working together. We all speak different languages, have different strengths and backgrounds, but are here for the same purpose to love and serve. 

We all broke up into teams and served in different capacities. We started out in an assembly time where Shelby led in music and Jeff taught a lesson. 

Then we split up into our classes and rotated through them for most of the morning. We taught crafts, sang songs, and memorized scriptures. It was a lot of fun. 

The VBS day ended with us serving lunch to all of the kids in attendance. It was the coolest and most humbling thing to get to serve a plate of food to each of these kids and pray that they not only are filled with this food to grow strong, but are taking in the truths that only come through Jesus.  

Our afternoon has been spent just hanging out with our new friends. We have played games, sat and talked, prepped for VBS and even helped do some laundry. 

All in all it has been a pretty great day. This type of trip and partnership is one we have been dreaming and praying about and it has been great to get to see it come to life. We are enjoying ourselves tremendously and love it here. We look forward to what each moment brings and the relationships that are forming.

Pray for us as we share the story of David and Goliath tomorrow. 
Pray for the kids, teachers and volunteers that we are coming in contact with. 

(Teachers prepping for tomorrow)

Pray for clear communication of the gospel. 
Pray for strength to continue through the long day.