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.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The End

Today was a wonderful end to a pretty amazing week. We slept in, took our time getting ready this morning, and left for Petionville.

We went to Agape first. This is the new church plant that launched at the beginning of the year.  This church is amazing! It is bigger than any of us expected. There is a massive worship center, two large children's church rooms, offices, several restrooms, a kitchen/coffee bar and multiple storage rooms. The building has a pretty legit sound system as well. Although the building is pretty remarkable, the vision of the ministry is even more. The church has been having leadership meetings and trainings for months to get lay people involved in multiple aspects. While they are still advertising and inviting people to come to church, they are getting actively involved in the community as well. The Lord is doing some great things!

After we were able to pray inside the church, we went and saw Jean Alix's import/export business. It was quite a sight! There were 3 delivery trucks outside bringing in 100lb bags of all kinds of goods (rice, flour, beans, etc). We got to learn a little more of what Jean Alix and Mylene do outside of the ministry and pray for there endeavors. Quite impressive!

We headed to lunch at La Ranchero and had a great time gawking at the Haitian socialites.  After we finished eating, we headed to the Baptist Mission for souvenirs.

We then went to the boys home one last time. It was refreshing to just BE with the kids without an agenda. No working... Just hanging out. It was a great end to our ministry time here in Haiti.

Please pray for us as we return home tomorrow. It's going to be a long travel day. We will leave the house at 6 am Texas time and arrive home at midnight. Pray for safe travels and for our hearts as we leave.

We have so many stories to share! Take us out for coffee and we'd love to tell you more about our Spring Break! Thanks for joining us on this ride!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It.. Is.. Finished

Today was our last work day. As you know we've been working on the roof of the new kitchen and bathroom at the school. After many issues throughout the week, we were finally ready to tackle the end of the job today. We got to the school with fully charged drill batteries and an excitement to soon see all of our hard work come to completion. 


Once we got to the school, although the batteries were charged, our drills wouldn't work. The only one we had hobbled along for 2 screws until it died. We were about ready to forget the whole project... 

We finally got ahold of Jean Alix and he told us that he would buy us some roofing nails so that we could finish the job. Hallelujah! 

They wouldn't get to us until after noon and there was a lot to keep us occupied with at the mission house so that's where we went.

We spent the next few hours doing some pretty hard work. Our girls continued to sift sand with the help of an old Haitian man with a shovel. They sifted at least one dump truck full of sand. It was pretty impressive. There was so much sand... Each time they would make a dent in the pile, another load would fill it up. Hearing that dump truck coming was the most disheartening sound!. Even so, they persisted!

The boys task for the morning was relocating large rocks to be used in a retaining wall around the mission complex. They went through hundreds of rocks ranging in size. The heaviest of the rocks, or boulders if you will, were carried by the one and only, the strongest of men, Jeff, who was able to carry one that would have taken 3 workers to lift. The workers were pretty impressed at his brute strength as well as all of the onlookers.

Although we were exhausted, we finished strong just in time for recess at the school. We were able to hang out for a bit before lunch.

After we ate, our nails had come. Now was the time! We were finally able to start the last part of the roofing process. We gathered all of our supplies. We hoisted the metal up, and as a team we nailed in the last pieces of tin. Shout out to John W for holding it down on the roof and manning the main hammer.

Once we finally finished with the roof, we celebrated! Hallelujah, praise the Lord, it is finished!!

As our last official task, we helped Jen sort out some VBS supplies to help prepare for the upcoming summer. Our team was a huge help for her and she is very grateful.

When we were leaving, Rosena and Junior came by. Rosena is an amazingly godly woman. She is the "house mom" at the boys home. She has been around for many years now. She got married last year and is expecting her first baby in May. We were able to pray over her, her baby boy, and her husband. It was a sweet time to fellowship with her.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Haiti. We will head to Petionville mid morning to visit the newest church plant, eat, and then do some souvenir shopping. We will head to the boys home after school lets out to play for a final time before leaving.

Pray for us tomorrow as we leave. Leaving is never easy because we have grown to love our friends here. Pray that we would finish our week well and would not miss any ministry opportunities.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Still Raising...

Today was a hard day of work. When we got to the boys home we started prepping things to put the metal roof on. We went into the storage room and started hunting for supplies...we did not know how hard it would be to find the things we needed. We found about 8 drills, none of which worked, 4-5 chargers and no key for the generator. We went searching for the man with the keys and turned on the generator and plugged in every drill we could.

While we waited for the drills to charge, we headed down to the mission house to help until lunch. We sifted 2 huge piles of gravel into sand for the masons to use to mix concrete. We put our heads down and got a lot done. We had some great conversations and really got to know our team better. We had several little kiddos pass through as we worked. As the pile was nearing completion and we were seeing progress a dump truck came and poured another load of gravel right where we had just cleared. It was heartbreaking and good at the same time...

This was a sign that we needed to break for lunch. We took a second and just looked around at all that was surrounding us. Haitian men working, kids playing and singing from the school and the beautiful land that is Haiti. We are so blessed to get to be here and serve alongside these friends.

After lunch we were determined to finish the roof. We pulled all of the supplies and were ready. As we tested the drills and their batteries we learned that of the 8 only 2 were working and they weren't working well... We weren't going to let this stop us. We all had our positions and lifted the first piece of sheet metal to the roof. There was much rejoicing. We had a quick roofing 101 class and started work. After a short bit of time we had completely roofed the bathroom portion, but then trouble the form of dead drills. We didn't have the tools we needed to finish. So we called it quits and cleaned up the work site.  We packed up the drills to take home and charge so that tomorrow, on our final day of work, we WILL finish the roof.

Once everything was cleaned and put away we went back to the mission house to sift more sand. Another dump truck had come while we were working so there was a lot to be done. I don't know if you have ever sifted a dump truck of gravel into sand, but it is some tough work. We tried turning it into a competition to make it more fun... It didn't really work but we tried. After several wheelbarrows of sand were sifted and mixed into cement we were told to help with another task. Little did we know it would be exhausting...

We got to help carry 40lb blocks from 150 yards up the mountain to the mission house. These blocks would be used to build a wall in the house. It was some tough work, especially in the hot Haiti sun. We made countless trips and got a good stockpile for the masons to build the wall... Mind you the wall is on the second story. So not only walking up the mountain to get the bricks but we had to carry them up a flight of stairs too.. It was exhausting.

After work was complete we got to go to the boys home and spend some time with them. Most of them were studying so we got to help where we could. John helped Asten with chemistry homework while the rest of us worked/played with the younger kids. All in all it was a great day but we are super tired.

Pray for:
1) Rest and energy. We need it!
2) Tomorrow is our last full day of work, pray that we would be a help and hopefully get to finish the roof
3) Pray for our hearts to prepare to come back home. Leaving is going to be hard, but we have many stories to share...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Raising the Roof on Spring Break

 Today has been another great day. I can't believe our trip is already half over. It seems like we just started our time here..

We headed back up to the Mission Complex in Guibert this morning. We had a plan of attack to finish the roof of the kitchen and move on to working on the mission house. When a few unexpected issues arose, it ended up taking a lot longer than we had anticipated. Even so, our team took the setbacks in stride.

We finished as much as we could on the roof and then moved on to helping sift sand that is being used to plaster the walls. It took some getting used to but we managed to get the hang of it.

Throughout the day, we were able to take some breaks and play with the kids. Everyone loves seeing the 'Blancs' and swarm us every time we are near.

Here are some things to pray for tomorrow:

1.) Pray that we will be able to finish the roof to the kitchen. We are needing to cut metal but haven't found all of the tools we need for the job and can't do much else until that is done.

2.) Pray for continued safety as we are doing construction work in not the safest of environments.

3.) Pray for ministry to happen, even in the mundane. Ask that we would see and also seek out opportunities to serve.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Smilin' from the rooftop 🌞

Flexibility is the key to missions and we are really getting to learn that here. Our day started out beautifully, we had a great breakfast and then ventured back to the boys home to do our days work.

When we planned and prepared for the trip we knew we would be doing manual labor but we weren't sure what. We prepared mentally for painting, tiling, helping with plumbing and different things to prepare the mission house. However, they had different plans for us. When we got to the work site we found out we would be putting a roof on a new kitchen and bathroom for our school. We needed a little more explanation than what we could understand in creole so we waited for the pastor to help explain. While waiting we got to play with the kids from the school. It was so much fun getting to just play with kids. It is a language that anyone can understand. Jude was a sight to see on the playground, all the kids were surrounding him and wanted to touch his skin and hair and he handled it so well. Jude even decided to join a class at one point  and they welcomed him in and gave him a chair. He loved it!

Once the pastor got there we were given more directions and started to put on the roof. Our team was pretty new to this kind of construction work so it was a learning process for all. We had to first remove some excess rebar and prep the space. Then we built the perimeter frame and center beam of the roof. One thing that was new for our team was working without any power or power tools. We used a hand saw, hammers, and nails. It really took the whole team to accomplish what we did. Everyone nailed in a nail, even Jude!

Being in Haiti has taught all of us new things. We are learning all kinds of flexibility and how to work as a team. We are learning new language and that a smile is understood in any language. But we are learning how to serve and to love in new ways.

Erick Update: today Erick SMILED!!!

Yesterday his eyes were so sad and there was no smile on his face. Today as we worked and played we were able to share some love with Erick and in the process we saw his first smile. He smiles so big and has a dimple! Cannot wait to see what god has in store for him.

Here are some things to pray for:

1.) Pray for our continued work on the roof and other ways to serve.

2.) Pray for us to continue to build relationships with those around us

3.) Pray for Erick and all of the boys in our home. Pray that they would truly know and serve God with everything

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Trusting in Him

We had a great Sabbath today!

Time change is always a toss up in Haiti... Some years they observe it, others not so much. This change on top of an already loose "Haitian time" always makes for an interesting morning at church. Not to mention the possibility of our phones auto or not auto updating the time could make for a crazy beginning to the day.

This year we actually got to spring forward and although all of our phones said different times, we finally figured out the actual time. After a yummy breakfast, we headed to the church. As we pulled up, many of our younger boys lined the driveway waiting to see our team. All of the boys were excited to see all of us, but especially our smallest team member Jude. We made our introductions, and then we took a brief tour of the property and scoped out where we would be working the rest of the week.

Once it was about time to start, we headed into the church. We had a beautiful service. It's such a small picture of what heaven will be like when all nations will come together to worship the King as we sang worship songs, prayed, and listened to the scripture readings.

Jeff then got up and preached about putting your trust in God.  We studies three stories to display great examples of trusting in the Lord. We learned about Abraham's trust in sacrificing Isaac, Moses' trust in crossing the Red Sea, and Jesus' trust in the garden as He prayed for the Lord to remove the call placed on his life. It was a wonderful time of reflecting on our level of trust in the Lord's hand.

After church we were able to play with some of the boys for a little while. We met a new 3 year old boy, Erick, who now lives in our home. He is a very shy and timid little guy. He has only been at the boys home for about a month. We are excited to have him in our home and see how the Lord will work in his life. We know because of past experience that his countenance will soon change as he is exposed to followers of Christ who will love him, care for him, and point him to the One who loves him more than anyone else. The One who has lovingly placed him into our care in order to provide for his needs. We are so blessed to be a tiny part of the Lord's story in his life.

We left the boys home and headed to our home here. We spent the rest of the day getting to know our teammates better and playing with the family here. There may have been a water gun fight in the midst of a basketball game. All in all, we've had a great day.

We start work on the mission house tomorrow. Here are some things to pray for:

1.) Pray for our day of work. Although we don't have a solid plan, the Lord does. Pray that we will be His hands and feet wherever we go and in everything we do.

2.) Pray for our safety as we travel back and forth to the boys home and as we work.

3.) Pray for relationships to be formed. Pray that each of us will feel drawn to someone specific to spend time with. Pray that the language barrier wouldn't be an issue in ministering to our new friends.

4.) Pray for Erick. Pray that during his transition to our home that he would feel the love and care that can only come from the Lord. Pray that he would sense a difference in the people in our ministry family and would seek out the reason.

Thanks everyone. We are incredibly humbled to be here and wouldn't be able to serve here without your support. We appreciate you!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Break: Haiti style

After two days of traveling, we are in Haiti! We arrived in Ft Lauderdale around 11 last night and finally headed to our hotel around midnight. Luckily, our next  flight wasn't until 1 today so we were able to take our time getting back to the airport.  After a 30 minute delay to our flight plan we were on the last leg of our journey.

We were picked up from the airport and made the crazy drive up the mountain. Once we got to Pastor Jean Alix's house, our home for the week, we found a unique service opportunity waiting for us. The youth Sunday School class at the Guibert church is going to visit the juvenile detention center and bring each of the 135 residents a care bag. Each of these bags have hygiene items, a snack, and a bible in them.  This is a great opportunity for the boys in our home to share the love of Christ in a tangible way to kids their own age. For many of our children, had they not come to our children's home, they would have quite possibly been in the same place as these kids who are living in the center.

We were able to help one of the older boys at the home, Asten, pack each of the bags.
When we finished with the packaging, we ate the most amazing meal. The Paul family always treat us so well and show such fantastic hospitality.

Travel days are always hard on everyone so we are already heading toward bed... Here are a few things to pray for:

1.) Jeff is preaching in the morning at the Guibert church. Pray that the Lord gives him wisdom and guidance in what to share and boldness to proclaim His truths to the congregation.

2.) Pray for the boys' outreach tomorrow to the detention center. Pray that they would shine the light of Christ as they go. Also pray that this service opportunity would remind them and affirm the Lord's strong hand of provision for each of them.

3.) Pray for all of us to get some good rest tonight. Pray that our Sabbath would be restful and a time of giving our upcoming week to the Lord.

Thanks for all of your love and prayer support. We appreciate you!