Ellensburg Team Serves and Prays at Child Hope

The Ellensburg Team with Bill and SusetteMeet the Ellensburg team. Many teams who visit Child Hope in Haiti are associated with a specific church or organization. But this team of 19 led by Steve Noyes included individuals from several different churches and even several different cities in Washington.

The children enjoy swimming in the ocean at Resort Indigo.While this was Steve’s third trip to Child Hope, for many on the team, this was their first visit to Haiti. With so many people eager to help, the team brought a wide range of skills to share, but most importantly, they brought a lot of love to pour out on the children and staff of The Lighthouse.

After arriving on Friday and getting settled in at the guesthouse, the team was able to take all the kids to the beach on Saturday. Everyone was paired up with at least one child to watch over. The fun and freedom of the beach enabled the team to quickly connect with the kids and provided a great jump-start to the week.

After enjoying a Haitian day of rest, on Monday the team got to work. A few individuals had some unique skills. Dr. Rick Vaughan used his medical skills helping at the clinic. Burce Harris, a trained chef, worked with the kids involved in baking as part of the transition program. And Marla Firman, a computer technician, used her skills to repair some of ministry computers.

The rest of the team worked on a diverse set of construction projects. Recently the transition program was moved to a small house next to the girls’ home. This house needed a lot of work to make it more suitable and useful for its new purpose. The team:

  • Built a new kitchen and expanded an area used in the back for cooking.
  • Painted the entire house with two coats of paint.
  • Added permanent shelving to the existing storage closet and reorganized donated items.
  • Built a storage shed for silk-screening equipment, using existing cement walls and adding a door and windows.

The team also tiled the upstairs of the guesthouse and put up netting around the Bens to keep the soccer balls from going over the wall and getting lost. This project was a real hit with the kids who understand how valuable the balls are!

However for Steve, while completing the projects was important, the best part of the trip was Bible study with the boys and times of prayer. Steve said:

Every morning, I got up and early and had a time of Bible study and prayer with the boys. After that, the team split into groups of two and went out in the streets to pray over the neighborhood and offer prayer to anyone who wanted it. By the third day, people were bringing their kids to meet us to be prayed over. We also prayed over the school, the Manassaro’s house, the transition home, and several times we went into the tent city in the ravine to pray with people.

Steve said that when he asked the kids how he could pray for them, the most common request was for peace at night. The kids are afraid that their home will be broken into, they are afraid of the darkness, and are disturbed by screams and other sounds at night.

So not only did the day start with prayer, it also ended that way. Steve explained:

Every night, we went up on the roof of the guest house and prayed over the city; we prayed for each other, the staff, and the kids. The first couple of nights, we heard gunshots and voodoo drums, but by the third night, the evening was quiet.

Team performing a skit at worship night.The team also helped minister at the feeding program, where they performed a skit of Jesus walking on the water. The skit was such a hit that they performed it again during one of the worship evenings.

Making crafts for the "agape feast."For their last night, the team planned a special dinner to bless the kids and the staff. The diet in Haiti is often repetitive, and while the kids have healthy meals, they don’t have much variety. With the help of their trained chef, the team planned a special “agape feast” that included pot stickers, lasagna, and chocolate fudge brownies. They made party gifts for the kids to decorate such as bracelets and hula-hoops.

After the children left for bed, the evening continued with a worship service for the staff that included individual prayer, communion, and foot washing. Each member of the staff was encouraged, and the Lord poured out an intimate spirit of worship that brought many to tears.

Steve concluded about his third trip:

I’ve been to a lot of places on short-term mission trips but this place stands out to me…I don’t know if it is just the orphanage and how they love and give love or how much they want us there. The Lighthouse is a very special place and a very special community that watches over and takes care of each other.

Steve is hoping to bring another team in February of 2015 to experience the joy of serving in Haiti. Here are some more pictures of the team in action.