"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." - Matthew 18:5
Mission Teams Are Up And Running Once Again for 2021!
Our next scheduled trip will depend on the safety of the country.
If you are interested and would like more information, please contact [email protected]
Would you like to see what God is doing in Haiti, participate in a nightly praise and devotion time with the boys, and have a chance to serve others? Join one of our open mission teams, or if you have a group of five of more that would like to go, please contact us about setting up a trip.
If you would like more information about mission teams or would like an application, please contact Nancy Turner at [email protected].
Sara's Story - June 2021
Haiti is unlike anywhere else imaginable. I have witnessed incomparable richness in morals, values, and the fruits of the spirit. Although there is strife and worry, love and hope outweigh those fears everyday. My name is Sara Ness and I have been to Haiti twice --- in the summers of 2019 and 2021. In Love and Grace Ministries, I not only found purpose, but I found family. Family that lovingly guides me and will never let me go. Family that knows Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Family that holds my hand, even from over one-thousand miles away.
Love and Grace Ministries opened a door that I will never close. My college roommate, Emma Ryan, stated that she would be going on a mission trip with her team from Hilton Head, SC. Emma opened up to me about the boys at Love and Grace as well as the mission work done previously. I felt a pull in my soul and a longing in my heart to travel to Haiti. I wanted to go for service but found that embracing and sharing the joy of the Lord was much more fulfilling. I expected to help others but ultimately found that they helped me as well. Looking back at that first trip in 2019, I remember John 13:7 which expresses, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
During my first trip in June of 2019, our team raised funds to construct a church roof as well as conduct Vacation Bible School (VBS) at two churches. We climbed on top of a roof on the side of a hill to manually place steel and oh boy, was it a steep drop-off! Other team members and I took turns attaching the roof. On this trip our team hand-poured a concrete roof as we work hand-in-hand with local Haitians and our Bridge boys. Although most of our team was covered in concrete (yes, it came off thankfully), we found community and compassion across that roof. As we climbed a short, unstable ladder to the top, you could see the full skyline of the area. We created an “assembly line” as we passed 10 pound buckets of hand-mixed concrete down the line to be poured. I was told to stop after hurting my finger but did I stop? No. I wanted to continue to experience this unmatched joy. However, during a break, I was able to talk to a local who stated he was from the Dominican Republic. We talked and he expressed that Jesus was a part of his life. As a smile lit up my face, I began to work alongside him. As man after man climbed up that ladder, eager to help in our pursuit, I remembered 1 Corinthians 10:24, “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.”
We conducted VBS at Pastor Augustine's church. The children we met and the smiles we saw were irreplaceable. I will never forget seeing the familiar faces of these children, with their arms reaching out towards me and their hearts open to receiving the love of Jesus. Walking through that small church, I felt profound joy and opportunity that can only be found through Him. Our team held two days of VBS and fed over 150 children. In 2019, our team was met by 250 children when we were only expecting 150 children. I looked fearfully at Nan, the “Mom” of Love and Grace Ministries, in which she responded with “God will provide.” And He did. And guess what? The same situation occurred in 2021. At this moment, I remembered The Feeding of the 5,000, also known as the "miracle of the five loaves and two fish." God continues to provide, despite fear. God continues to protect, despite hurricanes and civil unrest. God continues to love and show our boys life beyond poverty. These occurrences are miracles in my eyes and unforgettable signs of God’s love. On this occasion, around 20 children became so excited that they surrounded me dancing, jumping, and singing. I will never forget the incomprehensible joy of that moment.
It is truly in the little moments and small things that we see Jesus. He is in the bright, scorching sun of a Haitian morning. He is in the nighttime skyline as we play cards. He is in the pitter-patter of feet running around the orphanage. He is in the education our boys pursue. He is in the songs we sing during devotion. He is in our slow-dances on the roof and our head-bopping in the van. And He is in our memories, of those past and those present.
Our Mission Team has the goal of not only sharing the word of Jesus Christ but also the love and care that each of these children deserve. These children crave meaning and connection, longing for a solution to the destitute they face. We show them that the answer to all of their worries is Jesus. We show them grace, perseverance, and joy that is unmatched but most of all, we show them our love.
These boys and this work are lo mwen (my gold). And as always, mwatye nan kè mwen an Ayiti (half of my heart is in Haiti).
February 22 - 29, 2020 Team
Bonnie, Nan, Jennifer, Derek, Brooke, Clark, Cole, Deb
Bonnie's Story - God Answers Prayer
It took 2 long years before we were able to go on our mission trip to serve with Love & Grace Ministries in Haiti. Because of political unrest we had to postpone our trip (planned for 2018), but the door finally opened this past February 22- 29. Was there still unrest? Yes, but it didn’t seem to have the violence associated with unrest previously, so we left for Haiti trusting that the Lord is still in control – and He is! God showed that His hand was in this trip right from our check-in at the airport in Washington, DC. I had called to make sure we would be able to check in all our duffel bags (we had a couple extras so that the number of checked bags for 2 of our team would be 2 instead of 1, the team members were willing to pay the extra costs). Upon arrival and trying to check in we were told we couldn’t have the extra bags. We reasoned with one of the agents trying to check us in but she was adamant that there was no way around their rule. This was taking more time than we wanted but, finally, a younger agent stepped in and suggested that 2 of our group’s bags could be checked at the gate while using their tags for the extra bags! Praise the Lord, He had sent His “angel” attendant to meet our need! And so, right from the beginning of our trip the Lord showed His hand on our team!
Upon arrival in Haiti we were greeted by Nancy & company to take us to the Bridge Home (for older fellas) where we would be housed. We also met the two other team members, Derrick & Clark (from New Hampshire), so became a team of 7! Once again, too, we could see how the Lord put our team together as we blended and worked together so quickly and easily.
The guys at the Bridge were wonderful and we were blessed by their worshipful singing during evening devotions. But, have to say, it was the younger guys at the Love & Grace Home who really touched our hearts (especially mine)! We fell in love with them instantly, which was so easy to do since they were so loving & open with us.
Yes, there were demonstrations and unrest in the city but Nancy was careful to direct our activities in areas where we would not come in contact with those problems. Another way the Lord answered specific prayer was the threat of what they call “Carnival.” A time of celebration that everyone knew would end in much violence. Our team prayed specifically that the Lord would intervene and hinder Carnival from happening. The Lord did just that. A day before Carnival was supposed to start the officials canceled the events. The Lord was in control of all our circumstances throughout the week.
Our team had opportunity to hold a VBS with the Love & Grace boys; clear the ground behind the Bridge and plant a vegetable garden for both Homes; hold a VBS at a rural church (with 150 children); sort through many duffel bags of donations to Love & Grace; worship at a local church; help clean the Bridge; visit a Haitian Nursing Training Clinic; and, build relationships with the children and staff of Love & Grace. I thank the Lord that I was finally able to serve in Haiti. We went there to be a blessing but I found my own heart was challenged and blessed beyond all expectations. Am I returning to Haiti someday – for sure, Lord-willing!