"Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." - Matthew 18:5
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].
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!
Katie's Story ~ June 20-July 9, 2019
I just returned from my first mission’s trip ever. The months leading up to Haiti were hectic between fundraising and trying to somewhat prepare myself for what I was going to see while I was there. I had absolutely no idea the joy that awaited me as I stepped off that plane. I will never forget those van doors swinging open and literally falling into the arms of 26 of the most amazing boys you will ever meet. They welcomed me as if they knew me their entire lives. I have heard countless stories of people going on mission trips and coming back a changed person. As someone who used to listen to the stories and then actually live one, I can’t express how amazing it is. The Lord was with us in every valley and on top of every mountain with every hoop we had to jump through.
While we were there, we got do both the physical aspects of serving the Lord through missionary work as well as the spiritual side to make real connections with the Haitian people. We were only a team of five, but fund-raised for over $5,000. To help put a roof on a nearby church. We sent the funds down early so they could get the materials ready for when we arrived. By the time we did arrive they had basically built the frame except the roof itself and we had the chance to help do that. After the roof was completed we spent two days doing VBS and feeding about 150 children per day. Our team would teach a bible story as well as sing, dance, and crafts. It was heart breaking to think when they would receive another meal. One of the days at VBS as the food had all been handed out, I heard my name called from the back corner of the church. I walked back there to find one of the boys who came to help us feeding a baby. He called me over because he said he knew I would want to feed him. Tears flooded my eyes as I sat down next to this little boy and spoon fed him rice and beans. Missionary work is so about the big tasks we got to accomplish as well as the little tasks. We were scheduled to go to Galilee for two days to do a VBS and feeding program but we ended up going only one day due to van problems, but were able to feed about 200-250 children those two days. It wasn’t all work. We spent a day hiking about 2 miles each way to a waterfall. The water was extremely cold but refreshing. We even got our fearsome leader to go in clothes and all.
When I got home, I had so many people ask me what my favorite part of the trip was. Of course it was the fellowship and friendships I made while I was there. Everyone took such good care of me when I felt I should be taking care of them. The boys would never let me carry anything heavy (5 gallon filled water jugs), they would get up if there wasn’t a seat for me to sit in, and they showed me unconditional kindness. It wasn’t just the boys; it was the staff also. They were some of the most incredible women I have ever met. Ms. Vivian was our cook. Every day she would ask me, “Are you okay?” and I would say. “Yes, are you okay?” She never failed to smile and say, “If you are okay, I’m okay.” That relates back to how I previously mentioned, it was the little things that touched my heart the deepest in Haiti. We would spend our morning and evening devotions on the roof. Ms. Nancy, our mission leader, would let us share as well as ask us questions about various parts of scripture and the Lord. She took me under her wing in Haiti and was inspiring as she showed me what it means to be a disciple for the Lord.
I am reminded of Isaiah 6:9 when Isaiah says to the Lord that he has unclean lips and lives among a people of unclean lips. A seraph flew to him with a coal and touched Isaiah’s mouth and the Lord said “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt taken away and your sin is atoned for. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” After my time spent in Haiti, I just ask that the Lord continue to send me back. My prayer is that the Lord would one day call me to the mission field. No months of mental preparation could have prepared me for the joy I experienced while I was down there. I will be returning over the Christmas holiday and can’t wait to see everyone again.
Tamara's Story ~ July 2-12, 2018
For three years I have listened to my dearest friend, Robin, share about her experiences at Love and Grace Boys Home. Conversations began and ended with an unending joy and love for the boys and the people of Haiti. Many times tears of love flowed as well. This year I decided to see what all the fuss was about and joined Robin along with 9 other amazing people. Now I know why Robin can't speak of Haiti without pure joy and teary eyes of love. For the first time I saw and truly understood Hebrews 4:12. "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
When we arrived we packed 22 duffel bags full of supplies in our vehicles and headed for the boys home. The scars from the hurricanes and earthquakes littered the streets as we drove. I couldn't help but think how depressing and sad it would be to live here, but when we arrived at the home I saw something completely different; smiles and boys full of love and hope.We were greeted by 20 boys with hugs, energy and enthusiasm beyond belief. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
The next four days were spent at Pastor Augustine's church. We spent the first two days making 20 church benches for the congregation. As hot and tiring as that work proved to be, that was nothing compared to seeing over 150 children sitting on them for VBS, having a meal on them and being able to hand out 100 pairs of "the shoe that grows".
We were looking forward to the next 4 days doing VBS, feeding the children and giving out another 100 pairs of shoes, but that never happened. Due to the uprising going on throughout the country we were not able to venture out. From the roof top where we did our devotions we could see the fires, but there was no fear. It was so clear that our God had a protective hedge around us at all times. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
The remainder of our time was blessed with hours of time spent with the boys playing games, singing, and just building relationships. We were able to purchase paint and paint the apartment above the orphanage. Joining us in the task, the boys made this time one of the highlights of the trip. God is doing a mighty work through Love and Grace, raising these boys to know Jesus and one day will make a difference in their country. Like Robin, I look forward to my next trip. The boys, the place, the people of Haiti will be forever engraved upon my heart.
Anyone who has visited with the Love and Grace Ministry, knows that this just may be the happiest place on earth. Or at least, that's how I feel it is. My name is Emma Ryan and I have been to Haiti four times - in the summer of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Some may think that this would be more than enough time to feel the warmth and love that God has placed on Haiti, however, it is only just a little dose that keeps us sane until we have the blessing of returning again.
Since I had been to Haiti before, I already knew the love I was about to experience. My heart was placed in Haiti during my first trip and it never left. This story is about my 2016 trip. I had been praying and praying and praying about this trip, because we had no clue whether or not we were going to be able to go on it. Our wonderful leader and director (Mom) of Love and Grace Ministries, Nancy Turner, had experienced some health issues earlier in the year. By the grace of God, we were able to join her in her journey back to Haiti, and visit & minister to not only to the amazing boys that reside in the Love and Grace Orphanage, but also the little children all over Haiti.
Our team visited two different churches for Vacation bible school, Pastor Nathan's church is in Galilee. We had been to Galilee before, and it was so wonderful to see that the same children who attended school there the year before, also attended VBS. These kids had the biggest smiles, and were so grateful that we were there to not only feed them, but also share with them the word of God. These children were phenomenal.
The church run by Pastor Augustine was not a new church, but it was new to us. We had never been to this VBS before, because the church had never had Americans come in & give a message. These children were so loving, and so eager to hear from us. Their singing and laughter reassured us that God's work was flowing through us, and we were doing everything we were supposed to.
We had the blessing of going to Galilee again, however, it wasn't for the children. 250 pairs of reading distance eye glasses were donated to Love and Grace, so we set up an eyeglass clinic. Many people came to the church, and each person received a pair of glasses. I had the pleasure of asking each person, "Ou esa byen?" meaning, "you understand well?". When they were not able to see the writing on the paper, their faces were overcome by sadness. They couldn't see the markings on a paper a foot away from their faces. When they were sent off to the next table, where they could try on and receive their glasses, it was a completely different atmosphere. Facial expressions changed drastically and smiles stretched across their faces. When you're in such an impoverished place like Haiti, it's the little things, like getting a pair of glasses, that truly make the biggest impact on people.