Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Though we haven't done much blogging, we've been busy here at 1013....
In June, a group of teens and their guardians joined us, most on their first mission trip. It was amazing to see these kids engaging with our Haitian kids so freely- all their differences were put aside and together they were kids. This was especially cool for the older kids at One Family- to meet and build friendships with their American peers.
In July, a group from Community Christian Church in East Aurora, inspired by the passion of our own Jacqueline Arellano, joined us for a week on mission. In addition to playing with the kids and learning from members of the community, this team worked on several projects including organizing the new One Family Library, and outfitting our boys' soccer team with new gear. We were also pleased to celebrate our first mission trip baptism, in the beautiful ocean waters.
In August, Chris and a group from An Orphan's Prayer returned to Haiti where they installed a hydroponics system (a cool type of farming that uses minimal resources to produce abundant crops) that will enrich the diet of the kids at One Family without increasing their costs.
In October, we had the long-awaited opportunity to host a medical clinic through One Family. Thanks to an enthusiastic and energetic team, we saw over 300 people including the kids and care givers from One Family Children’s home, kids and teachers from the school, and men, women, and children from the community. We were also able to pass onto Pastor Kesnel a fund (made possible by the generosity of our friends) to provide for future, emergent medical needs of the kids at One Family. On top of that, we were able to supply Madame Nadine, a nurse at a nearby hospital who in her spare time runs a pharmacy/clinic where she provides medical care free of charge for the people of the neighborhood, with medicine and supplies, empowering her to continue doing what she does for at least the next year!
And, just this week, Chris and another group from An Orphan's Prayer, returned to Haiti to expand the hydroponics project by installing a solar-powered watering system. As a bonus, this system will be able to provide the entire foundation almost 24 hours/day power! A tremendous blessing for which we and One Family are truly grateful!
All in all, it's been a full, productive couple of months. We are grateful for each person who has traveled with us this year, and each person who has supported our work through prayer and financial gifts. We are excited about what is to come- new projects, growth, and expansion! But, that is for another blog.
Friday, February 8, 2013
‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ... “And, who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:27,29)
Neighbor is a big word. A neighbor might be the stranger sitting next to you on the bus, or the entire country that shares a border with your own. Yet, there is something familiar, responsible even, when we refer to someone as our neighbor. Viewing someone as your neighbor creates relationship. It moves that person (or country) from a 'them' to a part of 'us.' My neighbor. Our Neighbor. We are neighbors.
At its heart, 1013 Missions is about relationships. It's about being friends with, and responsible for, the people in our global neighborhood. It has meant spending time getting to know people- by face, by name, through shared experience. And it means sharing those relationships, introducing friends, advocating for help.
One of our great joys has been introducing our Haitian friends to our American friends and watching relationships blossom and grow. We've been the international couriers for pictures and letters filled with prayers. We've seen video chats in broken English & Kreyol. We've seen friendship bridge very different worlds. Its beautiful.
And, now we have the great pleasure in seeing relationship going to the next level. This month, we celebrate and welcome our first 'Mission Resident' Jacqueline Arellano.
Jack has been traveling to Haiti for 2 years, and has felt called to learn better how to 'love others as herself' by spending a month immersing herself in Haiti. During her stay, Jack is helping with some 1013 projects, but more importantly is spending time with the people in our community. She is meeting her neighbors: she is hosting a party, she's visiting their homes, she's going to their church. This month is sure to produce many challenges for Jack, the realities of poverty and need and desperation take on new meaning when they are a part of your neighbor's life. And, she'll be missing her closest neighbor (her husband, Obe), her family, and friends. But, God has called her to know these neighbors, and to love them as she loves herself. Jack has obediently and humbly answered that call, and we are honored to have her as a partner. Please join us in praying for Jack's journey, and take a few minutes to read her reflections on her month in Haiti on her blog http://jacksjourneytohaiti.blogspot.com/