Home soon!

Hello, friends!

After two weeks in Haiti, the team will return to the States Wednesday night.  As you prepare to receive them, here are some things I hope you’ll think about to help the team make the most of this trip.

Here’s flight information for those of you meeting students at the airport:

  • Hannah returns to Seattle on July 23 at 10:20 PM on American #2247.
  • Siera returns to Portland on July 23 at 9:16 PM on American #6884.
  • Claire returns to Denver on July 23 at 11:44 PM on American #499.
  • Sophia returns to San Diego on July 23 at 9:20 PM on American #145.

As the group returns, they’ll continue to think through this experience and its implications for their lives.  It’s likely that this mental processing will involve at least some of these elements:

  • Relief upon returning to familiar surroundings,
  • Frustration with aspects of home culture that appear less desirable than the cultural values experienced during the SPRINT experience,
  • Sadness and joy over relationships and memories developed during the trip,
  • And hopefully, Resolve to incorporate the learning from this trip into daily life as life moves on.

It’s our hope that SPRINT participants will return to “life as usual” with expanded worldviews and a clearer sense of God’s work in their lives.  The learning process continues after the trip experience; students will participate in a debriefing gathering in October, and we’ll encourage them to keep meeting together to share the story of their host’s work and encourage future generations of SPRINT participants to serve.

I encourage you to give your student time to catch up on sleep, then set aside an extended period of time to share pictures and stories.  Don’t expect completely-formed opinions immediately; the reflection process takes time.  We remind returning SPRINTers that not everyone will have time to hear the whole story, but that they should find a few people with whom to share the longer, more in-depth account. 

You might appreciate this perspective on returning to America in a blog post from Emily Brown, a former SPRINTer who spent the past year in Zambia with the Mennonite Central Committee.  As Emily looks forward to her own return home she brings up a number of feelings that will also be relevant to SPRINTers in this season.  http://emilybrowntozambia.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/the-countdown-begins/

I’ve mailed team members a copy of the Global Citizen Journal, published by the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship to help them think through their experience as they move forward.  If you have time I’d encourage you to talk though some of these materials with your student.  Take a look at some of those articles here: http://www.kristafoundation.org/index.cfm/page/the-global-citizen-journal-5/

Thanks for your support of students on this team!   Please let me know if you have questions.

Owen Sallee

SPRINT Advisor

owen@spu.edu

Updates from Everyone!

Hello Family and Friends!

Thank you again for your patience, we apologize for the tardiness of this post as well as the infrequency of the posts so far..
We will soon end our 10th day in Haiti, with only three full days remaining. We have been busy on the worksite, bonding with the workers and completing LOTS of manual labor (you might surprised how much work a team of four girls is able to accomplish!). Tomorrow, we will attend church at a nearby orphanage where we will put on VBS. Our last two days will be spent on the worksite!

We decided to do individual posts today in order to best represent each of our experiences thus far.

Sophia: So far my time in Haiti has been indescribable. Before coming to Haiti I had no idea the ways in which God would work, but now I see the answer is very clear: though indiviuals incredibly positive outlook on life. Although the country is in a state of re-building, and progress can be slow, the attitude and energy of the people is so incredible, beyond words. Unfortunately, learning Creole has been challenging for me, but I am thankful to have met several Haitians who have lived in America and our helping me learn as much as possible. Through my conversations I believe I have an educated understanding of what Haiti is truly experiencing and how the U.S. can be helping. Overall, describing our trip through a blog is difficult and doesn’t accuarelty represent all that we are learning and experiencing; however, we are all journaling each day in hopes we are able to share more specifically with family and friends.
Thank you for your love, support and prayers!

Hannah:

Bonjou!

Koman ou ye (how are you)? Mwen sanje ou (I remember or miss you). Thank you everyone for the constant prayers and thoughts you are sending our way. God has been so good in His provisions for us on this trip, in our hosts and their generosity, in giving us good friends who teach us Creole (they try very hard and I have learned a very little bit) and giving us rest and hope just when we need it. As well as working on the work site, I have been able to share the classroom with an intern named Leah, helping the students learn English grammar and pronunciation. The students are very intelligent and love so much to learn–they bring joy in every class that I have attended. A few of them want to go to a university this fall, and they inspire me with their passion for bringing life to their community and worshipping God. Prayers for these aspiring students would be so appreciated!
The workers on the construction site have been helping us with our Creole: they are very patient and love to make us laugh, even when we are passing heavy buckets of cement. We are so blessed to have our hosts, Pastor Valentin and his family, who have opened up their home to us and taken us on adventures to the market and the beach! And the interns at FFP, Leah and Adam, have helped us become more and more Haitian and answered every question during our stay.

Nous sanje ou, and Bondye beni ou (God bless you)!

Siera: One of the highlights of my time in Haiti has definitely been the people. Our team quickly bonded with Leah and Adam, two interns for Foundation for Peace who have been our close companions during our stay here. Adam has been here for two months and Leah for one. Both of them have a deep love for the Lord and the people of Haiti. Their insights into Haitian culture have proved extremely valuable! I have also enjoyed getting to know the students, who choose to stay after their morning English class (taught by Leah with the help of either Hannah or Claire) to talk with us and help us work. I am in awe of their eagerness to learn and to participate in the building of their school. Some of their English is super good and we often pass the time by exchanging English and Creole phrases/idioms. They taught us “Mouri poul ou” which is translated “die your chicken”… still trying to understand what that means. They are funny and joyful and I know that I will never forget the people I have met here in Haiti.

Claire:
Hello hello! As I sit here typing this, I am seemingly unable to find the words to describe my trip thus far. They will eventually come – I am sure- through my writing or with each conversation I’ll have with you; the stories will unravel. For now, I will just say that this place has my heart. I realize that is quite a cliché Christian mission trip remark, but true nonetheless. From the day I arrived, God has revealed to me a desire for this country that has been awaiting acknowledgement. I have been sooooo blessed by the people (learning ANPIL (a lot of) Creole through conversations with the incredible Haitians we work alongside, cuddling the cutest babes you ever did see, receiving endless smiles and waves from the crowds on the street). There is so much more to say. But for now . . God is good, I am enamored with this place, and I am increasingly grateful for those who helped me get here. Because it is where I am supposed to be. SEE YOU SOON!

Our first update!

Hello, family and friends!

We have finished our second full day of working alongside Foundation for Peace. On our first day we worked on the construction site, and made lots of friends with the other workers. We are slowly learning more and more Creole! (Claire and Hannah’s French experience is definitely helping). Though, God is providing many ways to break down communication boundaries (especially through all the children!)

…We already making lots of memories. Last night we (almost) fell asleep on the roof for the night then, it RAINED!

Our second day (today) we attended a graduation ceremony for the first class to have ever graduated at the school Foundation for Peace is building. Unlike ceremonies in the U.S. this one was more of a talent show and graduation combined.

We are all very excited to be here, despite some sore muscles and tired bodies.

We would appreciate your prayers during the rest of our stay for continuous health, safety and much needed energy!

Tomorrow we will attend church, and the upcoming week will be on the worksite the majority of the time.

Thank you for all of the support!

Love, Sophia, Siera, Claire and Hannah

They’ve arrived!

I just got off the phone with Pastor Valentin – the team has arrived safely at Foundation for Peace headquarters and is eating dinner.  They’ll post more updates to the blog soon.  In the meantime, please let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for your support of this team!

Owen

owen@spu.edu

On a plane!

This evening the team departs for Haiti, where they’ll spend the next two weeks working alongside the Foundation for Peace. Below, Sierra and Hannah flew from Seattle. Claire and Sophia will connect in Florida, and everyone will meet up in Port-au-Prince.

They’ll post a blog update when they arrive. In the meantime, please let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for your support of these students!

Owen Sallee
SPRINT Advisor
owen@spu.edu

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