From the Desk of Missionary Lynette Francios
Haiti Mission Trip 2015
The first full day in Haiti was all about getting acclimated to the Lifeline compound, and meeting the other 3 teams that we would be serving with over the next 10 days. What stood out was how well developed and Americanized the facilities were. The grounds were well kept and the lawn nice and green. A church, a school, a fully equipped medical facility with rooms to see patients, a room for surgery and a room with three dental chairs and a pharmacy. Just like the ones in America. An amazing Children’s home that houses 75 orphans. These children receive the best in care. They are taken to church, educated, fed, clothed, given medical care and participate in many of the 8 ministries that Lifeline offers. First class warehouses that store supplies and a maintenance area that includes welding and painting. This compound employees many local Haitians in the operating of its facilities.
The First Met/Bethany team was a first class, spirit filled team assembled by the Lord. In every facet of the mission experience where our team members were the leaders of, or participated in, ministry opportunities, it was executed in an outstanding way and brought glory to God. Whether it be leading daily devotions, praying with mothers and loving on babies during the Infant Nutrition Program, praying for babies and mothers in the streets of Grand Goave during the distribution of the baby layettes, quilts and stuffed animals, while putting fluoride on the teeth of the 75 orphans from the Children’s Home, or telling bible stories and leading crafts during the mini-VBS. Our team was commended by the Lifeline staff, and other church team members for the exceptional way we delivered, participated and worked to ensure each ministry opportunity was done to the glory of the Lord.
From the Desk of Missionary Lynette Francios
Haiti Mission Trip 2015
Let me just say, the Lords’ presence is in Haiti. It was evident in every facet of the trip; the interactions between team members and leaders, and all contact points with the people in the community.
We were picked up from the airport in Port Au Prince, Haiti by Lifeline Ministries personnel on a big yellow school bus, just like the ones we are familiar with in the US, and were soon joined by 3 other teams from Florida, Indiana and Ohio.
We started the 2 ½ hr journey to Grand Goave, Haiti. We were all excited, anxious, and enamored with the cultural differences we saw out of the bus window. Not to mention, having to quickly get acclimated to the heat. Everyone immediately understood why the last mission meeting prior to travel highlighted the need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Once we arrived at the Lifeline Ministries compound in Grand Goave, Haiti, where we’d reside for the next 10 days, the Texas women were immediately upgraded. Woohoo! We found out we would not be living in the dormitories, but that we had been upgraded to our own little cottage, fully equipped with kitchen, dining room, living area, 3 bedrooms and a private bath. Refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Thank you Lord for the blessing!! This was the perfect space for our team to further bond and collaborate, and spend private time with the Lord. Pastor O was upgraded to a private bedroom designed for married couples that he would have shared with Lady O, had she been able to travel with the team this year. The remaining two men in our group were introduced to the men’s dormitory where they’d meet and quickly make friends with the other 10 men that would be sharing that space.
This year, much of the food provided to us was majority American style food. It was tasty, and the presentation was excellent. The kitchen staff were local Haitian women, who were supported by young teens from the Children’s home on the Lifeline compound. On one of the days, near the end of our stay, we did have Haitian style food for lunch and dinner. Even those that had not gone back for seconds the entire time went back for seconds on that day. The Haitian style food is very yummy!!
The mission of The Beacon is “to provide services that restores dignity, self respect and hope to Houston’s poor and homeless.” The ministry was established by Christ Church Cathedral in 2007. The Beacon averaged servicing to 600 to 800 people a day.
While there, the young adults served in a variety of capacities. Manning different station;s which brought together the meal that would feed those that made their way to the Beacon.
“Our members served the community by preparing food, laundering clothes, and monitoring facility usage” said Chriswell Jones. Though the work was a sacrifice, they served with a smile, bringing a loving attitude and hard working diligence.
Brooke said, “Being able to serve the community of those less fortunate was a blessing to me. I enjoy seeing the smile on their faces as we serve them. Beacon community center is doing great things to bless the Houston community.”
“The event was rewarding for all” Chriswell reported.
The 2015 Haiti Team has been hard at work. The members of First Metropolitan and Bethany have spent the past two days building 2 of the 4 houses scheduled for construction. Featured in the posted pictures are the members of the team not only speaking forth the love of Christ, but doing the work of Christ, showing His love to their by building a home to meet their needs.
One of the quiet story lines is the Francois and Vaughn family. They represent 3 generations of missionaries, all serving God on the Haiti 2015 trip. Seen in the photo, is Grandson Nehemiah Francois serving with grandmother Missionary Bertha Vaughn (Not pictured is Mission Ministry Lead/mother Lynette Francois). Missionary Vaughn, a member of Bethany Baptist, is a seasoned missionary, spending 2 plus years living in Africa.
A former educator and administrator from Prairie View A & M and Texas Southern University, she left the halls of academia, and made her home an indigenous hut that placed her close to the harvest field. Her labor of love and dedication has impacted the following generations. Her daughter now leading the Missions Ministry at First Met, and her grandson a missionary as a youth.
The mission team took a moment from building homes to build the people of Haiti. On schedule, Vacation Bible School! Planned were fun lessons and projects that would help the children get a better understanding of who God is, and how much God loves them. Featured in the pictures is one to the many entertaining projects that provided both the message of Love but a functional piece; The Sun Visor of Love.
The students were all excited to make the visors and were entertained by the vibrant colors and the exuberant Spirit of the missionaries, who were eager to bring some joy to the life of those they touched for Christ. Missionary Kelly Bundy enjoyed sharing the gift of Christ and creativity with the kids. On each hat was featured the words “Jezi (heart symbol) Ayiti” whtich means Jesus Loves Haiti.
The 2015 Haiti Mission Team was blessed to arrive safely in Haiti the evening of July 7th. Families were greeted with a message from local host Mark Gullery and Sandy Gleason, stating “Your loved ones have arrived safely in Haiti, and at Grand Goave. They are enjoying supper, and then will have a time of devotion. After devotion they will be getting settled into their dorms.” Pastor O said of his initial experience in Haiti with Lifeline Ministries, “Awesome mission program here!”
The food being served is some of America’s finest cuisine. Lunch on day 2 was a mouth watering hot dog with succulent macaroni and cheese, was accompanied with lays chips, and most importantly, fruit punch to quench the thirst.
Both Brother Gullery and Sister Gleason agreed “They are all very tired and are looking forward to a good night’s sleep before we tackle our tasks tomorrow.” Missionary Francois reports, “Our bedroom in the private cottage at Lifeline Christian Ministries campus in Grande Guave, Haiti.” The sleeping quarters featured a comfy bunk bed with a window air conditioning unit. The floor plan is very spacious, featuring widows and privacy through curtains.
The group closed out the night in worship. The service was filled with the Spirit, which provided energy to the worshipers. All sang and danced, giving God the highest praise they could deliver to the King. Each believer provided a warm welcome, as people of all colors served and worshiped the same Lord!
Keep the Haiti Mission Team in your prayers. Tomorrow, they begin building the homes the homes that First Met and Bethany Baptist raised money to build. Four families will have a place to stay upon our departure. Praise the Lord!
The American dream was once described as a husband wife, two kids, a dog surrounded by a white picket fence; ironically, this was the focus of our Missionaries final project. Though considered part of the American Dream, our group spent their time creating for the orphans a fence that represented the love, purity and protection of our Lord and savior. Taking their time, working through each spindle, the team slowly began creating an image of heaven hear on earth for those that the Lord cares and watches over. While orphans watched, the love and presence of Christ was modeled for all present, offering the children security, and teaching the missionaries patience and sacrifice and what it means to share love in a practical way through hard work.
A pleasant note to the Missionary Field was the delicious delicacies found in Haiti. “The food was very delicious each day”, Missionary Francois recalls. The meals were a combination of home cooked meals from the camp and local eateries. Accompanied with great people, the meals created stronger bonds with the people serving, as the needs of the missionaries and the people were closer discovered through dialogue.
Sunday, the Missionaries were treated to worship with saints in Haiti. The worship service was spirited and included a powerful message from Isaiah from with the congregation followed the minister from Bibles that were translated recorded in French. The building though small, was beautifully lit with the natural light provided from our Lord. This added to the worship experience in which our Missionaries praised God for the journey and for the provisions that made serving and worshiping possible.
Our Missionaries return to Houston from Haiti today, encouraged and empowered from the experience. Missionary Francois said of the journey, “If you haven’t been, you must go. Not all of Haiti is like you see on American TV!!”
The weekend brought and opportunity to rest and recover for the Haiti Mission Team of First Met. Missionary Shepherd described Sunday as “relaxing”. The team drove to the peninsula to Fort de Oliver, where they were able to “enjoy the beautiful beaches of Haiti.” “Unbelievable” she described. A highlight of the journey was meeting a 95 year old Haitian man who was filled with life and vigor.
The team used the weekend also used the time to receive treatment. Missionary Shepherd, whom obtained a twisted ankle in the mountains during the journey to an assignment. The local medical team attended to the injured ankle, offering much attention and treatment to insure proper care for her temple. Minister Shepherd said when referring to her injury, “…we came on a mission trip yet they are ministering to us”
Missionary Francois recounts recovering over the weekend traveling through the mountains to the Caribbean Ocean. The team was blessed to see some of the historical and beautiful sights of Haiti. Missionary Francois recalls the sights as “Magnificent!” There they enjoyed the company of other missionaries and dined on local cuisine. Missionary Shepherd reports that they “enjoyed a good meal and great scenery.”