Tag Archives: VIM

Conference Trip to Haiti

When one is blessed with the opportunity to serve on a mission team there are typically a great many memories that you live with for a long time if not a lifetime. My memory of several Haitian children, staring at our team with great amounts of inquisitiveness and wonder, while we moved gravel, mixed concrete and generally tried to survive several days with heat indexes of up to 105 degrees, will always be with me. It is especially engrained in my thoughts that many of them would rub their tummies, put their hands to their mouths, or point at near empty water bottles to indicate they were hungry or thirsty and we had little to share with them. But the happy memory will be that they laughed when we tried to be funny, or poked them in the belly, showed them digital pictures of themselves and just simply smiled at them or gave them a hug.

This is one of the memories of the eight members of the Peninsula-Haiti Mission Team that went to Haiti on October 9, 2010 for several days reconstructing a church that had been destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. The eight team members: Mike Bockart, Pastor Beth Mallozzi, Calvin Peacock, Stephanie Manos, Penny MacLennan, Marie Van Der Wall, Pastor Benita Harris and me represented six separate churches in the Conference. Four from Delaware and four from Maryland we were a team with significant amounts of past mission experience trying to do a small part in helping the Haitian people and also to gain specific Haiti experience so we could take later teams there to help.

We flew into Port Au Prince and stayed one night in the Methodist Guest House before traveling two hours southwest to another guest house in Pettit Goave. From here we went daily to the church site at Fond Daux and spent our hours moving gravel and sand, mixing concrete, and generally functioning as “go-fers” for a couple of skilled Haitian masons and their helpers who laid block. It was a joy to see the walls of the church going up, to see the walls of the cistern completed and to be able to interact with the Haitian construction crew that was being paid partially by the $3500 contribution that was raised through various conference sources and matched by UMCOR. While our team had to be very careful in the extreme heat I believe I can say we all came away from this project feeling confident that later teams will finish the job and that soon the community would once again be able to worship in their church.

For those that might wonder the situation in Haiti is certainly bad. It will take years for the houses to be repaired so people can move out of their tent cities. There is almost no infrastructure so trash collection and sanitation is non-existent and the recent Cholera outbreak reflects the desperation of this condition. But we did see a ray of hope in that the people seem resilient, hopeful and faithful for the most part. Perhaps because they had so little to lose they seem to have recovered as well as can be expected and are certainly surviving. Because of the great need I am personally hopeful that many churches in this conference will sponsor teams to go to Haiti in the next year. There are certainly many places in our country and world that need help but I personally can’t imagine any need being greater than in Haiti.

Blessings,

Bill Jones
Team Leader
Pen-Del Haiti Conference Team

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Ashley Reflects on VIM in Kingfield Maine

I have learned so much on this trip. I remember last year everyone was all excited and different and happy after the trip, so I thought that I would come and see what happens. I cam to Kingfield, Maine expecting to have a good time, but instead I had a life-altering experience.

I watched what God does in this world. I have noticed that less “thing” bring out more care in this area. People don’t have all of the material things, but they have huge hearts. Everyone here is so welcoming and I was surprised at the amount of smiles and waves I got from people. I never get that at home. At least not real smiles and real waves.

Being here has made me appreciate the small things in life that make it wonderful. I love this area and I have learned to love God even more than I thought possible. This is an absolutely wonderful and life changing experience.

I am so happy I came. I have formed a bond that did not exist before with 19 people that I now love and trust. Being here and finding God in a new way has changed me.

God bless
Ashley Lacilla July 2010

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God Moments from Kingfield Maine July 2010

I recorded several days of the God moments we shared during devotions… enjoy..Pastor Amy

God moments:
Monday: …saw God at the job site, watching everybody working.
…felt God’s power when I had the huge hammer in hand while tearing out the old porch….
…finding peace by listening to God and doing it…
…after working all day, going swimming in the river and finding peace sitting in the river letting it flow by and over me…
…saw God in Thelma’s face coming back from lunch and seeing Thelma and Mikki and Sonya sitting and happy…
…the simplicity of the town and the people, reminiscent of Chesapeake City and Cecilton 40-50 years ago. Feeling God in the simplicity, the stores without air conditioning are like days gone by…
…this town makes you feel at home…
…see amazing people all around- who else but God could bring this all together?…
…can see the Holy Spirit in the people…can feel it…
…being out of the rat race…which we all long for…
…met a man who goes to Florida every year and we stood and talked a while… this evening I talked to neighbors on his porch and he said “it sure is nice to see you folks come here on a regular basis”…
…work well done..pain scraped, caulked, limbs and brush cleared out, primer painted on, roof over doorway worked on…
…Doug volunteering to lead a second project to replace a front porch…
…11 year old Dakota coming out to join in the work of the front porch of his home all geared up and excited to work…
…feel God in the warm welcome of the team- didn’t know most folks before coming…
….discovered miracle water in the river that washed paint off of skin and clothes…
Tuesday
Scripture Romans 15:13 and Romans 5:3
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit
…joy in good friends today…
…rain falling on us was joyful…
…dancing in the rain…
..praise from Sue for painting made me fell like I had accomplished something…
…felt joy in Dakota helping al day, showing his furs and bee bee gun…
…at Thelma’s when she said “I missed you today” because I was at the other site- felt welcomed…
…could see joy in Thelma’s face…
…felt like in the sewing project we passed a torch to Ashley…not many people know how to sew…Mikki and Barb K. showed her how to sew curtains…
…delightful day of groups working all over the site…
…meeting Simone, Leslie, and Dakota and second site, enjoyed talking with them…
…calling Doug to lead the porch building team in Strong…good leader…
…got a lot of work done despite taking breaks…
…Thelma prayed this team from our church would come again and God answered her prayer…
Wednesday
Scripture James 1:2-5
…finding joy in life by serving…
…lost wedding ring 3 weeks ago…today while folding clothes when I reached the final garment I looked down and it was sitting on my knee….
…Thelma sitting smiling during music time after the pot luck supper. She enjoyed Danny and Sue leading music and it showed on her face…
…Linda went with Sonya to the dump and began talking with a man who recognized them as you church people..said “its so great that you come up here”…Linda asked if they could pray for him..he shared he has prostate cancer and hasn’t told anyone yet…he raised his hands as they prayed with him… as he walked away from them he said aloud “wow!”… they returned later to give him a cross and he was thrilled they were back…
…woman at the dump who is very impressed with all the people who come up here to work…
…they stopped at the store and met a woman collecting pictures of military personnel and learned her husband is deployed…they prayed with her for her husband and she had tears in her eyes
…we’ve gained a lot family in Thelma, Dakota, Simone, and Leslie…really awesome…
…amazing how quickly we can make friends family…
Thursday
Eccl 9:1-4
…Jess celebrating her birthday with us…feeling grateful that we made it a special day…
…seeing Thelma in her chair, looking at her finished house with tears of joy saying how she is so proud of her house…
…seeing Bridgette come down off of the ladder for the last time…
…getting the pick up stuck in the soft shoulder and getting out again…
…seeing Peter and his daughter at dinner, what a joy to have them with us…
…watching relationships grow among us..
…voluntary suffering of our team members, following the cross of Christ, and pouring out selves completely to finish a job, especially Rick…
…laughing deeply and crying deeply together this week…
…the clearest water I’ve ever swam in that wasn’t a swimming pool … in Strong with Dakota he was proud to have his friends there…
…went out for lunch with Dakota and Simone to the White Elephant..they said it was the best place in town…nice to eat together like a family… Dakota and Simone shared an Elephant burger: 2 pound burger…
Friday
Scripture Eccl 3:1
…relationships have their seasons…
…you can go back again!…this was just as good as last year…
…you can get by with a little help from your friends…
…image of grace in the river… can walk beside a river or let it carry you…
…Sue, Gina, and Andrew going out and buying perennials for Thelma and planting them in her garden…tried to find a replacement cement Jesus statue without success…seeing them on their Sabbath day continue to give of themselves…and to hear how pleased Thelma was by their gift

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God Moments This Week in Kingfield Maine

I recorded several of our devotion times together to share the God moments we experienced… enjoy…Pastor Amy

God moments:
Monday: …saw God at the job site, watching everybody working.
…felt God’s power when I had the huge hammer in hand while tearing out the old porch….
…finding peace by listening to God and doing it…
…after working all day, going swimming in the river and finding peace sitting in the river letting it flow by and over me…
…saw God in Thelma’s face coming back from lunch and seeing Thelma and Mikki and Sonya sitting and happy…
…the simplicity of the town and the people, reminiscent of Chesapeake City and Cecilton 40-50 years ago. Feeling God in the simplicity, the stores without air conditioning are like days gone by…
…this town makes you feel at home…
…see amazing people all around- who else but God could bring this all together?…
…can see the Holy Spirit in the people…can feel it…
…being out of the rat race…which we all long for…
…met a man who goes to Florida every year and we stood and talked a while… this evening I talked to neighbors on his porch and he said “it sure is nice to see you folks come here on a regular basis”…
…work well done..pain scraped, caulked, limbs and brush cleared out, primer painted on, roof over doorway worked on…
…Doug volunteering to lead a second project to replace a front porch…
…11 year old Dakota coming out to join in the work of the front porch of his home all geared up and excited to work…
…feel God in the warm welcome of the team- didn’t know most folks before coming…
….discovered miracle water in the river that washed paint off of skin and clothes…
Tuesday
Scripture Romans 15:13 and Romans 5:3
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit
…joy in good friends today…
…rain falling on us was joyful…
…dancing in the rain…
..praise from Sue for painting made me fell like I had accomplished something…
…felt joy in Dakota helping al day, showing his furs and bee bee gun…
…at Thelma’s when she said “I missed you today” because I was at the other site- felt welcomed…
…could see joy in Thelma’s face…
…felt like in the sewing project we passed a torch to Ashley…not many people know how to sew…Mikki and Barb K. showed her how to sew curtains…
…delightful day of groups working all over the site…
…meeting Simone, Leslie, and Dakota and second site, enjoyed talking with them…
…calling Doug to lead the porch building team in Strong…good leader…
…got a lot of work done despite taking breaks…
…Thelma prayed this team from our church would come again and God answered her prayer…
Wednesday
Scripture James 1:2-5
…finding joy in life by serving…
…lost wedding ring 3 weeks ago…today while folding clothes when I reached the final garment I looked down and it was sitting on my knee….
…Thelma sitting smiling during music time after the pot luck supper. She enjoyed Danny and Sue leading music and it showed on her face…
…Linda went with Sonya to the dump and began talking with a man who recognized them as you church people..said “its so great that you come up here”…Linda asked if they could pray for him..he shared he has prostate cancer and hasn’t told anyone yet…he raised his hands as they prayed with him… as he walked away from them he said aloud “wow!”… they returned later to give him a cross and he was thrilled they were back…
…woman at the dump who is very impressed with all the people who come up here to work…
…they stopped at the store and met a woman collecting pictures of military personnel and learned her husband is deployed…they prayed with her for her husband and she had tears in her eyes
…we’ve gained a lot family in Thelma, Dakota, Simone, and Leslie…really awesome…
…amazing how quickly we can make friends family…
Thursday
Eccl 9:1-4
…Jess celebrating her birthday with us…feeling grateful that we made it a special day…
…seeing Thelma in her chair, looking at her finished house with tears of joy saying how she is so proud of her house…
…seeing Bridgette come down off of the ladder for the last time…
…getting the pick up stuck in the soft shoulder and getting out again…
…seeing Peter and his daughter at dinner, what a joy to have them with us…
…watching relationships grow among us..
…voluntary suffering of our team members, following the cross of Christ, and pouring out selves completely to finish a job, especially Rick…
…laughing deeply and crying deeply together this week…
…the clearest water I’ve ever swam in that wasn’t a swimming pool … in Strong with Dakota he was proud to have his friends there…
…went out for lunch with Dakota and Simone to the White Elephant..they said it was the best place in town…nice to eat together like a family… Dakota and Simone shared an Elephant burger: 2 pound burger…
Friday
Scripture Eccl 3:1
…relationships have their seasons…
…you can go back again!…this was just as good as last year…
…you can get by with a little help from your friends…
…image of grace in the river… can walk beside a river or let it carry you…
…Sue, Gina, and Andrew going out and buying perennials for Thelma and planting them in her garden…tried to find a replacement cement Jesus statue without success…seeing them on their Sabbath day continue to give of themselves…and to hear how pleased Thelma was by their gift

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Bridgette’s Reflections on VIM in Kingfield Maine

I am thankful for this experience because it has changed me. It is hard for e to explain in words, but I know I’m a better person because of this. I’ve realized that I need to see joy in other people in order for me to be happy. I don’t need material things, although they make me feel good, but for me as long as I can put a smile on someone’s face then I can make it through the day filled with joy. In this small little town of Kingfield, Maine people don’t have much, like I’m used to at home, but they are happy and welcoming. Plus, they seem to stick together. Back home I’m used to the cold shoulder from most people and here it’s completely different. They’re glad to see you.

When I was younger, I would get everything I wanted and I’m still growing up in what people would consider a rich area of Elkton, MD. Here in Kingfield its relatively poor and filled with people that have huge hearts. Staying in this town for a week showed me that I don’t necessarily need the expensive, nice things I have back home, I just need to be surrounded by those I love and care for.

Also, this trip has brought me closer to God. I can actually feel him inside me, where I used to not be able to. I am still on my path to God, but I am definitely closer than I was.

Thank you
Bridgette Doughten July 2010

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Kiingfield Maine 2010

Our week in Kingfield Maine is beautiful. God is all around us, even if the internet is not! Andrew discovered yesterday that the library has open wifi. (I didn’t even realize there was a library.) I am now sitting on the front steps of the library. Although it has open wifi, the hours are Wednesday and Saturday. There are two lovely trees providing me with shade, and front porch steps that remind me of my grandmother’s house.

We have been making it a priority to focus upon relationship building- with God, with the people here, and with each other. The tasks are taking care of themselves.

We are working with Miss Thelma here in town. She is an elderly widow who has also buried a son and survived breast cancer. As we work on painting the exterior of her home, she sits outside with us and chats, directs, and generally makes us smile. Our team also did work for her last year, and she says that she prayed that we would be the team to work with her again this yea

We also have a site in Strong, Maine. Dakota is 11, and he lives in a trailer with his mother Leslie and his grandmother Simone. They are really lovely folks. Simone was laid off last year and is still looking for work. Dakota is home schooled. He is already like a little brother to the folks on that site. The first day they got out there, Dakota arrived home near the end of the work day. He immediately went in and strapped on a tool belt, and returned ready to work. Dan says that he can hardly swing a hammer without Dakota offering to do it for him. They are building a new front stoop. The old one was so unstable Simone had fallen on it; a piece of plywood was covering a hole.

Mikki put brought her artistic talent to good use by painting the apex of Thelma’s back door entry way with a lovely floral design as well as a table on her back porch to match. In addition, Mikki, Barb Kelly, and Ashley have been working on sewing curtains. They made some for

Thelma, and now they are working on the church curtains to partition the fellowship hall from a storage area. It currently has a king sized sheet tacked up. Their curtains will look amazing. It’s really wonderful to see God using each person’s talents, and how Barb, Mikki and Ashley are bonding over the sewing machine as much as Andrew and Rick bond over the high ladder painting.

At evening devotions, we have been sharing God moments every night. God has been present with us in wonderful ways. I am going to ask the team members to share some of these in their own words.

Pastor Amy Yarnall

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