Friday, February 23, 2018

Another EXCELLENT day

Written Thursday, February 23, 2018

Today was another excellent day in Haiti. I’m always amazed at the incredible love that is universal in our small world. Today we visited a new orphanage (including an on-site school) near Port Au Prince. The orphanage is called No Place Like Home - Sweet Home (NPLH). It was founded by a couple of Americans after the 2010 earthquake. Many of the original children lost their parents  during the earthquake. Today, we played with the preschoolers & school age kids. Our team noticed that all the children were very well behaved and content. The teachers and staff greeted us with big smiles. It was such a good feeling to see such love and contentment.

When our team sees these great organizations working toward a better community, we have hope their future. At the end of the day, we can leave knowing that there are people taking care of these kids, giving them a chance to change a country.

So much history, hope, potential and joy in a complicated world. Sometime your have to go all in. That where the real change begins.

Jennifer L.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Can you describe a day in Haiti with one word?

(Written Wednesday, February 21, 2018)


These are some of the “words of the day” from our team members in Haiti this week. We experience highs and lows. We laugh, cry, sing, cheer, give and receive support. Every day offers something different. The one constant is that we see, first hand, that we are all children of God, put on earth for a purpose. One of the strongest statements we heard today was from Brother Simon of the Missionaries of the Poor: Disability is not inability. Inability is not disability.

We pray and hope that we remember the lessons from the week and carry them forward for the rest of our lives.

Eileen B.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

"Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me."

Written Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Today was water truck day, where we visited Cite Soleil to deliver water to those who live there. It was a beautiful experience. The children were genuinely excited to see the truck pull up, and had big smiles as we got out of the truck. We were the children’s entertainment while their parents filled their buckets with water. It was a day that you couldn’t help but wonder how you could be of more service to these people, and a day that challenged your perspective. These children are living in extreme poverty, yet they have the largest smiles on their faces. I have so much and it is not to say that I am not happy, but it challenges my perspective on happiness and what really brings a person true happiness. At the end of the night, our group gathered around to share our thoughts on the day and we ended our day with a wonderful excerpt from Mother Teresa’s book, “No Greater Love.” She had amazing perspective on our world and differences between being physically poor versus those who are spiritually poor.

The reality is that we need each other to satisfy those needs. Our day ended with a reading from Matthew 25, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 

Jane F.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Moving Forward

October 22, 2017

People often ask me how many times I’ve been to Haiti.  I’ve never taken the time to sit down and figure out the answer to that question.  It seems like I’ve touched down at the Port au Prince airport hundreds of times, watched endless numbers of children heading to school in their colorful school uniforms as I walked home from morning chapel, and sat right here at the table outside the guesthouse in the cool pre-dawn light time and time again sending notes or writing blogs as the roosters crowed in the backgroun.  

I made my first trip to Haiti with my sister Joyce in May 2012—just months after our beloved founder, Father Bernard Reiser, passed away, leaving his family and friends to carry on his legacy in the beautiful country of Haiti.  My first trip had an incredibly huge impact on me.  I spent months processing it after I got home.  I was devastated by what I’d seen here, but also amazed at the beauty of the country, the faith and resilience of the Haitian people, and the powerful presence of God everywhere I turned. 

My multiple trips have allowed me to experience these same feelings over and over again, and also to see the positive changes that are happening in Haiti.  Tent cities are gone, streets are being improved, garbage trucks and recycling programs are becoming a more common sight all around the city of Port au Prince, the new president of Haiti is focusing on improving agriculture in the country, and more emphasis is being put on education.  We work alongside countless ministry partners that are also dedicated to the Haitian people and their country.  And thankfully, the powerful presence of God remains.

I am blessed to be able to serve as a trip leader allowing me to continue to see Haiti through the eyes of first-time trip goers—to watch them process and transform in so many different ways throughout their trips, and giving me a chance to relive that “first trip” experience over and over again.  I am honored to be able to be a part of carrying on Father Reiser's legacy in Haiti.   I thank him, our founder and my uncle,
for having enriched my life—even after his death—by placing Haiti in my arms and heart over five years ago.

Ann Brau
Reiser Relief

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Serving together

Today in Haiti was exactly what our team needed. After jumping right into the heart of Port-au-
Prince and seeing the suffering so many people endure daily, we got to visit Reiser Heights school. The long journey up the mountain gave our team the chance to converse and get to know each other much better. We talked about what we’ve experienced so far in Haiti, discussed family back home, and embraced the lovely country side.

When finely arriving to Reiser Heights, it was nice to see smiling children as we gave them sunglasses and candy. The children are clearly well taken care of, and it’s great to know that they are receiving an education that would otherwise not be available to most of them. It’s almost as if God knew we needed a break from the chaos and gave us chance to hang out with the playful children and listen to them sing.

While the experience today was not as grueling as the others so far, it seems to have the largest effect on our team. I’m not sure if it’s the extra time spent together. Maybe it’s because we’ve had time to reflect on the other days. Perhaps it’s because we feel more relaxed after a less exhausting day physically and mentally. One thing is for sure, we are definitely a stronger team after today. I look forward to the days to come and thank God for a strong and supportive team.

Jake Behrendt