Thursday, March 26, 2009

Celebrating Life Change

At NorthBridge Community Church, our mission is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the ways we measure this is by celebrating stories of life change.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

love cranberry / love the world

Way to be Salt & Light NorthBridge!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back From Haiti

We have arrived safely back in the USA and wanted to thank everyone from NorthBridge who made this trip possible. God taught us many valuable lessons over the course of the week that we will be sharing with you at church next week.

One of the things that we all learned was that we should not take clean water for granted. As you can see in the pictures above the money we collected from the Advent Conspiracy is being used to dig a water well on the IDADEE property. While we were out at the site drilling was stopped because of the weather but we are confident that fresh water will be flowing from that well soon.

Besides the well being dug at the IDADEE orphanage we were excited to learn that a small part of the main building should be completed soon. With the completion of this part of the project it means that the first children can begin to move into this new haven within the year!!! It is our prayer that during our trip next year we will be able to meet some new friends that have found a home there.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8th Haiti Update

I just got off the phone with Jayson for the last time in Haiti (at least if everything goes well). They had a fantastic last full day there, and for once the sun came out for the entire day! Sundays are always a long day in Haiti... it reminds me never to complain about how long our church services are here! They went to church this morning and sat through an entire service in Creole, then went back later in the day for another entire service in English. In between the two long services, they took a long ride into the city and had lunch at a hotel there.

The hard part of the day came after all the church services when the group had to say goodbye to the kids at EBAC. After spending an entire week with these kids and building relationships with them, it's hard to say goodbye. I know that after 11 years of visiting them for Jayson, it never gets easier leaving them to come back to the states. Luckily with all the new technology it's getting better being able to keep in touch with them. We've even been lucky enough to have some of them visit us in Pittsburgh!

Tomorrow is going to be another long day for them - lots of traveling. They have to leave the dorm at around 6:30am, and well... I'm not really sure what time they get to Florida. There is a slight chance that they might be able to catch an earlier flight into the states, and if that happens they will try to get on stand-by on a 11am flight out of Ft. Lauderdale. Everyone that has a family member on this trip - keep your cell phones with you to find out the latest!

Thanks for all of your prayers for this trip - God has blessed all of them through this experience!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7th Update

I apologize greatly for not giving a Haiti update last evening... It's been a long week and I apparently went to bed without doing my one chore that Jayson left me to do. Sorry!

The original plan for yesterday was to take the children from the EBAC orphanage to the beach for the day. This has been a big event in the past and something that the kids always look forward to. It's too expensive for them to do on their own, so when they can get it planned when a group comes to visit it's huge. Sadly, because of the weather and the conditions of the roads, they were unable to make it to the beach. They ended up having a great time though, spending the day just playing and making the most of their time together. Our group funded a rather large "feast" for dinner and that was a great way to end the day.

Today the group went to the market and did some shopping. I know from Jayson's past trips that it is really hard for them not to spend a ton of money there because one, most of the items that you can buy are really cheap... and two, the Haitians selling in the market are just so needy it's hard to turn them down. Anyway, be prepared for lots of Haitian items to make there way back to the 'burgh. One great note is that the sun finally came out today, and they were excited to report that most of them got sunburned. Only Pittsburghers would say that... They finished their day spending time with the kids at the EBAC orphanage again, and even though it didn't follow through as planned, they had a great day.

Please be praying for their last full day in Haiti tomorrow and that they would have some energy for the long travel home on Monday!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5th Haiti Update

Good Evening Everyone!

Talked to Jayson again and got the news for the day. Like I said before, the weather has changed their plans... who would have ever thought it would be rainy and chilly in Haiti in April?! Even though the weather didn't cooperate, they still had a wonderful day.

In the morning the team traveled to a school to pass out Christmas gifts to about 200 students. The bags contained a hygiene kit and a small Christmas present for each student as well as many coloring books - the kids obviously loved them. Jayson had the chance to tell the gospel while at the school, he said it went well, but no-one laughed at his jokes... I guess some things never change... hahahaha!

A little later in the afternoon the team traveled to the new orphanage to spend some time with the kids in the community. The original plan was for it to be a special "kids day", but because of the rain they really didn't know what to expect. To their surprise about 350 kids showed up to hang out and play in the pouring down rain. The team had the chance to play lots of games with the kids, pass out candy and prizes, and most importantly build relationships with the kids. They also had the exciting chance to see the rig set up for building the well that we at Northbridge make happen! I'm sure that you all remember the money that we raised through the Advent Conspiracy Project at Christmas time... well it's working! Because of the rain, no one was working today - but it was still exciting to see the work that had been done and what an impact it will make on the neighborhood.

As I said yesterday, the change of plans has been a little nerve racking, but God is so good and faithful! This trip has been such a blessing to both the team and the people that they are spending time with in Haiti. Please continue to pray for safety for the team!

More tomorrow - Katy

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4th Haiti Update

I lucked out again tonight with another phone call from Jayson in Haiti. They had a great day, and spent most of it helping at the EBAC orphanage. The team was able to meet the children, play, help teach, and do a lot of cleaning around the campus. Overall it sounded like a good day.

The weather continues to be a little frustrating for them - still rainy and for the first time ever, even a little chilly. This has made most of the roads around the area pretty impassable, so it's changed their plans a bit. There is still a ton of work and play to be done, so not to fear - they just have to be a bit flexible.

Tomorrow they are hosting a large (and I mean LARGE) event for all of the children in the area, so please be praying for that. As you can imagine, kids in Haiti don't get a ton of "events" just for them, so this is a pretty big deal. I'm sure that everyone will have a blast!

Thanks again for all of your prayers... keep them up!


March 3rd Update

Good Evening Everyone!

I was lucky enough to talk to Jayson tonight all the way in Haiti! Things seem to be going smoothly, which is awesome! They left very, very early this morning (around 6:30am) from Ft. Pierce, FL. The plane stopped in the Bahamas to refuel - then off to Haiti.

They were surprised when they arrived that the weather was actually rainy and a little cool for Haiti, and that made the drive from the airport back to the orphanage not so wonderful, but they made it safely none the less.

Please continue to pray for safety and for smooth planning for this next week. The not so normal weather may impact some of their plans, so hopefully things will go well anyway.

Thanks for all of you that helped support this trip and made it happen - I know they are all loving their time there! I hope to hear from Jayson again tomorrow or Thursday, so please keep checking for updates on this blog!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Haiti 2009

We depart today for Cap Haitian, Haiti and are asking for your prayers. We will be spending the night in Florida and then leaving for Haiti at 5:30am tomorrow. During the week we will be working with the kids at EBAC orphanage and IDADEE orphanage. I should be able to post a few updates over the course of the week so stay tuned.