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Mary Poppins Came To Haiti!

Today’s blog is a story about today written by Cindy Monahan:

I was not planning on going to Haiti until a few weeks ago. I was initially interested in the trip when everyone was signing up months ago, but wasn’t able to go. Then two weeks before the trip I had heard that some of the girls that were originally planning on going were no longer able to make it. I really wanted to go so I prayed about it and said “God, if you want me to go then you’ll have to work it out.” The morning after that prayer I texted Jeff about the possibility of going, and within 15 minutes of sending the text I was booked on a flight to Haiti. Holy cow that was fast!

So as I was getting things together quickly and preparing to leave in a few weeks, Jeff told me that I could check a piece of luggage for the trip. I didn’t really need to check a bag in terms of space, so I prayed about it and asked God to show me what to take or to help me fill the suitcase. God is good and it filled up quickly! I kid you not, within the next 2 weeks it was full of painting supplies, nail polish, pony beads, hair products, and a polaroid camera. The coolest part about this was that after I had prayed, I had all sorts of different people offering me things to take with me to Haiti. I didn’t buy a thing, God provided it all!

With the paint supplies we were able to paint the entire sewing center and two out buildings at the sewing center property. When we were done painting at the sewing center we had a chance to have the girls sit down and let us do their hair with some of the pony beads I had gotten. Then, today we spent some time at the Williamson school and spent half the day taking and handing out pictures with the polaroid, doing the girls nails, making bracelets, necklaces, and glasses out of the pipe-cleaners and beads, and saw so many amazing smiles.

It was so cool to see the timeline of how God brought me on this trip, filled my suitcase, and was able to bless these kids so much and put smiles on their faces :)

-Cindy Monahan

(Ps. Side note from Jeff, it was SO cool today to hear this story and see how God filled that bag in the most random way and how He has used all of those things bring joy to literally over 100 kids. So cool!)

We’ll see you back here tomorrow. Praying for everyone back home at Revision tomorrow morning!

Trying Out For The Dallas Cowboys

So today, Grant beat Byron Jones (Starting Safety for the Dallas Cowboys) in a 20yd dash. You probably have some questions so let me elaborate. Why 20 yards you ask? Because in reality it was a 40-yard race, and Grant could only hold him for 20 yards before Byron turned on the turbo and reminded us of why he’s in the NFL. Byron also holds the unofficial world record for the broad jump. So naturally, I (Jeff) thought I could take advantage of him being towards the end of off-season and take him down. I didn’t. But I came within 6 inches so I feel pretty good about that :)

Today we started the day by walking around the neighborhood in a couple of groups and met some of the people who live nearby. It was so much fun to meet people, hear their stories, pray with them, and laugh together. After that we toured the city of Luly and saw a couple more of WWV’s schools. We had the kids line up at one of the schools and taught them how to catch a football. Then we took it a step further and had them all race in heats to find out who the fastest kid was. It was a lot of fun! The second half of the day we spent at a nearby beach. We all went out snorkeling, swam in the ocean, and played sand volleyball together. It was really cool to see this flip side of Haiti. I think a lot of times our perception of Haiti is something along the lines of poverty and hopelessness. That could not be further from the truth. These people have so much hope, so much determination, and are the most hardworking people I’ve ever met. Also, Haiti is by far one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to, and seeing this side of Haiti helps give a vision for the future and all the potential that is around.

For the rest of the blog (sorry it’s a little long), I want to tell you about Byron Jones and why he’s here with WWV. Byron was drafted by the Cowboys in 2015 and through a random connection, was able to get in contact with WWV in hopes of partnering with them and doing something good for the people of Haiti. He was talking with Randy Mortenson and discovered that there was a family who needed a new house. And when I say they needed a new house, I mean they NEEDED a new house. I don’t think you can even call what they were living in a house. It was 4 tin walls surrounding an old full mattress with a tarp on top. The woman who lives there, Ciltamine, takes care of her 9 children and grandchildren. 9 children in a maybe 100 square foot room.

After hearing this, Byron provided the funding to build Ciltamine and her family a new home! This week happens to be the week the house is being built, so Byron came down to help lay the foundation and get the project started. It’s been awesome getting to know him, hearing his story, seeing his heart for Haiti, and building this house with him. We’ve been making and slinging concrete in 5 gallon buckets for the last couple of days and now have a finished foundation and floor for Ciltamine’s new house. It was hard work, but I don’t know if I’ve ever had a bigger smile on my face than when we poured that last bucket of concrete. Praise God the assembly line was over! Praise God the floor is finished!

It is so cool to see how God worked this all together and made it happen. The look on Ciltamine’s face when she met Byron was one of joy and thankfulness. We are all so humbled and thankful to be a part of this project, and we’re so thankful for how Byron was able to not only make this house happen financially, but more importantly meet Ciltamine and her family, develop that relationship with her, and help prepare the foundation (literally) for what will absolutely be a new life and opportunity for Ciltamine and her family.

Thanks for hanging out with us Byron. Thanks for putting up with our NFL questions. And thank you thank you thank you for changing this family’s life and letting us be a part of it.

Ps. You’ve gotta be working on your Code Names skills for the next time you’re in Des Moines ;)

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