Three Weeks in Haiti

We spent our first two weeks in Haiti living upstairs at the orphanage. It was a great period of immersion- living in close quarters with all the children really helped us develop relationships. Sometimes it was difficult for us and our children, because there were always kids wanting to talk to and touch us. But, it was really worth the sacrifice of space and privacy in order to have that time at the orphanage. We were able to attend nightly chapel time as often as possible, and our big kids had many late nights staying up with the teenagers to chat and have impromptu Creole lessons.

Several days ago, we moved into a nice little house that we are renting until the future orphanage boys home (which will first be our home) is completely ready. The children at the orphanage were so sad when they first saw us load up our things in a car to bring to the house. They surrounded us, and kept wanting us to stay longer. We promised them that we were only moving down the street, and that we would be back every day to eat dinner and play with them. They couldn’t believe it – I think they just expected us to leave for good! Sometimes they still ask us, “Are you coming back tomorrow?” It is so beautiful to see the friendships that our kids are making here. Even the Haitian teenagers love my little children, and light up every time they see them.

The move to a house has helped our family to have a little bit of space and privacy – we can now have a quiet family prayer time at night and our kids can do their homeschool work at home before heading to the orphanage to play in the afternoon. The puppy loves having a yard to explore – she especially likes finding a fallen coconut to chew on. We are only a short walk from the orphanage, so the kids can walk back and forth and we still have plenty of time visiting there. We had to accept a lot of help in order to move – the teenage boys from the orphanage carried beds and mattresses, the cooking ladies supplied our home kitchen with simple foods, orphanage workers helped us find bleach and ant spray and other essentials. It has been humbling to accept so much help. We have been given such a warm welcome by the orphanage kids, the staff, and everywhere we have visited.

Now that we are becoming more settled, we are craving a bit of routine and a way to fit into life here. Soon, Ryan will begin working regularly at the clinic and helping with administrative work there. It has been difficult to begin much work yet, because a fever has been working its way through each member of our family. Also, the internet can be very intermittent, so communication is difficult. Routine is often a challenge here – often days are spent waiting… for the internet to work, for transportation, or supplies. It is a different pace of life, and it takes flexibility and patience!

JP playing in the orphanage playground

Eliana loves making Andre laugh

Olivia can always find a girl to play tea party with

 

Heneise Update: We’re Still Stateside 🇺🇸

Though we planned to arrive in Haiti 🇭🇹 November 7, our plans have changed a bit.

What happened? We planned to arrive in Port au Prince and then take a helicopter to the Haiti180 mission, which is located in a very remote part of southern Haiti. Taking the helicopter avoids having to drive through Port au Prince, which is not known to be the safest of cities. Unfortunately our helicopter pilot couldn’t obtain a certain required certification in time, and we decided that it would be better to postpone our trip rather than risk having to drive through PauP. 

So here we are, still stateside, and trying to be patient while we wait on things that are outside our control.

Special thanks to everyone who has offered prayers for us and for our mission! And special thanks to everyone who has supported our mission financially. If you’d like to support our mission, please go to https://memberdrive.org/haiti180/heneise-family.

Find out more about our mission, Haiti180, at https://haiti180.com.

 

Everything you wanted to know about our mission to Haiti

What’s the name of our mission?

Our mission is called Haiti180.

“At our core, the mission of Haiti180 is to create the opportunity to form well educated leaders of faith for the future of Haiti and to make sure every child in our care has a childhood that is filled with love and joy. With your love, support, and prayer, we have been blessed with the opportunity to broaden our focus, reaching out to the poorest of the poor from the young to the old professing God’s love through our developments in education, medical care, housing, and so much more for the kind and loving people of Haiti. We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ and together, we can turn it around.

What does the mission do?

Haiti180 runs an orphanage for about 40 children, a school for about 400, a home for the elderly, and a medical clinic. You can find out more about Haiti180 at https://haiti180.com/what-we-do/

What’s our mission affiliation?

Haiti180 is a Catholic lay apostolate. Though there is no official affiliation with the Catholic Church, the mission does work closely with Catholic priests and religious.

Where is our mission located?

Haiti180 is located in the southern peninsula of Haiti, near the villages of Duverger and Danndan approximately 80 miles west of Port au Prince. It’s a very remote area. The people who live in the mountains there have little access to health care, and the closest hospital is a long, uncomfortable distance over bumpy roads by motorcycle or car. 

Does the orphanage do adoption?

The orphanage does not do international adoption. Kay Mari (Mary’s House) provides a stable, loving, permanent home for children who have lost both their parents and have no known relatives.

When are we going?

Our trip starts November 7, 2020. We’ll be staying in Haiti until December 20, and then we’ll come back to Texas for Christmas. If all goes well, then we’ll be returning to Haiti in January.

UPDATE (Nov 5, 2020): our trip has been postponed for a few weeks. Our plan is to fly into Port au Prince and then take a helicopter from the PAP airport to the Haiti180 mission, which is very remote. Unfortunately our helicopter pilot wasn’t able to get a certification that is required to fly, and so we have to wait until he gets that certification. We are very disappointed, but we’re trusting God that everything will work out in the end for his glory. Thanks again to everyone who has kept us in your prayers.

What will we be doing?

Our goal is to serve the poor and demonstrate Christ’s love to people in Haiti through Christian service. Bethany has a passion for working with women and children, so she’ll be conducting health classes and training women in fertility awareness and women’s health. Ryan will be translating for Bethany and helping with administration at the clinic.

How can you support our work?

The most important way you can help is through your prayers. Please let us know if you pray a rosary for our family or for the mission. It would encourage us so much. You can also financially support Haiti180’s mission by joining Team180 on MemberDrive: https://MemberDrive.org/haiti180/ryan-and-bethany-heneise.

Other ways you can help

Can you visit us?

Yes! Haiti180 welcomes short-term missionaries. If you’d like to visit us, it might be possible to tag along with another mission team. Find out more at https://haiti180.com/go/.

Is it safe?

The city of Port au Prince is not a safe place. We will avoid the city entirely by boarding a helicopter directly from the Port au Prince airport. The helicopter will fly us directly to the Haiti180 mission, preventing us from having to travel by car through Port au Prince and the surrounding areas.

How can we keep in touch?

Haiti does not have a functioning postal service, so unfortunately there’s no mail. Fortunately we do have pretty good internet, so the easiest way to get in touch with us is via email. You can email us at our first names at Heneise.com.

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