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By Lynn Wehner

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 6.35.09 PMSo are you a missionary? Why yes, yes you are. We ALL are.

Check out my recent post at the CatholicMatch Institute, “Mission Work — Who Me?” — and reflect on the mission territories in your own life. Maybe it’s time to start on the path that God has laid out for you.

And want to know an easy way to begin? All you have to do is go to a concert. (Seriously people, who knew this would be so easy?!)

Mission work surrounds all of us. Look no further than Sean’s experience and example for proof of that. Yes, surely he’s a missionary when he is holding the orphaned children in Haiti. Surely he’s a missionary when he is visiting the elderly who have been abandoned in Haiti’s mountains. But, just as surely, he’s a missionary when he is singing and preaching the truth of the Gospel to teens and adults at events across the U.S.

Next weekend (November  15 & 16), Sean will combine those two “mission territories” — and you get to be a part of it! He’ll be performing the Rock for Grandma concerts, sharing the truth of the faith, premiering his new album, and raising money to build a home for Haiti’s forgotten elderly. Get your tickets today and help us with this important mission work!

Join us at the concert. Invite others to attend. Fun, good music, and inspiration await you! And, believe it or not, you’ll be diving right into the heart of mission work — by helping the poor, loving the lonely, and building the Kingdom of God.

 

 

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Have you ever been in a situation where enough is enough? Where you have been sitting, watching, waiting for something to change but it never does?

Ajeli is a little old lady in the mountains of Haiti. Her age is unknown, but what matters to us is the last 4 years we have known her.

She lived in a shack with no husband and no children to care for her. She only ate when the Haiti180 team brought her food. She knew only pain and no joy. The neighbors were poor and mistreated her, saying she was an “inconvenience” and  “useless”, as she couldn’t work or contribute to help put food on the table.

 

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Until one day, we decided enough was enough. Although our plan for building an elderly home is just getting off the ground, we decided to give it a jump-start. We asked her if she wanted to come to a safe place where she would find food and shelter and affection. She responded in her weak voice, “Wi.” That was the “yes” we needed. That was the “yes” that was going to give Ajeli hope again.

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As we got her in the car and pulled away from her old life, her life of physical and emotional suffering, she was welcomed by a warm meal and love at the orphanage. The children at Kay Mari were glad to help her, in fact, they stepped right in, grabbing the comb to braid her hair and the spoon to feed her. No directions were needed; the kids knew exactly what to do.

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After a bath, warm meal, and new hairdo, everyone, young and old, jumped into the car to bring our adopted grandmother to her new home just behind the orphanage. A charitable neighbor happily agreed to house Ajeli in the extra bedroom in his house in which we (the children and staff of Haiti180) could regularly visit her, bathe her, bring her three healthy meals a day, and just spend time with her.

 

 

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It has only been a few days since the move and already the difference is astounding. She is gaining strength and becoming more alive every time we visit her. She was once lonely and sad, discouraged and hopeless. She is laughing now, which we haven’t seen her do in the 4 years we have known her. She tells us stories of her past, of people she knew and places she has lived.

Ajeli was a hairdresser. She lived in Port-au-Prince and remembers curling ladies hair and braiding the smallest braids. She laughed as she thought of how she can no longer see and how her hands can barely hold a spoon, let alone braid hair! We laughed with her and enjoyed the moment as she reminisced of her younger years. She told us she used to live up the mountain in a little house, looking down on the land where Kay Mari is now. She told us that today is Wednesday, but she giggled when she couldn’t remember what day comes after Wednesday. She is getting her joy back. She is getting her laughter back. She is getting her dignity back.

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What does it even mean to “get your dignity back”? To some, it means getting the food, clothing, shelter and love that every human being deserves. To me, it is hope. Feeling that someone cares whether you live or die. Knowing that someone is thinking of you when it is raining and is concerned when you are sick. Knowing that someone is taking time out of their busy day to visit you. That is what it means to restore dignity. To restore hope to the hopeless. Every day we thank God for Ajeli and the gift and witness that she is to us. And everyday we pray that we are able to continue to work for Our Lord, restoring hope to the hopeless and love to the lonely and suffering.

Ajeli is not alone. There are so many others just like her, even here in our own village, that are in desperate need. Our hope is to not only build a home for them, but to show them the care and attention they deserve. And what a gift it will be for the children of Kay Mari to minister to the suffering through their joy, laughter and beautiful innocence!

Come pray with us. Come and meet Ajeli face to face. Help Haiti180 with your prayers and financial support so we are better able to serve the lost and forgotten.

Thank you and may God bless you.

katie herrmann

 

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By Lynn Wehner

Yes, Catholic Digest met Haiti180. Well, pretty much, anyway. You see, the popular magazine first met our Haiti180 ministry last year … when we were Mission Haiti.

But I digress.

They highlighted the 10th anniversary of the mission in their “Love Your Neighbor” section last December, publishing an interview with Sean in which he shares how and why this whole mission began — and where he sees it going. Check out Sean’s comments in the link … It’s a great read for all of you who love Haiti180 and believe in what we’re trying to do.

Less than a year after this article appeared, it’s so exciting to see where we’ve come, as the medical facility is now well underway and a new project — the elderly home Kay Martina — is in planning. We even have a new name and renewed focus, as we work hard to do our part in turning around this poor island nation.

And through it all, something never changes: God continues to amaze us with His grace. As Sean says in the interview when asked what he would consider his highlight on this journey:

“It would have to simply be God’s faithfulness to the entire project. We have a dedicated, loyal team of staff and missionaries, but we are at the mercy of the Lord—and we live in grateful awe of how he continues to provide for our every need.”

Whether we are Mission Haiti or Haiti180, we are called to love and serve. And to be grateful, for God is ever faithful.

Peace & Blessings … Lynn

 

 

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Music and ministry just go together here at Haiti180.

So it’s no surprise that a recent Christian music festival topped off our summer and provided the perfect launch pad for our new name and renewed focus.

Haiti180 made its debut at Soulfest 2013 … where Sean had some awesome stage time, leading the candlelight prayer service and giving inspiring performances at the top of Gunstock Mountain, at a cool after-hours stage, and in the festival spotlight on main stage.

And the Saturday-night collection for our ministry allowed Sean to teach thousands of people a song in Creole, with the help of Katie, Manno, and Brother Delord from our Haitian team. Being high up on the mountain during that time, I was totally overwhelmed by the thousands of singing voices swirling around me — and by the incredible generosity of people who often chased us down to give us their donations for Haiti180. I can already see that village elderly home being built in my mind!

Here’s a glimpse of the performance time …

Throughout the festival, volunteers — ministry team members, our children, and our dedicated friends — staffed the loud and bustling tent from early Wednesday morning until close to midnight on Saturday. We sold T-shirts, bracelets, and CDs, while giving away Haiti180 tattoos (our youngest helpers were the stars of this effort) and sharing LOTS of information on how people can join us for mission trips or contribute to the effort from the States.

Check out the action in the tent …

It was a time of grace. A time when we opened our hearts and souls … and showed thousands of people that Haiti is there inside.

Peace & Blessings … Lynn

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Every year as we move from late summer into early fall, one major thing seems to hold true in life: change.

Days are getting shorter, and nights here in the northeast are shifting toward sweatshirt weather. Exit the popsicles, bring on the chili and hot apple pie. It’s back-to-school for the kids, “good-bye” for all of you returning to college, and new milestones for recent grads.

And, oh yeah, did you happen to notice? Here at our mission home base, we’ve had a little change, as well: our very name. Welcome to the new website home of Haiti180!

Yes, somehow in the middle of a summer in which Sean traveled non-stop — performing, recording, and speaking all over the country — we found the time and energy to make this important move.

Our roll-out recently met the public eye at a New Hampshire music festival called Soulfest, surrounded by our team — and around 10,000 of our closest friends! More on that story — and a bunch of cool pics of Sean and the band — in an upcoming post.

Yes, it has been a summer of activity … and change. And we hope the changes we’re making as a mission team continue to translate into real changes for Haiti.

Because if you haven’t guessed, that’s the reason for our new name. Haiti180 … as in, shifting Haiti 180 degrees — a true reversal for those living in poverty there.

Return here to the site often for updates. And text the word “Haiti180” to 50555 to receive texts (maximum 4 per month) and follow the excitement as we continue to care for the children of the Kay Mari orphanage, work on the medical clinic, and plan our elderly home.

Change can be exciting. Be a part of it, and help us to ensure that Haiti180 lives up to its powerful new name. Let’s turn Haiti around … together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have the sad news of informing you that Martina, one of our children at Kay Mari, passed away last Saturday. If you did not know, she was one of our children with special needs and was susceptible to seizures. Friday night, she was brought to the hospital in the midst of a massive seizure that they could do nothing for, and God decided to take this sweet little girl home to be with Him.

While there is an enormous void at the orphanage from the loss of this little girl Martina, there is comfort for all of us in knowing that she did not die alone. The last year of her life was filled with love and comfort and care. I thank God that we found her when we did so she could experience this love and be treated with dignity before she went home to be with Our Father, Who is holding and loving on this girl right now.

It is amazing to see how a little girl with special needs helped to transform our home and the people of the village in Haiti by helping everyone to understand that all human beings have value and dignity, regardless of their physical abilities or ability to communicate.

Please pray for our team in Haiti and here in the States, but especially for the children. Hearts are broken, but we cry with hope — the hope of knowing that because of the cross, death has been conquered and we will be together again.

Katie Herman wanted to say a few words as well;

“Little Martina, who brought so much joy and light to our home, is now home with our Father. It is beautiful to see the kids able to mourn the loss of their sister in a safe, quiet place. We are encouraged knowing that Martina is singing and dancing in heaven, although on earth she was unable to walk or talk. We loved her dearly and in return she changed and softened the hearts of all who encountered her.  Her little smiles and giggles will be missed. Please continue to pray for us and our mission which is able to give hope, dignity, and love to all of God’s children, young and old. “

Thank you all for your support, love and prayers,

sean

Martina

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As you can probably see, we have rebranded our efforts from Mission Haiti to Haiti180. We have made tremendous progress in Haiti with a new school, a new church, and a busy orphanage taking care of children in the countryside of Haiti.

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