It’s been a WHILE since I’ve written on here! It feels so surreal to peruse through my old blog posts from a year ago at this time. So many things have changed; my place of residence (living in good old Merrimac, Massachusetts!), my job (back to my preschool teaching life…as if I could have stayed away…while volunteering with the WNCC youth group), my relationship status (I’m a future Mrs. Smith!!!), but my heart for Haiti has not and will never change. I know that the passion I have for that country, it’s people, and Mission of Hope International will never fade because it was placed there by the Lord Himself.
That being said, I’m EXCITED to share that I will be returning to Haiti for one week in February of 2018! I will be co-leading a group consisting of people from West Newbury Congregational Church and Pilgrim Church, as well as some awesome repeat participants from our community! We have been in the planning stages of our trip, and here is our current blueprint for our week in Grand Goâve:
- support the L14 ministry that MOHI & I began this past year (raising money for food, supplies, visiting the homes of the people we built a relationship with to possibly assist families from an OT/PT/nursing perspective)
- build a home
- do handyman/fix up work around MOHI properties
- work in the school/look at a curriculum for higher grades, lego project, after school activities/classes
- teaching first aid as an after school program and/or for mothers in the community (this would include researching the common needs, bringing appropriate first aid kits for people in the class.
- sending a couple barrels down soon that we could retrieve and unpack while we are there.
I am so excited to be continuing my relationship with MOHI alongside people from home who I love and wished I could share Haiti with while I was away for ten months. I’m especially excited to get back and see/hold/snuggle/love on my girl Djanicka, in addition to all the other individuals from the L14 Ministry. (See the blog from this past April for more information on this portion of MOHI that holds a special place in my heart!)
The funds I need to raise in order to go on this trip is $650. I am looking to achieve this by December 1, and would ask all of you to please consider partnering with me in this endeavor, especially as the holidays come up. You can donate to my trip online via GoFundMe OR you can mail a check to:
West Newbury Congregational Church
Attn: Alicia D’Olimpio
308 Main Street
West Newbury, Massachusetts, 01985
Just be sure to write ‘Haiti’ on the memo line; also, with this option, your donation is tax deductible!
Even if you can’t contribute financially, please join me in praying for this time in Haiti, spent by myself and the team of 23 others who are joining me! You can also keep an eye out for more information to come about some other fundraising options the team will be putting on (We are bringing back the CHRISTMAS WREATH fundraiser this November and December!); also, you can contact me about potentially donating some supplies and/or items that could help us with our intended projects once we are down in Haiti. Anything helps!
The awesome thing about community is that it goes way back to Biblical times. I’ve been reading through Paul’s letters in the New Testament, and I can’t help but draw parallels to Paul’s joy when he talks of the places that have helped him through his missionary journey. He thanks them, he prays for them, and he loves them even when he cannot physically be with them in their cities, by sending them letters of encouragement. I feel a strong connection to Paul in all of this: that I am so blessed to be supported physically, emotionally, and spiritually by all of you time and time again. It’s been a couple years since my first experience with international missions, and you all have continued to be on this road with me. I thank you for that. God’s mission would not be possible without His hands and feet, which are, without a doubt, you.
Thank you all for tuning in once again. It feels good to be writing on here; the change that took place over this past year both inside and out has been enormous and God driven. I’m so in awe by the work of His hands in and around my life.
I look forward to connecting with you all soon! So much love!
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:1-11