Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bon Sel Dayiti

We are so please to announce that the ElderCare program will be partnering with a Notre Dame program called Bon Sel Dayiti, which means Good Salt in Haiti.  In America, our salt comes iodized which prevents mental retardation and growth deficiencies.  In Haiti now, only 11% of households use iodized salt.  This program has also researched and developed a way to add diethylcarbamazine to the salt which will prevent Lymphatic filariasis, or elephantitis, a common disease in Haiti in which the legs or other extremities become swollen and incapacitating.

While we are there in January, we will be purchasing the salt for some of the elders to resell at the Titanyen market.  They will keep any profits they make as a way to provide income for themselves and gain dignity and worth in their community.

For more information on the salt or the program please visit:!/2009/08/bon-sel-dayiti_15.html

Monday, December 3, 2012

January Advocate Trip

I am so excited to be making my third trip to Haiti with two very good friends!  Cindy Romanik (pictured on the left) has been a bible study and prayer companion for about 8 years.  Shannon Faust (pictured on the right) and I have daughters in the same grade and same girl scout troop in Mahtomedi. 
Neither one of them have been on a mission trip before, but both already have amazing hearts that are so willing to serve in whatever way is needed.  Cindy is a nurse and will be putting her skills to use at a medical clinic we will be holding for all of the Elderly in the Healing Haiti program.  Shannon knows French so she will make communicating for all of us much easier!  I am so amazed at how God puts people together for each mission trip in a way that utilizes each of their gifts!
This ElderCare Advocate trip is already being filled with activities that I hope will only improve the lives of the elderly.  Here is what we hope to do while we are there:
  • Viewing elderly homes in disrepair with Jean to come up with a plan for improved living conditions.
  • Doing a trial market day where the elders sell items that we have purchased at wholesale costs, so that they can keep the profits as income.
  • Purchasing salt that has been iodized and enhanced with a medicine by Notre Dame researchers that will help prevent elephanititus (a common ailment of Haitians).  This will also be sold by one of our elders as a way to make income.
  • Teaching some of our elders how to make things like bread, necklaces and baskets as a way to create income.
  • Medical clinic with Dr. Sem for all of the elderly.
  • Christmas luncheon and activity day for all of the elderly.
  • Organizing and inventoring all of the ElderCare supplies to develop a better way to monitor what supplies are needed.
  • We are trying to visit Global Outreach, another organization in Titanyen that also runs and elderly program, to see how we can partner with them to best serve the elderly.
  • We will be delivering a laptop for Carrolle to use while at Grace Village as a way to stay in better communication with the ElderCare team.
  • We will be evaluating the current elderly visitation schedule to see if there is any way to add more elders to the program (we have over 10 on our waiting list!).
  • Visiting with the Grace Academy director to discuss how to start an adult literacy program for the elderly.
  • And if we have time, we hope to do some video interviews with some of the elders that will eventually be made into a memoir book.
Whew!  Only God knows the plans for our week, so these items may or may not get done!  God will lead our week, so whatever does get done will be in His will and will keep us moving forward with His plans for the elderly.  Please pray for our preparations, both physical and spiritual, as well as our safety and our impact while we are in Haiti.  5 weeks to go!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Good Bye Sweet Antonia

Antonia went home to be with her Savior on Friday, November 9th.  Antonia was 93 and bed ridden, but it never dampened her joy.  Everyone that visited her was transformed by her love for God.  Now she no longer is condemened to laying on the dirt floor of a hot tarp house in Titanyen; she is dancing and singing with Jesus in His beautiful home! Nou'ap sonje ou, Antonia!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Join us in Fasting & Praying for the Elderly

The ElderCare team has decided to start fasting so that our elderly are covered in prayer most days of the month.  We still have a few spots open if you would like to join us.  If you would like to fast on a Saturday or Sunday, we welcome that, too.  Just email me at .
1st Monday of each month:  Shelly Mannella
1st Tuesday: Cathy LeVahn
1st Wednesday: Ann Spinner
1st Thursday: Amy Gandy
1st Friday: Joyce Getchell
2nd Monday: Sharon Mitchell
2nd Tuesday: Cathy LeVahn
2nd Wednesday: Missy Ness
2nd Thursday: Amy Gandy
2nd Friday:
3rd Monday:
3rd Tuesday: Cathy LeVahn
3rd Wednesday:
3rd Thursday:  Amy Gandy
3rd Friday:
4th Monday: Sharon Mitchell
4th Tuesday: Cathy LeVahn
4th Wednesday:
4th Thursday: Amy Gandy
4th Friday:
When fasting, here are some specific things that you can pray for:
Each of our elders by name (you can find their names and pictures on the Healing Haiti website) and their health, safety and relationship with Jesus.
Their children and grandchildren and their relationship with Jesus.
That each elder would be sponsored by February of 2013.
The Healing Haiti board and the ElderCare team, that we would have wisdom to help and support the elderly in ways that are helpful, not harmful, specifically in determining how to improve their lives through income producing activities and housing improvements.
For Jessica and Carrolle, our ElderCare teammates that are in Haiti....for their strength and encouragement as they deal with the day to day struggles of providing for the elderly.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Carrolle got married!

This is Carrolle, the ElderCare employee that cares for and loves all 28 of our elders in Titanyen, Haiti.  She was married last weekend to Monfils, the Grace Academy school director.  What a beautiful bride!  Congratulations Carrolle!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Visits in the Rain

As Hurricane Sandy rages through the Caribbean, as relentless rain pounds down on Haiti, those living in tents and shacks are so vulnerable and exposed. We had a short window of time available yesterday in Titanyen, so we checked in with three of the elderly.  I'm happy to report that they were mostly dry.  

We saw Marie first.  Her roof was leaking and a tarp strung across the ceiling was sagging into a dripping bucket in one corner.   She had gotten little sleep the night before due to the storms, but was all smiles and joy when we visited.  We left her a new tarp and twine, and she assured us that she would find someone to tie it up for additional reinforcements.  We also constructed a little bridge with rocks to span the large puddle between her front door and higher ground. When we gave her fresh water and food she told us that we 'saved her life today' and she is very much looking forward to having a shower at Grace Village on Saturday.   

We saw Antonia next.  She was clean and comfortable and her roof was sound with no drips.   When we asked her if she needed anything, all she asked for was help with the many flies in her home.  We will bring insect repellent when we return on Saturday.  We stopped at Ecko Depot and a supermarket in search of fly strips but couldn't find any.

Edmond was also dry and his niece was with him.  He was hungry and thirsty and happy to receive food and water.  His smiles for our team brought tears to my eyes.  

With three more days of rain forecasted, please keep these precious elders in your prayers as well as those suffering in tent cities and flood plains.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Beloved Video

For those of you that haven't seen this video yet, it features a few of the elderly as Beloved!

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Sponsorship Webpage!

We are so excited to announce that we have a new ElderCare Sponsorship webpage at!  Now, interested sponsors can see photos of each of our beautiful elders and choose which one they would like to sponsor!  Check it out:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Grace Village Kids are serving the Elderly

Jessica, the In-Country ElderCare Liason, has been doing amazing things in Haiti.  One of her goals is to help the children of Grace Village develop compassion by serving the elderly in our program.  In the picture below the boys are learning how to give haircuts.  This clippers is very old and dull so we will be sending new clippers to Haiti.

For more of Jessica's stories on serving the elderly, visit her blog at:

Changes in ElderCare

Hello ElderCare Followers!

My name is Sharon Mitchell and I recently became the new ElderCare Lead Advocate. As many of you know, Susan Schwope stepped down from the role in late August after 3 years of developing and nuturing this wonderful program.  She will be missed by many!

Susan, myself and Amy Gandy worshipping with the elders in August.

I thought I would introduce myself and let you know where I see the program going over the next year or so.  My husband, Dan, and I live in Dellwood with our two kids, Isaiah (12) and Siena (10).  I am an interior designer, and my husband and I have been running our home staging business for over 8 years.  We took our first mission trip to Haiti together in February of this year.  I returned in August with the ElderCare team and knew that God would use me to help the elderly in some way.  I didn't expect Susan to step down or to be asked to take her role, but know that God had this planned for me.  I am so excited to have a front seat to see what God is going to do with the ElderCare program!

Over the next few months you will see a few things happening within the program.  A new sponsorship binder will be at the Healing Haiti Guesthouse next week that will allow mission goers to see which elders still need to be sponsored and to send updates to sponsors of the elders they visited that week.  We also have a new ElderCare Sponsorship Advocate, Cathy LeVahn who will be working hard to make sure all elders get sponsored!

We will be updating the blog sidebar and website so you can see who is part of the ElderCare team.  We will also be adding pages to the website where you can meet the elders, sponsor a specific elder, purchase a talking bible and more.  Look for those updates in the next few weeks.  We also hope to be blogging more in between ElderCare trips so that you know what's going on.

A couple of new programs will be introduced over the next year.  Jessica Burmester, our In-Country Advocate, and Shelly Manella, the Eldercare Public Relations Advocate will be working on a memoir book to capture the stories, history and wisdom that each of the elders are so willing to share.  Hopefully this will be available to purchase as a fundraiser for the ElderCare program.

And lastly, I am so excited to develop a program that will help the elderly create some income.  Over and over again, the elderly have asked us to help them become self sustaining.  They are able and willing to work, but have nothing to get started.  We will be working to provide jobs for them at Grace Village, creating jobs for them helping other elders in the program, possibly baking pizzas or bread in the new pizza oven that is being installed in two weeks and buying items wholesale that they can sell on market day.

Please keep the elders, the program and our team in your prayers.  God is going to do some amazing things!!!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

One Life to Live

One Life to Live
As we sat around the circle to reflect on the day we all realized it was a tremendous day of interaction with another aspect of God’s family, some of the folks of the Elder Care Ministry of Healing Haiti.
These family members are at this very moment are sitting in the dark in an eight by ten structure that is made of a wood frame surrounded by blue tarp and a metal roof. The floor could be cement but most likely it is dirt. In the next couple of days the structures will face hurricane Isaac with wind and rain yet to be determined. Will the structures hold?  We don’t know for sure. PRAY!
When I think back on the day I feel so blessed that I could help several frail elderly gentlemen take a shower, put on a brand new shirt, and feel refreshed. The last man we helped needed to sit while showering, but even though we struggled to help him he sat in that running shower water and made little groans of happiness. I don’t think he really wanted to come out of that shower. As I washed his back and got down on my knees to wash his legs and feet, I could not help but to remember Jesus instruction to do this very thing. My American culture doesn’t have much occasion to provide such a service. And yet maybe there are ways?!
We fed them, clothed them, prayed with them, worshiped with them, hugged and loved on them. And as I reflect on our time with them I realized I have but one life to live and with that life I only have “One life to Love.”
Bodies that have been twisted by the hardships of life still need a hug and so do I!
After we were done with the “Party” for these wonderful people we made our way back to Port au Prince and the guesthouse. Along the way we stopped at the mass gravesite of those who died in the earthquake and the following cholera epidemic. It was sobering to me because most likely at least two of my friends from previous trips were buried there.  I was sad and yet quite happy because I WILL see them again. I reminded me that there is uncertainty in life and we should live it to the fullest.
Remember the words: “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Steve Kersting

Bonswa from Haiti!

Yes...Gail here BLOGGING!  This Haiti Mission trip has been beyond my imagination.  Today we had a gathering for the elders at Grace Village, the Healing Haiti Orphanage.  They could have a shower (one elder hasn't had a shower in recent years), they had a lunch, and took part in 2 crafts with the enthusiasm of young children.  They walked into the door with huge smiles and warm hugs anticipating a glorious day.  And did they have a glorious day!  Because of the massive earthquake  in January of 2010, these lovely elders are living in tarp tents, a step up from the cardboard tents they used to call home.  They are sleeping on dirt floors.  Most are weak and fragile.  Some are blind or partially paralyzed.  When we went to visit them at their homes, they welcome us warmly and proudly show us their few household items.  They are thrilled to see that we have brought them medical supplies, lotions, etc.  The culture and economic opportunities separate us, but they have hopes and dreams too.  For all of us, it's been an honor to be God's caring hands.  We also had an emotional visit to the Mass Grave, where 300,000 people were all buried after the earthquake.  Tomorrow we are going to help with water trucks in Citie Soleil and then go to The Home for Sick and Dying Children.  We may have to alter our flight plans depending on impending Hurricane Isaac's track.

                                                                                                     Orevwa, Gail

Friday, June 1, 2012


It's the end of the week and the word for today is "joy".

It is a joy to serve the elderly, but they bring such joy to Haiti. Some say it's the children who bring the joy to Haiti because they are everywhere.
And, they are full of smiles and joy.

However, if you look closely, pause temporarily and expect God to show you truth - you view the elderly and see joy. There is beauty in their aged faces. The Son shining in their toothless smiles.
Today we brought 10 elderly meals on wheels along with water. Some had not eaten for a full day or more, so they were ecstatic to receive God's blessing. Again, toothless smiles full of joy.

How can people who have so little be so joyful and continue to praise God and give him credit? While in America, we struggle to remember to pray before a meal and acknowledge where the food came from?

Tomorrow is a new day - another day to see what God has planned.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day Two

It was the end of day two but too exhausted to blog so I am cheating and blogging the morning of day 3

Day 2 was typical organized chaos in Haiti.
God's light was revealed and shined bright. He is ever faithful!!!

The main mission today was to get medical help for two elderly. With God's grace, we were able to get help for one.

We had an elder woman who is immobile and had maggots in her bed sore along with fleas and ants. Thankfully we were able to partner with Global Outreach, another mission organization and provide medical help for the wound. Give spiritual help to the soul and lots of love to the woman, Antonia.

It really is all about sharing God's love and caring for these elderly. Medical help is necessary, but spiritual impact is really the ever lasting focus.

God's light shined bright because today in only ways God can orchestrate, we were able to connect with Global Outreach and another mission group, New Life Children's Home. All work with elderly in some form or fashion in the village of Titanyen. I forsee God working in amazing ways to coordinate all three of us to make an even greater impact with the elderly. All in God's glory and timing!

It's a new day dawning - God is faithful - do we really need more than that?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday, May 29

Today was our first day back in Haiti on a "maintenance run".
It is a humbling experience and one that brings me to my knees as I rely solely on God because there "aint' nowhere else to go".
The needs are so many.
The resources so few. Struggling to even get clean water to 10 elderly on a daily basis.

Approached today to add 2 more ill elders to the program.
Inside I cry because we cannot do it.
Outside I politely smile and explain we do not have the money or capability to care for two more at this time.
What would Jesus do goes around and around in my head.
I know we can't help all
But what if the "all" is your father or uncle and you are told "no" by a smiling white person who goes home at night with a full belly and water to drink?

Working with the elderly is no Sunday school picnic - full of smiles and laughing children.
It is hard work, brutal honesty and reality of impending death.
Then again, going to the cross to save us, forgiving us of our sins, knowing we will turn around and sin again - that is what gives me strength and hope and focus.
Our Savior did more for me than I can even fathom.

He will show his face again tomorrow providing strength and focus and just what we need when we need it! More importantly, He will be ever present with these amazing people and elders. Praise God for what he is doing here.     

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012 - Prep for the next trip

My niece and I are getting ready now to go back to Haiti for a "maintenance run" where we check on each elder and make sure the program is running as smoothly as possible.

There is an air of anticipation. We leave lush green spring here and go to chaos and dust in Haiti.
We leave comforts and food a plenty and go to survival and the site of an elder going without food for days. We leave the land of 10,000 lakes and go to a country where water is "gold".

My prayer for Holly and Susan in Haiti:

Safety and comfort - you know the need Lord
Challenges and stretching - yours alone
Eyes W I D E open
Hearts quietly broken
Compassion ripped unabashedly free
Serving hearts - Minds like Christ
Joyfulness - Praises and Glory to God
Selfishness gone, washed away at least temporarily
Replaced by care for others
Seeing God   The Son    The Holy Spirit

Susan Schwope

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday, Feb 9

"Prayers going to heaven, grace falling on earth"
"Glory to God"
"My new friend"
"New life"
"I am feasting on His Word"
"New life"

These are some of the words and responses of the elders after receiving their talking Bibles.
I have had many joyful moments in Haiti, but nothing like the joy of sharing God's Word!
With this joyful experience, Susan and I have experienced many obstacles: flat tires, vehicles running out of gas, adversity within the village and illness.
After time in prayer, it was clear to both of us; why would we not expect obstacles when are delivering God's Word?
But God is greater and He is victorious.
1 John 4:4 states."But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater that the spirit who lives in the world."
I thank God for His faithfulness, His love, His Word - which is alive, active and sharper than a two edged sword.
I thank the Lord for the elderly, who are so filled with His joy and have such eager anticipation for heaven.
May God bless our elderly....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday - Feb. 7th

Today is our actual second day doing an elder care "maintenance run" - this is a week where two of the elder support team come to check on the elderly and our Haitian workers who are the hands and feet of Christ when we are not here.

Andrenoi, our Haitian worker is amazing. His faith in Christ, his devotion to the elderly and his loyalty to us is admirable and touching. He watches over both the elderly as well as us to make sure things are running smoothly.

Yesterday and today we delivered Creole Talking Bibles to 12 elderly. I can hardly express what it is like to see an elderly gentleman who is rather stoic and reserved tear up when he hears the word of God (possibly for the first time) speak directly to him.

I wonder and ponder why I am allowed to be witness to these precious moments -- I cherish telling the elders over and over how much God loves them specifically. In a country of around 10 million people, elderly are over looked, not seen and definitely not made to feel special or unique. To reassure them and then to let them hear God's word through the Talking Bible that God actually cares and knows the number of hairs on their heads brings all of us to tears.

We may bring medicine; we may bring toiletries and food - but these are merely temporary things. When we are blessed to bring the Talking Bibles that so many of you had a part in donating - we are giving the elderly a glimpse of something eternal.

From the elderly to you -- God bless you. The elderly that are sponsored ask about you - they save your pictures of your families and ask about you. They are eager to see each of you in heaven where there are no black and white people - just brothers and sisters in Christ.