Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fou Family and Fou Friends

It has been almost two months since my last blog post and as I read the last entry about Kelly I know she would have been excited to see everything that's going on. Just another reminder to me of what an excellent example and spirit that she had :)

I've been in Haiti for quite awhile and my creole is definitely lacking. However this blog post has a little bit just for kicks. "Fou," means crazy and that's how it has felt with friends and family--what a blessing to have all of these people visit. I am so grateful that each of them were able to witness places that God has broken my heart, to pick up kids that melted their hearts and to see how beautiful Haiti really is.

At the beginning of November my friend Gates came to visit and was able to help coordinate between the two teams at the guesthouse and was able to attend some meetings with me. One was a security meeting that meets on Wednesday.
Right before Thanksgiving Ben was able to help out as our locksmith in Haiti.
Here's a glimpse at the Grace Village clinic keys prior to Ben's arrival.

Ben has such a heart of a servant. It was such an honor to see him work and talk with him more. On his last night in Haiti everyone jumped in the pick up and we went to Hotel Montana for a beautiful view of downtown PAP. Such a gorgeous place it was nice to spend time relaxing before water truck and his flight back to MN.

Thanksgiving 2013...what a great time we had as a family! Both the Nelson family and the Bachmanns spent the Holiday in Haiti! I remember talking about the idea with the Nelson girls but to actually have it happen was pretty amazing.

Its still debate able but our families have been friend since cira 1996/1997. Our parents have been in Bible Study together for several years and honestly I couldn't think of better people to be with. Truly the Nelson family is the epitome of serving and has such a big heart for the people of Haiti. The last two Christmases they spent at Grace Village serving the kids in Titanyen. So blessed to serve alongside them and to be able to do life together as families. They knew our family before politics, before people "knew" who we were. What a blessing to have friends that can walk with you in life during the peak mountain top experiences and the low valleys. God has equipped both our families with a network of believers that have been there for each other in so many ways. I wouldn't want to do life without this kind of genuine fellowship.

We split the week with my family arriving a few days before Thanksgiving and the Nelsons staying a few days after. At the beginning of the week we were able to visit Grace Village and one of Samaritan's Purse orphanages in Haiti. Thanksgiving day was busy preparing food and setting the table for around 36 people. What a blessing to have so many people at the table! Turkey Bingo made debuted in Haiti and was lots of fun. Great food and great night that ended with Its a Wonderful Life..tradition.


Friday was lots of fun especially as a surprise to many. I don't think anyone knew that we would actually be able to visit the waterfall or that we would be able to see the ocean but we did! We rented two large 4wd vehicles and headed to Jacmel Haiti.

On the way we stopped for the view and met some kiddos :)
Getting close to the waterfall

Here it is ;)

We had so much fun! After the waterfall we headed into the city of Jacmel and finally to the beach. Such a great time with everyone. The seafood on the beach was amazing. I've never had better fish than in Jacmel!


There you go! Its been such a great time laughing, serving and just loving life together. God has been so good and we are all so blessed to be able to have the opportunities that we have. To be able to share this experience and this country with my family was such a gift.

Until next time!

Elisa Laura



Monday, October 14, 2013


I've known Kelly since my Junior High days. I met her through Teens for Christ and Bible Quizzing. Her love for youth and a desire for genuine faith ignited something inside me.

Kelly had the tendency to be a friend to anyone whether they belonged or not. Her ability to relate to young adults made it easy to open up to her about life and personal struggles.
I remember leadership trips with Teens for Christ where we would stay up late just to talk with Kelly and hear stories and laugh about what we did during the day. There were always inside jokes that continued for years even at Kelly's expense. No matter where we were or what we were doing Kelly always had a listening ear to each of us. My own friends from youth group days are some of my closest friends and so I know spending this time together remembering Kelly and who she was is something each of us hold dear.

Kelly was always involved in volunteering, whether it was setting up for VBS, Bible Quiz events, Spa night at youth group, summer girls Bible study--if Kelly was involved she was going to do it right. One summer we did a study on the book "Captivating," by Stasi Eldredge and Kelly had a new adventure for us each time we came over. One of Kelly's most endearing qualities was her ability to bond with others. To meet people where they were at, knowing God sees them and loves them. I know that her decision to step back from Teens for Christ and Bible Quizzing because of her health was not an easy one.
   As I made decisions of my own, where to go for college, going on a missions trip or becoming a missionary I knew I needed Kelly's advice. Many discussions at her kitchen counter ended late and always left me in good spirits. Her love for others was so evident in the way she spoke, served and was.
1 Timothy 4:12 says; "Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all Believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity."
Often I am challenged by this verse. Kelly's love for youth was rooted in knowing that God was putting together some amazing testimonies.

For her family...
Jim I saw your patience with all of us girls coming over and staying late. Thank you for your caring spirit as she was sick. What an example you have been of a Christian husband and father.
Cori, Jake, Trevor, Caleb and baby Ellie--thank you for sharing such an amazing woman with so many. Kelly really changed so many lives in ways we'll never know. I know her time away from home was a sacrifice but I am eternally grateful for the time she was given and the time I was able to spend with her.

My last trip to Minnesota we talked about what God has been teaching us and how it was playing out in our lives. We both said God was showing us how much he loves us, how when we least deserve it God forgives us and cares for us. She talked about how God's desire was and is to heal and that is what happened to Kelly-she stands before an Almighty God healed from all earthly sickness. While on earth Kelly really lived out her faith in a way that was real and used opportunities in daily life to witness to others.
1 John 3:18-19 says; "Dear children let's not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God." My prayer is that we would choose to love our neighbors, to live life worthy of a purpose greater than ourselves, that we would surrender our life to the Creator of the universe to bring Him glory.

Kel Kel you have been my mentor and friend. I'm going to miss talking with you, laughing with you and praying with you. Thank you for serving, for loving and listening to me when I needed to talk and for your wisdom that will be instilled in my spirit. You talked about how God was going to use your sickness for his glory and I believe He is. Your legacy of servanthood is evident to so many. I am thankful for you and honored to have been apart of seeing God work through you. Love you Kel

Convertible Ride 

Target Practice 
Picking out some Hallmark cards

Sleepover at the cabin for spa night

Love you..

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What do you do?

Great question! Its funny to me how I can literally answer this question different everyday but I'll try my best to give you a general idea of what a typical week in Haiti looks like:

Monday--busy day!!
The beginning of the week for me, as one team leaves to go back to the states that same afternoon we welcome a new team to serve the most vulnerable in Haiti.
With a few hours between teams we try to do the majority of odd projects; delivering FMSC food, delivering materials to Grace Village, grocery shopping and just about anything else that needs a taptap for transportation.

Deciding on Tile for building projects

Tuesday: Water truck day for our teams. As I work with security I'm typically anxious for them to return from Cite Soleil, I know God keeps us safe but it still keeps me alert while they are away! What an awesome experience for our Cite Soleil Boys to play in the Blaine Soccer tournament. I loved watching all the facebook posts!

KSTP and other stations did stories on the U-14 team.

So proud of our Haiti boys! Next year there will be a girls team as well :) 

Wednesday: After the teams leave the guesthouse to serve for the day I attend a security meeting near Petionville. Its such a great opportunity to talk with other NGOs about what they are doing in Haiti for security and what we as Healing Haiti should be doing and what we are doing well.
I've really enjoyed this time with other people from foreign countries that have a heart to serve and truly believe that there is a difference to be made in Haiti.
The last Wednesday in July we attended Max's wedding: here with his daughter and nephew.

Wedding Party

God-mother; didn't know until just before :)

Max: "Elisa, can I have phaunis tacos for the wedding?"
Elisa: "OUI!"

For the rest of the week it seems to vary pretty heavily. Majority of the time I am answering emails, scheduling teams, coordinating transportation and general guesthouse needs. I also am able to assist Jean when needed as he continues to stay busy all the time. I feel so blessed to be able to work and live with such awesome people. Here's a glimpse into guesthouse happenings.
Fabrice seriously wanted me to eat this bird.
Brunet and Nick not as interested
Brunet just wanted to eat the bird himself
Katusha was bit by one of the dogs :/
She was ok-such a brave little girl!
Spotted: Martelly's(Haiti's President) son at Wahoo Bay
--with the bleached hair--
Spotted: Sleeping team members :)
We know how to wear you out!

Arm wrestling
Even Fanfan tried to beat the champion...
unsuccessful but entertaining :)

What a cutie!! We just love this kid!

Sunday: I try to make a day of rest. Trying to connect with family back home. Church in the morning at PAP fellowship and some down time while the teams are on their mountain tour after church. 

Sunday worship at PAP fellowship.
The power goes out for about 20 mins, doesn't fade us we 
just continue to worship! Love :)

Hope this post answers some of the questions about my job here in Haiti. When I am asked that question I typically say that everyday is different but its consistently different ;) So happy for the change in pace and the constant happenings! Hope everyone is having a great end of summer. Looking forward to a beautiful fall!


Elisa Laura

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Today was Max and Diane's wedding! We've been talking about it here at the guesthouse for months. Comments like "I can't wait for phaunis' tacos," or "do you think the clinic will be ready?"

To finally be able to see this whole day put together was such a joy. Starting with about 40 guests we assumed by the end it was closer to 115. :)

Per usual the ceremony started later than scheduled but honestly it was still such a special service. Pastor Gary and Wesley were amazing and as expected max could not stop smiling! 

So happy for the couple! Congrats!!

Thank you to everyone from grace village/guesthouse/ missionaries--everyone that made this entire event happen! So blessed to be working with so many dedicated people!!

Mesi anpil!

Elisa Laura 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summa Time 2013

It is summer time in Haiti and busy is an understatement. Something new everyday-from dog duty to birthdays to two team schedules--however I wouldn't have it any other way. To know that the ministries that Healing Haiti partners with know that we will show up each week to love on Haiti's most vulnerable and that it will continue week after week. How cool is that?

Working at the guesthouse one of my favorite things is to meet new people and to see how God can transform hearts in just one week. Our God is alive and working everyday--I get to see hearts changed everyday! Its also nice to see familiar faces, a friend from Camp Dellwater and Teens For Christ days; Brian Royal was in Haiti. Also a friend of mine Kristine, who was on my first Haiti trip came a few days before her team came in June.

Dogs! Bitsy had puppies-one didn't survive but Gracie, another pup did and is doing well! Our other female dog Princess is also expecting and should have her litter any day now. Some of you may know that dogs are really not my forte, however I have come to really love little Gracie and can't wait for her to get bigger!

July has also been the month for birthdays and celebrations. Jean, Nickinson, Phaunis and Meliciane all had birthday's here at the guesthouse. Phaunis also got married at the beginning of the month :) We have been enjoying cake, cupcakes, ice cream and thanks to Skye from Aquaponics some yummy A&W root beer floats! Shout out to Skye--Fanfan and Jean still sneak upstairs to make 'em!

WOW lots have gone on since my last update. I hope to be better about my next blog post, hope everyone is having a great summer and loving the nice weather.

Enjoy the photos!!