2 Haiti 4 Him

The Heckman family serving the Lord in Haiti at Emmaus Biblical Seminary

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Spring… and memories of our visit with West Park!

I know for SO many of you, the thought of Spring is WONDERFUL!

Knowing that we would be missing out on snow this past winter was a difficult reality for us as we moved to an island with endless summer…  NOT celebrating Christmas in 30 degree temperatures, NOT waking up to a snow day or two, NOT really having any excuse whatsoever to drink hot chocolate or wrap up in a blanket during the day… all of these things were a struggle for us...

BUT… with that being said…

after seeing ALL that you have endured over the past few months, the RIDICULOUSLY snowy winter you have experienced in the Northeast, we are so very grateful to be where we are!  We are praying for a QUICK change over to Spring for you all, and WARM temperatures in the coming weeks!

The second week of March was a super exciting week for us as we were BLESSED to have a team from West Park Church come to help us knock out some much needed projects around the campus!

Here are some pictures and words about our time together:

Each morning began with devotions at 6:45am, led by different members of the team throughout the week.  This was a highlight for me (and I'm sure for everyone else too!).  Listening to everyone share about their experiences and give insights into passages from their own lives… hearing about what God was saying to them throughout the week… praying together before we began each day's tasks… 
it was a sweet time!

Taking the team to one of our favorite churches was a really great experience as well.  The way that Haitian people worship is so refreshing and the message that Matt shared was powerful!  I know that all of us left church with something special that morning…

Right after church we took the team for a trip to the beach.  Sunday is our Sabbath here and we knew we would need to get this team away from the seminary to keep them from being tempted to work!  (The same goes for us missionaries too. When you live where you work, it is so easy to get caught up in doing work on our day of rest!) 

 It was a really nice day.  We love going to Dahloo Beach because the boat ride is almost as much of an adventure as the beach. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and get much needed rest before a crazy busy week!!!

On the day they arrived, we took the team around for a tour, and almost immediately after the tour was over, Nick and Bob were digging a hole in the yard to fix a leaky pipe!  Talk about jumping right in :)

Kelly and Kris were AMAZING!!!  They worked SO hard weeding the garden, painting our kitchen, living room, hallway and Ethan's bedroom, tirelessly painting the gate that Scott Hendrix welded in the HOT sun, helping with the ridiculous amount of dishes…

Kelly, Nick and Scott also helped Sam give antibiotics to our goats as well as helped castrate some of our goats…

YEAH… you heard that right!  Man did Kelly surprise me on that one…  

Kris and I preferred to take pictures, from a distance!  (Can I just say that having my best friend here was a blessing BEYOND words!)

I wish that I had taken more pictures of all the work that they accomplished while they were here!  

They finished the tile in the apartment (Scott and Phil- you rock!), and knocked out the tile in preparation to redo the men's bathroom in the dorm (Thanks beyond words Nick Hawkins! You worked SO stinkin' hard!!). Rob Skipper worked on the electric and the generator, doing most of which I can't even begin to explain because electric terms are SO beyond my understanding (WOW Rob- you were a HUGE blessing!), Scott Hendrix welded our gate and did lots of other welding in preparation for the porch to be poured for the apartment (Scott- you never cease to AMAZE me!!),  Bob Williams was an overall handy man! Doing plumbing work, his speciality, in pretty much every corner of the seminary- from the well pump and broken pipe in the ground, to the plumbing in the apartment, to helping Nick in the men's dorm to fixing my broken washer!  (I am overwhelmed with AWE at all that you accomplished and your laughter and joy through it all!).  Scott Burnley did a PHENOMENAL job at overseeing the team and all the projects, and making sure that everything was completed... working alongside of Phil (which Phil enjoyed SO much), being the brain power behind some new ventures, and everything in between!

Not only did the men and women who came on the team work HARD, but Leigha worked hard too (along with Ethan and Haylie)! Our kids got to take an early spring break from school, so they could help out the team for the week.  Ethan had the opportunity to work with the guys, helping to finish the countertops in the apartment and run errands getting supplies and tools and water, and Leigha and Haylie helped me with keeping the house clean and helped with food prep in the kitchen!  They did also have A LOT of fun together during the week.  Hearing their laughter and watching them play together was SO sweet.  MAN has Haylie missed her BFF!


If you can't tell by my use of CAPITAL letters- this team ROCKED!!!

Not only did we arrange projects for the team, but we also held a conversational English night so they could have a chance to meet some of the students that we have the privilege of working with each day here at Emmaus. (And for the students to get some practice in speaking English!)

And after the English class, the team convinced the guys to go next door to the chapel and play some music for them too!  The guys are SO talented and were excited to have the opportunity to share!

The relationships that were built in that short time were the biggest blessing for so many of those on the team.  And it was a blessing to my heart for the team to catch a glimpse of why we love working with the students here at EBS. 

THE hardest part of any team coming is saying goodbye.  That last day was bittersweet.  To have so many people that we love and care deeply about come and visit us here in Haiti was so very special for us.  Our hearts were renewed and refreshed by their company and the work they accomplished was an added bonus!  Many tears were shed that day (okay A LOT of them were mine!)… but they were a mix of sadness for saying goodbye and joy for the time we had to share with them!

We cannot thank West Park enough for joining us here and serving alongside of us in Haiti!!!



  1. I love reading these but especially loved this one. We were so excited to be a part of sending the team off to Haiti, I wanted to hide in a suitcase but knew that wouldn't work, . Just knowing that our church family cares about our family and to want to take 2 teams down to help you is super special to us. The blog helps us to see the team there and the work and spiritual side of the trip. Thanks for sharing this. Love you much!!!

  2. nice blog mom!!! I really enjoyed reading it!!!
    love, haylie!