Weekend Happenings

Jim & Marcy Ryken   -  


We drove to the Laboc church for VBS – singing, sharing the story of Jonah with a skit, memorizing scripture, and enjoying a nice long craft time making whale and Jonah cup crafts. After that was all finished, we received word that the food would be ready in one hour. We improvised and played a few group games out in the courtyard to pass the time and then led the children to the kitchen for a meal of rice and beans and stewed veggies. The children were so engaged and full of playful energy!  It was a blessing to spend the morning with them!

Craft at VBS

VBS games


Meal at VBS


Rice and Beans at VBS



UCI has had a team of students learning how build and program Lego robots.  A Lego team from Ames Middle School (yay Speedy Turtles!) recently raised money and donated 5 laptops. The 14 students worked with 4 robots and learned how to program the NXT robots that had been recently donated by Team Neutrino from Ames.

Lego programming


Ag talks and soil samples

Casey and Tyler met with a group agronomy students and did some soil sample testing.

Men’s choir

Our team was entertained by the local men’s choir.  The group is led by the most energetic clapper, Fabius.  The signing was accompanied by an accordion, creating a truly Haitian experience.


Our experience at the local Haitian church was a joy.  The service was about 2 1/2 hours long.  Kip delivered an engaging message from 1 Peter 5, with JeanJean as his interpreter.  Several from our team helped Kristie with children’s church. Alyssa gave a message about Honoring your Father and Mother to pair with the upcoming Haitian Mother’s Day service. They loved decorating hearts for all the parents.

Worship Haitian Style

Kip and JeanJean

Allyssa teaching at Children’s Church


Team Photo Op

Youth Group

Kristie is restarting the church youth group focusing on ages 12-19.  We had a small group at the start, but by the end, around 40 youth came to sing, play Ninja, ball relay, a Name Game and hear Alyssa’s testimony. It was a great time of sharing God’s goodness.


This afternoon there was a volleyball tournament in Hinche.  The games were for middle school and high school boys.  We overfilled the van with 20+ passengers for the 25 minute ride.  The UCI teams played amazing volleyball and won 7 of the 8 matches.  Jianhua and Alyssa spent time making a new friend, a young man who wanted to learn English and know more about the Bible.



Impromptu English Lesson at the Volleyball game

It’s been a wonderful weekend.  Our team is working well together and getting comfortable doing ministry here. Thank you for all your prayers!