Friday, October 02, 2015

Update on Davens

Hi Everyone, just wanted to give you a quick update on Davens.  Thank you so much for praying for him today.  Late this morning the seizures stopped and he fell asleep.  He slept for the rest of the day and then woke up this evening, hungry.  Last I talked to Linda today he was busy eating!!  The doctors are not sure what caused the seizures and what happens next, but we appreciate your prayers for him very much.  We'll be watching him closely and trust God for whatever is ahead for him.

The rains have slowed down as have the winds and things seemed much better this evening than this morning.  They are busy having a small going away party for Ernst who will be leaving the HOH to study in a place outside of Port-au-Prince.

Thanks again -- we appreciate your support very much.

Prayer Needed

Just a quick post to ask for prayer for one thing that is weighing heavy on everyone at the HOH at this time, and one other thing that is just making life harder....

Davens is an incredible 5 year old little boy who has been at the HOH for quite some time now.  He has so much energy and is so much fun.  He loves to make people laugh, and you just can't be around him and not be affected by his joyful spirit. You can see him here in the blue shirt.  The other little boy is Wendjy his best buddy at the HOH.  They are pictured here with Samantha and Heather two of the young ladies who were at the HOH this past summer.

Davens has not been feeling well for the past few days, and this morning started having seizures and our Pediatrician, Dr. Vilton, cannot get them to stop no matter what she does.  As you can imagine the entire house is affected by this, especially Linda who is doing all she can to assist the medical staff and take care of him.  Here's the picture Linda sent me this morning:

With the numbers of kids who go through the HOH each year, these kinds of situations happen all too often, but they never get easier, especially on Linda.  Please hold them up in your prayers this morning:
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors, they have such limited resources to work with, much depends on their training and just common sense medical skills.
  • Pray for strength, courage and wisdom for Linda and the other kids and staff at the HOH who care for Davens and hurt as he is hurting.
  • Pray for healing for his little body and that the doctors would be able to figure out what is wrong and what to do.
All this is happening while the hurricanes are going through the area.  Since yesterday the heavy hard tropical rains have not stopped, along with heavy winds.  Since life is mostly lived outside at the HOH, and our buildings are quite open -- it makes for tough living and working conditions.  Pray for patience and strength as they deal with this inconvenience along with the tough situation with Davens.  Linda has requested your prayers, and I know it will mean a lot to her. Thanks so much.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Catching up through pictures

Greetings to you all after a long period of silence!!  It's crazy how the weeks fly by and I just don't seem to get to everything that I have on my "to do" list.  I want to share a bit of our time in Haiti with you.  We had just a wonderful time at the HOH and I was so excited to see how well things are going there.  Linda and the young leaders are just doing a great job and it was evident that God is working in the hearts of these children and youth.  The thing that touched my heart the most was their eagerness to hear God's Word and learn from the lessons we had prepared.

They were so excited about the studies, they encouraged their friends to come as well.  Our group of 60 HOH kids grew to almost double that number by the time the week was over. 

We had a great time of learning during our camp week and we all look forward to learning more together throughout the year.  Our theme this year was "Jesus, My Only Hope" and Hebrews 6:19-20 was our theme verse.

As you'll remember I was going down to the HOH with 3 young ladies from Canada, here we are at the start of our trip.

 They were a great group of girls, they put up with a lot of inconveniences along the way; yet their attitudes were so positive.  They went willing to do whatever to help and they certainly achieved this.  Here are some of the activities they helped out with...

Jenna worked extremely hard on decorating wedding cakes the very day we arrived.  The results were incredible!  Everyone at the wedding was surprised and asked where they could get such nice looking cakes!

Heather spent many hours trying to determine just how many children she could hold at any one given time.  She's very talented at this..

Meanwhile Samantha showed of her one-on-one skills giving incredibly fun swing rides...

 All three of these young ladies joined into Camp week by each joining one of the three teams who were competing against each other during the week.  They did many things I'm sure seemed crazy to them, like dressing up in weird costumes and outfits for no apparent reason...

They were great sports though and had a lot of fun and laughs along the way.  One of their main goals was to build meaningful relationships with the kids there and this time was a great way for them to do that.

 We were happy to meet up with two other groups of people while we were at the HOH.  The Lewis family was there from England.  They are great friends and we had such a wonderful time with them.  Then we also had our friends from Miami Shores Presbyterian Church down for the week of camp as well.  They were a great help, same as last year.  They brought down the  colorful and much loved t-shirts and helped with various crafts as well.  They also were great at holding the little ones during our sessions and making sure they were loved and cared for!

Here are some of the activities we did…

Decorating and styling the t-shirts is always a hit with our kids.

We also had the kids make up anchors out of wire to remind them of Jesus the firm anchor in our lives.  Then they made bracelets and attached the anchors to them. 
 Here is Jamesley working on his anchor…

Rose Nirva and Kateleen show off their finished product…

Fridson works on his coloring pages…

Every afternoon we played games with the kids as well. 
This day was the wild and crazy game  of pop the balloon…

Together with singing, learning Bible verses, studying God’s Word together, skits, programs and many other things we had a wonderful Camp 2015 and are already looking forward to next year!

For me, it was just a great time to be back home, I had so much fun with my girls Lala & Nanni; who, by the way, are almost as tall as I am now.

They were also flower girls in Estephanie’s wedding and they were beautiful!

Meanwhile, Linda and I were the proud moms…

Here are some other things we were able to accomplish while there:
·         Linda and I were able to spend quite a bit of time talking and planning for the future of the HOH. We are both pleased with the way things are progressing and we are excited to see what God will continue to do in the lives of our kids and at the HOH. 
·         I was able to meet with our pediatrician about a number of difficult cases we have at the HOH right now.  We talked a lot about Jamesley and his diagnosis of bone cancer.  After much debating with numerous doctors in Haiti we are not sure that the diagnosis was correct.  With help from our friends in Miami, we are trying to get a better diagnosis.  Haiti is a complex place at the best of times, and something like this makes it even more so.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated for wisdom for all involved and we’d just love it if he really doesn’t have cancer!

Here are a few other prayer requests to keep in mind:
  • School starts up next week and Linda and the other leaders have much to do to prepare our 40 + students for the new school year. 
  • Three of our adult “kids” have finished their schooling and will be leaving the HOH by the end of this month.  Ricardo will be living with his brother in La Pointe while helping work at his shop.  He will also continue to help Linda by running errands for her as she needs it.  Rosemène is making plans on where she will live, but will continue to work as a Nurse’s Aide at the HOH.   Dada also will work for the HOH as an aide, and will move to live with family. Please pray for these three as they take the next steps in their lives.
  • Ernst, one of our young leaders has been accepted into a University outside of Port-au-Prince.  We are excited to see where God is taking him into his future – but we will miss him greatly at the HOH.
  • Finances are still and always a need – please pray for more resources to help the children who come into our home. 
  • We recently received 4 extremely malnourished babies; pray for them and their moms as they receive care together.

We appreciate each of you and the part you play in this ministry.  We are blessed to have such a great team working with us to bring the Hope of Jesus to the Children of Haiti.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Busy Summer Days

One of the fun parts about summer at the HOH is all the visitors who come by for a week or two to help out, play with the kids and just be supportive in any way they can.  It is always a fun time for the kids and an encouragement for Linda and the staff.

Back towards the end of June the HOH was pleased to have our friends from the Hands of Hope organization in the UK come by.  They have supported the HOH in many ways over the years but the one link we have with them that means the most to both of us is a young man -- their son named Alex...

He was an extremely sick 9 month old boy, who had recently lost his mom and been abandoned by his dad, when he made his appearance at the HOH.  Our friends from England were visiting when he first came on the scene.  God spoke to their hearts about this precious life, and soon they were knee deep in adoption plans and regulations.  It was an terribly long and exhausting almost 6 year process as they waded through all the legal work to be done to make Alex (or Kev — for those of you who might remember him from the late 90’s) a part of their family.

Alex has grown into an incredible young man who just recently was baptized. He has finished his A levels in the UK and will be starting a 3 year degree in Product Design at Swansea University in the fall.  It was a proud moment for his Mom and Dad as they wrote the following to us:  “He has developed into a fine young man and we are really very proud of him but we never forget that he had a great start with you and Linda; the best start that he could have wished for I reckon, (despite his family circumstances) and we believe you should be every bit as proud of him as we are. He has a really firm faith in God and he's really looking forward to our trip to Haiti.” 

 Alex giving his testimony during his baptismal service 

Their visit to the HOH was a great time of catching up and relationship building between Alex and the kids.  He made an effort to re-learn some of his Creole and in exchange he taught our boys to play rugby!  While this story is a unique one in that we don't often do adoptions out of the HOH, we are thankful that was an option for the Brooke family.  We wanted to share this story with you to encourage you and your partnership with us in this special ministry.  Since 1956 the HOH has been changing lives just like Alex’s and we couldn't do this in this way if it wasn’t for the support that you give us in so many ways.  Thank you for your part!

Now for some updates and ways you can pray for us in the weeks ahead.

  • Oliana is doing much better.  They seem to have gotten a handle on the delicate balance between her diet and her insulin.  Thank you so much for your prayers on her behalf.
  • Jamesley has had some relief from the pain in his leg lately as the doctors decided to open it up and release some of the pressure.  I've had a chance to talk to him, encourage him, and am looking forward to seeing him.  Linda and the kids continue to support and care for him as he struggles with his bone cancer.  Please continue to pray for Jamesley and all involved in his care.  
  • The time has finally come for me (Jenny) to head back down to Haiti and spend a couple of weeks at the HOH.  We have lots of things planned for my time back there.  Two of our young ladies; Estephanie (who is still at the HOH), and Jumalia (who was previously at the HOH) are both getting married.  Estephanie's wedding is the day after I arrive, and Jumalia's is the day after that.  It's going to be a hectic couple of days, but we are looking forward to this special time for these girls very much.  
  • Then we have our week of Camp planned for the kids.  I've spent countless hours preparing Bible lessons that are around the theme, "Jesus, Our Only Hope" this year.  Our friends from Miami Shores Presbyterian Church will be meeting us down there to help out with this special week for the kids.  There are many activities planned and we hope that it is an encouraging time as well as one of much learning for our kids of all ages.
  • I am bringing down 3 young ladies from Canada with me on this trip.  They will be helping with the camp week as well as doing various other projects with the kids during our time there.  Jenna, Heather and Samantha are very excited about their trip and would love for you to pray for them as they seek to love, encourage and learn from the kids and staff at the HOH. 
We appreciate you all and are so thankful for the ways you stand with us as we bring hope to the children, youth and young adults in our care.  I know I won't have time to update the blog while we are in Haiti, so have a great couple of weeks!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Good News...and Bad

We appreciate your prayers for Oliana very much.  She has gone through some tough weeks and ended up falling into really bad malnutrition.  But she seems to have pulled through, and Linda told me yesterday she is starting to get much better.  You can see in her recent picture that she is still struggling, but it is a much better picture than just a couple of weeks ago...
Thank you so much for holding her up in your prayers and for the encouraging messages you sent to her.

Unfortunately, this good news comes with some very bad news about one of our other kids.  Jamesley has been at the HOH for the past 5 years.  He has had a really tough life.  His dad passed away a number of years ago leaving his mom with quite a few young children to try and raise on her own.  It was a life of hand to mouth existence; difficult enough for children with no major medical needs, but Jamesley didn't fall into that category.  As a hemophiliac, his medical needs were more than his mom could handle with all the other children.  In desperation, she brought Jamesley to us.  

It has been a constant struggle over the past years to keep Jamesley healthy.  As a kid, he wants to play and be like other kids, but his body is so fragile, just a small bump and he could be in pain for weeks.  So, when he fell down last week and his leg swelled up, no one worried too much about it at first.  Just as a precaution, our pediatrician had an x-ray taken and the results changed life forever for 18 year old Jamesley.  

The doctors found out he has very advanced bone cancer.  They are convinced it is extremely far along, and do not give him very long to live.  There isn't a lot that can be done for cancer at this stage in Haiti and nothing that can be done in our little corner of Haiti. 

You can imagine the shock and pain this has caused everyone at the HOH.  Linda is beside herself and struggling to know how to handle all of this and help him through this difficult time. We are thankful that he is a believer and knows and trusts the One who made him.

They could all use your prayers.  The kids I mentioned in the previous blog as well as Linda will start their final government exams on Monday, and the stress of this has made it even more difficult to prepare for that.  

We appreciate the many ways you support us -- thank you for holding us up in the midst of this new difficulty.  
  • Pray that Linda and the other kids at the HOH would have the courage and wisdom to minister to, comfort and bring peace to Jamesley as he faces the days ahead.  
  • Pray for Jamesley to be able to trust in His Maker and be fully aware that God is with him as he goes through this time of sorrow.  
  • Pray for wisdom for the doctors and nurses as they bring what care they are able to try and minimize the pain and suffering.  
  • Pray for those who will be writing exams this week, that they will be able to concentrate in spite of all of this going on at home.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

An Update and some prayer requests

Many thanks for your prayers for Oliana. Getting the insulin dose regulated has proved extremely difficult and she is starting to fall into malnutrition as they try to regulate her diet.  To say the least, she is a very difficult case and everyone involved could use your continued prayers for her recovery and health.  We will keep you up to date as we are able to.

We wanted to share some pictures with you so you can see some of what is going on at the HOH these days...

 Mango season has arrived and
Mits isn't quite sure what to do with his bounty...

The HOH was thrilled to receive
Dr. Grace Eckhoff the first week of June.
Grace grew up in our village of La Pointe with
her parents who were our doctors.
To have her come back as a doctor herself
 was a neat experience. 
Here you can see her chatting with
an old friend at the HOH;
when she was younger she would come every
afternoon to spend time with the kids.

Dr. Grace came to the HOH together with a friend
and long time supporter Dr. Brenda Morris. 
This wasn't Dr. Brenda's first trip down to Haiti,
but it was the first one for her daughters.
Here are Michelle, Addie and Lilly
enjoying some time with the HOH kids...

The School year is quickly coming to an end for our students and they are busy studying for their exams.  They'd really appreciate your prayers as they try to finish the school year well.  The government of Haiti has changed the number of official exams the students have to take throughout High School.  Previously, they had official exams at the Grade 6, 9, 12 and 13 years.  They have now eliminated the exams for Grades 6 & 12.  So, you can imagine this has brought great joy to all of our students who were in those classes this year. 

The students we do have who are writing these extremely difficult exams are:  Desimène in Grade 9, and:  Linda, Rosemène, Toto, Dieuny and Obed in Grade 13.  Linda also asked prayer for a number of other students from our local community who come and study with her every day in preparation for the exams.  

Jenny is busy preparing for her trip down to the HOH the end of July.  She will be bringing down three young ladies from Canada, and they will be meeting up with a team from Miami Shores Presb. Church while down there.  They plan to host a week of Day Camp with lessons, games and all kinds of fun activities.  Please pray for Jenny as she works on preparing the lessons amid her many other responsibilities.  Pray also for all the logistics of travel and for safety and health for these teams as they spend time at the HOH and build relationships with the HOH family.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

News on Oliana

Oliana made it to Port-au-Prince ok and was able to see the specialist.  It was so good that we were able to get her down there this week because that specialist is leaving Haiti for a while, and we would have missed him.  She had many tests done and the doctor in the end has decided to change her insulin dose.  He also gave her some advice on how to better take care of herself with her many medical conditions.  Other than that, he did not find anything else wrong with her.

We are so thankful there isn't anything more serious going on with her.  Please pray for Oliana and for our local doctors as they implement these changes and work to get her back on the road to health over the next few weeks. She will be flying back to the HOH this coming Saturday.

Thank you so much for your prayers on her behalf. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015


We were able to get Oliana to Port-au-Prince yesterday.  We had a team of doctors come up to work at the hospital and the HOH and they allowed us to use the return portion of their charter flight to fly her to PAP.  Thank you Drs. Brenda & Grace!

Oliana is not doing well at all, and tomorrow morning she will see a diabetic specialist.  So please pray that they are able to help her out and that they would have the wisdom they need to see what is going on in her body.  She is staying with some friends of ours, the Boucher family, and Mrs. Boucher will be taking her to the doctor in the morning.  We are very grateful for their help and support whenever we have needs like this come up.

We'll let you know as we find out more.