Thursday, December 20, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We thank you for your prayers for the two children who were extremely sick, Brianna and Alexandro. Brianna is doing much better, although it appears she will have some long term health problems, due to her very severe case of TB. Unfortunately Alexandro was not able to recover, and just a few days after I wrote, he passed away. It was difficult for us, as we were unable to reach his family, and in the end had to do the burial ourselves. We always dislike this part of the work, but know that God knows best when it comes to matters of life and death.
We did not have any success with our rabbits either. All 7 of the babies died shortly after their birth. If anyone has any knowledge on raising and keeping rabbits alive, we'd love to hear about it!
A good bit of my time lately has been spent trying to figure out the new system the government has put on us receiving things from Miami via the shipping company we've always used. They really want to shut our wharf down completely here in Port-de Paix, but are still allowing boats to unload for the moment. So we've been trying to comply with all the new regulations, and trying to get all the right paperwork in order that they want in order for us to receive the many boxes of supplies we have on the boat. I was at first, optimistic that I could do all of this before Christmas, in order to have the presents here and unpacked in time for the kids to have during their vacation, but it is becoming increasing evident that that will not happen! Nothing happens quickly in Haiti! We are thankful for the boxes we have been able to receive (some contained soccer uniforms and equipment, from friends in Portage La Prairie, MB Canada, that made our kids very happy, you can seem them trying out the gear in this picture here), and for the prayers of so many of you as I've been going through this process. God indeed made the customs officials look favorably on us, and so far we have paid far less than others have had to pay to receive things for the kids.
Our shipping company that we have used for years has now informed us that they will be shutting down their operations, as they are unable to make any money with all the new regulations with the customs in Haiti. This is indeed sad news for us, as we have always been blessed to be able to receive donated clothes and supplies for the HOH. We don't know what God has planned for us to receive these much needed items in the future, but we do know we can trust Him to give us everything we need to do His work with the needy children here at the HOH. Please pray with us as we seek out options, and watch eagerly to see just what God is going to do to supply our needs in the future. If you are among those who have been sending us supplies over the years, please do not send any more items to our shipping address. Feel free to check with me from time to time to see if anything has changed, and if we have a new way to receive things.
Tonight we are having a small Christmas party with the younger children. It won't be anything big, as we haven't received the gifts yet, and don't expect to until the New Year now. On Friday morning Linda and I and about 30 of the "Our Hope" kids are heading off for a vacation/retreat to a small town outside of Cap Haitian. This is the area where Linda is from, and it's been a while since she's been back to visit her family. They are all very excited to be receiving this group from the House of Hope, and have been planning and saving for it for a long time. We are looking forward to the chance to visit, and a chance to grow closer as we spend some quality time together. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel, and also for those staying back here to hold down the fort, our staff, and the rest of the HOH kids.
We send you all very Merry Christmas greetings and wish you a very happy New Year. God bless, and we'll be back with you in 2008! Thanks so much for your prayers and support.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I had a great trip, starting with a visit to some friends and family in
At least two little girls really missed me too, and I received a great welcome home reception when I got back last week. Lala spent about an hour telling me she loved me every 5 minutes! And Ciliana (Nani) wouldn’t let me put her down for the rest of the day, nor would she allow anyone to take her out of my arms. They are both growing and doing very well as you can see in their picture.
There were quite a few children who had left the HOH when I got back, and about 9 others who had come during my absence. Most of them are small children with malnutrition, some are here with their mothers. Two in particular, Brianna and Alexandro are extremely ill, and the doctor feels she has done everything she can for them. Please keep these two little ones in your prayers.
When I arrived back at the HOH I found quite a few changes. The kids had painted the house, and it looks very nice, they also had put up all the Christmas decorations, so it looks very festive as well. Another change had to do with our animal population… While I was gone, some friends gave our kids 2 rabbits to keep. Those of you who know rabbits know 2 rabbits (a male and female) don’t remain 2 for very long, and last night they multiplied as Pom Pom gave birth to 7 little rabbits. This is a new experience for almost everyone here, so it’s very exciting!
Owen is doing much better, he seems to have come through his difficult time of depression, and he is once again smiling and happy. I bought a toy guitar for him while I was in the
Tomorrow we are receiving a work group from Fellowship of Frisco in
Our students are almost at exam writing time again. Ronel and Phania will be re-writing their Grade 12 exams that they didn’t pass at the end of the school year last year. They could really use your prayers that they would succeed.
We appreciate your support in holding us up in prayer, and ask that you continue to pray for our monthly financial needs, as well as for growth in the lives of our kids and young people.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I received quite a few comments on how you liked the picture of Owen on the last blog update. I'd like to ask you to pray for him. Just a few days after taking that picture, and seeing how excited he was to have his own set of wheels, Owen had a major set back. We have not seen that smile on his face recently. While we do not know who his mother is, Owen apparently recognized her in a group of ladies who came to pray with some of our sick children. She didn't identify herself, and no one knows which one she was except for Owen. She didnt talk to him, and he was very hurt by the whole experience. I'm sure she was just wanting to check up on him and make sure he was doing ok...perhaps she didn't realize he'd recognize her, or see her, but it really broke his heart and he is very sad. Please pray for him, that with the Lord's help we'd be able to lift his spirits, and pray also that she would be convicted, and would come back and meet us and see her son.
The two new children we mentioned in the last blog are doing pretty good, it's been a rough road for Daphnie, she has not wanted to stay here, but I think we've gotten over the toughest part for her. We've admitted 8 more children since then! Our house is definitely bursting at the seems, even with having sent several of the children back to their homes. Two of the newest children are Kendrick and Amos, both boys around 12 years of age. They come from the same area of Haiti but from two very different family backgrounds, and both needing a lot of love, attention and care. We struggled to help a little boy named Wilphene. He took up a lot of our nurses time over the past week or so, trying everything we could to save him, but he passed away earlier this week.
Our students have been studying really hard this week, as mid-term exams start this coming week. We are one of the only places in our whole village that has electricity at nights, so we've been noticing an increasing amount of students from the community coming to the HOH in the afternoons and evenings. They've created study groups one for each class in school (even though they attend several different schools in the community), and they can be seen all over the HOH putting their heads together to study. You can see one of the groups in the picture here. We are so glad we can be a help to the community in this way, and pray that the connection with these young people will produce fruit for the Kingdom of God as we interact with them as the spend time here with us.
We have one more Bible study tonight, and then the Tuesday and Saturday Bible studies shut down for a while as I'm away. Linda will continue to have evening devotions and Sunday School as well as Sunday Evening studies with our kids and young people, so she'd appreciate your prayers. She'd appreciate your prayers in general as she holds down the fort, it's always harder to do when one of us is away!
So here are some more prayer requests for the next little while:
- Our new nurse started work, and so far she is doing really great. Please continue to pray for her as she learns her role here, and organizes the auxiliary nurses so that they can all do a better job together.
- For more monthly supporters who can help us with the daily expenses of running the HOH.
- For safety as I travel, attend a conference, see some friends and supporters, and take a break at my sister's place.
- For our students writing exams, that they'd have clarity of thought as they remember what they've studied and learned.
- For continued growth as they study God's Word with Linda over the next few weeks, and for wisdom and patience for Linda as she helps them.
- For health of the numerous malnourished children who have been admitted, and for the Gospel to be communicated and understood by their families as they are here with their children.
Thank you some much for your prayers for and support of the House of Hope.
Friday, October 05, 2007
We were blessed to receive a number of new wheelchairs this past week, from www.freewheelchairmission.org . They are made from parts that can be easily replaced, and not cost a lot...plastic lawn chairs and bicycle tires. We are thankful to our friends from Extreme Response who connected us with the distributor of these chairs in Port-au-Prince. Owen, pictured here, was one of the children who received a wheelchair. He was so excited, as he has spent his life walking on his hands and knees. This is the young boy who was abandoned here several months ago, and has just turned into a ray of sunshine here at the HOH. We are so thankful for this gift that has allowed him to get up off the floor, and move around a lot easier.
The children are doing well for the most part. We received two children this week, Daphnie and Anslot. They are both older, around 10 years old, so it's been a bit of a harder adjustment for them, but they are getting there. Pray as we interact with these young people, that they'd be open to the Gospel as we share it with them during their time here.
School and studies are both going well, thank you for your prayers. We were happy to have a visit from our friends, Jeb and Gail Bland last week. They brought over 100 pairs of cloth diapers with them, what a blessing that was! We were also able to get a prayer/news letter written, and mailed. It should be posted on our website sometime in the next week or so.
We appreciate your prayers for us very much and ask that you continue to pray for:
- The students here at the HOH as the attend school and study here at home, that they would be faithful in their studies.
- For our different Bible studies, that we will be open to the Holy Spirit's teaching as we study God's word together.
- For God's provision of more monthly supporters of this ministry.
- For the health of our children, and for our staff as we care for many sick children.
- For our new nurse who will start working here this next Tuesday. That she would fit into this ministry, and would be an example of God's love to our children.
- For me as I prepare for a trip to the US the end of this month.
Friday, September 14, 2007
The past couple of weeks saw much activity here at the HOH. Besides getting ready for school opening, we enjoyed seeing our friends from England. They were a blessing to us as they brought us a lot of medications, especially the anti-TB meds, as well as other antibiotics that we need on a regular basis. We thank God for these faithful supporters of this ministry.
Another grand occasion we celebrated this past week was Linda's birthday. This picture is of the two of us at her party, we had a lot of fun preparing for and celebrating her birthday. The HOH loves a good party, so having an extra special reason for having one made it that much more fun.
Our Bible studies have begun again as well. On Tuesday nights Linda and I meet with a small group of our young people. Right now we are studying Who God is. We've been going through different Old Testament Characters, and learning what we can about Who God is, through looking at their lives and their relationship with God. It has been a very good study together up to now, and we enjoy spending time together, learning about God, and Who He is for us personally, right here and now.
On Saturday nights we have about 30 young people (most of them ours, and some of them from the local community). We are studying God's plan for the family, discussing relationships, dating, marriage, and all of these types of things. You can imagine we have some pretty lively discussions during this study time. But it is exciting to see God's Word taking root in the hearts of our young people, and making a difference in their every day lives.
Sunday mornings for a Sunday School time, Linda, St. Germain, Rosnel, and I are going through the Character Studies with the younger children. We've done Attentiveness, Obedience, and are now working through Truthfulness. Sunday nights we all get together, about 50 in all, and we are presently studying and learning many different Proverbs, and studying how we can put them into practice in our every day lives. These are always fun nights full of games and discussions, as we learn and study God's Word together.
We appreciate your prayers for our sick children. Two (Bendjy and Keisha) of the ones you were praying for are doing really well, and will probably be heading home any day now. Shelov passed away just a few days after I wrote the last blog. It is always hard for us to lose on of the children here, but we trust in God, that He knows what's best for these children. We now have 4 new children who could use your prayers as they receive medical care over the next few months. Emerson and Andley are 2 baby boys, they've been here several days now, and are starting to do much better. Just today two 7 year olds were admitted, one boy (Widnel), and one girl (Aline). Please pray for a quick adjustment for these two children, and for healing for their bodies. Pray also as we share the Love of Jesus with them, that their minds and hearts would be open to the Good news of Jesus.
Ciliana continues to be a joy to us. We aren't sure yet what we are going to do about her tests, we will need to take her to PAP if we want to go further at this point, and we are unsure of whether or not we should do that. She continues to be extremely healthy, now working on her 3rd and 4th teeth, she is over 14 pounds, and working on putting on more! Please continue to pray for wisdom for us as we make decisions on a daily basis for these children. Also continue to pray for God's provision of all of our needs, as we bring His hope to the needy children of Haiti.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Thank you for your prayers for the boat and customs and all of that. We were able to receive a number of boxes over the weekend, and among them were three tubs of new toys for the kids. They have been having so much fun on the trikes, and with the balls, and all kinds of other things. We are so thankful for the church in Vancouver, WA whose children collected and sent these toys to our children.
I was not able to take Ciliana to PAP for testing, so that will have to happen at another time. We are looking forward to our friends from England, and the Hands of Hope who will be coming this Friday to spend a week with us.
Most of the Our Hope young people who went to visit their homes, are back. Several of them had the opportunity to teach 5 Day clubs in their home areas while visiting, and a number of children came to know Jesus as their Savior as a result of these clubs. We are thankful that God is using our young people to teach others about Him.
We have a number of new babies who have come to the HOH with severe malnutrition. Their names are Bendjy, Shelov, and Keisha. Please pray for them and their parents who are staying with them as they are really struggling to make it.
We appreciate your prayers for us very much. These next few days/weeks as we get everyone ready and into school will be very busy ones for us. We also will begin our evening Bible studies, so I could use your prayers as I prepare the materials for these. Please continue to pray for God's provision for our needs, and that we would be lights, shining forth God's love to those around us.
Have a great week!
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Things have calmed down significantly as far as activity at the HOH, for which we are somewhat thankful. About 15 of the "Our Hope" young people have gone to their home communities to visit their families for a few weeks. So our numbers have dropped, and with that comes less activity.
Linda is busy in the mornings teaching another Child Evangelism Fellowship course for the next two weeks. She'd appreciate your prayers for her that she'd communicate well, and that God would use her to train these students how to share the Gospel and the Bible with children in their local communities. Pray also for good health for her, the other teachers and the students, as they have a lot of work to get through in these two weeks.
We've received several new children in during the past week. One of them is a 12 year old girl named Michelda (pictured here). She is unable to walk, and the doctors are still unsure as to why that is. At the moment she is under observation, but might begin treatment for TB of the spine soon.
Ciliana is continuing to do really well. We still don't have clear results from her tests, but that still makes us think it's a good thing, and that she might be rejecting her mom's antibodies, and turn negative any time now. I'll be heading to Port-au-Prince next week to attend a CrossWorld Ladies' Retreat, and will take her with me. We'll try and redo the tests, and hopefully find a more conclusive answer.
The drainage canal we were working on is now finished. Boy did we get that done just in time. The day after we finished it rained, torrential tropical rains for several hours on end. We can't even imagine all the damage all that water would have done to the HOH if we hadn't had the canals finished. But then God knew all about that didn't He? It's so nice to know He's in control.
We appreciate your prayer for us very much. Please continue to pray for God's provision for our needs. We have a praise in that department, some friends of the HOH offered to pay for the cost of putting in the canal, so that is a huge help to us. Another prayer request we have concerns the shipping company that has brought supplies in for us from Miami for many years now. With new laws and regulations being put in place in Haiti every day, it is becoming more and more difficult for these boats to bring in supplies. The boat has come in this week, but is unsure that it will make any more trips with supplies, depending on how difficult the government makes things. So please pray that we'll be able to work through all of this. The best thing would be for things to be not that hard, and the company be able to continue bringing things in for us. We do have a lot of stuff in transit at the moment as well, so pray that we receive all that is for us during this time of transition.
We heard back about some of our other students, a number of them in the higher grades didn't pass their exams and will have to redo their school year. Among them are Ronel and Phania. Ruben failed, but with enough points that he has a chance to rewrite the parts of the exam he messed up on, so he is busy studying and would appreciate your prayers on his behalf. On that same note, school is just around the corner, so we'll be busily preparing for that in the next couple of weeks...boy this summer just blew right by!
Well thanks again for your prayers...til the next time...Bye
Thursday, August 02, 2007
In the midst of all of this, the maintenance men of the hospital came to tell us that we needed to cut down the dead palm tree that stands right beside the HOH. It has become more and more of a danger whenever we have high winds, and they were sure that yesterday was the day for the tree to come down. It was unbelievably nerve wracking, as we watched them work on cutting it down. It was so close to the house, just a tiny mistake and it could have been a mess. We prayed the whole time they were cutting...and it came down perfectly in the best possible place. Praise God! Here's a picture of Bòs Dieunousa cutting it down. And then here's one of it on the ground.So you can see these past few days since camp have been a bit hectic. Thanks for your prayers for us, and please continue to pray as we work on getting the drainage canal finished before any major rains, or we'll be in a lot of trouble.
We just got back the wonderful news that both Benitha, and Jean Daniel passed their grade 9 government exams this year! They are so excited. And even more exciting is that Jean Daniel was the Valedictorian for his school! Praise God together with us for this great news.
We are still awaiting the news for Ciliana's tests. I know some of you think I've forgotten to let you know, but that isn't the case. The clinic that performed the tests sent word that the first set of tests came back inconclusive, so they did a second one, it too came back inconclusive. So I will be taking her to Port-au-Prince once again this month to be tested. This is really good news, as we feel that if she was going to be positive, it wouldn't keep coming back inconclusive. Perhaps that's wishful thinking on our part...but please keep this in your prayers. As you can see from the picture she is doing extremely well, and has started to get a tooth!
We appreciate your prayers for us so much, and ask that you thank God with us for his provisions for all of our needs, and ask Him as well to continue to provide, especially as all these new expenses are popping up to fix things.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Our visitors at the moment include, Jeb Bland and a group of 5 ladies from his home area in PA. They are doing a great job of taking care of the younger children throughout the day so we are free to keep things rolling in the kitchen, and with the staff. The Lewis family is also here from England, it's always great to have them with us, they are such an encouragement to us and the ministry here. Bonita Sparling has also dropped in, along with a number of friends (Some of the older kids/workers from Lemuel, including Judy Dilus who came for a day). We so enjoy Bonita's visits, and benefit from her non-stop energy, I just wish I could get some of it from her for myself! It's been a nice time of fellowship as well, as we all have one thing that binds us together, Jesus! His love for us, our love for Him, and our desire to serve Him together, at this time in this ministry. What a great privilege to have so many servants together in one place. Here you can see the staff and visitors sharing a meal together...
We ask that you continue to pray for us. I'll try and update more after the week is over. But we really want this week to be a time of relaxing for our staff, but also a time of growth in their walk with the Lord, and in a closer relationship with each other. We are spending several hours a day in studies, and in times of worship. Please pray for Pastor Kenny Vil, who is leading our morning Bible studies based on our theme verse of Romans 12:18. And also for several of our doctors who are doing health studies for the staff in the afternoons. Then also remember Linda and Rosnel who are leading the evening worship services. This picture is of the staff and HOH young people in last nights time of worship...it was a great time of praising God, and remembering all He has done for us, and who He is!
God bless you all, and thanks so much for your prayers!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
I could hear the excited voices marching their way to my office from the back yard. "Look what we found Jenny!" I'm always a little hesitant whenever I hear that, for some reason. Today their treasure was a couple of soldier snails. A group of the kids had found them, captured them, and were having a blast using them to terrorize whoever showed the least little bit of fear! Thankfully I've learned to be prepared for anything when I turn to face the group heading to my office. You can see their newly acquired pets in the little plastic container they are holding. Who knew you could have so much fun with snails?
This past weekend the kids enjoyed attending the Bible conference that is held every year in our town. 7,000 People from all over Haiti come every year for 4 days of Bible studies, times of worship, and kids programs. There was such excitement in the HOH as the kids prepared every morning and afternoon to attend the kids' programs. They learned lots of new songs and verses. This year's theme for the kids was "Jesus is the light". Here is a group of our children who were all dressed up and ready to head off to "Camp Bethel" where the kids' programs are always held. The kids weren't the only ones to enjoy the Bible conference. We adults had a great time of learning and worshiping as well, as Jim O'Neill shared God's Word with us each evening of the conference. Some of his topics were, "Operation Obey", "Getting involved in World Missions", and "Humility". I think God really used his message to speak to a variety of audiences, I know our young people really enjoyed what he taught, and learned a lot.
For those of you who were praying for and rooting for Manno in his singing competition. Thank you for your support. Manno was eliminated this week, as the competition took a different twist. It no longer was a judged competition, and was based much more on voting over the telephone. There really was no way (nor a desire on our part to do so) we could keep up with the thousands of dollars other contestants we spending to keep in the competition. We are thankful for the chance Manno had to compete, and we look forward to what God is going to do with him and his voice in the future.
Linda, Lois Beadle and Marie Claire are all teaching the CEF course number 2 this week. Please pray for them as they teach 10 ladies, who are all pretty influential in their communities. These ladies will take what they learn this week, back to their home communities and churches, and use these methods and ideas to teach children how to grow in their walk with the Lord.
Finally everyone is finished writing their exams, now comes the waiting period as we wait to find out if everyone passed. Speaking of waiting, we are still waiting for Ciliana's exams to get back, we should have them by Thursday of this week though. Here's a picture of her and all the girls who have "adopted" her into their family.Several years ago, Lovedine (the oldest girl who is holding Ciliana) took Esther, the young girl standing beside her, as her "daughter". She watches out for her during the day and makes sure she is taken care of. To follow in her "mom's" footsteps, Esther "adopted" Dieula (in front in pink dress) as her "daughter", making Lovedine the "Grandmother". Well, once Ciliana came along the family just kept growing as Dieula took Ciliana as her "daughter", and Lovedine is now a "Great Grandmother". It is so cute to watch the four of them interact with each other. What a beautiful example of Jesus they are as they lovingly take care of each other.
During these next two weeks we will be preparing for our Staff camp, set to take place on July 23 - 28th. We have a lot of visitors coming to participate, and the Staff is looking forward to a break and to a fun week together. Pray for Pastor Kenny Vil as he prepares messages to share with us each day, and also for us as we make all the plans for the week, there is much to be done, and it is at times like these we thank God for our older young people here who help out with so much.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf, please continue to pray for God's provision of all of our needs, and thank Him for everything he has given us already. Pray that we would be lights shining forth the love of God to those around us. The children you prayed for last week are doing just great this week. We don't have any specific ones who are not doing good at the moment, so thanks for praying! God bless, and have a really great week!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
As always when we leave the HOH, it's good to be back again. We enjoyed our time in PAP, catching up with the Boucher family, and getting done the various things that needed to be done (despite the intense heat and very sporadic electricity).
Manno, was also in PAP over the weekend, participating in the next leg of his "Star" competition. While we weren't able to go to the show, Carl Evens (his brother) and St. Germain went and saw Manno and 7 other artists sing. Manno came in 3rd after the judges gave their points for the performance, and at this stage in the contest that will count for 40% of his total score. Now it's up to voters to vote via our cel phones. Manno and several others from the HOH are busy doing some marketing in our area to drum up as many votes for Manno as possible. I guess we'll see where this takes him. We are just proud of him for his hard work and getting this far in the competition, and for reflecting Jesus while doing so. It was exciting for him to see, and for us to hear, that all 8 of the artists in his pool at this stage of the competition are believers in Jesus, and they had a great time of fellowship this past weekend!
We were able to get Ciliana into the center to have her tests done. We should get the results next week. She's been having a bit of trouble with diarrhea these past few weeks, so we hope we can get that taken care of soon (for her health and ours! I was up 4 times last night to change her, down from the 6 times a night a week ago, but we've got a ways to go to get this back to normal). She's just so cute I have to share another picture of her!
Ruben is the only one left writing exams. He's been sick with malaria, and is now writing exams, so if you could pray for him he'd sure appreciate that. He'll finish tomorrow (Wednesday). Then they are all on vacation! We received back a few report cards this past week and found a couple of the kids didn't pass the school year. They were pretty much the ones we figured wouldn't, but one of them, Mirlene has a chance to retake her exams in August to try and pass the year, so you could pray for her as she studies. Most of the students did really well however, and will be moving up next school year.
This week our Haitian national mission the UEBH will be hosting it's annual Spiritual Life Conference here in out town. Somewhere around 6-7,000 people will show up for the conference that starts tomorrow evening. We've already been able to see a few early comers, and it's was especially good to see a lady who used to be a nurse here at the hospital, Mme Amichlot, come back. It's been several years since we've seen her, so it was nice to have her back for a visit. We are looking forward to the other CrossWorld missionaries who will be here for the conference as well. This year the main speaker for the conference is CrossWorld President, Jim O'Neill, he'll arrive tomorrow, and we are looking forward to having him here as well.
Next week Linda will teach her CEF level 2 course, so we are in a rush trying to get all her materials together for the class. Please pray as she prepares to teach people how to further teach the Bible to children The emphasis of this course is teaching children who are already believers so they grow in their Spiritual walk with the Lord.
We are still having some trouble with a few of the newer children. It's not always easy to figure out exactly what's wrong with them, and how to treat them. Please pray specifically for Valandina and Sloweky. Thank you once again for your support of the HOH in this way!
Monday, June 25, 2007
I am happy to be back though, I missed everyone here, and was missed as well. The baby Ciliana is now 11.5 pounds, and doing great. I plan to go to Port-au-Prince this week to try and get her tests done. There were about 10 new admissions while I was gone, including an 8 day old baby girl named Valandina. She is doing really well and is now just over a month old. We seem to be getting quite adept at taking care of these tiny ones, and so far everyone enjoys pitching in to take care of them.
For the most part, school is out. Ronel, Phania, and Ruben are still writing grade 12 and 13 exams these next two weeks, so they could really use your prayers. They've worked hard studying, so we hope they each pass their exams. Everyone else is finished, and so summer vacation has officially begun here at the HOH. It's going to be a busy one, and has already started with a flurry of activity.
Linda and I are so thankful for St. Germain (pictured here), who has earned the title "Program Director" of the HOH. He has planned games every morning and afternoon to keep everyone busy. What a blessing to have that taken care of for us, so we can get other work done. God has gifted him in this area of planning and implementing his plans, and boy do we appreciate all of his efforts.
Last week started out with several very serious games of water balloon races, and dodge ball (with both balls, and water soaked sponges). With the high temperatures we've already been experiencing this summer (yesterday it was 108˚F in the sun!), any game with water is a welcome relief. As you see in the other picture even afternoon rainstorms couldn't stop them from having their fun!
While the kids are having all the fun, Linda and I have been busy preparing Bible studies and lessons for the coming year. Linda is also preparing to teach some Child Evangelism Fellowship courses this coming summer, so she could use your prayers as she prepares these lessons to train teachers to teach children the Gospel.
We enjoyed a fun weekend together this past weekend, not only was it the first weekend I was back, and the first weekend school was out. But it was also my birthday, as well as the graduation of one of our youngsters from elementary school, so we had a couple of parties together, and had a lot of fun enjoying just being together.
Manno, our star, is still waiting to head to Port-au-Prince to compete in the semi-finals of the singing contest. He's been busy preparing 10 songs that he will have to perform. Out of the 14 semi-finalists, they will eliminate 6 and only keep 8 for the finals. The Semi-finals are supposed to start Friday the 29th of June, so you could keep him in your prayers as well. We pray that he will be an reflection of Jesus to those he comes in contact with as he sings in this competition. Pray that God would direct his steps, and direct others who come in contact with him, pray that he would have the courage and wisdom to speak of his faith, and share Christ with others around him, and that some would come to know the Lord.
Here are some prayer requests you could pray for this week:
- There is some kind of fever/flu going around, we have kids dropping like flies, so pray for those of us who are still well, as we cover for those who are sick. Linda woke up not feeling well today, so hopefully she won't be the next victim!
- 6 of us plan on heading to Port-au-Prince this week to take care of some government paperwork, and doctor appointments. Three of the older kids will be going on the bus, and Linda and I plus the baby will be flying down. Pray for safety in travel, and also that we'd be able to get done all we need to accomplish.
- There is so much work to do, we need wisdom to prioritize what needs done, and also know when to say no!
- We have a very busy visitor schedule through this summer, pray as I work through all of these logistics, and pray for safety in travel as these groups come from all over.
- Pray that we would be a reflection of Jesus to those around us, and that we'd grow closer to Him every day.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. We thank God for the many people He has placed on our team to enable this ministry to continue. Thank you for your part.
Monday, May 21, 2007
I am currently in the US. I'm missing all my kids and Linda, especially baby Ciliana, you can see in this picture she is doing just great. We don't have a final answer yet with regards to her blood tests, we hit some walls, which I guess is normal as we are walking on new and unfamiliar territory for us, but hopefully we'll get things straightened out, and will be a help, not oly to her but to others in the same situation as she is in the future. At this point we won't know more until I go back to Haiti and can take her back to PAP.
I've been in touch with Linda and the kids and they are all doing just fine. School is coming to an end, so they are getting ready for exams. Some will be writing government exams this coming month, so they could really use your prayers. I'll try and list who they are before they write their exams. Thank you so much for your prayers, and for your patience as I'm traveling and not able to update this quite as often.
Friday, May 04, 2007
As you know, I spent almost a week in Port-au-Prince meeting with the other CrossWorld missionaries, and a couple from the CrossWorld Home Staff. We had a nice time together up at the Lodge, in the very cool mountains above PAP. I was also able to take Ciliana to get her blood tests, we are waiting for those results.
Thank you to those of you who expressed your condolences for the death of our friend and former HOH kid, Celibon. Our young people were able to participate in Celibon's funeral while I was away. They sang a beautiful song together, and I have heard that it was very well attended. Continue to pray for his family and friends who are missing him very much, and also that as they talk about his life, others would come to know Jesus because of how much he imitated Christ in his daily walk.
The two men from Compassion Canada were able to make it here after all, and we had a nice visit with them. We also enjoyed a visit from David & Phyllis Schmid, and John and Rachael Sherwood from the CrossWorld home office this past week. Now we have one more group of men coming for just one day this weekend before I take off and go to the US for a few weeks. It has been a busy year for visitors!
Most of the children are doing pretty good. Only Blandjina is still struggling, but she is doing better, and we hope in a few weeks she'll be fine. Many of our students are really studying hard as end of the year exams are coming up really fast. Linda and I are preparing things for my travels, so we are all managing to stay busy.
We'd appreciate your prayers over the next few weeks, as I travel in the US and Canada, and as Linda stays here and holds down the fort (and she's not been feeling well for quite a while now). I will try to update as often as I can while I'm away. I will be in Corsicana, Texas first, then will be traveling with my sister up to Seattle, then up into Canada, over to Calgary and Edmonton, and then back again. It will be a busy few weeks, but I am looking forward to seeing a number of different friends and supporters of the HOH. If you'd like to get in touch with me while I'm in the US just send me an e-mail and I'll give you my phone numbers. I'd be more than happy to talk with you! Thank you for keeping in touch and for your prayers. We just admitted a little malnourished 2 year old boy named Kedner, so you could keep him in your prayers as well. God bless, til next time...
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
You can see by this picture that our little miracle baby Ciliana is doing just great, she is almost 10 pounds! A huge difference from the less than 2 pound bundle we received just 4 months ago. I will be taking her to Port-au-Prince (PAP) this coming Monday to try and get an HIV test done for her. The test they do here only checks the antibodies, so we wouldn't know if she is truly positive until she is 18 months old. We'd like to know sooner, and I am going to PAP anyway for CrossWorld business meeting and team training with the other Haiti CrossWorld missionaries, so we thought this was a good time to have it done. We of course are praying that it will be negative, but we want God's will done more than anything, and will continue to love and care for her just the same regardless of the results.
All of the malnourished children we had received last week are doing really well. So far this week we've admitted three new children: Linda, a 9 month old little girl who has TB; Kerlin, the older brother of Jamesley who came in last week with TB; and Phanor, a little boy also with TB. You could pray for Richoudly, he is doing better, but his sisters who have been staying with him until he got a bit better, have now left, and he is dealing with that. We are confident that he'll be fine in a day or so, but needs your prayers. Julienne and Junior are continuing to improve, once again amazing us all!
A number of you know or know of Celibon, a friend of ours who works at the hospital here in La Pointe, and a former HOH child himself. We'd like to ask you to pray for him, he has been very sick lately, and has been needing quite a few medical tests done to determine what the problem is. He is usually such an energetic and joyful man, but lately his energy level has dropped considerably, and while his joy still shines through, it's easy to see this is very taxing on his body and spirit. Pray for Celibon to rely on God for His strength, timing and provision during this difficult time. Pray also that the doctors would have wisdom in dealing with his complicated case.
We enjoyed a the visit of our friends from Valley Bible Church in Vermont, very much. Unfortunately it was a short visit, and I was busy the whole time and didn't get to spend much time with them at all. They helped us prepare, stuff, and mail our prayer letter, so we are very thankful for their help! They also spent a lot of time loving and caring for our children, for which we are extremely grateful. With all those new malnourished children, they sure needed the extra boost of love and care.
After they left we received a visit from another missionary, Joel Trimble, and Haiti for Christ ministries. He did quite a bit of filming the HOH for his TV program that airs in both Haiti and various places in the US. He also captured some film on DVD for us to use for promotional/fund raising purposes. It was an unexpected twist to the week as we had never heard of his ministry until last Friday, but we are glad God arranged for us to meet, and glad he could come see the ministry here at the HOH.
Now we are waiting for two visitors from Compassion Canada to come see the HOH. They were just coming for the day today, and are scheduled to leave tomorrow. Unfortunately things aren't going as smoothly as planned (should we be surprised?). Apparently, another airplane from a company that we don't use had an accident on the runway in Port-de-Paix yesterday afternoon. They hit a UN helicopter that was sitting in the middle of the runway. No one was injured, just the plane and helicopter that are now blocking the runway and every other plane from taking off or landing. So we are sitting around waiting to hear if and when the runway can be cleared and flights start up again. I do hope it isn't too late, as they are only going to be here one day.
Well, that's about all of our news. You could pray for both Linda and I as we aren't feeling too well, and have both been checked for malaria today, not sure yet if that's what's wrong, but we are both feeling like it could be a possibility. Once again, thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf. It will be at least a week before I can write again (I'd appreciate your prayers for safety as we'll be in PAP all next week), so we wish you a very nice week, and we'll connect as soon as we can. God bless...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
We continue to receive new children who are severely malnourished. We've added four new ones since last week. Senderly, Edson, Blandjina and Jamesley are all severly malnourished. Three of their moms are staying here as well, so pray they would hear and respond to the Gospel during their time here as well. One of the mothers we know is the wife of a witchdoctor.
Wilvens is doing much better, but Richoudly still needs your prayers for a good adjustment into life here at the HOH. He will be here almost a year, Lord willing. Both Julienne and Junior continue to improve, and amaze us each day with their recovery. Junior was busy riding rollerblades on the weekend, and Julienne started walking unassisted again yesterday.
Our students all returned to school today, and so things are returning back to a somewhat normal schedule. Almost two weeks of vacation can really mess up the schedule around here! Also today we pick up a group from Vermont who will be here for the next few days, helping with odd jobs around the HOH.
Thank you once again for all your prayers on our behalf, we appreciate you very much.
Friday, March 30, 2007
The rain continues to fall here in our area of Haiti. Now at least the days have a few moments of sun every now and then, but the rain and clouds persist. We are thankful that whenever our teams needed to travel they were able to inspite of the soggy conditions of the runway.
Thank you so much for your prayers on our behalf. I praise the Lord that I was able to finish translating and preparing the first 6 lessons of the Peacemaker's Study. We start the seminar with our kids and young people tomorrow afternoon. Please pray that God would work in all of our hearts as we learn to handle conflict in a way that pleases the Lord. Pray for strength and health for me as I teach these lessons all through this next week.
Some other answers to prayer include: Junior is doing much better, as is Julienne. Our students are finished with their exams, they are enjoying some time off from school.
Please continue to pray for Wilvens and another new child, Richoudly. Richoudly doesn't want to drink milk or take his medication, it is difficult coming up with ways to get it down him, and can be exhausting. Pray for our nurses especially as this falls in their territory to get him to drink as much as they can.
Thanks again for your prayers and support, we appreciate it very much. Have a great weekend, and coming week. With the seminar, I'm not sure when I'll get to write again, but thanks for keeping us in your prayers. God bless!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
As you can imagine things were very busy last week with the young people from Liberty University here. But it was a great week. They spent a lot of time teaching our young people a lot of truths from God's Word, I'm sure everyone here learned something new, and it was a really great time of growth. One of the sessions they talked with our girls about inner beauty, and then gave our girls make overs, you can see them in action in the picture here.
We thank God for getting the team off in time in spite of having airplane complications here in Port-de-Paix the morning they were to leave. Then that afternoon the dental team from Seattle, and the dental students from Las Vegas arrived. They have been working hard in the dental office. Unfortunately the rain has kept a lot of people away, but in a way it's been good because they've been able to give all of the kids at the HOH a good check up.
- The HOH students have all started exams, so I'm sure they'd appreciate your prayers.
- I am almost finished the 1st 6 lessons of the Peacemakers. Please continue to pray as I prepare these lessons that God would prepare the hearts of the 47 young people who will be participating in the seminar on March 31-April 7th.
- I am gearing up for a trip to the US in May/June. This year I'll be heading West after spending a week in Corsicana, I'll then head to Seattle, then go North into Canada to Victoria, then over to Banff, Calgary, and Lacombe. Please pray as I am in the planning stage that I'd be able to work out all the logistics.
- Having our own nurses seems to really be working out great. Continue to pray as they adjust to working at the HOH. Yesterday we had a little one pass away, that was difficult for them all.
- Please continue to pray for Julienne, she got an infection this week, and isn't doing too well. Pray for her healing. Pray also for two new boys Wilvens and David, who are very malnourished.
Monday, March 05, 2007
I did indeed go to Miami, and had a very busy but great weekend with our friends at Miami Shores Presbyterian Church. I was also able to do a bit of shopping and get some much needed supplies that you can't mail, and then our friends took them to the boat in Miami to bring them into Haiti for us.
The team from East Stroudsburg, PA did come down, and sure did a lot of work both for us and for the hospital. We enjoyed seeing those who have been down many times over the past years, and also the chance to meet a new member of the team as well. I personally didn't get to spend a lot of time with the team as I was in Miami, but Linda and the kids did and enjoyed having them here.
The day before I left for Miami Linda came down with Malaria, so she was sick most of the time I was gone. In spite of being ill, she was still able to help the Veterinarian run a clinic for the animals in the local area...mostly dogs. The day after I returned Linda left to go to Cap Haitian and visit her family. She took along a number of the older kids here who were on vacation from school as well. They had a great time, but were really missed here at the HOH by those of us holding down the fort.
The team from PA left and another smaller group from PA came through for a few days. Jeb Bland and his wife and a friend stopped by. We always enjoy having them stop by, as they have developed some really close relationships with some of our young people. Jeb looked over out building project, and helped Ronel decide what was the next step for getting the building under way again.
Ciliana spent the weeks eating, sleeping and growing, she is up to 6.5 pounds, and actually feels big to those of us who remember her being under 2 pounds. She is sleeping better during the nights, much to our joy, and is really starting to recognize people and has a pleasant and happy spirit about her most of the time. She is such a joy to us all.
Our own nurses started working on March 1st. So far they are doing a great job, and it is a relief for Linda and I to have someone here to look after our children's health needs 24/7.
We are looking forward to a team of young ladies coming from Liberty University this week. They are coming to do seminars and lessons with our young ladies on "Knowing your True Identity in Christ". We are looking forward to a very fun week of trading cultures, and learning God's Word together as these young ladies interact with each other. Please pray for their safety in travel, and for health as they spend just over a week with us.
I am excited to also have a long time friend from College come to spend the week with us as well. Amy and I were in our freshman year at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College together before we both went our separate way. We have always kept in touch however, and I'm so excited to welcome her to Haiti and enable her to see the ministry down here.
Here are some prayer requests for you all to continue to pray for us during this coming week:
- I am still working on translating and preparing the first 6 lessons of the Young Peacemakers Bible Study to teach our children and young people this coming Easter break. It is a lot of work as you can imagine, but I'm very excited about the chance to teach these precious truths to our young people. Please pray that I would find the time I need in between all the activities of the teams coming, and the other administrative needs of the HOH, to finish the first half of this project in time. Pray also that the Holy Spirit would already be preparing the hearts of everyone here for the things they are going to learn, and that the lessons throughout the first week of April would bring forth much fruit in the lives of our young people.
- Pray for safety and health for our visitors and for us over the next couple of very busy weeks.
- Pray for the dental team from the University of Nevada Las Vegas that will be coming down again this year with some dentists from the Seattle area, that God would prepare the way for their trip. Pray that those who need to be here for both dental care and to hear the Good News of the Gospel would hear about the coming dental clinic, and be able to make it here for that week. Pray for clear chances to share the Gospel during this week, and that God would be glorified through the use of His servants with skills in the dentistry area.
- Pray for several newcomers to the HOH, including Julienne, pictured above. She has only been here a couple of days, and isn't to the smiling stage yet, but she's getting closer every day, and is really starting to look healthier. Pray for her father who was also very sick when he brought her here last week, her mother just passed away about 3 weeks ago.
- Pray for our nurses as they get used to their position here. Pray that they would build good relationships with each other, among the kids, and with our other staff. Pray for wisdom as the provide health care for our children. Pray that they would also have the chance to grow in their spiritual walk as they spend time here at the HOH.
- Pray for all of our spiritual growth, that we'd seek to be more like Christ each day, and reflect Him in our lives.
- Praise God for his faithful provision for our financial needs and pray that He'd continue to provide all we need.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Now we are looking at the next visiting team from East Stroudsburg, PA. We are looking forward to seeing the 5 members of the team who have been down here many times before, as well as former Haiti missionary Paul Browne, and a new visitor we will be meeting for the first time. It is going to be a busy week, with much coming and going, as they have different jobs to work on, and I won't be here for most of the time they are here. Lord willing, I am going to Miami for the weekend for a mission's conference. When I get back Linda will be going to Cap Haitian for a quick visit with her family. The students have a vacation from school starting on Friday of this week and going through the next as it is the "Carnival" weekend here in Haiti. So the next couple of weeks are going to be quite something trying to coordinate everything that's going on!
We appreciate your prayers on our behalf as we continue to serve the Lord here at the House of Hope and in Haiti. Here are some specific requests for you to pray for:
- Pray for safety for all the traveling plans over the next couple of weeks.
- Pray for safety and health for the visiting team coming down, as well as strength to finish the different jobs we have lined up for them.
- Pray for Linda as she holds down the fort while I'm away, and then for me as I hold it down while she is gone...it's always much harder when one of us is away. Also, she just came down with malaria, so she isn't feeling very well.
- Pray for our nurses that we have hired as they go through their internship in the hospital, and plan on starting to work for us March 1. We still need to hire 2, so pray that we would find the right nurses who will fit into the program here at the HOH.
- Pray for Colly, Blon, and Iseline three new children here at the HOH. Blon and Iseline have malnutrition, and Colly has TB.
- Continue to pray for Ciliana, that she'd continue to get strong, and that she'd start to sleep through the nights.
- Pray that in spite of all the things going on that keep us busy we'd reflect Jesus to those around us, and we'd take the time to get to know Him better.
- Pray that God would supply all of our needs, and that we'd trust Him for everything.
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Last week was busy but good with the team here from the Seattle area. They were able to accomplish many things here at the HOH and at the hospital. Now we are eagerly awaiting a group from Simcoe, Ontario Canada who will arrive today, Lord willing. This group will be here a little over a week, and everyone is excited, as they are close to our kids here, and are a lot of fun to have. One of the men is an eye doctor, so we are happy to be able to have all of our kids' eyes tested to see if they need glasses. I suspect quite a few do, so it will be great to get this taken care of.
The boat arrived in this week, so we are happy to be receiving a number of things that have been on the way for a while now. Included in this shipment should be the rest of the Christmas gifts, so you can imagine everyone can't wait for the things to get here.
Yesterday we hired a nurse to work full time at the hospital, and also one LPN. We plan on hiring 2 more LPN's before it's all said and done. They will be doing an internship at the hospital for a month, to make sure they understand the way things run here, and hopefully starting March 1 we'll have our own nursing staff. We are really looking forward to this, as we know this will enable us to give our sick children better care. We also know this is going to help lighten Linda and my load quite a bit as well.
We appreciate your continued prayers for us. Some specific things to pray for this week would be:
- Continued health and healing for Siliana.
- That the doctors would know what to do with Junior, he still isn't doing well, continuing to swell up almost daily. He is convinced he has been cursed because of something he did at home, and so is paying the price for it. We continue to share the Good News of freedom and forgiveness in Jesus with him. Pray that he would grasp these concepts and also that God would give us the wisdom to help him.
- A new little girl named Iseline arrived here yesterday. Pray for her as she is very malnourished, that she'd respond well to the treatment we can give her here.
- For continued spiritual growth in our lives, that we'd reflect Jesus to those around us.
- For God's provision of our financial needs, as well as other needs that we currently have.
- For safety and health for our visitors. And also that we'd be a blessing to them as they are to us.