Friday, May 23, 2008

Graduation & Mother's Day

Those two activities are going to keep us very busy this coming weekend. Sunday is Mother's day, here in Haiti, and we plan on having an afternoon party for all of our female staff members, who work hard at being surrogate "mom's" to all of our kids here at the HOH.

Sunday is also the day one of our girls, Angie will be graduating. She has worked hard to be amongst the top of her class, and we are very proud of her. Together with her mom, we are planning a graduation party for Saturday night, and then the graduation on Sunday. In mid July Angie will be traveling to the US to have surgery on her back for scoliosis. We are thankful that God has provided this opportunity for Angie to have this surgery, and know that He will continue to be her strength as she has many months of recovery ahead of her. Please keep Angie in your prayers, as she travels, and stays in the Philadelphia area for her surgery and recovery time.

Somehow the month of May has flown right by, and is almost over. We were happy to receive a fellow CrossWorld missionary from Quebec last week, as he came by to visit the HOH. Then I found out at the end of the week that I was to be in Port-au-Prince for a meeting this week. So, after scrambling a bit to make plans, I did head off to PAP. I was there for two days this week, and was able to at least get some of my Haitian Government paperwork finished. It was good to visit with different missionaries and friends there in Port, but as always, it was so good to get home again.

Some of our technical problems have been fixed. We ended up needing to purchase a new inverter in order to have more electricity in the office and in some other places around the HOH. The old inverter had been fixed so many times, we figured it was time to just let it go and get a new one. Then we had to purchase new batteries to run both of our inverters. We are still working on getting them here to the HOH, they are a little harder to move than the inverter, so hopefully sometime next week we'll have all of our new equipement here, and we'll be ready to have electricity once again at night. It is an important time of the year, as our students are studying hard for exams, so having electricity at nights really helps them be able to study.

We ended most of our Bible studies this past week anticipating all the upcoming exams, and summer activities. We had a good time learning God's Word together this year, and I am already preparing for what we will study this coming fall. Please continue to pray for spiritual growth in our lives, that we'd all be lights in the community where God has places us, and that we'd reflect His love to those around us.

We continue to have trouble with our running water system. While there's not a lot we the HOH can do to fix the current system (which is part of the hospital that we are connected to), we are experiencing the joy of God providing for our needs when we need them.

One day one of our neighbors gave us over 500 gallons of water from their cistern. What a gift that was! It was like a party as everyone got involved in filling up every available bucket and drum. So we are still being reminded of how hard it is for others around us to find their daily water needs, and if we are ever tempted to complain, we just remind each other that we are usually very fortunate to have water readily available when others around us have to go without. We all need practical lessons on gratitude every now and then!

This coming week, God willing, I will be heading back to Port-au-Prince. A number of months ago, we had asked you to pray for Aline, our little 8 year old girl who is having so many medical problems, we just don't know what to do for her. At first, she started to do a little better, but lately, she is just getting worse. The doctors have asked us to take her to PAP to try and get some tests done that can only be done there. As you can imagine, it's is a huge undertaking to do something like this, and I would appreciate your prayers as we try and see several doctors in PAP concerning her case. We have flight reservations for Wednesday afternoon, and hope to see the first doctor on Thursday morning. We are so thankful for our friends the Boucher family who are willing to have us come and stay with them, and willing to get us to/from different appointments. Please pray for peace and calm in PAP as we have a lot of places to go to see the doctors, and some of them are right down town. Pray for safety as we travel, and pray that we would be able to find some results to the tests that we have done. Pray that the doctors would be able to figure out something we can do to help this sweet little girl recover from what is causing her to be so sick.

With all the latest events that have been happening at the HOH I haven't had any time to work on getting any farther with Linda's UK visa. We haven't given up on this, and are actually at a bit of a standstill as we wait for her Passport to be renewed. We'd appreciate your continued prayers for us as we work through this process.

One last prayer request we have for you is for a seminar I plan on attending in Portland, OR this coming July. It is at the WorldView Center, and the goal of the seminar is to help us develop a holistic view of mission work that ties together our abiding in the life of the Lord, our understanding of the people we are sent to, and the tools that can help us better serve as Jesus'
ambassadors. There are a number of us who are serving the Lord here in Haiti who will be attending this seminar this summer, and we'd like you to pray for us, as we seek to learn how to better serve the Lord, and make disciples in the country of Haiti.

Once again, God has provided for our needs in incredible ways these past few weeks, and we thank him for that. Thank you so much for praying for us, for supporting us, and for partnering together with us in this special ministry.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I know this is way overdue! No matter how good my intentions are to update the blog while I'm traveling in the US, it just never seems to happen! I did have a very good trip, a great vacation with family, some profitable HOH shopping time in the US, and a very good retreat with the other CrossWorld Haiti missionaries at the beach outside of Port-au-Prince. It's been quite a few years since I've been to the beaches and I'd forgotten how absolutely beautiful it is. I'm adding a few pictures of the sunset one night, so you can all enjoy it from afar...especially those of you still in colder climates!

It was just beautiful, and we had a very relaxing time; as well as a great time of learning from God's Word together.

You can just imagine, however, that I was more than ready to get back to the HOH. I received a royal welcome, especially from my two special little girls. They were waiting impatiently, and had been asking Linda every 5 minutes since they woke up if Jenny wasn't back yet. Here they are, Lala and Nani, both are doing great. Nani is a little hurricane, somehow managing to be everywhere and into everything at the same time. I could hardly get her to stand still long enough to take the picture! Who wouldn't be excited to get back to these precious little ones?

The HOH has had a tough time of it during my absence. Continually rising food costs, made it hard to make ends meet financially. Added to that constant stress was the breakdown of the water pump at the hospital that is our source of water. In late March the pump broke, and they had to go 9 days without water. Imagine trying to take care of a household of 80+ with no water! But they's amazing what you can do without when push comes to shove! A team came and fixed the pump, but told the hospital it was a very temporary fix. And they were right! The day I arrived, the pump broke again, and we were once again spending huge amounts of our day trying to find water wherever we could. Thankfully it rained for several of those days, so we were able to fix up make-shift rain gutters to catch as much rain as we could to use for bathing and cooking. All evening on Sunday our young people and kids carried water from wherever they could find it in the neighborhood, including a spring of water down by the ocean. Just as we stopped for the night, it started to rain! We had to laugh at the timing! While it was a lot of hard work, it was good for them to be reminded of what most children in Haiti go through everyday to get a bit of water for the household needs.

The hospital was able to connect into the government water pipes that go by the front of our property just yesterday, and since late yesterday afternoon we've finally had some water come through the pipes. The government source is a very iffy source of water, you never know when you'll get it or not, but we hope and pray they'll be able to fix or replace the hospital pump that would enable us to have a more reliable way of receiving water.

There were numerous new admissions while I was away, most notably a new baby boy. Erick was 1 month old but only weighed 4 pounds when they brought him to the HOH. His mom was extremely ill, and she has since passed away. He is doing much better himself and is thriving under the care of our nurses. I realize this is a not a very flattering picture of little Erick, but I can't seem to get a good one of him! He is either crying or sleeping! This will have to suffice until I manage a better one.

Life continues on as "normal" at the HOH these days. The "Our Hope" students are working hard as the end of the school year is fast approaching, and with it final exams. The younger kids are enjoying their school teacher Mlle Vitania, who comes and works with them 4 mornings a week. Our Bible studies have started up again, and we hope to finish "God's plan for the family" before summer vacation. We finished the study on "Who God is" before I left for vacation, so I am busy trying to figure out what our next studies are going to be. I could use your prayers as I consider what to teach our young people next.

We had asked you to pray for the "Peacemaker" seminar that we held with the kids during Easter break. We had a great week of studying the Bible together, and learning methods to put God's principles into practice in our lives. The kids and young people were very attentive, and from my perspective learned a lot. As Linda and I reflect on the past year since we started these seminars, we can see a huge decrease in the number of interpersonal problems among the kids here, so we know they are using the principles they've learned through this series. Thank you for praying!

We are pleased to say that the shipping company that has for years brought supplies to us from Miami is going to continue to function, at least for the present moment. Thank you to all of you who prayed for a solution to this shipping problem that we had. We don't know for how long they will continue, but for now we are thankful that they are willing to do so, and will gratefully receive all we can this way. If you'd like to help out by collecting and shipping things to us via Miami, feel free to get in touch with me and I'll let you know what's needed, and how to send it.

We continue to thank God for his faithful provision for our needs, and ask you to pray that He would continue to do so. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to be working at trying to get a visa for Linda to visit the UK later this year. We'd appreciate your prayers as we navigate this very difficult process, and that it would work out for us to be able to go visit with and report to the many supporters we have in the UK. They have supported this work for so many years, through the Hands of Hope charity, and we've never been able to go visit them. We hope to make it this year!

Once again, thank you for your support, and your prayers on our behalf. Now that things are settling down I hope the next update isn't as long in coming as this one has been!