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 managed...it'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!