It was an exciting start of the school year for a few of our kids who started school for the first time. Nani was one of those. Do you remember that tiny little baby we received here almost 3 years ago, the one that didn't even hit the 2 pound mark on the scale? Well, here she is in her little uniform, heading off to school with "big sis" Lala. She had a few days at the beginning that were difficult for her, as she and Lala are in different classes at school. But she is used to it now, and enjoys saying "Au Revoir" (good-bye in French) each morning on her way out the door!
Because the government exam results this past year were so terrible, the schools are attempting to work twice as hard with the kids this year. Some of our students in the harder grades are starting school at 7am, and don't return home until after 5pm. We are thankful that they have started to take their work seriously, as we've been complaining for years that they are too soft on the kids! I think this year our kids are going to be doing some serious studying!
We've started up our various Bible studies again. It's been exciting to see some of the boys who participated in the Peacemaker seminar we held this past summer show an interest in the other Bible studies we are holding. 3 of the old boys came and asked if they could participate in the other studies as well, which of course we were more than happy to have them attend.
On Tuesday evenings we are doing a study called "Conformed to the Image of Christ", it's a study on spiritual growth in our journey with Christ. On Saturday evenings we are continuing our study on what God has to say about "Money". On Sunday evenings we are looking at different Character traits that, as Christians, should be visible in our lives. Add to these the Saturday afternoon study with the neighborhood boys and Sunday morning Sunday School classes; and my days are kept very busy trying to keep ahead in preparing the materials! What a joy it is to see God's Word producing fruit in the lives of these children and young people. Please continue to pray for us all as we seek to bring the message of the Good News of the Kingdom to the people we come in contact with.
In the midst of all this "routine", we have, of course, had some non-routine things going on as well. After all we do still live in Haiti! Here's a look at some of those things...
Da (Linda) had a birthday (I won't tell you how many this makes!), and naturally, we had a big party for her. Some friends recently gave us a barbecue, and so we had BBQ chicken and fried plantain, and of course some really good "Pikliz", what those of you who visit here mistake for Cole-slaw the first time you see it. (Believe me they only make that mistake once! It can be quite hot-- as in spicy hot). Here we are at the party, (if I look exhausted it's because I just got finished BBQ-ing chicken for 170 people!! Good thing her birthday only comes once a year!).
One of our nurses here at the HOH gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. This was her second child, but the first she's had since working here. Since the maternity room of the hospital has a window right outside our wall, we could hear her the evening she went into labor. All through our family devotion that night we heard her screams of pain. Finally Da stopped our devotions and started praying for the safe delivery of the baby, and before she had stopped praying we heard the cries of the newborn! Since she hadn't picked out a name yet for the baby, she offered us the chance to name him. After much discussion (we have many people with many opinions around here) we gave her several options, and she took them home to share with the rest of her family. We're not sure yet which one she chose! This is a picture of the newborn...
Last night we lost a little baby girl here at the HOH. She was extremely malnourished, and her family had brought her here at the beginning of the week. They chose not to stay with us at that point, and they took the little baby away with them. Two days latter they brought her back, after having gone to the witchdoctor's house to try and get help from him. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the baby, and she passed away. It was a sad evening, but we are thankful for the chance Da had to share the Gospel with them, using her own testimony of what God has done in her life.
This morning we awoke to the news that the husband of one of our employees was critically ill in the hospital. Brother Rosemond is a friend of ours, and a beloved husband of Mme Rosemond; he works at the hospital as the head guard. We'd appreciate your prayers on behalf of the entire family. He seems to be doing better this afternoon, but was still on oxygen as he's having trouble breathing on his own.
Well, that's about it for news around here, both routine and non-routine! As always we appreciate your prayers and support very much. Please continue to pray for
- God's provision for all of our needs.
- That we would love God and love each other in a way that brings glory to Him.
- That we would be faithful in our service to the Lord.
- For the health and healing of 5 little children with severe malnutrition in our care.
- For our students to study hard and be faithful students this school year.