Wednesday, March 24, 2010

World TB Day

Today, for all of you who didn’t know this, is the World Tuberculosis Day. We don’t usually track such things around here, but I happened to notice it on the calendar, and thought it was kinda fitting since I was going to be telling you about our latest arrival here at the HOH. We definitely get less cases of TB now than we used to, but we sure got a bad case in this week.

I heard him coming all the way down in the hospital, he was yelling and screaming things like “Don’t send me there”, “I’m going to die” and “I’m going to lose my leg” over and over again. The sounds kept getting closer and louder, so we figured he was heading our way. Sure enough, 13 year old Riderson was wheeled into the HOH office in a wheelchair. Of course his yelling and screaming didn’t go over too well with Linda, and in her own special way, she soon had him quieted down.

As we heard his story we found out Riderson has been sick for a long time. An infection in his ankle has only gotten worse, and now has spread to other parts of his body. On top of that, he has a bad case of TB in his glands. Riderson was convinced that someone had put a curse on him and that was the reason for his illness that had taken over his body. He cried and begged his family not to leave him here, he was totally convinced that he would die – immediately – if they left him here.

Well, we are very glad to be able to tell you that Riderson did not die, and has been at the HOH for a week now. You can see by the look on his face now, that he feels very differently about being here. His fears opened up a door for Linda to be able to talk to him about a God who loves him, and who was giving him the chance to find hope for both his body and his soul. Over the first few day here, Riderson sat beside Linda every chance he got, and every chance she got, she shared about Jesus’ love with him. It wasn’t the first time he had heard the Good News of Jesus, but during one of their conversations he expressed a desire to become a child of God. So his healing has begun, and we’d ask you to continue to pray for him as he has a long road of healing ahead of him.

Some more good news this week is that Ronel and his wife Wilmide had their second child. It was another boy, whom they named Roumy, and he was successfully delivered by C-section on March 15. Ronel continues to help us out here at the HOH, as well as working on other small jobs he can find in the area around La Pointe.

We had some really good weeks here at the HOH with our visitors from all over. I especially enjoyed having a “ghost writer” for the blog, but they are all gone now, and we are looking forward to other visitors in the weeks and months ahead. It seems like there’s always someone coming and/or going, sometimes it’s hard for me to keep up! Carl Evens left to go back to Port-au-Prince this week. His university is talking about opening up again, so he’s there to see if any of the classes he needs are going to be offered. He should know more by the weekend. So, we are missing his presence here at the HOH. We know the kids can’t stay here forever, but it’s so nice when they are back “home” for a while.

We are waiting to receive two more boys from PAP who lost their family in the earthquake. A pastor there has been keeping them, but he needs to find a more permanent home for them. We think they will come up here soon, so pray that we’d be able to work out those details. All our other kids from PAP are doing just great. We were really concerned about Carly’s right leg, but this week she’s started to stand on it, and even is attempting to take a few steps, so that’s a great relief. Sonson continues to do exercises with his arm. We are trying to get a Physical Therapist here in the next couple of weeks to help him know what things he should be doing with his arm, and also to hopefully answer some questions on what he can expect in the future due to the permanent damage that has been done. It’s still hard for him to think that he’ll never have normal arm/hand movements back again, but we know in time he’ll work through all of that. Keep praying for him.

Well, I started on a new adventure this week. I’ve been wanting to continue my studies for quite some time now. Last fall I started the application process to begin a Master of Art’s program in Intercultural Leadership. Some of you might recall back in July of 2008 I had attended a seminar out in Portland, OR at the WorldView Center. Well that was the pre-requisite seminar to this Master’s program. I am looking forward to learning a lot about effectively communicating God’s message in the culture and place where He has placed me, and one of the neat things about this program is that I don’t have to travel anywhere to study. It is set up deliberately to be able to be completed in the country where you are ministering, and at the same time it is a group learning experience. So, I am grouped together with a Missionary lady in Hong Kong, and I am looking forward to learning a lot from and with her in the months…and years ahead (it’s set up to take 3 years to complete). You all will be hearing more about it as time goes on, but I’d appreciate your prayers for me as I start this week.

It’s official now, that I will be traveling (Lord willing) to Canada from May 6th to June 17th. My plans at this point are to visit as many of you as I possibly can, but I will be sticking to these three provinces: Manitoba, Alberta, and Southern Ontario. So, if you are in these areas, and want to find out where I’ll be and when, and want to try and connect, please get in touch with me. I wish I could go to more places, but it’s only physically possible to be in just so many places within a 6 week period!

Well, that pretty much brings you up to date with things around here. We continue on with our Bible studies, and school for the kids. They are looking forward to a few days off over the Easter weekend, and are planning to give a special concert for other youth in the area on Good Friday evening. Thanks for your continued prayers and support. God bless…

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Three More...

It’s time for another update from the House of Hope! Because things are so busy around here, Jenny has temporarily reassigned the writing of the update this time to a visitor from Canada. I don’t know about you, but I love reading Jenny’s updates, so don’t worry….Jenny will be back next time! For now, here are the things that have been keeping everyone busy at the House of Hope over the last while, from the perspective of a visitor.

As mentioned, the House of Hope has welcomed two visitors from Canada (Beth Reitz and Heather Patterson) who are staying for a couple of weeks. Beth is Jenny’s “little” sister and Heather is a friend. We are very excited to be back and always feel welcome and loved when we are here.

Canada has not been the only country that has visited the House of Hope. There have also been a few gentlemen from the United States who have come for a few days to take care of some much-needed repairs on vehicles, wiring and plumbing. We really appreciate their help and willingness to keep us up and running! You don’t appreciate how much you rely on things like lights, water and reliable brakes on a vehicle until there are problems.

Life after the earthquake continues to unfold. The House of Hope has begun to receive children who lost their parents in the earthquake and have no relatives who are able to care for them. Two young boys flew up from Port-au-Prince with Beth and Heather last week when they arrived. Magloire (14 years) and Carlo (12 years) are cousins who will be staying at the House of Hope for the foreseeable future. When we first met them at the airport in PAP, they were very afraid and sad. They seemed so small and lost. I’m sure the thought of flying on an airplane with two white women whom they had never met, and leaving all that was familiar to them, was a frightening thing, indeed! We did start to become friends, though, when we gave them a sandwich, a drink and some Cheezies. The boys seemed to enjoy their first ride on an airplane, smiling the entire way, and they have settled in so well at the House of Hope. All of the other children have made them feel welcome and they are already part of the routines and life here. They look happy and confident…very different than the two scared little boys that we met just last week. The House of Hope has made a huge difference in their lives in just a few short days.

Another new arrival to the House of Hope family is little Carly who is 15 months old. Her parents were both killed in the earthquake while she remained buried under the rubble for several hours. A neighbour managed to pull her to safety and get her the care that she needed. Little Carly had 2 broken legs and several cuts and she has spent the last several weeks in a hospital in PAP. Carly arrived at the House of Hope on Sunday and, understandably, she was very unsettled. She must have had a dad who was very involved with her care because, at first, she would go to boys much easier than girls. Once again, the entire HOH family has gone out of their way to make her feel welcome and coax some smiles out of her. Everyone from the older kids to the younger ones can be seen carrying Carly around or offering her toys. 3 days after arriving at the HOH, Carly is much more calm, more settled, less anxious…and the smiles are not so hard to come by. The HOH family is now Carly’s family and, from our perspective, they all take this very seriously and really know how to “be” a family.

While the arrival of more children is a happy event around here, another happy event is the arrival of tubs of supplies. After the earthquake, many people began to send things in anticipation of the increasing needs that were expected. Today 35 bins were opened, sorted and organized and there are approximately 100 more, at least, that have yet to arrive. The water has been too choppy for the bins to be unloaded at the dock, so we are all looking forward to calmer waters.

Every day is so busy around here. We are amazed at how things just get done. Everyone knows their chores…everyone knows the routines…everyone understands that they are all part of one body and when one of them hurts, they all hurt. When one of them is happy, they all share in the joy. Never is this more apparent than during devotions or church services. Every single person has been affected by the earthquake in some way. There has been much sadness, but there is also great joy. When we listen to all of these young people singing at the top of their lungs, we are reminded of how great our God is and how He is worthy to be praised both in the midst of joy and in the midst of sorrow.

Please continue to pray for Jenny and Linda as they minister to these precious little ones in their care. Pray for wisdom in handling the many, many things that happen each day…from dealing with “parenting” issues to water issues and everything in between. Pray for strength…physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Pray that they would be encouraged in loving and caring for these young lives in the name of Jesus.

While there is so much more that could be written about (as I said, a lot goes on around here every day!), those are the high points of the last little while. Keep checking back for Jenny’s amazing updates in the future!