Friday, August 27, 2010

Lots of Activity

Greetings to you all! 96 kids + 100 (or so) community kids + no school = lots of activity around the HOH these days!

Here's a bit of what's keeping us busy...Most of the kids are back from their time visiting their extended families. There are just a few stragglers left out there, but I imagine they'll be back on the weekend. Most had a good time, a few came back with stories of how grateful they were to be here at the HOH, as life in their home communities is extremely difficult. These trips home are always good for an attitude adjustment for those who need it!

We've received the results back for the grade 6 & 9 exams. So far 3 of the students (Rosnel, Desimene and Rodlin) didn't pass, but the others have all passed and that makes us very happy. We need wisdom as to what to do with Rosnel, as this is his second time to not pass and he cannot continue to take the class in the school where he attended. There are not many other options in our area for him to continue his education. Desimene and Rodlin are both young enough that redoing their classes will not be a problem. Pray for them that they'd really be able to capture the concepts and lessons as they retake them this year.

Angie is back in TX after a great visit here with us for a few weeks. She had a wonderful first year at university last year (even making it on the Dean's List each semester), and is looking forward to her Sophomore year. I am excited to be able to visit her in her school when I visit TX in September/October.

Carl Evens is up from PAP for a few weeks, and we are working with Ruben to try and get him into a Fine Arts program at a Christian University close to Cap Haitian, since his university in PAP never opened up again after the earthquake. We are so excited about the possibilities for him to study in this domain, as he is very artistic.

Our prayer since the earthquake was that God would send us the kids he wanted to have here in our home. Little by little they are trickling in, and while things are not always as they seem at first, we are trusting God to pick and choose those he wants to be here with us. Nicodème is a 15 year old boy who was sent to us through some contacts in PAP this past week. While the true stories of these kids is often hard to come by right off the bat, he was definitely a young man in need of a home. He has fit into life here very well so far, and we look forward to the chance to invest in his life.

These days I am so thankful for the young men of the HOH who we've already invested in over the years, most particularly St. Germain; and now Rosnel and Jospeh as well as they have put their heads together to run some "Game Days" for our kids and the kids of the local community. About 100 kids meet in our yard twice a day for games and fun times. It is so chaotic and there is so much energy out there, I get exhausted just watching it all unfold! Here are some pictures from yesterdays water soaked dodge ball game...These guys are busy soaking the sponge balls they'll use to tag the other team members.
This guy got tagged, and has to sit and wait for the "doctor" to come and free him.

These kids are protecting their "doctor" as he moves to free people. If the "doctor" gets tagged with a wet sponge ball...the game is OVER!

Ok...see what I mean about total chaos? I honestly just have to sit and watch or I'll go insane...I'm so thankful for those boys!!

During the evenings these same boys as well as Ricardo and Wilkens have put together a basketball tournament for 5 different teams from the local community. Each night our yard fills up with spectators, and two teams play their hardest in order to make it to the finals. Thankfully, the old generator is still hanging in there and we are able to light up our basketball court. The HOH team has given themselves the very original name of "Chicago Bulls", and so far are doing pretty good having won all three of their matches so far.

Yes, we are still using the old generator. Paul was able to get things mostly ready for the new generator, but we are still waiting for some parts off the boat in order for him to get it all up and running. The boat came in on the weekend, and has started to unload. It's been painfully slow so far, waiting for proper authorization from PAP, and getting the big stuff off first. So, we are still waiting to see if what he needs actually came on this boat. Then, Lord willing, he'll come back down to finish the installation.

Talking about fixing things...Renel the water man came to fix our water problem this past weekend. We had 3 wonderful days of running water, I actually had a shower (cold, but it's so hot here these days no on wants hot water anyway) 3 nights in a row...that has to be a pretty long standing record! But, it was short lived. I have learned down here to never let my hopes get up too high, and this was one time where that little lesson helped me. I enjoyed the showers without expecting to have one again. And sure enough due to unforeseen problems, we are now worse off then ever before. Not only has the big pump in the well stopped working (he fixed the little pump that will pump just up to the HOH) but both our cisterns are empty, and we are having to rely on the Haitian Government water system which is shaky at best. So...we could use some major prayer here. Renel is planning on coming back in early September to try and get the pump and cisterns back up and running. But until then we just pray that the government water keeps running, and with enough pressure to at least fill up buckets at our lowest point of the house. If not...ok, let's not go there...we'll just pray in faith that this will happen.

Terrence is continuing to improve. He is eating almost normally now, and starting to gain back some of the weight he lost. He is moving his limbs a bit more, and can at least hold his head up for short periods of time, so he's able to sit and watch some of the activities going on around him. We've received some help from a lady in the US who also has this disease, and the doctors here have started him on some meds that will hopefully help him improve even more. Thank you so much for your prayers on his behalf, and please continue to pray for him.

Linda and I will be traveling from Sept. 22 to Oct. 22. Linda will be staying the month in Fort Lauderdale, FL to spend some time with her family, and get some much needed rest. I will be traveling to TX for some of the same, and also will be speaking in a few churches and attending a conference (what was that about rest?). At this point I plan on being in a church in Frisco, TX and in Corsicana, TX. So if you are interested in attending either of these meetings, just let me know and I'll give you the details.

Well, I think that's about it for now. This coming Sunday we are excited to begin a new study in our church services. We will be looking at and studying the names of God over the next months. This past week a group of 7 of our youth helped Linda and I prepare the "Introduction" we'll be doing this coming Sunday. It was fun working with them to plan the service.

Blessings on you all, thank you for your support in so many ways. We couldn't be here doing what we are doing without our team of supporters holding us up.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Here, there and everywhere

Our house always seems to have a revolving door, but these days with the kids' comings and goings it is spinning out of control! It's hard to keep up with it all, but they are enjoying a bit of a change, and the chance to reconnect with their home communities and extended families. It does make for a bit of comical happenings around the HOH as we can never seem to get into any kind of a normal routine. Someone is always missing who would "normally" do it. It sure makes us thankful for how smoothly things run when everyone is here doing their part to keep things going, and it reminds us of how the Body of Christ can work together when each member does their part!

Linda is busy teaching her CEF course to future Children's Club teachers. It makes for very long days for her, as she starts early and ends in the afternoon, then starts to prepare for the next day. But it is rewarding work as she teaches these future teachers how to share the Good News of Jesus with the children in their churches and neighborhoods.

Our friend, Terrence (I know I said Harry last time, but I don't know what I was thinking -- sorry for the confusion), who has the Myasthenia Gravis is actually starting to do better. He has had a rough couple of weeks, and we weren't sure if he was going to be able to pull through or not. Getting him to Port-au-Prince was no little feat, and when we finally did get him there the Dr.'s said they could do nothing to help him at all. So then we had to work at getting him back up here. He did end up going down to PAP on the plane (after much sweet talking on my part), but we couldn't get them to bring him back up again, so we sent down our car to pick him up. Since coming back to the HOH he's slowly started to regain some movement in his hands and feet. He is able to swallow now, and in the past couple of days has been able to start to chew some soft things. So, we continue to pray and work with him. We hope that this crisis is over and he'll gain back much more movement in the days and weeks ahead.

We enjoyed a visit with our friend Jeb, and were able to talk over a number of things for the new project (Hope Village)...we haven't forgotten about it, it's just slow going! I am heading to PAP next week to speak with some of the men who are helping us with the paperwork there. Please continue to pray that God would work out these details in His own good time, and that we'd have patience in dealing with all the steps we need to work through.

Paul B. is coming down today, Lord willing, and will be installing the new generator for us. It will be so nice to have reliable electricity! Now if I could only get my internet and water to work!! (I should be thankful for one out of three shouldn't I!). Please pray that he is able to find or make do with things that are down here to complete the installation as everything he needs has not arrived in the country yet. Pray for strength and health for him and the guys working with him, and safety as well.

Thanks again for your support in praying for us. I'd appreciate your prayers as I spend the next couple of weeks preparing for the Bible studies that will start up again in the fall. I have a break from my Master's course for the moment, so I'm trying to "get ahead" as much as I can.

Well that's about it, sorry for no pictures this time, I figure if this actually gets posted on the blog as it is without the added pictures it'll be enough of a miracle given the way our internet hasn't been working these days! Blessings on you all...