This afternoon I have determined that the blog is urgent, so I'm laying on my bed and typing to you all in between fits of coughing. Oh please don't feel too bad for me I really am not suffering at all. The weather is cool, there's Christmas music playing, I'm being catered to and I get all kinds of teas brought to me (there's a tea in Haiti for everything. I'm pretty sure I've been through the entire list and some of them twice -- thankfully I like tea so even this isn't a hardship). So are you ready to do some catching up? Here goes...
Our trip to the US was wonderful. Linda and I had such a blessed time visiting Faith Bible Church in Edmond, Oklahoma. We were able to take part in their mission's conference and it was just a wonderful time. It was so nice to meet new friends, and reconnect with those we knew already. We had so much fun with their kids during the evening sessions with them, and were blessed with many many pairs of shoes. Those shoes actually made it here to Haiti today! As I write Linda is down in the office opening up the boxes and distributing shoes to everyone. Thanks so much FBC, and thanks for a great time at your conference.
We then spent 10 days in Texas at my sister's place. We were able to rest a bit there and were also able to visit some of our supporters and friends in the area. We visited our good friends at Centennial Church (formerly Fellowship of Frisco), and had a wonderful time there one Sunday morning. We were blessed by friends there who printed new prayer cards and brochures for ideas on how to help the HOH. We'll be sending them around to our mailing list eventually and if anyone needs or wants copies of these to pass around to friends, please drop me an e-mail to let me know.
Then came 10 days in Florida. These were not a rest in any way, but they were good days. We visited with friends and family, and we shopped. There are just some things that we need that we cannot purchase here in Haiti. What a blessing it is to have a place in Florida to stay, shop and pack up things to send into Haiti and friends there who help us get them on the boat at the right time and here into Haiti. We are hoping to receive the items we sent next week sometime.
And that brings us back to Haiti -- and we are going to stay put for a while right? Well, not exactly...that would make life just a bit too easy. I will be traveling twice more before the end of the year. This coming weekend I will be heading to Port-au-Prince to meet with the other CrossWorld lady missionaries in Haiti for a retreat. We will be spending time with each other, resting, sharing and studying the Bible together. We are looking forward to the time together as we don't really get to spend that much time with each other. I'll be back the end of next week and will be preparing things for my departure again as I will be heading back to Texas to spend Christmas with my family there. It's been quite a few years since I've been with them for Christmas, and thanks to some gifts from some very kind friends I will be able to do that this year. My mom is so excited she's already counting down the days!
Now, on to the kids -- just how are they doing? Well, they are so busy into school. This year seems way busier than other years. Everyone seems to be needing to study more, and there is just much less free time for everyone than before. We haven't even been able to start up our Bible studies, and have just kept up with our family devotion times in the evenings because everyone's schedules are so full. Linda really felt the stress of this trying to return to school, and then missing a month while we were traveling (our trip was planned before she decided to return to school). Also, her diabetes was really hard to keep under control with all that was going on and in the end, after a valiant effort she had to make the choice to stop school. She really wanted to try and continue, but with the kids all having heavier schedules this year there was no way she could continue. So, she is now back at the HOH with me in the mornings, and we are attempting to get back on top of things that had kinda fallen by the wayside.
We had quite a few new kids come to the HOH while we were gone. One little 9 year old boy Kerly came just before we left. He was quite sick then, but has just gotten worse over the past few weeks. They are not sure what his problem is, but he almost died last night. We were able to get a blood transfusion for him today and he really seemed to pick up after that, so please pray that he would continue to progress and that the doctors would know what to do for him.
To conclude, here's some prayer & praise requests:
- Please remember Linda and the kids here while I'm gone on my different trips.
- Pray for the kids with their heavy school schedules, exams for this semester will start soon.
- Pray for the salvation of several of the new kids who do not know Jesus. One 8 year old little girl came crying into the office the other day after having seen the children's version of the Jesus film. I asked her what was wrong and she cried out between sobs, "They nailed Jesus to the cross!". It was a special time to share the Good News with her, and watch the stirrings start in her heart. Please be in prayer for Schnaida.
- Pray for me as I look at the new year and what studies to do with the kids. We'll be starting them back up in January, Lord willing, so pray that I'll be able to work out the details to doing that.
- One last thing, please pray for God's provision of our needs. These have been tough months, we are doing all we can to cut costs and use our resources wisely. Pray for continued wisdom in these areas.