Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas and other news...

Well, the house is now cheerfully decorated for Christmas.  Quite a feat, considering our kids are all still in the midst of writing exams.  Unfortunately, their school have messed up their schedules so much that none of our kids have Christmas vacation at the same time.  Each school (our students are in 12 different schools) has decided to let the kids out at a different time, one of the schools is holding onto the students right up through the 24th!  So, we've had to cancel the annual Christmas program this year, there's just no way they can practice and pull it off with all their different schedules.  This also means that I won't get to participate in any of the holiday activities around here this year as I leave on the 22nd for 2 weeks with my family in Tx.  It sounds like our special Christmas gifts from numerous supporters are actually going to get here before Christmas this year!  This will be a first since quite a few years, so I will hopefully get a chance to get all the kids Christmas sacks organized before I leave.  It's going to be a busy week!!

We had fun this past month celebrating Nani's 6th birthday.  With the arrival of our baby Rose Nirva (who by the way is doing great), we were reminded of how tiny and sickly Nani was when she came to us 6 years ago.  No one thought she'd live, and now here she is bringing joy to all everyday.  

Being near the end of the year, I've been working on getting finance reports finished up, and working on a new budget for the coming year.  I figured it's probably just as good a time as any to let you know how things are financially for us.  Because of two things, tightening up on our spending, and our friends in Miami who have been regularly sending us food, we were able to come in well under our budget this past year.  That is the good news.   The bad is that we received even fewer donations than we saved by cutting down on the spending.  So in the end, we still have a debt with our local hospital (who takes care of our staff payroll for us each month--then we pay them back).

I know many of you gave gifts for us to be able to pay off that debt, but in the meantime, several months pay were added to it, and the monthly amount we received to cover other necessary items at the HOH were not very high.  So... the bottom line is we still owe money, and we are lacking in the monthly donations that are coming in for the ministry.  

I have been reminded by several of our supporters, that it is my responsibility to share our needs with you all, so this is what I am doing.  Perhaps some of you are able to help us out financially, perhaps you can pray with us for this need to be met, perhaps you have a way to share the need with others who can help.  However you can help us out, we'd appreciate it very much.

Our new budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year stands at just over $200,000.00 US for the year.  I know that looks like a huge amount, but I've worked it out in a bite size chunk for you that maybe doesn't seem so huge.  It costs us $200 US per child per month to keep them here at the HOH.  This includes everything... food, school, clothes, medical care, and a home to live in -- everything.  So, maybe you can do that... pay for one child to be here... maybe you can't, but you could get a group of friends/family together to pay for one.  Or, perhaps you could just cover part of a child's needs:  Food needs are $65/month for a child, paying the staff to take care of them is $59, school is $13, the rest is for general supplies and overall expenses.  However you can work it out... can you help us meet this need?  We generally have between 85 - 90 children/youth/young adults in our home at any given time.  

Thanks for doing what you can.  We are blessed to have you as partners in this ministry.  We hope you have a blessed Christmas season, wherever you are!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A New Baby!

It's been a while since we've had a baby in our home.  This week we were so blessed to receive tiny little Rose Nirva.  In spite of the fact that she is 6 months old, she only weighs just over 2 pounds!  She is tiny, but so cute and so much fun to have a baby again.  As usual, she already has more mom's than she knows what to do with, but  Tati Da and Tati Jen always take precedence :). She is the 10th child born to her parents, and after her birth, her mom started having psychological problems.  She is not able to care for this child, and the father brought her to us asking for our help.  This we can do!

The other HOH kids are all busy with school and homework.  Exams are coming up, so studying is happening pretty much constantly.  When they do have some spare time, the kids who have been here a long time are taking the time to show the new kids all the Christmas songs, in preparation for the annual Christmas program.  Being so busy, they've not had time to decorate the house for Christmas yet, but I'm sure it won't be long before that happens.  Everyone loves Christmas around here, and the question on all the younger kids's lips is, "Is it almost Christmas?"  This year the question started a couple of weeks ago, when I still had to answer there was 7 weeks left.  Every box of supplies that comes into our home gets looked at and pondered.  The questions start to circulate...."looks like it's Christmas gifts!!".  It's going to be a long count down for them!

We were blessed once again with a shipment of food from our friends at Friends of Humanity in Miami.  What a help this is to us as our finances are still doing so poorly.   We are so grateful for our financial supporters, and for those of you who pray for and encourage us.  Please make this prayer request a priority, we really need more people who are willing to stand with us financially each month, to help us cover the daily needs we have as we care for those God has brought to our home.  We are blessed to have some supporters send us gifts from time to time.  These gifts help us make ends meet, but we really need to have some more partners come on board to help us with consistent monthly needs.  Thank you for helping us in this way.  And if you can, pass the need around on our behalf.

I will be away for the coming week, as I'll be traveling with a friend who has some government paperwork that she needs to do.  So, please pray for Linda and the other leader as they have a lot to keep up with around here.  Pray for wisdom in dealing with all the daily situations that come up.  Pray that others would see Christ in us as we interact with many others on a daily basis.

Many thanks for your support...Hope our American friends had a great Thanksgiving!  And a great weekend to all of you.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

In Memory of...

It seems somewhat ironic that I am posting this today.... here in Haiti it is the "Holiday for the dead".  We, as believers in Jesus do not celebrate this day as others around us do, we did however want to share a tribute with you all of a man who was a very dear partner with us in ministry, and who passed away on Monday.

Larry Bailly from Snohomish, WA has come to the HOH every year for as long as I can remember.  Every January, we could bank on him and his group coming and fixing whatever needed fixing at the HOH.  Taking care of our vehicles was his specialty.  And when he wasn't working, he was busy loving on our kids and others in our town here in Haiti.  He was a beautiful model of Christ, as he served others and shared his love to those around him. 

This past January, he came even though he wasn't feeling well.  He worked, as though everything was fine, but we all knew it wasn't.  We never would have dreamed where it would all end though.  His last words to our kids as he left them was, "See you in 2013".  It was his trade mark saying.... always, see you the next year.  But, this was to be his last visit.  We are saddened that we will no longer see Larry here in our home, see his smile light up the room, hear his laughter ringing out.  But we are so thankful that he no longer suffers, that he has gone to be with his Lord, whom he loved so faithfully; and that one day we will be reunited with him. 

We are grateful that God directed Larry our way, that he gave to the work here so faithfully, and that he loved our kids so much and made them feel special.  His favorite was Lovedine, she was his girl and loved it when he came down. The other younger kids here knew Larry as, "Papa Didine" (Lovedine's dad).
 He was loved an appreciated by kids of all ages though here at the HOH...

When he had time to spare from his work in the shop, "Boss Larry" would come over and inevitably the kids would play with his beard.  Beards of Larry's quality are a rare thing in our part of the world, and boy did they love to play with it.  And Larry was such a good sport about it.  He let them braid it, and occasionally let out an "ARRGGHH" or two. 
He spent many hours working with our youth and young adults.  He was always ready to teach them what he knew about cars, mechanics and whatever else he could teach them as they worked with him.  A favorite of his was Dukeman, our deaf, mute maintenance man.  Larry and Dukeman had a way to communicate between them that just worked.  Neither spoke the other's language but they communicated and Dukeman learned much from Larry. 
We send our sympathies to Larry's family, especially his wife Paula, and Rachel, his daughter who often came down with Larry to love on our kids while her dad worked on the cars!  We are praying for you as you face these difficult days.  We want everyone to know how much we appreciated Larry  and look forward to continuing our partnership with the many people he brought down over the years.  Blessings on you all...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A New School Year

School has officially started, and we are getting back to a more regular schedule here at the HOH.  Our kids are in 10 different schools this year, and each has a time to be there and a time to come home!  But our new leaders seem to have it all figured out, and so far things are moving along quite smoothly.

We've managed to publish a new Prayer Letter for the HOH.  I have put it here on the blog, so you should be able to manipulate it here and read it.  If you can't, let me know and I'll send it to you via e-mail directly!

fall 2012 We appreciate your prayers and support.  We have been able to pay off much of our debt thanks to your generosity.  Please continue to pray for our monthly support to continue to pick up so that we do not fall into that hole again!  Blessings on you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Somtimes you just need a hand...

On this particular day, Mike was having a bit of trouble finding his smile.  Big sis, Nani was right there to lend a hand, well two actually.  The results were somewhat comical, but the help was heartfelt. 

That's kinda how we felt when we sent out the plea for some help with our financial situation here at the HOH.  And many of you responded in kind.  We have received many gifts over the past month.  We haven't paid off our debt completely, but we are well on our way.  Thank you so much to those who gave so generously. 

We are working on many different projects these days.  The kids are trying to come up with ways to make some money of their own to help pay for their school books this year.  I am working with some friends in England to come up with our very own website for the HOH, where we hope to keep you better informed of what's happening down here.

Please continue to pray for us.  Pray specifically for more monthly donors so we do not fall into the same financial problems as we had before.  We appreciate you all, and are so thankful you've been part of helping us find our smiles!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Long Summer Days

Well, we have another month of summer vacation before school starts.  I'm not sure what the government down here basis their decision of when to start school on, but I'm pretty sure it's not on how the parents feel.  Our the kids for that matter, some of ours have been heard discussing how happy they'll be for school to start. 

So just what have they been doing to keep busy... here are some pictures to give you an idea... some are here at the HOH.  Some are taken at the campground that is connected to our property.  When there isn't a camp going on, we are allowed to take the kids over there to play... we are thankful for the extra land for the kids to be able to run around on and explore.
Wetsen and his cache of almonds that he collected, this is a favorite pass time whenever we take the kids to Bethel Camp.
Berlanda breaking open her almonds with a rock.  Young and old take part in opening the almonds to find the tiny nut inside.
If you are very lucky, you can find an almond that still has the soft juicy flesh on the outside.  Here Rose Carline is eating the outside of an almond before breaking it open to get to the inside.

Ivinsky & Daphno are perfecting their methods of kite flying. 
Lala and Nitchy decided to prepare a party, only no one had their birthday that day.  Well, that's not too big of a problem, there's always plenty of volunteers to be the Birthday Kid...

Nani (on the left) was the chosen one for this party.  What was served?  Almonds of course!

Ti Joseph plays a game of "I Spy" in the office.

Ronaldson adds to the noise level at the HOH with his toy drum.
Nani takes a break from the noise by eating popcorn and watching a movie with Tati Jen.
Gachner and Jameson battle it out on the soccer field.
Many thanks to all of your for your various ways of support.  Please continue to pray as we work to pay off the debt we have, and then for the monthly support needs we continue to have.  We know we have a great God, who is able to do more than we can imagine.  And we know we have a great group of supporters.  Many have helped out already.  Thanks to those of you who have, and pray for others to be able to do so as well.  Blessings to you all, and a great weekend to you wherever you are!

Monday, August 20, 2012


We share our needs with you often enough, so today we wanted you to share in our blessings.  
A shipment of food from our friends in Miami came in over the weekend. 
 Our food depot was empty... now it is full!  
Thank God with us, and enjoy the pictures of our kids enjoying the blessings....

Thank you to those of you who gave in some way or another to make sure we received this shipment.
God bless you for your generosity!!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Whew!!! We're back!!

Wow, well, that was quite the trip!  It took me 5 whole days of traveling to get back to the House of Hope from Canada this time.  I guess it was that short cut through the Dominican Republic -- we'll be thinking twice before we take that route again!  We had a great 6 weeks in Canada visiting friends, family and supporters.  Thank you everyone for the great hospitality.

Arriving back at the HOH was a joyous occasion as always.  It's always a great boost for the moral when you pull through the back gate and hear the chants of "Here's Tati Jen!!" getting louder and louder.  We got back to find the kids neck deep into summer holidays. Thankfully, our friends from England and the Hands of Hope charity were here to keep them busy during the days.  And the week before that it was our friends from Miami Shores who were here.  The kids sure have had a lot of fun spending time with these different teams, and with all the free time they have every day.
Berlanda, Ivinsky, Nitchy and Lala wearing their homemade necklaces and playing a very unique rendition of Chinese checkers

The Poultry coop is teaming with life again as the kids have rebuilt and restocked it.

Ronaldson adds some extra noise to the day with his drummer boy routine.

Real men wear Pink!!  Making masks was a fun way to spend an afternoon. 
Now we are looking forward to a visit from our friends from Centennial Church in Frisco, Tx.  Lord willing they'll be coming in later on this week, with lots of energy to entertain the kids over the weekend.  We are thankful for the blessing that these teams are to the kids. 

Before I left for Canada, we sat down and had a bit of restructuring at the HOH.  Linda and I have felt for a while that the older kids needed to take on more responsibility at the home, and I have felt a need to spend my time in some different areas of development.  Our goals are to work to more self-sufficiency, and at the same time responsibility and ownership among the kids, and not spoon fed from Linda and myself all the time.  With this in mind, we have done some shuffling around of positions and job responsibilities.  The most significant of this has been my stepping aside as Linda's assistants to make room for a team of three young men who have stepped up from the ranks of the HOH to become leaders under her direction.  These three young men are St. Germain, Jean Daniel, and Ernst.  My role will be much more one of coaching, and support/donor development.

Over the past number of years really, our support level has been in decline.  This partly has caused us to put our new project "Hope Village" on hold for the present time, as we work through these issues with the kids and young people at the HOH; and also as we attempt to rebuild our support base. If you have any way of helping us in this area, please feel free to contact us at houseofhope1@hotmail.com.  

Prayer requests:
  • Pray for the three new leaders who have stepped forward to try and make changes at the HOH.
  • As the kids are busy enjoying their summer vacation, we are starting to pray about God's provision for us to be able to pay for another school year for them.  Please pray with us for God's provision.  Share the news around to friends and family if they'd be interested in helping us provide our kids with an education.
  • We have lots of traveling planned over the next couple of weeks.  From teams traveling in to see us, us traveling around for various reasons, and the kids traveling back to their home communities to touch base as they do every summer.  Please pray for safety, wisdom and smart choices as we are all on the road (or in the air).
  • We have come into debt quite heavily with our local hospital.  They have, for a number of months now, covered our staff salaries as we were not able to.  We need to pay them back these funds as they are in desperate need of them now.  It looks hopeless from our human perspective, but we know we are not alone.  Please share the word around that the HOH needs a helping hand with our finances at this time.  And please pray and ask our Heavenly Father, who has all the resources we could ever need, to open his floodgates of blessing and meet this pressing need. 

Thank you so much for your partnership in this ministry.  We marvel everyday at the lives God has changed through this ministry. 
  • Ayi, the boy with Myosthenia Gravis is doing incredibly well.  He passed his grade at school, and is now even able to play the keyboard in our church services.
  • Remember Nani, the 1.8 lbs little 2 week old baby no one thought was going to live?  She'll be 6 in November.  She just graduated from Kindergarten and just lost her first tooth.
  • Carl Evens who has been working through University in Port-au-Prince will finish this year with a degree in Business Management.  He has a job working at a factory in PAP.
  • Jean Daniel, Ernst, and St. Germain all started here as sick young kids... now they have stepped up as leaders among their peers. 
The list could go on and on, we praise God for his work, and thank you for your part.  Blessings...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jenny's travels

I have just a few minutes as I'm rushing out the door.  I left the HOH yesterday.  We got the visa for my husband to travel to Canada in the afternoon, and are heading out early Tuesday morning to go to the Dominican Republic.  That is the only place we can find a direct flight to Canada still this week.  If all goes well, we will arrive in Manitoba just in time for the Canadian installment of our wedding this coming weekend.

A few things to pray for for the HOH
  • For Linda and the kids who are all writing their final exams for the year. 
  • Pray as I'm gone traveling this month visiting supporters and friends that Linda and her helpers will have the strength and wisdom to deal with the daily issues that come up.
  • Pray for God's continued provision of all our needs.
  • Praise God for providing for us already.
  • Pray for safety in travels for Jenny & Djordjy.
There are a few new exciting developments at the HOH, and I hope to get some time in the next little while to share them with you.  In an effort to make it easier for me to update you all, you'll be getting an automatic message each time I post on the blog.  If for some reason this does not work out for you, or there is a problem of some kind with the message you receive, please let me know.

Blessings on you all!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"5th and 6th Timothy"

So, just how well do you know the Books of the Bible? It has been the major project of all the HOH kids over the past couple of weeks to learn as many as they can.  From youngest to oldest, a various moments you can hear the familiar names being recited around our house.

4 year old Carly has been the star of this endeavor,  at the last quiz night she was able to recite the entire Old Testament.  They weren't all in order, but they were all there -- all 39 of them!  This past week she took it upon herself to help the other kids learn all the books of the Bible.  She would call them out, and they would repeat after her.  She did pretty good in both the Old and New Testaments, at least until she got to Timothy, that is.  The start was ok, "First Timothy, Second Timothy...uhh, Third Timothy, Fouth Timothy, Fifth Timothy...".  By this time she was getting a little unsure of herself and started to look for help.  I don't usually like to interrupt these informal learning sessions, but at Sixth Timothy, I finally broke in to say I thought that was more than enough Timothies and they could move on to Titus. It is amazing how much these kids can learn, and so nice to have the chance to fill their minds with good and positive information.

The highlights of our past couple of weeks has included several holidays from school.  There was the Agricultural holiday on May 1st, and then Flag Day on the 18th.  Flag Day is always such a fun day for the kids are there are parades with the various schools in the area, and a special program out on the community soccer field.  None of our kids participated in the parades this year, but they did have their annual drinks and BBQ chicken stand set up on the soccer field to try and make some money.  Unfortunately the rain did not cooperate with us this year, and Flag Day got rained out. 

Unfortunately, Roselanda wasn't one of the kids who got to participate in these festivities this year.  She came into the HOH several months ago with  severe malnutrition.  She is just the sweetest little thing, she has the friendliest personality and just loved getting involved with every bit of life she could.  One afternoon about a month ago she decided to go watch the big boys playing basketball out in the back yard.  Through a series of very unfortunate events, Roselanda ended up with a broken leg.  People who come to visit us here are always asking if we don't have kids get hurt here very often.  And the incredible thing is we don't.  But Roselanda is one of the rare exceptions. 

She has two more weeks to go in her cast, but she is already itching to get it off so she can start moving around more like she is used to.  She spends her days on a big bed, calling out to every person who walks past her.  There's not a name here that she doesn't know, and she just brings a smile to your face every time you walk by.  She recently had a smile brought to her face with some hand-made dolls that were sent down from some friends in Vermont. 

We have had a number of different visitors and teams come through over the past couple of weeks, each bringing along there particular expertise to help out either us or the hospital. 

A number of our kids received  their report cards for the last semester of school.  On the whole they have done pretty good.  There are a few who are going to have to work extra hard to pass the school year, but the rest are doing well.

We'd ask you to lift us up in pray for the following requests:

  • Continue to pray for our financial needs.  God is so faithful, please continue to ask Him to provide for our needs to cover our payroll, and for the months the hospital has helped us in this area.
  • Thank God for his provisions for us, especially our great friends in Miami whose food shipments are such a blessing to us.
  • We still don't know if Jenny & Djordjy are going to be traveling to Canada in the month of June for their "Church Wedding", but we do have high hopes that it will all work out.  Pray for all the different parts of the process to come together to make this a reality.
  • We seem to be having a nasty virus going through our home.  Several of the kids are down, and Linda and I haven't been feeling well the past few days either.  We'd appreciate your prayers for health and healing for those who are not well.
  • A number of the youth here are preparing for their difficult government exams that will take place during the months of June and July.  Please pray for them as they study, that they would be faithful in studying, and be able to remember what they need to in order to pass these exams.
Many thanks to each of you for your various types of support.  May God bless you greatly as you help us help the needy kids and youth of Haiti.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Well, greetings from the House of Hope!  Where do the days go to?  It's not like I thought my life would suddenly get less busy after I got married, but goodness how did it get to be mid-April already? 

The Haiti leg of our wedding went very well, I know some of you are wondering about that.  I will post just one picture on the blog of me and some of the kids on wedding day.  It was a really nice day and fun time -- very typical House of Hope, which was just perfect for all of us here.  Anyone wanting to see more pictures should send me an e-mail to my new e-mail address:  jreitzcompere@extremeresponse.org .  This is the last time I will send out the blog update alerts with my old Crossworld address.  So, please start using this new address immediately. 

Life at the HOH has started to settled down to a more "normal" routine.  The kids had an exceptionally long Easter break from school this year.  It's always fun to have more time to spend with the kids, they never allow life to become dull at all. Here are a few things that kept them busy this time...
Lala celebrated her 7th birthday.  Here she is being serenaded by a group of the older boys, at her request

For her Birthday Lala received a small cooking pot as a gift.  She was thrilled, and just a few days later she made her very first pot of rice.  She even went to the market place to purchase the necessary ingredients before hand.  She feels very grown up now!

As for the other kids, they've been working very hard on their gymnastic moves.  As you can see here, some are quite agile.  Some seem to have it as their life goal to give Linda and I a heart attack by figuring out bigger and better moves.  I was chatting with a visiting missionary one day.  She's a teacher from a school in the city close to us and the kids were "showing off" their moves to her and the other visitors.  I mentioned that I'd love to find a gymnastic teacher for them someday because they need to learn how to do their moves safely.  "Well", she said, "I happen to teach gymnastics"!  And she asked if I'd like her to come do a class with the kids on Saturday mornings!   What a blessing!! So, the kids have had one class, and we are looking forward to more.
While the younger kids were busy tumbling around, the older kids planned and presented a week long Easter conference ending with a beautiful Easter morning service.  The evening meetings were well attended by people from our local community, with several hundred people gathering each evening in our yard.  Some of the local pastors shared God's Word each evening and our kids did the music and worship part of the meetings.  It really was a nice week and I am sorry I didn't even think to take pictures of it to show you.  Every evening the sky would cloud over, and we'd wonder if we needed to cancel because everything was held outdoors, but the rain never came.  Then on Sunday morning, when the service was almost over (about 3/4's of the way through the sermon) the rain started pouring down!

And it kept pouring down for days and days -- pretty much for the entire week.  So part of that is the reason the kids had more vacation days than normal, because with the rain and the incredibly muddy roads they couldn't have school till it dried out a bit.  Over where Linda is from (closer to Cap Haitian), the rain caused much flooding.  Her mom's house was flooded out several times through that week.  There were several nights when we were all very concerned as the floods came during the night, and it was very scarey for them.  One of our boys Rosnel has gone over there with a local mason who does work for us here at the HOH.  They have been working the past few days to clean up the mess in and around her house, and to build some things to prevent this from happening again in the future. 

We were very happy to have a work team come down here to help the hospital with fixing a number of things.  We at the HOH benefited from them a bit too.  It has been months since our electrical systems here at the HOH have been working properly.  This has made it difficult to get all of our work done around here as we had to work with greatly limited electricity. We now are back to having it all the time now with the help of inverter and battery systems.  It's amazing how much easier it makes life!  It has certainly helped us to see how blessed we are as most everyone around us in our community goes without electricity pretty much all the time. 

Our Bible studies and lessons have started up again.  We are continuing to teach Biblical Character in the  the children Sunday School class, and the Saturday Boy's club.  We are studying Orderliness with the boys right now, and Initiative with the kids.  We also are continuing with general Bible knowledge in our Sunday evening quizzes with all the HOH kids.  We've started a new way of teaching this class this year.  I am preparing simple lessons ahead of time, we then pass them along to the older kids, who are responsible to teach them to the younger kids in their care.  We then have a monthly quiz night to see how much the kids and youth have learned from their lessons.  So far it has gone well, and I think we'll continue like this for a while.

One last thing I'd like to share with you today is about the financial needs at the HOH.  We don't like to write about this too much other than to ask you to pray, and we'd certainly love it if you'd continue to do that for us. We just want to give you a bit more information this time so you can be aware of the needs you are praying for.  Donations have been incredibly low for quite a while now, and our constant prayer here at the HOH is that they would pick up, but they haven't yet.  We are very thankful to each one who gives, often sacrificially. so the ministry of the HOH can continue.  But would you please help us pray that God would bring along other people to join us as financial partners as well?  We have cut out all the "extra" expense we can, and have managed to keep the kids in school, clothed and fed -- which is much more than many other kids in our neighborhood.  But, there are other needs we have not been able to cover.  Particularly our staff salaries have been very difficult to cover.  Because their salaries are paid through our local mission hospital, they have been paid, but we have an obligation to pay back that money.  Would you please make it a priority to pray that God would provide for this pressing need?  We appreciate you all very much.  Thank you for the part you play in this very special ministry. 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The events of life...

Every time I sit down to write an update, I kick myself for not having done it sooner.  It does seem like it'd be easier for me to do it, if I did it more often.  I can only hope to improve in this area at some point in my life!

Life at the HOH is going well; the kids are all busy with school, we are deep into our various activities, including Bible clubs, devotions and studies.  One of our boys, Junior, was elected president of his High School, and several others are playing on various sports teams. For the most part, life is moving along "as normal".

But there is one event that is fast approaching, that is quite out of the ordinary for us. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between our personal lives and the ministry here at the HOH, and that makes it somewhat hard to know how much to publish on the blog at times as well.  So, you will not be receiving a lot of details here on the blog about this upcoming event, but if you have questions and wish to write me personally about it, please feel free to do so at my e-mail address:  jenny.reitz@crossworld.org .

So, just what is this event?  Well, I, Jenny, am getting married.  Yes, there you have it.  Some of you will have heard this already, for others this will be a surprise, as you can imagine it's been difficult knowing how to bring it all to light when the time was right.  And there are so many details that I've been having to work out.  Some are still being worked out, and I don't have all the answers yet.  But it is our hope and prayer that this will not change my part in the ministry of the HOH at all at this point.  You can pray for us in that matter.

Because of my split life in multiple countries, we will be also having a split wedding in that there will be very small and simple ceremonies both in Haiti and in Canada, Lord willing; with the Haiti one being first and just around the corner.  It's been amazing to watch God work out all the details, and bless me in this very special way.  I'd ask for your prayers especially over these next couple of weeks and months; both for my fiance & myself, and for Linda & the kids.

An update from some of the events we wrote about on the last update.  Wedlyn the 14 year old boy went through some very rough days.  Our doctors ended up concluding that his tumor was cancer, and there is nothing that can be done for such things in our part of the world.  So, his parents took him home where they could best care for him during his final days.  We are so grateful for the time he spent here in the home.  We were able to share the love of Jesus with him, and also the good news of Jesus as the one who is able to save.  Wedlyn believed this message while he was here and put his trust in Jesus.  What a wonderful part we were able to play in his life for the short time he was with us.

Thanks to some visiting eye doctors at a neighboring mission we were able to get eye surgery done for Jean Daniel who has had a problem with his eye since he was just a young boy.  There is a possibility they might have to do it again next year in a different way, if it isn't successful, so we are praying that it is.  We were also able to help the elderly mom of a friend have two different operations on her eyes.  She is able to see much better, and is very grateful for this blessing in her life.

As you can imagine there are many things to pray for:
  • Pray for wisdom in dealing with the various details and people involved in our lives and ministry.
  • Pray for God's provision for all of our needs, both personally and for the HOH.
  • Pray for God's glory to shine forth in our lives, as we forge into new territory in many ways.
  • Pray for each of us to reflect Jesus to the world around us as we live out our daily lives in our community.
We are grateful to you all for your faithful support of the HOH as we bring hope to needy children and youth of Haiti.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Many greetings to you from Haiti!  Yes, I am back here now (just in case you thought I was still in the US, which would be understandable, since you haven't heard from me in forever).  But no, I am back and am happily getting a refill of spontaneous hugs and constant noise.  As you can imagine, life has been really busy since I've returned.  School has started, we've had 3 visiting teams, and I'm busy trying to catch up on all the end of the year administration things that didn't get done thanks to my rush to the US for my eyes.

Speaking of which, just how are my eyes doing?  Well, for the most part they are doing fine.  I'm learning to take better care of them, recognizing when they are tired and too dry, and for the most part I've managed to do pretty good.  It has been very helpful in making me realize there is only so much you can do in a day, and if it all doesn't get done, there's always tomorrow!  Well, today it's the blog's turn to get updated, so sit back and enjoy a bit of news about the end of our year, and the start of this new one.

So, to begin properly, I need to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Ok, so I could never quite figure out where 2011 went, and now I'm already almost a month into 2012...it doesn't seem possible!  But here we are, and already this year I've had two flights to Port-au-Prince to pick up teams, and two bumpy 8 hour bus rides to bring the teams the 150 miles up from Port-au-Prince to were we are.  I know you might be thinking why on earth have we gone back to taking the bus after all these years of using the 30 minute charter flights up to our area.  Well, it's a fair question, and here's the reason:  The airline has reduced it's flights to our area from 3 per day to just once a day.  And on top of that, they've raised the price for the privilege of flying with them -- once again.  So this means that the chance of getting a work team up here complete with all their luggage, which used to take 3-4 days, now takes over a week of me fighting and pushing and begging to please fly up the rest of the luggage.  And we get to pay more for the experience!  Well, usually by that time the team is already on their way back to where they came from.  So it ends up being a very stressful time.  On the bus, well it is a bit stressful too -- but it's pretty much over in an intense 18 hours by the time I fly down, pick them up and head on back on the bus.  So, it's worked out really well and the teams -- other than being a bit sore are pretty much ready to get up and working the next day.

Just what have these teams been doing?  Well the first one, a group, who came down through one of our partner organizations called Children's World Impact, was a fully medical team. They helped our partner hospital with consultations and surgeries for the week that they were here.  The second, our regular group from Snohomish, Washington,  had our mechanic on it, and he worked on all of our vehicles.  There were also some ladies and general handy men who did odd jobs around here for us and for some other missionaries in the area.  They have now moved on to another area in Haiti and are helping yet some other missionaries in the same way.  The third team is a group from various areas in Quebec.  They are still here and are making me really work hard on my French from time to time.  They are helping out the hospital as well doing odd jobs.  

Back here at the HOH, the kids put on a spectacular Christmas program once again. I'm reporting that it was spectacular, because that's what I've heard -- as you know I wasn't here.  Unfortunately, we lost most of the pictures that they took do to technical difficulties, but I managed to save a few and here they are:

Of course they also had the traditional Christmas meal where everyone including our staff have the chance to share a meal together.  Here's a picture of the smaller children sharing that meal:
The Christmas season is always a great way to end the year.  And we are always a bit sad to see it end.  But the new year, and the start of school that it always brings comes whether we are ready for it or not.  And now, everyone is back into their routine schedules. 

So, as we look to the days ahead, here are some items you could remember to pray on our behalf:

  • For faithfulness for all of us to use our time wisely and do our studies.  I am still working hard on my Masters (but I am behind and need to spend more time on it).  Linda is also continuing to study at home for her High School class.  The school has offered her the option to keep up with the classes at home and just come to school during the exam period to write the exams.  So she is trying that to see how it goes.  All the kids are working in their various levels of education.  We had pretty good report cards over all after the first cycle.
  • For God's continuing provision of our needs.  The help of food through the church in Miami has been such a huge help for us, there just aren't words to describe it.  Giving picked up through December as well, and that has helped us out so much, so please thank God with us for that.  Please continue to pray for us in this area as we wait on the Lord to provide for us each day what we need.
  • There are a number of new children here with us with a variety of illness. One 14 year old boy named Wedlyn has a huge TB mass on his neck.  It makes it very difficult for him to swallow and breathe. He is very uncomfortable and weak.  Please pray for him as he recovers and adjusts to life here at the HOH for the time being.
  • Tomorrow I'll be taking two of our kids as well as two ladies from our community to see an eye doctor in a nearby town.  Please pray that all would go well, logistics aren't always the easiest things to pull of around here!
  • We have finally been able to restart our Bible studies and lessons.  We started the Community Boy's Club this past Saturday, and Sunday School with our kids on Sunday morning.  Slowly, we'll start working in the others as well.

Many thanks to you all for supporting us in the ways you are able to.  We know we couldn't be here doing what we are doing if weren't for all of you doing what you do.  So thanks, and God bless...