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: .  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. 

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