Friday, October 25, 2013

Homework coming out of our ears!

We are into the rhythm of school, and believe it or not, some of our students already wish the tune would change!  Almost every day 6 year old Nani asks if there is school tomorrow; and when the weekend comes and we can finally say "no" she is so happy she just erupts into shouts of joy.  I do not think this is a very good sign... as we are only into week 3 of school!!

One thing that gets harder every year as our students get into higher grades is the amount of homework that is sent home with the students.  It is at least an hour's worth of work for the youngest classes and then it just goes up from there.  Another difficult thing is that most of the homework is not stuff that was taught in school, it's new information that they are supposed to pick up at home while you are helping them.  On one hand, the fact that the curriculum hasn't changed much since Linda was a child in school makes it easier for older kids and adults to help the children learn the new material, but for someone like me who didn't actually attend school in Haiti; boy it all seems complicated!

Thankfully we have a number of our youth and some adults in our local community who are willing to help us with the homework load.  I wanted to show you some of these "study groups" to give you a bit of an idea of what our afternoons and evenings are like.  So here are some of the people helping our students in elementary classes:

Linda studies with Dieula

Manno has a whole group of students he looks after.  
From Left: Dieunika, Manno, Baslet, Carlos, Chedlyn 

Our Neighbor Brother David is helping Valandjina and Nani this year.

Herby (in middle) is helping Gachner and Lovedine

They have a lot of proverbs in Haiti, and one of them is similar to our saying, "Many hands make light work".  Sometimes many hands just create a lot of hassle!  But in this case we are thankful for the many hands that help us get through the stacks of homework that come back to the HOH every day.

We have been able to start preparing our Bible Studies and classes to get up and running again.  Brother David is starting a Bible Study in 1 Corinthians with our older youth on Tuesday nights.  Linda and some of our young men will be starting up the Character Clubs with the boys from our local community on Saturdays.  She will also be teaching the Character studies to our younger kids in Sunday School on Sundays.  I am starting to work on translating some books to be used for future studies.

Recently, two of our younger kids expressed a desire to ask Jesus into their hearts.  Linda spent time talking over this decision with both Nani and Micah, and both of them asked Jesus to be their Savior.  As you can imagine this made us all happy and especially as it is two children who have been with us since they were just days old.  Nani will be 7 next month, and Micah is 5.

Thanks everyone for the prayers and support you gave us as we were raising funds for various projects over the summer.  We received enough funds for the first semester of school, funds to replace all the screens in the HOH, and some funds for chairs.   Paint was the least funded project... so we'll hold off on that for a bit.  School for the semester has already been paid.  The screens have been ordered and should be here in a month or so.  We hope to complete the chair money with some other gifts soon to be able to order them as well.  Next on our project list are new mattresses for the babies cribs... we have had these for at least 10 years, and they are really in bad shape.  The only reason they've lasted this long is that our friends from Simcoe made heavy duty mattress covers with rain coat material!  But even these heavy duty covers are coming to an end of their lifespan.  So be praying about this and the paint!

We were blessed with some very generous monthly gifts over the past few months and they've helped us with our finances a lot.  We'd ask you to continue to pray for God's provision of our monthly financial needs.  We appreciate you all and the many ways you support our ministry.  Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Yes, it is!

Some have been wondering if the Rose Nirva seen dancing the Happy Dance below (and also eating the mango) is the same Rose Nirva who almost died of cholera a couple of months back.  The answer is yes!  And isn't she doing great?  Thank you so much for your prayers on her behalf.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Back into full swing

Hello and greetings from the HOH.  I am back in Haiti and slowly getting adjusted to the heat again.  It seems to be hotter than usual and often even the fans don't seem to do anything to help; they just blow hot air around.  At least the name of my apartment is "Windy Inn", so the breeze does help me a bit.  Imagine our kids though sitting in stifling cement school rooms with tiny or no windows! 

Yep, school has officially started, and while this week has been a bit hit or miss, we have been informed that Monday morning things will be going full steam.  The younger kids were excited for the school year to begin, but now that they have done the first week and seen their friends... the excitement seems to be waning a bit!  Oh, we can all remember those school days can't we?

I came back to several positive happenings, so I wanted to share them with you.

Our young leaders together with Linda and our Bible teacher David had put together some Baptismal classes over the summer.  After the studies, there were 9 of our young people who desired to be baptized; so they planned a day at the beach for the entire HOH family.  This would give them a place to have the baptismal service and have a day of fun and relaxation for the kids before school started up again.  As you can imagine I was thrilled that they had planned the baptism and desired to do it together as a HOH family.  Here are some pictures to help you see what the day was like:

All ready to go, and looking very cool!
Everyone got new outfits for the outing
Rose Nirva had no idea why everyone was so excited, but she broke out into her own little excited dance anyway.  It was her first trip to the beach, along with a number of our other little ones, and the day didn't disappoint!

Waiting in line to get in the truck
The Baptismal Service.  Brother David who led the service is on the Left.

The group that got baptized:  Back row from left:  Stevenson, Reginald, Herby.  Front row from left:  Oliana, Jumalia, Iverlande, Evelte, Jamesley, Chedlyn
Next came time to enjoy our new surroundings.  Carly enjoyed burying herself in sand.
Jamesly, Wetsen and Nani built sand castles.
Linda enjoyed a game of dominoes with the boys.
Others played a game of UNO.

But the beach was the all time favorite -- for those who could stand the sun that is!

Even the babies got to relax in the cool ocean breeze.  Manouchka on the right is doing so much better, we posted her picture on our last update right after she got here.  We enjoying having some babies again.

Next to the swimming in the beach the food brought the most joy of the day!  Here was a snack in the morning of bread, peanut butter and juice

 Then in the afternoon we had a big meal of rice and BBQ chicken

 All topped off with some lovely mangoes!

It really was a nice day and no one wanted to go back home...but as all things do, our lovely day came to and end and it was back to reality.

Reality for most was school starting on Monday but for Stephanie it was a little different this year.  After having finished nursing school last year and then doing her internship at our local hospital; Stephanie was hired with a full-time position at our partnering hospital the Beraca Medical Hospital.  We are proud of Stephanie and appreciate her initiative to find a job.  Please pray for her as she enters this new phase of life.

We appreciate your continued prayers for us as well.  We praise God for his provision of the tuition fees for this first semester of school.  Pray for our students as they start their studies again that they'd study hard and have a good school year.  Thanks so much for the various ways you support the work here at the HOH.