Monday, October 08, 2018

Update

Thank you to everyone who held us up in prayer over the past weekend.  There have been several big aftershocks that have really been scary for our kids and staff.  But they woke up in much better spirits this morning.  We are grateful for the encouragement and prayer support we have found.  

I want to welcome some of the new subscribers to these updates.  After posting our new website address last week, numerous people subscribed to receive these updates by e-mail.  So, welcome! You will now receive these blog updates by e-mail, automatically whenever the blog is updated.  Someone asked if I will still be sending out the e-mails now that we have the website and the answer is yes.  At some point I might move the blog over to the website so we have it all at the same place, but not just yet.  So, these updates will still come to you via e-mail.  

It might be a bit before I (Jenny) can update the blog again however, as I'll be traveling soon for the HOH.  I'll be speaking in churches in various places in Texas over the next few weeks and visiting supporters around there as well.   If I haven't already contacted you and you'd like a visit -- please be in touch.  

If you want to receive updates while I'm traveling, sign up for our closed HOH Facebook page, I will be updating that regularly (HOH facebook page).  You can receive those by e-mail too if you'd like, just let me know.

We appreciate each one of you and the part you play in this ministry.  Here are some general things to pray for over the next few weeks.
  • Jenny's travels -- safety, strength and  productive meetings with supporters and potential supporters.
  • Linda, the kids and our staff as they work through this this tough time they've been through with this earthquake.  Pray for God's joy and peace to fill their hearts as they deal with their fears and trauma.
  • Pray for God's provision of funds during this time to help with added expenses.  Prices for everyday items always go up after such events, plus we will have more mouths to feed as we help our neighbors who are suffering loss.  It is probable that we even get a few extra children admitted to the HOH who are dealing with injuries.  
  • Pray that the light of the Good News of Jesus would shine through the HOH into our community that is really suffering right now.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Earthquake strikes our area of Haiti

Sadly tonight around 8:11 a 5.9 earthquake hit our area of Haiti.  We don't know the extent of damage to our area, but we wanted to let you know that the House of Hope is safe.  The kids and staff are shaken and scared.   Numerous people have left their homes closer to the ocean and come to stay on our yard to be safer.  Reports are that there are many wounded at our partnering hospital on the same yard as us.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.  I'll write more as I hear it.  For more up to date information, join our Facebook page: here

Here's a picture of our kids all camping out in our kitchen tonight.  They are too scared to sleep on their own, and our kitchen has the least amount of cement walls and ceiling. 

Thanks so much for your prayers.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The New HOH Website!

Good Morning, we are happy to let you know the House of Hope now has it's own website.  Here is the address:  www.houseofhopehaiti1-lapointe.org .  We have wanted to do this for a long time and finally here it is.  We are thankful for several friends who helped give us the push to get it going and who also helped with the editing. 

Feel free to share it with friends, family or anyone else you know who may be interested in finding out more about us and what we do.  Thank you for the ways in which you support us.  We hope and pray this tool helps us and our supporters share the great news of all God is doing through this special ministry. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Back Into Routine

It's been a couple of weeks now and the House has returned to it's school year routine.  The little ones head out in the morning -- our first leaves home at 6:30 each morning then the next group goes around 7:30.  Most of those get home early afternoon when the rest of them head off for afternoon classes.  It's an amazing scene to watch play out each day.  If you are an outsider it looks a bit chaotic, but in reality Linda is a maestro orchestrating a well choreographed number.  

Some of the kids have their new uniforms...
and we are still working on others.  It is a bit frustrating as various schools decide to change their uniforms from year to year -- just slightly so you have to get new material and make new uniforms!

We'd ask you to continue to pray for the funds we need to pay for the kid's schooling this year.  There are no free schools in our area of Haiti.  Everyone has to pay tuition if they are going to attend school.  On top of the tuition there is books, uniforms, shoes, supplies to buy.  The fact that our kids can go, puts them in a special category as there are many kids who can't attend school because their families can't afford it.  

But we feel strongly that an education is the chance for our kids to have the Hope of a Future.  It is another level of hope that we seek to provide for the children, youth and young adults in our home.  We know not everyone is able to help us out financially, but if you are able to; would you consider helping one of our kids advance in their education this year.  And if you can't, please pray with us for this need to be supplied.  Our kids pray regularly for this and have incredible faith that God will provide.  Please join them in this.

** Donations can be sent to us through Extreme Response. Note that it is for the House of Hope.

Monday, September 03, 2018

First Day of the New School Year

And they're off....  The summer is over, school has started.  Here are some of our youngest members heading off for school this morning.  They aren't in their uniforms just yet -- I'll share a picture once they have them.
The little guy, third from the left is Darolyn.  This is his first year at school...he was nervous.  When I asked him earlier if he was excited, he said shook his head no.  But, he has a smile on his face this morning -- hopefully that's a good start for him!

This year we have 52 students ranging from Kindergarten to University. This year, we are in need of more people to partner with us to give our kids this hope of a future through education. 

It costs us $300 US per student to send them to school for the year. That works out to $25 a month per student. Would you be able to help us out in this way? How about someone else you know? Feel free to share this need with others you know who might be interested. 

Donations can be made at: http://extremeresponse.org/join-us/make-a-donation/ (please specify that it is for the House of Hope in Haiti).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A look at Camp!

As promised, here's an update of how camp went while we were in Haiti...

I would have to say this was probably the best year of camp we've had in the 5 years since we've started doing camp each summer.  For one, we had the most kids/youth we've ever had with our numbers topping out at 294 before we said we couldn't take anymore.  Everyone was so excited to be there, the days were packed full of activity from....
 Helping with daily chores...
 
There were daily sessions with rousing singing
 
  
 Here's a video of some worship time...
 Bible Study-- our theme was Hebrews 13:8
  and even Homework...
 For the younger kids there were play times...
 
We also did a craft for everyone to take home as a reminder of our lessons
Then of course there were games.... wild and crazy given that there were so many kids in a small confined space.  But everyone had a great time and there were surprisingly very few injuries!
The favorite games were one called Mele Mele (or Mix Mix),
 and the find your sandal game.  With almost 200 pairs of sandals it can be quite a challenge...
 
 Of course balloons are always a big hit as well.
Each year so far we've been able to give out camp t-shirts that have the theme of the week on them.  Here is this year's shirt...
 
This year we added a meal for everyone.  Other years we have felt bad when we had to send the campers from our local community away so we could feed our own kids.  The camp started out years ago for just HOH kids and we've gradually opened it up to include the community kids as well.  This year we decided to try and feed everyone.  And with 300+ people around it was not an easy feat!  But Linda is incredibly skilled at this, and everyone ate every day.  We are so thankful for the many people who sent us money and food supplies to help us with this endeavor.  We could have never done it without their help... 
 
 
  
We are so glad our team from Miami was there to help us out.  they've been here all of the 5 years we've done camp and they are such a big help, especially with the younger kids.  
All in all it was a wonderful time.  Spending time together.  Having fun, studying God's Word, sharing in work, study, play and food.  Each year we grow closer and it helps stimulate our spiritual growth throughout the year.  Thank you for your part, whether in giving finances to the HOH for us to function and be a light in our community or through your prayers as we bring hope to those around us.  We all play a vital role, thanks for yours!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Time to Catch up!

Greetings to you all.  Wow, it's hard to believe a whole month has gone by.  I am sorry I never got to update the blog while I was traveling and in Haiti.  The internet down there was horrible and while I did manage to put a short update on Facebook throughout my trip, I couldn't get on the blog site at all to do an update.  If you still want to join the House of Hope Facebook page so you can get these more frequent updates, you can do that by following this link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/houseofhopehaiti1/ .

Thank you so much for your prayers for our travels over the past weeks.  Everything went so well it was just amazing.  All my flights were on time until my final flight back to Winnipeg at which time I got in late and lost a bag!  What a perfect time for things to go wrong!

My time in Haiti was just wonderful.  Here's a look...
These two guys weren't the ones who came and picked me up in Port-au-Prince -- thankfully.  But they were sure waiting for my arrival after the 6 hour car ride in the white vehicle behind them (which amazingly made it once again over those rough roads).  
 
What an encouragement it was to be picked up and chauffeured by Jn Daniel.  Watching these "kids" grow and expand their knowledge and skills is so exciting.  Since coming back we've learned that he was offered a full-time job in Port-au-Prince as a Lab Technologist, so we are going to lose him as a chauffeur, but are so excited to watch him move on in his life. 
My time at the HOH was just incredible.  Spending time with the kids as well as Linda was a highlight and we just enjoyed being together.  I'm so happy with how things are going there.  Seeing different kids step up into leadership roles to help Linda.  Watching others move on to new steps in their lives.  It is so neat how Linda and I can work together so well both near and far apart. We feel like we are a pretty formidable team and are so blessed to have each other to minister with.
Several of the kids thought it was a good idea to have me jump back into my role as "medical liaison" while I was down there this time.  Shortly after my arrival, Frandy had an incredibly traumatic accident on our yard.  Those are the moments we are so thankful our house is on the same yard as a hospital.  I stayed with him through the ER and then the operating room late into the night as the surgeons worked on his arm.  He has a long road of recovery ahead of him, please pray for him as we still aren't sure how much use he is going to have of his hand and fingers. 
 
Several nights later it was Moise who kept me at the ER until the wee hours of the morning as he was having trouble breathing and needed oxygen.  Then later it was the twins!  Needless to say, I put in a lot of hospital time this trip.  I was happy to do it though and give Linda a bit of a break as she along with our older kids go through this a lot throughout the year.

Camp was really great this year as well, but I'm going to wait until the next blog to fill you in on that or else this blog will be way too long!  

Here are a few prayer requests to keep in mind until the next blog:
  • School is starting up in 2 weeks.  This means a lot of things, but most particularly we need to purchase school supplies, uniforms and pay entrance fees and tuition in the coming weeks.  Please pray for provision of all these things we need related to the education of the kids.  It is such an important part of our ministry to bring them hope.  It costs about $300 US per student per year to send them to school.  We have 52 students.  Please pray for this need.

  • Our boys in Port-au-Prince are doing really well.  We do see the need to find other housing arrangements for them.  I was able to visit them on my trip and after talking with Linda about it, we were not happy with the situation where they were at.  God has brought a much better situation about, but it is also more money.  So, we have until mid-September to make this decision.  Please pray with us about this.  Pray that we would have the funds to move them to the better situation.  
  • There is some really great Spiritual growth happening on many different levels with our kids both at the HOH and those in Port-au-Prince.  It is really very exciting to watch God working in their lives and them getting to know Him better.  On this trip, they asked me to spend more time working on Bible Studies and devotions for them which I am very happy to do.  You could pray for me as I do this and try to work out different medias and methods to do this from afar.
We are so grateful for each one of you and the part you play in this exciting ministry.  Together we are bringing hope to many -- Thank you for your part!

Friday, July 20, 2018

On My Way!

Good Afternoon!  I, Jenny will be hitting the road today to start my journey down to the HOH.  As you can imagine, we all are quite excited.  I'm excited to see my large family once again and they are excited to have me come.  They have spent days getting things ready for me, from the car to pick me up to getting my room ready to stay in.  Makes me feel special and gets them very excited waiting for my arrival!
We'd love it if you prayed for us over the next few weeks.  For health and safety in travel for myself and also for the team from Miami who is coming to join us.  Pray for a great time with the kids, staff and Linda.  Pray for a fruitful, fun and fantastic week of camp with the 300 kids and youth registered.

I won't be updating the blog again until I get back as the internet never seems good enough for me to do it from down there.  But I will be regularly posting on the House of Hope Facebook group.  If you haven't joined, it's not too late, you can still find it by following this link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/houseofhopehaiti1/ and asking to join.  

Some people have let me know they are not on facebook but would like to receive these posts as well.  I have started an email list and while I likely won't be able to send every post, I will try to send an email as often as I can.  So, just let me know if that's better way for you to keep in touch.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A New Way to Keep Connected

Good morning to you all.  We have been working on another way to keep connected with our friends and partners.  We've wanted a way that was a bit easier than sitting down and writing a blog and also one that was a bit more private. 

So, we have started a "Closed" Facebook group called - House of Hope - La Pointe, Haiti.  Because it is closed people can see it, but have to have permission to join.  We hope to be able to post our news, needs and prayer requests there with more regularity than we are able to do with the blog.  But no worries, we will continue to update the blog as we have been doing.

If you are interested in joining this group on Facebook, you can follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/houseofhopehaiti1/ it will send me your request and I can add you as a member.  In an effort to maintain some privacy and intimacy in this group with regards to our big family's news, I will be checking out the member requests carefully.  If you notice I haven't approved you yet, or if you want to add some friends of yours that we might not know personally, please send us an e-mail as well to make some introductions.

We so appreciate each one of your, our partners and look forward to sharing more with you through this group.

Thanks for your continued prayers for Haiti.  Our boys in PAP say it's much calmer and more back to normal in their area today.  Internet communications in the area where the HOH is located is not working this morning, so I have not heard directly from Linda today.   But the boys were able to call her and all is well there.  We appreciate your continued prayers for the weeks ahead and the events that are planned for them.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Our Poor Haiti...

Greetings to you all.  I'm sure some of you have heard of Haiti's unrest on the news.  We wanted to let you know all of us are doing ok for the moment.  The unrest rarely reaches out as far as where we are located, so in that sense the HOH is fine.  But our young men are studying in PAP and several others were there getting errands done for us.  They are fine, staying put and waiting it all out.

We'd love it if you would pray for the issues in Haiti. 
  • Pray for wisdom for the leaders and for calm for those causing the unrest.  
  • Pray for safety for our boys in PAP and that our boys who need to get back up to the HOH are able to do so in the coming days.
  • There are many people from all over Haiti who were in our town for the yearly spiritual life conference.  They need to travel back to their homes tomorrow, pray for their safety and that they'd be able to get back home again.
  • My (Jenny's) trip to Haiti is scheduled to take place in 2 weeks!  Pray for calm to return so I can make it in and up to the HOH safely.  I am traveling with a young lady from the US and a team from Miami will be joining us the next week.  Pray for wisdom for all of us involved and that we'd be able to make the trip.  The kids at the HOH have been waiting for this trip all year!
  • Summer Camp/VBS is coming up in 3 weeks.  We have almost 300 kids/youth signed up to come and we have almost finished all the preparations.  Pray that we'll be able to get there, get the food supplies we need, get the team there and all the supplies.... and that we have a great time learning from God's Word and having fun together.
Our kids enjoyed being involved in the local conference this past weekend.  They love joining in the throngs of other kids from all over Haiti and learning new songs and stories.  We will be singing the songs for the entire year ahead!  
Linda and the kids enjoying conference...
  

We also received a number of items from various groups and individuals in Miami on the latest boat.  All of them will be helpful in the upcoming weeks with our visitors and upcoming day camp.  Here are a few pictures -- you can see by the smiles on their faces -- everything was a big hit!
 
 
We are so grateful for the number of ways our partners support us in this work.  We appreciate each one of you.  Thank you for your part! 

Monday, June 25, 2018

And Finally... Grade 13

While most of our kids are now finished school for the year, our grade 13 students will be writing their very difficult government exams this week.  It doesn't help that the World Cup Soccer is also happening at the same time -- makes it hard to study while the entire rest of the country is cheering on their favorite teams!
Our Grade 13 students, Phania, Magloire Iverlande in this picture
 and Delva in this one....
would greatly appreciate your prayers for them as they have tried to do just that as they prepare for these exams.  They will be writing them for most of this week.

As for the rest of the HOH kids -- it's summertime!  And one of the things the kids get excited about is Mango season.  There's nothing quite like a nice refreshing mango in the heat of a summer day...
 Another favorite treat is what we call "Ti Carol" little bags of frozen juice that Linda makes for them on occasion.  
 
If you look closely you can see some of the kids dancing when they got theirs!

Some have asked for an update on the health of the kids.  Seems like everyone is doing ok these days.  Here's an updated picture of the twins with Linda -- as you can see they have grown quite a bit over the past few weeks!
  Here are a few more things to hold up in prayer:
  • Please continue to pray for Jenny as she is trying to finish up the preparations for our Summer camp program for the HOH kids as well as kids in our local community.  She'll be heading to Haiti in about a month and has a lot to finish up before then.  
  • Pray for Jn Daniel as he is in Port-au-Prince this week trying to get some work done on our vehicle so it will be able to transport Jenny and the team from Miami when they come the end of July.
  • Pray for Linda, the young leaders and staff as they have extra work to do to keep everyone busy now that school is out.  Pray also as she is setting up the logistics to feed everyone at our summer day camp this year.  Other years we've felt bad sending the community kids home at noon so we can feed our kids.  This year we are going to try and feed everyone one meal during the day.  As you can imagine -- feeding around 300 people every day is quite the challenge.  
As always, we are so grateful for your partnership, support and prayers for us.  We know we couldn't do all of this without your help, so thanks for enabling us in this ministry.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Grade 9 exams this week

Just a quick update today about our 4 grade 9 students.  Thank you so much for your prayers for the grade 6 exams last week.  Now those students are just awaiting their results.  Now it is our grade 9 students.  They will be writing the rest of today and tomorrow.  They'd love your prayers as well.  Here they are...
Jamesley, Dieunika, Carlos, and John Wisly

You might remember Jamesley from several months ago when he was having such a hard time with bleeding.  We are so thankful for the Hemophiliac factor we had donated to us that has not only enabled him to get up and walking (albeit with crutches) again, but also allow him to return to school and be ready to write his exams.  

What a joy and privilege to bring hope to young people like these 4 here.  Thanks for your part in giving them a hope for their futures through education!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Exam Time!

It is that time of the year again.  Today 4 of our kids start their government exams.  This week it is the grade 6 exams and here are our 4 girls who are writing them...
 Valandjina, Nitchy and Wislinda will write in the mornings.
Altagrace will write in the afternoons.

We received a surprise this week with Valandjina being accepted to write the exams.  She was in grade 5 this year, but did so well the school skipped grade 6 and are having her write the exams.  She is a really strong student and if she passes these exams she will move on to secondary school next year!

We'd love it if you would remember to pray for these young ladies. They must pass these exams in order to move on in their schooling, so it's a pretty big deal for them.

Some people have asked for a few updates on people we've introduced you to in the past.  So, here goes...
  • All of our babies are doing well at the moment.  I don't have a recent updated picture of the twin girls, but we'll try and get that before the next blog update.  
  • Oliana is hanging in there.  Not a lot of change there, but she isn't worse so we are happy with that.
  • Manouchka, the mother who had suffered burns is doing really well.  She has healed completely and her children are doing well. 
    She will be leaving the HOH this coming weekend to go and try to build a new life with her children.  She will leave with the baby and the young boy will stay with us until she has located a place to live with both of them.   You could pray for her as she makes her way forward in life.
As promised, here is another bookmark signaling a need that we have at the HOH.  The last need we emphasized was for a one time need.  This time we'll show you an ongoing need.  We are short on our budget needs by $4,000/month, this mostly falls in the realm of salaries to pay our staff.  I know that sounds like a huge shortfall and if we were looking for it from one person, it would be.  But the ministry of the HOH has always been possible because of the team of people we have who put their resources together to bring hope those who come to our home.  So, when you look at it broken down -- we need 200 people to send us $20/month.  Maybe even that isn't possible for you to help with, and in that case can you pray with us that God would provide this need?  Here is a bookmark to help you remember this need...

We appreciate each of you and your partnership in this ministry.  Thank you for your part.  We don't share these needs lightly.  We know many of you are helping us out way beyond your abilities.  But we do feel it's important for you to be aware of the needs so you can pray with us as we watch God provide for them.

(I did realize that I made these bookmarks for a trip to the US, so I failed to put the Canadian address for donations on there.  Here it is:  Extreme Response Canada - PO Box 1013 - Simcoe, ON - N3Y 5B3)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Finding Ways to Help

Greetings to you all.  Very sorry for the silence over the past couple of weeks.  I'm sure you all know how busy life gets at times.  I (Jenny) was busy in Canada with family things.  And the HOH was busy with school, then a holiday from school, the arrival of the boat from Miami and many useful and needed items, and now back to school again!  One special moment was that our boys who are away at University were able to come home for the weekend.  What a wonderful time everyone had reconnecting and just being family.
 Here's a group of them going on a picnic together.

A quick update on Oliana:  she had a pretty good week last week.  She started to get some strength back.  She was able to move around and participate in a few activities, she was even able to attend our Sunday church service.  But yesterday she took another down turn and is back in bed.  She's unable to keep food down and is back on IVs.  We continue to pray for strength and healing for her and comfort and strength for those giving her care.  As you can imagine, the constant up and downs gets discouraging for everyone -- especially for Oliana.  Thank you for your continued prayers for her.

Bringing hope in all it's wonderful forms to the children and youth who come through our doors is what the House of Hope is all about.  Over the years, many people have partnered with us to help us do just that. These past few months though we've been so blessed by 2 young ladies who found 2 very unique ways to raise funds to help us in this endeavor.  I wanted to share their stories with you...

Emma Rodriguez -- Miami, FL

You might remember hearing her name before.  Emma has spent time at the HOH over the past 4 summers.  She is currently a pre-med student at Dartmouth, a study she chose to go into after her involvement with one of our little boys who needs a lot of medical care.  So, one has to wonder, just what is a 2nd year university student going to do to raise funds to help the HOH?  
Why IronMan Texas, of course!
Yes, in the midst of all those bobbing heads out there in the water, you'll find one Emma Rodriguez. 
 After much training and disicipline, this amazing young lady swam for 2.5 miles,
 biked for 112 miles 
and then ran for 26.2 miles.  And she did it all in 14.5 hours!

Why would someone subject themselves to such a feat?  For Emma it was to raise funds to help the HOH.  We are so proud of what she accomplished and so grateful for her kind heart and spirit that loves our kids so much and desires to help us bring them hope in any way that she can.  And she's not finished -- she's already gearing up for her next IronMan in 2019.

Elizabeth Curtis -- White Cloud, MI
 
Elizabeth comes from a long line of HOH partners.  Her church has supported the HOH since its beginning in 1956.  Her grandmother spent many years rolling bandages and shipping them to us.  Many thousands of children were blessed by her giving over the years.
In spite of facing some very difficult medical needs herself, Elizabeth decided to find her way to help the HOH.  Hot Chocolate was her way.  Elizabeth made hot chocolate and sold it to her school mates.  The proceeds from her endeavors were given to us to help us bring hope to the children in our care.  I was blessed to get to spend a bit of time with Elizabeth on my recent trip to the Michigan.  She is an incredibly kind and caring young lady who thinks of others in need even though she herself is struggling with needs of her own.  We appreciate very much the work Elizabeth put into this and her kind heart that gave to us so we can bring hope to the kids in our care.  
 
While these are by no means the only 2 who have found unique ways to help us out over the years we just wanted to share some recent ones with you. Over the years others have come up with various ways to help us out:
  • Several young people have done clothing and supply drives at their schools for special needs that we have.  
  • Others have taken up special offerings in VBS or Sunday School programs.  
  • One church has a "Slipper Sunday" where everyone gets to come in slippers and donates to help us buy shoes for our kids.  
  • Another church has a special "Children's Offering" every Sunday where their kids collect and bring change each Sunday to give towards food purchases for our kids.  
There are so many ways to help out and we are grateful for all who do.  If this inspires you to come up with an idea of how to help us raise the funds we need to bring this hope, please let us know!

Together, we bring hope.  And if you question whether it's working, just take a look at this face,
it says it all...
Thank you for your part!