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!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Too Cute for Words

Many thanks for all your prayers for Oliana and the HOH and for your words of encouragement.  She continues to hang in there.  She is not getting any worse, but also not much improvement either.  At least she is conscious and able to talk.  But her blood sugar continues to spike and she is too weak to even sit up.  We appreciate your continued prayer, support and encouragement.

As an encouragement to you we wanted to share this picture of our 5 babies
They are all doing so well and we are so thankful for the chance to give them love and care for them.

I (Jenny) am back from my trip through the mid-west of the USA.  I am so thankful for my friends who lent me their car so I could have such an incredible time visiting many of our friends and supporters.  Thank you too for your prayers for my safety as I was traveling around. Here are some tidbits about my trip:
  • I drove a total of 68 hours over the past 3 week.
  • I stayed in 7 different homes who so kindly opened their doors to me and showered me with hospitality.
  • I was able to speak in 4 different churches and share all that God is doing at the HOH and in the lives of our crazy big family.  
  • I started my trip by driving into a big snowstorm in Minnesota 
  • I had to cancel one trip to see some partners in Northern Wisconsin because we were snowed in!
  • Driving in and around Chicago is just nuts!
  • Saw the last bits of snow in Western Michigan -- even watched a snowman melt before my eyes!
  • Tasted the best apple cider at the Yates Cider Mill in Michigan.
  • Saw the greenest fields and grass in Indiana.
  • Got my car loaded and bursting at the seems with new hand-made clothes for the kids in Indiana.
  • Was blessed with help packing and shipping said clothes in Illinois.
  • Drove through severe weather (thunderstorms and hail warnings) through Illinois. 
  • Saw the beautiful sun on my way back through Minnesota and North Dakota.
  • Arrived back in Manitoba to weather in the 80's!
  • All along my route I connected with people who encouraged me so much and it was a blessing to meet with and spend time with each one of you. 
We were reminded again of what an incredible team of partners we have in this special ministry.  I was also able to make some new contacts on this trip and we'd ask you to pray that some of those contacts might be the start of some new financial partnerships to help us with the needs of the HOH.  

While on my trip I highlighted 3 specific needs with some prayer bookmarks.  I'll share them with you all as well so you can be in prayer for the provision of these needs.  One was for a monthly need, one a yearly need and the last one is an immediate one-time need.  I'll share them one at a time over the next few blogs.  Here is the immediate one-time need (it is front & back of a bookmark):
Thank you for the many ways you are part of our lives, ministry and family.  We hope you all have a wonderful week.  We will let you know on any changes as far as Oliana is concerned.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Update on Oliana

Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for Oliana.  Sometime in the middle of the night she regained consciousness and started to talk.  This was not something we expected to happen given that she wasn't conscious or responsive in any way for most of the day yesterday.  Her blood sugar is still on a roller coaster and the doctors are trying to get it under control again.  We appreciate your prayers and would ask you to continue to pray for Oliana as well as everyone at the HOH giving her care.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Prayer Needed

This is just a quick note to ask for prayer for Oliana.  She has been going through a rough time physically for the past little while, but today she took a definite negative turn.  She is now completely unresponsive and the doctors have told us there is little else they can do and it seems unlikely she will make it through this time.  We would ask you to please pray for Oliana.  Pray for Linda, the doctors and everyone involved in giving her care.  Pray for her family as well as they have been fighting for her health since she was a little girl.  Pray for God to bring peace during these difficult moments.  Pray that the medical staff would have wisdom in knowing how to care for her.  She is a young lady with a very strong faith in Jesus and for that we are thankful.  She has been part of our family for 16 years now.  It is difficult on everyone.  The HOH has stopped all activity this afternoon and is holding a prayer time for her.  We'd appreciate it if you had a moment to do the same.  Thank you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"They keep coming"

When I asked almost 4 year old Mits what he thought of our new month old twin girls, his response was, "They just keep coming, every year!".  His eyes were wide with astonishment.  For the first few years of his life, he was the only long-term baby we had.  Now, as he says -- they keep coming!  
Here he is enjoying a look with Linda:
 We are so thankful for the arrival of baby supplies and 
baby clothes from friends in South Florida.  
Talk about Perfect Timing!
Nothing quite like holding twins!
As always, we appreciate your prayers and support in so many ways that allows us to bring hope to the many in our care.  We'd ask you to please pray for Jenny as she will be traveling over the next 3 weeks to visit supporters, make new contacts and do some fund raising for the HOH.

She will be driving through the states of:  North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.  She has contacted many of you throughout these states, but if you were missed and would like to try and see her please feel free to get in touch with her at:  houseofhopehaiti1@gmail.com. Because she will be traveling, it is likely that the blog will not be updated very much over the next few weeks.  We will catch up with you afterwards though!  Thanks for your prayers.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Lots of surprises!

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.  We did at the House of Hope and it was a busy with with lots of things happening that we wanted to share with you.

The surprises started off with the arrival of 1 month old orphaned twins Lovena and Lovenide:
 
This brings our baby count up to 5!  
There are times we go without any babies, so 5 brings a whole lot of life to the HOH.

Later in the week, malnourished 8 month Lovensky arrived with his mom. 
 
 They will be with a couple of weeks until Lovensky gets healthy again.

An extra surprise was a box of goodies from a friend in Miami -- 
shoes, milk & candy just in time for Easter!!
Another surprise was some mosquito netting from another friend in Miami
 
 On Good Friday Linda planned some crafts for the kids to do:
Coloring Mosaic Crosses:
 
 
And making Cross Necklaces
 
Then some boys from our local community showed up Linda asked them to join in
Later that evening, everyone watched a movie about the life of Jesus
Sunday was a great time remembering the Resurrection of Jesus
 and the life all of those who believe on Him now have.

The start of the week brought more surprises...
Clothes and supplies from friends in Quebec, Canada
 
And an even better surprise from them...
A special chair for Widson -- Look how happy he is!  
We know this chair will help him a lot and enable him to enjoy more activities with us.

Another Friend in Miami sent clothes for the younger kids and Babies:
 
 
 

Then, a Colleague from the Far-West of Haiti brought us a wonderful surprise:
 A new type of stove to cook food on.
It is specially designed to use very little wood, maximize the heat and really cut down cooking times.  Finding fuel to cook food is always a struggle for us, but we do have an abundance of small twigs and branches that fall off our trees daily.  To be able to cook food with these bits of wood is an incredible gift!

So, you can see we've had a lot of Good News this weekend.  We are so blessed by the many people who put their gifts and abilities together to help us give hope to the children and youth in our care.  Thank you so much for your part!  We wish you all a wonderful week full of your own surprises!