Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Off and running in the New Year...

It hardly seems like a new year anymore. The way this year is flying by it'll be over before we know it!

The new year started for us with full schedule of visitors and visiting teams. The whole months of January and February were and are completely occupied with visitors, including every single day of the month of February! I'm not sure what it takes to become an official travel agent/tour guide but if hours put into making travel arrangements count for anything I must be close! We do enjoy these teams and visitors however, and look forward to the ones still on their way here.

The team from Snohomish, WA was here for two weeks starting mid January. As usual, they fixed tons of things around the HOH and also the hospital and various campuses. We so appreciate these guys who come back every year, and work so hard to get everything in fixed and in order again. They always find things to fix, usually things I didn't even know needed it! This year we were able to take a trip with them out to Bayeaux (outside of Cap Haitian) where Linda's mom lives. It was an interesting trip, as it was the first for me to go by motor boat around parts of the North coast where the road isn't passable. Going there wasn't so bad, but coming back the waves were huge, and the captain not quite as good, and most everyone got a good case of sea sickness! We were all quite happy to get our feet on solid ground again.

A week and a half later I turned around and went back out again, this time with our friend Jeb. We decided to drive out there on this trip, and about 7 hours later weren't too sure which was worse...I mean we only went about 40 miles up the coast, as a crow flies. Unfortunately, we couldn't take the crow's road...it was either: an hour and a half in a bumpy car over terrible roads followed by an hour in a boat over wavy waters followed by a 10 minute hike then another hour and a half over completely horrible, never before seen so terrible roads; or 7 hours bumping along over terrible roads driving about 100 miles just to get to the town about 40 miles away. I've come to believe that helicopters area a great thing...I guess I don't need to say how sore and tired we were, but they were good trips, and it was good catching up with Linda's family again.

This week we look forward to a group from E. Stroudsburg, PA (they are traveling here as I write). They will be working on a number of projects at the hospital, and also spending time with our kids here at the HOH for a week. Then our good friend Bonita and her family will pop in for a quick visit, followed by a quick visit from Pastor Doug Anderson and some friends. Hopefully I'll get a chance to update you all before the next group comes after that.

Things have been going well at the HOH. We had a bit of a lull in the numbers of children moving through here, allowing us to catch our breath, and catch up on everyone's name. When they are coming and going so quickly it's hard to keep up with everyone! We currently have a total of 91 kids and young people here, most of those being admitted continue to have severe malnutrition. One little six year old girl, Fredeline came in late December swollen from head to toe with a protein deficient form of malnutrition (first picture) - KWASH. Now just over a month later she is doing incredibly well and almost doesn't even look like the same girl (2nd picture). She is a little giggle box, who loves being here and playing with the other children. Her family is amazed at her recovery, and spoke to our staff members about it. They said they would now give testimony that God was here in the House of Hope. They said, "We visited so many witchdoctors, doctors, churches and hospitals with Fredeline, none of them were able to help us. But here, God healed our little girl." This story is repeated countless times over and over again at the HOH, and not everyone gets it, but are we sure glad when they do, because it really is all about Him. God is here and He is working, to Him be all the glory!

What a joy and privilege it is to be God's hands and feet, bringing hope to these precious children. We certainly couldn't do it without all of your help, praying for us and supporting us in the many ways you do. So thank you for helping God's glory be known, in this little corner of the world.

Here are some prayer requests for the next little while (see I do have high hopes of updating you again before too long!):
  • Some of our students didn't do too good on their first semester of school this year. We had a very serious and stern talk with them over the weekend, and they all have renewed their intentions to study hard and get better grades. Pray for them to be faithful in this part of their lives and to make the effort to study hard, and learn the things they need to.
  • Pray for all the traveling of our visitors to and from the HOH. Many are coming and going, so pray that all the logistics would work out, and that they would have safety as they travel here.
  • Pray for the various Bible Studies we continue to do with our young people, the children, and they 60 or so boys from out in the neighborhood. It is really hard for me to find the time to make up all the various Bible Study materials, so pray that when I do find the time that I would be able to use it wisely and be able to stay on task to get the lessons prepared. Pray that God's Word would continue to transform our lives, and to make us more like Jesus every day.
  • The economic troubles all over have affected us here as well. Pray that God would continue to provide for all of our needs, and that He would give us wisdom as to how we can better use the resources He has already given us.
Thanks again for your various means of support. God bless you all.


Heather Kibler said...

Praise God for the wonderful testimonies from the HOH! He truly is at work there. Thanks for being a willing servant.
Blessings & prayers,

Beetle said...

After all of my trips to the HOH, I still get the feeling that there should be more we can do.
I know that my daughter Rachel had a fantastic time soaking in and giving out love to the children there.
I as well as the rest of the Snohomish Community Church family look forward to being a part of the future for the HOH.

Love you all,

Emmy said...

Jen, you are the best at keeping us all informed. Miss you, Love ya. E

Hope said...

I worked at the House of Hope in the mid 80's and I had an awesome experience. I returned again with Walt Baker and had the pleasure of meeting some amazing missionaries throughout the area. I now have a 6 year old son that is looking for a project or gift box to send and I heard that a girl from my father's church is currently at the HOH and working (Brittany Mabel) which prompted me to wonder what needs the school may have for gift baskets and where we would send such a basket. Any help you could give would be much appreciated.

Hope Loken-Klein