Happy Thanksgiving to you!
I hope you had a special day, as we did here in Haiti. We joined together with several other missionary families, Haitian leaders and our medical staff to give thanks to the Lord together and enjoy a special meal. I appreciated our time together so much that I didn’t stop to think about taking a picture to share with you. (My apologies!)
Another Mountain Outreach
I do have pictures from earlier in the day that I’ll share with you. Lex, our medical staff and a few local volunteers loaded up the bus and headed up into the mountains of Chérident once again, to continue reaching out to the people of that area. The need is so great, that it can be very difficult to handle on an emotional level. When the team arrived back for Thanksgiving dinner, they looked pretty exhausted. However, there is such a contentment when you know that the Lord has utilized you – your hands, feet, voice, knowledge… Fatigue is pretty minor by comparison. Once again hundreds of people were seen by our medical staff. Others handed out food from Kids Against Hunger Global (Tulsa, OK), clothing and footwear.
Our clinic in Thozin continues to provide needed care to people suffering from chronic conditions (hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, sickle cell disease, etc.), as well as a plethora of other ailments, both common and uncommon. Regular checkups, especially for young children, and the elderly saves lives. Because of supporters like you, a great partnership with Bless Back Worldwide (Charlotte, NC), and various other medical professionals who volunteer their time, we are able to continue providing this support to our students and communities. Thank you so much for all your support!!!
We have some pretty awesome students in our schools! It just thrills me to see how the preschool and elementary students have learned to interact well with adults and visitors. They used to be so shy around us, but now they smile, say “Good morning,” and even shake hands and give hugs. Sometimes they are even a little too comfortable, but I prefer that over closing up.
As you can tell from the pictures below, the kids are thoroughly enjoying taking care of their teeth during school.
The things we do for healthy teeth!
Christmas Tree Fun
Amy’s project with our preschool classes this week? Christmas trees!!!
Christmas Trees in the Preschool Classes
Church and Politics
We are in a politically fragile time in Haiti, as election results are being announced and challenged. We also have the final round of presidential elections coming up next month. This morning Lex was able to share a little bit with our church about what the Bible has to say concerning our relationship with our government (Romans 13).
Living in Haiti, I have learned it’s best not to be overly outspoken about my political opinions. I do think about how Jesus focused on His heavenly kingdom much more so than the political kingdoms (nations). He also told us to pray that we may live in peace, and so I endeavor to do that.
On another note, I just love it when the children are dismissed from the adult service to go to children’s church. That’s when Lex tells us to get up out of our seats and go look for someone we’re happy to see. Lots of hugs and kisses ensue.
I’m always thrilled when Pastor Lex says “Stand up, find someone and tell them your happy to see them this morning.”
Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of distant thunder around 4 o’clock. The thunder continued all morning, eventually bringing rain. (It’s very unusual for us to experience morning rain in Grand-Goâve.) The rain makes quite a racket on our metal roof, but all of a sudden it was making MORE noise. It sounded like little rocks hitting it. I ran outside to see if it could be true. Sure enough there was hail bouncing of the roof of the kitchen. Then a piece hit me in the face. It was about the size of a pencil eraser. Everyone I asked about it had never seen hail before. It also brought us two days of cool temperatures, which I really appreciated!
Unfortunately, the storm that brought hail to the missionary compound, brought flooding to our Thozin campus.
Flooding in Thozin
Congratulations to Madona Bazile!
Today was a very special day for Madona. She graduated from nursing school today. Madona has been a part of Mission of Hope International since the very beginning and was a part of our first graduating class. This is a wonderful accomplishment that she worked very hard for. We are so proud of her and wish her well in her career as a nurse!
Madona’s graduation from nursing school
I’d like to give you some quick updates and share a few pictures with you from Haiti. After that, I’d like to share with you a few of my thoughts about living in this world today in the midst of terror. I hope you’ll find some hope and peace in these words.
MOHI Medical Clinic
Along with our partners at Bless Back Worldwide, we have worked hard to hire and train a Haitian medical staff. It blesses me so much to see pictures like these. Dr. Lavaud is referring to the clinic’s protocol, which Leah Fuller and Dr. Roy Blank (and a few others, too) worked diligently to create. Dr. Emmanuel is sure to get the patient’s ID card to ensure the records are recorded properly.
With about 800 students in school, there are always plenty of maintenance jobs to be done. We are blessed with a staff that is willing and able to work hard to keep things going. We are so grateful to all of our generous supporters who enable us to buy necessary materials and pay salaries to keep the facilities in good shape. Thank you!!!
With about 800 school students, our campuses require lots of maintenance!
Love of Country
Here at Mission of Hope International, we are committed to maintaining a love of country and respect for the Haitian flag among this young generation.
Just like in your country, times have changed in Haiti, too. Lex’s dad almost landed in jail one day. He was working in his garden one morning, which bordered the property where Lex attended grade school. He was oblivious to the fact that the flag was being raised in the school yard. In that time period, everyone stopped what they were doing at 8 o’clock in the morning, for the singing of the national anthem. And no matter what you were up to, you stopped for the raising of the flag.
Today, the national anthem is still played on radio stations at 8 o’clock, but people don’t usually stop to participate in the singing. The flag is raised in most school yards at the beginning of the day, but traffic continues driving by while it’s going on. Nevertheless, the flag goes up at MOHI schools each morning. The children stand at attention and sing while it goes up. And the Haitian people, no matter the problems they see in their country, LOVE Haiti.
MOHI students are learning respect for the flag and love of country.
Amy did her first project with the preschoolers this week and it was a HUGE success. The students colored coffee filters, which Amy later turned into butterflies, and they learned a song about a butterfly…
“Fly, fly, fly butterfly
Over my village
Fly, fly, fly butterfly
Over my house”
On Friday they put the two together and added some flying butterfly movements. It’s was a precious site!
It’s the butterfly workshop!
Class Picture Excitement
Madame Jennifer is a favorite teacher at MOHI. Notice she had all the girls cross their legs for this photo?
Our second year preschoolers are working on their smiles.
Although it seems like school has just started, these kindergarten students are already preparing for their graduation ceremony in June!
Love These Students
Love these little boys!
Madame St. Fort helps our little students to avoid accidents.
One of the great benefits of the recent time change is that church service in Thozin has actually been starting on time! It’s really nice to start at 7:30, before the sun has done much warming. When church is over, it’s just starting to get hot.
We had an energetic service and a great message from Pastor Lex. He pointed out to us that often times we come to church and pray to Jesus and sing praises to Him, but can’t even look one another in the eyes. We need to remember 1 John 4:20, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
Two of my “distractions” this morning during church service.
Pastor Bauvais is a prayer warrior!
It’s been a tough month in this world, as we have seen such an escalation in terrorist attacks. Our hearts are grieved as we pray for the families of the recent victims in Russia, Lebanon, France, and other countries. We ask for strength, that they can wake up every morning and continue living without that very special, loved one by their side. I despise death – not for the one who dies, but for the ones left behind – for the pain it inflicts on the living.
Terrorists often cause death, but they also cause terror. Have you heard fear (terror) come knocking on your door lately? Do you find yourself having conversations with yourself: Should I avoid crowded places? Should I forget about that trip I’ve been planning so I don’t have to go on a plane? Am I sure I want to fly through THAT major city??? It’s commendable to be strong and to be brave, but it’s pretty impossible, unless you have some assurance – an answer for the “what ifs”.
Personally, I NEED that assurance in order to function in this life. I believe that there is more to life than my eye can see and my mind can comprehend. I need to know that there is life after death – that there is Someone watching over my loved ones when I leave this world. Deep down inside, I KNOW that I cannot sustain my own life. I am very, very dependent on the One who created me. And I am very grateful for the assurance I find in His Word – the Holy Bible.
Jesus is praying for you and me. Do NOT Fear!
Do you have that blessed assurance in your life today? I often hear my husband tell the church, “You may know how many days you have today, but you don’t know how many you have left.” Perhaps it would be wise for each of us to live our lives today, as if it were our last.
Let’s make sure we say “I love you” often and give lots of hugs and kisses today. Let’s do our best to do good today and not evil. Let’s purposefully edify those around us and not tear them down today. Let’s do something special for someone today, instead of waiting for “one” day. Let’s ask forgiveness and freely give it today.
You may not change the world, but you may, if you start today. Make a decision today to follow Jesus and He will empower you to live today. And by doing so, you will most definitely see your own life changed.
First things first…
Congratulations to Stuart and Maike Rankin on the birth of their beautiful, little girl, Hannah Grace. Stuart and Maike are dear to our hearts here at MOHI in Haiti and we rejoice BIG time with them over this wonderful, life changing event: The creation of a perfect combination of the two of them. How exciting it will be to watch her grow and get to know her.
Maike, Stuart & Hannah Grace *LOVE*
Thank you all for joining us in praying for Amy. We are grateful that Tuesday morning she resumed her normalcy and was able to get involved with the team from Bless Back. It was so good to see her up and at ’em once again. (Answered prayer!)
Everyone’s so glad Amy is feeling better this week!
Bless Back is Back, too!
Speaking of the team from Bless Back Worldwide. Wow! What a wonderful, giving and loving group of people.
Well Child Checks
This team’s main goal was to do well-child checkups. This helps us to track how our students are doing and should there be any issues, we are more likely to be able to intervene in a timely manner.
The team worked so hard in the heat to get through all the classes over four days. There were three dentists on the team that checked their teeth, too. Lisa Walker worked all week with Martine and Marie Anges, teaching them how to use the auto refractor to check the students’ eye sight. A handful of the kids actually needed some help seeing and we were able to provide them with the right prescription lenses.
Ready to see the doctor
Nan was a great help at intake.
Lisa teaching Martine how to use the auto refractor
Dr Mark Weigel
Wednesday we returned to the mountain village of Paillant. The team was such a blessing to this community. Hundreds were touched with medical/dental/eye care, food, and clothing. The lack of dental intervention was very apparent. Even with three dentists working all day long, we were not able to help everyone. Most patients had two, three or even four teeth that needed to be extracted. Just imagine the painful suffering this community endures.
The mayor of Paillant was a great encouragement to us. Once again he cleared his schedule to spend the entire day with us. Like virtually everyone who came to this mobile clinic, the mayor was very grateful for the sacrifices the team made to be there, for the expert medical and dental care that everyone received, and for the much needed medicines that were given. The mayor also provided the necessary ingredients for the community women to prepare a wonderful meal for all of us.
Prayer in the Gallet
The little village near the missionary compound is called the Gallet. We like to bless them when we have a team in. This week we visited people in their homes, gave out rice and beans, and prayed with those who had special needs.
Dr Doug Wolfe shares a moment of prayer with our neighbors.
Dr Robert Dixon responds to a request for prayer
Blessing the Missionaries
Lynda Carlson, owner of Attitudes A Salon in Matthew, NC, asked for the opportunity to bless our missionary community. After working in the clinic doing intake in the mornings, she provided free haircuts for local missionaries. I personally benefited from her expertise and generosity, too! Thank you Lynda!!!
Sharon Rice, a missionary serving in Fond de Negre, is blessed with a trim.
A week at Mission of Hope International absolutely involves lots of special moments with children. Here are some of them from this week.
I think Morgan’s little friend is trying to act cool, but is REALLY stricken with her
Samantha made some friends this week!
Kim’s little friend is very content.
Lisa’s obviously got something of great interest to these students.
This Week’s Musings
My friend Rev. Cheryl Minor shared a great article this week titled, “The Selfishness of Skipping Church,” by Art Heinz. This is a subject I have thought about a lot over the years. I was, quite honestly, really excited to learn what someone else had to say on the subject. I thought I’d share a little of my own “journey” in this matter with you tonight:
In my early years in Haiti, I got to the point where I would search high and low for excuses not to go to church. Now, understand, Sunday morning service is, and always has been, totally obligatory in the Edmé household. It was rare that I had an excuse that Lex considered valid, so most Sunday mornings you would find me “suffering” through the service.
The early years at MOHI’s Eglise Evangélique Mission of Hope
I, on the other hand, thought my reasoning was valid.
- My Créole was weak enough that, unless Lex was preaching, I wouldn’t understand the message.
- I wasn’t being “fed.”
- It was HOT!
- People would squish me and make me feel even hotter!!!!
- Sometimes (quite often, actually) the person sitting next to me (who was also feeling hot and most likely didn’t have the means to purchase soap to bathe and wash their clothes) was giving off a little BO, which bothered my breathing and sometimes my tummy.
- I didn’t know the words to the songs, so I couldn’t even sing with everyone. AND they kept singing off-key.
- The music was too loud for my (apparently) sensitive ears.
- My kids didn’t sit quietly in the church like the Haitian kids did and they were sometimes hot and crabby, too.
- The service was long, boring and uncomfortable for me.
I didn’t see any reason to make myself miserable by going to church. I could just stay home and read my Bible and a devotion. Or maybe not, since my husband would have none of that. So, (usually with much reluctance) I went to church. And somewhere along the way, I began to fall in love. It started by taking my eyes off myself. I started coming up with reasons why I SHOULD go to church.
- I wanted to be pleasing to God…
- Jesus told us not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together (Heb 10:25)
- and the Apostle told us not to just hear what God’s Word says, but to also DO what it says. (James 1:22)
- Jesus Himself was in the habit of going to the temple (Luke 4:16) and I really did want to be more like Jesus
- I wanted to be a good wife and mother…
- Lex wanted me to be with him in church so to me, that meant I needed to be there as a support to him.
- I wanted to be a good example to my children – I certainly didn’t want them to use ME for an excuse not to go to church themselves.
- I had come to Haiti to serve God by serving others – including those in the church
- Inevitably someone would be encouraged by my presence, a hug, a kind word, a knowing look, or a playful moment
- I had years of good Word planted in my heart and there were others nearby that needed to hear it. Sometimes they “hear it” from the preacher, but not always. I had something to share with others without having to preach from the pulpit to give it.
- Proverbs 15:23 “To give an appropriate answer is a joy; how good is a word at the right time!”
My life is not my own! That’s what it comes down to. By thinking about others, our own lives are changed. I encourage you to think about what’s best for someone else today. Ask yourself, “What can I do to bless them? What can I say to encourage them? How can I act to show them that I care? What WOULD Jesus do in this circumstance to lift them up?”
One of our favorite Bible verses to quote is found in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I believe that is a great promise that God has made to us. I also believe that I don’t need to focus on my own needs so much, because HE really IS providing. I choose to focus on someone else’s need and hope the Lord can use me to touch that person’s life for HIS glory.
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there lived…
Like most everyone, I imagine, I often find myself thinking about my own life. What am I doing with my life? What do I want? What do I have? Where am I going? Why do I do this or that? How can I be better? Sometimes this kind of thinking can seem all consuming.
Perhaps you, like me, sometimes find yourself in a setting that causes you to think about the lives of others. What is it like to be in that persons shoes? What do they have? Where are they heading? What are their dreams and goals? What is motivating them? How are they feeling? And I realize, the same way that I think about the details of my life (my Lord, my family, my church family, my work, my successes, my disappointments…) they are having those same thoughts. And I realize that the same God who sees the end from the beginning, who is the author of the hope that sustains, is aware of all these things and cares for them, just like I know He cares for me.
“Take my picture, Pastor Lex!”
The Shopping Trip
Earlier in the week Amy, Edna and I made plans to go to the grocery store in the “big city” – Port-au-Prince. I knew we had a group coming in on Saturday and I wanted to be sure to have what we needed to feed them. I was pleased when Lex decided that he would take us himself. He dropped us off at the grocery store and headed to the “Home Depot” of Haiti (aka MSC+), which was much more interesting to him.
There are a couple of new stores right next to the grocery store, so we decided to check them out first. One of them was a beautiful furniture store. Now ever since Cindy Brown had us stay in her amazing lakefront home, Lex has decided he likes recliners. Perhaps one day we will have one, but it was NOT going to happen that day!
Klodson demonstrates how to use a recliner.
We all enjoyed the “North American” feel of the grocery store – especially the nice air conditioning. We did our shopping and Lex was back to help us check out. That’s when the work began. We packed the back of the car just like we pack our suitcases when we’re coming to Haiti. Items are taken out of their boxes and stuck into every nook and cranny of space. It probably took a good 20 minutes or more to get the car packed, but we felt good about our success.
As we headed back toward Grand-Goâve we encountered a considerable amount of traffic. It was hot in the car and the car itself began to overheat. While we sat in traffic, Lex turned the car off, but when he went to start it again…nothing. I won’t go into all the details of how we pushed the car across the lanes of stop and go (mostly stop) traffic, but in the end, we were parked in a massive mud puddle. I couldn’t get out of the car without entering into standing water that I just couldn’t imagine letting touch my foot. So, I stayed in the car while everyone else went to stand in the shade.
Klodson and Amy shooting the breeze while we wait for a ride home
As I sat there by myself, my thoughts turned toward the people around me. The women selling their wares a few yards from me were sitting under their makeshift “store fronts” waiting for someone to come buy something. A little boy kept taking a towel and swatting the merchandise to remove the dust. Within seconds another big truck would rev their engine, sending a cloud of dust over us again and the boy would return to beating off the dust.
I wondered what it would be like to live in their shoes. To sleep and wake in this overcrowded city. To breathe in the stench of standing water, the smells of raw sewage and the grit of what we call “dust”. (It’s all the nastiness that covers the dirty streets and walkways – it’s not like the dust you wipe off the TV screen in your living room once a week.) I think about the contentment I see in the faces of the “mountain” women. In their ignorance of what they’re missing out on in the city life, are they actually really living life?
We spend our lives striving for success, but what IS success? How do we measure whether we’ve achieved it? Is there a dollar amount attached to it? I’ve heard it said that the ends never justify the means. Could it be that when we are driven by our own lusts for power and “stuff” the end “success” is a hollow chocolate bunny? Even if it’s one of those huge ones that every little kids hopes to unwrap one day, it’s still hollow. It’s still very fragile. It can crack or crush under the slightest pressure or from the tiniest knock. After a little experience, the child discovers they’d rather obtain a solid, milk chocolate bunny, rather than the hollow (and often fake-tasting) big one.
When I look back on my life, I realize the best successes I’ve enjoyed have never come from striving for my own ideas of success. They don’t come from looking out for number one. They come from Matthew 7:12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Success does not come from getting what we want. It comes from considering the people around us and how we can do for them what we’d love for someone to do for us.
The Garden Hose
I often think of an analogy our former pastor, Kerry Twing, shared with us one day. He said we are like garden hoses. The hose in the means to delivering the blessing – the water to the plants that are thirsty. The water is not for the hose and yet by being the means of delivery, the hose itself gets wet. When we let God use us to deliver his blessings to others, we “get wet” in the process.
We are blessed in order to be a blessing to others. What if the hose were to decide it wanted to keep the water all for itself? I prefer to keep getting wet by making sure the water is spraying out of me!
Bless Back Worldwide is Back
We are so happy to have another team from Bless Back Worldwide here with us this week. I can tell they are going to have an awesome week, as they are all troopers. Their flight from Miami was delayed and then their bus ride was extremely long, as there were traffic issues (gridlock) in the city. Nevertheless, everyone was up and at ’em this morning. They attended church in Thozin, toured the new library, began setting up the clinic, and unloaded all the supplies they brought along. Tomorrow they will begin on their main focus: doing well-child checks on all of our elementary school students, including eyes and teeth this year, and giving them their bi-annual worm medications.
Bless Back Worldwide on their way from Charlotte
Bless Back Worldwide in Haiti
Charlie and Rachel DeTellis
We were so thrilled to have Charlie and Rachel DeTellis join us at church this morning. Charlie blessed us with an encouraging message about being complete, not in our own abilities, but in Christ, who is our EVERYTHING. We enjoyed a time of food and fellowship with them at the missionary compound after the service. Charlie’s parents, Pastor George and Jeanne DeTellis, are the founders of New Missions, which was my “point of entry” into the mission field of Haiti. Pastor George was very much a mentor to Lex over the years. When we started Mission of Hope International, time after time Lex would think back to how Pastor George would handle similar situations. Pastor George freely shared advice from the Bible and his decades of experience in the ministry. Our years in Haiti have been sprinkled with smiles each time Pastor George and Jeanne’s names were mentioned between Lex and I. We love and appreciate them so much and are blessed to see their dreams and love of God and family continuing on in Charlie and Rachel.
Charlie and Rachel DeTellis
I just wanted to share this picture of my friend with you. I call him Mr. Daniel. He worked constantly (for about 2 years) as a laborer when we were building the school. He’s older than most of the other workers, but I never noticed him standing around instead of working. He was like the tortoise in the fablef the Hare and the Tortoise. Slow and steady. That’s how he managed to continue working for so long. He would greet me with a big smile and a “Bonjou Madame” each morning. Now, I look forward to seeing him each Sunday morning in church. Sometimes providing someone with regular work not only changes their ability to care for the family, but, as in Mr. Daniel’s situation, it can impact their spiritual and eternal life. Mr. Daniel reflects the love of Jesus and I feel so happy whenever I get to see him.
Many of you know Feyo. We often say “he came with the property”. While this is a true saying, the reality is that we are very grateful for Feyo. He brightens life each morning when I see him. I call out to him, “Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-yyyooooooooooooooooooooooo!” and he giggles as he replies, “Madame…hehehehe…Madame…hehehe.” There’s just nothing like Feyo’s giggles. Recently, we trimmed back some of the mango trees at the missionary compound. There was a small branch that got caught in the tree and never made it to the ground. Over time the leaves turned brown. I would see it every time I walked out my door and it just really bothered me. It was too far away from the porch to reach and too high off the ground to get to. I tried lassoing it – I’m no cowgirl, that’s for sure! One morning I pointed it out to Feyo. He grabbed a very long stick (he keeps it on hand for knocking down mangoes that are ripening in the trees) and in a matter of seconds the dead branch was gone. And I was relieved.
Martine has been a part of the church in Thozin since the very beginning. She was one of the young women that sang in one of our first choral groups. She worked as a teacher at the school and later became a key leader in the micro-financing for women project called Fondespwa. She married our friend Dulcis and they now have two children. A few years ago Martine decided to go back to school. She has now completed her nursing degree and volunteers at the MOHI clinic. We are so grateful for her willingness to give back to the community in this way. At the same time, we pray that the Lord will make a way for her to earn a salary at some point, as well.
Martine has a gentle manner
Amy has now been with us in Haiti for just over two weeks. This past week was a challenge for her as she’s not been feeling well. She seemed to be feeling better this afternoon and spent some time with the team. Would you pray for Amy this week, as she continues to recover and begins working as the host for the team? Thank you.
Amy and Baby
Glimpses of Hope
Our preschoolers love their new shirts – thank you World Wide Lighthouse Missions!
Food and Happiness
You’ve heard of the movie “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”? Well, I almost named this post, “Diary of a Peculiar White Missionary.” Proceed at your own risk!
Renée in the USA
I took a sudden trip to the States in order to tend to some administrative business there. I arrived in CT on Friday night, took care of business on Saturday, and got to spend the rest of the week (mostly) running around with my kids. It was really quite exhausting, but OH did I love every minute!!!
One of the hundreds of beautiful roads I enjoyed in New England
Alexis has classes in the mornings which allowed me some time to catch up on emails and deal with family administrative issues Stateside – you know, things like mail, insurance, doctor’s appointments, etc. Once she was done in school, we found ourselves at soccer games, visiting, shopping for supplies for the mission, searching for a job, getting the car ready for winter, and so much more. The family she lives with was likely thrilled to see me head back to Haiti, since she was pretty much absent from home the whole week.
Micah (Huguner and Jackie’s baby) is sporting his new Yoda hat. I loved getting to see Micah (and his parents!) at church Sunday!
AJay lives about an hour away, so I didn’t get quite as much time with him, but I certainly enjoyed every moment. It was wonderful to be able to take in a couple of his soccer games and go to his parent-teacher conferences. I got the impression that he is adjusting just fine and he seems to get along well with the other students. Teacher after teacher used the words “diligent worker” to describe him. (Proud mama moment there.) AJay invited Alexis and I to lunch at his school’s restaurant, the Fife and Drum. We enjoyed the fine foods that he and his fellow students prepared for us, and the hospitality of his culinary arts teachers.
Olivia, Maddie, and their mom Doris (not pictured) stopped by to see us at AJay’s soccer game. They will be coming to Haiti again in January.
I apologize to those of you who were looking for a post last week. I just ran out of time and energy. I had an incredible time at church Sunday morning, though. What a blessing it was to be a part of the baptism service at Chair City Community Church, where AJay and Alexis have been attending. Three people were baptized right in the middle of the worship service. I love that the whole church was a part of celebrating new life with these newly committed Believers.
The Nest is Empty
I have often heard “empty nesters” talk about having such a hard time with the transition, but I had NO IDEA! I find myself reminding the Lord that I want to live close to them and their families when they finish school and transition into their adult lives. He and I have had many conversations about the scriptures in Titus 2 – especially verses three and four, “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children…” It sounds to me that grandparents are an important part of a child’s life. Right?
Flying Home to Hubby
Sometimes things that seem so insignificant in the grand scheme of life, are really worth mentioning. My trip back to Haiti is one such circumstance.
Now, anyone who has been to Haiti on two or three missions trips knows the importance of packing FULLY and how much FUN (not) that can cause along the way. This trip, I was all by myself (I don’t even remember how long it’s been since THAT happened!) with my two, fully-packed checked bags, an OVERLY-FULLY packed carry-on and a fully-packed computer bag, that I think pushes the limits for a “personal item”.
My sweet daughter brought me to Boston at 4 o’clock in the morning Friday to catch my 6:30 flight to Miami. She helped me get all my bags out of the car, put me in the curbside check in line, kissed me and drove away. Maybe two minutes after that I discovered I needed to be at the “other” American Airlines building. I quick called Alexis, but she was busy driving and didn’t answer her phone – which, of course, was the correct decision to make! Immediately upon hanging up, one of the workers asked if I would need help. What a relief! He made a call and along came a porter. He loaded up my four pieces of luggage and brought me to the right place.
I was able to check in without any major issues. (I’ve lived through many major issues at check in and am very grateful there were none!) I went through security and (not surprisingly) they pulled my carry-on off the belt to be inspected by hand. Cliff bars, 50 spoons, a blender motor, a router, a LAN hub and a DVD player all looked suspicious on the xray screen. (You mean these are not normal items to pack in your carry-on? Did I mention my carry-on weighed 40 pounds?)
The inspector was very pleasant and apologized when he realized that he couldn’t put things back together in a way that would allow the zipper to be closed. (No surprise, since it took me a good half hour to do it the first time!) This could have been a really stressful moment for me, but I realized that I still had plenty of time to get to the gate and there weren’t so many people around trying to share their own stress with me. (You know how some people just “ooze” stress, right?) So, I slid my open carry-on across the floor, while pulling my rather large computer bag on it’s wheels (I imagine it was quite a sight to see, but this didn’t even bother me) and I set to work on the difficult task at hand. I didn’t do nearly as well as the first time, but I got the zipper to close, so I was good to go.
Now, one of my concerns that I was trying not to think about since I had packed my bags Thursday morning, was how in the world I was going to be able to get that carry-on (you know, the forty pound one!!!) up, over my head and into the overhead compartment on the plane without hurting myself or anyone else in close proximity. I almost started dancing when the airline made an announcement that the flight was full, so they were offering to check in roller bags at the gate, for free. I was, of course, the first person to respond with a very hearty “Yes, PLEASE!” and relief melting off my facial expression. She asked my name, looked it up and proceeded to tell me that they would check the bag all the way through to Port-au-Prince. Yayyyyy!!!
I was comfortable on both flights, enjoyed the beautiful views, enjoyed the Kindle app on my phone, and the beverages. I cruised through customs, found my suitcases without any problem, and, most importantly, found my wonderful husband waiting for me at the front of the crowd outside. Mission accomplished!
Now, you really should understand something. I cry at weddings, baptisms, movies, dance recitals, and concerts. These days I can cry at the slightest passing thought of the fact that I won’t be seeing my children for a while again. (That was a little embarrassing on the plane.) So, all of these details that worked out so well are really not insignificant at all. At least not to me. And I am so glad to be serving the Lord, who cares about the seemingly insignificant, but truly significant to me, details of my life. He surely goes before me as I endeavor to follow Him every step of this journey.
Now, back to Haiti…
Two different perspectives in one day
Amy Long is in the House!
Please join us in welcoming Amy Long to our Haiti missionary team!!! Amy arrived a week and a half ago and has been getting settled in this week. Details, like getting her bed put together and getting her cell phone set up were important to take care of right away. She started working on class pictures and hopefully will get those finished up early this week. Amy has a lot to offer. To start, she will be helping to host teams and teaching art to our students. Amy is thrilled to be back in Haiti. Would you join us in praying for her as she transitions to life at MOHI? Thank you. I trust the Lord has good things in store for her and everyone she comes in contact with!
There’s someone laying down back there!
I just wanted to mention that the library at the Thozin campus is a remarkable place. Silmise is our librarian-in-training. She keeps track of all the students using the library, keeps everything clean and orderly, and makes sure the rules are followed. Rule #1: No shoes in the library! In an attempt to keep our carpeting beautiful for many years to come, everyone takes off their shoes before entering. Personally, I’ve never been in a room with wall to wall carpeting anywhere else in Haiti. I don’t think any of our students have, either, so they see this as a very special room. They don’t mind taking their shoes off, at all. They find the room so inviting that some of them actually lay down on the carpet to read.
Do you see his feet?
It may not look very exciting, and certainly it’s pretty messy, but oh my am I thrilled about this. We now have internet through fiber optics at MOHI!!!!
Since my last post, we’ve had two great outreaches. The first was in the mountains of Paillant (south of us near the city of Mirogoane). The second was in the mountains of Chérident, where the districts of Grand-Goave, Leogane and Bainet all come together. Several of our staff assisted in these outreaches, which included medical care, food, and clothing distributions. Over 400 people received aid at each location, as well as words of encouragement and prayer.
We love to do this kind of outreach and are so grateful for the many donations that enabled these to happen. It is our hope to continue doing more outreaches, while maintaining our high level of commitment to the churches, schools, medical clinic, radio station, and other projects that are ongoing at our campuses. We know the Lord works through people like you and me to bring about His will on this earth. Thank you so much for partnering together with us. If you haven’t yet become a partner, I encourage you to do so right now, while you’re thinking about it. You can go here to sponsor a class, or here to set up a monthly or one time donation. Each of us, doing our part, will help to continue making big and positive impacts in the lives of our friends and neighbors in Haiti. Thank you!
Outreach in Chérident
Outreach in Paillant
Today was election day in Haiti. Historically, election day is usually a time of many troubles. From the reports we’ve been hearing, there was a really good turnout at the polls and most everyone at the polling stations conducted themselves very peaceably. Please continue to pray for Haiti. A peaceful election is quite remarkable and we thank God for it.
Monday through Friday we experience the joys of interacting with our students. What a treat it is to watch them grow up. This morning at church, I was pointing out to Amy how different people are related. I pointed to Cheno and said “That’s Pastor Edon’s youngest. He was born right after we started the mission.” That was 16 years ago. He’s practically a man now. He’s one of many whose lives have been impacted through church and school from the time they were tiny.
Church in Thozin
Thanks for taking the time to read this update. Please feel free to contact us at any time with words of encouragement, questions about trips or anything else you’re curious about. Blessings to you!!!
Amy Long, Come On Down!!!
Amy Long will be joining us full time here in Haiti
I’m really excited to be welcoming another full time missionary to Haiti this week. Amy Long is from Jacksonville, FL. She was living in another area of Haiti for almost 5 years and has been back in the States for 2 years. She has so many skills that will be a great benefit to the mission and the people we serve here in Haiti.
I love that Amy already speaks Haitian Creole. That will make a huge difference in the amount of time it’ll take her to adjust. She loves kids and has a heart for the women of Haiti. She’s a talented photographer, graphic designer and has good writing skills. Those of you who read the Hope Report each month had a taste of her work in the September Hope Report.
I wonder if our praying friends would keep Amy in your prayers this week? The move to Haiti is strenuous physically (lots of packing, last minute items to get, checking and re-checking the weight of your luggage, hauling all that luggage, etc.), emotionally (saying goodbye for now to special loved ones really stinks), and even spiritually (the enemy would just assume take us out before we even leave home). Amy is strong in the Lord and our prayers will reinforce that. Thank you.
Operations in Haiti
We attempted taking class pictures this week. Lighting has been a real issue for us. We want our class sponsors to see the little faces, as well as the big picture. I think we’ll keep trying this coming week.
Preschool 2 class in Thozin
Our nurses and support staff at the clinic have worked after clinics this week, packaging clothing to give out next week. We are planning to visit the mountain area where Dr. Emmanuel is from to do some medical work and distribute some needed items. Lex visited there this past week and found the need was great. As a rule, we like to do outreaches like this in areas where we already have a trusting relationship with an authority figure from the area. We are thankful for that relationship with Dr. Emmanuel.
Dr. Emmanuel caring for a MOHI student
Clinic support staff preparing clothing to distribute
As you can tell by the picture below, too much rain can be problematical for drainage. Little by little we make changes to the Thozin campus to accommodate the problems we’ve experienced with too much rain. The whole front of the campus used to flood regularly. We filled in a lot and built a wall around the property, which really made a big difference. Tropical storms still can cause some issues. Right now we’re looking at this culvert in front of the school and trying to figure out how to keep the water moving. Lots of trash and mud get carried into it and it gets filled in and blocked.
drainage issues in Thozin
Sunday Sunday (forget that Monday stuff!) So Good To Me!
Today has been a really fun one for me. We had a choir visiting from Port-au-Prince that sang some really sweet songs in the Thozin church. We had missionaries and expats visiting from several different organizations so we had lots of English – which I tend to enjoy. I also enjoyed getting to show off the new library and bring some new missionary friends down to the missionary compound. My “little brother” (aka Scott Long, founder of Mission E4) stopped by briefly and we all enjoyed a moment of fellowship with him and his friend, Mike. Scott came back this evening to preach at our English service. That’s always fun – especially when he attempts to preach in both English and Kreyol, all by himself. It was a strong message about the cost of discipleship. Do we invite Jesus to join us on the path that we’re on? Or do we deny ourselves and follow HIM wherever He leads us?
Enjoying a tour of the library
English service this evening with Scott Long from Mission E4 (Hubbardston, MA)
Warning! I’ve been told I’m “wordy” and this will be a fine example of that!
Inevitably, when we have lots of Americans visiting, I find myself reminiscing – especially when some of them are families with children, learning to adapt to life in Haiti.
- I remember the difficulties of being a missionary and home schooling my children at the same time. Both are full time jobs, in and of themselves.
- I remember how difficult it was to find somewhere to go with children for a day off.
- I remember how frustrating it was to sit in church, not understanding what was being preached in Kreyol, sweating and gasping for breath, because it was so hot with all those people crammed into the church building – wishing I didn’t have to be there. And to top it all off, the Haitian kids sat so quietly, while my kids kept trying to run around during the sermon.
- I remember how difficult it was to feed my kids and how much they DISLIKED rice and beans.
- I remember how they were considered Americans when they were in Haiti and Haitians when they were in America. They never seemed to feel like they fit in.
Now, before you starting feeling sorry for us, let me tell you what else I think of as I reminisce …
- My kids learned the highs and lows of running a mission. They rejoiced with us during the victories, and we all encouraged each other through the battles. They learned REAL life lessons along with their book work. And you know what? They survived and are now amazing young adults. They can manage school and real life, both.
- Because of the challenges we faced, we are very sensitive to the needs of other young families.
- The Lord has blessed MOHI with a beautiful beach property and we are able to offer a place for missionaries to get away from it all for a day or two.
- We have missionary families over for Thanksgiving and Christmas so that they can enjoy an American-style meal, do and talk about things like we would if we were in America.
- We were looking for someone to come help missionary families with their home schooling and we found someone. Alicia is planning to join us here in Haiti in September and will be working with these awesome third-culture-kids!
- When missionaries don’t like going to church, I totally understand. I love going to church now, but it took me several years before that happened. Can you imagine what it’s like to be a Christian missionary and never want to be in church. Yeah, it’s bad all around. You feel like a total failure as a Christian, never mind as a missionary! And of course you feel like all eyes are on you – and they are! What kind of an example am I? I didn’t dare talk to anyone about it. Until you really have a good handle on the language and the culture, it’s hard to understand church. As missionaries we really need to be patient with each other. I think I might write a book about this one day – when I clear my schedule.
- Miss Beverly came to live with us about 9-10 years ago. She was a 69 year old woman with a very strong personality. One of the greatest benefits to my family of getting to live with Miss Beverly was that she insisted that it was okay to make American style food sometimes. You have to understand, having American style food means going to a big grocery store in Port-au-Prince, having a refrigerator/freezer and the electricity to run them and having a modern stove/oven. Beverly insisted that we bring her to Port-au-Prince to buy such a stove and then she scheduled what kinds of food we would make and when. Prior to this time, the kids would spend a lot of time fantasizing about American food – actually Chinese Buffets and ice cream, mostly. Once we started making things like macaroni and cheese, chili and meatloaf…well, daily life was much more bearable for all of us. Today, my kids actually miss Haitian cooking sometimes.
- The “never fitting in part” is hard, not only on the children, but on the parents, too. Most of us remember what it felt like as a kid to not quite fit it at one time or another. But the reality is, that this world is not really our home. It’s okay to not fit in. As a matter of fact, it’s an important lesson, in the life of a Christian. Fitting in satisfies the flesh, but it does not satisfy the yearning of our souls to be more like Jesus in this life.
My excitement over the completion of the new library is beyond containment. To see the teachers and students embrace this new resource is totally exhilarating! Right away, one of our high school teachers brought his class to the library to read and then have discussion about what they read. This may sound very basic to you, but it’s not the normal teaching method here. But, today is a new day in education at MOHI!!!
Asson, Stanley and Anderson are the first of many students who will sit at this table with a book.
The library is the most popular spot in the school!
Veloude hopes to study law after she graduates high school this coming June.
Library For All
Jessica Cordero, programs and operations officer at Library For All
We had a meeting yesterday with Jessica from Library For All. This organization is partnering with publishers to create a collection of ebooks in Haitian Creole, as well as French and English. Yhese books are age appropriate and many are culturally relevent to our students here in Haiti. Library For All provides teacher training and they collect analytics data to measure impact. Creole books are particularly difficult to find, but they have over 300 of them available through their app. To help cover their costs (purchasing rights to books, administration, training, etc.) they charge $3 per student (up to $600 total) per year. We would love to hear your thoughts about this project, as we prayerfully consider moving forward.
While Hurrican Joaquin did not hit Haiti directly, apparently those outer bands packed a real punch. Since we found September extremely warm this year, the cloudiness that came with Joaquin was quite welcome. We has one day of very high surf which actually brought ocean water right into our yard one morning. We had on and off rain for a couple of days, but not enough to cause flooding or crop damage. All the way on the southern tip of the southern peninsula, however, Dame Marie was not faring as well. The ocean pounded away at a sea wall, causing it to collapse into the ocean. It is my understanding that several homes were wiped out as a result. We thank God there were no injuries reported.
Hurricane Joaquin destroyed parts of this sea wall, causing several homes in Dame Marie to be swept away by the ocean.
I remember several years ago becoming ill while we were in Massachusetts. I made a doctor’s appointment, but my regular doctor was not available. Another doctor in the same office examined me and ordered tests. All the test results came back normal. The doctor told me there was nothing wrong with me. I suppose he figured I was imagining and being dramatic. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. A few days later, still feeling very ill, I was able to get an appointment with my regular doctor. He treated me as the “old friend” that I am, asked me lots of questions, ordered more tests and was able to give me a diagnosis of Mono the next day. Had the first doctor “known” me, he would have known that something was definitely wrong.
One of the biggest difficulties I see for people here in Haiti, is getting a diagnosis. They go from hospital to hospital, clinic to clinic, herbalist to herbalist, just hoping someone will get it right.
At the Mission of Hope International clinic, people with chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes and sickle cell anemia, not only have access to a clinic, but they are now KNOWN at their clinic. Our doctors know what is normal for each patient and they can more easily identify issues when they come up.
We also have incredible resources that we can call on when we see something unusual. Because we use electronic medical records, doctors and specialists from Bless Back Worldwide are able to look at a patients chart and discuss the case with our local doctors.
Our medical clinic paid and volunteer staff work well together
The Need is Real
We are in desperate need of monthly sponsors to keep this medical facility functioning. Our partners at Bless Back Worldwide provide many of the regular medications for our patients, but salaries and internet costs still need to be paid monthly. Would you help us to fill this need? We need to raise an additional $1,675 per month in sponsorships to make this work.
Please join with us. You can help by making a monthly donation of $50, $25 or even $10. If you appreciate the ministry of the clinic, please be a part of it. We just can’t do it alone, but with the help of other compassionate people like you, this important ministry will continue.
Donations of Goods
We have some great churches and organizations that support and partner with us in the work MOHI is doing in Haiti. We are grateful for each and every one of them!!! Some of them, like World Wide Lighthouse Ministries (Manchester, CT), support not only financially, but also by shipping goods to us. They ship us 12 barrels every 3-4 months, full of items to distribute to the needy, as well as supplies to keep the mission functioning. A heartfelt thanks goes out to Pastor Kalinsky and all those who make this shipment from Manchester to Haiti possible.
Marie Ange sorting and folding donated clothing. We’re so grateful to the World Wide Lighthouse Missions for gathering and shipping supplies to us several times per year.
Sunday mornings are always great fun for me. I look forward to seeing my “babies” (like Faith, Glory, Nelthon and Jennifer to name just a few!) and getting hugs in with my “old lady” friends. (Most are my age. We’re only old in years by comparison to all the kids around us, but we remain young in mind and spirit!) I enjoy embarrassing people, too. Like this morning, when my husband was asking people to stand up and say good morning to someone, shake their hand, smile… and there are rows of people sitting with sour looks on their faces. THOSE are the people I love going to say good morning to. By the time I’m done with them, they’re ALL smiling! Obviously, I don’t care so much about my own image. I’d rather remind folks that it’s GOOD to be alive! After all, we need to encourage each other. Otherwise we’d all just sit home and listen to a good podcast!
The drummer’s perspective
Associate pastors in Thozin
Pastor Edon and the worship team praying
The worship was sweet as Pastor Lex prepared to bring this morning’s message.
I’m sure I’ve told you about Paul before, but I’d like to tell you again. Paul has been working at MOHI since we first began in March 2000. He didn’t have the privilege of going to school. He has a LOT of children. He raises animals and crops on the side. Paul is as close to indispensable to us at MOHI as is possible. Paul works hard and doesn’t hide when the toilet is clogged or someone has strategically placed a (stinky!) dead dog near the campus. He helps out the women in the school kitchen. He serves food to the students. He makes us aware of sick people that would really benefit from some Kids Against Hunger food. He then brings it to them, prays and makes them smile. His youngest child just started first grade. She is intelligent, witty and SPUNKY! Paul loves Jesus. He is positively impacting his own children, our school children and all of us here at MOHI. We thank Jesus for Paul!!!
Each student waits patiently for their food.
Paul works hard to serve food to all of our students in Thozin.
Madame Jennifer works with our first year preschool students. It’s not easy to handle a bunch of three year olds who want their mommies! When the volume in her classroom starts to go up, I always expect to see a look of frustration or at least exhaustion, but I don’t know that I’ve EVER seen Jennifer like that. She so loves her students and works hard to help each one of them succeed.
Our newest preschool students (3 year olds) are trying their hands at building blocks and play dough.
Thank you for reading this update. Please remember us in prayer as we continue ministering to the needs (spirit, soul, and body) of our neighbors here in Haiti!
STUCK IN HAITI
Most people born in Haiti will never leave Haiti. It is very difficult for people from such an impoverished nation to legally obtain a visa to visit America or Canada or France. They’ve see many things on television (some have more access to TV than others) that they will never see in person.
So many times I’ve thought of how fun it would be to introduce my friends to the New York City, Boston or Miami. They hear about them all the time. To show them what snow really looks like – and what it feels like, too.
It’s easy to think poor people should be content if they have a full belly, a roof over their heads and their children in school. Well, yes, they should be – just like each one of us should be. And yet, don’t we all love the adventure of a new beach or restaurant or seeing the Patriots (you can fill that in with YOUR favorite team!) play in person? Poor people are still people with hopes, dreams and desires.
We now have the next best thing to a visa stamp on a Haitian passport for our students. We have a library!!!!
The New MOHI LIbrary in Thozin, Grand-Goâve, Haïti!
Now we can travel together to the lands of Narnia, Australia, Alaska, the Glade, District 9, the Shire of Middle Earth, to “Infinity and Beyond!” And ohhh, the people (or should I call them characters?) we will meet! Our “5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”
The Shire of Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit)
Let me tell you the background as to how this incredible project came to pass. Dr. Gary and Melissa Lee were part of a Kids Against Hunger Global team that were visiting a couple of years ago. Melissa, who is a big dreamer/visionary and one of the most generous people I’ve ever known, mentioned something to Dr. Lee along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to make a library for the students?!!!” Dr. Lee, who has been on missions trips all over the world, says to his lovely wife something along the lines of, “Now, Honey. Let’s let Lex and Renée tell us what THEY would like to see in the school rather than deciding that for them.” That same day, Melissa and I started chatting and I said something along these lines to her, “You know what I would REALLY love to see for our students? A library!…” Coming into agreement was quite simple.
The Lee Family (Dr. Lee missing in picture)
We are so grateful to the Lee Family (Dr. Gary, Melissa, Candace, Elizabeth, Jillian, Gary and Madeline) for their extreme generosity and vision to make this dream become a reality. They donated 18 book shelves, 2 beautiful, hardwood tables with chairs, two desks and two credenzas, along with all the carpeting for the library and the computer lab. All just gorgeous!!! Marshall and Sherry Horn so generously donated the Kids Against Hunger Global box truck to use as a shipping container. The Congregational Church of Newbury, MA then joined in (at just the right moment, mind you!) with a large donation that was just right to cover shipping the furniture (along with quite a bit of food from Kids Against Hunger) to us here in Haiti. And many of you have donated books, so that we have over 1500 of them, as well as the Kindle Readers donated by Books for Haiti.
.We will now search for the right person to begin training as our librarian. We want to get the most out of this resource for our students and staff as is possible. Please join us in praying for wisdom to make the right choice and that the Lord would send the right people at the right time to help train him/her up. Thank you.
There is another major need I’d like to make you aware of. (Major for us, but not so major for the Lord to provide!) We have two campuses that depend very much on electricity. We have some solar, but we are dependent on generating electricity with our diesel generators, as well. We have a 20KW and a 25KW diesel powered generator. They have been such a blessing over the past few years. Unfortunately, it seems our demand for electricity (with teams in regularly at the missionary compound and computers, radio station, sound systems at the church, fully functioning medical clinic and administrative offices at the other campus) is greater than either of these generators are capable of putting out. Both of them were down while we were Stateside. We were able to get the one on the Thozin campus repaired, but have not yet gotten the one at the missionary compound running. It’s obvious that it’s time to upgrade. We would like to get two diesel generators (John Deer engines preferable), each generating a minimum of 60KW. Please help in whatever way you can: spread the word, pray, donate a generator, make a financial contribution. I believe that each of us will do our part and the Lord will provide abundantly, above all we could ask or think. Thank you for joining with us in seeing these needs met.
.KIDS AGAINST HUNGER GLOBAL
KAH team (L to R) Brian, Marshall, Sherry, Lex, Melissa, Gary, Jana
The team from Kids Against Hunger Global (Tulsa, OK) had a very productive week. The library furniture was put in place, the bookcases secured, books were organized onto the shelves and prayers of dedication were offered.
The amazing library!
In addition to this, thousands of tummies were filled as the team helped to feed our students.
Sharing Kids Against Hunger food with our students
We were able to bring one delegation to Port-au-Prince to pick up some food that they had shipped to us. Another delegation went to Port-au-Prince to buy some more books for the library. They also had plenty of opportunity to spend time with some special little people and bless them with food and clothing.
Dr. Lee sneaks in some Stanley time!
Stanley and Marshall
A Few More Pictures from this Week:
Melissa was born on Melissa’s birthday and fondly named after her.
Hard working staff and cute patients in the clinic
Church in Thozin this morning
Three children from the Hands and Feet Project were dedicated at church this morning.
Have you been to the War Room?
I was so thrilled to find out that the movie War Room was coming to Leominster, MA the day before Lex and I would be leaving Massachusetts and heading to Florida. I had heard only good about the movie and it was a great last event together with our kids for a season. I encourage you to go see it! Sometimes we’re so taken with what we are seeing, hearing and feeling that we forget to see beyond them. I am encouraged to keep going to the War Room on behalf of all the Lord wants to touch through MOHI and that includes YOU!!! Would you please remember us in the War Room, too?
Goodbye for Now
Well, it’s official. Lex and I said “goodbye for now” to Alexis and AJay. We left Massachusetts yesterday morning, driving to Florida. I know many of you have already survived emptying your nest, but OH MY! The tears (mine) started Thursday when I woke up and they come and go without any warning. I am so proud of my kids. They display so many wonderful characteristics. Just as always, I must trust the Lord to continue leading and guiding them and helping them to make good choices. All of you empty nesters, please feel free to share your words of wisdom and encouragement with me. I already miss them so much!
Alexis and AJay in York, Maine
School is off to a great start at the St. Etienne campus. The children are so appreciative of their school and the opportunity to learn close to home.
St Etienne class
The UN Peacekeepers from Sri Lanka have left Haiti. Before going they donated hundreds of notebooks for our students in St. Etienne. Director Voltaire enjoyed giving them to the students this week.
New Notebooks in St Etienne
Our medical staff continues holding medical clinics at our St. Etienne campus.
Medical Clinic at MOHI in St Etienne
Our construction crew is working on the back side of the building that houses our clinic, radio station and upstairs classrooms. With the upcoming purchase of the lot next door, it’ll be important to have the entire building finished.
Construction at the Thozin campus
Our preschool classes have gone from sitting at benches that were way too big for them to having individual chairs and large tables. It’s been a great “up-grade” for them!
Radio-Tele Partage FM 103.1 is the Mission’s radio station. It’s located on the Thozin campus, but reaches through much of the country – even across the ocean to La Gonave. We have seen many of the young people in the church step up to be a part of this ministry. Naderge and Kimberly, both graduate have a weekday morning talk show, interspersed with contemporary, evangelical music in French, English and Créole.
Kimberly on the radio
Now that summer break is over, it’s really good to see everyone back in church. We love the international flavor of the church!
MOHI church in Thozin
Church in Thozin
Music at church in Thozin
Back to School
Mission of Hope International schools were back in session Tuesday, September 1st. We had a good turnout in Thozin with lots of happy faces. The day started with all the elementary students in the chapel where they held devotions and heard from the school’s administrative staff. The students received their class assignments, met their teachers and found their classrooms. We pray for our students, teaching and administrative staffs that they would each be led by the Spirit of God and that He would reveal mysteries to them. I trust the Lord has good things in store for them this school year and I thank each of our class sponsors for supplying the necessary resources for another great year of learning.
First day of school at MOHI in Thozin. September 1, 2015
First day of School in Thozin
Second day of school in Thozin
Feeding the Hungry
We feed a thousand people or more each school day, plus we distribute food to families in need or during times of crisis or disasters. Over the years we have been blessed so many times by Kids Against Hunger Global (Tulsa, OK). They currently have a 20 foot container of food ready to be shipped to us in Haiti, but they do not have the funds to pay for the shipping themselves. Can you help? Maybe you have a connection you could share with us of a friend, family member, organization or business that you think would be interested in helping to feed the hungry in Haiti. Would you please connect us with them? Please contact us with any help or make a donation yourself online at www.mohintl.org. Thank you for your compassion and generosity!
Sherry Horn and Kids Against Hunger Global have provided enough food to grow this boy (Kendy) and hundreds of others!
Annual Meet & Greet
Each year Lennie and Amy Engman open their home, not only to our family, but to all of our MOHI friends. Yesterday we held our annual meet and greet in Westminster, MA. It was a fun afternoon of fellowship, encouragement and catching up with friends and family. Celion, who just arrived from Haiti joined us, as did friends from Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and Alaska.
Meet & Greet in Westminster, MA. September 5, 2015
Edmé Family Update
If you’ve been keeping up on my blog posts, you know that this is a time of big changes for our family as both of our children have now moved back to Massachusetts. While we all know that kids grow up and leave home, we don’t all know how stressful it is unless we’ve already been through it. I am so excited to see my kids becoming adults, but beyond logic, I really don’t want to let them go. Any of you moms understand what I’m talking about??? Many thanks to all of you who have been praying for our family!!!
AJay started his junior year of high school at Minuteman Regional High School this past week. His schedule has him doing academics one week and shop the following week, throughout the school year. His first week of academics went well. He chose to expand his language repertoire by adding a Spanish class to his list of 7 subjects. Tuesday he heads back to school for a week of studying culinary arts. He has some pretty spiffy new clothes that make him look like a full fledged chef.
AJay’s first day of his junior year of high school
Alexis started classes at Mount Wachusett Community College. Her first semester classes include writing, accounting, human services, cultural awareness, and small business management. She had one of each of the classes before the long holiday weekend began. So far so good.
Alexis’ first day of her freshman year of college
Lex and I hit the road in less than a week, as we begin our drive to Florida and later in the week our return to Haiti. We have so enjoyed this time in Massachusetts. We’ve spent a lot of time preparing our kids for school, visiting with friends, family and supporters. We’ve been refreshed spiritually and are ready to get back to our “normal” business in Haiti. We have some staff changes to make when we arrive and are looking forward to receiving a team from Tulsa, OK shortly after we arrive. We’re expecting it to be a great visit, as they invest their time into getting the library set up for this school year.
A Few More Pictures
Pastor Manyol shares a Gospel message on MOHI’s radio station
Dr Lavaud checking on a patient
Maps donated by Bless Back Worldwide have been mounted in the classrooms.
Thank you all for taking the time to stay updated and for your support of this ministry in Haiti. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend. Blessings to you!