We’re back in Haiti. We had a blast visiting some of our supporting churches, family and friends, and making new friends over the past month. Many thanks to all of you who made us feel so welcome and honored, and especially to our dear friends, Paul and Cheryl Minor, who put up with our crazy schedule (and “kidnapping” our children) all month long. Thank you!!!
We arrived back in Haiti on Tuesday and, yes, it’s good to be back. I’ve made an office at home now, so I didn’t really see everyone until this morning at church. Of course I hugged half the church and was asked constantly, “How are the kids? How’s Alexis? How’s AJay? How’s the family?” … so on and so forth. I am thankful that I could answer that they are doing well.
Bruce greets the church in Thozin
Welcome Bruce and Vickee
We were delighted to welcome Bruce and Vickee Widbin to the missionary compound yesterday afternoon. Vickee is an RN who visited us about two years ago. She was such a blessing, working in the clinic with Leah. I think she’s been working on Bruce all these years and finally brought him down to Haiti to meet Lex.
Bruce’s goal is to hold a “Christian Business” seminar for some of the entrepreneurial types in our area. Bruce is just fascinating to me. His parents were missionaries in Papua New Guinnea, where he lived until high school. He has lots of fun stories to tell, of course, but I was particularly taken with the welcome he received a few years ago when he returned with his brother and both of their wives. People came from everywhere to welcome their plane and say thank you to them on behalf of their father. Their father had brought the Gospel of Light to them when they were living in utter darkness and despair. The Lord used their father to totally change these people’s lives and they were truly grateful. They were rejoicing, laughing, dancing, singing. Can you even imagine? It sounds to me like they had a little preview of eternity.
It was a very unique and humbling situation for them to experience. It thrilled me to no end. I have heard many stories of incredible (and often very difficult) situations from fellow missionaries, as well as living through some myself. It can easily feel like a thankless job, if you look at the circumstances surrounding you. But we choose not to do that. We are “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
Bruce’s dad knew what he was working towards and WHO he was working for. What a wonderful legacy he left for his sons. For them, who know first hand the struggles that their parents went through, the hardships that they all suffered for the sake of the Gospel, to see the gratitude of human souls for that labor of love… I can’t even imagine.
I feel very honored to meet Bruce and to have the opportunity to spend this week with him and Vickee. I believe the Lord has brought him here, not only for those we minister to, but also for Lex and I. I suspect HE has some living water to share with us through Bruce and Vickee and I’m expecting something good from our loving, Heavenly Father.
Angie En Route
Angie with leaders (the “Lisas” and Melissa) from Bless Back Worlwide, sending her off with breakfast and a blessing!
Angie Shepherd, PA is leaving her “home” in the morning to begin living for Jesus in a whole new way. She will be living here in Haiti with us, while overseeing the medical ministry at MOHI. She comes from our wonderful partners at Bless Back Worldwide, in Charlotte, NC. Angie has made several trips to Haiti before and we are looking forward to gleaning from her expertise in the medical field. Get ready to hear some good reports from the medical clinic in the upcoming weeks! And please give her a shout out on our Facebook page, letting her know you’re grateful for her service to the Lord, as well.
Mr. & Mrs. Jocelyn Pedrick
Please join us in congratulating one of our high school teacher’s, Jocelyn Pedrick, on his recent marriage. Maitre (professor) Pedrick has been teaching at MOHI for the past 11 years and is one of the reasons our students do so well. We are pleased as punch to have them join us at the Thozin church and look forward to seeing the Lord’s blessing upon their marriage.
Congratulations to Alicia D’Olimpio, who graduated as a presidential scholar from Merrimack College today! Alicia is scheduled to come to Haiti at the end of August. She plans to spend at least one school year with us, teaching missionary kids from the area. Alicia has already been working at a Christian preschool for the past 8 years. We are confident that she will be a total blessing to these children and their families.
Would you join us in prayer this week? We are praying for…
- Knowledge, understanding, wisdom, direction, guidance and divinely guarded lips for the MOHI board of directors and local staff and particularly for Maitre Pedrick and his new wife
- Safe travels for Angie Shepherd and comfort from the Holy Spirit as she transitions into a new culture
- Clear guidance for Alicia as she prepares teaching materials, as well as herself, to come to Haiti
- The mind of Christ for our students as they prepare for national exams
- Provision for all ongoing activities (staff, supplies, maintenance) and the projects the Lord is leading us into
- Good health for the missionaries serving at or working with MOHI and for baby Lily’s hips, legs, and feet continue to respond to the prescribed treatments and take on their perfect form and function
- Bold proclamations of the Gospels, receptive hearts and minds, and open doors of ministry
As always, we are intent on praying for you, as well. Please contact us at any time if you have a specific prayer request that you’d like for us to join our faith with yours on.
Have a great week!
Lex and I have been in MA for almost a month now and constantly on the go. We have met with many of our friends and reconnected with some from decades past.
Our niece, Edna, joined us for 3 weeks. She has been to Canada several times, but this was her first visit to the USA. It was really neat to introduce her to so many of the people and places she’d heard us speak of over the years.
Enda and Lex were among many friends at the bowling alley one evening
Jackie, Edna, Alexis @NEWConf
Edna, Alexis, Jackie (aka Madame Huguener) and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the New England Women’s Convention. I hadn’t been since Alexis was an infant. It was such a precious time of encouragement, instruction, worship, and fellowship.
I met up with some old friends and mentors at the convention, who blessed me incredibly. Jeanne DeTellis, co-founder of New Missions has been such a great influence in our lives. She and her first husband, Pastor George, were role models for us as we started MOHI back in 2000. Over the years, Lex and I have reminded each other of words of good counsel that they shared with us – and rejoiced that we listed to them!
Jeanne also played a very special role in Edna’s life. She spent many years in New Mission schools, where she was always at the top of her class. Jeanne always took a special interest in her. They were so blessed to see one another and catch up on each others’ lives.
Jennie, Angie, Gramma Jean
I was also extremely blessed to see “Grandma Jean,” Angie Lyon, and Jennie Heald (mom and two daughters). All three of these women were very influential in my becoming a Christian and learning what that looked like in real life. Angie and I went to school together in our middle and high school years. When I “begged” some business associates to let me attend a church service with them, so that I could be a part of their after-church activities, Angie just happened to be at that church.
I didn’t really understand much of what happened in that service, but I knew that it was the first time I’d been to a church where the people seemed genuinely thrilled to be there. I had been raised in the Jewish faith, so I did not have much church experience. What I did have, led me to believe that church was an obligation that good people would go to. But that day, I saw it was a JOY to attend church. I was constantly on the phone with Angie that week, asking seemingly unending questions about this Jesus character, whom I knew virtually nothing about. She always seemed so happy to answer my questions. I just couldn’t wait to return.
I made the decision to follow Christ. Angie’s older sister, Jennie, her husband, John, and their baby, Jessica, started picking me up for church each Sunday. Over the years, Jennie became my best friend and role model. I came to see her children (eventually five of them) as my own. I was thrilled at any opportunity I could find to baby sit and I truly learned what mothering was all about from Jennie.
Jennie soon became not only John’s wife, but now “Pastor” John’s wife. The Lord gave me many opportunities to observe, as well as serve in their new church. They were both wonderful teachers by both word and deed. My years of ministry learning began in the School of Ministry I attended, but it all came alive in me during those years at Light on the Hill Christian Fellowship, in Willimantic, CT.
Grandma Jean was always in the picture. She was a great support to Jennie as she endeavored to follow the Lord, respect her husband and handle 5 little ones with great love and patience. Grandma Jean was firm and patient with the children, as well as with Jennie. We ALL loved that woman…and still do! I can’t even tell you how wonderful it was to be able to catch up with these wonderful ladies and hug their necks.
At the MassHOPE Convention
We have had several events and many individual meetings over this month with friends, family, ministers, and we made some new friends, too. We are so grateful for each person the Lord has brought into our lives. Even though we were constantly on the go, there are many of you we didn’t get to see. We are hoping to have an event in August where we can catch up with everyone – Lord willing!
Over these past four weeks, everything in Haiti has continued to function.
Pastor Edon and Pastor Hakine have kept the churches going strong with good attendance. The MOHI schools have been in session with lots of preparations for exams and graduation ceremonies.
Amy has been working with the preschoolers on their rainbow projects and continues to have fun with the elementary grades English Club.
The medical staff have been providing necessary care for regular patients in the Thozin clinic, as well as reaching out to others in Ti Riviere, Paillant, and Cherident.
The radio station continues to broadcast the Good News.
The gardens continue to produce (beans, corn, cabbage).
While Haiti has been experiencing a drought over the past three years, the past couple of weeks have brought terrible downpours and flooding to the area. People have lost homes, livestock, and even their lives in the mudslides brought on by the rain. We are praying for better weather that is good for everyone.
This morning we joined our friends at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Merrimac, MA. Lex shared a message with the church and we enjoyed praying and singing with the congregation. After a lovely “coffee time” we joined with our friends at “Mission of Hope International in Massachusetts” (MOHIMA). This is a group of highly motivated individuals, most of whom have served with us in Haiti for a week or more, who want to continue impacting lives in Haiti, even though they are back in the USA.
Today there was discussion about…
- how to obtain barrels and start gathering supplies to send to Haiti.
- the need for generators to power the missionary compound and the main campus (25KW diesel powered)
- how to power the pumping of water into the new water tower in the small community many have helped to build in Thozin. Everyone seemed to agree that a solar pump would be the best solution.
- how to manage volunteers for the MOHI tent at SoulFest and anticipating what needs will need to be met for that event.
- Alicia D’Olimpio’s upcoming move to Haiti and fund raising events in the works.
If you are in the Central New England area and would like to become more active in making a difference in Haiti, please contact me and I will put you in touch with this group. “Men anpil, chay pa lou.” (Many hands make light work.)
Yes! MOHI will be at SoulFest at Gunstock, NH again this summer, Aug. 4-6. We are so excited to be reuniting Lumiere de l’Espoir (The Light of Hope) for a presentation at SoulFest on Friday, August 5th. They will also be doing some local concerts prior to SoulFest. I’ll share details with you soon. It would be such a blessing to these young people and to you if you would come out to one of the local concerts and/or SoulFest to enjoy their music and the presence of the Lord.
We are also looking for folks who are planning to be at SoulFest who would like to do some part-time volunteering at our tent. As we experienced last year, it can be a busy place. We’re not really looking so much for hard labor, but mostly a friendly countenance. Please contact me if you would like to sign up for a slot. We do need the help and I appreciate all of you who will join us. Thank you!
We are eager to head back to Haiti this week. I have lots of catching up to do and we are looking forward to Bruce and Vickee Widbin joining us for a week. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Revs. Paul & Cheryl Minor
Lex and I, along with our niece, Edna, are in Massachusetts, staying with our kids and their generous host family, Paul & Cheryl Minor. They are so patient with us, as we :fly” in and out of their home daily. They, too, come and go a lot with their responsibilities, so it’s always pleasant when we can find a few minutes to catch up with each other.
We arrived in Boston Monday night and have been running ever since. We’ve enjoyed many visits with friends and family and are so grateful for each and every one! This week we will be meeting with some more folks. Friday and Saturday we will have a table at the MassHOPE Home School Convention in Worcester, MA. Please come by and say “Hello” if you are there. Sunday we will be at the Evangelical Church of Fall River, MA with our dear friends, Pastor Carlos & Rita Periera. If you are from that area, please join us at the 11AM service at 1240 Rodman St.
We would love to connect with as many of you as possible while we are here in New England. Please contact us here, send us a text message or give us a call at 978.340.8729 any time. Please don’t wait. We want to see you!!!
It’s hard to imagine, but the end of the school year is not far away. We will be holding graduation ceremonies for our high school seniors, as well as kindergarten classes. As you can see in the photo, the kids are working hard to have all their steps right, as well as practicing poems, skits, songs, and speeches.
It’s been so wonderful having Jeff and Wilson managing our gardens this year. We had a plentiful harvest of beans from both Gwo Djak and Thozin this month. The corn is just about ready, as are the cabbages. Extra care is going into the banana plants, weeding, adding soil, and watering. We’re looking forward to an abundant harvest!!!
Separating the beans from the chaff
After two weeks of working with back to back groups, Amy is back to work at the school. This week she started working with our new English Club for primary grade students. All the students were present and ready to start early, which is a really good sign! We provided a new notebook and pencil for each student and started with some library time. Amy then went over the English alphabet and numbers and had students introducing themselves to each other in English.
Amy also continued working with our preschool teachers and students. This week they added another semicircle to their rainbows.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. Please let us know if there is anything specific we can be praying for you, as well.
Amazing. Amazing! AMAZING!!! That’s how I can describe this week. Absolutely amazing!!!
I was thrilled to feel the electricity generated by the students as they entered the chapel for the fashion show. The sewing students were totally ecstatic, proud, and nervous. Their dresses, backpacks, and purses were all well done. Each one was unique as the students were able to choose how they wanted to decorate them.
During the fashion show it was so sweet to see the huge smiles on everyone’s faces. If you are familiar with Haitian culture at all, you know that any time there is an isle entrance to be made, it is done with a serious face. Now, that may be because they have to concentrate so hard to make sure they don’t mess up their dance steps, because there is no “walking” down the isle in Haiti. There’s always music and there’s always special (dance) steps to take the whole way down. So, the fact that they smiled made my heart very happy.
Once everyone was on the platform, they were then individually presented with a certificate, acknowledging their efforts. It wasn’t just a typical certificate, which are so valued in Haiti, but these were driver’s licenses – for learning how to operate a sewing machine, they received their sewing machine driver’s license. I thought that was pretty cute.
Of course the best part of it all is that these young men and women have learned a valuable skill that can serve them for the rest of their lives. If they choose to or need to, they can earn money to care for their families with these skills. They are better prepared for their futures today, than they were two weeks ago.
I do want to mention how proud I am of the women from World-Wide Lighthouse Missions (WWLM) who invested in these 50 young people. They left the comforts of home to sweat for 14 days in confined areas with very enthusiastic children and sewing machines. They taught 3 classes a day, which meant they had to leave their living quarters at 6:45 each morning. It meant they didn’t get back for dinner each evening until 7:30 or 8. The students may have gotten a little more rambunctious with each passing day, making it a little more challenging to manage the classrooms. But these phenomenal women never lost their cool. They were challenged and they rose to the challenge. What a wonderful experience it was for all of us.
While Jephte was busy coordinating everything for the WWLM team, from transportation to translators, Amy was similarly busy with The Hope Alliance team. They both worked hard coordinating staff and volunteers and ensuring everyone was well cared for. “Chapo ba!” (hat’s off) to Jephte and Amy.
The Hope Alliance (Salt Lake City, UT) joined us this week to hold vision clinics. We visited four locations and served hundreds of people. Many were treated for eye illnesses and hundreds went home with new glasses that enabled them to see like never before. Young and old alike came and left in a better place than when they had arrived. Praise God!
Lex and I will be making our way back to New England this coming week. We will be at the MassHOPE Home Schooling Convention in Worcester. If you’ll be there, please be sure to stop by and say hello. And by all means, PLEASE let me know you read my blog. Just like everyone else, I love to be encouraged.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” -Proverbs 27:17
This is a great time for us to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Please contact us if you would like to get together and please consider inviting us to meet some of YOUR friends. That would be a great way to help get others involved in something we all believe in. Don’t wait, as our schedule will fill up quickly. On the other hand, don’t assume we’re too busy to see you. You’re part of the reason we’ll be back. We want to be busy meeting up with you!
And a couple of pictures to make your heart happy:
A good morning in the house of the Lord!
Glasses for our workers and staff
Sometimes you just have to sit back and say “Thank you!” to the Lord for His grace in our lives. This week I found myself in this position as I reflected on the people He brings to Haiti to work with us. This weeks we welcomed teams from two of our strongly committed partner organizations, Bless Back Worldwide and World Wide Lighthouse Missions.
Bless Back is committed to the medical ministry here at MOHI. They are fully invested in our partnership financially (providing the majority of medicines used in the clinic, investing in the renovations at the clinic, building homes, desks and so much more), as well as with human and knowledge resources. We can call on them any time and have full confidence we will find an answer to whatever the situation asks.
World Wide Lighthouse Missions (WWLM) has been investing in the mission and our family for the past sixteen years. Over the years they provide incredible spiritual and organizational counsel, as well as sharing their other resources with us. In addition to their faithful financial and prayer support, they also ship 12 barrels of goods (most of which is distributed to those in need or used for our school students) to us three to four times a year. When we have a specific need they are there to help fill it. They first sent a team to us back in 2000 when the mission first began. Since then they have sent others to help with organization, teaching leaders, and more.
When people come to visit I often tell them that Lex and I just do not have the necessary skills to accomplish most of what they see going on here. But the Lord, with His love and kindness toward the people of Haiti, brings together the people and resources to do amazing things!
The Bless Back team was focused on medical ministry this week. They worked out of the medical clinic in Thozin for four days, and together with the WWLM team, did an outreach in Ti Rivye one day. They visited quite a few disabled in Grand-Goâve, and reached out to a village (the Gallet) with teaching about the newly arriving Zika Virus. They gave out mosquito nets to all the households.
Madona translates for Animita and her little patients
Shannon taking a blood pressure
Angie has lots of little friends
Many of you have been praying for Maestro Odenet and others have reached out with financial aid. Thank you! He was able to bring some test results to the Bless Back doctors and get some instruction from them. He was finally in church (although not yet playing the keyboard) today. We certainly have missed him and are so glad he is improving day by day.
Shatima and Maestro Odenet
The WWLM team here now (for two weeks) is working with three groups of students from our high school, teaching them hand and machine sewing. I love hearing the reports about how they are interacting with the students and the level of excitement they are seeing. They are also being very creative, individualizing the items they are making to suit their own preferences. The students are making dresses, purses, back packs and wallets. We’re looking forward to Friday’s fashion show, where we will see their accomplishments and they will each receive a certificate.
Here are a few more photos from this week that I thought you would enjoy. Thank you for being a part of Mission of Hope International!
Outreach in Ti Rivye
We are thrilled to have two teams joining us this week. Bless Back Worldwide has sent a medical team to minister to the physical needs of our students, neighbors, and beyond. We look forward to another great week with them.
Our long-time friends at the World Wide Lighthouse Missions in Manchester, CT have been working on a curriculum for teaching sewing in our high school. Today we welcomed Rev. Hamlin, Paula, and Diane for a two week stay. They will be working with 45 of our high school students (3 classes/5 days a week), as well as a couple of “student teachers.” Their hard work will culminate with a fashion show at the end of the two weeks. We’re all eager to see this program succeed.
Bless Back Worldwide and World Wide Lighthouse Missions. We’re doubly blessed!
I had lots of things I wanted to share with you this week, but I ran out of time and internet. I am grateful for the internet service that I have had through my mobile phone. Interruptions in service are rare. Unfortunately yesterday and today there was significant interruption. I also ended up in Port-au-Prince today, which is not a bad thing, but it gave me a very late start to this post. So, get ready for next week’s post, which will have lots of exciting updates.
Here are a few pictures I wanted to share with you from this past week. Thank you for all your support. And please do tell your family, friends, and associates about MOHI and the work impact being made in Haiti. There’s plenty of work to be done and opportunities to get involved through prayer, donations, and visiting. Thank you!
Green is happening with Amy’s helpers this week.
Danyana and Marie Ange
Yvens Desrosiers graduated from MOHI’s high school and is now teaching in the elementary school.
Sunday morning worship service at MOHI in Thozin
Pastor Bill Smith, the new executive director for Bless Back Worldwide, shares a message with the church in Thozin.
Happy Easter to all our MOHI friends! This is the day we set apart to consider the resurrection of Christ and what that means to us. I know to me, it means everything!
Our students all enjoyed time off for the holiday this past week. Amy took advantage of the calm and quiet and undertook a painting project, spicing up one of the murals in the school hallway. Don’t you love the mangoes?!!!
Although our students were not on campus, the medical clinic was still in full swing for members of our community. We so appreciate Dr. Emmanuel’s dedication to his patients and the way he leads his staff.
There are a couple of needs that I would like to present to you. I ask that you would pray about them, do whatever the Lord puts on your heart to do, but also to share these needs with others.
The well at the Thozin campus was affected by the earthquake six years ago. Little by little the water level has been diminishing. We’re getting to the point now where we are having trouble keeping up with the demand for water. We are in need of an additional $2,000 to drill a new well. Please consider helping us reach this goal over the next few weeks. Thank you.
Mission of Hope International in Haiti is capable of running with an all Haitian staff. However, missionaries add another dimension to what is happening here. Missionaries train local people to not just perform tasks, but to look at things in a different light. And, of course, the local staff teach missionaries to see things differently, too. This mission’s impact is so much greater than anything Lex and I could ever do on our own. Each of our supporters help us to be here training others and establishing the vision. We miss the support of our children, Alexis and AJay, who did so much to help with teams and working with our students, but we see the Lord is calling others to come alongside in this work, too.
.Amy Long, from Jacksonville, FL, has been with us in Haiti for almost 6 months now. She is working with our preschool teachers and students regularly, as well as hosting short-term teams coming in to serve.
Angie Shepherd, a physician’s assistant from Charlotte, NC, will be joining us in May to oversee all of the medical ministry taking place through MOHI.
.Alicia D’Olimpio, a preschool teacher from West Newbury, MA, will be joining us in August to teach English speaking missionary children in our area.
Each of these missionaries are filling a vital role here at MOHI in Haiti. We have another vital role that needs filling now.
We are looking for someone feeling called to be a full time missionary to come to Haiti as our project and maintenance director. While we would love to have someone who is particularly handy, it is not a requirement for this position. This person needs to be self-motivated and able to work independently without direct supervision. He/she will be responsible for making sure materials and workers are in place for projects, creating schedules, communicating between department heads and missionaries, providing regular reports and photos of the different projects and tasks being performed under his/her supervision. This includes supervision of ongoing projects such as aquaponics, agriculture, vocational training, library and computer clubs, etc. This position can be filled by an individual, a family, or maybe a retired couple. Maybe this is for you. Maybe it is for someone else. Would you please share this with your friends, family, and associates by word of mouth and social media? This would be a great help to us. Thank you!
The Women’s ministry put on a conference this week at the church in Thozin. It’s always so neat to see the women come together with their resources, talents, and sweat to make an even beautiful and inspiring. This week was no different. Months of rehearsing went into the songs. Months of saving money went into purchasing food for their guests. So many were blessed by their efforts and I believe the Lord was pleased with their efforts as well as with the special time with His children.
The local photographers are pretty young.
Ladies from Mission of Hope
I will share a little further down about the opportunity I had to share with the women, too. But first, let’s talk about some other things happening around MOHI.
Maestro Odenet finally came home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon. Again, thank you so much to all of you who have been remembering him in prayer.
A group of us stopped in to visit. He and his sister told us of how difficult it was for them. It took two days of “pressuring” the Red Cross for blood and then they only gave them half of what he needed. I totally understand their frustration. I find it frustrating, too. But I also understand that Haitians don’t usually give blood, the blood banks have hardly any blood in them. So many Haitians feel that they are malnourished (because they don’t have enough to eat), that they would never even consider giving blood. Four people came forward to give blood so that maestro could find one pint. Thank the Lord for friends.
Maestro is so relieved to be back in Grand-Goâve, staying with his sister so he can have people to help look after him and his wife can go back to work. Although he was in one of the “better” hospitals in the country, he was only seen by a doctor twice during his two weeks there. He still has an issue with his calf that has not been resolved. He’ll be going to have some more tests done in the morning. Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
In the city of Hinche, there was a fuel tanker and underground fuel tank exploded, killing 10 people, with over 30 others critically injured. There was also an accident about 1/2 an hour from MOHI in Leogane at around midnight one night this week. A truck ran through a rara. (A rara is a gathering of people that dance to galvanized steel instruments and drum music and go for miles in the middle of the night. It’s often associated with vodou rituals. Drivers usually have to wait for them to clear part of the road before they can pass.) About 15 people were killed and many more injured, as you imagine when a truck plows through a crowd of people at full speed. We’re praying for the families of those who were killed and the victims hospitalized with critical injuries. Would you join us?
Dr. Emmanuel and his staff are doing a wonderful job. They bring solutions to people’s health issues, but they also show an interest in them and that they care.
Our students had exams most of this week and are excited to have a week of vacation this coming week.
Among many other things, the preschoolers worked with Amy on their rainbows.
I thought you might appreciate knowing that the parents of students in St. Etienne, which is in the mountains, actually send their children to school with jackets to keep them warm.
I had the privilege of sharing with those gathered for the conference Saturday morning. I had fun with it, but also had a serious message. I talked about money, but I started with an illustration to encourage everyone to see themselves in the message. Sometimes when we know everyone around us in the church, we can find ourselves thinking, “Oh, I hope so-and-so was listening to what was just said.” But the Lord wants us to listen for ourselves. Once we receive what He’s serving to us we will have plenty of opportunity to share with others. But if we don’t receive ourselves, we really have nothing to give. So, I baked cookies Saturday night. Now I was giving cookies to Edna and Amy, but Amy was busy complaining about everyone else so she didn’t bother taking the cookies that I was trying to give her. Edna, on the other hand, gratefully accepted the cookies, began eating one and shared the other, and then another, and another. In the meantime, Amy’s getting upset with Edna, because she keeps making friends with all her cookies and Amy has none. You get the idea, right?
In another illustration I interviewed Pastor Clement. Pastor Clement has grown children who have left home. He has High school students. And he has two sweet little girls. I asked him about Wanchina, who is six years old. I asked him if he gives her $100 to put in her pocketbook when she goes to school each morning. “No? But I thought you LOVED Wanchina?” “Well, if you LOVE her, why wouldn’t you want her to have things she might desire on the way to and from school? Why wouldn’t you give her a good amount of money so she can have the things that make her happy?”
We moved on to his daughter Jusana. She’s probably in her early twenties. He has no problem to give her $100 and more to go to the open market and make purchases for the household. Hmmmm, does he love Jusana more than Wanchina? Would he give her four or five thousand to do a project she’s thinking about? “Uuuuhhhh, ummmmmm…” Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Finally, we move on to Cledson. Four or five thousand dollars for a project he’s been planning? Yes, of course, if he could come up with the money. So, does he love Cledson the most? No, Cledson has the most knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. He can handle more than the others. He has more maturity.
Even though most of us would never say it out loud, we often think that the Lord loves one more than another based on what they have in their lives…cars, money, children, friends, work…whatever. But the Lord is more interested in building character than enabling us to learn to be irresponsible children.
By the way, I did have three points to the message: #1 God want to prosper us … #2 God gives us LOTS of warnings about riches. Those are for YOU. Pay attention! … #3 We are blessed. Now go bless others. (Our friends at Bless Back Worldwide have seared that into my brain!) The overriding theme? Man’s way is get rich quick. God’s way is step by step – be faithful in the little and when it becomes much, you’ll still be managing it faithfully.
We appreciate all those who ministered at the conference, including friends from the Hands and Feet Project, Pastor Hakine, and Pastor Subrin, from Paillant. Here are some more shots from the Women’s Conference…
Madame Franck knew the answer.
Ladies from St. Etienne
Ladies from Petit Goâve
Looking pretty for church
Many of you know our nephew, Gama. He and his wife Angela celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary this past week. We thank the Lord for the blessing of their marriage, in Nathan and Nyah! And we pray He continues to bless them in many other ways. And may we all remember to live according to 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Happy 10th anniversary to Gama and Angela!
And finally, we would love to be able to ship one of these to Haiti. If you have access to one that you would like to share, we would be grateful to put it to use here at MOHI in Haiti. Just let us know. Thank you! Have a great week!
Many of us, in both the US and Haiti, have been praying for Maestro Odenet. He has been hospitalized in Port-au-Prince. I am happy to report that he finally received the blood he needed and is so much livelier than he’s been this whole time. Thank you for praying and please continue!
We had a great time this week, reaching out into a new area. Ti Rivyè (Little River) is a common village name. This particular “Little River” is located in Mirogoane, south of Grand-Goâve. There were about 250 people present. About half of them were seen by the medical staff. Knowing we’d have a lot of patients, Dr. Emmanual asked one of his colleagues to join us. Kristin Reed, an RN from Boston visiting the Be Like Brit Foundation, also joined us. We also went prepared to do eye exams, which blessed many. We handed out food, clothing, and footwear; prayed with many and loved on everyone.
Getting the flat tire up on the roof is no easy feat!
Gardith registering patients
Lex explains the system to the people waiting.
Pretty in Pink!
Pastor Lex’s helper received new crocks to eat…uhhhh…to wear, that is.
How sweet is this?!!!
Wadson running the eye clinic
“Take my picture with my new glasses!!!”
One of Amy’s new friends
School has been going well. The older students started exams this week.
I think back to my youth and how I took school for granted. I liked seeing my friends at school, but the academics didn’t interest me in the least. Here in Haiti, however, most young people assign great value to school and feel privileged to be able to attend. One young woman used to crack rocks in order to pay to go to school. She literally sat out in the hot sun, on a pile of rocks, with a hammer and cracked them into smaller rocks that could be used for construction. She could have given up, saying she doesn’t have anyone to help her go to school, but no. She’s one determined young woman! (And she no longer has to crack rocks to go to school.)
I will never forget my third grade teacher, Mrs. Seplowitz, reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to us. Why? Because she gave us a malted milk ball each time she went to read to us. Well, this week our preschool teachers put on a “chicken presentation” for all of their students. It ended with them eating egg sandwiches. I suspect they will remember all there is to know about chickens – and eggs, too!
MOHI is partnering with White Stone Church (Knoxville, TN) to develop and implement a youth discipleship program at the newly expanded Thozin campus. We were very excited to host a small team from Knoxville this week. Pastor Mark Zimmerman was joined by some of the church leadership (whom we LOVE!). Stacy Cox, an architect from their church, was able to see the land and get measurements to assist him in the planning stages of this project. Hopefully many of you will join us in Haiti for a week or two and help us get this project moving. The first order of business: build a wall and drainage.
This morning, Pastor Mark preached at the MOHI church in Thozin. I had the honor of introducing him and sharing a little of our combined vision with the congregation. He preached from several scriptures, ending up in Revelation 3:15-16. He shared something that many of us can relate to. He’d always interpreted the words “hot” and “cold” to mean “good” and “bad,” but then you have to ask yourself this: What kind of father would tell his child that he’d prefer the child be either good or bad, rather than somewhere in the middle? Not a good one. Right? We know that our Heavenly Father is good, so we must need to dump the “good” and “bad” interpretation.
Now, I don’t want to try to preach Pastor Mark’s whole message, but I do want to share this one little point that struck a chord with me. Both hot and cold are extreme temperatures. Perhaps – Is He maybe talking about passion? Whatever we do, He prefers that we do it with passion and not halfheartedly. Go all the way on the hot side or go all the way cold side. But if you mess around in the middle (maybe trying to please everyone?) you’re going to upset His tummy (so to speak). A little food for thought.
Pastor Mark Zimmerman
I thought this was really sweet, although it doesn’t look like Elange did. Pastor Edon was talking this morning about what a special year this is for the MOHI school in Thozin. He used his daughter, Elange, as an example of one of our first preschool (3 year olds) students whose class is now preparing for high school graduation in a few months. She (and others in her class) started their schooling at MOHI and will be completing it at MOHI. It’s a first!
Pastor Edon and his youngest daughter, Elange
I’ll end with this little sweetie. She lives next to Pastor Manyol’s family. They bring her to church each Sunday, but her family doesn’t come. She is so funny. She’s quick as a whip and engages just about everyone in conversation, even though she only says a few words, herself. I gave her a lollipop one Sunday. Ever since, as soon as she sees me she smiles, looks at my pocketbook and points with her tiny, little fingers. Last week, she had a package of crackers in her hand when she was looking for a lollipop. I told her she needed to wait until later, when her crackers were finished. She proceeded to try to go into my pocketbook on her own. When that didn’t work, she was not very happy, but someone distracted her. After the service I saw her and gave her the lollipop she was looking for. She was all smiles.
Thank you so much for your support and for being a part of everything happening at MOHI in Haiti. Have a wonderful week!
One reason I enjoy posting on this blog is that it makes me stop and think about what’s going on around me, at least once a week. I am so thankful for all that is being done here at MOHI and the amazing people the Lord brings into our lives here.
This week has been cool (upper 70’s low 80’s) and we’ve had quite a bit of rain. Normally, this is good for the gardens, but this week the beans were ready to be harvested and every night of rain put the beans in danger of rotting before being harvested. Friday was the big day of harvesting in time for the Saturday market day. Some of the beans were sold, some were given away, and some were eaten by missionaries and staff. YUM!!! Most of the income from the beans will go back into the garden again. The garden is providing work for a couple dozen people which means over one hundred people are eating now because of the garden. It certainly makes sense to work the land when it’s available.
Lex and I are so grateful for the hundreds of people who have responded to our prayer requests for Maestro Odenet. He is still being hospitalized in Port-au-Prince, but he’s finally been moved out of the ER and into a regular room. His blood count is very low. I’m not sure if they were waiting to see if he would rebound on his own or not, but finally this morning he received the order for a blood transfusion. We all covet your prayers at this time. We also appreciate any donations to help cover the cost of his hospitalization. If you would like to donate online to help him, please specify “Maestro”in the note section and we will be sure to put those funds toward his hospital bill.
Our dogs all “decided” to get dye jobs this week. We use dirty motor oil to keep our gates working smoothly. Apparently our grounds keepers overdid it a little and the dogs got into it. For those of you who know Sam, I thought you might get a kick out of his new look.
Amy went all out this week with ORANGE as she began her rainbow project with our preschool and kindergarten classes. One of the things I love to see is when we involve the teachers and/or older students in the preparation of these projects. That’s what brings sustainability to everything we do. We are busy working ourselves out of a job. So, this week Amy had some helpers making the orange part of the rainbow. Each week Amy plans to explore different art concepts with her helpers, while making rainbows with the younger students and teaching about God’s promises and the significance of the rainbow.
Danyana is one of Amy’s helpers.
The choukoun roof was completed this week. Today it was used to gather friends from the US and Haiti to celebrate the baptisms of three young people from the church in Thozin.
Since we do baptisms right in front of where I live, it was extra fun to have friends visiting today. I was especially pleased to welcome some younger friends (missionary children) upstairs to play with the kittens and eat the brownies I baked for them. I also got to meet (and HOLD!!!) Lily Joy Sutton, who is just over a week old now. She’s such a sweet little nugget!
We may have been having a little discussion about whether the blue frogs were the boys, or the red ones. That just happened to be when the clearest picture was taken. ;/
Thank you so much for checking in with us this week. Please contact us with any prayer needs you may have so that we can agree with you in prayer.