Back to Back Teams
We are in a very busy, but really incredible season here at Mission of Hope International. We enjoyed a week with Team G3, from central Massachusetts, and we experienced the Lord’s presence in the Christian Leadership Academy, Thursday through Sunday last week.
Chel Finn and her team G3 focused their week with us on providing medical care and distributing food to those in need. Liz Woods, the Dean of Students at Quinsigamond Community College, started a GoFundMe page and collected enough money to do several feedings. We were able to do mobile clinics and food distributions in Fauche, Pallaint, and Petit Paradis, impacting hundreds of children and adults in those areas. Chel also started a GoFundMe page that brought in $900 to purchase and transport cases of Pedialyte. Many thanks to each of you who participated in these fundraisers!
Last year, Brian Tangney, Jr. was a part of the G3 team. His time in Haiti really impacted his life, which, so sadly was cut short by a tragic motorcycle accident shortly after. We had many opportunities to remember and honor Brian during the week. We celebrated his birthday, singing Happy Birthday to him. Each evening there were people playing a game of Connect Four, as Brian did when he was here. Much good was done this week, in memory and honor of Brian.
Honoring My Friend
My friend, Madame St. Armand, was laid to rest a week ago Monday. It was such a beautiful celebration of her life. Over the years she had informed her family and friends of who should do what at her funeral. Her children dressed in beautiful white suits, sang the song that she had asked them to sing. The women from our church have a singing group, of which she was a part. They sang a couple of songs and had some beautiful things to say. I was especially thrilled that they called her “Madame Klere” (Mrs. Shiny) and spoke of how she was now shining in the Father’s arms.
Madame St. Armand’s daughter, Madame Renord, reflected on her mother’s life. She told us that she died the way she had lived, “with a sack on her head.” That sack was how she started each of her children in school and paid for them to go to high school and then on to university. This sack provided food and clothing even for her grown children and grandchildren, as she always said that it was here children that were her bank account.
Lex preached a message to everyone gathered, thanking them for accepting Madame St. Armand’s invitation to gather on her behalf. He shared of her faith in God and her decision (aka a choice) to follow Jesus. He preached to her widow, her family, her friends, pleading for them to join her in submitting the rest of their lives to Jesus.
Madame St Armand’s children sing the song she instructed them to sing at her funeral
Christian Leadership Academy
Our annual Christian Leadership Academy kicked off Thursday night with Pastor Rex Holt. Pastors Dan Lee, Brock Tharpe, and Nick Acker rounded out the guest speakers. There were many times of anointed prayer, powerful preaching, sweet fellowship, and delicious meals. We were blessed to have Don Tiesenga, Haitian pastors, and local missionaries join in the workshops. Holger and Sigrun Kraft, from Flensburg, Germany, totally blessed us in the kitchen with wonderful dishes (like amazing lobster), homemade breads (pizza buns, oatmeal and white breads), and desserts (cookies, banana cake) to enjoy with the over 400 Haitian guests in the Academy.
Three More Teams
Last Saturday we said good-bye to Team G3 and hello to three more teams. This week we hosted a Mission E4 team, our friends at All Saints Congregational Church and West Newbury Congregational Church. We had 75-85 people at the missionary compound all week! Yes, it was busy, busy, busy! What a blessing to be able to facilitate for so many people wanting to serve Jesus by serving others.
I have to mention this: I was especially thrilled to welcome almost two-year-old Theo Ramaeu, who was here with his parents (David & Mindy) and grandparents (Wayne & Patsy). What a joy to here little boy sounds all week long. And his vocabulary was impressive, too!
Our friends from the Parish of All Saints in Belmont, MA joined our students and neighbors in making music this week. Revs. Paul and Cheryl Minor, who pastor the church, were joined by their daughter Rachel-Anne (graduate student in chorale conducting at the University of Connecticut), our son AJay, David Doneski, Esq. and his wife Dr. Sandra Doneski. They used their voices, hands, recorders and Popsicle sticks to teach music to our preschool and elementary students. The week culminated on Friday with a school-wide, morning concert and a luncheon/training session with the teachers.
The team from West Newbury Congregational Church also joined in the musical training, having brought color-coded bells (amazing fun!) and drum sticks. They were also involved in several other projects with our students, served in the medical clinic, assisted in the Paillant outreach, and built a water tower for the little village MOHI has been building with our partners.
It was just an incredible week with some of our very favorite people. Both of these churches are a constant source of encouragement to Lex and I personally, and are faithful supporters in every way. We love that they come to Haiti, roll up their sleeves and dig right into the work, too.
Bless Back Worldwide
Last night a team from Bless Back Worldwide arrived at MOHI in Grand-Goâve. It’s always so exciting to see team members return again and again, and show the newbies the ropes. (They’re only newbies for a few days.) This team has some great plans for this week, including medical and dental clinics, a Men’s Health Day, education, kid projects, outreach day, and a new idea, the Make It and Take It carpentry projects. Your prayers are coveted for this week. We are expecting many great moments for all involved.