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Blessing Back Again and Again

Amy and I are debating over the temperature here in Grand-Goâve this afternoon. Her phone shows that it’s 73 degrees. My thermometer shows that it’s 75. We did agree, however, that there is definitely a wind chill that’s making a huge difference. It’s very windy. The ocean is high, wild, and LOUD. We are grateful, however, that Jonas is not dumping any snow on us.

We had a wonderful time with a great team from Bless Back Worldwide this week. The entire month has been incredible with so many people coming to volunteer. We are grateful for each and everyone!

Tuesday we had a new event, a men’s health day. There were teachings and projects and visits with our medical staff. It was very well received by the men who participated. It was special to see the men grasping some new ideas and appreciating the words of encouragement.

Medical services were provided by the team all week long and included dental, eyes and physical therapy, as well. Our eyeglass clinic officially began this week, thanks to Bless Back’s donations and training!

There was also a week-long project with different men called “Make It – Take It.” This was a fun time for everyone involved, as the men learned to make a small table or bookshelf. This is where we found some of the biggest smiles.

Having said that, there were lots of smiles in Kids Camp, too.

We visited Paillant with the Bless Back team and saw over 80 patients and distributed rice to many more.

Bless Back teams always like to visit our neighbors in the Gallet, too.

The team put in extra effort to do some much appreciated organizing and restocking in the clinic before they left.

Not only do the Bless Back teams do amazing things for and with the Haitian people, but they also have a way of leaving us feeling encouraged. We appreciate the many individuals that have returned several times now (Lisa, Angie, Jaime, Kelsi, Linda, Josh, Dr. Chris, Dr. Carmen, Dr. Mike, Ben, Odlin, Georgia, Georgia) who are really investing in the long-term well-being of the Haitian people. And of course we love to see first timers come and work hard, while absorbing the many wonders of a foreign culture. Today, I especially appreciate the amazingly, extremely, remarkably organized and yet go-with-the-flow attitude of the team leader and Haiti director of Bless Back Worldwide: Melissa Roper. Thank you, Melissa, for all the time you put into training and organizing, as well as leading your teams!!!

S’mores on the beach in Haiti

Our “Little Man” (turned giant) AJay turned 18 yesterday, far from us in Belmont, MA. It was sad to miss this special moment with him, but he was home for two weeks this Winter and we thoroughly enjoyed being with him then. His (Our, really) sweet friends from West Newbury Congregational Church took him out before the snow hit. Thank you WNCC friends!!!

This morning we were happy to have Sean Moore preaching at the Thozin church. He shared about the Good Samaritan, but more specifically about the prejudices that we all hold. In this story, the Jews held prejudices against the Samaritans. In our own lives, we also tend to hold prejudices against others who are different from ourselves. It was a thought-provoking time of self examination.

We have had a mostly peaceful time in Haiti during Michel Martelly’s 5 year term as president, but as his term nears its end, the political future is looking quite uncertain. Today was to be election day and the new president was to be installed on February 7th, but the election was canceled at the last minute. Members of the electoral counsel have been resigning one right after another, and the ability to have a fair and legal election seems to have faded from view.

There have been some violent incidents in scattered places, mostly burning tires and vehicles. We do not feel personally threatened in any way. Mostly we’d like to ask you to keep praying for direction for Haiti and for the leadership of this country. We have so much hope for a brighter future. Thank you for joining us in intercession for this people and for all your support.

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