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On To: Ti Rivyè

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.

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.

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!

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!

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