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Great Start to a Great Year!

After a month full of constant visitors (as many as 85 sleeping at once!), and an event that brought over 400 people to the missionary compound, we were finally able to take a little breather this week. I have to admit, though, that I really enjoyed every team we had in this month – many old friends and numerous new ones, too.

Amy took some really nice photos of our older students this week that I’d like to share with you. I am just beaming with pride as I see how these kids are becoming adults right before my eyes. Overall I feel like our high school students have really taken a step up in how they behave, their appreciation of the education they are receiving, and in the sense of pride they have in their school.

Alexis has been a great help to us all month. She helped host all the teams and did some cooking, too. Yesterday I decided to make some peanut butter. Natalie grilled the peanuts and then I blended up a batch. I am particularly fond of the Haitian peanut butter that has hot pepper in it, so I tried the same. It came out great. Alexis and Claudeson made the rest so I could get back to the “real” work that I do.

Speaking of “real” work – I send out monthly receipt letters to all of our wonderful donors. Should you need another copy of a receipt letter for tax purposes, please drop me a note at support and I’ll get it right out to you.

Our nephew Gama and his wife Angela held the grand opening of their ministry, Tree of Hope Haiti this past week. We were honored to be a part of the celebration and to be a part of their story. According to Gama’s presentation, Tree of Hope is about community development and focuses on three areas: providing clean drinking water, shelter, and looking for sponsors to help more kids to be able to go to school.

Since she has now made her decision public I can introduce you all to Angie Shepherd. Angie is a Physicians Assistant from Charlotte, NC, who also volunteers with Bless Back Worldwide. She has felt the Lord leading her to come to Haiti full time. We are excited about this move for her and are anticipating that she will join us at MOHI in Haiti this May. She will be bringing heaps of knowledge and experience to the table, as she leads our medical team reaching out and providing even more and better services to our students, neighbors, and surrounding communities.

The round pavilion at the missionary compound (aka choukoun) serves as the “living room” for our teams. It’s such a lovely spot to sit and fellowship right in front of the ocean. Many have even strung their hammocks between the columns and slept there during their stay here. Unfortunately, we have roofed and re-roofed it several times, but each time it has had leaks. We finally decided to remove the prawns and cover it with metal roofing. Perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing, but much more practical. We’d like the roof to last for more than a couple of years! Here’s what I refer to as “the naked roof.”

When purchasing property in Haiti, there are ways that you stake your claim and invite anyone to challenge your ownership. This is usually done by building a wall. A wall costs a lot of money, so we are staking our claim using an alternative method: working the land. Since we need to start fundraising in order to start building, we have invested some funds in gardening the lot until we are ready to start construction. The beans are already growing, as you can see in these pictures.

Thank you so much for remembering us and Haiti in prayer. Today we are praying for understanding and wisdom for all leaders here in Haiti. We are also praying for you and mostly thanking the Lord for you. God bless you!!!

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