Wrapping Up In The USA

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.

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.

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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.

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 babysit 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.)

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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!

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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!

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HAITI ADDRESS

Route National #2, Thozin

Grande Goave, Ouest, Haiti

 

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PO Box 884

Gardner, MA 01440

 

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