Beginning a New Year
Happy New Year!
I'm just infused with hope and encouragement for this new year, 2017! This morning, as my husband was preaching (and I was translating for Angela's young cousin, Ethan), I found myself processing into English what I had heard in Kreyol: 2017 will be a year of revelation - of understanding things we never understood before. Now, I don't know about the entire Body of Christ, but I believe that this word is significant for those of us at the MOHI church. I am excited to see and understand more than ever before!
Holger and Sigrun prepared a special meal for us and made everything fancy. How blessed we are by their skills in the kitchen and their sense of hospitality and aesthetic pleasure!!!
I love to play games - board games, word games, cards, dice, puzzles. My husband? Not so much. One nice thing about having other full-time missionaries living with us is that they play games with me! After such a lovely dinner, we relaxed at the table. I learned a new card game and they learned a new dice game. And Lex, who is not known as an animal lover (especially since he was brutally attacked by a pack of dogs as a teen), relaxed with Snow (who is more affectionate than any animal should be!) in front of the TV, watching some European soccer match.
Christian Leadership Academy
Our annual Christian Leadership Academy will begin Thursday night and run through Sunday. We are excited to begin receiving our special guest ministers today, with Peter and Pastor Esther Plastridge (Jacksonville, FL). The vision building has begun, as they always get into the nitty gritty with us and encourage us to keep reaching farther. The message they are ready to share this weeK? It's time to take it to the next level!
We are eager to be joined by this incredible group of ministers, as well:
Dr. Ronny & Ruth Thomason (Pastor at Cornerstone Church, Jacksonville, FL and Superintendent for Kingsway Fellowship International)
Rex Holt (Teaching Pastor at Saticoy Church, Ventura, CA)
Nick & Rebekah Acker (Pastor at First Baptist Church, Edinburg, TX)
Dan Lee (international speaker, author, worship leader, leadership development coach and consultant with Lion's Den Ministries)
It's a big week for us, with pastors coming from all around the country to participate in this event. There are many details to be considered with housing, meal preparation, speaker coordination, etc. We are preparing for 800 guests. Sigrun began her mass production (baking cookies) a few weeks ago in preparation. Would you pray for us? We have a lot of work ahead of us that we want to go smoothly so that our registered guests are not hungry or uncomfortable and thus can give their full attention to the teaching and worship happening. Thank you for remembering us this week.
We have only made a few trips down south in December - mostly for mobile clinics and distributing goods and water. We've done LOTS of clean up and built 5 homes, so far. Our 8 house kits will be ready for pick up in another 10 days. We will then be making lots of trips down south, to bring the house kits down and to actually construct these 8 homes. To all of you who have donated toward these homes, thank you so much!!!! If you are wanting to be a part of this, but haven't sent in a donation yet, you still have this coming week to do so. You can click here to make the donation right now, if you'd like or visit our website at your convenience throughout the week.
This week Lex went to Roche-a-Bateau with Jephte, Holger, Sigrun, Albert, Alexis, and AJay. For most Haitians, living outside the capital anyway, the living room is really the yard. And because the yard is often shared by several home and can even include the street, children tend to be more comfortable with strangers. Everyone watches over everyone else's kids. Obviously, the children of Roche-a-Bateau appreciated us, as we did they.
As July and August are wedding months in New England, December is wedding month in Haiti. Lex had the privilege of marrying Voltaire and Elsie at the church in St. Etienne this past week. Aren't they sweet?
Speaking of weddings, did I mention my baby girl has a fiance now? Yes, I know I did, but I'm just so excited for her, I thought I'd mention it again. Alain is a captivating, kind, and respectful young man and Lex and I have given them our blessing. We are praying for them, trusting the Lord has good things in store for them. Would you pray with us, too? Thank you.
Those of you who know Alexis, know how attached she is to her dog, Pooch, and her cat, Saphira (who are now mine, apparently). Well, how special was it that Alexis was home with us when Saphira went into labour. She gave birth to 6, good-sized kittens, with Alexis by her side. (She was likely texting with Alain during much of the labour, but Saphira didn't seem offended by that.) All are healthy and enjoying my office at the missionary compound.
Some of my favorite things:
Our niece had her first baby 3 weeks ago and she's a cutie.
Chrislove was caught with his hand in the cookie ... uh ... lollipop jar ... uh ... bag.
Melissa, who was born at the front gate to the Thozin campus is now a toddler, running around and looking very, very cute in her new year's dress at church.
I'm also fond of the fact that Dr. Kibler, from our partners at Bless Back Worldwide in Charlotte, got us started on a fluoride rinse regimen for our students.
Thank you for making 2016 such a good year for so many. We are praying for you, asking the Lord to continue to accomplish His will on earth through you and me, and that He would continue confirming His will with that still, small voice. Our prayer for you throughout 2017 is found in Philippians 4:19, " And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Happy New Year!