In America, and especially in New England, Super Bowl Sunday mania is in effect today. Being a Native New Englander, I have to admit I am routing for the Patriots and am hoping for a repeat of two years ago.
Now go back SEVEN years, and I had just returned from Haiti - almost a month after surviving the devastating earthquake that destroyed 70% of our city. My biggest concern coming home was that some unsuspecting soul would start talking about the superbowl, sending me into a tailspin that that would end with me telling them how ridiculous it is to even CARE about the superbowl. I mean, seriously? Hundreds of thousands just died. Millions are without shelter. Thousands have lost limbs. Who CARES about a football game?
Today, the scriptures speak to me from Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." And this one, from Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." By the way, no one so much as mentioned football within my hearing. I was and remain thankful for that.
I mentioned last week that a young boy from Grand-Goave had fallen out of a mango tree and died. I found out the next day that it was Robenson, a student at the MOHI school. Robenson's mom, Benite, was a student in our original third grade class back in September 2000. She married Robert, a member of the MOHI church, and Robenson was their first baby. I can't even imagine the pain and heartache being felt by these young parents today. This was a very difficult funeral for Pastor Lex to perform, but the Lord was with Him in it. I know our church community is there for this family, interceding on their behalf, and sometimes weeping with them, as well.
I received a good report concerning Rosenie this week. She arrived safely in Cuba and was able to finally start chemo-therapy. It has been going well and she's feeling encouraged about the future. Thanks to some generous donors, we were able to purchase airfare and provide her with $2,000 in cash, to begin her treatments. She's far from being out of the woods, and will likely need an additional $6,000 to complete her treatment. In the meantime, she still has two daughters living at home and going to school, so the need for assistance is still significant. Would you join us in holding her up in prayer? If you'd like to make a monetary donation to help cover her expenses, you can click here to do so. Please note "Rosenie" on the donation and we will make sure it gets to her. Thank you.
Our medical team did an outreach in the village of Delatre, an outer region of Petit-Goave, earlier in the week. Our missionary friend Ed Lockett and Pastor Mano asked us to come. If you know Brother Ed, you KNOW there were plenty of children there. He spent some time with them, while they and their loved ones were able to get the medical care they needed.
Pastor Lex and Dr. Emmanuel are both traveling today. I will be meeting up with them a little later in the week in Charlotte, NC. We are excited that Bless Back Worldwide is providing an opportunity for Dr. Emmanuel to gain some experience in US medical facilities (hospital and offices) and further his education with some great medical professionals there. While Dr. Emmanuel is busy, Lex and I will be meeting with others from Bless Back about furthering the vision and our partnership together.
Alicia returned to Grand-Goave this week, after enjoying some time Stateside. I wish I were there with her tonight to watch the Super Bowl together, as she is a full-blown-Patriots-All-The-Way type of fan. So many had missed Alicia - her fellow missionaries, friends at church, neighbors in the village ... but more than anyone, I'm pretty certain her students missed her more than anyone.
We have now erected 7 of the 8 house kits we purchased with the Buy One Get One grant from Maxima's Matching Fund and we've been approved for another 12 houses. Their donors from the Netherlands match the funds that our donors give for each house we purchase - allowing us to build twice as many homes, for half as much money. We need to raise $16,500 in order to purchase the twelve kits. Will you help? The disaster is still a reality to hundreds of families in Port Salut. Please click here to donate directly to help change the landscape of Port Salut!
Mirlande is a single mother of four. She became seriously ill after the hurricane and had to be hospitalized, leaving her father to care for the children - including Dabens and Loubensky, 2 month old boys. When she came home from the hospital, she was surprised to find that she actually had a home to live in once again, with her dad.
I attended church this morning with my family at Chair City Community Church, in Gardner, MA. Pastor Dave Tralongo has been such a blessing to our family and we really appreciate him. This morning, rather than preaching a message, he shared a video with us from www.footballsunday.com It was a wonderful compilation of interviews from Patriot and Falcon players, as well as a few testimonies from other NFL players and their wives. I encourage you to click here to download the video to enjoy yourself and share with other football fans.
I will be cheering for the Pats tonight and hope you will be, too. It's that time and season in my life. Next week, I will be returning to Haiti.