Let's start out with the good/great reports from this week. The teachers from Charlotte Christian School who arrived with Bless Back Worldwide a week ago Saturday put on the most incredible seminar for our teachers. They were amazing. Our teachers were like sponges, soaking up all they could from their new friends. From problem solving in the classroom to techniques for teaching children with differing capacities within the same grade level - the learning was fun and energetic for everyone.
The team worked with MOHI teachers at the missionary compound for 3 days before moving up to the school for a day of hands on experience. The teachers split into groups with groups of children. They used they're newly learned skills to teach their students. It went better than anyone would have anticipated.
Friday afternoon, the team had some free time to visit Coconut Beach in Petit-Goave. I encourage everyone coming to MOHI to plan ahead to go. It's absolutely gorgeous! The video below shows them leaving the missionary compound to go there.
19th Annual Conference
Thursday through Sunday we held our 19th annual church conference at the MOHI church in Thozin. The first night over 400 people attended (as opposed to the 150-200 we normally see). People who travel from outside Grand-Goave are provided a place to sleep inside the school. We usually have 50 to 100 people who stay overnight. Thursday night 220 people slept. Wow!!!
The people were blessed by the music, preaching, prayer, and fellowship throughout the long weekend. What a joy for them to be so focused on GOODNESS in the midst of a nationally tragic time.
Our new friends from Knoxville, TN, Francois, Brandon, and Charlie were on their way to spend a night at the Mariott in Port-au-Prince when the unrest was getting going Friday night. They had to turn around and head to us in Grand-Goave. We were happy to have a place for them to stay and food to share with them. We were also blessed by a great message from Pastor Brandon at the Conference!
Haiti Upside Down
What happens when gas prices rise by as much as 50% overnight?
The people of Haiti have known for quite a while that the price increase was coming. They expressed their displeasure, too. But you know that old saying, it's the "squeaky wheel that get the oil," right?
Well, yesterday, the entire population of Haiti became a squeaky wheel. They expressed themselves in a way that was finally heard. And it didn't take days or weeks to get a response. The price increase was reversed. Unfortunately, their voice left the entire country quite messy.
Digicel went down yesterday, meaning I can’t make international calls and I have no internet at the house. I’m at the school right now where I am able to get online. I need to get back down to the missionary compound, where I will no longer have internet access.
Our Bless Back Worldwide team's Saturday morning flight was cancelled, so they are still here with us (and the reason I need to get back soon). They are all doing fine, having spent most of yesterday under the choukoun overlooking the beautiful ocean. The Grand-Goave roads are getting cleaned up, so they were able to enjoy the final service of our 19th annual church conference this morning, too.
The team from Covenant Day School wasn't able to get into Haiti Saturday. They will be rescheduling their trip with us. Another team that was going to spend the night with us Friday, couldn't get out of Port-au-Prince. Thankfully, they were able to find a safe place to stay in the capital city.
Our main generator blew last night. Since we no longer are connected to the grid (and don't desire to be either), this is a major issue for us. We hope to be able to get a mechanic out here this week to see if it can be fixed. At that point we'll be able to determine how much it's going to cost to get everything up and running again.
In the meantime we are using a small generator that is not adequate to run everything.
Our battery banks at both the school and the missionary compound are spent. We suddenly need 96 deep cell batteries to replace them all. Help!!!
Right Side Up!
As you can probably tell by this update, it's been a very stressful season, with one thing on top of another drawing on our resources.
I can't help but think of Jesus speaking to the storm. "Peace. Be still."
Jesus' life wasn't a smooth bed of rose petals. There were plenty of thorns threatening Him along the way, but He knew who He was. He didn't feel threatened by any of it. He walked by faith with the expectancy that what He gave voice to would happen as He declared.
Living in Christ, I too am not obligated to feel threatened by outward forces. The GREATER ONE is living in me. In HIM I live, and move, and have my being - not in my surroundings. Can my surroundings affect me? Heh. Certainly they can. But there is nothing more real than Jesus Christ and Him crucified. My life is not my own and neither should yours be your own. For we do not have the power to sustain our own lives.