Battle of Vertieres
Before I get started writing about the "battle," I'd like to take a moment to wish all of you in the USA a very Happy Thanksgiving! May you take a few moments Thursday to contemplate while you also enjoy special moments with loved ones. I would like to express my gratitude to each of you, as well. The Lord has given us a vision for the people in Haiti, but He didn't just leave us on our own to make it happen. HE gave us friends, partners, brothers, sisters, business associates, and complete strangers (to us, no stranger to HIM of course!) to join hands in this labor of love. Today, I am thinking of you and how grateful I am to Christ for you.
Rosemee sent me a picture this week saying, "If you can’t fight don’t go to the bank. One of the consequences of the gas shortage." Yikes!
"Each year on November 18th the people of Haiti celebrate the Battle of Vertieres - the last battle of the slave revolt against the French which ended in the birth of a nation. It's a day to celebrate victory. As you can see in the reenactment of a battle song below, the preschoolers learned all about it this week.
Last year, President Jovenel Moise spoke in the capital about this fight for freedom, saying “It’s true that we don’t have chains around our feet anymore, but we’re still slaves of hate, division…slaves of misery, slaves of social injustice which prevent us from truly growing economically, socially and politically.”
This year, it was a notorious former police officer now gang leader, Jimmy Cherizier, who led the celebrations.
The flag and patriotism remain a part of our students' daily activities and learning in school.
Prayer for the country and her people are a priority. This week MOHI's church in Thozin spent their "holiday" in prayer and fasting - crying out to the Lord for help. Is there a better place to turn? No!
When all others abandon you, remember: Christ will never abandon you!!!
I know that I personally need to protect my focus. I simply cannot put hours into watching the news and reading updates about the terrible circumstances facing our beloved Haiti. I must look up and focus on the ONE who gave HIS life for mine. The ONE who has redeemed me. The ONE who is always with me. The ONE who was and is and is to come. My hope is found in HIM. Without hope, I would lose the battle. In and of myself, victory in this world is simply impossible. In HIM all things are possible. In HIM I am full of and confident in hope! In HIM, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, modesty, consistency, and self-control flourish. In Christ, these fruits are evident in our lives and impact the lives of others!
I'd like to share with you some of the things happening at and through Mission of Hope International because of Christ and you in HIM!!!
In collaboration with Bless Back Worldwide, Nurse Marlouse has a great job as the school nurse at the Christian Light School. "Do no harm..." is part of the oath that doctors take before they can be licensed. It also guides us in our decision-making process throughout MOHI - especially in medical matters. Nurse Marlouse will be directly accountable to Dr. Evens at MOHI in Grand-Goave and is limited to educating, providing wound-care, and prescribing over-the-counter medicines. This is already a tremendous benefit to our students and staff in Port-au-Prince, as students and staff are already taking advantage of her skills and a well-stocked medicine cabinet!
Young and old alike are pouring into the Thozin clinic for help. Many are displaying signs of COVID. Others have chronic illnesses that bring them to the clinic monthly for checkups and prescription refills. Common ailments, such as acid reflux and severe menstrual cramps, and uncommon things such as wounds from trauma drive others to come. However, it truly is more blessed to give than to receive!
The dentists are treating outside patients, as well as students, on a daily basis. I wonder if perhaps an artistic flare is necessary to do this kind of work? Check out this before and after picture. Nice work!
In a country rife with food insecurity, the fact that our students can eat daily is truly a gift for which we are all so grateful!
Our students take turns dishing out the food in Thozin, but everyone gets to enjoy filling their tummies. Phildor shared this with us: "I left home without eating to come to school this morning. It's not because I didn't want to eat, but because we had no food. Do you see how it would be if they didn't help us at MOHI? What's worse is I don't know if I will get anything at home after school either. I will enjoy this food. Thank you so much MOHI!"
Babies in the Ravine received vitamins and nutritious meals Monday through Friday mornings.
Despite the delay caused by insecurity in the streets of Port-au-Prince, our students at the Christian Light School were able to complete their period tests this week. We are grateful!
In between tests, students were busy learning their parts for the upcoming Christmas program.
Dependency on the Lord is of utmost importance to us at MOHI. We love to see our staff studying God's Word together.
Prayer before starting the workday helps our teachers to look beyond their personal issues of the day and instead see where God is at work in their students' lives.
It stirs up empathy and compassion in them to be kind and loving in difficult situations.
Empathy and compassion stirred in all our hearts to help the widow, Marie Rose, to feed and educate her 12 living children (including those adorable triplet babies!), and is now creating a place for them to call home. Together we can continue raising the funds to complete this house for them!
Water cistern #3 is complete. Hats off to Bless Back Worldwide and their faithful supporters who gave the funds to bring water to another mountain village after they lost it all in the earthquake. Thank you!!!
We've had a wonderful week meeting with donors, partners, and friends. We were saddened to learn of Pastor Donald Bird's passing. MOHI church members in Thozin have fond memories of the exuberant messages he shared with us there, the hard work he put in with our Haitian crew building the roof on the choukoun. He will be missed.
Among the many friends we visted were John & Lisa Armour. John invented and patented the water filtration used at MOHI and Mission E4. He, Lisa, and their son Austin all spent a lot of sweat (and some blood, on Lisa's part) in the early stages of our school construction.
By the way, I absolutely LOVE the zoo and never pass up an opportunity to visit one. Check out this tiger. He/she was a riot!!! Such a magnificent creature. Can you guess which animal is my favorite to see at the zoo? (It's not the tiger.)
This morning we had a wonderful time with our friends at Amelia Plantation Chapel. They are such a welcoming and gracious group! It was a pleasure chatting with many individuals between services!
I am so amazed by the goodness of the Lord manifest in HIS people toward me! Thank you to each and every one. Happy Thanksgiving!