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How Lex Sees

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Our childhoods set us on a path to our futures. Seeds planted in my life as a child still bear fruit - some good, some not so much. I don't think that's unique to me. You may recognize this in your life, as well.


I love when Lex starts telling stories from his childhood. He had SO MUCH FUN!!! And yet, in the midst of the fun, there was also suffering. Each child he looks at brings him back to his youth. He knows what will be fun for them and recognizes their suffering, too. He often tells me, "Hunger is misery." This is why feeding programs are so very important to him.


While raising our children, Lex often told me that when a child is sick, you cannot discipline them. This is how his mother raised him. Of course, he often faked being sick when he knew he was going to be in trouble for something because he was very aware that his mother would coddle him. (This may have been one of those parenting points we didn't see eye to eye on.)


Lex's mom didn't have access to affordable medical care for her children. She didn't want Lex to play soccer because she knew she couldn't afford to bring him to the city to a hospital if he got hurt. (He may have been a slightly difficult [rebellious] child!) I'm so glad that the families in Grand-Goâve have a place to bring their children if they're hurt or sick. Go ahead - play soccer!!!

Thanks mostly to genetics and an incredible love for sugar cane, Lex had several permanent teeth extracted in his youth. That was the only option they knew for relieving a toothache. The families in Grand-Goâve now have other options at MOHI's dental clinic.

The 2023-2024 school year begins tomorrow, August 7th, at MOHI. With a shortened 2022-2023 year, we want to have some extra learning time this year. In addition to this, the Ministry of Education has decided to require three more subjects to be taught in the schools. This past week we had a lot of maintenance tasks being completed.

 

Pastor Lex arrived in the Dominican Republic yesterday and immediately went to visit our friends in la Grua. Thirty-nine families lost their homes and all of their belongings - including money, passports, and visas. We are grateful for others in the area who stepped up to help with some of the immediate needs.


Pastor Lex was met with loud chants of "Mbappe! Mbappe!" The kids were happy to see him and quick to tell him their soccer balls were lost in the fire. As usual, each child with an "owie" had to show him. Mostly rashes and scrapes. Do you think playing soccer on rocky paths with empty juice bottles may have something to do with that?


He spent time speaking with the parents, and older members of the village, too. They expressed their gratitude to God that no one was injured and there was no loss of life. As soon as the fire started, the children all ran away to the woods. Within minutes the entire "maze" area of the village was ablaze.


The victims expressed their desire for shelter and bedding, which will be our next focus. We plan to hire someone from each of the 39 families to clean up a nearby field. This will prepare an area to erect large tents for shelter. It will also provide funds that they can use to fill in the gaps where there are needs in each family.

Another major concern is the risk of deportation. We see immigration police regularly picking up Haitians at night and driving them to the border. Loss of documents in the fire is of MAJOR concern to these folks. Replacing their documents involves plenty of time and money.


First, the victim must obtain a new passport. This usually takes several months to accomplish. Once they receive their passport, they must purchase a visa and wait for that to arrive. At this point, they're out about $700 plus whatever travel expenses they incurred - and they've been living every moment in (very real) fear of deportation. All visa holders must travel to the border every month to pay a fee and get their visa stamped.


Please contact me if you are interested in sponsoring a family to replace these important documents. renee@mohintl.org

 

Please do keep us in prayer, as we continue working with local government agencies in Massachusetts to facilitate the legal transition of Haitian immigrants into communities here. Whatever my political opinions concerning immigration and welfare (I see a lot of overlap, so I include both), I cannot fault people for fleeing a very bad situation in order to maintain the hope of surviving - and perhaps even thriving one day.

To arrive in a community where you are so different from everyone else (I've been there - and often am still there) is daunting, to say the least. Lex and I desire to ease the transition with communication skills, education, and a Christlike love/care for each individual. We want to help them to succeed in integrating, caring for their children, and becoming productive members of society.


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