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Mortality

June 11, 2023


Our local team in Haïti worked hard on relief and clean-up efforts after the devastating storms last week. We so appreciate each one of you who quickly reached out with funds for immediate action.

There is still a lot of work to be done, and families are in need of home repairs. Please consider being a part of this effort. Thank you.

Everyone does their part in the clean-up!

The Dominican Republic has had a lot of rain, as well. Unfortunately, the rain has not made it to Luperòn, where we are still awaiting a good drenching rain before planting. (This side of the island has lush, tropical vegetation that absorbs the rain better than the mostly bare mountains of Haïti.) In the meantime, I enjoyed watching this man climb up a coconut palm tree to trim some of the fronds. Lex reminded me that our son, AJay, used to climb the trees in our yard in Haïti. I knew this, but could never actually WATCH him do it!

Preschool students LOVE coming to school where they experience love and care from their teachers, a great education, and daily meals.

Some of our students have been writing letters and drawing pictures for their sponsors this past week. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes as they share their creativity and thoughts with the people who are so greatly impacting their lives.

The baby feeding program helps prepare these children for lifelong learning. Without adequate nutrition during the first few years of life, the brain doesn't develop properly, negatively affecting the child's ability to learn. Lately, they've been enjoying an added treat of watermelon from the garden.

Our partners at Bless Back Worldwide come alongside to impact the lives of these students in Haïti, as well - and the community as a whole!

Mission USA partnered with us to establish the dental clinic in Thozin, Grand-Goâve.

Lex and I flew into Massachusetts just in time to participate in a Comedy Night Fundraiser. Our next Hope Encounter will be with a team from Chair City Church in Gardner. They worked together to put on this event and it was a blast! They raised money to help with the construction of the new building for the Haitian Baptist Church of Luperon. We are so grateful to this team, all the volunteers, and everyone who came out for the fun!

We are in Ohio today with our friends from Mission USA. (Steve and Cindy are such wonderful hosts, sharing their lakeside home with us whenever we are in the area.) I will update you next week about why we are here and hopefully have some happy-moment photos to share.

Pastor Bauvais' funeral is taking place today at our main campus. We miss him already. In Haïti the wake can last for days. Last night the wake included a time of worship.

 

When loved ones pass into eternity, we are reminded of our own mortality. What footprint from our own lives will be left after we are gone? Do the things that we value have lasting value? Will our grandchildren treasure our collection of heirlooms? Or will they be a cause of frustration as they are hauled to the dump? What legacy will be left behind when we go?


As far as I can tell, how we treat people is the greatest factor in the legacy we leave behind. We all have special memories of moments with different people that stay with us throughout our lives. We also remember being mistreated. These passing moments can impact our entire lives. How we manage them can impact our eternal lives.

I want to consider the lasting impact I might be making in the lives of others. Even in performing "good deeds," we need to do so with a spirit of humility, preferring one another. Maybe I have what you need, but am I allowing you to maintain dignity in my giving? Do I see YOU? Or do I see my own action and feel proud of myself for doing good? Do I listen and recognize you? Or am I in a hurry to complete my task?


Island time is such a frustration to my North American culture - and I've been dealing with island time for over three decades! I am so task-oriented! Sure, my tasks are necessary, but will I spend my life noticing the tasks but not the people? Not much of a legacy there.


I'm talking about myself, but certainly, I'm not alone. Let's pray for one another this week. LORD, please open the eyes of our understanding. Let us truly see the people you have placed on our path today and allow compassion to rise up within us.

 

We are surrounded by the evidence of God's existence. In the Dominican Republic, I am often wowed by the ocean. Even the rocks show how creative HE is.

Romans 1:20 "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."




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