So Good to Me
December 11, 2022
We have been working hard this past week, preparing the new mission house in Luperòn, Dominican Republic to receive guests and to train staff to care for them. What a blessing it has been to have Keith and Jen with us! They have helped us to identify many of the important details that will make our visitors more comfortable at "home" and more energized to work in the "field." They have also been a great sounding board for the plethora of ideas spinning around in our minds. The Lord has been showing Himself to us over and over again.
This double rainbow really brightened our morning! Here's what Keith shared with us, "We all know the true biblical meaning of a rainbow, but I am happy to embrace the cultural version as well.
A Double Rainbow
It can symbolize growth and new beginnings.
A double rainbow is often thought of as an indicator of good luck and prosperity. Therefore, if you see a double rainbow you can assume that abundance and fortune are on your way"
There's a lot to learn when you join a community. We have a great friend who gives us history lessons, introduces us to community leaders, and even gives us guided tours of the bay on a local fisherman's boat.
We checked in with Saintilien, who was up "walking" (never putting his left foot down) with crutches - while his leg bone continues to protrude from his hip area. It seems he has some unrelated health issues that need to be addressed before surgery can be scheduled. Please continue to pray for this young man who has suffered so much pain over the past eight months.
As we drove to Saintilien's house we spotted his neighbor dancing and singing praise to Jesus in front of her house. The music was BLASTING! Of course, I just had to go meet Sister Moïse. I approached her saying, "It seems your heart is very happy today." She enthusiastically responded, "Yes. God makes me happy."
"That's wonderful!" I responded. "How does He make you happy?"
She told me over and over again that He has done so much for her and that He's been so good to her. I finally got to one of the specific reasons why she's so grateful. She has one child - a son who lives in New York. And her son has one child, also a son. She went inside and came out with a picture of her son and proceeded to tell me that he moved her from Haïti and brought her to the DR. She began praising God again. At that moment, I may have felt a little convicted about how limited I can be in expressing my gratitude to the Lord. Just like Sister Moïse, I have so much to be grateful for. The Lord has redeemed my life from destruction and crowned me with loving kindness and tender mercies... He has been so good to me, as well.
My time with Sister Moïse lightened my heart and kept a smile in my heart all day long.
That day we traveled to the city of Santiago - formerly the capital of the Dominican Republic. We went shopping for beds, coffee mugs, screwdrivers, patio chairs, groceries for the coming week, and the list goes on. We found many business names that we recognized like Pizza Hut, Burger King, KFC, McDonald's, and IKEA - IKEA??? WooHoo. We went into IKEA with high hopes of buying beds. Unfortunately, they don't actually stock any of the items from their showrooms and we needed at least one more bed immediately. We did find what we were looking for somewhere else though.
As we headed back home, we came across 3 immigration trucks with black people (most likely Haitian) in the cargo area. I immediately thought of the recent headlines I'd seen... Dominican Republic Steps up Haitian Deportations... Why is the Dominican Republic Deporting Black People to Haiti... At a time when world leaders are saying, "Do not send any Haitians in your country back to Haiti right now," it was hard to see this.
The stories I've heard coming out of Haiti literally turn my stomach and cause me to weep. This country that I first visited 35 years ago was never home to people who would commit the atrocities happening today. We hear about kidnapping, theft, and even murder. But there are even worse things happening that I can't even bear to speak of here. BBC News recently published an article about some firsthand victims. If you choose to read it, I suggest you do so when you have adequate time to digest what daily life looks like for millions of people in Haiti today.
In the midst of such horrors, God's hand can still be seen. I am so grateful for the opportunity to open schools at MOHI in Haiti once again. The students and staff have been so focused and thoroughly enjoying their time teaching and learning. They hear about Jesus every day, read the Bible, and recite memory verses like Matthew 1:21...
They sing praises to the Lord with great enthusiasm...
And they are even enjoying the Christmas season, singing about Baby Jesus.
They are working at the chalkboards...
They are celebrating each other's birthdays...
They are continuing to develop a love for reading...
And appreciating a meal...
This week they were reminded of the importance of handwashing, as cholera has returned to ravage the country yet again. The nurses also checked their teeth and referred some of the students to the dental clinic.
Both clinics had their hands full this week...
Pastor Bauvais is never in a hurry when someone asks for prayer...
We love to praise the Lord!
The babies in the feeding programs enjoy not having tummy aches - as do their caregivers. The insistent cry of a hungry child is quite unbearable.
Can you see what a difference your generosity is making in the lives of so many right now? Please, keep reading these posts, and keep looking at these pictures. Don't let "out of sight, out of mind" keep you from being the one who helps another human being to experience that there truly is a God who loves and cares for them today.
Jephte, MOHI's Haiti Country Director, joined us in Luperòn this week. What a joy it was for me to catch up with him and be reminded of how much I enjoy working with him. He's someone I can explain a difficulty to and together we can come up with a way to fix or manage it.
This week's guests (Angie, Lisa, and Carole-Ann) arrived at the airport in Puerta Plata yesterday. We hadn't told them that Jephte was coming and I was looking forward to the expressions when they saw him. They did NOT disappoint! There was both laughter and tears and so much happiness. It was a great surprise for them.
Being the seasoned missionaries that they are all, Angie, Lisa, and Carole-Ann each brought a set of sheets with them to sleep on and leave behind for future teams.
This morning we had a yummy breakfast on the veranda and enjoyed the view. We also talked about the need for a table out there and put that on our list. Starting out in a new country means having to furnish and supply the guest quarters. From seating to a shower head, and from spatulas to a blender, writing items down as we think of them is critical.
We joined in with the worship at the Baptist Church of Luperòn this morning.
Pastor Miratel once again asked Pastor Lex to share a word of encouragement with the congregation. I love how the Lord fills our mouths with just the right words at just the right moment (a word in due season)!
As Christmas is quickly approaching, we can't help but think of Marie Rose and her children. It has been over a year since we first met them. They have integrated well into the school and church in Thozin. They are always so happy to be a part of whatever we do at MOHI. Still they are living in very cramped quarters (one small room with 13 people sleeping at once). We started building her house, but have not yet obtained the funds to complete it. We would love for this Christmas to be the last one with them living like this. Please consider helping to complete Marie Rose's house by donating here and designate it as "housing" Thank you!
That's it for today. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light. The many parts of His body (you and me!) working together keeps it that way. Have a wonderful week!