It's been almost a year since I've been to Haiti. Over the years so many have commented about the grace God has given me - referring to living in Haiti. This past year, however, I have experienced His grace beyond what I've previously known. After living the better part of two decades in Haiti, Grand-Goave had established itself in my heart as my home. I was comfortable there. For most of those years, transitioning to living in the US was much more difficult for me than returning to life in Haiti.
There have been times in the past that I had to leave Haiti (political unrest and violence, medical issues...) and I was miserable until I finally got my way and hopped back on that plane. This year has been different. I accepted that I can't be there right now. I accepted that Lex and I would have to spend more time apart from each other. I rested in the Lord and said, "Not my will, but yours." It has made all the difference!
I am who I am - a child of God Almighty. No matter where I am HE is with me. HE is able to keep me and HE is able to use me anywhere. HE has used this time in the US to expand my understanding of our ministry and to enlarge my vision for what we do. HE has shown me a perspective I didn't previously have and HE has enlarged my heart for people everywhere.
As Lex continues to focus deeply on our work in Haiti, I have had more of an opportunity to regard you, our donors and prayer partners. God has truly opened my heart toward you. I am filled with compassion as I consider circumstances and situations you find yourselves in and I pray. I pray for the Lord to meet your needs, to touch your loved ones, and to bring you health. And then I look back at our work in Haiti that YOU are making possible with your prayers and financial support, and I am inspired.
While living in a first-world country provides opportunities and access to many basic needs, it does not guarantee contentment, health, or wealth. We are all people and we all face varying levels of difficulties. This last year in the States I have witnessed the suffering many of you are experiencing. Your suffering is real. It hurts. It is difficult for you. Even so, in the midst of it, you remember the people of Haiti in your prayers to God and in your donations to MOHI. That is generosity. I truly am privileged to know so many generous people and you all inspire me to follow hard after God. Thank you.
Feeding the students and little ones in the baby feeding program has become more difficult as travel within the country continues to be dangerous - sometimes impossible. Farmers who normally bring their beans into Port-au-Prince from the provinces are not able to make it through, making beans extremely rare to find - especially in bulk. This past week many gas stations were forced to close due to a lack of fuel availability. We are thankful for World-Wide Lighthouse Missions and their commitment to send us barrels full of food each quarter.
We've also started purchasing food to ship to Haiti.
We are feeding well over 1,000 people a day. This requires LOTS of food!
Daily meals help children develop both physically ...
... and mentally.
Shelsen just celebrated his 5th birthday. He celebrated with his 2nd-year preschool class and received some toys and personal care items to take home with him.
Dukens recently had his 14 th birthday. He is an 8th-grade student at our Thozin (Grand-Goave) campus. He has been in school at MOHI since his first year of preschool 9 years ago. It's so neat to hear him talk about how much he loves going to school. He says his dream is to one day become a doctor.
Madame St. Fort is busy working in the bathrooms. She helps the little ones to properly use the facilities and keeps everything super clean for them. She is a part of the women's ministry at the MOHI church in Thozin and is the sweetest little woman. I especially love watching her dance and sing with the women's choir.
It's great to see Pastor Bauvais back at the clinic as the prayer warrior we know he is, rather than as a patient! Thank you for praying for him. God continues to care for him. I so appreciate his dedication to caring for people. Our clinic staff is also very dedicated. I am grateful!
The dentists at MOHI are bringing relief to those suffering with pain and starting youngsters out on the right foot to good oral health.
The work at our Port-au-Prince campus, the Christian Light School, has been full steam ahead all week. As is almost always the case with repairs/remodels of existing buildings, we have certainly encountered some opportunities to improve on what is there. We hired a plumber to remove sinks/toilets so they wouldn't break during the demolition. We decided it best to fix some other plumbing issues while he was there. He worked the entire week and there's still plenty more to do. We are grateful for a donor who gave for plumbing repairs previously. We will likely need another $2,000 to take care of the critical issues. If you'd like to help you can simply click here to donate. Thank you.
The ironwork and frames are completed and the pouring of the beams has begun!
There are a lot of moving parts to manage at MOHI. Do you ever wonder how we can do it? TEAMWORK! We have a great leadership team on the ground in Haiti (as well as some great administrative help here in the States!) working together with Pastor Lex and me to supervise the different areas of ministry, labor, and administration. We have weekly online meetings to keep each other in the loop.
(Left to right, top to bottom... Nurse Cadet, Renee, Jephte, Pastor Edon, Madona, Roselande, Bernard, Pastor Lex.)
Each team member has a heart for the people they work with and the children they serve. It's HARD work and they often lay aside their own plans in order to serve. Would you please remember this team in your prayers? Not one of us has the innate ability to keep the mission moving forward, but the Lord is present in our midst and abides in each of us. We are never alone. HIS understanding and wisdom sustain this mission.