Saturday, October 27, 2012
Hope all of you are having a wonderful fall. It seems like within a week summer was over and fall had begun. Now a couple weeks later I think fall is ending and winter is beginning. A late summer and a short fall…wondering what winter will bring?
This past Monday we loaded a 40 foot shipping container. It arrived at our home Monday morning. It is amazing how large the inside of a 40 foot container is when empty. We loaded some of our belongings that we will need to live in Haiti, in the back of the container. It was with very mixed feelings that we loaded the container. I have been going through our belongings for months now, as first we prepared to sell them at the garage sale we had in August. Then with what we kept, I had to decide which things we would want in Haiti and which things we would leave here, in the basement of our home. Our second oldest son Dustin and his wife Melissa will be moving into our home and renting out theirs. (If anyone you know wants to rent a home a couple of blocks from the Lynden fairgrounds please let us know.) Any way it is more difficult then most would realize to decide which items to ship, if we will need them in Haiti, then most likely we will need them here between now and January, or when we come back to visit. The only way to get them to Haiti in January is to ship them now. So quite a few times Mike or one of my older children have asked where something is, only to hear me say it was sold, or it is in the container. I am known to be the saver or keeper in the family and never dreamed that I would be told that I have given away too much. All that aside, the emotional letting go has been even more difficult. We have a very close family, with all of my 6 older children married and most of them starting families. We have 6 grandchildren and one on the way, the same ages of my youngest 3 adopted children. Every time another birthday comes, I am reminded that this may be the last birthday I share with each of them. (We are raising personal support separate from the ministry funds, so coming home once a year will be dependent on raising enough to cover the flights home for all of us.) As I have gone through the seasons this year and as the holidays approach, I often stop and thank God for what I have been given in family and ask Him for help to walk through what is inevitable. It gets harder as the day of moving gets closer. I would greatly appreciate prayers for our family. For those of you that know me well, you know that for me to move and leave my children behind is not something I could ever do in the natural. It is only with God's help that I will be able to walk this path that has been set before me. So prayer is vital. Thank you for that ahead of time. I do really appreciate your prayers.
As far as the container goes, we were also given a very generous donation of cabinets. We have packed medical supplies, school supplies, and items that were purchased by some of you at the mission store, along with donated shoes and clothing. We also loaded the incinerator that was made for the ministry. And thanks to generous donations we were able to add two pallets of rice, which is 5,000 pounds of rice. We were also able to load one pallet of beans, which is 2,500 pounds of beans. We then added 200 gallons of vegetable oil and ½ pallet of spaghetti noodles. And because of another generous donor 123 jars of peanut butter will also go to Haiti. We will be shipping a very generous donation of 20,000 square feet of shade cloth, which will be the shade cover for the New Marose market. And the final loading will be dried soup from the Gleaner's. This container should ship early next week. Please pray as we add the last few items that they are what God desires for us to send and that the container arrives in Florida, Port-au-Prince and finally up to the orphanage with out any problems or additional costs. Shipping to Haiti continues to be a moving target with rules and prices constantly changing. Please pray for God's favor.
The response to Rose's letter has been great. Some of you have asked when the next trip to Haiti is, so that you can bring gifts for the orphans and staff. Mike will be flying out November 1st. We usually pack bins a couple of days ahead, so if we could have gifts by Monday, October 29th it would be helpful, as each bin needs to be packed and weighed. We take teams every other month to Haiti, and this schedule will continue even after we move, so any future gifts will still be able to be dropped off at our current home and Dustin will make sure they are packed and sent with the next team going to Haiti. The following trip will be in January and then again in March.
We have a wonderful opportunity this coming Sunday as we have been invited by our church to have a table before and after services to sponsor out school children along with a couple of other ministries. Currently we have all of our orphans sponsored, but we have only about 250 of 700 school children sponsored out. The cost of offering free school to the children in our villages is a huge drain on the general budget of the ministry, we have turned down children in some of our villages and have not been able to afford having school in Pass Rien. The cost of sponsoring one child to go to school is only $15 per month. Please pray that God moves many hearts and that many children will be sponsored and have their lives forever changed.
We really, really appreciate the generosity of everyone who donated towards the items in the container and the shipping costs.
Friday, October 12, 2012
I am writing to you for a couple of reasons. First I would like to ask for prayer for two of our faithful followers. One is a very sweet lady named Jane. She is undergoing chemo right now and it is not her first time fighting this battle. The second prayer request is for a wonderful lady named Gin. She is not able to get out of bed due to pain caused by a sciatic nerve. Both of these women have been sick for at least a month. Usually our e-mails are only about the ministry, but we feel like God is telling us to share about them and ask for prayer. Thank you ahead of time for your prayers I know they have the power to move mountains and bring healing.
I am also writing because a dear friend of ours, Rose Crabtree went on the September trip with us to Haiti. She has written a letter and asked us to share it with you. Her intent is to encourage others to participate in relationships with the children and staff in Haiti. She is writing both to those who sponsor and to those who do not, you do not have to be a sponsor to participate in being the hands and feet of Jesus loving these children. I have copied her letter below. Also a HUGE thanks to those of you that have faithfully given, prayed for, served and blessed these children and the staff in love.
Many Blessings and Thanks,
Communication With Your Sponsored Child – Student – Teacher - Nanny – Staff
I was on the Sept 4 – 14 mission team to Haiti with New Generations.
Boy! was my eyes opened and my heart broken. This is to describe to you what happens when a team comes with gifts from their sponsors. First the word goes out to the orphanage kids that the sponsor gifts are going to be passed out so the younger kids (probably under 12) come running in hopes that they will have something there for them. They stand at the steps and look on as individual names are called out to come get their sponsor’s gift. They open them and then have their picture taken. What joy there is in opening a gift! But many are disappointed as their name is never called. The older kids hang out on their porch within calling distance just in case their name is called. They just don’t come and hang out. They may have done that in the past and been disappointed. I asked Mike & Chris about this and was told that some kids get a gift each time a team comes to the orphanage and a few 2 or 3 times a year and many who never have received a gift at all.
The reason I can type this letter to you is sadly I’ve been one of those who have never sent a gift to any of our sponsored kids. How selfish I have been. But God allows a contrite heart to turn direction and to start anew today. So this is to encourage all to put together a few small gifts and put them in a double grocery bag or gallon size zip loc bags with the sponsored name written in large letters on outside.
These are suggestions for what to send: Hair barrettes, ribbons, large toothed combs, brushes (both for girls & boys)- shampoo /conditioner combo ( make sure lid is on tight- bag it in a separate bag) – hair rubber bands – hair bands – sunglasses – Flip flops ( ask for current team to trace your kids foot & send back with next team – BE sure you add a size as they grow rapidly at this age) - Soccer shoes are highly Prized along with soccer sox and or any shirt or shorts that denote soccer –closed toed shoes are a must for school uniform -colored T-shirts – a nicer dress shirt for church –funky hats - tie – neck scarf – pierced earrings -toothpaste – tooth brush - finger nail clippers – Socks ( dress, sports) – Coloring books w/ colored pencils and sharpener – ANY child’s book that has a lot of pictures in it. (The Golden books are good, any animal, insect, fish etc ) – Blouses or tops, skirts, slacks. Belts are very much appreciated for boys. Beef jerky – dried fruits – gum – Notebooks paper – pencils w/ sharpeners, journals - flash cards ( addition, subtraction for all ages ) game cards - toy that would fit in palm of hand – Send a picture of yourself and your family – put it in a small ziploc to protect it ( commonly was asked who I sponsored ) – in Nov. –March, one might be able to send hard candy ( not so hot – I saw melted candy in Sept.)
It’s not the quantity of what is sent, it’s the giving and the receiving. When we took on the responsibility of supporting a child or staff or teacher or student, we became more than just a monthly check. We speak God’s love into their lives. In Haiti they have so little physical possessions that relationships take priority. We get the privilege of being their sponsors. Please let’s give these orphans – nannys– teachers – any of the staff that you may support - a smile when the next team goes. They go about 6 – 8 times a year and your gifts may be brought to the Lelands home at any time.
Mercy to the needy is a loan to God and God pays back those loans in full. Proverbs 19:17 The Message
If you have a question in particular for your sponsored person and their needs, please call the Lelands or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also pursue any answers that you may need. My email is email@example.com or phone # is 398-8989
Yours in Christ
Thursday, October 11, 2012
We wanted to thank everyone who attended the fundraiser dinner. We had a wonderful evening and enjoyed seeing all of you. We also wanted to thank everyone for their donated items and especially for all the help we received. All of your involvement helped to make the evening successful and enjoyable.
Also, since I usually do not post much in between trips, I seldom have the opportunity to share about God moving in the hearts of the Haitians when a team is not in Haiti. This past Sunday Nathan shared with us that 6 more people gave their hearts to the Lord. God is so good as He continues to draw the Haitian people to Him. Thank you for your continuing prayers.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Hope you are having a wonderful day as our late summer days turn into fall. It can be a reflective time of year for me, probably more so as we continue to prepare to move. I wanted to share with you a little out of my devotional today. It is from a devotional called Jesus Lives by Sarah Young. " My kingdom cannot be shaken! This present world seems to be shaking more and more, leaving you off balance much of the time. As you worship Me, however, your perspective changes and you regain your balance. To worship Me acceptably with reverence and awe, thankfulness is essential. I designed you to be thankful on a daily, moment-by-moment basis.....My unshakable kingdom is for all people who love Me, who know Me as Savior." Worship and thankfulness, I invite you to ponder them.
I am also writing to remind you that our fundraiser dinner is this Saturday, there will be a full course prime rib dinner, live auction, entertainment, and a photo booth. The evening will be held at the Northwood Hall in Bellingham, just off of Northwest road, behind the Northwood restaurant. The Northwood restaurant is preparing the meal for us. Please come join us this Saturday evening, we would love to see you as our time in the states is coming to a close. There is still room available, you can contact us by phone at 360-305-9070 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org The invitation is also posted below on this blog. Thank you again for coming along side of us to help the children of Haiti.