Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I wanted to tell you about a few more stories and events that happened in the last few days. I am retyping this from photos on my camera, so sorry for the typos I may not have caught. The power was turned off before I could send this e-mail and I had a suspicion that it had not saved. I took photos of the e-mail from my laptop and am now typing it from the screen on the back of my camera.
First, thank you so much for your prayers for the children and the outbreak of mumps. I only had one new case of mumps today.
If you remember a couple of e-mails ago I explained that I had tried to buy dirt, for starting plants, only to find out that you cannot buy dirt in Haiti, neither can you buy cut flowers. Mike told me I would be able to find dirt down by the river. So I gathered up my children, my grandson and 5 of the older boys here. We grabbed four 5 gallon buckets and a shovel and hiked down to the river. All I could find was a heavy clay. I decided that would be better than the gravel in the children's village and asked the older boys to dig some up and put it in the buckets. The clay was wet and extremely heavy, but they all volunteered to haul it for me. Not far from the river my grandson decided to leave the designated path. We were out in the open, so no big deal. At one point his path started to narrow and it became obvious that he would have to cross over some mud and get back on our path. He is 8 years old. He took a few steps across what seemed like fairly dry mud only to find he was sinking almost up to his knees in it. He was so stuck he couldn't even wiggle. He had such a awe struck look on his face that we all busted up to the point of tears. One of the older boys had to go over to where he entered the mud and pull him straight up to get him out. Afterwards, I took all the older boys down the road to a roadside stand to buy them a soda, which made no sense to anyone but me. They wanted to send someone to buy the soda for me to give to the boys. I asked Nathan to please humor me and let me take them. It was a good relationship building time.
Over the last weekend Nathan took my children and I along with my older daughter Rebecca and my grandson Felice to a city about 1 1/2 hours south of Marose. We met up with his wife there and stayed in her brother's home. He is a pastor of a large church. Saturday evening we witnessed 7 weddings. I took many photos like I do at most of the Haitian weddings I go too, if I am asked. I enjoy doing it and then bringing the photos back and giving them to the bride and groom. Sunday morning they had a huge anniversary celebration. Nathan's wife sang in the choir which is only accompanied by Nathan's accordion. They sound absolutely incredible. She also was in charge of the meal for the celebration. There were about 1000 guest. And since she was so busy. I was able to care for their new 4 week old baby for the first half of the day. Newborns are so precious. Holding her was such a gift to me. They have given her the name Esther.
Over the past week and a half we have been holding revival meetings at our church in Marose. There has definitely been an out pouring of the Holy Spirit. The last two nights have been amazing. It is so obvious that God is calling out the men who are leaders. The services the last two nights have ended up with the men on their faces before God. God is doing a miraculous work. God has given Nathan such a heart for them and there has been many words for them. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. When worshiping tonight I thought of the words to the chorus of a Chris Tomlin song "Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are still to be done in this city." Please pray for the remaining week and a half of the revival that His perfect will is done.
Thank you so very much for all of your prayers, you will never know how much we need them.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Hello from Haiti,
I have been off line for about 5 days now. Finally have the wireless up and running again. Praise God!
Lots has happened, so I will try to catch you up. First an amazing event happened this Sunday. An answer to many of your prayers. The Madame, the most controlling witch doctor in Pass Rien, came to church. She has not given her life to the Lord yet as far as I know. But she came and sat through church. Please pray that she opens her heart to Jesus. God is SO AMAZING!!!!!!
Next, the children and I could really use prayers as we now have 7 more boys with the mumps. I really do not know how I will be able to handle 67 cases of the mumps. And the more children with the mumps, the higher the chance of complications. Please pray!!!!!!
As many of you know Mike has been in America for the month of June. My daughter Rebecca and her son were able to stay with me part of the month. She did a ton of women's bible study teaching and helped minister to all of the children. They traveled to Port-au-Prince Sunday and will fly out tomorrow. Please pray for safe travel for them. Also please pray for the adjustment back home. She has been in Haiti 3 of the last 4 months. Haiti is where her heart is and it is really hard for her to leave. Please also pray for me as I am flying solo again. The only blanc in Marose :)
I have a couple of stories to tell also. The first one is another shopping adventure. My driver and helper in the market got into the truck with me this week, then he looked on my lap and saw a water spicket with plumbers tape on it and got a big Cheshire cat grin on his face and started to laugh. I speak very little creole and he speaks very little english, so communication is tricky, but his expression said 1000 words. I am sure he thought "oh no here we go again". Most of my list was repeat items, things for the children in our children's village, so no problem there. The propane gauge and hose were a bit of a problem, but once I found a small propane tank I could use charades to be understood. The problem was the spicket. I brought it because I needed the plumbers tape that was on it, not the spicket. First they thought I wanted a spicket even though I said it was the tape I wanted, I used the creole word for tape and the creole word for the color of tape I wanted. I am married to a contractor. I know painters tape is blue, electrical tape is black and plumbers tape is white. I even went to the small section of plumbing pvc pipes. They brought me clear scotch tape, clear packing tape and beige masking tape. I showed them the black electrical tape and asked for white in creole. They said they did not have it. We walked back to the truck and I tried one more time to explain to my helper that it was the white tape and not the spicket I needed in my broken creole. He got it. I tried to explain they had to have it, as they had plumbing supplies. We both turned around and walked back. We both tried to explain this time and the man looked at me and said in creole "oh you want teflon?" Every once in a while the creole word is an english word, go figure, I walked away with my plumbers tape. A bonus on this shopping trip was seeing the president of Haiti speaking. We were no more than 20 feet from him. Something that would never have been possible in the US.
We are in the middle of three weeks of nightly church services in Marose and the Holy Spirit is really moving. Please pray for the hearts of the people in Marose. I will share some of the stories in my next e-mail.
For now I will close I have more stories, but it is almost Midnight here, thank you so much for all of your prayers.
I sooooooooooo appreciate them.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
We wanted to let everyone know that my daughter Becca is back down here for three and a half weeks, with my grandson. She is teaching women's bible study again and would love your prayers. Some of the village communities have really connected with her. Some of them no longer consider her an outsider, but one of them. This was evident when she taught this time in Pass Rien. It has been hot and very humid here because of the rainy season. So when she finished teaching this time, the women asked her if she would come bathe with them to cool off. This was a huge compliment. It meant they viewed her as a close friend. It also showed they knew she was comfortable with them. She knew that the area where they would bathe would be visible to the men working on the foundation for the church building. She declined saying that the machine was coming to pick her up soon. She was blessed to know that they were comfortable with her and wanted to do daily life with her. Please continue to keep her and the women she is ministering to in your prayers, many of them are the leaders of the women in their communities.
Today I was so blessed by Nathan and the children and staff here at the children's village. They had a surprise birthday party for me. They sang songs, prayed for me, hung flowers up and presented me with a decorative pin and a birthday cake. Nathan played the accordion. Some of the children sang solos, some sang as a group. Some just shared.They all gave me a hug and told me happy birthday or something. It was amazing, I am so blessed to have all of these children. I also received calls and texts from my children back home whom I miss very much. All in all in was a great day, thank you so much for all of your prayers. They are helping.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
Hope you are enjoying the nice spring weather. It is 82 degrees here, but feels like 95 degrees, because it is the rainy season. My daughter says it is similar to the humidity in Malaysia.
We have a young boy named Jim who appears to have the mumps. It only took one look and I was sure. I did double check in a medical manual and on the computer. Our doctor will be in tomorrow and will also check. But the area that swells up with mumps is pretty obvious. His face is swollen on both sides. PLEASE pray for him and for the other children, as mumps are contagious. I do not look forward to 67 children sick with mumps. Another good reason to purchase a refrigerator for our medical clinic is most immunizations require refrigeration.
We have been holding a sewing class in Pass Rien. The community has no power so they are learning to sew on a treadle machine. The class is almost ready to graduate and we would like to help them purchase some machines to share. This will be a viable income for families. So if you would be interested in helping, let us know. The machines are approximately $130 each and can be purchased in Port-au-Prince. YOU could change the lives of families in Pass Rien.
And now for my adventure. I have been working on learning Haitian Creole. I have about 250 words down, which considering I am not as young as I once was is not too bad. I told Nathan a couple of weeks ago that I now sound like a two year old when I talk. 250 words may sound like a lot, but it is amazing how many times I try to say a sentence and I only know 1/2 the words I need. So the other day I needed to go in to town to buy some things. Luksan, a great Haitian man who welds for us and also drives sometimes was told he got the honor of shopping with me :) I do not think Haiti is any different than America or Canada, most men do not really want to run errands all day with a women. In Haiti this task is made even more difficult, as there are no one stop shopping centers. In fact you can not even get screws in the same booth as an outlet cover, or a snap in the same booth as a piece of fabric. So I have my list and my Creole/English dictionary with me and off we go. First item get money, never an easy task in Haiti. Just standing in line at the bank can take an hour or two. Then I have to exchange my US dollars for Haitian dollars. There are money changers on the streets in the market area. You find one and figure out the exchange of US dollars to Haitian dollars. Next problem the Haitian dollar only exists in speech, because every country has to be able to compare dollars to dollars on the world market. So after you find out how many Haitian dollars you are going to get, you have to convert them to the currency they actually use, which is gouds. So know I have usable money. First item on my list is an aluminum ladder, probably not what most women have on their shopping list. I could actually translate aluminum, ladder was the problem, and then I wanted a step ladder and I wanted it 8 ft. tall. The 8 wasn't the problem the feet were. So we found the ladders and I found which one. Next on my list a beige outlet cover, apparently a metal outlet box was called by the same name so even though I could show them a plastic cover they insisted I wanted the metal box, because that is what I asked for, 15 mins. later they decided I could have the plastic cover. Next problem I needed a long screw with the flat end to install it. Even though I knew the word for screw was vis, Catlin's last name:) and I knew the word for long was long, it still took another 15 mins. at least to find out they did not have screws. A gentlemen standing by us took us aside afterwards and said he had a long vis at his house. So we drove to his house and he did indeed have not 1 but 3 long vis for me. Mission accomplished. The rest of the list was a matter of wandering through market stall after market stall. Luksan was extremely patient with me to say the least. Why did it matter that the silicone glue I wanted came in a tube, but I wanted it in a cylinder to fit in a caulking gun? And why did I want to put it in a gun? I drew pictures, used hand motions, like charades and finally found a cylinder of grease that went in a caulking gun with tire products. Now that he understood what I wanted we had to find it. It was kind of like the book Where's Waldo. There were a few items we could not find and it had nothing to do with communication, they just did not exist in Gonaives, which is Haiti's third largest city. But one of the funniest items, was dirt or soil. I said the word for both soil and dirt and I picked up some with my hand. I also said I wanted it to plant seeds in. Buying dirt was the one of the craziest things I wanted to do. But the dirt or soil in Marose is really sand, gravel and rocks. We even had a friend of ours who works for Washington State Agriculture come to take soil samples for analyzing and he looked at the ground the first time he went to Haiti with us and said "what dirt". When I finally explained that I wanted to plant flowers in it, he thought about my request for about 10 minuets and then said "no soil". All of this took about 5 hours. I could have accomplished it in about an hour including driving in Washington. Oh well, that is life in Haiti.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers as we continue to adjust, learn and figure out what is really important and what is not.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
We wanted to thank everyone who attended our fundraiser. It went well and everyone enjoyed themselves. The setting was our daughter-in-laws parent's pond. The same pond where Dustin and Melissa held their wedding almost a year ago. We really appreciate Robert and Debbie allowing us to hold our fundraiser at their pond. We also wanted to remind those of you that were not able to come, that you can still donate online or by mailing in a check. One of the main focuses of the fundraiser this year is to HELP the church in Pass Rien build a church building to meet in. We would like to supply the materials and have the community supply the labor. The day we broke ground for the church in Pass Rien we had over 100 helpers from the community. The family living next door to the property, whom we bought the property from, volunteered one of the 4 rooms in their home to store 100 bags of cement each weighing 95 lbs. This self sacrificing offer is a great picture of the church body in Pass Rien. They are still holding church nightly and are so hungry for God. They are so giving and serving. We would really love to bless them.
And by the way, I really am so thankful for all of you who have been praying for our family as Mike is away in the US.