Monday, September 30, 2013
I wanted to write and share a few simple things. Sometimes I sit at the end of the day and wonder why I am so tired and often it is because of simple things, not anything big. I have been starting plants in 5 gallon buckets, peanut butter jars, oil (vegetable) bottles, etc. I cannot put them in the ground yet because the ground is supposed to be leveled out. This was supposed to happen next week for the last 2 months. Every day I hear “Mama Chris your plants” Most of the children know that no one is supposed to hurt them, so they call me when someone does, but some of the children just can’t stop themselves. This morning as I watered the plants I noticed that someone was trying to be helpful and wrote Mama Chris on every potted plant in creole, they also spelled my name wrong and wrote Christ instead of Chris. I just sighed and asked who had tried to help. Most times it is something like that. Other times they know what they are doing and know they shouldn’t and still do, like locking a younger child in the kitchen. They are kids and kids do things, like wonder what happens when you stick your finger in the hole of a pencil sharpener? I do my laundry by hand in cold water, two of my older children help me now, but hands get tired after hand wringing laundry for 7 people, think of sheets, bath towels and jeans. So next my laundry is sitting in tubs waiting for me to hang it on the line. All of the sudden I have half a dozen little dirty hands wanting to hand me clothespins and wet clean clothes, some of them white. The children also have a hard time going around the line of wet clean clothes, instead of just through them. In the process some of the longer items, like the bath towels hit the dust, literally. Sometimes one nanny comes and asks for lotion, soap, toothpaste or something else. Then they all think it and I have a steady stream every 5 minutes for the next hour. Just try and get anything done, like homeschooling for 5 kids. In the beginning it was new and no big deal. After a while it was frustrating. Just the past couple of weeks it has finally become just part of life here. I am trying to learn to walk out my day with less frustration, lower expectations and more joy. I have an extremely strong passion in regards to justice versus injustice and right from wrong. And right now I am being put to the test not only daily, but sometimes minute to minute. Steph, back in Washington likes to say something is a 1st world problem versus a 3rd world problem. I read about a lot of 1st world problems on face book. So when I wake up in the morning and find a pipe has broken somewhere in the children’s village, and because of that there is no water, which in turn means there is no food, I think that ranks as a 3rd world problem. It is a little bit more life effecting then 1st world inconveniences, but the bible says I still have the same choice to make. Will I choose to find joy? Our walk is full of choices and sometimes they are easier to make then others. Bottom line I do love it here and this is where I know we are supposed to be. But God is using daily, no minute to minute circumstances to sharpen me. I have been reminded of a quote by George Muller “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” I do not have the power myself to choose joy, I need God to help me make the choice, in spite of the circumstances, to choose joy. Some moments I can see this and some moments I just cannot. I guess that is where faith comes in no, I know that is where faith comes in. Trusting in Him to finish the work.
Love and blessings,
Monday, September 23, 2013
A lot has been happening here in Haiti, thank you for your prayers.
Mike said the fundraiser on Saturday night went fantastic. Everyone enjoyed themselves. I have heard that Kiana Bosman even sang a solo in Creole. Way to go Kiana. We are super excited as this fundraiser's purpose is to expand our children's play area even more. It will include a large covered concrete play area, complete with concrete picnic tables and benches. There will be permanent markings for hop scotch, 4 square, and even a couple of basket ball hoops for games. The cover will make a wonderful shade area for playing. Thank you to all who participated in the fundraiser.
Speaking of fund raisers, thanks to the mission store Bob and Rose Crabtree held in July, all of the children now have new church clothing. The church clothes arrived last week and we passed the clothing out to all of the children in our children's village. The outfits were complete with shoes. I will try and get some photos on the blog tomorrow of the children.
Yesterday we went to church in Pass Rein. It was a great service. After which we were told that there was a women who was involved in voodoo who lived a few miles away that wanted to give her life to God. So we, along with half of the church went to her house. We started worshiping. She gave her life to the Lord along with much weeping. Then an older women who lived there also, asked if she could give her life to the Lord. Next a younger man choose to give his life to the Lord. We worshiped some more and then she gathered her voodoo items and poured kerosene on them and lit them on fire. You could literally see the emotional and spiritual load she was carrying lifted off, she even looked younger. Once again, thank you to all who faithfully keep praying.
Today Nathan took the Marose youth group to an area about 45 mins from here for a little break. They swam in the river, spent time praying and worshiping and just hanging out with each other building relationships. We would love prayers for the youth groups in each of our Good Shepherd churches.
All of this week, Sunday thru Sunday we will be having a revival in our Perou church. Please pray for the community of Perou. Their community is very similar to Pass Rein. Pray for the Spirit of God to be there and for people to choose to follow Jesus.
Tomorrow Nathan will be a guest speaker in one of our Pastors association churches, please pray for the spirit of God to move in that church tomorrow evening.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Hello once again,
I am writing to let you know that the team and Mike will be flying out of Port-au-Prince early in the morning. I think they will be leaving here around around 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning. Port-au-Prince is 3 hours ahead of Washington state and British Columbia for those of you who are interested. The time zones on the internet do not all agree because this year is the first year Haiti acknowledged daylight savings. It may be straight by now, but I know when we first moved here our phones and computers and other wireless electronics did not agree on the correct time and when we went on the internet we found two different times. The team would really appreciate your prayers for safe travel and on time flights and connections.
The team has done really well this past 9 days. They have been a huge blessing. They have been great prayer warriors in Perou and Pass Rein. They have been great servants and encouragers here in the children's village and to us. And the children have loved VBS. Last night the team passed out glo-sticks. Even the adults love the glo-sticks here. It is so dark here at night that even with a full moon the sticks really glow bright.
I also forgot to mention Mike and I received a cardo (gift) yesterday in Perou. One of the families gave us a live turkey. They meant it for eating, and originally that was what we were going to do with it. But Kevins (one of the children in our children's village) came up to me last night and said he did not want to see it die. He asked if we could find another turkey and have baby turkey's. So this is what we have decided to do now. So out on the grounds among the children's voices you can here gobbling :) :) :)
For those of you who are wondering why Mike is flying home again. He has been asked to fly to Lynden by two wonderful women, Norma and Gin Bosman. They are putting on a fundraiser for the ministry in memory of Norma's daughter Trish and Norma's grandchild. It will be held in Lynden this Saturday night. If you would like more information you can e-mail us at the e-mail address on the right side of this page. Please pray that the evening is a blessing to Norma and her family and also to the ministry, as it will introduce our ministry to many new people. It is based off a God arranged relationship, there is just no other way to describe it. I think each one of us has "had our socks blessed off of us", by the others, as the cliche goes. It has been God orchestrated from the beginning.
Your prayers are so appreciated thank you so much for investing in God's kingdom.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Thank you so much for all of your prayers. We wanted to update you on Haiti and the team. Again no internet for 4 days. We ended up paying someone to come out from Gonaives to work on our internet, he said only part of it was fixable, part of the problem is the internet in Marose is only running as 2G instead of 3G like Gonaives. He said the company needed to update it to 3G. That and the fact that we have been at the revival each evening when the power is on has made it hard to send updates. So I will try to catch you up.
The team has been great. They have been holding VBS each day with the children. The children have really enjoyed it. They have been very creative with the crafts. The program has been based on the bible written for youth in comic book style, called the Action Bible. The artwork in it is pretty incredible. Today they asked the children if they wanted to see the translator do the actions to the songs, as he translated this to the children he was looking sideways at Becca one of the team members, she said his expression was one of "I can't believe your asking me to say this." The children all shouted yes, so he had to act out the song :)
Darrell, who was here in May helping to put some cabinets in for us is also here again with his wife Sue. He has been busy finishing up some projects and repairing things. He worked on our projector and was able to finally get all the bugs worked out between it and my laptop. So we are able to show movies to the children without everything being mickey moused together. I am not that electronically savvy. The only way I could figure the sound out was to hook Mikes laptop speaker to my laptop and put a microphone in front of it that was hooked up to a larger speaker from church. Mike tried buying different wires in the market in town, but we hadn't been able to get it to work. Thanks to Darrell the children watched Happy Feet last night and ate popcorn with Mike and Darrell, while Becca, Sue and I went to the revival.
The last three evenings we have spent in Pass Rein at a crusade. We held the crusade/revival outside in a large field. It was a ton of fun, kind of like an outdoor summer concert for God. We had a wooden stage built. Some bare light bulbs strung out on wires. Each evening a different pastor preached, Mike preached the first night. Nathan and a team led worship and it was excellent. The Holy Spirit moved and many came forward for prayer. We had 32 salvation's and many re-dedications. Each night was about 5 hours of worship, prayer and preaching. There were 600 to 700 people attending every evening. Worshiping with that many people on fire for God was amazing.
Yesterday the team also went to the market and spent some time checking out the city of Gonaives. Today they visited Peru. They meet some of the youth group and spent time praying over them individually. We also visited Wadner, the boy who is crippled and spent time praying for his healing. He is so full of Joy when we see him, each time we visit it seems God heals him a little more.
Many Blessings to you,
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Just a quick note to let you know our September team arrived today. They are settling in and will probably spend most of the day tomorrow playing with the children. Tomorrow night and Friday night, Mike will be preaching in Pass Rein. The team will be in Pass Rein for ministry. Please pray that God moves while Mike teaches and that God leads the team during the ministry time.
The internet has been giving us problems for about 5 days now, so I have not been able to send out any e-mails. Mike has been able to receive some on his phone, but it is hard to type letters on a cell phone. We have changed plans twice during the five days. Some prayer for this would be appreciated as it is our most effective way to communicate. Some nights it has literally taken an hour just to get the reply box to come up on an e-mail. We pay at least twice as much for e-mail in Haiti and it is every bit as slow as dial up once was.
It has been about three weeks now, since the last case of mumps in our children's village. I think we may be clear of them. Thank you so much for the prayers. I really, really appreciate them, and so do the children :)
Mike and I have been trying to get a little bit of time away. For all intents and purposes we are living in a fish bowl. We had a couple here for the Awana training of leaders last week. They mentioned that as they watched through out the week, that we had virtually no privacy, we were on display 24/7. They are very right. We have been trying to work on this and we have figured out that going for a drive on a motorcycle is one way we can get a small bit of privacy. It attracts a bit of attention outside of the city of Gonaives, as there are not many whites driving around on motorcycles through the villages, but we are enjoying the time together. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Thank you so much for your prayers this morning. They really made a difference. We wanted to give you an update to last night's prayer request. We know that a lot of you have been faithfully praying.
Last night at church we had another witch doctor give his life to the Lord. He asked Nathan to go to his home in the morning and help him clean his house physically and spiritually from all his voodoo paraphernalia. When Nathan arrived this morning with some of the church leaders, they were greeted by the man's wife, who was also a witch doctor. She proceeded to cuss and swear at them. She also blasphemed God. The presence of God came and she fell to the ground. She lay there and screamed. As they began to pray for her, the screaming turned to tears. After much prayer she decided to give her life to the Lord. Then she too wanted the house and property cleaned from anything to do with voodoo. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! So now three witch doctors have given their lives to Jesus Christ, along with at least four other people involved in voodoo from that area. The light of God is definitely present and moving in that area of Pass Rein. Please pray for these men and women as they will be a strong witness to other witch doctors in the area. One thing I have learned over the years, is that the sins you are saved out of, you usually have the greatest voice to speak to others about. Probably because you have been there, understand the struggle and are proof they can be overcome.
And again thank you, thank you and thank you for your faithful prayers.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Hope all is well as you start into the fall season. Summer is still going strong here, in the mid to high 90's. I think we must have acclimated better than I thought, as it does not seem as hot as that.
We want to thank all of you who have been praying for Pass Rein and the witch doctors who live in that area. We had another witch doctor from the same area of Pass Rein come to the Lord tonight. Four other women from the same area involved in voodoo also came to the Lord this morning during church. Woo-who! PRAISE GOD!!!! He is sooooo good! There has been a ton of spiritual warfare this week aimed at us, (me in particular, but also at Mike and Nathan) which now makes sense. The witch doctor has asked Nathan and some of the church to come to his house and destroy all of the things he has, connected to voodoo, witchcraft and satan. Please pray for protection, discernment and wisdom for Nathan, the church member's and the witch doctor. Please also pray for the witness that this will be as more and more light enters this area of Pass Rein. What better witness to other witch doctors could there be than the two who are now walking with Jesus. Please also keep the witch doctor who was saved in our Marotte church in your prayers.
And now for the funny story :) This one is about Mike:)
We have had bees decide to take up residency in the bathroom of the medical clinic and one container, 100's of them, in a swarm bigger than a basketball. All of the men who work for us were afraid of them except one who was not available to help the night before last. So Mike had to take care of them by himself. There were many onlookers at a distance. First he waited til dark so they would be domicile. He took care of the ones in the medical clinic first, which were in the cabinet. He covered the whole cabinet, opened the door a bit and sprayed. The cabinet literally hummed and vibrated. Then the bees started swarming out. Mike got out of the clinic and when he checked in the morning there were about 100 dead bees on the floor, the rest had left. Next he went to the container. So even though he is not afraid of bees, he is looking all around and double checking to make sure he knows where they all are, only problem is, it is really dark outside. So he again tries to block all areas of escape and just as he starts to spray a giant toad the size of a large grapefruit decides to jump on Mike's leg and hug it. Needless to say this sufficiently freaked Mike out and he screened much to the delight of the girls sitting on the church steps watching him. Hope this adds a smile to your day.
Love from Haiti,