Friday, May 23, 2014

Spiritual battles

 Well it has certainly been quite a week or so here lately. We don't usually mention these kind of attacks, for fear that some might not really understand them, but right now I feel a strong need to let you know how things are sometimes in Haiti, and ask you to join us in this battle. This past week we have not had much sleep. Many of our nights here are filled with the drumming and chanting of ra-ra, witchcraft or party houses. (This week, more so than usual.)  And we have been kept up either because we have been sick, or we have taken sick children in from the orphanage to our house. Several times we have been called out in the middle of the night to transport sick or hurt people to the hospital, and a few other things. Last week Pastor Nathan was in the hospital with stomach pain. Nathan, Mike and Chris, (if they have managed to fall asleep at all,) have been fighting bad dreams with demons. Nathan says he even knows some of them by name; Lier and Deception. This makes a lot of sense to us, since that is the oppressive spirit that many Haitian people live under.      
    Chris became very sick last Saturday night with some kind of stomach flue. (Saturday was my first night I was back from being in the states for two weeks.) Throwing up and diarrhea all night long. She slowly got better over the next several days. She was not fully recovered, but feeling good enough to work in her garden yesterday, but that night she ate something that did not agree with her and she began feeling pain. But the pain was hard to identify and felt like it was in her chest or back. So she took some ibuprofen. Later when the pain was worse, she took some Tylenol. Then the pain became extremely worse. I was up all night praying and trying to help her, and we also had little Leah on the couch with a high fever which persistently returned every 3 to 4 hours.  So I felt like I was running from one to another. I was frankly beginning to worry about taking my precious American wife to one of the worst hospitals in Haiti. At 5:00 Nathan came to pray and saw what we were dealing with. I told him that I thought it was time to go, but did not know where. He called a Dr. he knew, and then took us to a good clinic on the other side of town. One that I did not know existed. The Dr. gave her medicine by IV, to not make her stomach even worse. She is resting now, but not fully recovered yet. Several children are still sick here at the orphanage. 
     All of this is happening at the same time as a powerful move of God is coming over our churches. Many are coming to Jesus for salvation and healing. On June 1st we will have a baptism again with over 60 wanting to declare to the world that they have decided to follow Christ. 
   While Nathan and Mike were out of town the Madam, (The witch-doctor from Pass Rien), decided to have a huge celebration and parade and offer up a whole beef in sacrifice to Satan. She invited everyone to come, enticing them with the free meals of roasted beef. But she was frustrated when most said that they don't follow Satan any more, and would not attend her parade. Then to top it off, the beef died the day before the parade. Furious at how things had NOT gone, she went back to her house in Gonaives with out any celebration at all.

     We are clearly seeing the victory of Jesus in the light of day, but it has been a real battle all night long. We would humbly ask that you join with us in this victorious battle, and pray unceasingly for us, and those in this ministry, doing the will of God here, and for these precious people in Haiti, trying desperately to break free from the evil that has kept them in the chains of oppression for so very long..................Mike

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Preparing to pour concrete for our transitional house.

Klaudy replacing pipes to the kitchen with lots of help :)

Waltese smoothing the outside walls of the children's village.

The new garden gate Lucsene is making.

Digging the holes for coconut trees.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The path in our new garden.

The new plantings of ornamental grass for hedges.

Another view of the growing garden.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Further up the pass with an incredible view.

This reminded me of the book Heidi. It was a little mountain oasis. To the left we could see mountains.

The path we walked on had totally different greenery then I have seen elsewhere in Haiti.

In the oasis this is what we saw to the right. I think we were literally on the peak as we could see mountains on either side of us as we walked.

Going back down the mountain pass we saw this path that led down a steep incline to a little mud hut. Not sure I would want to walk that path on a daily basis to get water and supplies.

Our customary flat tire on the way down the mountain pass.

Looking down at the road we were on the view was amazing.


Hope you are doing well and loving the spring weather. I know some of you are still experiencing winter weather. Mike flew into Chicago first to attend Orphan Summit. He said it was in the 40's. I miss the seasons, but God is good and brings other pieces of beauty my way.

Mike is now back in Lynden, for our annual fundraiser. The dinner is tomorrow, Saturday evening. I hope you will be able to attend. Mike would really love to see you and he will be telling stories from Haiti. There will be Latin ballroom dance performances and prime rib. This morning he was telling me about some of the auction items. One is a two night stay in Semiahmoo. There is also a brand new beautiful leather chair. I have even heard whisperings of a week in Whistler. The event will be held at North County Christ The King in Lynden. You can call Mike for more info. at 360-305-9070.

I wanted to share a poem with you that has blessed us, it was written by a team member who visited us last month. As many of you know Mikes first team devotion is called "What did you go out to the desert to see?"

What did you go to the desert to see?
A bruised and broken and wind swept reed?
Why did you travel so many miles
To a crowded place, foreign and wild?
What did you expect to see?
Just poverty, corruption, pollution, disease?
Yes, I saw the poor and oppressed
Struggling to survive in a land so distressed.
But rising above the blanket of doom
Were servants of God proclaiming good news.
Caring for orphans, the widows, the lame,
Giving sight to the blind in God's holy name.
Claiming a village in Jesus' name.
Spreading the gospel that our Lord reigns
With power and strength to save and redeem
From demons that want to imprison and chain.
I awoke each morning to the glorious praise
Sung passionately by children to start their day.
They sang and danced to the rythym of drums
For the eternal hope that will someday come
When God restores His kingdom of peace
When all our struggling and strivings cease
And we live each day with adoration and praise
To our heavenly Father face to face.
What did I go to the desert to see?
I saw God's love for humanity.
He sealed it for me with sunsets rare
On a tropical beach with fresh breeze in the air.
CTK Snohomish

​While Mike has been gone one of the projects that I have been working on is a small garden in between the front gate of the Children's Village and Nathan and our apartments. The first thing I needed to do was get all the rock, there is no dirt, dug out. Then I had 10 dump truck loads of soil brought in and spread. In Haiti you can't just drive to the nearest nursery and find the plants and pots you need. So I have been slowly gathering plants from friends and planting seeds and cuttings in whatever containers I can find........So now for the adventure. I gathered up most of my children and an extra tag-a-long and asked my friend if he would help me find some ornamental grass to hedge the garden with. My first idea was to visit the farmer's co-op in Ma poo (most likely spelled wrong). They had a few items they could share with me, but had no grass and did not know where we could find any. I had seen it grown successfully at one of my friends in Gonaives so I called her. I did not recognize the name of the village she said she found it in, so I handed the phone to my friend. He told me that the village was very far away, about 2 hours north in the mountains. I said OK  meaning I understood. We started driving towards Pass Rein, I assumed that he had another idea, about 20 minuets later we passed Pass Rein and I realized that when I said OK he thought I meant I wanted to drive up in the mountains to the village. We were about 40 minuets north by then and I was up for an adventure so we just kept driving. The mountain pass was absolutely beautiful. It was a total gift from God, my spirit raised as the mountains raised. The village was located at the peak of the pass. When we got out and asked for directions to the place where the grass was, we were told to hike up a little path. What we found was a little oasis that reminded me of the book Heidi. I even found Queen Annes Lace, and what I think is a cousin to raspberries,  I had never heard of berries growing in Haiti. I also was pleasantly surprised to be shown real grass, the kind we would use for a lawn in the states. I know these things may not seem like much to you, but you need to remember like the poem says I live in a desert :) But, alas there was no ornamental grass and I did not know the accurate name for it, I was trying to use one of the younger boys that had tagged a long, to interpret because Lucsene and I communicate at a pretty elementary level. He knows some English and I know some Creole. But it is more in the every day terms, not botanical. The funny part was that Kevins, the one who tagged a long kept having to use my daughter Janae to translate the numbers and his first language is Creole. I called my friend in Gonaives back. We then proceeded to have a conversation involving her on the phone, Lucsene, Kevins, Janae, three village men and myself. After three more phone calls to my friend in Gonaives and the phone being passed from me, to Lucsene, and to one of the villagers we finally realized the ornamental grass I wanted was back in Pass Rein along the river bank. It was all around me and I did not even know. Go figure. We had a good laugh and started back down the mountain. We had our customary flat tire on the drive down the mountain pass. When we arrived back in Pass Rien we found a man who said he would find the grass for me and have it ready Saturday.  So we will see what we get tomorrow. The day was very enjoyable, but reminded me of a quote I painted a few days ago to help remind me that my perspective is just that, my perspective. It goes like this...."What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be".... I tend to have that picture in my head and need to remember that it is not the only or the right picture. God amazes me how through the same circumstances he is taking some one else through with us, he can teach us each very different lessons. I guess it is kind of like feeling a sermon in church was spoken specifically for you, but knowing others are thinking the same thing. God is so awesome at meeting each of us where we need to be met. 
On that note thank you so much for your prayers that carry us and keep us. 


Starting the garden

One of the 10 dump loads of dirt going into the garden area 

The rocks have been removed and now the dirt is coming :)

Some of my boys helping when the men weren't around

Having fun

The two youngest wanted to get in on helping

These guys did the hardest part for me