Monday, May 12, 2014

If Dad Could Only See Me Now

If dad could only see me now, have you ever wondered if those loved one that have gone to be with the Lord can see us here on earth or know what we are doing?

It was a couple of months ago, I was at the airport working with Missionary Flights International when the pilots asked me if I might go along up to Pignon [pea-one (long-o)] it is a small grass landing strip situated 12 minutes away by air or 4 + hours by ground. There is a group of ministries there that MFI flies to quite often. Today after dropping passengers and freight in Cap-Haitian they were flying freight up to Pignon then returning for outbound passengers again in “Cap” and returning to Fla. They wanted to do a “hot offload” to save time and also wear and tear on the turbines by keeping them hot. They needed a safety person that could stand at the wingtip in view of the pilot to make sure that no one got near the spinning prop. I always enjoy a flight so was up to the task. It was a beautiful flight up between the scenic mountains to the remote landing strip. The unloading went quickly without any problems and soon we were off for a short return to “Cap” for passengers. While looking out the side window at the mountains and beautiful valleys of farmland I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed thinking about “If Dad could only see me now”.

Dad was my mentor, teacher,  and always loved aviation. I remember as a young child him telling about a friend that was a missionary bush pilot, “Hatch” Hatcher. Dad said that he had been home on furlough and was then returning to the [mission] field.  These thoughts of some fifty plus years ago brought thoughts of how God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. Dad knew me as a Ironworker but since his passing have been in Haiti building, fixing, and even volunteering with Mission’s Aviation. Someday I will see my dad again, we will have so much to talk about.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Roller Coaster Ride

Where do I start? Jane flew home on April 22, landed in Erie at 4:30 pm on the 23th and was at the Cleveland Clinic for testing on Thursday the 24th. By 11:00am she called and said that “they are concerned”. After the sonogram and other tests she was off to meet with a surgeon. They scheduled a needle biopsy for Friday April 25 and told her that it looked like cancer but could not be sure until Monday and it would not be until her next visit with the “team” on May 8th that they would know more specifics. Jane does have a form of aggressive breast cancer but everyone is confident that it has been detected early enough and treatable. I need to say that I believe that God orchestrated all of this to come together so quickly is testament that He is in control of the situation. Jane has been very positive and strong through all of this even taking a day to go try on wigs, as she starts chemo in two weeks. 

Sammy and I were doing quite well here in Haiti. As I was packing some tools to take out for the summer Jane I talked daily, it was becoming apparent that Jane’s treatments and subsequent weakened health would last for well over a year. It soon became apparent that we shouldn’t invest a good sum of money into our car’s transmission if we would be coming back to sell it later at a loss. Our direction soon changed, we would not be able to pay our rent, and housing obligations here if our time out might be lengthy or returning full time might not even be feasible. I was able to get extra weight reserved on Missionary Flights for my flight out on the 13th. I have our belongings completely packed, we are moving back to our home in Pennsylvania, at least for now.

In January Jane and I committed to each other to continue here until May 2016 then take reconsider, obviously God is closing that door. It has been a roller-coaster ride of emotions for the past three weeks now. I am always anxious when it gets close to departure date but this time with Sammy it has been very emotionally draining. We always knew that a separation date would come and be difficult. He is so attached to both of us especially Jane. No matter what the reason I know that Sammy will not understand, but also on the other hand maybe at his age he might not remember all of it.  I look back now and believe that God had planned this three week transition so that it could be a little easier on the little guy.

This morning while sitting in the dark God brought to mind the book; The Shack, when the father was angry at God and asked how he [God] could allow his young daughter to go through such a horrific time by herself, God answered he was by her side and comforted her through all of it, she was never alone. This was a confirmation to me that God will in some way comfort Sammy as I take him to his caregivers tomorrow and be with him over the next days.

I look back over the past 21 months that we have been back in Haiti with World Outreach Ministries and we have had the blessing and enjoyment of rescuing and raising Sammy for 18 of those months, was this His intended purpose for us? Juslain will tell you that God sent us to mentor and be a father figure to him, only God knows for sure.

I do have faith that God did not rescue Sammy just to let him fall through the cracks. I really believe that his adoption will start to move ahead now, but I also know that my thoughts and dreams for Sammy might not be God’s plan. I believe that God loves him much more than I could ever equal or imagine.

Jane plans to continue to work with the Potter’s House orphanage by having people in Haiti do the food purchases and deliveries while she watches over things by long distance.  We plan to return some day but probably for short visits to help where we can. We also plan to get involved back home wherever we can.

Thank-You for your many thoughts & and prayers, it has been carrying us through this difficult time.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Looking back over the past month

April 5
The time has been flying right along over the past month. We housed a couple of friends of ours from Hamilton, Ont. CA for a week. It was great to catch-up on things going on both here and back in Canada.
The Davis’s and Vero were out for two weeks to a mission’s conference in Alabama, Savannah’s adoptive mother was here caring and getting acquainted with her while they were out.

Last Friday, Maurice the manager and construction leader out at the Empower Global Property finished up his three year commitment and returned back to Canada. Jane & I are looking in on the property and overseeing the Haitian security employees there until they can arrange for a full time property manager, probably this fall when they expect to start full time schooling.

Over the past 4 ½ years we seem to be tag teaming with Sam & Cammy Aberly. They were with OMS and were just finishing up their year here just as we were arriving back in September 09, overlapping by one month with them leaving in Oct. Sam passed on the job of completing the Emmaus Biblical Seminary to me which was completed and dedicated the day before the earthquake in Jan. 2010. They returned in April 2012 just a month before Jane & I flew out after resigning from OMS in March. They lent us their van to move much of our belongings from Fla. home then back again in Aug. as independent missionaries. They are now scheduled to leave on Tuesday April 8th after finishing up their two year commitment with EBS. We really haven’t kept in close contact but I see or call Sam often on work related items. It will seem different for them to be gone again, we will miss them.

A week ago Tuesday we found out that our landlord had suffered a serious stroke. We found out that he was in need of being transported to the Dominican Republic for further care but an ambulance was not available. They had a Haitian driver lined up to drive them in their car but at that time he did not have a visa to cross the border. Jane volunteered to drive the Dominican leg of the trip so at 4:30 pm we headed out of Cap-Haitian. Three followed in our car and made the 40 mile trip to the border by 6pm. Jane took over driving while I returned with a nurse, chauffeur, and security man. We got home at 8pm while Jane finally made the hospital in Santiago by 9:30. She returned back home by bus on Thursday evening. Surprisingly Sammy who always wants grand-ma at bed time and during the night slept with me all night with no problems. Our landlord continues to be hospitalized in the DR with slow progress.

Ever since we moved into our small house we have wanted a sun shade and some way to screen in our patio from the never ending bugs and mosquitoes. We finally had our large [dirty] tree taken down that grew thru the middle of our patio. Now with no shade it was time to make plans for the sunshade. I was able to build a support structure out of scraps of 2 x 2 steel tubing and cover them with metal roofing. We had a mason build up a wall about 20 inches around the perimeter, a carpenter built wood screen frames then Juslain and I attached insect screening to make a large comfortable screened in patio. Justlain and Noname really enjoy sitting in the dark, bug free while they watch over the (security lighted) yard in the evenings. Our house is small and this also gives us a place for teams that come to see us to sit and meet or just hangout.

Fast forward, April 21

These past weeks have whizzed by, we have been helping manage the Empower property. A team from Joy & Hope for Haiti from Hamilton, Ont. was here for a week working with Stella House Orphanage and meeting with many of their contacts.

About a month or so ago Jane discovered a rather large lump in her breast. She had a local mammogram with the results being that all was well. This last week after she talked  with many doctors from North America and also here in Haiti they are all advising her to return home for more tests. Our daughter was able to get her an appointment on May 23 so we changed our travel arrangements with Missionary Flights to May 13. Again while saying good-by to our Canadian friends on Friday they urged jane not to wait until the 23rd so on Saturday morning we were able to get Jane’s flight changed to Tuesday April 22. This was really putting the stress on, so much to get done in two days, who would watch Sammy ?? Arrangements for Potter’s house orphanage, Payroll for the Empower employees and many other things. By Saturday evening we had Jane’s domestic flight booked, Ft. Lauderdale hotel reservations, shuttle service lined up for the trip from Ft. Pierce to Ft. Lauderdale. The thing that was left, WHO would watch Sammy for the time that we are out??????? His regular nanny would be having her own baby next month and sure to be overwhelmed with two, and our friend Vero that watched him in our house last Christmas is watching Savannah also two years old during the same time. While at our sunrise church service yesterday morning a young lady volunteered to move into our house and watch Sammy but we don’t know her that well nor does Sammy. A missionary family in Port Margot offered to take him but there again he doesn’t know them nor they him. We looked at the possibility of one of his regular sitters moving in with him. Finally Jane called his regular nanny to see how she was doing and after her delivery when she might be up to caring for Sammy again exclaiming our situation. She said that she wants Sammy right away when I go out. She already has a lady lined up to help her with her new baby and that all would be fine. Sammy loves her and her family dearly. Sammy stayed with them over Christmas 2012 just after we got him. This was a HUGE answer to prayer. We are finding out now that Jane may be able to see some doctors maybe as early as Thursday or Friday coming. We have had such an outpouring of prayer and support from so many in just the last days.

Our Landlord did go to be with the Lord on Good Friday, the funeral will be this Thursday.

I will remain in Haiti until May 13 then driving our van North to be with Jane. God has worked out so many details in the past few days.

Thank-You for all of your prayers.

Bud has shared so much with you and we all know you are praying for us. I have had to end my English classes at school and the private classes I am doing till I return.  I believe someone else will take over my classes in the church. 

This past week we had a team in from Joy and Hope of Haiti, which Bud and I work with.  They were here for two reasons; to help Stella house orphanage which they fund and to meet with teachers of schools they built to see how to help them be better teachers.

Stella House is dealing with the same problem many orphanages have.  How do you transition the children out of the orphanage when they have finished school?  I am part of this process. This is a something that needs a lot of prayer and planning. 

The teachers in our Christian Schools need consistent training to help raise the quality of our schools.  Building the building is only the first step.  Sustaining the schools is the biggest problem.  After this week of meetings I feel so positive as to the future of these 10 school. Joy and Hope of Haiti has also offered to help another mission with their teachers as well.

This past week a 7 year old girl came to a clinic this group also helped to sponsor.  She has a heart condition that will take her life in a matter of months.  As the team prayed over her the situation seems hopeless but a couple of phone calls to some government official who Joy and Hope and I have worked with in the past and the child is on her way to the Dominican soon.

But the most exciting thing is the mother and the girl’s father came to church on Easter Sunday and accepted Jesus.  Praise the Lord.  They also asked to be married in the next week.  Isn’t this what it is all about.

Bud has been so busy fixing things for it seems everyone.  Right now he is helping to set up a generator in an orphanage.  Our transmission is failing in our car so he will be removing it and flying out with it in 3 weeks for repairs in Florida, another matter for prayer.

The orphanage is enjoying additional beds now that we have room for each child to have their own thanks to a fund raiser held in Minnesota. The Lord continues to meet our financial needs there as well. We received some financial gifts that helped us cover the last two months and next month as well. Thank you to you all.

One of the children in my school, twelve years old, went to be with Jesus this past week after only being sick a couple of days.  I was so please to hear that she had accepted Jesus as her Savior 10 days prior.  I am so grateful to our Godly teachers who teach His Word.

This past Sunday Juslain and his wife were baptized in our church. I remember when we asked him to go to church with us and how excited he was when we gave him his first Bible.  He has grown so much in the Lord.

Sammy’s adoption has met another snag so continue to pray with us on this. Some paperwork is being held up and we need it to pass quickly.

God bless you all.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It has been a very busy month

Thursday Feb. 6th

It’s hard to describe what has happened at the Empower Global construction project over the past week and one half. The sight has been completely transformed.

Last Tuesday when Jason the project manager was assigning the different crews to their projects, he told me what his objectives were. I responded that conditions are very hot here and things don’t always go as planned. I would be happy with half of his huge to-do list. He warned me to keep that to myself and watch. My assignment was to layout and fabricate eleven trusses 9’ high by 50’ long and to meet the schedule once that we built our template that we would have to complete two trusses each day to be ready for a Saturday start of erection. Meanwhile two Ironworkers from Hamilton Ont. started erecting trusses fabricated last spring on a smaller training center directly above us. Meanwhile some Carpenters were setting wood trusses on the top of a 35’ high watchtower and started the metal roofing. The Plumbers were running underground water lines; The Electricians were forming and burying underground conduits. A crew started transforming two shipping containers into finished office spaces complete with windows, doors, electrical and air conditioning. One Ironworker started building the rebar mat for a huge concrete slab while two Cement Finishers were installing new parts on the borrowed power trowel and readying it for three days of hand mixing and pouring cement during 14hr. days.

On Wed. my group fabricated three trusses and on Thursday four! The site was a constant buzz with three welding machines running, a cement mixer, power trowel, and many cordless tools.

Right on schedule the slab was done and cured enough that we could start erecting trusses across four shipping containers on Saturday morning. We could have erected all of the trusses but at the half way point we dropped back to completely weld all of the bracing and get the roof ready for the Carpenters to start the metal roofing on Monday to keep them going while we would finish the erection ahead of them. I ended up operating OMS’ tractor lifting the trusses, but each time that we got enough up for another perlin I would go “in the air, “climbing  about and helping weld bracing and perlins as I had done for so many years at the trade. We were able to finish all of the many projects by the time that the team headed back home on Friday morning Feb. 8th

         Let There Be Light, enjoying the warehouse Feb.5 with the training center in the background
Tuesday evening Feb 18th
The Grace team from our home church in Erie Pa. just flew out yesterday. Grace arrived on Feb.8th at 8:10am with 18 people. The objectives were to install a power system in our sister church here, host a parenting conference and Valentines banquet for the parents of the Cowman Int. School students, assist the teachers at Cowman and also help with classes at Grace Zion school at our sister church along with some working in the medical clinic. Everyone hit the ground running. Monday the group that I was with worked at installing electrical conduit while others helped Jane with Art & English classes. We found that most of our electrical materials were still in a shipping contained either on a ship or tied up in customs and should hopefully be released sometime during the week. Tuesday morning some went to help with school and some went with Jane to pack up the Empower guest house while others scrubbed and prime painted the exterior of our depot. Allen and I were down at the Port meeting with the Customs official to track down our shipment/container. (It turns out that the agent is in Kate’s ESL class and is former ESL student of Jane’s. She promised to help in any way that she could to expedite our materials, Isn’t God so good!!) In the afternoon they spent time touring the many OMS ministries.  Wed. morning many helped paint our depot and complete house. During lunch I received a phone call from the Customs Agent saying that our materials had been released and that we were to go directly to our shipping agent for pickup. After a few misunderstandings as to where the materials were to be picked-up and playing cat & mouse with our truck and the truck bringing the materials from the container to the shippers local agent we finally got all of the items, a quick trip back to the church to unload and get things ready to install on Thursday & Friday. Everything went well for Sunday morning service, now with some reliable power for the church and school to brighten their dark first floor school classrooms. Most all of the power in Haiti is only on for maybe ¼ of the day depending on where you are. The amount and times vary from day to day. This new power system stores incoming electricity from the utility into massive batteries and then when the power stops the system inverts the stored battery power back into household current keeping the church & school powered continually if we get enough utility to meet the demand. The team worked for many months calculating the system requirements. It was difficult to say goodbye yesterday as we had a great group and had a lot of fun together.
                                                 Grace-Zion's new Inverter power system

Jane says that we have worked with 69 visitors since Jan. 15. It was a great time but now for a little rest. This morning now that things have slowed down we finally unboxed Sammy’s new potty chair and are going to give it our best to get him potty trained.

Sammy’s adoption is moving forward but slowly. Only God knows!

Thanks for all of your prayers


Sunday, February 02, 2014


Today we are taking the team for a much need rest for all of us at the beach.  Then hopefully watch the super bowl.