Sunday, October 24, 2010

Frog In The Shower

This morning I found a visitor with me in the shower. With bits of shaving cream still on my face I grabbed the camera, shorts, dustpan & plastic bowel to safely return this little but fast guy back to the wilds of our front yard.
Last evening the Bundy clan shared their bar-b-que with us, seems that Alana had asked her grandma to send hot dogs & marshmallows but grandma could only send the marshmallows in the mail for obvious reasons. We happened to bring in some of Erie's famous Smith's hot dogs so we got together and had a great time with the kids.

We have been getting settled back into the swing of things again. When we arrived on Tuesday we were continually greeted by everyone happy to see us back. Jane is busy again with Starfish and English classes and I have spent three days at the seminary.
This is the way that Missionary Flights International flew in our two new diesel engines.

On Wednesday, team members Gailin & John along with Edric, Ti-Blanc & myself were able to unload both engines and change out the first one.
On Thursday Gailin & I continued to finish up connections and review pre-start details while the rest of the group changed out the second engine. By 2:00 pm the first one was running and starting to make power.

We found it easier to remove the generators from the motor house to make the change. This is the first unit ready to move back inside.

First unit finished and running.

The second unit is ready short of a new radiator hose and circuit breaker that are coming soon.

Continue to Pray for Haiti as we now are facing a growing Cholera outbreak. Each day we get new information from the Internet news and word of mouth from local agencies.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jane's Reflections on our time at home

Bud and I sit here side by side on the plane heading for our home in Haiti. It has become that for us. The only thing missing for us there are our friends and family which we sadly leave behind. The highlight of our trip home was spending time with our family and some very close friends. The family gatherings as well as the little time we had to spend with each of our children filled our hearts. I am so grateful for each of them. Our children had a calendar made for us with all of their pictures in it. The front is what meant the most to me. It had a picture of as many of our grandchildren as they could get together. Some of them were born to us others God placed in our lives in very unique ways but the caption says something like this. “It doesn’t matter who’s name you have…It’s who you call family.” That is exactly how it is with us. We are so blessed with so many to love. Other than the visits with our children the greatest pick up for me, was the time I spent with close friends. We did not get to see all of our friends, the time went by so quickly. I am thankful for the ones who allowed me to share what was in my heart and came back with good and spiritual advise. I appreciate these times of reflection and growth.

The words of my 8 year old grandson come to mind. “ Gramma how long are you and papa going to keep on doing this going back to Haiti.” Good question! We do not know only God knows the real answer. All I can say is until God sends us home. When we left Haiti I have to admit I was exhausted and a little discouraged because so much of the problems we were having with computers in the Starfish kids office. One of my goals while we were out was to try to find solutions. For the first couple of weeks I had a lot of trouble sleeping and at times feeling very anxious. I had a lot of trouble getting my mind of Haiti. Getting on the road and traveling to churches was not something I was looking forward to, but all of that quickly went away.

Our first trip was to Queens in New York City. We spoke at a Korean Church. The Pastor was a graduate of the OMS seminary in Korea. He shared in length with us and the member of his church his love for the OMS organization. How the missionaries in Korea lead him to Christ and where he is today. It was our first experience in an oriental church. The Korean food was wonderful and the members treated us with such grace.

I had the opportunity to travel to OMS headquarters and spend some time there with friends and the staff. My goal was to find ways to have better communications with sponsors and take some of the work off of me in Haiti, so I can be more efficient. I also wanted to find ways to make things run smoother for teams coming into the country with MFM. I feel I was able to accomplish all of this during my stay.

I arrived home on Friday. Bud and I jumped into the car on Saturday and traveled to Mentor Ohio, to speak at a church of a young man who came on a team to Haiti. What a wonderful church with a great heart for the things of God. Thank you, Aaron for inviting us. Immediately following the morning service we left for Hamilton Ontario and shared with St James Church. This invitation came from another team. They held a Haiti night, where they shared their experiences in Haiti and they gave us opportunity to share as well.

I had the same goal with OMS Canada as I did for my time at Headquarters. We took 2 ½ days and spent time meeting with the Canadian staff and also visiting with sponsors. Several Sponsors had meetings in their homes and gave us opportunity to share what has been happening with Starfish kids as well as our work. We always have a very warm welcome in Canada and it is quickly becoming one of our favorite places to visit. The Olsen’s graciously opened their home to us. They have made several trips to Haiti themselves so it was nice to share stories with them.

After spending a couple of days with our family we were off to W. Virginia to visit some new supporting churches for us. The mountains there reminded me of Haiti and our friends. We spoke at Riverview Church in Parsons and Mt Harmony in Northern W. Virginia. What a passion these two churches have for missions. We never felt we were among strangers. That is how it is when you are amongst God’s people. This trip was followed by 5 days at home and some rest. We did speak on Wed night Community Christian Church just down the road from our daughters. This Church has faithfully stood by us through our first year financially and spiritually. I can think back and remember little notes that come from them from time to time. They truly love their missionaries and God’s work.

Following a week of rest we traveled back to a church we shared in before. In south central Pa. We had stayed with the Weaver’s before so it was great to stay with them again. These churches generously sent soap, tooth brushes and tooth paste to the Haitians to help out. What a blessing it was to have these things to help through a very difficult year in Haiti.

We also visited the very first church that took us on as missionaries. Dorchester Drive Baptist Church. Bud and I attended there for 14 years. We have so many friends there and it was one of our favorite places on this trip home.

Our last full week in Erie we spent with two churches in Corry Pa for a week long missions conference. Bud and I were tired. It had been a long 5 weeks. There we met Vera. She is 95 years old and has been faithfully housing missionaries in her home for 49 years. This year after falling she was not able to do so. She could not come to the conference so some of the missionaries went to see her and sing for her. We went to bless her and she ended up being more of a blessing for us. Her enthusiasm for our ministries was contagious. She picked both Bud and I up and we were ready to begin again. The week was a time of sharing in formal sessions and small group meetings. We now have more friends to add to our list.

Our last week in the States, we spent in Florida. Pastor Barber had invited us to speak at his church near Ocala. He had brought a team to Haiti to do a crusade. Two other churches had sent members on his team. All three churches welcomed us to share what God is doing in Haiti. We had a great time. Some of the members also treated us to a couple of days of visiting local attractions and an airboat ride. What a treat.

As I said at the beginning of this reflection, we left Haiti tired and a little beaten down but after spending 6 weeks not only being loved on by our families, but we were cared for loved and encouraged by God’s people. Our trip was a good reminder to us as well as other what God is truly doing in Haiti. As we shared it brought our hearts back to the love we have for the work God has sent us to do in His name. We return refreshed, eager but also a little overwhelmed with the work that is waiting for us there. It will take a little while to catch up but we are going in God’s strength. We have had time to reflect and talk about some changes we need to make in ourselves and our schedules to be able to continue to grow and not burn out and we eagerly approach to people we have grown to love. Jane

Prayer request: When we left Haiti we needed to raise $1600 per month, After six weeks of speaking we have raised $900 per month we still have a ways to go. That seems like a lot but when you break it down if we had 36 people pledge $25 per month or 18 people at $50 per month, that need would be met. Please be in prayer that all of these faith promise come to light and that more hearts are being touched for the work we are doing in Haiti. We have changed our status. We committed in the beginning for two years with OMS. We are now full career. The direction this takes us in is in God’s hands.

Flying back to Haiti: Bud's thoughts

Well here we are on our flight back to Haiti. We are returning from six weeks in the US raising our funding and visiting family & friends. The time went by so quickly!

As I look back on our speaking schedule, between Jane and I we were able to share God's work in Haiti formally twenty one times. We met so many wonderful people along the way, opening their churchs, hearts & homes to us, we are extremely grateful. I know that there were many people that we did not get to see while home but we were simply running out of time with traveling each weekend. Our van put on thousands of miles to such places as Queens NYC, Mentor Ohio, Hamilton Ontario, West Virginia, South Central & Corry & Erie Pennsylvania, Spring Hill & Crystal River Florida.
We were grateful for the time out but know that the work is waiting for us back in Haiti.

Last June we had one generator at the seminary break down and were making arrangements to repair it when I returned. Five days after we left the remaining generator failed. After many days of long distance e-mail brain-storming and a temporary unit moved into place, another mechanic was able to fly in and get one of the engines back up and running for the time being. Since then the manufacturer has worked with us explaining that they had some defective internal springs in those particular production years and once they fail can cause extensive internal damage. They have sent us two complete new engines as they do not have any factory technicians in Haiti to make this very complicated repair. The engines are flying in today so I have a good idea what my to-do list looks like.
To me this is just another great example of how God continues to meet our needs on a daily basis when it is beyond “us.”

While home we were able to.... take in a local fair, watch Danny & Nick run cross country, have school lunch with Will, birthday parties with Charlie & Josh, Picnic with my brother & sisters, mom & aunt. Help Bruce with his roof, Chris & Lorah with a plugged drain, Kip & Gretchen with a bathroom fan, Tom & Marcia with odds & ends, and an early Christmas party with the grandkids.
I even was able to join in with the Corry First UM men’s group to help with some of the block work for a much needed addition for one of their brothers.

We appreciated our time home but also look forward to our return to where God has called us for this season in our lives, a place where lasting differences are being made in people’s lives as they place their trust in God.

Thank-you for your continued prayers and financial support that we may continue to go.