Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our God is Amazing

I struggled with what to call this blog and all that could come to my mind is when you do not know what to say. "praise the Lord".

 It is Wednesday morning and Bud is at Life water working.  The mechanic that he works with is in from the DR so I am sure he will be very busy today. 

Wednesday is my quiet morning.  I do not teach until 2:00 at the medical school.  This morning has been a busy one.  We are going to be having some baby chicks soon so we needed to make the pen larger to accommodate a separate room for mom and chicks.  I do enjoy working with Guslin on these things.

 One of the young boys who work for Nonam (his uncle) came to talk with me. He and 3 others work in the field around my house planting.  This is a difficult time for the Haitians.  The summer heat is ending and very little rain fell during the summer so nothing grows in the garden all summer which many Haitian count on for food. Now it is time to plant. The rain is here but there is no money for seed or plants. Once the garden begins to grow there will be food to eat and food to sell.

 Bud and I have been able to help one of the families here buy some seed and plants. In return we will receive part of the food they are raising.  This family is made up of about 6 families all related.  One of the young boys came to me this morning and asked if at noon I would have any food to share with him because he was hungry. He sees that I feed our worker.

 Noon is the time Haitians eat if they have food to eat.  I told him I would talk to his uncle.  I did get a chance to ask the young man who works for me if he felt the family had enough to eat right now. He said he knows they do not because the crops are not in and there are a lot of them.

 These are the things that tug on my heart.  I can say no to request for money to school because I do not have money extra to give out but how do I say no to food. The boys are so thin so I know it is true they are not eating everyday.  Bud said it right last night.  We do not know what it is truly like to be hungry  REALLY hungry.

 Bud and I try to stretch our food money out as much as we can to have money left to try to feed others.  Right now our finances show that December is going to be a tough month for us yet I just can't say no to hungry people.  I have decided it is not wise to give out money for food.  So as part of our ministry here I have asked my friend Nonam to come to my house each morning to receive enough rice to feed his workers for the day till the crops come in and they can make it on their own.  I share this with you our supporters because I want you to know how we use the money you give to us.  We try at every opportunity to use the money God has blessed us with to help others but we have to say no so often because the money runs out before the need.  Our chickens have begun to lay eggs and we will be able to share them as well.

My teaching is opened so many doors to opportunity to interact with different people.  One young man in my class shared with the others during a discussion time how he left Voodoo and came to Christ because of my English Class and what he learned about Jesus there.  Praise the Lord.

Another one of my students works with the children in Prison here.  Yes children in cells right next to the adults.  These kids start at age 14. I am praying about what God would have me do about these kids. Please pray for God's guidance for me as well.

Saturday will be our first Bible Study at Nonam house. We will be studying the book of John.  Please pray for fair weather and this meeting.  I do not know how many will come but I am expecting a lot.  I am going to buy some Bibles this week. I know many cannot read by some can and we will read to each other.

The drums are loud and I am told there will be no school beginning tomorrow because it is a holiday of celebrating the dead. Whatever that means. I will be still teaching and sharing about Jesus and the Life He gives.

I continue to take a taxi to work everyday and Bud uses the borrowed car to get to work.  We try to to drive it a lot because it is not ours and it is old. I have to admit it is nice not to have to drive in heavy traffic when I am tired. I just sit back and my taxi driver deal with it.  I do have to admit the ride sometimes is quite interesting.

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we have so much to be thankful for.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Praying For You All

As Hurricane Sandy makes her way north up the East coast we are praying for you all. We spoke with our daughter Gretchen who has been involved in emergency services for most of her life. She is telling us that they [emergency management] has already warned that they should be ready to assume full time operations starting Monday as the storm arrives with flooding and possibly knocking out power for hours, days, or even weeks.

Sandy made her way by Haiti starting on Wednesday with off and on showers. Thank God that they were never hard and spared the north of mudslides and major flooding. Thursday we stayed inside through waves of morning showers but ventured out for some groceries in the afternoon and were greeted with bright sunshine. Friday the President cancelled all school classes and work but we did not get word until Jane had already left for class. She said that all of her English students had showed up and class went on.

Missionary Flights International had postponed their Thursday flight stranding teams and returning missionaries in Florida until Saturday. It was late on Friday as they were still trying to contact the airport at Exuma, Bahamas to see if they were open to purchase fuel on their way.

We appreciate your prayers for us in times of storms like these but this time the shoe is on the other foot. Most of us here are used to living with little electricity or have invested small fortunes in ways to generate and store our own, something that is unheard of in North America. Now with your lower temperatures and threat of downed power lines it may cause many people some severe hardships.

The one casualty here with the cooler temperatures and rainy weather gave Jane a head cold which has slowed her down since Wednesday. Hopefully she will be back up to full speed in a few days.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's a Beautiful Saturday Morning

The sun is rising, oatmeal cooking on the stove. The electricity had been on most all night and has our battery banks fully charged and will keep the fridge and a fan running until 6:00PM. The chickens have just come down from their mango tree roost and are begging for their June Bug [beetles] treats. The bugs are attracted by the scores to our security light during the night and end up in a tub of water below.

Last Sunday at English Bible Fellowship, I met Allen & Terri from SonLight Power Inc. SonLight is a ministry of it’s own, installing solar systems around the world to help meet the needs of schools, churches, and ministries in developing countries with clean renewable power. They were here to do an installation for fellow missionaries Hudson & Lucy Hess. Immediately I recognized SonLight from the three solar projects that our friend Jim Pankratz had installed here. Allen invited me down to review Hudson’s project when they get it finished, possibly Tuesday afternoon, and I asked if I could tag along when they go out to review Jim’s projects. I was excited about the ability to get some hands-on exposure to Solar power and learn some basic trouble shooting.

Monday was spent getting information for parts for LifeWater and also getting the OMS tractor to do a cab and bed change on their truck.

Tuesday morning we were able to do the truck change over and be ready to head for the typical airport run for MFI at 10:45. As it turned out the plane was delayed and we ended up unloading in between bouts of rain about 4:30PM, finally heading home at 6:30.

Wednesday I had planned to tag along with Allen & Terri to check on Jim’s three projects but they were busy till noon with Hudson’s project and we would go in the afternoon. It was good to spend time with them and “pick their brains” about solar, visiting two churches/schools out in Bau-Limbe that I not been to in a couple of years due to the distance and difficult roads.

Thursday it was back to the airport for MFI, Allen was anxiously waiting for an inverter that was being rushed in to finish Hudson’s project as the one that originally was shipped was incorrect. I rode back with Hudson & Allen to look at Jim’s third solar project as it was near the airport, then it was off to the streets of Cap-Haitien to pick up some last minute electrical parts to complete the project. We were finally able to fill our shopping list but not before school let out causing traffic jams, Cap’s own version of “rush hour”. At the airport I had volunteered if I could be of any help to SonLight with getting their project finished I would be glad to help as I had the rest of the day free. Allen said that would be great as they had at least 4 hours of work ahead and due to the wrong part snafu had already extended their trip a few days. We finally were back to the Hess’s at about 4PM, they had left for the airport at about 9:30 AM so after a meal it was off to work. After some direction I was able to start doing some wiring changes to the main service panel while Terri and Allen were connecting up the replacement inverter. Soon we were working by flashlights trying to get the power connected. By about 6:30 Terri was doing some final checks and slowly turning on the system while doing multiple tests. Soon we had lights again, we were running off of what the sun had stored in the batteries during the day. A local friend of Hudson’s took two of us home, it was dark and raining but a great sense of satisfaction that the Hess’s were back up and running. They have not opted to connect to EDH [the power company] due to the high cost for a connection where they are and small amounts of time that it might be on.

Friday I finally was able to install a new water pump and timing belt in the Isuzu Rodeo that T-Lewis has so graciously lent us. The information that came with the belt showed it to be a 4 hour job but, here in the yard, lacking a few tools, and saying many prayers, Geslin & I were able to get it finished in 6.

Maybe today Jane & I can get down and visit the Hess’s, finish tightening a few electrical connections with the proper size allen wrench that we had been lacking on Thursday.

God continues to show each day were we can be involved with the Haitian people and come along side of the other missionaries here in whatever their ministry may be.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The right people at the right time

As Bud and I continue to work out our transportation needs, God as usual has been faithful in providing the right people at the right time to help us.

 I was in need of a cab driver, but it is a little scary relying on someone you do not know to take you from place to place and it would not take much to them to speak in a way that I would not understand what was going on.

 So I asked a friend of mine to recommend someone. He did and just before he was to begin to work for me he changed his mind. Now what do I do. So My friend contacted another young man. When he came to meet me he seemed nice enough and spoke English which was a blessing.

 The first morning he came to get me Josianne my Haitian  friend who helps me with cooking on my crazy days looked out the door to see who I was getting into a car with. She is so protective.  She was so excited to see it was Frantz Seide. She has known him and his parents for years. She yelled to me. It is okay he is a wonderful Christian man.

As we were riding into town and I use the term lightly because this car was barely running at times, I asked him where he learned English. He told me he finished 3 years at Emmaus Seminary and that he had a wonderful teacher he adored. Ms Marylou. He asked me if I knew her and I was pleased to say I did.  He told me he wanted to do his fourth year but did not have enough money to go back to school yet. That was why he was driving taxi.

 I am so glad that the money I am paying him will help him to finish his dream to be a Pastor.  He is my driver 4 days a week and everyday he says to me "do not worry I will take good care of you"   Taxi from my home to where I teach and back  is about $35 a week.

Conversations in the car are great because on the way home we pick up other people and I am meeting more and more people but today a familiar face entered the cab.  Mdm Ramond runs an orphanage and a church.  Her husband  was the leader but he died.  As we enter my driveway she asked if she could join my English classes too.  Actually several Pastors have come to me and asked me to do a special class for them.  There is always more work to do.  I am not sure how all of it will work out but I am sure it will.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just a quick note

I just came from a walk in the awful heat and I just wanted to share with you what I saw today. Nonam helps us here with our chickens and garden and covers when Geslin is off on Sunday's. Today he took me to meet his family.

 Nonam does not live next door as I thought but a ways down the street and so we walked down the main road and then up the windy narrow path surrounded by cactus to his families homes.  His wife and children, brothers and sisters and his cousins all live there.  Not a house has a decent roof and the older family home is falling down.  It gives the Leaning Tower of Pisa a run for it's money.  They took me in and paper bags were stuffed in the holes to keep the rain out.  Across from this home was another in better shape but not finished. Most of the roof was not on yet and what was on was made of old rust roofing and leaked.

 Nonam had a home partially built for his family but the roof was not on yet.  It has stood this way for 8 years. I asked Geslin what it would cost to finish this home.  To add the roof and it would cost about$1500. American dollars.  So little but way more than I can afford to do.  The three houses surround a courtyard where we have decided will be a great place to have a small group. (which will be a very big group) for Bible Study and worship.  So many of the people here do not go to church because they do not have clothes to wear to church.  So we are starting a come as you are service.  I have asked Damas a young man who is attending Seminary with our help to come and help with the study and He has agreed. This will be a great experience for him. 

As I was leaving I found out in the same area lives Mdm. Joseph. She worked at the Holiday House with me and also another family that works for 4VEH.  We shared our plan with them and they were so excited.  I know this puts me in a position where I will be constantly begged for money and expose me to a lot of people, but I did not come here to hide behind the walls of my home or the walls surrounding it.  I came here to serve a God who loves people and I want to share my love for him.   It has been a good day.  Jane

True Worship

That was the title of my devotion this morning.

 Last night I had a hard time falling asleep which has not been a problem for some time now.  My mind kept going over the faces of the people who have come to me lately and their needs.  Lesson plans filled my head and how do I teach the children better who are struggling and just my day in general.  So I got up and decided to check out face book and see how my friends were doing and post a couple of quick Praises there. I also wanted to write a quick note to a supporter who is so faithful to us and I had not written to her in a while.

 As soon as I turned on my computer there it was an email from her and an encouraging note.  Then as I check my face book another prayer partner instant messaged me to pray with me.  We had a wonderful time sharing what God has laid on our hearts and praying for each other. I praise God for those little moments when people reach out to us here.

When we came back to Haiti We were asked by so many to work with them but my prayer was Lord show me what work you have for us to do here, especially for me.  I was searching for my place here. I just wanted to serve the Lord and complete my purpose here.  I know that evangelizing
 children in still a part of it but God has given this to me. My job is to Worship Him in everything I do. My devotions say to ask the question " Lord what can I do for you, you name it it's yours, Whatever I can offer you, please let me know." And that is what my days are like and Bud's as well. 

One young man came to me yesterday and he is having very serious dental problems and is in a lot of pain. I can only offer him a little money to buy the a mouth rinse and special tooth paste to help him. But what he shared with me was that he had asked others for help and they said they did not have the money to help they were sorry and walked away.  He said what meant so much to him was even though I also cannot give him the money to have the dental work done I joined him in praying for a solution and am standing with him trying to help him get through this.  Another young man was lead astray by a cult and he is very confused.  I ordered a book for him explaining this cults believes verses what the Bible says.  God had showed me this book while we were home. I did not know it was because I would be faced with helping someone understand they were going down the wrong path.  Together we are looking into God's Word.  I asked him to read the book and come back to share his feelings with me.  He shared that in the past others told him he was not welcome around them any more because he was going to this church.  He was grateful that I cared enough to help him understand what he was doing.  He still has not made a decision on what he is going to do.

I tell you these things not to point to what I am doing.  I am sharing that God is teaching me what He wants from me.  To use my gift of hospitality, time, and my availability to come along side whoever he brings into my life and be Jesus in their life.  To Worship Him in everything I do. Josiann shared with me that the Haitian people know that I love them and she encouraged me to continue to do what I am doing.  That I have no idea the effect it was having on people.  I praise God for bringing her into my life, she is wise council. She made this comment after working in our home one day and seeing how many people came to my door during that time just to talk things over with me.

I loved working with teams when we were with our other mission assignment.  Now God is requiring me to use the same passion I had for the teams to care for the Haitian people and other missionaries here as well. Relationships are so important and that is what we were called to do no matter where we live.  It was always there the call I was just not ready. My mission in Haiti.  To serve the Lord, and use whatever I have, material, or spiritual to worship Him. " God just let me know what I am to do for you today".
Bud will be blogging soon.  God is working on him as well.  Jane

Monday, October 08, 2012

Trying to Understand Why

Today I have been asking questions trying to understand why somethings like the death of these children happen here.  More people are coming to me and tell me about some bad men killing children.  Although we do not know all the fact of these deaths I did ask a Pastor today if these deaths could be a result of a religious practice.  He said there are those who believe in order to win at the lottery or to gain money, jobs or wealth they must make Satan happy.  Sacrifice is the way you do it.  That means different things to different people.  He truly believes that Satan is behind so many of these things that happen in this country and that we need to be very diligent in our prayers and very diligent in our work to reach people for Christ.  I asked my Pastor here if he would be visiting the families in this area and if they were going to go could I come along.  This week we are going to meet to talk about a children's program and evangelizing in this area as an outreach of the church we work with here in Haiti.  In the meantime I am spending time in prayer about this very matter.  God is changing Haiti one person at a time.  There are so many wonderful Christians here. I think of the young men at Emmaus seminary and the work they are doing.  The churches here.  The individuals here who love working for Jesus.  So many.  Please pray for them as well.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Our hearts are breaking

Today is Sunday and we have been to two wonderful services that were so uplifting.  Then during prayer time the Pastor of the school I work at announced that he had recieved word that two of the children who were to begin school tomorrow have been murdered.  They are between the ages of 3 and 8.  They are from a region in the mountain where the school had offered free education to some of the countries poorest children.  We do not have all the facts but we know that evil is surrounding all of this.  We know in our hearts that Satan is definitly a part of this but I know that God the creator of all things will turn this into something that will bring honor and Glory to himself and advance His kingdom. 
Satan is very much a part of this country and we are at war spiritually here everyday.  Our prayer is for our walk to be so close to our Lord and Savior that we are prepared for the battle everyday. We need to put on the full armor of God each and everyday.
Please pray for these families and the Pastors as they minister to them.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Great Respect

I am sitting here nursing a sore back and drinking a coke after a morning of washing sheets in a tub outside using as little water as I could because of the lack of rain and praying that the power comes on so we can pump water.  How spoiled we are.  When I think that Haitian women do this kind of work everyday my heart goes out to them.  Yet since Bud and I have changed how we live and we live more like the community around us we see a difference in how the Haitians look at us.  It has given me opportunity to share that we are not special. The Haitians are always running to help me and say that I should not have to work so hard.  One day I asked why and was told because I am a blanc woman.  He told me Blanc women cannot work like Haitian women and should not have too. WHAT!.  When did we become better than the people we work with. Because of this I want to work more beside my sisters and build relationships with them as we work.  I wish I lived closer to the river and I would love to help them do their laundry.  What a great way to build relationships and open opportunities to share Jesus.
Yesterday I drove into the city to help with sign ups for our English Classes. I had an opportunity to meet a man who is Haitian and lives part of his time living in Fort Lauderdale.  Pastor and I had a chance to share with him our dream of a children's club ministry here.  He was so excited and felt he could help us find play equipment for the kids. After a little while I went for a walk with Pastor through the streets of Cap.  I can remember being a little apprehensive of just walking around but God is showing me that this is a new place of ministry for me.  I have time between my classes I am teaching.  There are so many women working in the streets and so many opportunities to build relationships with them.  I told Pastor I wanted to go out alone and talk with the women.  He told me go ahead but I saw him watching from a distance.  It was wonderful. The women are so anxious to talk we me. My Creole gets stronger everyday because it has too.  If I can spend a few minutes each day sitting and talking with them I might be able to build a discipling relationship with them.
I went down to OMS to sign certificates for my students last year in English and God showed me that my work with them is not finished either.  So many asked for the opportunity to visit with me and spend time talking with me.  My mind went to an overload of fear of being overrun with people wanting my time.  But then isn't that what I am here for.  To build relationships, sharing Jesus and working alongside our church building a group of disciple for Christ. I praise God he has given us our evenings that are quiet and peaceful and we get restful sleep.  Yesterday Bud was working with a man Ti Blan.  They are getting along great.  While they were working a friend of Bud called out "aren't you taking a lunch break" Bud responded why the Haitians aren't."  I can tell you Bud comes home at 3:00 and he is dead tired but loving what he is doing.  He is working along side men he can influence everyday by building relationships.
Jeslyn just came and and told me my clothesline broke and all my laundry is lying in the grass.  Praise God for grass and not mud.  The Haitian Women never have this problem because they hang their clothes over their cactus fence.  Silly me using a clothesline.