Friday, December 14, 2012

Looking Forward To A Visit Home

Thursday afternoon

Things have been very busy here as usual. Sammy has been keeping us on our toes day & night. We have been weighing him every Tuesday and can’t say that it has always been very accurate with a digital luggage scale and his car seat but after 4 weeks he has gained 2.33 lbs. His ribs are no longer visible, his dimples in his cheeks and wrinkles in his legs are gone. He likes to sit up with a little help and continues to jabber, not sure if it is English or Creole but he does like to say Da-Da a lot. Jane will be happier when he can get his lips together to say Ma-Ma.

We have been blessed over this past week with enough EDH (electric utility) that we have not run our little Honda generator for more than a week now. Each day the power has been on from midnight until sometimes as late as 3:30PM, it’s enough to keep our batteries and inverter going continually.

We have been going over check lists and making arrangements, preparing for our time away. It’s hard to get my head around that it is almost Christmas, the weather has been in the 80’s. I hear Christmas music on Christian radio but due to the poverty here, decorations & gifts are something that is gone without. I tell many back home that Christmas here is much like Easter in North America, a church service and a nice Sunday meal.

Missionary Flights Int. has been very busy transporting teams and Christmas freight both for missionaries and Christmas bags/boxes to be distributed. Recently we have been getting two planes each Tuesday & Thursday. Just like the delivery people back home, all involved have been putting in long and tiring days making it all happen. I am so blessed to be part of their team.

Jane has supper planned for Stewart Dawson tonight, he is a close friend and has been working full time to help raise funding for the radio station since first coming in after the earth quake in 2010. He plans to fly back to Kentucky tomorrow.

A week ago it was the Jim Pancratz team (Back home) including Neil Tomkins from Nebraska along with many friends from both states that we have known for years but didn’t know each other. They had come to do solar projects and distribute eye glasses.

I’ve been busy the other three days a week working on generators, trucks & drilling equipment for Life Water. Each day the Haitian crews continue to repair pumps and drill new wells to keep Haiti in safe drinking water.

Some of the things that I am looking forward to this time home: family & friends, hot showers, full nights of sleep, ice cream, fast food, bagels, donuts, no mosquitoes or gnats.

Some things that I am not looking forward to: cold weather, burning more than 5 gallons of gasoline in the car each week, needing blankets and window glass.


Sunday, December 09, 2012

The days past so fast and are very full

This week we are going to try to post some pictures.  It depends on our Internet but we are definitely bringing home pictures to share.  Sammy is our most amazing story.  He has gone from a baby barely surviving to a happy chubby ( in some places) baby boy who loves to laugh, talk, and interact.  But most of all he loves to eat.  He is now on cereal and is up to sleeping about 3 hours a night giving us somewhat a time of sleep.  When Sammy is up everyone is up because he acts like he is starving to death and is very impatient about waiting for his food and taking breaks to burp.  All in all he brings joy to our lives. 

The children at the orphanage are doing better because we have been able to provide meals that are more balanced but I am looking forward to when we can provide more meat and vegetable. So many have sent gifts and some of them have gotten to us.  Others will be coming in our next release of funds from our mission board.  We are working on a way for people to help us on a more even basis that we can count on.

The little crippled boy has left the orphanage and I hope his family has followed Dr. Rodney's lead and placed him in  a special hospital for people of his needs.  Unfortunately I have no control over what families do with their children. Most of the children in the orphanage have no one.  Others have relatives but the parents are gone. 

I met with the landlord and he is definitely a person with passion for the kids.  The house needs work to make it better for the kids and he is willing to take the rent money and use it for that purpose.  He is also willing to sign a contract assuring us the use of the house for a longer period of time then a year at a time.  One of the fears is that when white people get involved the rent goes up but he has not done that.

 During the rain and flood the wall that separates the house from a ravine fell and that makes a dangerous situation for the kids and breaches security. That is a top priority to fix.  The house also has no running water so the bathroom in the house has not been finished. The toilet has to be flushed with a bucket and water is carried for a long distance.  These two things he is willing to use the rent money for to fix first.  The rent is $2500 American a year which is reasonable I think for the location and condition of the house.  The back area where the outdoor kitchen is and where laundry is done needs to have concrete poured and he wants to do that as well.

We  have received a gift of money towards beds and we have found a place to buy beds and mattresses. The house is not big enough to buy everyone their own bed but Haitians are not used to that.  The plan is to buy 12 beds and mattresses.  Three are for the adults who live there and the rest are for the kids. The landlord is also willing to put a second floor on the house and give us two more bedrooms in the future.  The bathroom needs tiled so the kids can use the shower and it found out it would not take much to have EDH added.

 Bud and my first priority is food. Next week I have a meeting checking into getting them into a different school if possible.  They now attend a school that has given the kids a break in tuition but it cost $150 a month for tap tap if the kids can get one.  I need to see if it would be cheaper and safer for the kids to have them go to a school they can walk too.  I would love them to go the Grace Zion School but it is too far away and it does not have all the grades we would know.

All of this takes money and organization.  Which is all in God's hands.  Bud and I and others who are joining us as partners in ministry are looking at the budget and looking for people to partner as sponsors. The orphanage is under the direction of a Haitian director but any money spent from our ministry is controlled by us and food and supplies are delivered.  All equipment is marked as well as a donation of Grace for Haiti ministries and remains the property of our ministry to help us to see that God's money is used as we feel He is leading.

English Classes have been going well. I have two more weeks of teaching before we break for a month.  I am looking forward to the break.  So many of my students are Christians but I know some in my class are not yet they are at least listening.  We are presently reading about the life of Joseph.

Bud has been working very hard with Les Babcock and Lifewater.  He is presently working on their water drilling equipment and trucks.  He has also had the opportunity to go out and help drill a well. They have been wonderful to us and permits us to use their truck when we need which will be great when we want to take the kids somewhere.  He continues to work at the airport two days a week and right now they are so busy because of Christmas.  So many things come into this country for the holiday and for organizations a gifts. We are so blessed that some of the packages were for our kids.
The tax collector also hit us hard to accept them but the joy that the kids will have is worth every penny.

I continue to meet on Saturday mornings with people from our area.  We call it, the come as you are Bible Study.  Each week we see more coming most out of curiosity but they stay and listen.  They now feel comfortable to ask questions.  Questions are asked that tell me what Church they are attending and how God's Word is delivered.  Others say things that lead me to believe they are into Voodoo but they still come.  I prayed for a young man for 4 years in a similar situation and this past month he accepted the Lord and lead his wife and children to Christ.  AMEN.  I pray for that for this group.  We started with 19 attending and this week 28.  There are those who taunt me as I pass by them and say we are coming but I just smile and take a little time to talk with them. I know that these are some people who are known as trouble by those who live there but I can still show them love and maybe someday it will make a difference.

We are going home for a break after Christmas and we have a wonderful young man who is going to law school who will help me with the orphanage and I am so thankful for him. Because I teach at the medical school I receive a small amount of money for teaching and I am able to use it to pay him to help me. 

Sammy will stay with his nanny Madam Charlo and I know he will be in good hands.  Your gifts have assured that there will be enough money for the kids to be fed while we are gone.

Our fund raiser for a vehicle has gone very well and we are $2500 from owning our own car.  We are hoping to buy it when we get back. I am very excited and thankful to return the car we have been borrowing for the past 4 months.  Thank you Ti Louis. May this be a wonderful Christmas season for you all.

Our personal support continues to fall a little short each month but God has been faithful and kept us from having to spend money on things we expect to have to pay and when problems occur like 2 flat tires in on week the money has come in unusual ways like surprize gifts.  Praise the Lord.