Monday, July 25, 2016

Women's conference completed.

Getting trees
Cory loaded our pickup truck at 4am with 10 passengers and a heap of luggage to head to Limbée so that the ladies on the national committee could catch the bus heading south.

They were very grateful for the ride as well as the help given during the conference.

They shared food, like pumpkin soup (Sunday breakfast),  throughout the week with us in gratitude.

Pumpkin soup beats most American breakfasts!
Or maybe because I've been pointing to Cory's skinny body as being healthier than being over weight, they are trying to put some pounds on him! ha...not that easy, even though he likes all the food.

We were just a handful of people short of 400 blood pressure checks during the week.

Cory sold about 75 fruit trees with star fruit and malay apples being favorites.

Papers about chaya and chaya branches were also handed out to plant as a vegetable bush.

We greatly appreciate the chance to see leaders working very hard to advance the Lord's kingdom.

All 25 of the northern district churches sent representatives to the conference.

Only one afternoon saw heavy rains and the tarps didn't blow away, allowing the new church site to serve as the main meeting site.

Leaders brining in offering with song and praise!
Tomorrow, the district pastors and national church committee members will come to campus for the last week of conferences for 2016.

We were able to share 6 buckets of starfruit at the conference despite some theft by several groups of thieves.

 Twice this weekend during the day, some of the guys stealing starfruits from the nursery attempted to take the trail camera but a loud keychain alarm attached to it scared them off and notified Cory.

Praying for them to get their lives on track. It will be interesting to see if the photographed people will be receptive to dealing with this in a positive way or if it will be up to the Lord to deal with them if we can't.

Police type options are very limited in a revenge culture where we don't even have local police.

Kris was able to message with Eli a bit on Saturday. He's busy experiencing and learning a lot. Both classes are easy over-seas fluff.
Still need a roof!

 Keep praying. Eli blogged 'first week down' followed by 'sad' his thoughts on visiting the Sacksenhausen concentration camp here.

They are in Berlin, more than 5 hours by train from the recent attacks in Germany. 

Anna finished up her second week of school and played one afternoon with some of the younger children attending the conference. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Women's conference day 1...

Eli: After settling in and seeing some of the sites this weekend the students started classes on Monday. Today's blog from a professor "Between our 3-4 hours in engineering class every day and the 2-3 hours of German class and all the homework to do (and grade), our group is very busy."

Church on Sunday and to think 2 weeks prior he was home-worship with no electricity, sitting on wooden benches that he helped his grandparents build, and singing accapella. [In the second picture Eli's sitting on the far left of the picture in an orange shirt.

Very thrilled to see Mme. Fanny able to return to work yesterday after many months off for health reasons.

Her doctor repeated all her tests and things have greatly improved. Celebrating and praising the Lord with her. The lab for her blood improved x4 and is in a normal range!

Many arrived after the rain, on motorcycles
 or open trucks, wet and with wet luggage
Women's conference started yesterday, following a lot of campus preparations and clean up. Cory headed to Limbée about 4 ish to pick up some of the women on the national committee, and thankfully returned before a huge thunderstorm hit, dumping over 3 inches of rain on campus.

We picked about 65 pounds of star fruit to share with the ladies on Monday and more remain on the four trees in our back yard.

Still loosing some to boys who come even in broad daylight to steal the fruit. Praying for them to learn how dangerous this can be before they get in real trouble and that they turn their lives around now.

Three bunches of bananas walked from lower campus in recent nights as well.

First full day of women's conference today and we were shocked to learn they expected around 600 women! Two years ago about 200 attended. Printed and cut more blood pressure cards...will see how many we can fit in before Saturday night.

 Best is to just have a couple in line waiting, as too many waiting means more talking and harder hearing.

Children's program
 So for one hour this morning Kris did blood pressures for the ladies working in the kitchen-sending one directly to clinic and telling two to go tomorrow.

In the afternoon before a meeting Cory joined Kris in front of the big guest house for a second hour of checking pressures and all three of us checked later in the day for a couple hours.

Singing fills the air as they sing praise songs...we checked about 165 blood pressures today. Hoping the 600 number is including children!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Kids Club field trip and Malay apple, by Cory

The Kids Club took a day trip on Tuesday to visit Vertiers, Blue Hills Wesleyan Church, and the Cap Haitian Cathedral.

Roll call was taken here at the school, then after a group photo they loaded into two buses.

Vertiers is the site near Cap Haitian where the slaves drove back the French Army in the battle for independence.

This is an old photo but we should be able to post a few photos of the outing after JeanPierre returns later today from a trip to Port au Prince.

Next the group stopped at the Blue Hills Church for a rest, snack and kids program.

Then off to downtown Cap Haitian to see the Cathedral and park downtown.

Haitians don't travel much so this was the first time most of the kids had seen these places. Vertiers Park is right on the main road into Cap Haitian.

The malay apple trees have a light crop now, with small fruit due to the dry weather.

After 3 hot sunny weeks with only a few night sprinkles, we are thankful for a 3 1/4" rain last night.

Since I need the malay apple seeds for planting, we are enjoying most of the apples ourselves, only sharing with a few who won't let the neighbor kids know they are fruiting.

There are a few neighbors with kids that tend to steal any fruit they find, even before it is ready for picking.

This has been a problem for years so prayers are appreciated about dealing with it in the best way.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Conference, new Kitchen and new fruit

On church Sunday 20 of 23 district churches were represented, as the men completed their conference.

Next year's goal is to have representatives from all 23 northern churches.

Great singing and worship. A bit loud with a borrowed sound system.

We sat outside with the overflow crowd, enjoying a nice breeze, nicer volume, and watching interesting children.

Cory was finally able to try out the new decibel meter he purchased...going to attempt to education folks about the dangers to hearing if exposed to very loud noises for extended periods of time.

The message reminded us that the Lord will provide 'Abundantly' for those who listen and follow him.

The men who attended the conference last week were the first people to benefit from the new school/campus kitchen.

Those who visited us will remember a dark, poorly ventilated area where the cooks sweated and worked to make great food for visitors and school students.

This summer the area received some needed improvements.

There will also be a place under a roof for the charcoal cooking.

They are working on getting propane burners for cooking inside...should be cheaper that charcoal.

In addition to the kitchen improvement they are working on modifying the building where our pastor lived last year and turing it into a dorm to hold 21 beds.

They've worked on the bathrooms and shower area.

Next week, the campus will be hosting the district's women leaders and the following week the pastors and leaders from the district and national church.

Finally after a few different plants producing dragon fruit (pitaya) flowers we got one to set fruit!
This is 'Dark Star' dragon fruit, a very vibrant purple color. Not strong tasting but a bit sweet and crunchy.  
The new types we're growing are self fertile. Very excited to finally have one fruit!
 We shared a taste with Cory's guys. Cory's first dragon fruit plants are still on LaGonave but needed a second plant for pollination. 

Old kitchen

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Men's conference ....

Kodie doesn't like folks leaving
Three more buckets of star fruit picked the last couple of days to share with the men on campus for their annual district conference.

Most of the men arrived on Wednesday afternoon and will leave tomorrow afternoon after morning worship.

Yesterday the three of us spent 2.5 hours doing blood pressure screening and sharing health information.

What Eli left behind...and lots of great memories 
We checked about 116 people, sending one to clinic and a second told to go to clinic the next day for very high blood pressures.

A few people were busy at that time so we will check some more in between meetings this afternoon. [if the meetings get done in time]

No word about our adoption...Tuesday we should learn something about our social worker's trip.

Thursday we brought Eli to the airport in Cap Haitian, said our farewells, got our last hugs for a while, and then did some shopping before coming home: veggies, creole books for the lending library, paper for newsletters and educational handouts, food, a small tub of ice cream, and fried food.

Eli ran into a couple delays but made it to Michigan mid-afternoon on Friday, very tired. He spent today doing some paperwork, shopping, unpacking, packing, and family time as he heads back to Calvin tomorrow afternoon.

For the first time since Eli and Anna started school we did NOT do any home-school while in Haiti for one whole month. We've only ever gone a couple of weeks...but both did do some studies -German and PSAT prep.

They enjoyed the extra time together. Monday school starts for both of them.

Hot and need of rain. The spring in a ravine by one of the gardens across the river dried up this week.

Some of the more drought sensitive newly planted trees are wilting.  Most weeds are still growing rapidly.