Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sight seeing, shopping, and stuff..

Young African Oil Palm fruiting near ground level.
The week continues to wind down along with our guest's time at Fauche. Their Creole studies will continue as they adjust to life on LaGonave and discover how best to help the medical work. 

Tuesday they visited Haiti's famous fort, the citadel and the palace while Cory picked up cargo and shopped in Cap Haitian. 

Fruits our guests got to try boiled in salted water. 
In preparation for the renewal of our Haitian residential visas in October, Cory needed to return to a bank in Limbe on Wenseday to pick up the cashiers check and finish up some shopping. 

Dr. Bob and Marcia used the opportunity to visit the mission hospital and museum both started by Dr. Hodges years ago. 

School continues in our house with Anna working on her standardized testing for this year even as I write this blog.

All Eli's application paperwork should be at Calvin by this point. 
The work on the agricultural book continues. New update about praying for our adoption: here
Three Haitian missionaries traveled to Africa this week to spend three months working in a French-speaking area doing evangelical training in a Muslim area. 
LaGonave staff continue to prepare for the start of the latest nursing program, the New LaGonave Wesleyan University of Haiti, School of Nursing Sciences set to start in October.  

 The move to the new hospital building on LaGonave will hopefully occur in October as well. Please pray for these busy people. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Looking back and forward..

A week containing lots of looking back and remembering.
Nice looking cow but......

September 11: My maternal Grandfather's birthday [he would have been 99], the 8th anniversary of his heavenly home going, the memories of 9-11 and the biggest one for Cory, Eli and I was moving to LaGonave 16 years ago. Anna celebrated with us even though it was before her time.

September 13: Remembering my maternal Grandmother's heavenly home going two years ago.

Tomorrow September 15th: My Dad's birthday as well as my folks anniversary!

she likes to eat and damage bread fruit trees. 
Reviewing lessons learned with Dr. Bob and Marcia about missions, living in Haiti, life. We continue to enjoy their visit while they work on their Creole.

They tried boiled and salted oil palm fruits, bread nuts and avocado smoothies this week.

If all goes according to plan 'A' the mission driver will arrive from Port-au-Prince on Friday so that they can get an early start on the road, Saturday morning.

The above cow damaged about 8 of the small breadfruit trees in the garden that Cory uses for cuttings for the nursery, snapping one off totally!

Her owner after much talk about the 'accident' (and multiple past livestock offenses, this time it appears someone chased the very tame cow to force it through the garden fencerow) did send money to pay for the broken tree as Cory requested.

Excited to learn about 4 adoption referrals that occurred last week while we continue to pray for movement for the families in the different stages of the process.

Visited the Nazareth Wesleyan Church this morning with our guests.

After service one of the leaders came to talk to me about a young girl.

The church took up a special offering to get her  some medical testing which occurred last week.

She's 12 years old and has a heart condition as they preformed an ECHO cardiogram.

Still waiting for the test results and to learn about treatment options.

Please pray..not sure how to spell it but her name sounds like Edling.

 This week: school, working on the book, Cory to Cap Haitian on Tuesday for cargo and shopping, he will bring Dr. Bob and Marcia to Milo to visit the Citidel and palace while he shops and pick them up later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Learning and pollen

Afternoon storms continue to cool our weather and add moisture to the air making it feel a bit like fall. 

I've returned to my lightweight hoodie in the mornings while the other's remain fine. 
Sonlight's 'We love to learn' motto remains very evident in our house with everyone learning something these days. 
  • Vermaires work daily on their Creole vocabulary and practice hearing the words though interacting with folks on campus or those they meet on their walks in our neighborhood. 
    • Yesterday they also learned a bit about tropical fruit trees when they accompanied Cory as he pollinated a peach palm.
  • Cory's Creole continues to improve as well as he works on the agricultural book.
  • Eli's focusing on calculus, advanced physics and English literature.
  • Anna's working through the American Revolution, algebra and marine biology.
  • I learn through helping the above folks and continuing to read books, especially those concerning adoption, medicine, relationships and Christian disciplines.
Currently, we continue to enjoy the last of the guavas and some avocados. 

Cory made guava jam last night with ginger and cinnamon. 
Cory daily checks the peach palms as two of them bloomed this past weekend, and two more trees are budding. 
He both pollinates and collects additional pollen for the next blooms. 
Most of the trees have 2-3 flower buds when they bloom. 
Cory continues with researching and experimenting with pollination and the pollen collection since there aren't any other peach palms around yet old enough to provide pollination. 
Putting the flower stalks in a bit of water causes them to open faster but Cory's not sure if the increased length of drying time is worth speeding up the flower's opening. 
If not placed in a small amount of water they will open slightly as the flowers dry.   

You may be able to see from the picture why he's glad these trees are spineless peach palms. Not all varieties are spineless. He is standing on a step ladder. It was only 5 years ago that Cory ordered the seeds that grew into these tall palms. 

Sad to report that our dragon fruit flower did not set fruit...still waiting. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Celebrating Eli

Yesterday, we skipped school to celebrate Eli.

The other's played a game of Risk, making Eli happy. Smiles at the start of the game.

We enjoyed homemade taco's for supper with hot fudge cake!

As a surprise our guests shared  a small container of vanilla ice cream they'd bought on their trip to Cap Haitian Tuesday with Cory.

They also brought a small ice cream maker with them to Haiti. Due to issues of freezer space we're still waiting for the batch, started yesterday afternoon to harden.

Anna's been checking and looks like we may have some ice cream to taste this afternoon.

As we unplug the bigger chest freezer when the sun stops powering the solar panels in the late afternoon we'll need  to eat the ice cream this afternoon.

We also celebrated Eli today by printing out the last paperwork needed for his application to Calvin College.

So next week on the MFI mail plane the envelope will be heading to the USA.

 On the MFI plane that picks up the mail from Port-au-Prince will be the needed, non-family member written, character letter of recommendation.

Hard to believe that likely next year Eli will celebrate his birthday as a college student!

Monday, September 1, 2014

September's Haiti Challenge

Dear Team,

We would like to challenge you to join us in September concerning a critical need. This impacts thousands of Haitian children.

Just like in many North American communities, here in Haiti, families' thoughts this time of year revolve around school. Generally, school starts the first part of October but this year the government has set opening day as September 8. Starting school means paying school fees, purchasing uniforms, shoes and supplies. All this causes stress in the family. 

We would like to ask you to join us in September to pray especially for Haitian families. Like many countries, keeping family relationships healthy and family members together can cause emotional, spiritual and financial struggles.

Pray that the parents can unite strongly in marriage, providing support and encouraging their children.

Sadly, like in any country, some families cannot stay together. Some children undeniably have no one to care for them, perhaps being true orphans [both parents died] or maybe with special needs that overwhelmed the family making them place the children into an orphanage. We do not know all the stories, but we do know that there are families waiting to adopt.

Please pray specifically during September for Haiti's department of social services for children, IBESR. Mme. Arielle Villedrouin is the director at this time. Felyne is responsible for making adoption referrals. Because of many changes to the system that needed to occur when Haiti joined the Hauge Convention on Adoption April 1st, only a handful of adoption referrals occurred in the last 11 months. Some families now count their wait in years, since their charts entered the system.

Now Haitian families need to travel and see a children's judge 1-2 times to give up the rights to their children. For abandoned children to become adoptable, the mayor of the town needs to come sign the papers. After listening to explanations of what would occur, what adoption means, suggestions on how to stay together and meeting with a physiologist the family members need to think about everything they learned for one month before they can relinquish the rights to the child. At this point, IBESR may find a family for the child. This should help to reduce confusion about the process, reduce child trafficking and keep more families together. Prayers for families, this new department, the staff and  the new children's judge would be appreciated.

Now, instead of orphanages matching the children with families, this will be done by IBESR. This will likely mean that the parents start out working with one orphanage but may match with children from a second orphanage. No one yet knows how this will work or the complications that could arise but it will surely be more complicated.

Because of the hundreds [maybe over 1,000 ] of currently active charts in IBESR, the department reports they will not be accepting any additional cases during the month of September to deal with 'all current cases.' While we doubt they can deal with each case we pray for miraculous efficiency during the month so that the process can start to move waiting children toward the goal of joining their new families. Our chart's stay in IBESR waiting for a referral is now past the 7 month mark,

Because of the lack of referrals, many orphanages remain full and are forced to turn away new children requiring care. Without families matched with children, the funds for child care cannot be used and with the long delay, families who matched already continue to pay for monthly care while waiting for their children to come home.

The Haitian government may prioritize abandoned children, children with special needs, older children and sibling sets.

We believe that through prayer more of God's power is released.

Pray for:
• Spiritual health of Haitian families
• Financial and physical health
• Families can locate ways to stay together
• If they can't that good orphanages can be found
• IBESR to get the new system working well
• To get caught up on old cases
• To start referrals
• To implement the right process for matching children with families.
• To process cases in a timely fashion
• Work through the problems in the system
• The additional legal stages after IBESR. 

Thank you,
Cory & Kris Thede