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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Compassion Competition.

Representing 13 Wesleyan schools with Compassion projects, they arrived on
 Tuesday and will return home on Saturday morning. 
As the top students in their projects this week they came to try to become the Champion of their age range by winning competitions in many subjects. 

 We shared bananas, star fruits, star fruit seeds and miracle fruits. 

Dr. Bob and Marcia celebrated their anniversary today by attending their second day of Creole lessons. 

We did prepare a special supper for them but unfortunately Eli continues to feel poorly with a fever and could not enjoy it much.   

Joy, next to Anna is your stand-in!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Dragon Fruit Flower

This weekend we enjoyed seeing our first, full sized, dragon fruit flower blossom.

They blossom at night and remain open until almost noon the next day.

Cory collected pollen for future flowers on the dragon fruit plants on the bread nut tree that flowered earlier this year but did not set fruit due to lack of pollination.

This type self pollinates so we will carefully watch for a fruit!

A cloudy day outside, as we work on the book editing and school work.

The Vermaires should be on the road heading our way with a Haitian driver, as the Irvines were unable to visit at this time.

We will use this occasion to send down some items we no longer need to share with the other missionaries as well as send some plants to our friends in St. Marc.

Tomorrow the Compassion folks should be coming to campus.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Guavas and lilies

Yesterday morning and today the air almost vibrates with songs of birds, bugs and frogs. Yesterday we did receive a half-inch of rain so maybe more later with the singing frogs.

Heard last night that the LaGonave hospital move needed to be pushed back so our visitors may be coming on Monday if vehicle repairs happen today.

Enjoying and sharing guavas with friends this week. 

The smaller ones are regular pink seedlings from Florida. 

One turned out to be similar to 'Ruby Supreme', which is mild flavored, sweet and reported to be so big the fruit flies can't get into it as much as other varieties.

 The fruit flies/worms aren't bad so far this year so it may just be the year.

The big green guava is a seedling of 'Bankok Large'. 

It is huge and without the usual guava odor and flavor. 

It matures very slowly so the worms and bugs ruin them before they really ripen, but they are good at the mature green stage like a crunchy vegetable.

School, book editing and life continue as normal. 

Anna is feeling much better with only a slight cough remaining.

Hanging up clothes on the line yesterday I noticed that the giant spider lily bloomed.

 In past years, caterpillars damaged the plant so badly I did not get to enjoy the flowers.
 I only picked the blooms that had already opened so I can refresh the cup later. 

They produce a faint, sweet smell. 

For the flower lovers, it is a Crinum lily, sometimes called the purple spider lily.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

For the compulsive checkers...

OK. Not really much to update, but I hate to think of those of you who check the blog frequently looking again and finding nothing.

Help me out and send me some questions or suggestions for blog topics please.

Campus quiet this week but next week will be hosting a large Compassion event.

While the Michigan cousins remain on summer break, we started week seven of our school year. I'm planning on completing up Eli's paperwork for college applications this week having submitted the academic referral on-line Monday.

Cory continues to make good progress on the Creole agricultural book and turned over some of the devotionals to Met. Alert as he will help with the final editing.

Anna's 14-day fever cleared on Saturday, and her cough continues to improve as well. Very thankful for her return to health.

More interesting days coming ahead...

  • Two Seven days before Dan and Joy arrive to bring new teammates Dr. Bob and Marcia up for a few weeks of Creole study. [Lord willing]
  • In 14 days, Eli will turn a year older. [He sent in his college application this week!]
  • In 23 days, we will celebrate our move to Haiti, 16 years ago.
  • Lord willing, 128 days before family arrives for Christmas. [Anna's counting]

The most exciting event to be added to our calendar, we cannot count down to yet. We continue to wait on our adoption referral and getting to schedule our two-week bonding trip. Folks keep saying referrals should start soon but no evidence yet.