Friday, October 31, 2014

Cap Haitian Day one

Yesterday we finished packing for a week in Cap Haitian to join the Lutheran Holy Cross team we also joined last October to work.

Four from last year's team and two new folks traveled to Haiti on Thursday to serve mostly with medical clinics.

Last night we visited with the team and enjoyed a nice meal before a big thunderstorm hit during the night.

With the travel everyone was tired and went to bed early.

This morning we headed out to the local campus. Cory checked out his trees and said that with the dry summer some trees did well but others did not.

Considering how dry it he was not disappointed.

This morning I saw patients while Eli and Anna helped with vital signs.

Cory checked out the campus and did some nutritional education.

After a late lunch we continued. In total the team folks saw 100 patients mostly older adults with a list of problems.

We started the morning with 2 of us seeing patients, had 3 consulting before lunch and 4 of us after lunch.

After lunch Anna helped me chart. Eli traveled to a second location with Cory to see the main garden and plant some fruit trees.

 They have some moringa growing well but they lost about half the plantain bananas from the drought. Suprisingly a the drought sensitive (while young) breadfruit we planted last year did well.

Already had a thunderstorm on the way back to the hotel. Enjoyed my second hot shower!!

After a tasty supper the kids and I helped the team bag up vitamins for the school children.

Time for bed!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Criminal Responsibility

Sunday the pastors of the Northern District of the Wesleyan Church of Haiti exchanged pulpits as they normally do the last Sunday of October.

This year Pastor Nicodem shared at Fauche. Being Reformation Sunday most of the time was spent reflecting on Luther's life and contributions to the Kingdom. Pastor also talked a bit on Romans 12:1-2. How no man can block the path God has for you. God does not ask us to do things He will not help us complete and how we need to give our lives as a living sacrifice.

Then, almost as an after thought he added a sentence or two that caught my attention and thoughts.
When there are crimes done in your neighborhood do you consider how you personally are responsible? If you did not reach out to the person committing the crime to share the Lord's love and message of salvation then you're in part responsible for the crime. Had the criminal heard maybe they would have accepted the Lord transforming their life and preventing the crime!!

WOW. One almost wishes you could see what a difference a serious commitment to this goal would make in our cities and neighborhoods.

Making the extra effort to make sure people are doing OK. Not stopping when they report 'I'm OK or 'Fine' but pushing a bit to find out how people really are doing and then committing to pray for them.

Just a few ways to make a difference.

  • Reaching out to troubled young people struggling with school or life. 
  • Visiting the lonely. 
  • Writing letters or visiting those in prison or their families to support them during this hard time. 
  • Taking in foster children or adopting those who need a loving home. 
  • Helping someone with a financial need get on their feet. 
  • Working to keep a wholesome atmosphere in your town where children can grow up safely.  
  • Holding people accountable and letting them hold you accountable.
  •  Helping those who struggle with addictions and encouraging them to stand again after a failure. 
  • Praying for leaders of local gangs, terrorist groups or those who vocally attack the Christian faith. 
  • Supporting groups like AA, after school programs......
  • Volunteering your time and resources to community projects, at a homeless shelter or food pantry or one-on-one mentoring.
  •  PRAYING! 

The next time you watch the news or read your local paper, pay attention to the crimes or the section that lists arrests. Then ask, What did I do to prevent this suffering. Suffering of both the criminal and the victim and their families? Ask the Lord what you can do to make a difference.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful List

I'm reminded of many things to be thankful for today.

Health: Although Anna's stomach has been a problem since last night she's feeling a bit better and keeping down fluids. Cory caught a cold but Eli and I remain well. Praying for a friend who's ultrasound showed many locations of cancer no longer responding to chemo and a second one who's now on a treatment to help his liver function, secondary to liver cancer his plasma which should be a light yellow, now appears blackish with toxins.

Adoption: No news but we continue to faithfully pray for the process and our 'littles'. Praying boldly for the Lord to move mountains, make a way and fight for our kids. Praying for a family we know who after 7 years in the process is adjusting to the news that the Haitian children they love and have worked hard to adopt will not be joining their family. Praying for all involved.

Internet: Remains frustratingly slow and spotty. My computer will not allow me to access any of documents until it 'updates' but with our slow doesn't appear to be updating. Thankful for any kind of rapid communications that is not counted in days or weeks.

Safety: In all our 16+ years in Haiti we've not experienced a serious car accident among the team. Yesterday one of the new missionaries driving home from Port ended up being hit by a UN bus. Thankfully the Lord protected him in many ways [provided someone who knew him in minutes, an ambulance, a English speaking doctor from Canada, a CT scan that showed nothing serious...] Praying for a rapid recovery for him and repair of the vehicle.

Time with family: Reading a book that consists of a soldier's letters to home and his sweetheart during WWII. Very thankful for the 'bonus' hours we've enjoyed with Eli and Anna through homeschooling, and that they did not need to attend boarding school. Thankful that as hard as leaving Eli next year in the USA will be we will not be sending him off to war.

Next week at this time we will join a medical team in Cap Haitian for a week. We enjoyed a week with the Holy Cross Lutheran team last year in October and look forward to meeting some of the same folks and a few new ones.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekend Report.

Birthday Picture.

Wednesday's trip to the market went well. The trees and plants sold well...for about $15 American. The real befit of the trip can be measured in the education that occurred while the workers answered questions about the plants and trees.

Gener in the orange shirt holding a tree.
Evon stands just to the left facing left. 

Campus hosted a Compassion group last night. The normal Friday night video on campus did not happen due to electrical problems and an electrical storm.

School went well this week with lots of learning. In less than two weeks we will be joining the Lutheran team in Cap Haitian for a second time and enjoy Fall break by helping out for a week of medical work.

Ag. book translating and editing continues. Please continue to pray for this important project!

Internet continues to be spotty and slow hindering my ability to post and post pictures. This also means that one of the sticks needs to be shared-between all four of us.

School and office work share the highest priorities. Sadly we cannot figure out how to download our Kindle books with the new system.

[by clicking on a picture you can enlarge it. ]

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thede Haiti Fall Newsletter-text.

If you would like to see the pictures and get this newsletter via. E-mail just let us know. Or snail mail. 

Summer Conferences
All four conferences on campus proceeded well. Men, women (some with children) , district leaders, and youth all enjoyed time for fellowship and learning this summer on the Fauche campus.  Helping to host included: providing electricity, water, sharing fruit and seeds, and selling trees and health books. Supporting the national Christians remains a priority of our ministry in Haiti. Encouraging to hear about how books and trees bless people in other areas of Haiti.  The National Conference and a Youth Leadership Conference followed in August at other locations. 

We enjoy getting news about the ministries on LaGonave. On October 1st, the new Wesleyan College of Nursing Science opened. The first class consists of 31 students, 20 chosen by Compassion International along with 11 chosen by the Wesleyan committee. The staff continue to work hard toward the big hospital move into the new building, hopefully in October.   Many additional projects continue involving: clean water, public library, agriculture, community health, education, dentistry and more...
We praise the Lord that the first Haitian missionaries arrived in Africa, mid-September, to serve for three months teaching and ministering in a predominately Muslim area. One of the three young men comes from the Northern District and we’ve enjoyed getting to know him over the years during his visits from seminary. Please pray for Wendel, Emilio and Edwise. 
One practical way we enjoyed supporting the work on LaGonave this summer involved hosting Dr. Bob and Marcia Vermaire.  They visited for a month of Creole study before moving to partner with the medical work.
  • Internet equipment problems.
  • Adoption: for improvements in the process.
  • School: Eli’s Senior year!
  • Finishing the Agricultural/Natural Medicine book.
  • National Elections-delayed.
  • Moving the LaGonave hospital into new building.
  • Language study: Especially new team members.
  • Helping a team in Cap Haitian the end of October.

  • Good District and National Conferences.
  • New missionaries in Haiti.
  • Start of College of Nursing Science on LaGonave.
  • Eli accepted by Calvin College for Fall 2015.
  • Three Haitian missionaries serving in Africa.
  • Good rains. No hurricanes. 
  • Chikungunya past peak. People slowly recovering.
  • Family health after summer illnesses/chikungunya.
Celebrating 16 Years in Haiti. September 11 started our 17th year in Haiti! Major events include: Prayers. Support team. Creole. Culture. LaGonave hospital. Nurses. Moringa. A new millennium.  Anna joining our family! Date palms. 9-11 Attacks. Homeschool. The 2004 political coup/evacuation. Kidnappings. New mission team mates. Moving to Fauche. Kids Club. Bananas. Earthquake of January 2010, Health book published. Breadfruit and peach palm trees. Literacy classes. Agricultural book. Adoption Paperwork.  Hurricanes. Road blocks. Riots. Missionary Retreats. Travel. Losses. Gains.Visiting Teams. Personal growth and increased faith! More blessings than we can count!!

Creole Books
Wonderful progress made on the agricultural, medicinal plant book! Lord willing, we will be able to send the completed book to the printer in the next month or so. Cory and Met. Alert spent many hours editing the Creole and working on the context.  A team working in the mountains of LaGonave ordered 200 health books for their trip in December.  A young man who attends school in Port-au-Prince stopped by this summer to let us know that he was promoting the first book and waiting anxiously for the second book to be printed. Motivating to know that people who enjoyed the Konsey book are already anticipating the second book!
Several dozen peach palm trees are thriving on campus and six have bloomed. We hope for a first harvest in December. The young peach palms from seeds collected in Costa Rica in April are also growing fast now and are almost ready for field planting.
 Star fruit trees continue to attract interest. To help encourage this Cory and the guys loaded up some trees and sample fruit this summer and spent a morning at our local market. We also gave a few bushels of fruit to share with the Port Margot church members hoping that those with interest and land will plant the seeds.
Recently on market day, the guys set up outside the campus gate, selling fruit trees and health books. A couple of men working with USAID stopped in to see the nursery and gardens, being interested in agricultural projects and already working with chocolate and a few other commercial crops. They set up a time to return to show additional staff Cory’s trees. 
Starfysh reports that during their first month of operation of the LaGonave moringa garden, now “Life Garden” 200 bags of moringa powder were harvested, prepared and sold, exhausting the supply. Jean Paul Donn is the lead agriculturist for the project . He was born and raised on LaGonave and has a university degree.
January Team Kris’s folks will be spending Christmas with us but plan to extend their trip. This would be an excellent time to join us for a visit. If seriously interested and can travel for a couple of weeks around January 6-22nd, let us know. 
Together we make a positive difference in this suffering world. Thanks to encouraging people like you, people can still experience  hope and courage during hard times.  Thank you. Serving the Lord with your help. Cory, Kris, Eli and Anna Thede