Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Church Celebration

Over three inches of rain last night. While the rains have fallen most nights this week the days have been at least partly sunny. Typical 'winter' weather for us.

Sunday we enjoyed the Fauche church's 'Harvest Festival' celebration, with three singing groups and Pastor Dieuce's sermon on 'God is Calling You'.

We continue to wait for news about our adoption paperwork: that the judge received the medical reports; that the judgement is done; that the papers have been turned into the social service office.

Missionary women singing their offerings to the front. 
Anna is working on school this week, while Eli will spend his spring break visiting both sets of grandparents. Very thankful that Eli can spend time with our families and that they are close by.

Bit by bit we are going though our household items: sorting, packing, evaluating, prioritizing, giving some away....in preparation for our eventual move to the mountain.

With rainy days and soggy land it makes sense for us to take the time now, and feels like a small step in faith each time we pack a box for Délice. We actually have bare bookshelves! Which folks who know us recognize as being rare. We know that the Lord opened the doors for us to move and His plan will come together in His way and His timing so we will pray and prepare.

Yesterday we agreed to buy a Yamaha Grizzley 4x4 that a missionary family we know put up for sale. It should be a big help with construction and transport at the top of the mountain.

Yesterday a few folks dropped in to chat with Cory about trees and gardens. They work in Port Margot and several other locations in north Haiti doing school gardening projects and education. Cory shared chaya and edible hibiscus cuttings. They plan to return when they are ready to plant some fruit trees.

Each May 1st many schools and groups distribute trees to plant. We have an order for 320 chaya cuttings for Port Margot Wesleyan School. The leaves of this large bush or small tree when cooked are similar to collard greens and very high in nutrition. We eat them about once a week almost all year.

Every year I complete my required 'continuing medical education' requirements for my family pratice boards. I read a bunch of medical journals and do a short quiz as well as complete one on-line unit a year. Last week when I went to sign up for my unit study I found that they are now requiring a 'national provider number' which I don't have. Sent in an email to the help-desk but have not heard back. Please pray that we hear soon. Thank you.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Garden & Peach Palm Update-Cory

Gardens are growing well with plenty of rain and sunny days.  About 14" of rain in the past two weeks.

 Recent peach palm harvest, 24 pound bunch of fruit. This tree, planted in 2010, had about 120 pounds of fruit during the past 12 months. The fruit is oily so an orange, vitamin-rich layer of oil floats after boiling but the fruit is still starchy and dry, good in soup or with mayonnaise.

Costa Rica, April 2014 at CATIE

 Planting the garden rented from a family in our church, February 2015. About 525 total planted on mission campus, the rental garden and two purchased gardens.

Same garden this week. Peach palms from Costa Rica. The garden has been regularly planted to mostly corn and beans, also some sugar cane and bananas, so it is regularly weeded by the owner. Looks like some of the palms could start fruiting in about a year.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Week review and transtion thoughts

Weekend travels make for a long week but a good week.

Coffee bean drying area of the plantation ruins
The week started with cold, wet weather keeping us all inside working on school, and office work.

By the middle of the week the sun dried campus out and Cory started to visit the gardens and Anna played volleyball in the afternoons.

I enjoyed my adult health class and some weeding. In additon to starting my continuing medical education hours for the year this week we purchased an app that allows me to try some ideas on what the new house could look like on the inside.

Anna and I after a few months of hit and miss days of school on top of having left the school computer at the Ortlip Center back in November sat down and reviewed where we are in all subjects and where we need to be to finish her school year in June.

A bit of the past, originally written in Feb. 2007, bold lettering is new. 

 “How long do you intend to stay in Haiti?” is a question we have heard often during our eight eighteen years in Haiti.  Our answer has always been “Until the Lord points us to a new location.” The Lord has opened up a new door for our family in Northern  Délice Haiti and we plan to move in August. 2017 

Permanent pond a few minute walk from the Wesleyan land. 
Parenting, agriculture and life all have seasons. The LaGonave  Northern season was a tremendous season of learning: tropical medicine and agriculture, Haitian Creole and culture, small children and homeschool. We have learned many valuable lessons and will leave part of our hearts here. The Northern  Délice season will find the great need for both agricultural work taking precedence over the  and medical work.  Learning of Creole, Haitian culture and leaning on the Lord will continue to be part of our lives. 
  We see this move as the Lord’s way of expanding the agricultural [and medical] education and  our impact on the Haitian people. Words are not adequate to express our gratitude for your support and partnership. We hope that you will continue to pray and support the work during this transition period. The Lord is at work in Haiti and you are an important part of the team.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Meetings and travel

Neighboring mission...orphanage building on left.
Thursday we traveled down to the Ortlip Center for a couple days of meetings with the rest of the Global Partners missionary team.  We headed out 6:50am and arrived arrived about 11:15, just as the boat from LaGonave was unloading the majority of the team.

We enjoyed spending time with the rest of the team, espcially the worship and fellowship time. Anna hung out with the other teens and played with the younger children. This was the second meeting in which she was the oldest 'child' there but it still feels strange to her.

Boy and girl houses
Saturday morning we headed up to visit Délice along with three of our team, 5 visitors, and Brother Clotair, represending the Wesleyan Church of Haiti. He came along to help us see where the property lines were located and brought stakes to mark them.

First a few of us visited the neighbor's building project to see how the work on the orphanage buildings is coming and to gain all the knowledge we could about the process. Looks like we will copy both the dimensions and building process on our house and a guest house. The rest of the visitors took this time to hike up to the fort and see the coffee plantation ruins.

After our visit we spread out on the property until we joind up with Clotair. While the site we saw on our second visit for a house is not owned by the Wesleyans we found a good site with an amazing view, as well as a second site for the guest house.

We walked a bit further West as well to see the local pond. It is currently at its lowest point, seeing how they are at the end of their dry season. We saw many people working up fields with picks in prepareation for planting season.

Saturday night we reviewed our ideas for the inside of the house with a couple of the builders and folks who went with us and listened to some of their ideas. We hope to visit again in May to stake out the locations of the buildings as well as look for a place to build a tool shed that could serve as temporatry houseing for our family during visits before our house is ready.

Sunday morning we headed out after an early breakfast so that we could join the Goniaves church service. Due to a late start and getting a bit lost on where the church was located we arrived after the preaching had started..but still were encoraged with the sermon about obeying the Lord and then sharing communion. Then we continued our journey back home.

Today is a rainy cold day in the north therefore we're working on some house plan ideas, school, and office work. Thank you for the prayers.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kris's Mom...feelings about Délice

  When asked to write about how I feel about our children and grandchildren moving to a remote, mountain top in Haiti...I guess I have to reflect on not only their and our history in the country of Haiti , but also on the unfailing love, mercy and grace of our heavenly Father.
   First...I recall our own calling and involvement in Haiti.  A two week trip to a remote place, seeing needs that we could help fill.  I can remember the excitement as God called us into full time service and some of the feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.  From our perspective now of many years..our decision to follow God's leading to move to Haiti was one of the most  influential that we ever made for our family.  Our involvement in Haiti..has lead to our children both being in full time service for our Lord..one as you know now on their 19th year serving in Haiti.  Our decision, not understood by many, supported by some, proved to be a time of seeing God work in so many special ways that showed His love.
  As we first heard the news from Cory and Kris about their visit to Delice, we could already hear their heart's longing to go and help in this needy area.  A people group, isolated from major urban towns, a people group where the vast majority of adults are illiterate, whose children are suffering from preventable illness, medical ER care non existent, farmers who only know to grow a few crops...a people group somehow lost in time and a people group who our Lord loves.  And when you saw me hungry and thirsty....you gave me something to eat and drink.  And with that..all the logistics of the move became things that simply with His help the Thedes would begin to overcome.  Praying for the Lord's guidance on this journey...they began.  First to tell us and Eli about moving to a place that in many ways is more removed from us...questionable internet service for good communications, a longer way to travel for visits.  Now the raising of funds for a home to be the first building on the site.  Even in the raising of funds, I know how difficult all this can be.  Once funds are raised..the isolation of the building site means construction challenges and finally the move..which is hard to even comprehend at this point and finally learning to live among the people there.  It is all a HUGE challenge.  Not an easy work, a pioneer effort and my heart sighs deeply with it all.  BUT then I remember we serve a God of the impossible and remember He has never failed us.  A God who loves the mountain people of Delice.
  I guess all of this leads me to one final thought...and it is all about what God has called each of us to do.  I covet, plead for your prayers for this new calling for Cory, Kris, Anna.and F.  Pray that God will move in mighty ways in the building of the house and the move.  Pray that the enemy will not be able to discourage or frustrate plans.  And finally ask the Lord if you might have the privilege of helping with the financial need of this project.  You see it is a privilege.  Larry and I, nor most of you, could not take on a project like Delice, there are not many who would have the qualifications that are needed there, but without others to pray and give, neither can Kris and Cory.  I wonder how many will feel God's calling to become a part of this special work.
[While I was tempted to edit out the part about asking for funding for this project I did not. I know the Lord will bless those who partner with us in prayers or funding. I know it will take many folks to equip us to move to this new location...but I'm not comfortable asking for 'us'. I know we can't live and serve in Délice without a house / home it just feels selfish asking for funding that will benefit our family in such a personal way. Maybe it is my pride that makes me feel so funny...but I know the blessings that the Lord can pour on the generous. So in the end we left the blog unedited.]