Wednesday, September 23, 2020

This and that

The guys started a new area of terracing to reclaim some very rocky land with a few scattered bushes and wire grass. 

Cory was pleasantly surprised to find most of the rocks are easy to move and a little good soil between the rocks. 

There is a patch of red clay, which may be 20 or more feet deep, near the middle of this rocky hill that will be spread on the terraces. 

Cory has seen near our house that this clay apparently can turn into good dark topsoil.

Fritzlin passed the 1/2 way mark in 4th grade.

He cleaned the aquarium where he housed and hatched many monarch butterflies this summer.

 Both the ones he had and the wild ones started getting diseased so we decided to take a break.

Working on weeding as we're preparing to send a video as requested by one of our supporting churches, as well as having potential visitors this weekend.

With a chance for mail if Pastor Clotaire visits on Saturday, we're working on a Fall Newsletter*, thank you letters to our team, and paperwork that needs to be renewed in Port-Au-Prince in October-both for our Land Cruiser and our residential visas.

Some of the vegetables are winding down, the local corn crop is drying down; and we continue to enjoy colorful gladiolas.

Kids Club is doing well at Fauche.  Photos are during Compassion International gift box distribution. Please pray for Jean Pierre's health. He is still having some pain in his ankle and his eyes have a cataract and glaucoma. Volleyball recently resumed.

* Please let us know if you do not receive these and would like to. We can send by email or snail mail.

We love the sky views

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Haiti Anniversary Reflection

 22 years ago my focus, once we arrived to our apartment on LaGonave, was to unpack and organize our new home. Cory’s mom traveled with us and helped with Eli who had just celebrated his first birthday the week before. 

A dream that first began for me as an eight year old living on LaGonave and watching the work at the hospital finally returned me to the starting place. 

I’d spent 22 years of my life up to that point learning in classrooms and 3 years working/learning in residency. The last 22 years I’ve continued to learn and grow in this classroom of my Dearest Haiti. My teachers include many people, events and situations that I never dreamed of when we moved.

Big and small, hard and harder, the Lord changed me, molded me, chipped away hard unwanted parts, burnt away some of the garbage, replaced some of the holes with healing, softened trauma scars with time. Thankful that He continues to work on me through His love, His plan. 

Through it all He remains faithful, holding me with love scared hands while I cry, laugh, moan, praise, or beg. While confusion and questions may swirl around me like a hurricane He understands. He knows. He sees me. 

We moved from the little apartment about 6 months later across the yard. After 9 years of island life we followed the Lord’s direction to the rainforest-like climate of Fauche in the north, and then 10 years later up into the mountain air of Délice.

Roughly new land boundaries

 Through hurricanes, a major earthquake, 2 evacuations for political instability, years of adoption paperwork, lots of Global Partners changes, writing/putting together a couple books in Creole, building a house on a mountain ridge,  all the the ups-downs-ins-outs of precious relationships with broken people, all the unexpected twists and turns of life… He is still leading. 

Anna and Fritzlin both joined the family; Eli and Anna transitioned to college life at Calvin; many family and support team members left this life for their heavenly home. 20 years of residential visas. 3 GP logo changes. 3 director changes. Too many teammates and partners to list, including 29 current churches. Thousands upon thousands of prayers for us and by us. 

Back at the beginning I started writing major events on a large index card for every year and reviewing them shows how far we’ve come and highlights many changes. 

This year’s card clearly shows a difference-NO Visitors. NO in-person connection with anyone from GP  since the end of June 2019 due to restricted travel and canceled meetings.

 Fritz and I have remained on the mountain for the last eight months, that does not mean I'm the same person. 

Our marriage started off on a solid base of God’s love and faith in Him but was thrust within days into the challenges of surviving medical residency.  Eli joined the family during my last  year. 

I moved to Haiti as a wounded person with a tendency to lash out and hurt others when overwhelmed, spread to thin, lacking margin and filter [sadly most of my life during those years and too many times since] 

I apologize to those who were caught by my bad attitudes and sharp tongueand i hurt. 

Thank you to those who prayed and called me on bad behavior and words-a true friend really does sharpen others and because of you and the Lord, I’m a better person today. 

Please continue to do so.

With HIs continued grace, mercy, faithfulness, and LOVE I will continue to change and grow into the person He created me to be.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Rains, garden work, and coffee


One more coat of sealant

September tends to bring more rain up here in the mountains and we've even had a few mornings wrapped up in cloudy mists.

Most afternoons this month the guys hurried down to their homes in the village trying to beat the rains.

 Nothing like a few hours of continuous mopping up from leaky walls to motivate us to pull out the partial gallons of sealant and once again start painting around the rocks by the kitchen, trying to get them water proof to protect our nice plywood cupboards.

The guys continued work on the yard behind the house; moving rocks, building short rock walls, removing piles of gravel or dirt left from the house construction, and finally planting in the newly uncovered good topsoil.

Happy to find good topsoil after hauling out much gravel

They also weeded some of the corn today.

With only a couple of months or so left before dry season, some of the work is winding down.

So the guys are only working part time now for us. 

Fortunately for them a neighbor down the road has some work digging gravel.

Coffee plant, need more than 1,000

After waiting a year, and continuing to ask, we finally received not only coffee seeds to plant but also 37 baby coffee plants! 

We were told that this type of coffee is 'old coffee' probably left  from the days when the plantation produced coffee. 

So while the few coffee plants in the village have ripe beans, we will try to get seeds planted so trees are ready for planting at the beginning of next rainy season, hopefully on the new property once it is surrounded by a fence. 

A newer coffee variety started producing in two years in the neighbors garden. This old variety is a larger tree and will take longer, but will likely prove much more profitable.



Recent harvest

Coffee, avocado (which we are also planting) and tomato

Cabbage doing great!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

New Land

Not much rain in the last week so Cory is watering some of the plants and trees.

The guys continue to work on moving dirt and gravel from piles behind the house. 

The area by the kitchen now contains poinsettia, bouganvillia and lots of sweet potato plants.

As the gravel and dirt move, the path becomes smoother and more level. 
Additional trees will be planted by the path.

On Saturday a small group came up to discuss, walk/ measure boundaries and come to an agreement on a new land purchase.

We are pleasantly surprised by the size of the land available to the west of the house. 

Cory is dreaming of planting the less rocky, better wind protected acreage as soon as: the current owners harvest the corn crop; the paperwork is completed transferring ownership to the Wesleyan Church of Haiti; and we fence in the land. 

He continues to wait as well for the coffee beans growing in the village to mature so that we can start coffee trees. 

On Sunday we walked over to the Agape house for worship. 

We harvested our first rutabega this week, also more turnips, lots of tomatoes, and a pumpkin.

Fritz and I continue with 4th grade and Anna started her junior year at Calvin. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Tropical Storm Laura

 This weekend saw us preparing for tropical storm Laura.

Caulked around windows, lowered the shade house, and harvested the garden produce on Saturday.

Throughout the night we awoke frequently listening for the wind and rain.

At dawn on Sunday the rain started and soon it seeped in around windows and through the rock walls.

We did some reading at the beginning but soon all three of us were busy mopping.

For a number  of hours we spent most of the time mopping up between 15-20 gallons of water an hour from our bedroom, bathroom and the kitchen.

Fritz worked hard right along with us.

Two of his butterflies hatched and spent the day hanging on the gladiolus.

He released them on Monday morning.

We took pictures of the leaking around rocks so that we can work to seal the walls before our next big storm.

Thankfully by around 3 p.m. the rain was letting up but the winds continued throughout the night.

Much of the corn and banana plants leaves were shredded and the guys report more wind damage down in the village, especially of the corn.

We only had 2.6" of rain but other parts of Haiti saw severe flooding, loss of property and lives. 

On Monday we took the day off to hear a sermon, read, and rest up.

Part of a rock wall along the driveway collapsed, and the guys repaired it today. 

Thank you to those who prayed. We continue to pray for any other major storms to remain out to sea for the remainder of 2020's hurricane season.