Thursday, July 20, 2017

Moving thoughts...thoughts about moving.

Since being married, most of our moves have been completed in a few days time. Only once, during our our first year in Haiti, did we move slowly across a yard on LaGonave. Our current move will be different because we will move in phases. We plan to pack up most of our household this week in order to be able to focus on the gardens and catching up with friends on our visits to Fauche over the next several months. Then once the house is built and ready to move into, we will finish packing up the house and move the bigger furniture items in a large truck.

Interesting what comes to light along with the emotions and memories when packing up your life for a move. Other than the farm I grew up on, I’ve lived in Fauche the longest period of any other time in my life. I came across a WISH newsletter this week, from August, 1975, talking about my folks - “Larry and Carol have been busy for days packing barrels for shipping their good and supplies to Haiti.” 

Little did they dream how much that move would change and shape our family's lives. 

So many memories of people who sent cards or gifted us items we will take with us. Cards from grandparents and strong supporters, no longer living in this world, continue to encourage even today. So many people who’s fingerprints remain on our lives many years after talking face to face or actively corresponding. Books from “Aunt" Marilyn and Gertrude; a small Japanese bowl, movies, wood pieces, a glass vase, kitchen tools, other tools and gifts from grandparents and friends…I thank each of you again for the impact you had and continue to have on our family. 

Because we plan to shift the majority of our time to Délice, some of the good-byes from friends here have started. I remember my parents expressing during my family's two years of living in Haiti that they wanted to live so that they could leave well when the time came.I understand that so much better as an adult than I did as a child. After 19 years [come September] on the field, I’m sorry to say that we’ve seen more missionaries leave poorly than leave well. 

I’m thankful in a selfish way, to hear that we will be missed when we leave here, because that is so much better than people being happy to see us go. Leaving friends is always the hardest part. Although we will be back for visits we all know it will not be the same. At each location we serve we end up leaving a bit of our hearts. Change = pain. But we hope and pray that our time here will be remembered as a blessing and that people saw our love for the Lord in and through our lives. 

Please pray for our family during this time of transition. [Transitions and major trips tend to make us a bit grumpy!] Pray for the Délice project start up. Pray for our friends at Fauche. Pray for Cory’s guys, John Pierre, Evon, Gener, and Djordy to see what needs to be done and do it right to keep the agricultural work thriving without Cory’s daily supervision. Pray for F’s paperwork so he can join us soon. [Pray for us next week with 7 hours in the truck with Anna’s cat Kody!] Thank you.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Conference week #2

Most days this week have included: school, packing, laundry, dishes, volleyball practice [formal or informal, for Anna], office work, and yard/garden work.

Cory visited the gardens across the river with Yvon on Tuesday while Gener and Djordy mowed and worked on the  clinic yard to have it looking good for conference.

Jack fruit makes very good juice
Most of the new garden trees are doing well but some were starting to suffer a little from the dry weather. The soil in the gardens ranges from excellent to so bad that I have asked myself "is there something toxic here where even the weeds hardly grow even after plenty of mulch has decomposed?" The soil is improving but it takes time.

The local peanuts were mostly harvested but dry weather also hurt thier yields and corn is wilted.

A neighbor was letting his young calf graze in one of the gardens. He has been talked to already and we repaired the fencerow again that he had partly burned and trimmed.

Wall is going up along the road side of campus as well as some field fence on the other sides. This week, after years of rumors and little else, they started working again on the road from Limbe to Port Margot.

Wednesday the leaders started to arrive for the district conference.

So far we've been able to share jackfruit, bananas, starfruit, and tomorrow morning - velvet apple.

The first two fruits had about 75 seeds each so we will soon have hundreds of jackfruit seeds to share with other missions and nurseries.

A Lychee tree that doesn't fruit here due to lack of a cool season is provididing many air-layered trees to plant at Delice.

Anna completed three weeks of her school year and organized her books for next week.

New hospital and clinic entrance
They plan to play a volleyball game at Port Margot next week. She's working hard on her jump serves.

We enjoyed 1.5 inches of rain last night which the plants/trees needed and it cooled the muggy air down nicely for sleeping.

 Thursday we received troubling news about our adoption paperwork but thankfully we mobilized our prayer teams and received more hopeful news late on Friday.

Details here.

As we plan to spend more time after next week up at Délice than here we're packing up most of the house now.  We've managed to fill the house with lots of stuff in the last 10 years.

Note to self - "when putting boxes up in the attic/above the drop ceiling, where you can't see....make a list of what you have stashed up there".

I was surprised when Cory handed down the non-Christmas boxes and counted 15 of them! Not all our we have items in storage for Eli, Kris's folks, Cory's mom, and our friend Cathy.

F will be thrilled when he gets home with the 2 BIG boxes of legos.

Potting newly rooted Lychee branches for Delice
Every item is then carefully scrutinized and weighed against the effort to get it up the mountain: go, give, trash, deal with later, or stay in the house.

The 'go' items are then packed and placed on a list so that we can decide trip by trip what moves up when. Books will mostly stay here where they should be dryer until our house is built.

I find along with dealing with physical things I am also dealing with memories, dreams, and mental stuff.

The room we decorated for F that he's never seen..
The plans we came with vs. the things we accomplished. Memories so many good but mixed with the painful ones. The friendships we will always treasure and some rascals that we will continue to pray for.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Men's Conference week.

White gravel at the new site that will be used in making the water cistern.

On Tuesday Cory brought our guests to the airport.

We enjoyed having Larry and Marti visit and showing them  more of Haiti and our ministry.

Visitors also give us reasons to sit around and fellowship over good food as we try to introduce them to as many fruits and new foods as we can!

Anna and I have tried to get back into school along with doing some packing.

Strange packing up our house when we don't have a house ready to move into yet.

But Very thankful to have a great place to stay near by and not a tent. Our plans are to head back to Délice the end of the month, after conferences.

No adoption update. Praying for forward movement soon.

Eli continues to do well with his summer internship/job.  Missed celebrating the 4th with him but thankful he has family around supporting him.

Délice had 1/2 to 3/4 inch hail this week that damaged the corn. Please continue to pray for the area, as well as those still trying to recover from last fall's hurricane in the south and flooding in the north.

Enjoying hearing the men [178 deligates this year] sing during their confernce. They've also blessed us with a gift of fresh beef and sharing food with us.

Next week the district leaders will meet on campus. We support by helping with water, electric, and sharing fruits.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ortlip Center and home again..

So Monday we packed up and cleaned up a bit while Cory and Stephen talked to the crew about working on the access road and starting to dig sand to use to make the water cistern.
Start of the new road near the coffee plantation ruins

Then we headed down the mountain, reaching the Ortlip Center in the early afternoon.

We stayed at the Ortlip Center for Tuesday and Wednesday to help the staff host a large team working in a nearby town. We enjoyed some swiming and faster internet as well as interacting with the team.

On Thursday morning Larry and Marti Grimes crossed over on the boat from LaGonave to join us on our trip up to Fauche. We stopped for a bit of shopping in St. Marc, then for mangos and a bit of lunch along the way.

Friday: school work, unpacking, laundry, moving mahogany boards, catching up on emails and updates.

Thankful for Stephen who took pictures of the road work and sent them to us.

The access road to the house should be done by late July when we plan to head back up to Délice.

The district men's conference starts on July 5th.

Please continue to pray for the transition to Délice.

Pray for our adoption paperwork to move forward.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Second team

The dental team saw many interesting cases: extra teeth, adults who still had baby teeth, long skinny roots, twisty roots, crumbly teeth, infections, some pretty good teeth and one lady with a partial set of false teeth.

Dental clinic with a view!
While folks waited in the morning I spoke to them about some general health issues. I also consulted a dad with a 5 year old with sickle cell, a couple patients with wounds, a 2-year old with fever, and a pregnant mom with stomach aches. Cory helped with the education part or construction as I continued to translate and assist the dentist.

The team also presented the gospel message to those who came and the people who could read received some reading material and everyone received toothbrushes and toothpaste.

One day Cory, Stephen and some of the Haitian men went to our house site and finalized the location as well as where the access road will run. Another day Cory went with Leon to see the nearest village where he lives.

Anna enjoyed the company of the team which included 3 teens. She helped some with the future team housing construction as well as spending time cleaning dental instruments.

New Creole words learned:
   booyah = fog
   pok = numb
   pressyon = pressure

Team praying with those who decided to follow Jesus

Construction continues during clinic

Trip to Village:

 Riding part of the way on our quad it took less than an hour to get to the "village". Cory tried the mangos and they are sweet and tart, good flavor but have thin skin, are stringy and tend to get wormy. Some of the Florida mango varieties we have may be a big improvement. 

The corn was growing well, some taller than Cory, and bean harvest was starting. He saw a few coffee trees loaded with beans but there are only a few and not many types of fruit. Only mango and avocado are common.

Rocky stretch of road