Friday, September 21, 2018

Heading up the mountain.

Tuesday morning we repacked our bags and then had breakfast with the team and Deep River folks. After the team left we posted the blog and chatted a bit before prayer and heading out.

We stopped for a SIM card for our phone after which I tried to text and Cory went to a store to exchange some money. 

The phone internet did not work so we stopped at a second phone location to get help making it work. Very thankful to receive texts from my folks and Anna assuring us that we can communicate while on the road!

Then we stopped at a mission where a mechanic teaches Haitians as they repair cars together and he checked our Land Cruiser. They switched the front and back tires for us to try to fix a shimmy. We will need to have a gear in the back axel replaced next spring..but it should be OK until then.

We will also be buying new belts soon but the rest looked OK.

We then headed to Fauche. Most of the crops this summer were lost in the drought and many fields were never planted this spring. All the animals were let loose which caused even more problems. Our oldest employee, in his 60’s, says it is the worst he has seen. Some of the area’s cacao trees died and most had large branch dieback. Breadfruit and bananas are also major crops around Fauche and lost most of the production, many of the banana plants sacrificed or stolen to keep livestock fed.

Cory’s plant/tree nursery looks better than we’d hoped it would. Some items damaged by a hungry goat recently but nothing of significance died.

We unloaded our bags and started to think about what we will pack.

Thursday..I enjoyed attending the early prayer meeting. Cory walked to the gardens across the river with the guys. Fritzlin and I took apart the boxes that make up the base of our bed. His aunt and mother came for a visit just as Cory arrived back from the gardens and we had a good visit. Lunch. More packing. So thankful for our Land Cruiser! Solar panels, a tall bookshelf, the entertainment center, 2 big mahogany boards (1.5”x22”x4’!) that we plan to use for bathroom counters; Lots of smaller things stuffed down between the shelves, the items from our 3 checked, 3 carry-ons and 3 personal bags. We also organized the remaining things for pick up. 14 years of curriculum take up a lot of boxes! As well as favorite books. 

Thankful for Jean Pierre’s family who provided us with stew, eggs and bread, rice and beans with chicken & sauce- what good friends we leave here. After dark his family came to pray with us and send us off well. Continue to pray for Jean Pierre’s health as he’s doing much better but still struggling with his diabetes and high blood pressure. 

Friday’s plan is to leave around 6:30 [left at 7] and slowly drive south to Ortlip [made it at 2]. Stop in to see our teammates and hopefully check e-mails and post this blog. Then we will continue up the mountain. [another 3-4+ hours] If the internet at the neighbor’s is working we will post on Facebook and I’ll put a praise on the blog.

Thanks for the prayers. A few delays..and Anna's cat not happy but small things. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Return to northern Haiti.

Greetings from Cap Haitian.

So very thankful that the Lord blessed us with children who travel well.

This trip Fritz enjoyed the planes, not being sick and was very happy to finish the movie he had started on the plane when he left Haiti.

We enjoyed our visit with Pastor Ray and Mary in Hollywood, FL on Monday night.

We approve of the increased space for arriving passangers and baggage in the Cap Haitian airport!!

Everything went smoothly.

Our friends greeted us at the airport and helped us load up the Land Cruiser.

We then headed off to Pastor Rigo's church in Trou du Nord to meet Dustin and a team from IN who are working this week on the new school buildings.

Then on to Deep River guest house where Fritz practiced his swimming and burned off some energy while Cory enjoyed talking trees and plants with Michael.

It worked out for our national superintendent, district superintendent, and friend, Pastor Denor, to stop in for a quick chat.

Fair parade candy!
Dustin and team are staying here as well so we arranged for some of our stuff to be dropped off from the Fauche it can travel on the truck toward Délice next week.

Fritz likes goats
Today some business and shopping in Cap Haitian before we head to Fauche.  Will not have internet there. Plan to spend the day there tomorrow-packing, visiting [hopefully with Fritz's aunt/family], and checking out the gardens.
New school

IF all goes well will head up to Délice on Friday.

Thank you for the prayers! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Here we go.

First part the of the week, [today we start] we will head to Fauche, Haiti.

On the way we plan to visit with friends in Florida between flights; see a school build at Trou de Nord; meet with Dustin and the team working on the school; overnight at Deep River guest house; talk about trees and plants while there; look into paperwork for the Land Cruiser in Cap Haitian; get a  local sim for the phone; transfer some of our household items from the Land Cruiser to a truck going to Ortlip next week; and hopefully have a short chat with P. Denor, the new national superintendent.

Then a couple nights at Fauche, visiting with friends; checking the gardens and plant nursery; loading up the Land Cruiser; and visiting with Fritzlin's aunt.

End of the week we hope to be heading toward Ortlip and then up the mountain to Délice. We will not have internet at Fauche so I hope to be able to prepare a blog that I can then post during a short break at Ortlip before heading up the mountain.

We are praying that the internet is still working well in the house that we house-sat, while we built our house. If so then we will be able to stay connected with our family, team, and supporters by frequent walks over to check and connect.

If not we will try to stay connected now and then by phone. We will be leaving a few contact emails with our teammates, Dustin and Nancy. We will also rely on them to post prayer concerns on the AMP Facebook prayer group.

I will try to get a blog out before heading up the mountain the end of next week sharing the first part of our journey home, during a short stop during our travels between Fauche and Délice.

I hope to celebrate the arrival of Fall Sept. 22nd by posting a blog from Délice celebrating our arrival to Délice, having internet, and our move into the house. If you do not see a blog for a while after that please pray for our internet issues.

But if I cannot post I'll do my best to journal about our move and working on the house so that when I do have a chance to blog I can share the process with you: the highs, lows, and surprises.

I'm reminded how thankful I am that we can connect with God anytime, anyplace, and without the need for technology, gadgets like phones, internet or even the need for paper/pen/stamp. We don't even need to be able to say the words out loud to communicate with our Heavenly Father. thankful.

So we head off into the next big adventure. Confident in the Lord's love and plan. Thankful for our great support team and the prayers. Counting our blessings and standing on His promises in the face of unknowns and chanllenges.

Signing out for now...

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Go tell it on the mountain

In less than a week, Lord willing, three of our family will be back on the mountain at Délice.

So thankful for the prayers during this busy summer and during our transition.

The move should be 'interesting', character building, faith testing, and exciting.

Sometimes missionaries have a hard time finding a honest balance between sharing things in a too positive light vs. focusing on all the hard ugly details.

So I'll confess to finding this blog hard to write and post...not knowing if I hit the right, true balance. Trusting you will forgive me if I did not.

We plan to live in the new house, while pushing to finish up some of the start up tasks....
  • Praying to find a workable internet system for the new house. We plan to travel daily to the neighbors to check our emails as our phone reception will likely be spotty. 
    • Praying that the neighbor's internet is still working. Putting a back-up plan in place in case it is not.
  • Cleaning up from the summer's absence. Getting bedrooms set up
  • Unpacking
    •  Getting working household and school area set up
  • Completing the cement surfacing of the floor
  • Continuing school with Fritzlin
  • Getting the electrical solar/battery system bought, set up, and functional
  • Moving from cistern water hauled up by hand in a bucket to running water
    • Once both running water and electric are in place, we will be able to treat drinking water
      • [Until then drinking water will be from our kind neighbor's place]
  • Purchasing propane tank and pipe for the stove 
  • Working on the front retaining wall and entrance way, replacing the rock and dirt ramp
  • Getting the fence up the mountain and in place so that trees and garden can be planted
  • Terracing the land to help prevent erosion and prepare planting areas in preparation for next year's rainy season
  • Find a way to transform the gravel pit into a water catchment area
  • Start to connect with the folks from the village and build relationships

    • Continue to build relationships with the staff from Together We Can-Haiti and the kids Agape House
  • Work on building the AMP team and partnerships
And more.....trying to be realistic without becoming overwhelmed

Only the Lord knows the time-line for these projects. We will do our best to stay flexible and content..counting our blessings.

 But we know there will be trying days and issues, so we ask you to pray for our family. [Remember Eli and Anna at Calvin as well-that they can continue to lean on the Lord while trusing Him]

Another reality is that some of the projects will need to wait for additional funding before we can purchase the needed supplies and hire help. You can read more about the house build funding here.  

While we would love to hire a handful of men from the village during the dry season, [when they don't farm as much], to work on some of the projects, we don't have the funds to pay them. So we will hire just a few or wait until the funds arrive

We know what a blessing it was to the village to have so many of the men working on the house last year and early this year. We look forward to hiring some of the same men to work on the land, which will not only bless their families and the community but will help us to continue our relationships with them. 

The faster the start-up/developement funds come in the faster the AMP proprieties will move to becoming self-sustaining and Lord willing, generating profits for supporting the ministries of the national Wesleyan Church of Haiti.

Other approved projects:
Agricultural Training Program
Creole Health Book Project

Coming soon...AMP project for second site.
We thank all who already joined the prayer team for our family, the new work at Délice and for those joining us by giving or praying for the funds needed to move forward.

Together we can make a positive difference.

Monday, September 10, 2018

20 years...

20 years ago we were packed up and transitioning a one year old son to LaGonave.

This week, we pack with an almost 8 year old son to return to Délice, our third location in Haiti, leaving two young people behind to their college studies.

Praise the Lord for the last 20 years. So honored and thankful for His leading and direction. Thankful for those who've supported us step by step through the highs, lows, and in-betweens.

The only things that did not change over the years would be God's faithfulness, grace, love, and wisdom.

Everything and everyone else has changed in many ways.

A few examples..

  • We learned to e-mail via dial-up on many folks can text and send video from their phones.
  • We started out focusing on the medical work at the hospital, changed to agriculture focus in Fauche, and will now find a new balance on the mountain.
  • Homeschooling changed from something to try to avoid to precious time learning with our kids.
  • Global Partners: Logo [a few times], leadership, member care folks, forms, training, location..

The team members changed and continue to change: with frequent comings and goings ever expanding our circle of friends who get our lives from a closer/ more realistic prespective.

We've learned a lot about Haiti, ministry, and ourselves. The Lord continues to use hard and good times to shape and change us.

We now enjoy seeing and hearing about the ripple effects of projects from years gone by and seeing how the Lord allowed us to participate in a positive way in so many other people's lives.

Heard recently how....a change of pace + change of place = a change of perspective. So we know that on our return to Haiti our prespectives will once again shift.

Time also changes how one looks at things... so many blessings. So many blessing started in the messy hard points of life. Interesting how the Lord can transform and redeem pain & suffering into beautiful.

We continue to learn to trust Him through the questions and confusion of this life.

Lots of unknowns remain before us with the new location, new ministry, new team, and new family structure [just the three of us in Haiti]. Will share soon some specifics for those of you who like to pray through lists...