Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mother's Day travels...

Still and quiet on camps as the sun beams start to climb over the mountain.

Happy Haitian Mother's day.

Praise the Lord! Mme. Fanny visited us this weekend. Although not on any chemo for her cancer her labs and physical health has improved.

Please pray for Haiti as election results of reviewed votes are being given this weekend...and not everyone will be happy and some have or will protest with violence.

A strange type of day full of mixed emotions--

  • Travel to the USA !! but not to Michigan.
  • See Eli...but not rest of family.
  • See missionary friends, GP friends, new friends...but not many of our USA friends.
  • Celebrate Mother's day...while our moms are together for lunch and neither of our boys are home.
  • Sunday worship of our Lord....but due to the travel to airport, no formal church.
  • Memorial Day weekend spent in two countries with important, messy, violent, scary presidential elections and talking about freedoms, basic needs, rights...
  • Travel- ranging from really bad, rain-damaged dirt roads, to good pavement, to flights.
  • Normal school and routine ...to a week of worship, workshops, and wonderful fellowship.
  •  Hot, steamy tropical rains and heat index over 100 to cold and dry air-conditioning, but.... hot showers!
  • Our teens have looked forward to hanging out with other missionary kids for over a year....but already thinking about the good-byes.
  • Hurry up and wait travel day....but get to wait in Cap Haitian with friends who will be on the same flight to FL. 
  • Limited internet band width to unlimited. 
  • Bringing Eli back for a visit before he goes to Germany for 7 weeks of study in July/August...not knowing if he will get time with F.

Thankful that in this world of change and unknowns that we can know God. God is good. We can put our confidence in God because He's trustworthy and Loves us! Thankful while our phones don't work in the USA and at times like thunderstorms we need to turn off all electronics that we can speak and connect with the Lord at any time, any where, about anything.  He is faithful and deserving of all our gratitude, praise, glory, and honor.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of school year...

Anna's anticipation continues to grow by leaps and bounds!
Guys cleaning up to help pay for their trip to Port.

Her mind [her description] is like having your music play list on scramble!

Since our children were small they prefer to sit by strangers on planes because of all the time spent with our family means we already know their stories so they enjoyed torturing sharing with their seat mates.

Already Anna asked a couple times if the three of us were seated together or not..knowing that my ticket was purchased later but Cory didn't look until a few days ago.
The reason he looked....friends of ours will be on our flight from Cap Haitian to FL. Anna's beyond excited to be able to visit with friends while waiting to board the plane and to sit by a friend on the plane is even better than a stranger!

Her school work now consists of a couple of corrections and a project that need to be finished. They are not enough to change her grades up, or thankfully even for mom to need to correct! She did very well. 

Sharing trees
Anna brings laughter to most chores and tasks, so I'm thankful for her help this week with cleaning, organizing, and today she even joined me in weeding some of the potted nursery plants/trees.

Port Margot Baptist church
She plans to learn some German in June during Eli's visit, read up on French grammar, and complete a class in SAT math. We will start our next school year likely in July..books already exchanged and next years sitting on her shelf.

Hot and steamy days...yesterday we enjoyed rain on and off which our area needed.

I finished laminating some medical illustrations this week from the book Where there is no Doctor, to help me with my educational chats down at clinic. Overall these continue to go well and people respond with gratitude.

Cory planted a starfruit and eggfruit, along with several chaya plants at one of the Port Margot Baptist Churches where we have helped with Kids Clubs. They were interested in planting more but part of the property isn't walled in yet and is used as pasture so that will have to wait.

 The literal translation of the church name is Baptist Church of Pentecost which doesn't sound like a likely name to Cory, who grew up Baptist.

Cory traveled to the bank today, dropped off some trees at the Cowman International school, and purchased propane, as we prepare to head to New York.

[The guys volleyball team came in 4th. Only six of the team were able to go and therefore had to play every minute of every game. Good experience anyway.]

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Anticipation..building

For the last year or more the kids and I occasionally talk about our lost or lack of anticipation.
National Volleyball medal. 

A big part of this I think stems from living with the unknown, long, drawn-out adoption journey.

For years now almost every plan comes with the added stipulation 'unless X occurs with our adoption'.

This underlining unstably drains away one's excitement and anticipation of happy, positive events replacing those feelings with more protective, thoughts of possible events that could happen to prevent, block, or delay the event.

Another large part of stuffing down positive thoughts of the future come from living in Haiti. Any plan may need to be changed due to weather, protests, other people changing plans, delays in travel, lacking resources, something breaking down, or emergencies.

But does not prevent us checking off days on the calendar for big events.

For over a year, both Eli and Anna have been looking forward to the Amplifying Missions Summit that will be held in Houghton, New York.  They always enjoy hanging out with other Global Partners missionary kids and most will be attending.

Due to the adoption wait we first purchased tickets for Cory, Eli, and Anna.  My tickets were purchased this month and then Eli's for coming to Haiti after the Summit for some time with us.

In 9 days, Lord willing we will see Eli, in New York!!  We will also see other friends, make new ones and enjoy a week with our peers. The only down side will be that we will not have a chance to visit our family and friends in  Michigan.

Eli finished up his freshman year of college this week and moved his belongings to my folk's home in Allegan. He's enjoying a week of resting up, sorting stuff, packing, eating good food, and hanging out with family.

This next week we will prepare for the trip, finish up Anna's school year, help Eli decide about what to pack, as well as packing ourselves.

We continue to pray for movement with our adoption paperwork. We've now waited more than five times longer than some families to clear this step. No reasons given. We know the Lord remains in control and has a plan. We hear our boy continues to do well and pray as we do for movement soon.

He also prays daily for his goats, which he knows he will be getting once he can move to his new home.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Campus clean up.

 Even with my spending more time helping in the plant nursery and around the flower beds, and in our yard, we can't keep up.

Living in Fauche means tropical heat and most of the year enough rain to keep things growing, FAST.

You can weed one week, and the next see a tree [like palm or mango] growing in the yard.

I'm not kidding when I say that some of the plants we have can grown inches in a day...and not just our bamboo.

Some of the former rain-forest plants remain.

Add the surrounding campus property with one guy doing yard work for campus and a second who does the hospital area and it is no surprise that parts of campus look like the jungle is taking back the land.

Often people come to us with financial needs.

Real needs and with prayer and wisdom we try to prioritize, try to help without hurting, and without doing for people what they can do for themselves.

Hearing that the school teachers who work at the school on campus have not been payed in months is hard...and made it hard to hear that the oldest volleyball team [not for school, but club] of men need money to travel to Port-au-Prince for international tournament.

Then an inspired idea...win, win, win!

Campus clean up need: Trash pick up, rotten mango clean up, weeding, raking lots of leaves.

Hot, dirty work that takes some muscle + healthy, fit, young men who need money = a neater, prettier campus.

Less trash equals less locations for mosquito larva to develop, and a good example for the school children.

Providing some of the tools and water,  Cory and his guys help supervise [they know that they would be doing some of this work so are motivated to keep the younger guys working.

The team will have more money toward their travel.

Smaller kids on campus look up to the team therefore seeing them work, pick up trash is a great example.

By pulling the bigger weeds / trees that have grown for a while the campus will continue to look neater for weeks to come and for the summer conferences held on campus.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mosquito traps, chocolate nursery and volleyball credit.

Cory recently visited three of the gardens. All doing well.

Reading a recent article about controlling mosquitoes prompted a new project, since with the good rains, we are suffering from a large mosquito population.

Three different tools and lots of muscle were used to cut up old tires into pieces. The hack saw and machete worked best.

Next the pieces were placed around the perimeter of the campus.

Water that had been in the discarded tires with larvae was filtered and mixed with additional water to fill the new "traps".

After the larva are filtered out, a pheromone remains in the water that lets mother mosquitos know it is a "safe" place to lay their eggs.

Now the traps will need to have the water filtered  once or twice a week, destroying the immature mosquitos, and re-setting the trap. Any container that holds water could be used.

Cory visited the location where the big chocolate tree nursery is being built.

This USAID sponsored project plans to start thousands of cacao trees to be distributed around the area to small farmers.

Chocolate prices are good so many gardeners are planting cacao trees for the export market.

 Last year the new trees that were planted did not have real good survival due to the drought.

We should also give credit to the Haitian government for the volleyball tournament they sponsored at no cost to the players, including room, board and transport.

The olympic sports complex was built as an encouragement to Haiti's youth after the earthquake.

 It looks like many youth teams enjoy these modern facilities throughout the year.

The away teams for tournaments use the dorms and Port au Prince teams return home each night.