When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. -Galatians 6:10a (NCV)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Took this pic before church on Sunday. After that I forgot the camera so I can't show you the pics of Children's church. But it went great! We had 72 kids and learned about Jesus feeding the five thousand with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. They had fun drawing their craft project too.

I have to tell you a cute story that happened during craft time. First remember that the kids in this village have no toys, crayons, TV-most don't have electricity at the house. So the looks on their faces are awesome when craft time comes during children's church. When we did the sticker craft for Christmas Sunday we had to show them how to peel the stickers off the sheets. They had never seen stickers before. This Sunday we gave them all a half sheet of construction paper and they had to share crayons to draw a picture of the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread on one side of the page and on the other side draw as many as they could to represent all the food Jesus multiplied from the original.

When they were done we were collecting crayons and came up way short. I explained to the kids they needed to return ALL of them or we wouldn't have more next Sunday and then craft time would be eventually disappear. They all sat in silence. No one spoke up. I showed them the box of crayons that was almost empty and said how it was full so I know the crayons are here. Finally a little boy about 6 or 7 yrs old stood up and reached into his pockets (which were bulging!) and pull out about 20 crayons. His eyes filled with tears and he said,

"I was going to bring them back next Sunday. I knew no one was going to use them before then."

How hard is it for these kids to come in and see the crafts and supplies and have fun using them and then give them back. It's not like they have more at home. And it must look like so much to them. Like we have a ton!

How many times in our lives are we tempted to do the same thing? For example at work-Will they really notice if I just take some pens home? We can justify it by saying ,"They have so many." Or, "This place has so much money they can just buy more." The devil has all kinds of excuses ready for us to use. But don't give him a foothold. Not an inch. Not a pen. Not a crayon.

Sorry about the lack of pics. Once again, I am the lucky one who got to be here and see it first hand thanks to your support and God's faithfulness.

More Children's church pics coming. When you see them you won't be disappointed!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A little encouragement

So we all need a little encouragement, pat on the back and recognition for the jobs we do. I think back to bosses I have had and the best one ever was the boss I had while working at Subway in college. She knew how to encourage and when she did it made me be a better "sandwich artist." She made me feel like a valued member of the team and truly appreciated my sandwich making skills.

With all that said, lately I saw that the teachers who work in the school in Peredo needed some encouraging. They work everyday with the kids and really put their hearts into trying to give them a good education. Some of the school kids are literally living in banana leave shacks, some come to school with uniforms in disarray, and some just don't get the love and attention they need at home. I am assuming this is a lot like the issues teachers in the states deal with. They bring kids who are sick to me during school hours, point out the kids who are sitting at home on a school day b/c they don't have the required shoes to come, and tell me which kids families are having a rough time at home. They really care about their students. So I started looking for a way to encourage them to continue to be great teachers for our school kids.

Going out to eat in Haiti is a luxury. Those of you who have been here on mission trips know that we try to go to the beach one evening and sit right on the ocean shore and eat fresh, grilled fish. Whenever I am missing pizza or PF Chang's here I remember that for $4 or 5 American I can go down and sit on the Carribean Ocean and eat seafood that was caught a few hours before. You do not see the common Haitian eating at the beach. Definitely the wealthier class, UN soldiers and American missionary groups. So I thought it would be fun to take the teachers and lunch ladies out to eat.-their spouses were invited too.

We went after church on a Sunday and had a great time. Not one of them had ever been there before to eat. They really didn't know how to act sitting around the table while we were waiting for food. David, one of the drivers for HCO and my friend went with us and he suggested they go around the table and every couple talk about how they met. One of the lunch ladies is married to the preacher at the church and they have been married for a long time so it was neat to hear their story how she refused his marriage proposal several times before saying yes! This lightened up the mood and we had a great time.

I told them how much we all appreciate what they do for our school kids and how they truly are helping make a difference in the village of Peredo. I got a text message from one of the teachers the next day that said, "Thank you for raising our spirits and seeing that sometimes people become discouraged when they are not encouraged." WOW! How true. I receive so much encouragement from people and churches in the states-now I need to focus on doing my part to encourage others more.

Thank you for your support of the mission. Without your financial support we could not encourage our "front line" Haitian workers here on the mission field.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

So I see a lot of other bloggers doing "Wordless Wednesday" where they only post a picture every Wednesday. So I think I'll try it to. But I'm pretty wordy-so this won't be easy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Homestudy needed

We are so close to having all of Odessa's paperwork finished to file with the Haitian government!

That being said, we are lacking a homestudy done by someone licensed in the United States. If anyone reading this blog knows someone who can complete this service while they are in Haiti please let me know so I can contact them.

I am posting this on the off chance someone who does this for a living is coming to Haiti on a mission or humanitarian trip.

I so want to go home for a break-with Odessa of course! So excited for everyone back home to meet her!

Monday, January 3, 2011

No Turning Back

So in case you didn't know...New Years is my favorite holiday. I stayed in Haiti for Christmas because I wanted to be with Odessa and it was a great day. I like Christmas but I LOVE New Years. Something about the new beginnings and looking forward to all the things in the year to come. Normally, I'm a homebody but on New Years I like to go out. Get dressed up. Celebrate. And the countdown. I am a bit tachycardic just thinking about it.

So I was more bummed about being here on New Years than Christmas. The town I live in here has a few restaurants and nightclubs that the UN soldiers frequent and I thought about going and hanging out with some of them. Then, the Sunday before the youth group at the church in Peredo came and asked me to help with the Church New Years party.

So we had a meeting and I soon figured out why I was invited...they had no money. They needed a generator (no electricity yet in the village), a projector to show movies/videos, speakers, decorations, food, etc-you get the point. I'm the white girl so I must have money...right?

Well long story short I did pitch in money and used the expense account to buy the gas for the generator and borrowed a projector from another mission and borrowed the speakers from my friend, David. But they also pitched in their own money. I was so proud of them. And it was amazing how easy it became for them to trim the budget once their own money was being spent. Funny how that works.

So I went out on Friday afternoon and helped decorate the church with flowers and streamers and balloons. I have to explain the balloons. There is no party supply store here and where they found this assortment I have no idea. There were "Merry Christmas", "Happy Boss's Day", "First Communion", "Lakeview Ambulance Service", and "Happy Birthday" balloons. No exactly the New Years decorations I am used to.

I went back home for the evening and returned for the church service at 930pm. We thanked the Lord for the past year and asked Him to bless the year to come. The prayers of thanks included gratitude for the Lord providing food, homes and for all the Americans who came to help work on the camp and clinic the past year. I was humbled when they thanked God for sending Miss Ginny to Peredo. And I thanked God for that too.

The last song we sang will stick in my mind this year to come. I listened to them sing the 1st verse until I realized I knew it in English. "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus." Here are the lyrics for those of you who don't know it.

I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back
No turning back.

As we sang the last 2 lines in Creole, "Mwen pap tounen, Mwen pap tounen." (I won't turn back, I won't turn back) I couldn't help but think of the past year. Good and bad.

I planned to come back to Haiti January 19th. The earthquake hit on the 12th.
I didn't turn back.

I lost my housing in March and had no where to live in Haiti.
I didn't turn back.

During that short time home I got an awesome job offer in the States.
I didn't turn back.

I began a long adoption process when people said adoptions would be closed in Haiti for years.
I didn't turn back.

I endured the difficulties of learning to live on my own in Haiti.
I didn't turn back.

Rumors flew here on the mission field just as they do everywhere else.
I didn't turn back.

I studied Creole like a mad person well enough to teach a class by myself.
I didn't turn back.

Promises were broken by Christians and never apologized for.
I didn't turn back.

That is all looking at the past year in Haiti.

But the beauty of New Years is leaving all that and looking forward. The good and the bad. All these examples were flashing through my mind as we were singing that song.

Haitians are know for their loud singing in church. Very loud. But I think in this small village church in Haiti as the New Year was approaching, an American was singing above the other voices.


Because I have decided...to follow Jesus.

The party started at midnight when church was over and it was packed. So packed I was kinda nervous it might get rowdy but everyone had a great time. There were skits put on by the young people, a Haitian comedy movie shown (apparently I don't have a Haitian sense of humor b/c I didn't get it at all!) and sandwiches and snacks were enjoyed. After a while the mismatched decorations, the hum of the generator and the lack of other white faces faded and I was at yet another great New Years Eve Party-although much different than the years before.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Extra Extra!

My hometown Newspaper in Newark, Ohio printed an article today on my mission work in Haiti. The writer said she found my blog after the earthquake and has been following it. Now the pressure is on...someone who gets paid to write for a living is reading this. Where's the spell check anyway? :)