It’s a rare moment when Tiona has just laid down for a nap, I’m not shoulder-deep in over-due sponsorship work, and the generator is running to power a fan in my face. But here I find myself in that moment. Eating leftover Easter candy, nonetheless! It’s a perfect blog-writing. However, I am also overcome with shame when I realize that I haven’t written since right after the hurricane. It’s kinda like that friend who writes you and you haven’t responded for 6 months, and at this point it’s almost easier not to write them back because you don’t have a great excuse for your lack of response. But, oh well, here I am, returning back. So, hi.
As I’m sure you can imagine, we’ve had an insanely busy year. Hurricane relief went as well as could be expected. Through generous donations stateside, we were able to distribution tin and nails, and wood even in some cases, to eleven villages in the Saint Jean du Sud region of Haiti. We praise Jesus for his provision. If you donated, please know that during the torrential downpour we had for nearly the whole night last night, some family was sleeping under a tin roof they wouldn’t have had otherwise. So thank you. However, the requests still pour in to Paul’s office. One of Paul’s hardest lessons to learn here is that you can’t help everyone. It’s easy to say that callously, however harder to practice it when you see pleading eyes and desperate hearts.
Since 2017 has come, we’ve hit our team season very hard. Already this year we’ve run eight teams, with many teams still on deck. Our other missionaries, Lexi and Gerald, will be ending their term in Haiti in June. So if anyone knows servant-hearted folks who want to come down and help run teams and finance/business management, please let me know. Huge plus if they know Creole or French. It’s a tall order, we know.
I was able to start a high school girl’s Bible Study, last month! It may not sound like a big thing, but it has been three years in the making. I’ve wanted to start this ever since I moved down, but I didn’t want to do something until I could do it well. You see, Mission-Haiti is very much a “boys’ club.” At any given time, we have anywhere from 2-15 guys just hanging out on the yard. They were raised with Mission-Haiti. It is their hang out. Many times the question has been posted, where are the girls? There are a variety of theories, but the short of it is, they just aren’t here. Until the last Friday of every month. That is when we get to dote on the girls. The word is Creole/French for Friday is Vendredi. The word for girl is Fi. Therefore, our Bible study is VendreFI. Our first meeting was a blast. I hope to open it up to more than once a month, but considering our schedule right now, that’s all I can manage.
Paul is working hard, as always. He’s in high demand. We play a game sometimes when, as a missionary staff, we are heading out of our village to go to the nearest city to go grocery shopping or eat out, we count how many people stop Paul in the big, loud red truck to ask for this or talk about that. Life of the Haitian Mission-Haiti Director. But he’s so good at his job. He also works very hard as the director of the JAK Academy as well. He and his rockstar missionary-teaching and Haitian-teaching staff are continuously striving to make this school as great as it possibly can be. Our three teachers that are teaching this year, have committed to come back next year (praise Jesus!) and we have two new teachers coming down to join our missionary family for the 2017-2018 school year as well! We are so pumped.
We are looking forward to new ventures in Mission-Haiti. Our biggest one is our new medical clinic. The construction process is underway, and every day it seems to get a little more real. Good medical care in this area is a huge need that we feel honored to try to do something about. Again, we feel convicted to do it well, though. We have a doctor in the states that has signed on as our Medical Director, however we are looking for a missionary position medical administrator to run the day-to-day of the clinic. We are also will be searching for a Haitian doctor and staff to fill roles needed. We cannot start the clinic without having the right personnel in place. So we are trusting God will bring about the right people for these positions as well.
Some of you may be wondering about Tiona. Tiona is eleven months now, and busy. Very busy. She does amazingly with teams, travel, and chaos. Her life is constantly in motion with new people to interact with regularly. And she doesn’t go anywhere without her trusty, worn and matted, little sheep stuffed animal named Chislic. However, it’s the days at home, without a team, that she struggles. If I’m trying to work done, working on the computer in the house for instance, she gets so restless. She’s used to being the center of all attention, to be seeing new things, and going new places. Staying put is something we are trying to work on. She’s kinda like me in that way, I guess. But, she sure is cute. And fun. We’re fans.
We are planning a little bit longer break this summer, to be able to relax and enjoy the states instead of moving-and-shaking from one place to another. We’ve got a lot to do before then (and hopefully this won’t be my last blog before then either), but it is something we are looking forward to.
So there’s our nutshell. Thank you for all your patience. We truly appreciate your support so much.
To God be the Glory!
PS – updated pictures on the gallery, please check them out