Well, season three is coming to a close. If our life were a TV series, I would doubt the sanity of the writer this past season. But considering it’s the Omnipotent Creator of the Universe, I think we’ll give Him a little more credit and faith. However, that being said, this year did throw us for a loop and we had plenty of character-shaping plots to work with this year. It has been a tough year physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But there has been some high points as well. You know, every night when we have a team on the ground, we go around and name a “high” and a “low” of the day. In the spirit of that, I’d like to give some highs and lows of this past year.
High: Jean Alexis Kuislin Christian Academy continues to blow us away. With our amazing Missionary and Haitian teaching staff, these kids are getting a dynamite education.
Low: Category 4 Hurricane Matthew devastated Southwest Haiti, and caused us to quake in our boots a little bit
High: By God’s grace alone, we had no casualties in our area!
Low: Feeling exhausted running 12 teams already this calendar year
High: With teams come new people to speak with, learn from, and watch fall in love with our country. Not to mention, a large supply of chocolate and treats that come down with them!
Low: No electricity
High: We now have a beautiful view of the ocean from our homes/balcony.
Low: Accepting the fact that you can’t help everyone.
High: Our 3 Missionary teachers signed on for yet another year of crazy!
Low: Our 2 Canadian teachers having to cut the year a couple weeks short and head home due to health issues. Please continue to pray for Cassie as she still is not well and does not have answers yet. We love you, Cass-a-frass!
High: Having a local tailor make all of us missionary ladies traditional Haitian dresses for Haiti’s flag day
Low: Rain. Lots and lots of rain. Rain=all things stop. School. Church. Activities. All stop.
High: Starting Vendrefi Teenage Girls’ Bible Study
Low: Saying good-bye to our dear, beloved friend, Delord, as he moved to Chile.
High: Tiona is healthy and growing strong. She is made for the chaos of Haiti, the constant change, and the many new people who come into her life for a week.
Low: Tiona getting super restless on days without teams, where I need to sit and get some work done on the computer. Getting constant attention is her (or better yet, my) enemy!
High: Expanding our food range here on the compound: Fried pickles, Chicken-Pot Pie(-ish), Funnel Cakes, and S’mores!
Low: The JAK generator getting stolen while we were in the states.
High: Watching some of our youth/staff members (Samuel, Robenson, Gregory, Elisée) growing as leaders
Low: Many students in our sponsorship program leaving school, mostly hurricane-related
High: The medical clinic construction is underway! Such a huge need in our community.
Low: Still looking for staffing for the clinic. Really need the right people on-board.
High: Great new beginnings such as adult literacy program and the elderly home.
High: Dressing up like crazy-pants and Christmas Caroling throughout the village
High: A Chinese food restaurant opened in Les Cayes.
High: Getting A WASHING MACHINE!
Low: It’s getting hot. Like, really hot.
High: Providing Hurricane Relief materials: 10 villages. 968 Homes. 4,481 People. 29,003 pieces of tin. 3,374 pounds of nails. And building 8 whole new homes!
Welp, that’s where I’ll stop for now. We are currently teaching our English class “From this Valley” by the Civil Wars. The lyrics of the chorus plead “Oh, won’t you take me from this valley, to that mountain high above. And I will pray, pray, pray, till I see Your smiling face. I will pray, pray, pray to the One I love.” And there it is… Lots of highs and lows, as I’m sure you can say about your last year as well. But, the Lord has proved His faithfulness and we are continuing to seek His face.
In about a week-and-a-half we will be heading stateside for nearly two months. Traveling two our two homes in Florida and one in South Dakota. Planning on seeing many friends and family. And, of course, eating as much steak, burgers, and Chick-fil-A as we can! And hopefully getting a little rest too. We thank you for being such an important part of our journey this past year. We’ve said it many times, but we truly cannot do this without the support of you guys in the States. To God be the Glory!
Until next year. With much love,
Bethany (Paul and Tiona too)