Monday, November 2, 2015

MOVIE MONDAY - Week 6: English Class

For the past 18 months, Renee has taught two classes each week of the advanced level at Destiny English Academy. This is an English school that was started by a local Haitian. He approached Renee when we first moved and asked if she would consider teaching. She works with advanced students on pronunciation, speaking and listening skills. Most students in these classes are adults, or teenagers. There are many teachers, some local officials, lawyers, and other local Haitians who are trying their best to learn English. 

With the other responsibilities that Renee has taken on with other schools, just this month, Renee has started holding two day seminars once a month instead of weekly classes. When teams visit, we also hold "talk nights" at a local restaurant/cafe so that the students can practice their English and the teams can learn more about Haitian culture and develop relationships with the locals.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


We'd like to introduce you to our new puppies!!!
From left to right, we have Arya (are-ee-u), Axl, Duke and Layla
But...Sesame Street's famous song..."one of these things is not like the other..." comes to mind when looking at this picture!

Here's the story:
We knew Tessa was pregnant and going to have puppies any day. Well, last Tuesday, the kids and I got a call while we were at school saying that Tessa had two puppies! So we quickly packed up our stuff and came home. The puppies were so tiny and they were out in the backyard and Tessa was not being a good mom. She was in the house and not taking any interest in the puppies. We had to make  her lay down so the puppies could nurse and we had to watch her to make sure she wasn't too rough with them. Well, one of the puppies was very sick and he died that night. We had to leave to go to Port au Prince for a couple days and feared that Tessa wouldn't take care of the puppy while we were gone. Well, when we returned, the puppy was still alive and seemed to be in good health, so Tessa managed on her own. 

Fast forward to this past Saturday, just 4 days later. We were getting ready to head out for the evening and Morgan noticed that Tessa was in labor! I've never heard of dogs having puppies four days apart! (because they don't!) Well, that night, Tessa had 4 puppies...two boys and two girls. One of the girls was a stillborn and after trying to get her to breathe for about 20 minutes, we gave up.  Needless to say, these new puppies were twice the size of the 4 day old puppy that we'd been taking care of! So, we decided to look at our security footage and realized that a mom and son snuck into the yard Tuesday morning and put these two puppies in our yard! So Tessa was caring for two orphan puppies! We weren't sure how the other puppies and Tessa would treat Layla, but thankfully, since she had a 4 day head start, she seems to be doing well and she has been accepted by the puppies and Tessa.

Here are Duke and Layla. Duke is a BEAST. Layla is our little orphan pup..and apparently she's a bit shy in this picture :)


 Arya & Axl

 You can definitely see the size difference...and Layla is the oldest!

Layla's eyes are starting to open!

Oh...and just so you don't worry...Tessa has been a GREAT mama...after giving birth to her REAL puppies!

Monday, October 19, 2015

MOVIE MONDAY - Week 4: The "Airport"

This week we're taking you to our little "airport" on the island! It's really just a little dirt runway right on the coast. Some days we have 3 or 4 planes come and others we might not have any. Some planes come to take sick or injured people to the hospital in Port au Prince, some bring money to the banks, but most are transporting visitors to and from the island. This is also one way that we sometimes travel to Port au Prince for our monthly grocery shopping trip. It is a much quicker way to get to Port au Prince...only about 25 minutes from take off to landing! Definitely beats the 1.5 hour boat ride followed by another 1.5 hour truck ride into Port. Let us know your questions! We'd love to answer them!!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Let's Celebrate!

WOW! In just one month, we've been able to raise 43% of what we need for next year!

Your support, encouragement and trust in what we are doing here is overwhelming. We are so thankful for all who have decided to partner financially with us on this journey.

But...we still need more help. If you have been thinking about signing up, let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We would love to share with you more personally what God is doing in Haiti.

We have a goal to hit 50% in the next week! Can you help us?!

Please click on the link below to submit your one time gift or monthly pledge. Payments are not necessary until January 2016, but we NEED the pledges as soon as possible so that we know how to better plan.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Movie Monday - Week 3: The Market

This week, we're taking you to the local market!! This market is open every day of the week from sun up to sun down. You can find different things at different times of year. There are different parts of the market...fruits, vegetables, meat/fish, clothing, shoes, school supplies, etc. Our family basically uses the market to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables or random things like a padlock, or some rope. We purchase our flour and eggs at different "house stores" along the street. Then, about once a month, we do our main grocery shopping in Port au Prince. I hope this makes you appreciate your next trip to Walmart!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Two years...

Two years. It's been two years ago today since we landed in Haiti after we decided to move. These past two years have changed us all in more ways than we can say. These two years have been full of growth, joy, sadness, and many challenges...but we wouldn't trade it for anything. 

We have SO many pictures of our life here over the past two years. I tried to quickly go through this morning (before school!) to try to do a little review. There is no way to show you how much we've learned over these past two years in one blog post, but I thought it would be fun to look back. 

Here we are...everything we own, all loaded up on a boat to take over to the island. I remember thinking...this is the smallest amount of "stuff" we've ever owned. Then,we got to the island and started trucking everything to our house and I was almost embarrassed driving down the street. Even though we had so little, we still had SO much in comparison to those we were passing.

Some of the first guys who introduced themselves to us...neighbors from our old house. We spent a lot of time with these guys and they were very helpful in our first months of learning Creole.

When we first arrived, the kids were put through the ringer. The Haitians were pretty used to seeing "blans" or white people, but they did not see many ti-blans...little white people. The kids were constantly being pinched, petted, examined and called to. They handled it with grace, even though it got to be pretty overwhelming. Here Jaron is at church...getting checked out :)

The kids adjusted very well, pretty quickly. I always say that God called their little hearts to Haiti way before he called Craig and mine. I am so thankful that He is in control!

November 2013

 Relationships is one of the huge needs in my life. We have been blessed with amazing relationships back home and I knew it would be one of the most important things here in Haiti as well. I'm thankful that we get to share in fun life stages with our friends here in Haiti! This is when Baby Brucinda was just born!

We also get to interact with so many teams who visit! This is one of our favorites from Canada. They visit every year (the group is a little different each time) and we always look forward to them coming! That's also the hard part of living here too. We are quick to love on people and open our hearts and lives to them. The kids too. Then, a week later, after you've just made a great new friend, they have to leave. Our lives are full of hellos and goodbyes...and many times tears from the kids.

Jaron's buddy at the orphanage.

 Taking some of the girls back to the village after Morgan's 8th birthday party (Feb 2014)
How many can we fit on the quad?? Haitian's would say..."One more!"

Small plane adventures! Not many people have to charter a plane to get groceries!

Rooftop picnics with friends! Ann, the lady on the right, was Morgan's kindergarten teacher back in the States. She first visited in May 2012 when we were here for 8 weeks. We are so thankful that she has a heart for Haiti and is helping with the Education Task Force of Okipe.

When you teach an English class and don't get paid....just a may end up being gifted a goat. Yup, that's what happened here! We ended up having our neighbors help us kill, clean and cook it. Then we had a big party :)

This is one of my all time favorite pictures of the kids at the village. This non-religious, work team came from Canada and as they were leaving, the kids from the village asked if they could pray over them. This is the ONLY time I've ever seen this happen on their own initiative. I love how the Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts and how they were obedient. The team was moved to tears and I know it's a moment that they will never forget.

One of my roles! Teaching the kiddos...this was Oct. 2014...just after moving into our new house.

 We got to meet some UN soldiers who came over to help with "crowd control" during the elections.

Our little monkey! See Jaron way up there??

 This past January 2015, we helped another local couple here start a church. We now do two services, one in Creole and one in English. Craig and I lead worship for the English service each week. We're still working on the building :)

Celebrating the 4th of July on our roof with sparklers and singing patriotic songs for the whole neighborhood to hear :)

 President Martelly visited the island! That was a neat surprise to get to "meet" the President of Haiti.

 This summer, the aquaponics greenhouse went up! This month, we will start planting and adding fish!!

 Jaron...all boy and dirt...what more can I say?

 These kids and teachers make me proud. They have come so far and made so much progress over the past two years!

Hammock sleeping on the porch during the HOT summer months. It's much cooler out there!

Can't forget Fiona!

 These got a little out of order, but here, we're celebrating Mme. Soliette's 40th birthday!!!

 One of the many creatures that we find trying to make a home in our house...sorry, you come in, you DIE! ;)

 An adventure on the mainland up the mountain. Haiti is such a beautiful country!!

 Mme. Florence braiding Morgan's hair with "Haitian" hair.

 Just this week...the kids finally both got their school uniforms and to say they are excited is an understatement! They love being a part of the new school where there are other Haitian kids. Even though we have our own classroom and hours, they enjoy being in an environment with other students. It has made it easier to focus and get our minds in "school mode."

Well, I'm supposed to be heading out the door for school! I hope you enjoyed this random spattering of photos from our last two years! God only knows what is next for us. We're praying and trusting that His plan is perfect. Thank you for following along and encouraging us over these past two years. It's definitely not an easy place to can feel lonely so far away from friends and family. Sometimes you feel like you're literally on an island in the middle of the Caribbean...oh wait...we are ;) So make sure to drop us a line when you're thinking about us! It really helps to keep connected!!

Love and blessings to you all!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Movie Monday - Week 2: Our Water

I hope you had a great weekend and that your Monday is off to a good start. We know that Mondays can be a little "blah," so we decided to give you something to look forward to on Mondays!  We're calling it, "Movie Monday!" 

We want to show all of our friends, family and followers back home a little more about our life and what we do in Haiti. So each week, we'll make a short video showing something new. Last week, we showed everyone our "Drive to School." This week, we want to show you a little about our water.