We're really settling in and adjusting to life here in Haiti. We're smack dab in the middle of dry season and so just a couple days ago, we had to buy some water to fill our cistern. We use our cistern for laundry, washing dishes, flushing toilets and showering. We purchase purified water for drinking and cooking. We are really starting to pick up speed with our daily tasks. Every morning, Craig works from 8-12 for his company back home, Tree of Life Bookstores while I have school with Morgan and Jaron.
In the afternoons we are in meetings, catching up with emails with possible teams who may visit, Okipe leadership and multiple others. We also spend at least one afternoon at the Children's Village each week, usually more. We are also spending a lot of time with neighbors and friends trying to learn more of the language.
Each day that we're here, we're encouraged more and more that we're right where we're supposed to be. Craig and I were talking about how energizing it is to live in the giftings that God has given us. We are seeing some great God stories and we're seeing how when people work together, with God, nothing is impossible. We are learning that there is a lot going on already here on the island, and we don't need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to partner with other organizations! So, some exciting things that are in the works -
- Mme. Soliette has been having a hard time paying on time for the secondary student's education. She sends 11 of the older kids to a private school in the city. They charge per quarter and when she doesn't have money to pay, they school will send the students back home until she pays. We were giving on of our tours to a team who was visiting the island, and this came up in conversation. This team just so happens to financially fund the teachers for this school and they have a grant that they are waiting on that will go to education for females! They weren't exactly sure what they were going to use the money for, but now they have agreed to pay for the 9 girls to finish the year at the school!! Praise the Lord!
- One of the things we try to do in addition to helping the children is provide quality care and professional development for our house moms. Six of the eight house moms don't know how to read or write and this was one thing that Mme. Soliette asked if we could teach them to do. With my background in education, I thought I might be able to help, but with my limited Creole, I didn't see how it was going to work. Well, God brought another lady across our path who works with an organization who has trained local Haitian teachers to teach adults how to read and write. They are willing to pay the teachers to teach our house moms how to read and write!!! Isn't God awesome?!
- We are currently gearing up for our "Join the Village" campaign. The orphanage is still $3000 short of their monthly operational needs. We, ask Okipe leadership, have been working so hard to raise the money for the construction of the new Children's Village that now it feels like we've hit a wall with the monthly pledges. You know how you feel like you just can't ask someone for one more dollar? Well, let me tell you, God has not hit a wall :) His resources are endless! On another recent tour, after telling the story of the Children's Village, one of the visitors gave us a huge jump start to our monthly support campaign!! It was just what we needed to get some encouragement and excitement back for this next journey!
- Tomorrow, I will be joining three primary school teachers to a FREE teacher training up in the mountains. We met a local Haitian man who went to the States for school, married and American and moved back to La Gonave to invest in his people. He is now offering workshops for pastors and teachers and investing in the people of La Gonave. They will also receive materials to take back to their classrooms to use! I'm so excited to go with them!!
I could go on and on (and believe me, you'll be hearing more awesome God stories!) but I've got to get dinner started or my family will be upset with me :)
We do ask for continued prayer for a few things:
- Craig's back has been hurting him consistently since September. He has days where he can barely move without pain. We have tried basically everything short of surgery. Please pray that we'll have wisdom regarding doctor's and what the next step to take should be.
- Language. We're learning more every day, but there is still so much to learn. Craig compares it to playing the game Mad Gab. Have you ever played it? Someone reads a bunch of gibberish and people have to figure out what you're really saying...you're saying it almost perfectly, but it's still hard to understand what the person is saying. (I know, confusing huh?) Anyway, just pray that God will clear a BIG space in our brains for this language so that we can be even more effective!
- Health. Sounds a bit silly, but pray that the mosquitoes will stay away from Jaron. We are taking medication, but it can still be very uncomfortable when you are covered in bite. Since we've been back this month, they haven't been nearly as bad. We think we've found a spray that works for him. Also, Morgan's been having headaches and tummy aches...pretty normal for living here - dehydration and what we call "Haitian tummy." Nothing too extreme, but uncomfortable nonetheless.
Please know that even if we don't know you personally, we appreciate each and every one of you who take time to invest in our lives. Whether it's simply reading this email, or our blog, praying for us, sending a note on facebook, skyping with us, helping us financially, or even coming for a visit, every thing, big or small, means so much. To know that we have family and friends back home who think about us does so much for our emotional well being!
Blessings to you all!!