What a GREAT trip! We had a great trip to Haiti. It was just Joy and I. Bob and Shelley Benfield and their family split the time with my sister and her family house and baby sitting for us. THANKS a million you guys. We could not have made this trip without you! It is a shame too because they all looked forward to enjoying the kids playing in the pool but about an hour before we left to go we had a flood and it filled the pool with mud, debris, lawn furniture, mulch, and leaves. It was overflowing and looked like a pond. The flood caused the drainage ditch from the pasture to overflow and it is a total mess. Even after a week it is not very much better. So needless to say the house sitters did not get to even swim... so we doubled their pay!
The Financial Need
It was great to get to the orphanage and meet the Durhams and the boys and Rochelle. The picture above is of the boys and Rochelle. The home is beautiful and a great set up. Our apartment which is the penthouse suite is perfect for our family. We are sectioning off the living room to make the girls a room and the boys will use our closet/storage room for their bedroom. It is going to be a perfect cozy setup for us. God has really opened up doors and blessed us already more than we would have imagined to begin with.
There are also 6 rooms with 2 twin beds each for missions teams to come down and stay in. We also have a place right there for the eye clinic and there is a fully equipped wood shop to train Haitians in woodworking. It is really going to be great. We will have the sheets turned down and a little mint on the pillow waiting for many of you to come down and work with us.
The boys and Rochelle (the only girl in the home) all speak English, French, and creole. That is perfect so teams can come down and minister to them and not even need translators.
When the Durham's picked us up at the airport they took us to a great little restaurant in Port au Prince. That was the first time we had been anywhere like that because we are usually in a hurry to get out of the city as soon as we land. The meal was great and it was the first time we had goat in a while. We actually got to have goat three times on this trip which really is great because it is usually just for special occasions. It was a great blessing to meet Pastor Jim and Madame pastor Jim (aka. Mrs. Gayle) in person. We had communicated through email but we had never met. They really made us feel right at home from the start.
Our first night back in Haiti was...hot! Summer time is really hot and humid there especially at night. No cuddling going on I can tell you that. But with the fan going it really was comfortable and we slept well.
When we got to Haiti the bag that contained our glasses along with the gifts for the boys and Pastor Jim's beef jerky did not make it. I made a return trip to Port au Prince the next morning and it still was not there. That meant we had to do the clinic on Saturday without the glasses...and without the beef jerky! The clinic went great and we saw about 95 people. I gave them cards with the power they needed in the glasses and Mrs. Gayle arranged for them to return today to get their glasses. I pray that went well! The clinic was for the members of Pastor Andre's church which House of Bread (the orphanage) partners with.
On Sunday we went to a great service at Pastor Andre's church in the morning and then to Pastor Cesar came and got us in the afternoon. We arrived at his house to the smell of a traditional Haitian meal with shallots, plantains, fish, rice, and bean sauce. It really was great. It was so good to see Pastor and his entire family. That night we went back to church for a hot 3 hour prayer meeting. The worship was great and Joy and I really got to do some praying and seeking God.
Pastor also showed us the progress being made on the church in St. Marc. It really is going to be a great place of worship, school, and ministry.
The next day we spent with pastor and his family before the big prayer service marking the end of 30 days of prayer. The service was 5 hours of prayer, worship, singing, and preaching. It was spirit filled and wonderful. We even had electricity so we could run the fans and that made a huge difference. The picture here is of a woman praying almost an hour BEFORE the service even began. We need to learn to be desperate for God!
The next morning (Tuesday) we returned to House of Bread and then to the airport in the afternoon for our return home. A short but blessed trip.
The Financial Need
We have several needs that we will need to fill before we go. Our biggest cost going in will be setting up electricity for our apartment. The system will consist of 12 deep cell batteries that are charged by solar panels and a generator. The system is controlled by an inverter that Pastor Jim is giving to us. The batteries, solar panels, rack, and generator will cost us about $3500-4000 USD to set up. The good thing is though that we will be totally self contained and not have a need for expensive but very intermittent and unreliable government electricity. We also have to build the wall to separate the girls' room and we do not have a bathroom vanity with sinks or any interior doors at the moment. That will cost us $1200-1500 to get ready. That will pretty much get our apartment ready for inhabiting. Not too bad considering any other alternative we considered going in would be much more costly. The picture is from our roof showing the Caribbean Sea in the distance. How great is our God!
We are also going to begin collecting donations for a shipping container. We found a Mennonite ministry that will ship a container for us for a fraction of what a commercial shipping company charges. For about $2500-3000 USD we will be able to ship a container with all of the equipment necessary for the eye clinic as well as our personal goods including beds and mattresses and everything.
The other costs to begin ministry will be for a vehicle, phone service, health insurance, and the cost to live at House of Bread including the skyrocketing price of food many of you have been reading about lately. So pray about how God would have you give and we will begin to tackle each of these projects as God supplies the money.
Email us anytime or leave a comment here with questions or suggestions. Don't forget to pray for us when God brings us to your mind. We are so grateful for the friends God has given us to make this opportunity possible in our lives.