The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A way to not be hot in Haiti

I spent the night last night shivering cold and trying to find more covers. Unusual for Haiti unless you have some jungle disease or something. I have come down with some kind of illness. I am not sure what yet but I have a terrible cough with fever and aches all over. I pray it is a short lived bug but we shall see. Pray that none of the children get it. We know that sickness is something we will have to battle but I was hoping for at least one full week first!

Here are a couple of pictures of some things we have had going on. The girls are playing with some of the kids from the graduation of the school on the compound where we live. All the kids want to touch Josie and say she looks like a "porcelain". I tend to agree though so it is not just a Haitian thing.

We also started a basketball camp with the boys in the orphanage. Judah is enjoying being a part of that as well. It is a good chance to teach things like even standing in line and teamwork. We hope to get to have other clinics in the village as time goes by. Sports are a great way to reach children and their families and to build relationships with the people we want to minister too.

There are always things going on even just on the compound here. Joy and the kids had a chance to just spend some time playing with bubbles with some of the neighborhood kids. They also had a chance to work on their creole. Learning the language is definitely going to be one of the things that we have to make a priority as we try to get established here.

Our first project on the apartment since the bus is not here was to get some closet space. So we had a local mason who is also a deacon at the church associated with the orphanage come over and build us a closet in a corner of our bedroom that we can use for the whole family. It should be done tomorrow and then we will begin painting once the bus clears customs.

We definitely thank everyone for their prayers. Even in my sickness we sense the presence of the Lord and we are greatful. Once we get a better internet connection, we will be able to use our internet phone a little better and everything. It is just not a good upload speed so we sound very choppy and it is very frustrating for the person calling us. But those things are trivial. The important thing is that we are seeing God work and we are excited about being a part. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

We made it!!!!

We left the hotel in Miami this morning at about 7:45 am. We arrived at the Miami airport and unloaded all 16 checked bags and 16 carry on bags. It looked like we were moving or something!

We went into the day with much trepidation and excitement. We knew there were lots of things that could potentially go wrong with such a trip. Any of you that have ever flown into PAP airport know how tough that can be even with a full adult team. My mind wondered in numerous directions about all that could potentially go wrong with a team consisting of mostly kids and babies!

But God showed Himself strong and gracious and we made it all the way to Montrouis in one piece at about 4:00 this afternoon. Jacy Klaire had some issues at the airport because she thought the guys arguing in creole over who could carry the bags were wanting to take our stuff.

The kids have done great. Judah has already made friends with most of the boys in the orphanage and Jacy Klaire has a friend that she can play with too. We had dinner and showers and now are about to go to bed for the evening to end the first day of the rest of our lives.

We will post more details about the arrival later. We just wanted to let everyone know we are here and in one piece. I will have email working to send out emails in the next couple of days.

Our bus is not out of customs and it is probably going to be at least one more week. The Lord is in charge!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One more day!

We are trying not to push the kids too hard on the trip down since we make the flight and in Haiti trip on Thursday. We left Savannah this morning at about 11:00 after the kids had a quick hop in the hotel pool.

We arrived at our hotel in Fort Pierce, Florida at about 8:30 tonight. After checking into the hotel we let the kids swim a few minutes- we did not even take the time to try to dig out swim suits- to burn off some energy from the 9.5 hours of riding today.

We will go and visit Missionary Flights International here in Fort Pierce in the morning. That is where we are going to keep the Suburban until we come back in October. After that, we will be taking the bus down to West Palm Beach, about an hour south, and then heading to Miami to get ready for our Thursday morning departure.

Thank you to everyone that has been praying for us. The kids have done great! Joy and Liz are taking care of them with occasional stops at rest areas.

The bus has made it great. No problems at all. God is SO good. We have run the gamut on emotions but mostly we are just excited and enjoying the travel time together as we prepare for Thursday.

We will keep you updated tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

D-Day Update

What a blur!!! It did not look like we would make it out of town on our scheduled date of departure the grace of God and help from unbelievable friends, we made it.

Five hours behind schedule at about 11 am this morning Joy, Kerry, Jacy Klaire, Judah, Josie Kate, Jaxon, and a God-sent 18 year old short term mission partner Liz Johnson set out on our journey towards Haiti.

Joy was up all night with her cousin Tricia trying to get everything packed. I got about 3 hours of sleep then we spent the morning fighting tears and struggles to finally make it out the door.

We are currently sitting in a hotel room in Savannah, GA. I was still cramming stuff into every nook and cranny I could find on the bus and weighing bags right up until we pulled out of the driveway. I would have to say it was every bit as difficult as we thought it would be to get gone.

We really did not get everything done we wanted to get done but we had so many friends agree to come in and fill the gap to finish things up. We still have things to get rid of and the house is still a mess in many areas but this weekend was truly a blessed time. We got so much more done than I thought we could but God is good!

At about 11:00 last night I realized I had forgotten to get a form notorized that I have to have to drop off the bus. So I spent a couple of hours this morning getting that done. Who knows what else we have forgotten to do... BUT we are out of Hickory with the bus and well on the way. We are so humbled by the support we have recieved. From financial backing from our church and others to a powerful prayer time last night by the people from Moriah Baptist down the road from our house. God really sent the right people at the right time to get things done.

As we expected, telling the family bye was the hardest part. It was SO much easier since we knew we would be back in October for the missions training and conferences. But, it still did not make the time with our older kids easy. They are struggling, as expected, but we are trusting by faith that God is going to do great and mighty things through it. We appreciate everyone's prayers for Logan, Megan, and Luke.

We will get to West Palm Beach tomorrow. If we get there in time, we will drop the bus off tomorrow. If not, we will drop it off Wednesday morning. Then we want to visit a couple of ministries we will be working with. We will rendevous with Tracy Robinson and his daughter Kristen and Julie in Miami on Wednesday night and then fly out on Thursday morning.

It is still a bit surreal at the moment but we are starting to get over the stress of packing and getting the first step behind us. The next couple of days should be exciting to say the least.

We'll have a full report and some pictures posted soon.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Happy Birthday to Mommy

We have had times that we get a little stressed during this whole moving out of the country process and this little video helps us to remember what it is all about. I wanted to get the kids a little practice singing Happy Birthday before Joy got home and we gave her a birthday cake. This was about 3 months ago but I have to replay this every now and then to get me back in the mood to work.

Notice Judah's face once he finally gets distracted by "fire".

We are almost all packed up and ready to roll with the bus. We are doing last minute detail stuff like changing addresses and stuff like that today as well as finishing packing and tossing things away. We have someone coming to look at the house again today and maybe they will just go ahead and buy it and we can move on. The Lord is in charge!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some Things are Bitter-Sweet

Sometimes things have a way of being sweet and sad at the same time. We have experienced a lot of those times as we finish out everything here. Seeing my last day of patients at the office was sad in the respect that I had spent 10 years getting to know them and now I will be turning their care over to someone else. On the other hand, it was sweet because I had a chance to let them all know that the most important thing in my life is my faith in Jesus Christ. I know that the 10 years I spent practicing optometry here was preparing me for the mission field.

Another of those bitter sweet experiences was taking Jacy Klaire to her last singing lesson with Ellen Mills. Jacy's favorite time each week was that half hour with Mrs. Ellen. She loves to sing and perform. We are praying God uses that to draw her into a worship leader position on the mission field. Below is a short video of part of her last lesson. It is fitting that she is singing about God's faithfulness. We are trusting in that faithfulness to carry our precious Jacy Klaire through as she finds God's place in the mission field.

We have seen God's hand clearly in so many ways lately. We shared our story at a church last Sunday morning and a young man from Puerto Rico came up to us after the service. He shared how grateful he was for what we are doing because he and his whole family were saved through the ministry of missionaries to Puerto Rico when he was a boy. He even drove home right after church to get his kids to bring them back to meet us before we left.

Then just a couple of days later Joy had a sweet young lady over to the house to show her some small jewelry Joy wanted to get to give to some of the ladies we know when we get to Haiti. The lady was so encouraging to Joy as she shared about being saved as a child growing up in Southeast Asia because of the faithfulness of a missionary family that reached out to her family. God has used so many people to encourage us and remind us that we are in it for His glory.

The staff from our church donated a generator to us to use to keep our batteries charged. Here is a picture of the generator and Ernie Robinson that arranged for us to get it. We are SO grateful.

We also received another generator from the DelCharco family to use in our clinic. God has truly met our needs so completely throughout the preparation process.

We are so grateful to everyone that has worked so hard to help us during this time. We will be leaving on June 22nd to head to Haiti. We will try to post a full itinerary of that trip in the next few days.