We had back to back groups led by eye doctors the past two weeks. Dr. Lori Geddes and her family and our new friend Darrell came down from Minnesota to spend a week with us. We were able to do some eye care but much more than that we were able to some things done in the schools with Pastor Cesar and began the process of organizing things in the clinics. It was a great week and we look forward to seeing them back in Haiti.
One really cool thing that came out of that trip was a ministry to fisherman. I have been meeting with the fisherman that fish here at our backyard. I meet with them at 5:45 on Monday mornings before they go out for the day of fishing. I pray with them individually for safety and blessing. I am also starting a Bible study with them on how much Jesus loved fisherman. We are going to try to help them with some supplies they need to fish as well. We are going to try to get hooks, line, steel leaders, and other small tackle for them to use in their trade. They do not use fishing poles but instead wrap the line around a coke bottle and then hold the line in their mouths as they paddle. When we asked them to show me their typical setup, the first fisherman held up a line that had an old sparkplug tied to the end as a weight. These guys lead a tough life and have a tough job. The deforestation of Haiti has had its effects on the fishery as well. The silt that flows into the sea has covered and killed much of the reef. That has reduced the amount of sea life and makes fishing a tough venture. They usually end the day with a handful of small fish only a few inches long. They will eat what they need and sell the rest to try to get by. Their boats, which are carved out of mango or bread fruit trees, are called a bwa fouye. They all leak so half of your time is spent bailing water out. Pray that I can get to know them and that they will choose to accept Christ. I have had 3 show up for the meeting at 5:45 each week and about 10 show up at about 7! They all tell me they start fishing at 6 and I see them out there so they wanted to do it early but then they get there the typical Haitian hour late. They are operating on Joy's schedule!
Dr. Dennis' team helped us work on the benches for the church at St. Marc. It was hot, hard work but we got 40 benches built that were used in Church this past Sunday. Everyone was so excited to get the benches into the church. What a great day! They also helped me work at the clinic we are setting up at the orphanage.
(As I type this Josie Kate came up to me carrying a baby chick! She is our fearless animal lover. I bought a couple of Hispanola Parrots the other day on the street in PAP and she just loves them to death...almost literally!)
All of the kids are doing great. We may have an addition to the family but I need to get some things settled before we introduce her officially. Joy brought a little one home after spending the night in the hospital with her last Friday. Joy is at the hospital again today with a little girl who has a hip deformity due to an infection. We are seeing if a visiting orthopedic team can operate on her while they are here. Be praying for little Dianna.
The twins are doing better. Both sets are healthy and growing. We are so thankful for all of your prayers. They still have issues...one has the chickenpox right now... but we know your prayers are keeping them strong.
Our time is consumed now with getting everything ready for our big annual convention with eye care, medical care, pastor training, teacher training, youth sessions, and children's ministry. That all kicks off the week after Easter. Be praying for the team coming from NC to do that work. It is a tough week for them but we always see God do some marvelous things.
We are in the process of getting the orphanage certified with UNICEF and the Haitian Social Services. Once that process is complete, about 2 more weeks we pray, we will be certified to receive kids from UNICEF. I went and visited some of the kids in PAP last week and it broke my heart. Kids that lost parents in the quake and were injured. They have been staying in the hospital for the last 2 months. UNICEF has standards that are keeping them from being placed in an orphanage right now. Pray we can get through the red tape and help these precious children. We are getting closer. We still do not have any furnishings in the orphanage, or even electricity or a kitchen but things are coming together. The Lord is in Charge. And for that we are grateful!