I just wanted to take a minute to update everyone on how things are going in general. God is really allowing us to see some pretty awesome things happen. By that I do not mean blind people healed or sweeping revival. But we are seeing individual lives changed and a hand full of precious Haitian people really beginning to understand the depth of God's love for them.
Eye Clinics: We have one clinic in a hospital in St. Ard that is going great. We regularly find patients that have glaucoma, cataracts, pterygiums, and inflamatory eye disease that would have other wise gone untreated. Our staff of guys- Wesner, Paul, Robbins, Bazelais, and Dago all received a week of training by Dr. Lori Geddes and her team a few weeks ago and it is really paying off in our clinic. We also have a full office of equipment waiting in the container that is stuck in PAP right now. That office will go in a hospital in Pierre Pyan where we will also see patients each week. We regularly do screenings in churches and schools and that is often our most effective way of finding patients that need care. Peter is a 10 year old boy with just such a need. He was found during a screening in one of our mountain churches. He has an eye tumor and we are currently trying to find the best way to have the intensive surgery he needs and follow up care. Be praying for him.
Schools and Churches: Our schools are out for the summer right now. We are in the process of trying to get food shipments in so we will be able to feed the kids next year. The churches are doing well. All of our pastors are working hard and we will be holding a pastor training seminar again in the fall.
Celebration Children's Home: That is the name of our "crech". A crech in Haiti is a home that aids in the adoption of children. We have recieved 5 children into our crech so far. (Three of which we are adopting...) Wilna is the little 10 year old almost blind girl. She is doing great. Adelson is a 14 year old boy that was living in the streets in Montrouis and he has found a new home at Celebration. Jamoy lives with us. So does 9 year old Jean Patrick. His father was burned in the streets for practicing voodoo. And little 5 month old Justice is the pride of us all. She is doing great as well.
We have a local Haitian artist that is helping us decorate the mission and the children's home. He is a good guy and we are praying for him to realize his need for a real relationship with Jesus. He has an amazing talent and can paint anything. He has one drawback. He likes to surprise us! So he decides what he thinks we would like and does it. Even if we have totally other plans. One day I told him I wanted a logo painted on our wall in front of the mission. Joy mentioned a rainbow and kids playing on it with the name of the home. I had in mind a small logo under our New Vision Ministries logo. This is what we came in to find even before we confirmed the plans. So Celebration Children's Home became Celebration Home Chidren (no 'l').
We also have 3 moms and their babies living at the mission. They are doing well too. We are blessed to be able to invest in lives each and every day.
Fisherman's Ministry: God is really working in the lives of our fisherman. We have had many chances to minister to them lately. A friend from Hickory came to visit and brought me a roll of donated fishing line. We were able to give it to the guys for them to make jugs with. We are in the process of developing a plan where we help the fisherman catch more fish and then we buy them at a good price to give to the local schools to make sauce to feed the children. We are trying to get all of the logistics worked out but we believe it will be a great way to help the fishing community and at the same time feed children a healthy protein food that they love.
Biker Ministry: Many of you know we lost a good friend in a motorcycle accident. He was a driver of a moto -motorcycle taxi- here in Montrouis. As a result of that we are trying to reach out to the moto drivers in our community. We are planning a weekly meeting where we are able to minister to the moto drivers. I want to help them have proper equipment and then pray over them and their motos for safety and protection. Most of these guys are unchurched and now that the road has been built here in Montrouis, they have a very dangerous job. We had our first meeting scheduled Sunday but it go rained out. We will be meeting with them next Sunday.
We are looking for partners to help us know what all we might could do to reach these young guys and make their jobs safer. If you want to be involved, just let us know.
Earthquake Relief: Life is still very difficult for many here since the quake. Things are slowly getting back to normal- except for the fact that there are still lots of white people in PAP. We spend time in some of the tent villages doing distributions and helping with the transition. Tons of broken concrete are trucked to the outskirts of PAP and dumped everyday. Not much permanent rebuilding is taking place yet but many groups are building temporary housing for displaced victims. It will be a long long time before things are back to normal... whatever that is!
School Sponsorships: We are gearing up for our next year of school sponsorships. It costs us about $150 to put a child in school and buy their books and uniforms and everything they need for a year. We sponsored 27 kids last year ourselves but we are looking to open things up to allow others to sponsor kids this year so we are hoping to sponsor about 50 Montrouis kids to go to school. We are going to partner with a local group of young Haitians to help us identify the kids with the most need and let them help us with the logistics of the program. It is one of the ministry programs we enjoy the most. We are impacting children and families and they are so grateful for it.
Celebration Kids Club: Joy's Friday Kids club is doing great. She has about 40 kids that come to our house for a time of fun and Bible study. She always has a fun program lined up and the kids love her. Our only problem is that about half of them come everyday!
Monster Bus Worship: We had our first Monster Bus Worship service last Wednesday night with a team from Hickory. It did not go as well as hoped and the weather was not ideal but it got us started. We have a short school bus that is our main mode of transportation. I up fitted it to be a mobile worship center. We have a sheet of white plywood with hooks that hang it onto the back of the bus. Then we extend a boom with a projector to project worship videos with words back onto the screen. We have videos in English, French, and Creole. We use the laptop inside of the bus and run amplified speakers outside. We have an inverter hooked up to the 2 bus batteries to power everything. Our goal is to develop a service that we can take anywhere and draw people with sound and video. We also have the Jesus video DVD in creole that we plan to start showing in different communities.
Mission Teams: What a huge blessing teams have been in the last few months. It has been a lot of work but so much work has been done by teams from all over the US coming to Montrouis to work. I wish I could give proper credit to all of the ones that have been here. We can't believe so many people are willing to sacrifice to come and help us. We have had crusades, medical clinics, eye clinics, sports outreaches, pastor trainings, construction projects, shoe distributions, food distributions, clothes distributions, baby health programs, staff seminars, and much more through teams that have been here. I can't say how thankful we are!
Family Update: Jacy Klaire is in the states visiting family and friends. Joy is leaving in the next week to go get her. She will be going with Josie and leaving me here with the rest of crew. We are all doing great. God healed me of my ongoing illness and we are all doing well. We miss everyone back home but we are enjoying the life God is affording us here. We have a great place to live by the water and our kids can play and run. There is often a breeze and in the moments when we sit down we get to enjoy it. Thank you for your prayers for us personally!
Current Events: We had a flood in Montrouis 2 days ago. The river could not be contained by its banks and many homes were swept away. It was quite a sight to see the power of the raging river. Many people lost everything. The river came down our road to within a few hundred yards of our house. The deforestation and subsequent silting in of rivers has made flooding a deadly way of life here for many. One of my fisherman's mom lost her house and everything she owned. We moved her into the mission today for a few weeks until we can help them decide what we need to do to help her relocate. We also saw a tornado in the distance last night as it formed and touched down from a storm cloud. It was too far from us to be a hazard for Montrouis but it was a reminder of the fact that flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, and tempests, are part of our new life. But on a good note, the weather has been much cooler lately with all of the storms and rain. Every cloud has a silver lining.
The boys from HOB came over to swim in the ocean today. That was a great surprise for us. We enjoyed the time of playing with them and letting them play here. They asked about many of you that have been here to visit in the past.
So there is an update of how things are going here. We have not seen the sweeping revival and change in the superficial religious culture of our community but we are seeing God work. We stand amazed!