Saturday, December 20, 2008


Children served their parents a treat.
The boys sang with gusto!

These cupcakes are called Pumkats, a little sweet cake sort of like pound cake. No icing. Much loved. We bought 275 and not one was left over.

Jackie Mark was dressed like he was going to preach!

We ran out of chairs for the audience.
By the time the sun went down there were more people.

Introducing staff. Dan has been a wonderful high school teacher. He's given the boys in his class a desire to do something with their lives and they are working toward those goals. They read every day at break, stay after school to study, and it's because Mr. Dan has instilled in them the need to work hard!

Al and Bev handed out the gifts. This is Pablo. He was our youngest until we got a little one younger than him.

Which one is Mary? Or Joseph? Where is the baby under all that glitter. We had nothing to do with the way this was put together other than providing costumes. Our Haitian teachers did it all.

We have a wonderful band director, in the lower part of picture playing the trumpet. He is the kindest man, very patient and loved by all the students and staff. He goes to the police station every morning to play while they raise the Haitian flag, then he comes to work at El Shaddai.

He's got the whole world in His hands!

With the Christmas program behind us, Al, Bev and Dan visiting family in the States, Gary and I are wondering what to do with ourselves. Well, not really. We have plenty to do but things are a bit quiet with no one around. The Christmas program went very well and the children were proud of their performance and excited about their gifts. We had about 75 parents and family in the audience and one mother who has had her child in school for several years was beside herself with excitement. She couldn't get over how the school has grown. With 50 childrens voices, we certainly did have a choir as they sang the cantata, Lord I Lift Your Name on High. They did too! I had to stop and think about the parents listening to their children singing song after song in English. That must have made them quite proud! The band played three numbers and the pre-schoolers sang two songs then dressed up for the manger scene which is always the focus. We are thankful no one is telling us we cannot celebrate the birth of Jesus and sing publicly to His glory!
I'm going to post the pictures provided the internet cooperates and let you enjoy looking at them. In the meantime, thank you for your giving, making Christmas possible for our school and for a lot of children who would never get anything. We will feed at least 1500 kids this Christmas.
The Lord bless your time with family and may you draw closer to Him in the coming year.
We pray supernatural provision for you this year. Whether it be jobs, health, reconcilations, whatever you need our God is more than able to supply!
Merry Christmas and a Happy Prosperous New Year.
Gary and Carolyn

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dan was every where needed. The building was full of people!

Bev took good care of the patients making sure their glasses were clean and well fitted.

John learned to look at the Word only.

Jan learned a lot about eye exams........

Handling the gate was a huge job for Al, the people began to push and shove, and nearly knocked the gate down.

Elizabeth helping a child. We hired her to work in the Pre School room and the smile on her face is what we always see.

Dr Phillips, Jessica and Cleo.......putting in a long day!

Marko gets glasses!


Dr Phillips doing eye exams for glaucoma.

Petit Homme and many others did the preliminary work.

Steve looked like a Dr in his scrub suit.

Cleo never stopped working!

Jennifer had her room all set up for people to get reading glasses.

Peggy sponsors Kerwine and got the opportunity to have him as her interpreter.


Ellen played a game with the kids, they had a blast!

We had a wonderful week with the Family Harvest eye clinic team from Tinley Park, Il. We laughed and we cried, we worked until we dropped. Dr Phillips and Cleo are relentless, they never stop. They saw over 800 people in four days! Many got glasses, seeing things clearly for the first time in years. So many stories to tell. Dr Mark Friend taught at the Bible school seminar, challenging the thinking of all our students (100 attended) and had to answer many questions and brought them back to the subject. Jan Meyers taught briefly on Authority and Submission. I don't think any of us will forget the students singing "How Great Thou Art" of course in Creole but we were lifted from the dust and grime outside the resort to a heavenly plane with their singing.
I got to reacquaint myself with Ellen Mytnick after many years. Peggy Phaby and I had our usual laughs about the need for botox and face lifts, and on a more serious level the need to stay firm on the Word of God. Ellen taught our El Shaddai children for three hours on Monday.....they were exceedingly blessed! The bonding with new acquaintances was wonderful, Steve Osborn, Jessica, Jennifer, Carlet, Beverly.........all dear to my heart. I stated that when they left I'd have to spend time regrouping to get back in the groove of routines and it wasn't easy getting my mind back to being without friends but necessary nonetheless.

I'm going to attempt to put all the pics I can on the blog. Love, Carolyn

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I can't believe that over half of the last post didn't get on !!! There must be clouds out there stopping connection. I'll find another time, as to recreate all that I told you would take more time than I have right now and obviously the weather is not cooperating! Later.....Carolyn

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are almost at Thanksgiving and my pledge to blog more often seems to have fallen by the wayside! Where time goes is really a question and I'm sure it's one you've posed often as well. As we look we can see that it wasn't wasted but moved away nonetheless. The great equalizer is time isn't it? We are all given the same amount. I would like to think that I'm using mine wisely but in retrospect perhaps there was some wasted! All I know is that when we end a day at El Shaddai, I'm exhausted. We had some company the other day just as we finished school. They had dropped in to use the internet and all I could do was point them to it and went to the porch and laid down on a half bed we have there with water in hand. No one seemed to mind, but I thought, this isn't being much of a hostess. The energy just wasn't there.

Right now I'm teaching first grade for a half hour, kindergarten for a half hour and split the rest of my time with other classrooms. We finally counted accurately....we have 50 students! We couldn't figure out why there weren't enough sandwiches each day for the kids....duh! We had more kids than we thought. You may be asking how that could happen. It's like this: Gary is juggling the school office, the hurricane relief, Bible school and the Touch office (keeping accurate records of where the money goes that you send us). He also drives the kids home everyday (school bus driver), has to continously run to town to get our water supply, has had multiple mechanical problems such as the generator and batteries (not much city power these days) and we are now going to Russeau every Tuesday, and a children's group in town every Monday. Hummm

Friday, November 14, 2008


It continues to happen, I spend a long time getting things on the blog and the internet goes out before it gets posted! Bummer.

We had some drama last Sunday morning. At 7:30AM a knock at the gate. It was Eliant with her youngest (9 month old boy) crying that her husband had bitten her finger and YES he truly had. Her middle finger was laid open. Seems they were fighting over the other boy (age 2) being hungry and no food to feed him. He hit her with a broom, she grabbed his nose and her finger ended up in his mouth. Same story from the two of them, and Ronid the 12 year old daughter who is a student at El Shaddai. Eliant ended up leaving Antonio with one child, returned a day later to get all of her things and the 2 year old, leaving 12 year old Ronid with Antonio. To make a long story short and spare you all the heated discussions, we have Ronid living with us until the marital situation gets worked out. Antonio is not Ronid's father, he's got a drinking problem and wisdom was to remove her from the home. He says he's going after Eliant and making her come back to take care of her responsibilities in the home.....that all remains to be seen. Ronid is enjoying a clean bed, shower daily and clothes that I've had here, actually some of my granddaughter's things that were yet to be given away, now I know why I was saving them. Ronid said, "I like living here." She's a sweet girl, smart, speaking English but just to give you an idea of how impoverished her life has been she asked me, pointing to the clock, "is that a watch?" She was also fascinated by the computer screen when. Oh, one more thing, she didn't know how to use an American toilet. She asked Jessica where she was supposed to go to have a bowel movement. Jessica directed her to the toilet. She asked, "How do you use it?" Jessica explained but the next question was, "Where do you put the poop?" Believe me when I say she is at the bottom of the poverty level. What will we do with her? When the family gets straightened out she'll go home. If the family doesn't get back together, we'll find a way to care for her. You can pray for Ronid. We took her into El Shaddai about three years ago simply because she wasn't getting enough to eat. She looks so happy now.

This experience drives home the point that a child with a little attention and nurturing can change overnight.

The same thing good is happening with the three boys Bev is nurturing daily in McDonal. They are changed creatures from street urchins to smiling, happy boys. Do you know how many of these children are on the street in McDonald? It's too painful to count them because we don't have the ability to help them.

On the other side of the coin is a boy named Kennson who was sent to Haiti because his mother remarried and the new dad didn't want him. Although well fed, well dressed, with a caring Auntie, he's angry, withdrawn and refuses to allow anyone in. Please pray for this boy because at 13 he's headed for a very uncertain future.

The world is full of children who have been left to fend for themselves. A very hard picture to look at close up or far away. Jesus said, "Let them come to Me and forbid them not." Pray for us as we minister to the children that they may all come to HIM!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Bible School has 80 students now.

Certificates for completing one year!

Certainly a joy to hand them out.

I was asked why I had an ankle bracelet on. Had just removed it, but asked the class if I was any more holy now that it was removed. Seeing Jessica with the camera, I looked her way.

Gary getting ready to give his encouragement to the students.

Barbara teaches the incoming class.

Gary has the third year class.

Carolyn has the second year class (and the group that got their certificates for attending last year).

We had so many rotten eggs, Gary and Dan decided to test them to see if they would sink (good) or float (rotten).

Jessica teaching on character, Monday nights, at Yvesner's church. (Yvesner is interpreting).

Peanut butter anyone? Kevin (left) and Daniel delivering our peanut butter made by Kevin's mother-in-law.

Gladimir just blew out his candles and watching to see if Kesmy can blow out all his.

Gary and I with a church that just received supplies after the hurricane.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FINDING TIME..............

When I realize the number of days that pass before getting back to the blog, I'm amazed! There are so many pictures we want to put up for you to see, so many words to type and here it is time to go to school again. Ahh, but we have a day off tomorrow (Friday) for Dessalines Day. Kevin and I joke about this because it's not his birthday but his death day that is celebrated. Interesting to say the least. What did Dessalines do? I'll let you look that up, I don't have time but will enjoy the day off.

Our kids are doing great, Bible school is great as well. We have a lot for which to thank God daily. Dan, Jessica, Al and Bev are fine as well. Al comes to El Shaddai to help us a couple of days a week. It took him three taxi's to get here Monday. The first guy's motor scooter broke down, Al caught another; the second guy had an accident. He had no brakes and ran smack dab into the back of a truck, smashing his nose and bending the rim of the bike. Al simply got off and hailed another to get to school. Now you understand why I don't ride them!! He's young and brave. I won't say what I am.

We are rejoicing Omar went another direction and we are still working to come out from under the hurricane's effect. Nothing moves very fast here. Riding two miles is like riding ten slowing every effort to get to people.

My first graders are really smart and going very quickly in the reading program. Exciting since last year was so difficult. Our school is teaming with kids especially little ones! Jessica is leraning all about pre-schoolers. They are really comical and the neat part is she understands their Kreyol. They have a lot to say that I miss due to hearing problems. Yesterday, one of my first graders said in English as the band was practicing: That's a nice band you have there. It was so cute and bold for her to come up to me and say that. I couldn't laugh although I wanted to, so I leaned over and kissed her cheek. (By the way due to space, when the band plays we all have to listen).

I'll try to get the pictures up real soon but now school is calling. Have a blessed day and remember that the Lord's mercies are new today!


Monday, October 6, 2008


We had rain on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. When we left for the Bible school on Saturday, we were amazed at what the rain did to an already bad condition. There had been a flash flood near the entrance of St Marc and beyond. The bridge where we pick up Barb, Al and Bev was showing stress of having had too much water. We drove past the police barricade through lots of mud. There were two trucks that had gotten caught in the flood and they were a mess. Hunks of asphalt was everywhere as the water lifted it up and placed it elsewhere. Young banana plants were on their side and not a few trees were uprooted. We hope we get no more rain of that magnitude.

The new bridge in Montrouis works quite well although, it will stand no big storms and the one that hit St Marc, did not hit there. They'd had rain but not a hard one.

School is going well, I think, or can I think at this point. We keep getting new kids, 46 total to date, several older ones who speak no English and that's impacting schedules and staff. We finally have a class for them to learn English. We had to pull Petit Homme from music to use him there but Praise the Lord, we hired another "maestro" to work with us this year and he seems able to handle the children just fine without Petit Homme.

Gary and I volunteered to drive one of our employees, Pastor Samuel, to the mountain to give out hurricane supplies for which he'd received funding. It was a pleasure to give our time, and fuel to go. We don't often get to other parts of the area and this was a chance to see somewhere we'd never been. Quite a steep ride and then the church was above the road. There were 27 families living in the church because their homes were gone. It was like Christmas for them with food supplies, clothing and the children got New Year's Eve noise makers (and they made noise, believe me!) We walked through the village and saw that the roof was all that was left on many homes. Gary had to back up for quite a ways before we found a spot to turn the truck around. It was interesting that all of Pastor Samuel's people chose to walk that distance rather than get in the back of the truck. I saw an interesting picture and to get it I had to stretch my arms over across Gary. Needless to say, his yell stopped me promptly because I was interfering with his ability to see to back up. Somehow the idea of picture taking moved me to be a bit impulsive. Need I tell you that I didn't get the picture??

Hurricane Relief projects of Touch Ministries: The man from Gonaives with the little boy who has a broken hip has returned to Gonaives with rent money and food. He found his wife so the family is now back together. The family with the tree over their house, now have the tree removed and we are in the process of rebuilding that part of the house. The family that was on the street are in a one room apartment, rent paid for a year, two children are in school and we are putting her into business by buying the things she needs to sell. So, in many ways all three families are better off than they were before the storm. A sad note: the man from Gonaives has AIDS. Because he was sick we had him get a physical and the blood test showed him positive. We are wondering about the mother and the boy. As soon as the boy gets his cast off he will be tested. Haiti reality always sets in right when you least expect it!

I think I have remembered everything. If not, more will come when I start putting the pictures on. Blessings to all! Love you, Carolyn

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Continuing On

We welcome our new staff members, Jessica Maudlin and Dan Joshu. We welcome back Al and Bev Carpenter.
Jessica is a theology graduate of Hanover College and Dan is an Audiologist. Bev has an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. Pretty impressive group wouldn't you say? We sure are thankful that the Lord brought them to us. More than that, think of the seeds they are sowing into children's lives.

Jessica is learning the challenge of pre-schoolers, eight of them! They are having a good time and so is Jessica. (I think). The other day during our opening exercises, little Garvens was with the older kids. He kept smiling at me every time I walked past him. Because I was busy I smiled back without thinking. It dawned on me when I saw his teacher coming into the room, he was not where he was supposed to be. Our first two weeks has been training them where they are supposed to be.

Dan continues to prod the high schoolers into work, work, work. He's so encouraged them that they work on school work during breaks! He also gives his time in the evening to Kesmy when there are difficult concepts to learn. Dan's the man!

Al and Bev are standing outside the front gate of the orphanage. Do you want to know how to get the gate open? You pick it up!! It's hilarious. Of course we will change that real soon. They are fitting into the Haitian neigborhood very well and the boys are loving them as parents.
They are letting their light so shine before men that their good works are seen and God is glorified!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hurricane Stories

Highway flooded in many places.

Tent city outside Cabaret.

Thinking twice before going through huge pot hole.

Remains of washed away house.

Flooded farm land.

Giving away food supplies.

At 4AM on Saturday morning (yesterday) we got up to leave the house at 5 so we could get to Montrouis, walk across the bridge and meet Mike and Marion with whom we were riding to Port au Prince. We picked Barb up so she could drive our truck back to St Marc rather than let it sit in Montrouis all day in the melee of trucks and people. Al and Bev were moving to their new apartment so they needed the truck as well. We got back to our house at 6:30PM just as it was starting to rain.
Our trip to Port was not bad except for a near head on collision. Mike was sure the truck coming at us would move over but he didn't. Thank God Mike finally caused us all a bit of a scare! The same thing happened on the way home but the truck driver got distracted by a guy on a bicycle and didn't see us! YIKES! It makes one thankful for the protection of the Lord on Haiti's highway.
Listening to the missionary stories at Agape made me realize the drama after a storm. I know it's happening in the States as well, but here, there is very little relief efforts except the little missionaries can do and with the relief are the stories of the people.

A man and child came to us from Gonaives, through Pierre our employee. This man is his brother. The child was hit with something while wading through the flood and was days with a broken leg and hip. He's now in St Marc with Pierre. The wife ran when the water started coming up, they don't know if she is living or dead. We will help this family relocate and pay all medical expenses.
Yvesner (an employee) took us to a family of five whose home was washed away. They constructed this little lean too along a wall in an empty lot used for dumping garbage. When it rains they find a place with a roof where no one is living then return to their "house". As we spoke with her and saw how desperate they were, we will rent them a room and give them clothing and food supply. That day all they'd eaten was a banana. The father was out searching for more to eat. We bought them food from a street side vendor, gave them beans and rice, and will continue to work on relocating them.

Yvesner also took us to the house with the tree across it. The baby was sitting right where the tree fell but because the top of the tree was caught by the roof next door the baby's life was spared. We need to find a chain saw to help them cut this tree out of the way and then we will help them repair their home.

Other pictures are not real clear but were taken from the vehicle we were in and give you an idea of the amount of water still around. We've decided that rather than feed a bunch of people one or two days we will find those who need help getting their lives back to some sort of "normal" such as these three families.

Monday should prove to be a better day at school now that we'll have our books. Believe it or not, we got all sixteen boxes and our groceries into five wheel barrows and crossed the bridge to where Barb was parked in our truck. If you think that was easy, think hundreds of people, yelling and pushing, a sagging bridge, and a parade of five wheel barrow guys, Gary, Al, and me trying to keep up, carrying my bag of bread that I didn't want to get squashed! All of a sudden I felt someone slip their hand into the handles of my bread bags. When I turned to look it was Pastor Alphonse! He gave me a big smile and got me across the bridge. He drives a Coke truck which was parked on one side and getting unloaded to fill the truck on the other side but took the time to walk way out of his way to accompany us to our truck....that kind of kindness is not found often is it?

The Lord bless you all and may you have a wonderful time worshipping today! Remember to pray for Hait and all people who are struggling at this time. We pray those who don't know the Lord, and there are many, will bow their knee to Him. We will continue to keep you posted on hurricane relief efforts as the Lord shows us who we should help.