Monday, May 25, 2009

No Rain but Another Challenge

We've been blessed with no rain, but of course, humidity is very high. It's okay, the ground needs to dry out and people need to get their lives back in order. The President advised they quit building on ravines. Hello? Where are they going to go? And, those in the valley suffered great damage. Remember,
St Marc is filled with people from Gonaives, who fled during the hurricane season. Truly, there is no where else to go but on the high places!

This morning when I turned on the fan, it wouldn't turn on. We now have an electric problem. We are getting city power, but the voltage is so erratic, surges that are unbelievable. We found there was a whole circuit blown and had we not had a voltage regulator our computers would be gone, as the regulator blew. We thought one of the fans would take flight during a surge yesterday. So, back to running the generator even though there is city power. If we don't we risk losing our copy machines at school.

Another challenge is our vehicle. The poor road conditions has been hard on our truck this year. Remember we use it daily and in St Marc, the main road is horrible. It has gone from bad to worse since coming in in September. We did see surveyors on Saturday which "hint" at the new highway extending through St Marc....oh! how we hope. But, that doesn't help the present condition of the truck. We truly need another vehicle!

We are also considering renting another house. As we look over the past school year, we realize the band has interrupted everything as far as noise level goes at the school. We've got to move or lose the band. There is a house next to the school that's empty and available for 1300 American dollars a year. This would solve the problem. We could use it for the band and for extra staff that may come on board in the fall (we are praying for extra American staffing).

In the meantime, we also need a whole house voltage regulator or we're going to lose our equipment and that would be far more expensive than a regulator. Does anyone know someone who would be willing to fund it?

Monday is never without it's special set of problems is it? Have a blessed week. Tomorrow we go to the beach with the El Shaddai kids, their first trip this year and of course, their last. We will have a special meal and a good time, I'm sure. Wednesday, Gary goes to Port to pick up our guests coming from International Accelerated Missions from Berne, NY. Sharon Carlson, the Administrator will speak at the Bible school graduation on Saturday, but on Friday, El Shaddai has their closing and graduation. So, we have full week ahead of us.

Never a dull moment when serving the Lord! And, who really wants dull moments?
Have a blessed week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Hello From Wet St Marc,


We always gather on the porch when rain is coming and say, "God just turned on the air conditioning!"  For the most part it's a pleasant time except it interrupts our ability to watch Family Harvest services or do email.  But, the cool air is wonderful after a hot sticky day.  Yesterday, the rain started slowly at first, but before it was over, we were beseeching the Lord to stop it.  This was no ordinary rainy season rain. 


When our street became a river and we heard screams in the not too far distance, we began to wonder what was happening all around us, on the mountain behind us and the lower levels where the water was rushing. Being swept away in "our river" were people's belongings, and rocks from the mountainside.  As it subsided we began dealing with the aftermath.  Rose (our school cook ) was at the door, soaking wet, cold and shaken.  Her house was flooded. They'd spent the entire time, bracing the door to keep the flood waters no avail.  She told us they'd found shelter on a second level with neighbors and would spend the night there. 


This morning early, her daughter, Faona, was at our gate. Her clothes were still damp from the night before and traces of mud were all over her.  Soon after that, Antonio came to work, shaking his head as he told us that his house was gone.  That means Ronid (one of our sponsored students) is without a home.  They slept in a nearby church, which is nothing more than coconut palms and a tin roof (you can imagine how "dry" their night was).  He said, many lost their homes last night.  Samuel (one of our teachers and a pastor) came to say that his church was filled with people who lost everything although their homes were intact.  We purchased a 100 pound bag of rice and beans for Samuel to distribute to the people who found refuge in his church. 


With this kind of devastation, and a long rainy season ahead, what will happen?  God forbid any future hurricanes!  It was our area that got it this time.  The area where our orphanage is located got rain, but not the flooding, Praise the Lord.  All our other employees seem to be fine. 


We ask for your prayers, not for us but for the people who now have to try and pick up the pieces of their lives to go on until........ the next time?  

I've attached some pictures.  The child is Farona.  She had breakfast, a warm bath and then bed.  She walked in a few minutes ago and said, "If it rains tonight, can I come to your house?"  The other pictures show the mud and water everyone is dealing with now.


Love to all!

Pastor Gary and Carolyn 



Thursday, May 14, 2009


The picture at the top is the best photo to show the conditions that we teach in every week. Our wonderful Bible school students are faithful to attend, rain or shine. This church is in the construction phase as you can see. Prior to the beginning of this year, it only had half a roof. We will have our first graduation on May 30th, with 29 students graduating. The Administrator from IAM in Berne NY will be here to give to hand out diplomas. It will make their graduation very special. We've acquired a beautiful site for graduation ceremonies which is a blessing to all the students. We expect at least 200 people.

This week I'm teaching on tithing and believe it will make a difference. Unless we learn to tithe, the church cannot function properly nor can we be blessed.

Yesterday, we had to go to Port to work Agape. When we were a half hour from St Marc, it began raining and by the time we got to St Marc, the downtown area was flooded. It took us what seemed like forever to get home. Gary asked if I had my camera and I replied, "I'm kicking myself!" Would have made for some interesting pictures as people waded nearly knee deep trying to get home. Of course, there were those young people who found it all very exciting as they splashed around or took showers. How many homes got flooded? Hard to tell. We wonder if we'll have full enrollment at El Shaddai this morning.

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life in Haiti is Always Interesting........

We had an interesting thing happen yesterday and it's another peek inside the Haitian culture, particularly when Americans are around. Yesterday, Dan brought a ten year old student into the office around break time (10:15 AM). She was quiet and I had to pull out of her what the problem was. As she began to tell me big tears began to drop from her eyes. She said she had a stomach ache. So, I proceeded with my twenty questions, where? what kind of pain? when did it start? do you have diarrhea? did you eat over the weekend? did you eat anything today? Nothing was adding up. I proceeded to press on different parts of her abdomen (really pressed) to see if she reacted in pain. Nothing. (Later, Dan said that I had pressed so hard I probably could feel her backbone :0).
She didn't want to go home, so I gave her Pepto Bismal (yuck) which she drank hesitantly and didn't finish all of it. Later, she laid down in the hall saying her stomach hurt but we made her get up. (Drama is a good clue that nothing is wrong physically but something wrong). She lined up for lunch right after that, and I asked her how she felt, she said, "Not good." Stomach hurting .......and you are going to eat lunch?? Still not adding up.
After we got home that evening, Dan said she came to him at the end of school and asked for "money for medicine." He answered the right way, "No, if you need medicine you must ask Pastor Gary or Miss Carolyn." He proceeded to tell us that the first thing in the morning before the bell rang, she came in and began using his calculator saying she needed to calculate the cost of tin. Tin is used for roofs. When she saw the price she groaned and then the rest of the day she had a stomach ache (supposedly) . How do you translate all this to what is really going on? The parents put her up to getting money from Dan and the only way she could figure out how to do it was to have a stomach ache. We believe the tears in my office were dread at having to manipulate and conive this whole thing. Why would she follow through on it? To keep from being beaten. This child is very, very smart, lives in a terrible home situation and is used and abused by her parents.
Another situation, one little boy met me last week (my first day back) and asked for shoes. His shoes were tight and worn out. I don't have a problem buying shoes for kids, that's a reasonable service. But, I forgot and yet I remembered that we'd bought several pairs of shoes and these shoes were at least two years old, no wonder they don't fit. This week he has reminded me three times about his shoes. I began my questions. Don't you have tennis shoes? Yes, but I don't have shoe laces. Aha! Mom and Dad are sending him to me to manipulate a situation. He has shoes that fit but they want money for "something" so they put the oldest pair of shoes that don't fit on him. Been here too long, maybe, know most of the moves that are used to get money.
The bottom line is there are always people who think we cannot think. You can pray that in some way we can teach those who use their children in negative ways will realize they are keeping a big problem in this country going. How much easier it would be on a child for the parents to simply face us and tell us they have a financial need. I suppose they figure we won't believe their story either.......we probably won't.
A standard is that their father or their mother or their aunt died and they need money to go to wherever the deceased person is. One time, a man's father died four times. Hello? Didn't your father die two months ago? six months ago? a year ago? Of course we were supposed to have forgotten the request for money the first, second and third time.
Yet, it's what makes life interesting and makes for a lot of praying, a lot of laughs, and a few tears along the way. You know God has called you to a people when you don't give up. You also know you've been called when you love the people enough to say NO without feeling guilty. You know when you've been called when you are praying for their greater good.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Last Friday, we discussed how each class went for chapel after a wonderful Praise and Worship time. Dan began to share that Yolanda, although physically present was not there. He said she has never listened or been a part of the group. A few months ago, the child (9 years old) revealed that every week her mother took her to the witch doctor to "take a bath". These baths are like a baptism sort of thing and usually done in muddy water. (You may ask why her mother would do this and the reason is that she was trying to protect her daughter from the onslaught of evil and as bizarre as that sounds, that's how life is here. When you want protection from evil spirits you go to a "witch doctor" to get a cure which only compounds the situation.

My first response was to go to a Pastor who is on our staff, because I knew his wife and Yolanda's mother were friends. He visited her about the situation. Nothing happened at first, but just two weeks ago Yolanda's mother was saved! Praise the Lord. Now the story continues.
Although mom got saved, Yolanda is in great bondage. Remember the scripture in John 10:10 that says the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy? Well, he is trying to kill Yolanda. Of course, we know we have power and authority over all the works of the devil in Jesus name, amen? But Yolanda's mother doesn't know that yet.

The other night, Yolanda began to choke while sleeping. She said, "They are choking me!" Who does she mean by "they?" The"they" are the spirits that have entered her every time her mom took her for a "bath." Mom got her up and got a motor cycle (taxi) to take her to the hospital. On the way they had an accident and Yolanda was the one hurt. Do you see the plot of the enemy?

She is now in a hospital in Port au Prince and I'm not real clear as to the state of her condition. She had head injuries and they weren't able to help her here in St Mark, at St Nicholas Hospital.
So, living in the reality of what we see often, I'm asking you to pray for Yolanda to be healed physically, and spiritually. The devil is not getting any of our children at El Shaddai Learning Center. We refuse to allow him to snuff out Yolanda's life and we speak total healing and wholeness over her that she will be set free from this demonic attack and be a worshipper of the Most High God.

Thanks, we must work while it's day for night comes when no man can work.
I'll keep you posted on what God does!