Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It's so quiet here. Dan is in his room, Nancy is in her room, Gary and I are fellowshipping at the computers (same room, not same page), Jr and Oliver are playing on the porch and they are making the only noise in the house. Everyone is gone. After people here since 1/14/10, except for four day stretch in first of March, it seems strange not to have the house full. Tasha was the last of the Family Harvest group and she left Monday. Cindy Rahl who was here for three weeks left on Saturday. So, here we are, each of us doing those things we had on hold.

I've been working in the testing room at school nearly everyday for, let's see…..the third week? Interesting and I enjoy it but there is much on my plate that take early morning energy. Perhaps we'll get someone to do that job soon.

Pierre came in this evening to have his dressing changed. Oh dear! The Dr. had to cut away a huge piece of flesh due to an infection. He needs a skin graft, anyone know of a Dr coming this way?

We have great things coming up. Building the church in Port with Pastor Cesar, about done. Next it will be housing, etc. Big things actually for these very impoverished folks. Pastor Cesar is living in a tin shack, another story and will go into detail on that one soon. We are going to deliver tents to him this week, as well as food.

I watched a video clip about amputees on MSNBC (Walking With No Place To Go) and how they were giving prosthesis' at a hospital not far from here, so we decided to take a ride and see. To our amazement, Albert Schweitzer Hospital is all set up with equipment to get people who have lost their legs into prosthesis' and Physical Therapists to train them to walk again. We hope to transport people to and from there. Another project we can spearhead.

At the end of April we will have a team from a big Baptist Church in Tampa, FL., Family Church, headed by Pastor Joe Windham. They will basically be a construction group and finish the school wall. In May, we will welcome a medical team from PA, headed by Ron Hillard and with them will be our good friends, the Haas'. At the end of the month, Pastor John Paledino is coming in to preach the graduation ceremony for the Bible school. He's got a farmer, a barber and a couple of evangelists with him, so it will prove to be a great time in the Lord.

We leave Haiti on June 8th and head to PA for Ezra and Audrey's wedding in Little Washington, on June 12th. We are still working on the return date to Haiti, since there is so much to do here, summer in WV will elude us but we plan to go to Family Harvests' conference at the end of July, first of August and maybe a couple more weeks in the States before returning to St Marc.

God is so wonderful. He amazes me every day with His goodness and mercy. I'm reading or should say , just finished a book by Mahesh Chavda on Fasting and Prayer. I would recommend it to anyone whether you ever thought about fasting or not. It's changing my life AND helping me to be successful in fasting. Whoo hooo!!!! A quote from the book is this: There is a place beyond victory called triumph. Victory is being able to defeat our enemies. But triumph goes far beyond mere victory. When you triumph, you come out of the battle with more than you had before. God wants to give you more.

I'm looking to get to the place beyond victory. I'm looking for triumph. Prayers prayed for years may have been answered by doing the one thing that Jesus said we should do….fast and pray.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

  Nancy took the team to Jacmel then up a mountain. During their three days (two of travel) they installed a solar water purification system that will give clean water to a whole village.  A couple of them came home a little ill but it was over in a day or two and they were able to continue enjoying their stay in Haiti.It's great to see men working in the heat with a smile on their face, is it not?  Janice Myers had a great time organizing the kindergarten room.  One of her projects was to bring all the puzzles home and let Junior and Oliver work them. Those little boys worked from 2 to 8 PM, then got up at 6:30 AM and went right back to working puzzles. It was so delightful to watch!!  Anna Grassman got to help several of the El Shaddai students with their work.  Mark and Jim worked a long time on installing the new electrical system, please forgive my ignorance but I have no idea what it was they installed.  All I know is this: Gary is so excited it's as though it were Christmas!!  The picture of the hand is on the wall at school, Ketia drew it.  Most of the time when our kids draw it  has to do with God.  Neat, huh?  I'm so thankful to be in a place where God is in our thoughts and where we can freely talk about Him and the Word of God. I would not do well in the American system such as it is today.  Mike Harrawood is with Jean Philip Felix.  We've known Jean for at least seven years.  He's a preacher's kid, which spells ornery, but he's a great delight.  He liked Mike so well, that when he came to me in the testing room to show me he was doing his Word Building test, he said, "May I have it back, Mr. Mike is going to give me the test."  Oh, fine with me, one I didn't have to do.  Have you ever given three different spelling tests at the same time........not fun! 

The beginning of our new shed started with a lot of breaking down and clearing away rubble. The picture of welding is quite interesting. Mark Grassman sent us a welding machine with the generator to run it.  They are working and did fix the gate at the school so now we the rollers work, which will allow us to park one of the vehicles inside the school at night.  We recently had our truck battery stolen due to the fact that it sat out all night.  (Not bad though, the truck is going on it's sixth year, first battery theft!)
As you can see there is much activity going on and it's great to watch first hand things getting done and school in session at the same time is a joy for me. 

Has the Rainy Season Started?

We've had rain and overcast skies……has it officially started? The rainy season creates more problems than it solves and since 1/12/10, it's worse. We are working very hard to get Pastor Ceasor's church under roof so that the 20 members who lost their homes in the quake will have a dry place to sleep at night. Haitians are quite used to living on the outside of any dwelling during the day, but everyone wants a safe place at night. Sleeping on the floor isn't a new experience, for many it's the way life is. So, the church will make a wonderful place for these folks. The roof must go on soon because the rain has started. When it rained the other night, all our thoughts went toward Port au Prince. The news I read the next morning was horrible and Gary's trip in and back was the same, everything was a mess in Port. Living in a tent leaves a lot to be desired in wet weather, but what about four sticks with sheets for roof and sides….not a way to get a good nights' sleep.

Gary and I have been doing many things, but we are waiting for the influx of problems that will begin in a couple of months when homes here in St Marc get too crowded and people begin running out of food supplies and room. We continue to pray for a plan to receive these victims in a way conducive to real help and not just a handout. Right now, we are receiving new students at El Shaddai, and fall promises an influx. Our school will only hold so many. We are thinking about another building for the preschool which would create more room for more kids. Help us to pray in that regard. We come up with a lot of ideas but there are kinks in them. We need a God plan.

We've had a team here this week from Wisconsin. We had a team here last week from Wisconsin. I had no idea that Wisconsin folks were so mission minded but (what is the phrase?) a shout out to Wisconsin people. (Is it called a shout out or call out, oh dear, age showing again). Mark Grassman, his daughter, Anna, Mike Kees and Jim Weyers have been so wonderful. They have worked in very hot temperatures from morning until night. We thought Saturday would be a day off for them but NOT, they are out completing their goals. We will go to the beach this afternoon but we'll be taking the orphans with us, so it's sort of a last effort to get as much of Haiti as possible.

Cindy Rahl continues to be a blessing, giving of herself in the kindergarten room. She loves children, the children know it and love her in return. What she's accomplished with one very slow child (due to malnutrition his brain has been affected), should be one for the study books. I got a short video of Cindy working with Joel and it's priceless.

We also had Mike Harrawood with us this week, from Family Harvest/Tinley Park, IL. Mike was an incredible blessing as he taught the highschool kids and as we took time to get to know one another. Mike loves the Lord, it showed in every way as he reached out to our kids and staff. He worked with one girl all week on her math, when she tested she got a 95!! How many teachers know the victory of that kind of success. When a student does well, the teacher has done well. Pastor Robb Thompson has said many times, "Teaching requires learning." Mike experienced that statement this week. Thank you Mike for coming to see us!!

The Grassman group leaves on Sunday, Nancy leaves on Sunday for Cap Haitian to translate for a medical group for one week, Tasha Witherspoon comes in on Monday from FH church, to help at El Shaddai.

God has been incredibly good to us!!!! We are blessed and highly favored. We rejoice in His goodness. We thank you for your prayers and kindness.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Don't ask me what the photos have to do with everything written below, except it gives a new peek into our preschool.  The lower pictures are of Al and Bev Carpenter, Barb Macleod, Janice Myers and I.  Directly above are Jan and I in front of the first orphanage gate.  The blue motor cycle belongs to the ministry and is used at the orphanage for runs to wherever.  It was purchased by a Wisconsin group and is exactly like the other one that we have at El Shaddai site (and purchased by the Fearing group, WI).

Better go get supper on the table and cut  the boys hair, haven't forgotten!  Read below.

What a Day!

Monday's are always challenging are they not? Or maybe it's me, but every Monday is one that by the end of it, I'm glad it's over. Having said that, I also have to say it's been a good day, the word is hectic, I think. Challenging and hectic?

The team from Wisconsin, headed by Mark Grassman, had a great time going to the mountains with Nancy. They got there about 8PM on Friday night and returned to Port Sunday evening. Because they couldn't get a bus to come to St Marc, Gary went to Port to pick them up. Tired, hot and dirty, they got here about 8PM. I'd made tuna sandwiches, had some left over rice and beans, chips and that filled the void for them, although, Mark was attacked by diarrhea during the night. Was it the tuna? Or water on the mountain? Nancy said, "Surely not the water because they'd installed a water purifier." (Which was their biggest reason for going). Morning came a little too early for Mark! The two other men with him did what was planned for the morning which was to dismantle the old storage house out back so they can build a bigger, newer one. As we grow, we need more room. I still can't figure out why the Lord never provided the money to build on our property. We certainly could use a compound about now, with people and "stuff" in every conceivable corner of this house. I guess the answer to that would be whatever it is and my place is to be thankful for what we have, which is way more than those in Port. A solid roof over our heads as opposed to a tent roof.

School proved to be challenging as one teacher didn't show up and Cindy Rahl was taking her turn at the kindergarten class after Janice Myers did it last week. Since Hormise didn't come (due to a long bout of diarrhea, she and daughter both) I had to change my plans and be in the classroom. Oh dear! Those little ones! How many are there? Many! They seem to be everywhere. We've taken in several new ones since the earthquake, and the new ones are from Port. One little girl will not sit at the table, but we made her and then compassion took over and I sat with her. Her head came over on my lap and she seemed calm. What did she experience in the quake? Is she really traumatized or is she spoiled? Wading through that will take time I'm sure, but she did settle and became part of the group as the day wore on. So, having conquered that problem and Elizabeth working well with the children, I exited to the big school where I manned the testing room for the rest of the morning. That's an interesting place to be….doesn't take a lot of energy, just eyes everywhere making sure the kids don't cheat. And, grading which is even more interesting when you read that God is between the stars and the earth that's why the stars twinkle. Some of their answers can be quite amusing.

We had a teachers meeting at 12:30 which meant the children were dismissed at 12. That was another experience because I was back at the preschool, and what a noisy bunch during lunch. More work to do in getting transition times organized. Isn't there someone who has expertise in this field who can come and do the job right? Since they finished eating, I decided they should put their chairs away and sit on the floor. Chita la! Said I pointing to the floor, no one would move. Aww, come on kids, surely you understand my Kreyol! I finally did get them all to sit after barking the order several times only to find out that Haitian parents tell their children not to sit on the floor. (They are always on the floor as younger ones, but somehow the message is taught that as school children they shouldn't sit on the floor). FINALLY, it was time for them to file out and get on the bus only filing is not something they like to do, so struggle again getting them to each take a turn at the door without pushing and shoving.

Does it sound hectic yet? I came home to find everyone leaving their job because it was time to leave but the work was not completed. Madame Pierre was still sweeping (due to having to go to the market and making salad and potato salad) while the wash ladies said goodbye because their work was done. Another problem. How can you all leave her with so much left to do? Easy. Our work is done. But how can you simply leave? Then offense at my suggestion that Madame Pierre had more work than they had, blah, blah, blah.

Putting it simply, it's Monday. Tomorrow will go smoothly I'm sure. I think I'm sure. But, before tomorrow there is Oliver and Junior's hair that needs cut and they won't let me forget as it was supposed to have been done over the weekend. Plus, there is supper to get and a trunk with crafts in it to find.

We are blessed to have Mike Harrawood here from Family Harvest in Chicago (Tinley Park) but at this point I'm not sure what he's thinking he came to. This mission is moving faster than I can. God spoke to Gary's heart at Christmas and said, the mission is going to change, are you ready for ten more years. Pretty interesting considering what we are doing now compared to a year ago.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


When Pastor Cesar, our wonderful Bible school student joined Bible school, I asked "Why are you here?" He had been through seminary. His answer was, "I sense the Holy Spirit here and I like the way you teach the Word of God." That was nearly three years ago. Every Saturday he came/comes with three other people, which is a hardship for someone who lives just outside Cite Soliel, the poorest section of Port au Prince. He had to make sure he had the money to get a bus to and from (and many times he only had enough to get to school, we'd help him get home).
He became one of our most diligent students and asked us if he could start a Bible school at his church. We approved and he has 40 students to date.
On January 12th, his little church came down, while he was having Bible school. He told me he was teaching, "Knowing Your Ministry." Every thing fell, but due to the humble structure no one was hurt, just frightened.

Twenty two members in his church lost their homes in the quake. When we visited him shortly after the earthquake, the one thing we could do for this faithful man of God was to rebuild his church. We brought in an engineer who told us exactly how to build it, earthquake safe. This venture is not cheap, but Pastor Cesar will have a church to house people during the night, when the rainy season comes.

He already has 43 new converts and his church is going to be twice the size it was before. We are so honored to be the carriers of the funds and overseers of this project. But, it's the people in the States who are funding it. Thank you if you've got any part in this building project. You are truly building the "house of the Lord."

Pastor Cesar said, "I want a baptismal pool. I believe that when they get saved they should be baptized." If you knew the Haitian thinking toward baptism, you'd know this is a powerful statement.

Pray for Pastor Cesar as he is coughing up blood although he does not seem sick. He is seeing a Dr. God is the healer, the Body of Christ needs Pastor Cesar! He will graduate from Bible school in May.

God is continuing to bless us with people to help. This week, Janice Myers, from Family Harvest and Cindy Rahl, from Florida, both teachers. They are a huge asset at El Shaddai. Cindy will stay until the 27th and when Janice leaves on Saturday another Family Harvest person, Mike Harrawood will come in. When Mike leaves, Tasha Witherspoon will join us for a week. We are thankful for this wonderful help. Also, this week, a Wisconsin team from Appleton will arrive (actually today). They are a construction group. Mark Grassman and his team will do some welding, electrical work here then travel to a small village in Jacmel to install a solar powered water filter system.

Dan Joshu will travel in April to attend a conference that will better equip him to lead El Shaddai in the fall. With the teacher expertise we've received and this training, the next level toward excellence will be achieved. I stand back in awe at God answering prayer.

The Holy Spirit is prompting me to add this note: Please be encouraged about your prayers. Are you praying and nothing seems to be happening in terms of answers? Don't give up! God's listening and putting all the pieces in the right places so the answer is powerful and accomplishes His eternal desires. We pray "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" there are no mistakes, the answer comes and is perfect because heaven is perfect. When He answers the answer is multiplied many times over. We prayed for a second vehicle, we got two more. We prayed for help, we got many more. During the time of praying we kept working and believing. Luke 18:1 says: Men must always pray and not give up. Giving up means caving in. What do you cave in to? Doubt and unbelief that what you are praying will not come to pass. I've heard it said, God will move heaven and earth to answer prayer. Our answer came due to an earthquake. Rather interesting isn't it?

May your day be filled with HIM.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A day going to the airport with the Fearing group.  We delivered food to Pastor Cesar, rice and beans so that he could feed some hungry kids that I've pictures of down in the blog.  Gary gave him explicit instructions that Doug, Lois, Niki and Lynn wanted the children fed everyday. We have enough food to go back again.  Then we checked the church.  The blocks are going up, and everything was okay except for a few adjustments.  Pastor Cesar will listen, that's why we like working with him.  He also loves and serves the Lord with all his heart, laboring in that dusty vineyard near Cite Soliel. 

We were able to tour a tent city which was quite organized and funded by the Lyons Club.  As you can see it had order and the tents for the most part were large and well built.  One picture is the inside of a tent home and as you can see they had very little.Others had beds.  You can imagine how warm these tents get as temperatures are hovering in the high 90's some days.  The other picture is the palace and the tents that are everywhere in that area. 
Children in a yard, living in makeshift tents in Port.
A picture of the destruction that still prevails as life goes on day to day in Port au Prince. 
Doug and Lois Fearing, Niki Briggs, Pastor Cesar and Lynn all from Wisconsin who came to bless the people with food and provisions, teach at El Shaddai, and take home memories that changed their lives forever. 

Recap of Busy Days

Well, SI is gone then we had four more people the day they left, the four from WI, Doug and Lois Fearing, and two others, left yesterday. Gary went to Port to pick up a Pastor from FL, Baptist, big church who will spend the night and a day or so.  We were working with a church member (business man) who was supporting another work (Haitian run and one of our employees, he would send money to Touch to give to Daniel for a school and all the time ask us questions about us, and how we believed the Haitian school was doing).  He would give us 50 dollars a month for our trouble and service and sometimes send money in at Christmas.  After being faithful to help him do what he does for about three years, his pastor is coming to check us out.  So, I'll let you know how that goes. 

Remember Pierre, the guy with the badly burned neck, etc?  He's, right now, getting surgery by Italian doctors on an Italian boat. They came to St Nicholas after all our people left and their expertise was fixing facial problems. We took Pierre and they are fixing him. Isnt' that wonderful? 

If you checked fb and all the pics of the hospital or my blog, what was done here by the SI medical group, Diana and Brian Moreno was probably the best care anyone could get. They sure worked hard.

We are still working on the school wall getting it up according to the engineer, Jeff Samida, so that it's earthquake safe. No wonder the Haitians can't do things that would last an earthquake. It's very expensive.  Also, giving $$ to Pastor Cesar in Port to rebuild his church. He isn't in Port but near Cite Soliel on Route Nef.  He's a good pastor and he'll have a fine church, earthquake safe when it's all done. 

Sunday a woman from Family Harvest is coming in for a week to work at El Shaddai, Monday a woman from FL is coming to work at El Shaddai as well.  Then when the FH woman leaves we pick up a man from FH to work another and when he leaves another gal coming in for a week.  And the FL woman will be here for three weeks.

We have two Haitian boys now living with us.  You knew we had Jr from the orphanage that Silsby visited (who may get released from jail this week) and the other is from Port.  His sister lost everything in the quake wanted him to be someplace. Nancy Hibbard, who works with us knew a Dr from Portugal who orchestrated getting him off the street.  Both are delights really and not a problem at all.  We all take turns doing things for them if need be but they are pretty easy. They both go to El Shaddai.

The orphanage has opened it's girls' home, with twin 2 year olds.  So, we have room for more kids that may come our way.  The boys house can hold 8 and the girls house the same.  (Have 6 boys now). 

Let's see......the SI team worked on Adolph's house and made it quite nice to handle about 18 people, I think.  We slept ten (Dr's and nurses) along with regulars, Dan, Nancy, Gary and I and not one stopped up toilet.  Pretty good huh?  We fed 21 SI people a night plus us, plus Pastor Jeff Perry was here with another guy for two nights so the number went up.  The SI builders made a serving bar along the grill work and benches for the two long tables (that have been here forever) and the space where the banister came around the stairwell (that created an opening that nothing fit in, they made a big pantry.  They made shelves downstairs kitchen which I'm trying desperately to make into a nice place for teams to have morning coffee and breakfast rather than coming up here. 

That's about it.  All in a week!!  While many, many people at the hospital were getting quality care and surgery. 

Port is still a mess, nothing is really getting done except the highway and that's working very well.  (DR is putting it in).  Tents are everywhere.  Every available space. It looks like Cite Soliel.  Can you imagine Port becoming Cite Soliel.  No one seems to have a good plan to fix the problem. 

Falling asleep at the computer.