Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jesus, Light of the World

It’s amazing watching the world celebrate a season that is basically centered on the Christ Child.  There are trees, gifts,  decorations, and even some manger scenes.  But what are we REALLY celebrating?  For Christians, it’s the coming of the Lord Jesus.  And as Christians, we should be sharing with others the REAL meaning of this season.  Yes, the birth of Jesus is important, but WHY He came is the ultimate reason we celebrate.  He came to be the LIGHT of the world, to show every person how they can spend their whole life, now and forever, with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So as you enter into this time, remember there are those who do not know the real reason He came.  It is a time for all of us to let the love of Jesus shine bright!!!
We have had a year of interesting, if not challenging situations.  One of the blessings for us was being able to help the poor here in Haiti with the distribution of buckets.  Our bucket ministry has become one of our most cherished times here.  To be able to help feed those who have no money, no way to purchase food, and with that, to share with them the Word of the Lord, is heartfelt.  If you’re interested in helping with that, let us know.  

There were sorrows, too.  Two of our children lost jobs, but through prayer, both are now working again.  And we lost one son-in-law, which was totally unexpected.  Please keep our daughter in prayer during this season.  It’s a difficult time for her. 
And then, our stateside trip and at that point, some happy times.  One of our grandsons and one of our granddaughters  got married this summer.  We are so happy for both of them and pray God will be with both marriages. Our family is expanding with happiness.  

One of the huge blessings that came this year, was that Savanah was finally able to go home to her new family.  The little we have talked to her, she is so happy and very content.  A huge praise!!

Upon our return to Haiti, I, Karen came down with shingles.  Not a happy time at all.  But once we thought it was about over, I ended up with a heart situation.  Again, stateside for testing.  But we serve an AWESOME and HEALING God!!  To the confusion of doctors, my problem disappeared and I was given a clean bill of health.  God worked a miracle and we totally praise and honor Him for it!!

Now we are back to work again.  But with things being what they are, Don has had to spend time doing a lot of maintenance work.  I praise the Lord that while we were gone, Vero arranged to have many things done here.  But then when we returned, vehicles need attention and the house needs work, and yet the ministry continues, and that needs attention, too.

So, you can see we’ve had a lot of changes, a lot of challenges and a whole lot of blessings, both from the Lord and from His people.  

As we are looking forward into 2018, there are a lot of things we are hoping to not only accomplish but a lot of Lord directed ways we will be serving.

I, Karen, am heading into doing more work with the IDADEE orphanage.  Not physical work, but working toward letting people meet and see what the 40 orphans there are doing and what their interests are.  This will be a challenge for me, but I’m looking forward to that.

Don will be working on competing Vero’s house, and getting the vehicles and our house back in good shape.  That WILL be a challenge for him.  Plus he will continue with the bucket ministry and helping those in desperate need.

Praise and Prayer requests…
Praise ~
¨ For all the Lord has accomplished in and through us here in Haiti this year.
¨ For Savanah’s finished adoption and her new family.
¨ For His touch and healing of Karen’s body.
¨ For the Grandkids marriages.
Prayer ~
¨ For the Lord’s continued guidance and direction for us here.
¨ For the work He has given us to be accomplished in the way He wants.
¨ For health for both Don and Karen.
¨ For energy and strength to do His will.

And we praise God for all of you, who stand by us and with us in all ways.
 Rejoice with us and celebrate the REAL REASON for this season, what Jesus has done for you and me and the whole world!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Long overdue catchup

Wow, I just looked and realized I have not posted on HERE since September....forgive me.  I will include two of the emails I have sent out to catch you all up to date.

 October 21st, 2017

Well, it's been a while, so thought I'd give an update on things....
First, after returning to Haiti from our trip stateside, I managed to come down with shingles.  Believe me, it is NOT fun.  Although it kept me house bound for quite a few weeks, I was finally getting over it.  Went out and did some pictures of the IDADEE orphanage compound.  I'm trying to update their blog and wanted to get photos of the compound, and in future, the 40 children in their orphanage. 

A few nights later had a middle night situation with my heart rate.  And in the next few days had a "God coincidence"  when Dr. Bibiana stopped in for a few days.  She encouraged me to get some testing done.  So... I am now in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.  Went through a whole barrage of testing.  Yesterday got word from the nurse that they are setting me up with a visit to the cardiologist because there was a blockage found. 

Don is busy trying to get the inside of the extension on Vero's house completed.  With the rains and hurricane situation before, it kept being put on hold.  Now, we are praying we can get it done.  She really needs this finished.

Have talked to Savanah and it's so good to know how happy she is.  Yes, we do miss her, but we know she is where she belongs and are praising God she is so happy.

Once I get back to Haiti, I will try to send some pictures of those getting our food buckets.  And also some of the other things going on. 

Thanks again for all your prayers and support.  It really is keeping us going and doing what the Lord sent us for.
Just wanted to also share a few blessings God allowed while I am here for testing.
Got to spend a day with our son, Todd.  He came over to visit from the other side of the state.  Did some shopping for things Don needed me to pick up.  And then went out for a meal with Todd, Christine and Dale.  Getting to spend time with out kids is always a blessing for me.

What I forgot to share before was our flight out.  The excitement of working and flying with MFI always has some fun moments.  Well, maybe it's not really FUN we had, but definitely different.  Left Cap Haitian, headed to Pignon to drop off a passenger, then headed to Port au Prince (all of this on the way to Florida).... While in Port au Prince, we had a flat tire on the DC-3.  Not a quick change for sure, as there is no way they can carry all the things on the plane that is needed for a flat tire.  It really was an EXPERIENCE seeing how our pilots had to work so hard to get that one tire changed.  But they did an excellent job, even if it took 6 plus hours to do it. 

October 31st, 2017 

A catch up on what is happening.

I had already gone through a whole series and bunch of tests last week.  Then I went to see the cardiologist.  He said from looking at the results of my tests he wanted me to have a heart catherterization.  So that was scheduled. 

Before I go into all of that, I want to share with you all that every one of the people I have had to deal with in all three different places have been such wonderful, caring people.  There was not one person who was not uplifting and so very, very helpful in all ways. 

And then on Sunday, a very good friend, Sue, shared in church what I was going through and what was to happen on Monday. Pastor David prayed for me right after that, and when he started, I had the really warm feeling start from the top of my head and slowly go down to my waist.  When he said amen, it went away.

Okay, on to yesterday (Monday).  Went up to Wausau here in Wisconsin (about an hour away).  They took me right in.  Met the doctor and at that point, I shared with him what I had told the other two doctors before him.  I said, "I am only here for you to be able to tell my children that there is nothing wrong with me."  He just sort of laughed and said, "well, I guess we'll see."  He said that it was over 80% sure of a blockage from looking at the tests. To make a long story short, I went through the whole procedure awake.  Talked to the doctor through a lot of it.  But the most amazing thing is that I have not had any pain at any point in all of this.  When it was all over, he had to tell my kids (the 2 who were there), that there was NO blockage at all.  The only thing I have is an irregular heart beat.  So, they have put a harness thing on me for 48 hours.  Then I left the hospital and came back to our daughter's home.  Tomorrow I return the hardness and then next Monday I see the cardiologist here in town again for my final visit.  After that is over I can head back to Haiti in the very near future.  We really DO serve a miracle working God!!!  Isn't He AWESOME???

I fully believe that the feeling of warmth I had when pastor prayed, was the Lord getting rid of the blockage.  We do serve a miracle working God and He is able to do much more than we could ever imagine.  I also believe this was His response to all of the prayers that went up on my behalf. 

I was also able to visit with some friends from years ago.  Don and Lewie grew up together and were friends for years.  We lost touch when we went to Haiti 34 years ago.  It was so good to see them again.  But we all missed Don being in Haiti and not here to see them, too. 

So, my time left here is going to be planning exactly what I'll be doing when I return to Haiti.  I also believe that we can make plans, but have to be willing to bend or back off when the Lord directs us in a different way.  So, I'll be returning with plans, but also with an open mind and heart to follow where He leads me.

Thank you to all who have prayed.  The answer came through!  Now, let US pray for you in both situations where there are problems, but also in rejoicing with you when the Lord answers YOUR prayers!!!

Keep smiling and keep serving!!!

November 12th, 2017


Well, where to start?  Have I mentioned before that we serve an AWESOME, AWESOME GOD???  Guess I have just a time or two.  But He really, really IS Awesome!!  To start with, today, November 12th, 2017, is our 34th anniversary of being in Haiti.  Seems a long time, but yet so short, too.  

Since my last update, just a few things have happened.  First was the trip back to the cardiologist’s office after the monitor they had put on.  Seems all the docs were surprised and not quite understanding what happened.  BUT they simply gave me a clean bill of health and said I could now return home to Haiti!!!   YEAH…not sure they all believed that the Lord had taken care of the problem.  BUT He DID!!

So, made arrangements to fly just a few days later and headed to Florida.  That is where I am now.  In just two days I will be back in Haiti!!!  

But while here, I was able to attend the Fort Pierce MFI banquet on Friday night.  Not sure of the number of people there, but it was well over 400 I believe (could have been close to 500 for all I know).  Wonderful meal, and really wonderful music.  The Heath Brothers sang.  Young teen guys who were really fantastic.  Not sure of ages, maybe the twins were 14 and the older one 16?  The whole Banquet was wonderful with news of past and future accomplishments, thanks to those who support MFI’s work.  I, personally, didn’t think they let people know how many really thankful people are on the receiving end of what MFI does.  The people they serve and the work they do for all of those on the field should be shared with these people.  MFI is our lifeline.  Not only because we can fly with them, but because they bring us much needed supplies, have a purchasing department to get us things we cannot get, and very importantly, our MAIL!!  For most of us on the field, they are our only physical link to the states!!  

Anyway, it was a great evening of food, entertainment and information (just not enough)! 

When we are stateside, we so appreciate attending church services where we can get some teaching.  Don’t get me wrong, we are willing to “share our ministry”, but I’m talking about the messages we get to hear and the teachings.  We soak those up like dry sponges.  Well, this time while in Wisconsin, I did a lot of “absorbing”.  And then today attended church here in Vero, FL.  The message there was such an uplift and presented in a very real way.  It did give me an idea of a way to share at English church in Haiti, too.

It is raining and quiet.  A time of reflection on how really awesome our God is.  Of how He walks with us, keeps His hands on us, and encourages us.

In closing, I’m asking for some prayers.  For the trip back to Haiti, but also for our ministry in Haiti.  It seems the Lord is starting to give us yet another direction for what we do there.  It’s always exciting to listen and follow what the Lord directs for us. So, pray with us, for us and walk with us through our journey with the Lord.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hurricane Irma


I wanted to get a note out here to let everyone know how blessed we were.  I know so many, many prayers went out to keep Hurricane Irma off our coast line.  And those prayers were answered.

I have to share that my main concern was not for our home, although we knew our roof would be the first thing to give in to the winds and rain.  All that kept coming to my mind was the homes on the mountain side just inside the city gates of Cap Haitian.  There was no way those homes could survive the winds and rains a strong hurricane like Irma was threatening us with.  My heart was reaching out to the people in those homes.  Where would they go?  Inside their homes...and in all probability, be washed down off the mountain.  Loss of life would have been astronomical. So we kept praying that the Lord would move it north enough so these people would have a chance.  

Yes, I do know of the destruction caused on the many islands and areas before it even got to the island of Hispaniola.  I have not heard of what has happened in the Dominican, but I do know that here in Haiti, damage was very minimal.  SO VERY MUCH less than it could have been.  

We were prepared, as best as we could be here.  And I have to laugh when one of the missionaries made a truthful statement.  He said, in America, before a storm hits, be it a ice storm, snow storm, or a hurricane, Americans are out emptying out the stores for supplies. And that is true, but it's called being prepared.  Here in Haiti?  No one has the funds to go and buy things or to even make their home weather proof.  There is no mad rush to empty shelves in stores of supplies.  There IS a lot of prayers taking place.  

I remember back in the early 1990's (not sure of the exact year or date) a hurricane was headed our way, along the northern coast of the island.  US military was here at the time.  One of the fellows in charge of those military in tents at the airport, came and asked us where he could put his troops to wait out the hurricane.  We had no idea where several hundred men and women could be housed.  But I had asked him if on the way to our home had he noticed the churches and that fact that the doors were open and they were full?  He wanted to know what that had to do with his people.  I said, those people in the churches have no way to prepare.  They are simply asking the Lord to help them.  Either to divert the storm or see them through it.  No comment from him.  BUT, after the emergency was over, he came out and said, "I have NEVER seen a hurricane make a 90 degree turn before."  That is what it did.  At the Dominican/Haitian border, it turned 90 degrees and all we got was some minor wind and rain.  I told him, "Well, you have never seen the Haitians pray, either, I guess."

But I can honestly say that is was not only the prayers of the Haitians that kept us from mass destruction.  It was the prayers of God's people everywhere.  God stepped in and answered those prayers!!!   I have no answer as to why others areas were hit so hard, but I DO know God was here with us and He had control over what we faced.

I just wanted to get a quick thank you out to all of you who have kept us, not only Don and I, but Haiti as a whole, in your prayers.  Those prayers were definitely answered!  
Blessings and Thank You Again for your prayers!

   Psalm 32: 7  "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A quick update from Haiti

Wanted to do a quick update to let you know what’s happening here in Haiti.  Obviously returning with the wrong mind set happened.  We thought since Savanah is finally home with her family (more on that later) in Canada, we’d have some free time…WRONG!  I think it’s something like having a bucket out in a heavy downpour…dump a bit out, thinking it will be a bit lighter…but before you can pick it up, it’s full again.  That IS what happened here.  First of all, Savanah was almost 6 when still here, so she was pretty free a lot of the time.  So when we returned and she wasn’t here anymore…things left undone took up that amount of time.  But it’s our hearts that still hold the empty feeling.

While we were out, we were blessed by a couple of families who gave us the opportunity to not only help people with the many problems here, but enough to get our next bucket project going. (Special thanks to Lou Ann and her family and to Terry and Diane for their generous help.) That is the main thing we wanted to share this time.  We have finally gathered all the food needed to start the first 25 buckets.  Now I want to let you know, when teams come and do buckets it’s a HUGE, HUGE blessing for us.  For Don and I to do this alone is REALLY time consuming.  We have to cut back on other things to get this done.  Vero helped me gather and bag the non-food items and believe me, that was a blessing!!  But Don and I had to do all the other bagging, and bottling.  It is so worth it to see those who get our buckets though.  We don’t do this for those who are constantly begging at the door.  We do this for the families or older people who are out in the country side and have no way to survive.  We try to get photos, but these people feel bad that they need help and we don’t want them to think we are using them when we take photos.  This has happened so often here in Haiti.  And our desire is to help not to embarrass them.  Many times we use our close kids here to deliver these, since they know the people and can do it quietly. 

All of that to let you know that these are going to be going out soon.  We filled the first bucket to make sure it would all fit in and then took a picture.  These are staples that all Haitians use and are thankful for.  The list?  Okay, here it is:  First of course is the 5 gallon bucket with a lid (reusable for water or storage when empty).  Rice, spaghetti, tomato paste, beans, flour, oil, oatmeal, cornmeal, and sugar.  Then we add laundry soap, toothbrushes (5 per family), toothpaste, soap, wash cloth, hand sanitizer, comb, pens, pencils, small carry bag, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, 2 booklets of John & Romans, and two scripture tracts explaining salvation. 

We have been asked why we put 2 of the scriptures and tracts.  Here in Haiti, having books or reading material is very treasured.  And even if they cannot read, they will find someone to read it to them.  (We have found out about this on many, many occasions). And the reason for 2?  Haitians really are a generous people and they will share the extra ones with someone else…thus the word of the Lord goes out beyond those we can reach.  We could write story after story of people who have shared with us that they had these scriptures from someone we had helped.  The blessing for us is that it is equipping the Haitians to share God’s word with others. 

Now on to Savanah.  YES, we do miss her.  Find ourselves saying, go get her, or see where she is, and then realizing she is at home in Canada.  She is happy.  She has her mom, dad, three sisters, and now, as of 3 days ago, she has a brand new baby brother added into it. Pray for that happy and excited family.  We still find a toy she loved, or something she cherished here and pause, but know she is so happy and her first words to us on the phone were, “Grandma, I’M IN CANADA!!”  Her hearts desire!
Here is Savanah's new baby brother, Andrew Alexander
 Our next steps?  Well, we hope to be able to do more buckets soon, but are also busy with regular things, like MFI (who are important to so many missions here) and the airport, working with other missions, with English Bible Fellowship, and just normal everyday life things. 

So, we ask you to please rejoice with us that we are completing our first 25 buckets since back, and that Savanah is home and happy with her new family, and that we are home and back in the swing of things here.  We were again asked, several times while in the US, when are we retiring…and our answer is still the same….”Christians don’t retire, they re-fire.” So we continue to look for ways to keep that fire burning for the Lord!!  And we are praying you’re doing the same!