Friday, April 14, 2017

HAPPY EASTER and an update

We have had some major issues with both electricity and internet, so the following post was done off line.  Just wanted to do a quick update on our last few weeks...
But first Happy Easter.  May you be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and all He has done for you and for me. 

Greetings from Haiti,

We lead an interesting life, to say the least.  We are either going slow and moving along, or we are in a whirlwind and trying to keep our feet on the ground.  That is sort of what it’s been like the last few weeks.  But then I guess that is life for all of us, isn’t it?

We had a great team here for a week.  Not for us, but for another mission.  But they are a fun group and we enjoy having them!  Pam and Luke are great team leaders!!  The day they flew out on MFI, our group of 4 came in on MFI, and FOR MFI.  They came to do the roof to cover our container.  As with anything you do in Haiti, there were a couple of “hitches”, but they were worked out.  The four who came were a blessing.  We always enjoy Dan and Heather (MFI workers)… and the other two were volunteers with MFI.  So thankful Heather was along as encourager and cook.  (And we shared in their evening meals…a blessing for us!)  The guys worked with all of our Haitian workers at the airport to get the job done.  They were a great unified group.  Just to give you a hint… they worked ON THE ROOF, in 90+ temps, and hot sun.  And one of the ladders they used was a Haitian “put together” ladder.  But they did great and everyone enjoyed them being here.  
 Our container above and our hard working crew below (minus the team leader!)
While they were working at the airport, Don was working at the house.  He had been trying to find a block maker who still made lintel blocks…none could be found.  So Don used his expertise from being a journeyman molder in the foundry YEARS ago.  He made his own mold and then made his own blocks.  They turned out great!  All his training and work years ago is still a blessing here in Haiti!  And the work on Vero’s house continues.  
 Don working hard at making both the mold and the blocks!
  We are still having rain almost daily or nightly.  Which means we are quite saturated.  Everything growing well and all is green.  It can also cause some problems.  The huge trees we have in our yard (which our son, Dale and I planted way back in 1991) have grown so big and the huge branches are causing problems for our roof and the roof at the dorm.  Don hired a fellow to come and “trim” those branches off.  He brought a couple of helpers along.  But he was the only one up in that tree.  A lot of the time he was up at or above 60 feet.  Now, consider…he had a small extension ladder to get up into the tree initially. But he simply climbed the rest of the way.  With NO rope tied to him in case he slipped.  I had a hard time watching this, so took a few shots and left for the airport.  He was still up there and working hours later when I got back.  He did all his cutting with a machete.  And some of those branches were pretty thick.  Then they loaded up all the cut wood and made three trips out to the IDADEE orphanage with it.  They will make charcoal out of it for cooking.  

This first photo shows the fellow diligently at work, chopping with his machete...the close up to show you he really is up there!
 All of that work using just a simple machete.  No chain saws here!!
 And three huge loads of wood to make charcoal for the IDADEE orphanage!
And finally on to Savanah and the situation there.  I guess I was a bit amazed at things.  Why is it that when the Lord tells me to do something, and I do it, and then it works out, that I’m amazed?  I think that when I initially contacted the Canadian consulate, I honestly didn’t think they would respond.  When they did, I did praise the Lord and thank Him, though.  And after working through the logistics needed, now the final papers have reached them.  Prayerfully the lawyer has taken the papers he has into them, also.  So, we are in the mode of waiting yet again.  BUT it is with real hope that we KNOW things are moving.  This is Easter week, so they won’t move as quickly as we wished, but we are still praising the Lord that they ARE moving.  Savanah had her final passport photos taken and sent with the papers.  They don’t encourage smiling here…oh well, at least they have the final one.  So, pray with us that this final step will move quickly now that we know what had been holding it up.  We fully believe that God is still in charge and things will work in HIS time!

Haitians are encouraged to NOT smile for passport photos... and she complied!
So there you have our “weeks at a glance”.  We are praying for you, as we hope you are praying for us.  I am still clinging to God’s word in 1 Thessalonians 5:16~18, “Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!”   These verses are something we should all remember on a daily basis.  

Again.... have a blessed Easter and take time to thank the Lord for His sacrifice for YOU!!  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

An update


Well, where to start.  Those of you who have children living far away, will know the feeling of that separation.  And I do pray about this all the time.  Sure do miss our kids.  But when they have problems, it's a whole lot harder being so very far away and not being there to even give a hug or comfort to them.  That has been a huge burden on me these last few weeks. (But I think all moms can relate!)  Add into that some problems here.  Nothing major, but when you're down, everything seems major.  Then, add into that, the frustration of this one signature needed for Savanah to go home to her new family.  Well, in my frustration...

I got mad.  I wrote the Canadian Embassy and explained the whole situation here with Savanah and that Guerline (her adoptive mom) has sent the papers to them 4 times and they only got it once and then lost it.  I asked several questions.  Got one back from them saying you have to talk to someone else, and they gave me an email address for them.  I emailed the same letter to them... and their reply was very quick.  I had asked if I got the papers and had them HAND DELIVERED would they accept them.  They said yes and gave me the time and days I can get it there.  I immediately sent that and a letter to Guerline and said FAX those papers to me through MFI.  Gave her the info to do it.  Emailed Larry @ MFI and told him what was going on.  He said, "Get them here and they will be on Thursdays plane for you!"   This was all yesterday morning.  I ran over to the dorm and told Pam and Luke, (our team) and tried my hardest NOT to cry. (and I didn't).  WOW, the response from the team was awesome!!  They are praying.  Then we left for the airport and Pam and group left for home (via MFI).   

So many, many people are praying, and I'm having such a hard time not crying.  But I won't believe it until I am actually on the plane with her.  And it MAY BE that she will have a Canadian we could possibly go through the states.  Which is what I was wishing.  I'll be checking with Guerline on that one.  Truth?? I'm afraid to believe it is happening.  I have been here so many times before.  So pray for me, okay?

OH, got home and there was another email from Guerline and one from Larry.  Guerline said fax didn't go through.  Only to page 7, then it quit sending it.  Then wrote again and said someone from MFI called and said YES, we got ALL 16 pages.  Then Larry wrote and said, Got the papers and they are in the pilot bag for Thursday's flight.  Now making arrangements to send it to Port to Remy to take to the consulate on Tuesday morning!!  PRAY!!!

Vero went back to Hensch (however it's spelled)... and saw an American specialist today.  She gave her a prescription for the same meds Dr. Bibiana got her and told her to get an exercise bicycle to exercise her legs.  We went on line and ordered one for her.  Walking is not what she needs, she needs to use her legs more in the cycle mode.  She IS feeling a lot better already from being on the meds from Bibiana.  She had been having some problems breathing and now she is doing great with that, too.

So, even in my frustration, the Lord was working.  And we brought 4 people home with us to spend a week.  They came in to put a roof over the container at the airport, for MFI.  Dan and Heather (from MFI) are good friends, and they brought 2 fellows who seem to be really hard workers.  We had hired two of our workers to work with the guys.  But yesterday they all said they want to help MFI out and they had agreed to split whatever pay these two were given, if they could help.  We really do have some neat workers. 

This morning we were to get up and leave by 6:15 AM to get to the airport by 7.  Well, it's still dark, but figured that wasn't much of a problem.  But the generator, that normally has been turned on at 5 or so, never came on.  Changed our departure time to 7:15, so the guys could eat and get some coffee in them.  So loaded up Dan, Heather, Leo and Nathan and headed out.  Picked up some of our guys on the way.  I'm including some photos with this, so you can see what happened the first 20 minutes at the airport.  I got the pictures and left.  Heather and I would have just been in the way out there.  But those guys were running full steam already.  We're praying the skies stay clear of rain and that the sun isn't extremely hot.  The way they are working, it will take no time at all to get this done.  
So... with all of this, I'm asking your all to pray...for Savanah's paper, for Vero's legs, and for the guys working on our container!!  And please also pray for me as I really AM learning, slowly, to trust and wait on God!!

Have a super great, God blessed day!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March Newsletter

The following is our newsletter that we sent out today, March 28th.  The photos I had put in there are ones that have been on here at different times.  Other than it is:
It has been a bit since I’ve written, so thought I’d do a bit of catching up.  I try to do posting on our blog, but that too has been a bit.  But there may be things there you all haven’t seen/heard, so if you get a chance check it out.

I think I need to back way up and fill you all in on some of our times here.  Back in November we had a family come in to help with our bucket ministry.  Well, we thought it would take them a while to get through the ones they wanted to do.  Wrong!  In just a couple of days they had finish a whole lot of buckets to help the poor.  And they were able to help in other areas and see other things, as well as our rains. (Traveling in the back of the dump truck in the rain is an “experience”!)  We were so thankful for all their work and all their help in many areas.  Thanks Schanz family for ALL you have done!!!

No teams in December but English Bible Fellowship took up a lot of my time.  Planning and getting ready for Christmas was a bit time consuming.  We were also still having the effects of the aftermath of the hurricane.  And so many, many people needed help.  

Then January came around.  THAT was a busy month.  First our team from our home church.  The day they came in, we received word our son-in-law had passed away that morning.  I, Karen, left 2 days later to be with our daughter.  Don stayed with the team.  I am totally amazed at how much they did.  Two of the team came to do buckets.  The rest came to do a pastors conference and a VBS at the orphanage, plus a bit more.  We thought the buckets would take all week.  Two days...yes TWO days and they were done.  So, they also completed a whole lot of work around here that was SO VERY much appreciated!!

I was with our daughter for a week and a half.  It was a hard time, but also a time to be together.  Three of our other children were able to come, also, two with spouses.  So, it was a reunion of sorts, too.  The pastor did a GREAT job on the service.

When I returned, I was met at the airport with some of our friends (who had also come while I was gone) leaving.  Bud and his daughter were leaving, while Jane stayed another few days.  And while they were here, the leaders for our next team came and stayed at the dorm also.  The day Jane left, the team came in.  So it was busy here while I was gone and after I got back.

Then we were into February.  Our grandson, Gregory had made plans a long time ago to come and help us.  Just a week or so before he was to leave, his dad (our son, Dale) was able to make the plans to come along.  They stayed almost 2 weeks and they also accomplish a whole lot of things.  I don’t have space to put it all down here.  But we sure were happy they were here.

A couple of weeks after they left and into March, Dr. Bibiana and her doctor friend from Argentina came to stay.  Bibiana is Savanah’s new grandma. They came to work, but also spend time with Savanah.  And again, what a blessing to have them.

Well, on to Savanah.  Please keep the prayers coming.  Her adoption is finished, but her one paper for her citizenship in Canada has gone missing.  She is ready to go home, but until that paper is found…. Here she is.  She talks constantly about “going home to Canada” to her family.  

And with all of this, Don has been working (when it’s not raining) on Vero’s extension to her house.  A blessing beyond measure is the finances to finish it.  Praise God it’s there, but working around the rains has been a situation.  And he has been delivering food (the BUCKET MINISTRY) out to the very needy.  Plus a lot around the house, too.

I’m still working at the airport and was able to put on one more worker to help us out.  With the time crunch with American Airlines coming in, we have to work fast to get things accomplish quickly.  This one more worker is a blessing for us!  Keep MFI in your prayers, too.  The new (to MFI) DC-3 will prayerfully be leaving Africa soon, to come to the US for the finishing work.  Then we’ll have another plane to help the mission community in many countries.

As we look to the future, we have a team coming this month.  And our plans for making a trip to the US are starting to work out. This year we will be driving and hoping to see many of you on the trip. Tentatively, at this time, we plan to head along the eastern coast and up to Pennsylvania, then over to Wisconsin.  We have not set dates for places yet, as we are waiting to talk to some people first.   If anyone would like us to stop, let us know.  We would love to see everyone, but know it’s not possible. 
Our date for leaving Haiti is May 25th, and we are just starting to make plans now. Please pray also that Savanah will be with her new family in Canada by this time.  We have been saying this for almost the whole 5½ years we’ve had her, but it IS SO close now!!

Aside from prayers, we have praises, too.  Many of them.  Our grandson, Peter (Dale’s youngest) is in Bible school preparing for missions.  And besides praising God for his willingness to serve on the mission field (somewhere), we ask for prayers for wisdom and guidance in his decision as to where that will be.

We can praise God for all He does.  He has brought back some former missionaries to visit, with us and with others.  But being able to visit with them has blessed us a lot.  And we’ve met new friends as well.

We have been learning and using more corporate prayer lately.  We do need to pray together, if in person, or from far away.  Praying and reaching out together is so important.  We praise God for those who do pray with us, both here and in other areas!  So please, not only pray for us, but pray WITH us.

Yes, we do serve an AWESOME GOD!  It’s a joy to see and hear others say that now...God is SO VERY AWESOME!!!

We’ll be in touch soon, and if you’d like us to stop, let us know!!

In Him, Through Him and For Him,
Don and Karen
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