PS 34:3

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! ~Psalm 34:3

Monday, April 25, 2011

End of April Snapshot

Friends & Family,

We wanted to update you guys and give you a little snapshot of what we did this week. We had a new intern arrive this week, Zack. He is our new maintenance man/groundskeeper. Which is much needed around here. There is so much to do around here, that people's plates get really full and it's easy to spread yourself really thin. And we all know that the danger with that is that you don't do anything really well, because you've got too much going on. So I really think this will help us as a team to be more efficient and to do things with excellence.

One night this week some of the staff girls were craving ice cream. So Cameron went across the street and got us "Rum & Raisin" ice cream. We were so excited to be able to have some ice cream. Then when we had some of it was HORRIBLE!! I couldn't even finish it. I'm pretty sure it had real rum in it- yuck. Andrew woke up in the middle of the night to throw up- I'm pretty sure it was the rum in the ice cream!! He feels better now, so we're pretty sure it was just a one night thing from the ice cream.

Thursday this week was a sad day for the kids at our orphanage. It was vaccine day!! We had a nurse from the local hospital come by and bring some vaccines (MMR- except it's only the Rubella, Polio vaccine, DTAP and Vitamin A). So almost all of the kids got shots today- and some of them went NUTS! I got to give a few to the babies. Diane is really particular with how her shots are given to the babies- so we did those. The Haitian nurse gave the rest of the kids their vaccines. Dr. Ken had to hold a few down- a few of them ended up on the ground- you would have thought we were killing them! But it amazed me at how little the Haitian babies cried! We gave some IM shots to the babies- and a few didn't even cry!!! WOAH. Anyways- it was a great experience for me, especially since I'll be by myself at GG giving a lot of vaccines. I also got a private lesson from Dr. Ken on how to stitch a wound the other day. He said I could do the next one- so that'll be fun!! It's always kind of nice to know how to do that, I'm sure it will come in handy, especially when you've got 30 boys running around :-)

Friday morning, the kids that got a 7 or above (out of 10) on their report cards got to go to the beach and later that night got to go out for pizza- as a reward for doing well. We didn't go, because they needed some people to stay back with the other kids. But they had a BLAST! Then for our Friday night movie, we watched the Jesus Film in Creole (the kid version). It was really neat! Some of the older girls left the movie crying, and Stacie got to talk with some of her girls afterwards. She said that a few of them really seemed to understand what Jesus did for them and asked Jesus into their hearts!!! HOW EXCITING is that!?!? We're already seeing some answers to prayer!

For Easter, Diane thought it would be really exciting to have a special Easter dinner feast for all the kids and staff. She decided that it would be really special to have goat for dinner. So we went this morning with our Haitian cook (and our translator) to buy 2 goats. This was quite the adventure! We drove into Jacmel down a dirt road and parked our car. Then we walked the rest of the way to the live animal market. This was literally a zoo! There were people and animals everywhere! They had a bunch of cows, goats, donkeys, pigs and anything else that people wanted to randomly sell (like belts, cell phone chargers etc.) We ended up buying 2 goats for about $70 total! So we loaded them in the back of our truck- which was kind of funny. Then we drove them back to our cooks home, where some men would help her kill it, skin it, and gut it. They asked if I wanted to go see that- and I said "NO THANKS!" I got a little bit attached to the black one, because it was missing a hoof on one of its hind legs. I felt so bad for him! Anyways, then a few hours later, we had our goat meat. The crazy thing about the Haitian culture is that the sign of a good woman/wife is to be able to kill a chicken or goat! I think I would make a horrible Haitian wife! YUCK! Switching gears a little, I also thought it would be a special treat to have cupcakes for dessert. It was pretty fun because we let the kids frost the cupcakes- they went NUTS. They absolutely love helping out with that kind of stuff. I was amazed at how many of the school age boys wanted to help.

Easter is a big deal down here (as it should be). All of the nannies spent the last few days prior to Easter Sunday going through a bunch of clothes in the depot looking for nice dresses and outfits for all the kids. They each have a really nice dress/outfit, along with a new pair of shoes. All the girls were out on the porch Saturday night painting their nails and doing each other's hair. Even the baby nannies went into the depot to find the baby's some outfits!! It also was a huge deal because they "presented" most of the kids at church on Sunday. In Haiti, you aren't really "recognized" until you are presented at a church, and the pastor signs & seals your birth certificate.

We had an amazing day celebrating our Lord's resurrection! We got to church at 9:15 for a 10:00 service, because we might not have had any seats. So we were sitting in this extremely hot church with a few ceiling fans for 45 min before the service with 9 babies and 50 other kids :-) As a part of the service, Pastor Maxie asked the kids to come up- we had almost 50 kids presented from HAF, and there were about 20 other kids from other orphanages that attend that church. The pastor asked Diane if she would promise to raise them up in the Lord and to teach them the way that they should go. Then he turned to the congregation and said something to them in Creole (and I'm assuming he asked if they would commit to pray for them- because he said something about "praying" and they all said "wi"). That was about all I understood :-) So it was pretty much like a baby dedication service. Then after that, he took each kid/baby in his hands and prayed over each one- even Faith! It was so sweet- almost made me cry! What a special moment. Our service was about 2 hours and 15 minutes today, because of all the dedications AND the special music, which was amazing! The choir did two songs that were great. It was also really neat, because we're starting to be able to understand little bits and pieces of the sermon, so that was also encouraging.

Then we went home and relaxed for a while this afternoon and helped get ready for our special Easter dinner tonight. It was fun, because some of the kids helped us prepare some of the food. When dinner was all ready, we had the kids come and sit down and they sang their prayer. They sang one song in Creole and then they sang "Awesome God" in Creole and then a few times in English- it was awesome! I love hearing our kids sing. Then we, as the American staff, served all the kids and nannies. It was fun to be able to serve them! The goat meat was actually really good!! It just wasn't a lot of meat from the 2 goats to serve 74 people! But we all got a little bit- and there was plenty of other food. We made a few American dishes (devilled eggs. potato salad, yams and funfetti cake).

After dinner, the kids watched a Michael W. Smith music video and loved it. It was amazing to hear them singing on Mighty to Save! They knew all the words, it was so cute! I think that pretty much sums up our Easter Sunday. A little different than a traditional American celebration, but it was still really special!!! One thing that I really don't miss is the "easter bunny" from the states! I HATE the fact that it takes away from the believers day of that's one nice thing we don't have to worry about down here!! I hope you all had a great Easter!

Yesterday was Andrew's & Josue's (our spiritual development coordinator) birthday. Since Josue wasn't there yesterday, we celebrated it tonight with another birthday cake and candles. That was pretty fun!!! I think that pretty much sums up our week.

- Praise God because we are so blessed to have an amazing support team!!
- The Deuce made it to the shipyard in Miami (finally!)
- The Jesus Film seamed to have an impact on the kids

- Continued health especially for Faith
- Continue to pray for our language study, which is going pretty well so far.
- The 37 kids at Grand Goave- spiritually, physically and emotionally
- The staff that will eventually be at the GG site (nannies, cooks, spiritual development coordinator, construction workers, interns and translators...) that they would be godly men and women sold out for His purposes.
- The construction at GG, and that it would go smoothly. We're hoping to get out to see it this week- so please pray that that would work out.
- If you wouldn't mind, joining with us in praying for our long-term health insurance to go through. We currently have a short-term policy in the meantime, but they are still waiting on some records from a few doctors offices. This has been a two month process now! Pray that they would get all that they need, so we can start our long-term policy.
- The devil is continuing to attack us to prevent us from being effective. Please pray that we would not fall into his schemes and that we would continue to stay strong in His Word and His power!

Thank you so much for your prayer support!! You have no idea how much it means to us to have so many people praying daily for us! It is so humbling and yet encouraging to get emails and texts from you guys! Mesi bokou!!! Thank you so much!

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