PS 34:3

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mid April Update

Family & Friends,

We are getting pretty well adjusted to life in Haiti. It is so much different: extremely humbling but we are loving it! We've been to the "market"/grocery store, gas station and the construction store (Haitian Home Depot) by ourselves and have survived without a translator :-) We just wanted to share a few stories and experiences with you that we've come across over the past two weeks- to keep you updated on what's going on down here.

We got a new chlorinated filtration unit for our compound at HAF in Jacmel through Water Missions International. So now we will be able to drink straight out of the faucet (it's a little hard to brush your teeth with bottled water- but we're getting used to it.) We are also going to have enough clean water to be able to use it as a community outreach as well- which we are so excited about! Praise the LORD for clean drinking water!

This is an extremely sad story that we came across last week! Diane told me that there was a single mom on the porch who was bringing her kids to the orphanage to give them to us. We sat down with her (and a translator) and heard her story. Apparently, she has 3 kids (5 yrs, 3 yrs, 9 months) and can't feed them. She explained to us that she cries every morning when her kids wake up hungry and she has nothing to feed them. She gets occasional help from her family/friends- but not enough to provide for them. She will also sit out and beg for food. She told us she has no where else to turn, the economy is so hard, she has no job and can't feed her kids. Diane tried to explain to her that this is the ABSOLUTE last resort, we don't like to take kids away from their parents. The father is apparently nowhere to be found- hasn't seen the kids since Jan 1st. As I was sitting there listening to the conversation of this desperate woman with a 9 month old baby in her arms and her 3 year old son playing on the steps, I just wanted to CRY! I cannot imagine having to make such a HUGE decision: getting to keep my kids, yet not being able to feed them, or giving them up and knowing that they're going to be fed! SERIOUSLY?!?! I also thought about that little boy playing on the steps, this might be the last day he has with his Mom- does he even know what's coming?! My heart just breaks for these people in this situation! I'm sorry to bring such a heavy story today, but I just can't get it out of my head! The saddest part is that she is not the only one in this same situation- there are so many women who come to the feeding program on Mondays and want us to keep their babies! This story happened last week, and the lady came today to bring us her kids with all the paperwork. But we were able to start her on the feeding program and give her enough formula each week for her kids, so that she can keep them. She seemed to be happy about that and so did we!!!

Another crazy story: for our morning workouts on Tuesday/Thursday we hike up the mountain. So one morning during our hike, we saw these women coming down the mountain with huge bags and baskets on their heads. They wore no shoes until they got to the grass- because it would wear their shoes out to quickly (from the rocks). I quickly found out that these women come from over the mountain, all the way into town EVERYDAY to bring their fruit & charcoal to sell. Then they buy whatever food they can afford and carry it back up the mountain to their village. I don't know how many miles, but they told us it's a 2 1/2 hour hike- EACH WAY! And they usually only make about 50 cents/day with what they sell in town!! Can you imagine, not only having to hike up and down a mountain for 5 hours each day, but barefooted and carrying a huge weight on your head- for $0.50 per day!?!? These women are amazing and make me so grateful for what I have!!!

Our language classes seem to be going pretty well. We are starting to put simple sentences together- which is exciting! We just learned a bunch of question words today, so that should help a little when we try to go shopping :-) The only down side with our language class is that our tutor is encouraging us to produce and speak Creole a little faster than Andrew likes. He likes to comprehend everything before he starts to say it. Last week our tutor had us read a huge paragraph in Creole out loud one at a time- so you can imagine how Andrew felt about that. But other than that, they are going really well. We're learning LOTS!

- We're getting acclimated to the heat and the culture here in Haiti.
- Our family has been free of illness so far!
- Faith is really healthy and now weighs 13lbs 12oz!!! She's a giant next to some of the Haitian babies!

- Continued health for us and especially Faith!
- Our language study- for understanding and patience as we learn this new languaculture
- The 37 kids at Grand Goave (where we'll eventually be)- spiritually, physically and emotionally.
- The staff that we'll eventually have at the GG site (nannies, cooks, spiritual development coordinator, construction workers, interns, translators...)- that they would be godly men and women sold out for His purposes.
- The construction at GG. Long story short: we need to find some temporary housing for the kids (that is going to be better than the school they're living in now.) We are shooting for June 20th to be done with the temporary housing. Then in the fall, we have some engineers coming in from the States to figure out a long term plan for the site. But until then, pray that God would work out the details in getting these kids some temporary housing. (It looks like we will be moving there around the end of June as well.)

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support!! We are so grateful to have all of you as a part of our team in reaching these kids!! THANK YOU!!!

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