PS 34:3

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

End of June Snapshot

Family & Friends,
Sorry this one is coming so late, we’ve been really busy here.  Anyways, no excuses for not keeping you updated!  So, in a nutshell: we moved to Grand Goave two weeks ago.  Everything with the move went smoothly and we’re settled in to our place at Pastor Lex’s beach house.  We are still working on our new site to get it ready to move in.  We’re hoping that by the end of next week we will be able to move into our new house:-).   Our little 12x12 room for the 3 of us is getting a little cramped
Zac has been our “Big Boss” (as they call it in Haiti) on the construction site.  So far, we’ve got the boys and girls dorms framed with roofs, wires are run for electricity and plywood on the girls dorm.  We’ve also got our house framed, roofed, almost all of the plywood on and Faith’s footprints in front of our door with her name underneath it in the concrete slab.  They’ve also got the bath house slab poured and framed in and roof on.  So, we’re getting there.  It has taken me a few weeks to realize that nothing goes as planned in Haiti.  If you think you’re going to be done next week- you should just add on an extra 2 weeks.  Supplies aren’t as readily available and even if they are- they’re not what you’re used to, places are closed certain days, your friends need your help with their car on the side of the road…the list goes on.  (For example, they have no ladders down here, you make your own.  So we’re thankful that we brought some down in our truck!)  Anyways, we’re learning what it looks like to be flexible- which is hard for me as a task and time oriented person :-)
            Anyways, so the plan: we are hoping to be done next week with our house to be able to move in (enough to be able to make do.)  Then we are hoping shortly after that, to be able to move the 7 girls over with a nanny.  Then, after a few more days, move the 24 boys over.  We thought it would be a little easier to move them over in groups- so we’ll see how that goes.  The hardest part is going to be moving the kids in right before we leave to go back to the States for our two week furlough.  We’ll have them for a little over a week and then we’ll leave them.  Zac (an intern) is still here until the end of July.  So he will be here to help oversee things, as well as some of our staff from the States. 
            We’re so excited and ready to move in.   Each day after school a few of our boys will show up at the job site and help.  It amazes me how much the teenagers love Faith!  Even Romy (15 years old) seems like he has a little attitude when you first meet him, but he is the one who always holds Faith to let me work.  He loves to play with her and hold her- which is awesome!  So she’s already got 31 new older brothers and sisters who are going to look out for her!!!  I was talking to them the other day and they are so excited to be able to have their own bed, their own space as well as a fan.  They are also helping me with my Creole- which is great!  They’ll correct me and they’ll also speak a little slower so I can understand them, which helps so much!!
            Last week we were also able to attend the graduation for the Christian school that our kids go to.  Two of our little boys (Jean Bernard and Egen) graduated from kindergarten.   Boy was this a cultural experience or what?!  We were told that it was supposed to start at 9am.  So we get there about 9:30 because we got word that it would start late.  We still waited until 10:15 for those graduating to actually start walking down the aisle.  They had the K, 6th graders, and seniors graduating altogether.  The craziest difference is that they walked down the aisle to some really slow music and did a little “dance-type” step, then they would pause.  The 6th graders also did this little arm wave thing to the music too- it was pretty neat to watch.  It literally took 30 students 20 minutes to get down this little aisle!!!  That’s when I knew it was going to be long!  Haha- little did I know it was a 3 hour ceremony!  I thought graduations in the States were boring- try attending one in a different language when it’s about 90 degrees outside (with no fans :-).  I’m glad we were able to go though because it was a great cultural experience for us and more importantly, we got to support two of our own kids.    The rest of our kids just finished up with their exams this week, so now they’re on summer break.

-       Praise the Lord that the weather has been holding up for us.  We have been able to make a lot of progress on the construction these past 2 weeks. 
-       We don’t ever want to take our health for granted- so praise the Lord for good health, especially with Faith.
-       Praise God for the encouragement that we’ve received from teams that are coming in and out of Mission of Hope (Pastor Lex’s ministry).  These teams stay at the same place we are, so we share lots of meals together and they’ve been an encouragement to us.
-       We’re understanding more and more of the Creole language, thank you Lord.  Andrew’s even speaking to our Haitian workers in Creole!!!
-       Continue to pray for the transition time for these kids from where they’re at now to the new site.  Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance on our part as well as patience and understanding for the kids.
-       Pray for the construction that it would keep moving along smoothly and that we’d be able to get these kids moved in within the next few weeks.
-       Pray that we would continue to make Christ a priority in our lives.  It’s easy to get distracted with all this construction (even in Haiti J), so pray that we would continue to seek Christ wholeheartedly and that we would live our lives in a manner worthy of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27).
-       There are a lot of little details that need to be taken care of before we move in, so pray that God would work all of those out in His perfect timing (ie getting internet, power, water filtration system, plates & utensils for the kids).
-   Please pray for our financial support.  We are extremely blessed to have 80% of our support!!!  But please pray that God would continue to lay it on people's hearts to help us further His Kingdom as we serve these orphans here in Haiti.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beginning of June Snapshot

Family and Friends,

Things are going really well here in Jacmel. Faith and I just got back from the States for a long weekend to get her 4 month shots. We had a great time with Grandma & Grandpa Hills back in NY. We loaded up 3 50lbs suitcases packed with food and supplies for us as well as the kids for the GG orphanage. Faith did great flying and was keeping lots of people around us entertained (for the most part).

We got in Tuesday afternoon into Port Au Prince and spent the night with Michelle at the HAF house there in PAP. Then on Wednesday we were able to turn in all the paperwork for our Residency Papers!! YAY! You have no idea how much of a burden that takes off our shoulders. We just have to go back in a month to get our papers because it takes them a while to process them. But we’ve submitted all the paperwork- so it’s all done on our end- PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

Then we went to Grand Goave last night so we could meet with Pastor Lex & Renee early this morning. Our time with them was great! We were able to talk to them about some logistics about how many nannies and staff members they have now, how much they get paid as well as the story about how we got these 31 kids in the first place. I just want to give you a little background about these kids, so you can know how to better pray for us. Basically about three years ago, there were 229 children living in an orphanage with very little supervision. They didn’t have three meals a day or abundant clean water. The people in charge of these children told Lex that they all went to school, but they were always there when he showed up to visit them. He then hired a lady from his church to work as a nanny at that orphanage to help provide continuous loving care for these kids who had been emotionally and physically abused. Pastor Lex ended up taking 31 of the most malnourished children. They gave them a place to live, food to eat, water to drink, nannies and pastors to watch over them, as well as a place to go to school. That is why some of our older boys (16 years old) are only in 1st grade. But they all seem to be doing well in school. They are going to the Christian school that Pastor Lex built and they also attend his church in Grand Goave. Currently, they are living in a building on the property of the school and church. The problem with keeping them there is that they are in the process of building a new church/school building right in the center of that property. This makes it pretty dangerous for 31 kids to be running around with big heavy equipment all day long (especially since school is almost out.) All that to say, that we are still shooting for our date of June 20th to move the kids into the new site (a mile down the road).

Our plan is to finish up our language classes here in Jacmel the first part of next week and then move over to Grand Goave Tuesday or Wednesday next week for good!! YAY! We would love to be able to stay over at the new site to be able to help out a little more and also start to get things ready to move in the next week with the kids. We still have a long ways to go with our buildings though. We’ve got the fence up, the septic lines in, a few foundations poured and the bathhouse is up (no plywood on the outside for walls yet.) The problem has been that it’s been raining almost every day for the past 5 days in GG, so it’s been impossible to pour anything. Anyways- all that to say, PRAY FOR US and that the weather would hold off so we can keep working. So between now and next week- we’ve got a lot of packing to do and lots of things to get ready for the new site.


- Safe travels for Faith & I as we went back to get her shots. She’s doing great! We also had great time in NY with family and friends.

- We have such a great resource to have Pastor Lex (who is Haitian) and Renee (American) to be so close by and so involved and willing to help out!!! They are truly an amazing couple- praise the LORD!

- We turned our residency papers in on Wednesday and we had everything that we needed- praise God!!


- Transition time for the kids. We heard today from Lex & Renee, that the kids might be a little resistant at first to the change. They like living at the school and church because they’re in the center of it all. She said that it will be a little challenging for them to move down the road to their own place. But just be praying for them to have a smooth transition and that we’d be gracious and understanding during this time.

- Please be praying for us as we prepare this next week to have the kids move in. Pray that God would give us wisdom and understanding of the Haitian culture as we prepare to be parents to these 31 children. Pray that we would know how to best raise these children up in the Lord.

- Pray that the construction would continue to move forward at a fast pace, so we can move these kids in to a safe place. Also pray that the weather would remain clear for us to be able to pour some more foundations and get some more houses up!

- Pray that we would continue to set aside time as a family to get into His Word. Pray that even in the midst of all this change that we would make sure that our priorities are where they need to be!!

Thank you guys so much for all your help and support! We can feel your prayers in a tremendous way- thanks for holding the ropes!!!

For His Glory,

~The Suttons

Our house will go under that big mango tree on the far left of this picture. You can see the frame for the bath house in the back center. The slab on the far right is for the boys dorm. And in this front corner we'll put the girls dorm. The kitchen house/dining room will be to the far left (you can't see in this picture.)