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*Warning: This is a long story that just kept getting longer. There are a few graphic images included in the chapters below. If you get queazy easy or don’t like to read, this might not be good one for you.

This is a post about building relationships and the nitty-gritty gross and great stuff that happens in the process. It is about connecting stories and connecting lives. These kids in these stories–you may only get to see their faces on a television screen or a World Vision or National Geographic magazine. We get to see them everyday in the flesh. We see their chronic stress and struggles but also their smiles. Sometimes we feel like changing the channel or picking up a Better Homes and Gardens magazine instead, because it’s hard to see. But we can’t now. Because we know their names and we are learning their stories. Because they are our neighbors and we are supposed to love them as ourselves. Time and again I hear a still small voice whisper, “It’s why you are here.” It’s messier this way. But it’s worth it. Taking out stitches and treating scabies, setting up surgeries and sonogram appointments isn’t really the messy part. It isn’t what makes me cry for them. It is the injustice of it all. That I can find medical care for my son while their mamas can’t. That I can keep all my children together and they can’t. That water flows from our faucet while their children walk for miles to collect the same amount of water I used to wash a few dishes.

Medical-Girls with water bottles on heads

Laika, Edith-Ludline and Saint Aline are the beautiful names of these cousins. These strong little girls collect and carry water on their heads up steep, slippery hills to provide for their large families water needs each day. There is no water for bathing, washing, or drinking available where they live in our village. They are six, seven and eight years old. We first met them last year on a walk around our neighborhood with my kids. We watched as they struggled up the last hill towards their house with their leaking water bottles and offered to help them. That was the beginning of our friendship with these girls and their families.

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The Hospitality House continues in full swing! I can hardly get new sheets on a bed before another guest walks through the door to stay! We certainly get our money’s worth out of this place and are planning to sign our fourth year contract before the month’s end because we believe its the best place to be where God wants us to be right now! We have had a full house pretty much since we moved in! Here are our latest visitors and how they served us and alongside us the past few months! Read More

Each one of these events deserves its own post and my attempt at backtracking isn’t going to do justice. But since there is pretty much never a dull moment at the Haiti Hospitality House…

During our stateside visit (see Catching Up Part 1) over the Christmas holiday we received a message from our friends, housemates and ministry partners The Carroll Crew back in Haiti. The Carroll’s had been sharing our house since May 2015 as they transitioned their family to a new area, new school and teaching position and sought where God would lead them next. We are happy God has led them to stick around near us! They wrote us to tell us thank you for sharing our house and that while they were looking for a space to rent that would serve as a dental clinic (a ministry that Jennifer Carroll has begun for the children and schools in our village), they also unexpectedly found another house suitable for their family! We were so excited for them and to hear that the house they found for their family is still very close to us! Their new house was still under construction so they were not sure exactly when they would be able to move. However, they thought their new house would be ready by the time our January/February mission teams arrived so the teams could stay with us instead of the somewhat sketchy hotel we had arranged which wasn’t logistically feasible. Our teams were thrilled about this news which would also make their trips more affordable and more money could then go towards ministry. All that is easier said than done however. Moving is a lot of work. When the Carroll’s moved in with six people and a lot of stuff, we had to move all our guest bedroom and guest kitchen items upstairs with us or just get rid of stuff to make space for everyone. So as the Carroll’s moved out the shifting of stuff started all over again. We were still moving stuff over to the Carroll’s new house, shifting furniture and putting together some newly purchased beds the night before the Bethany team of thirteen arrived. The house was ready and the fridge was stocked! Whew!

Guest Dining/Kitchen Area

Guest Dining/Kitchen Area

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It feels like we are always trying to catch up. We are a few months behind so will start where we left off. We came back to Haiti in January and hit the ground running. Leaving our family members behind is always hard. It is not just a sacrifice for us. Grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins don’t get the time they always dreamed they would have with our children as they grow up. Both sides of our sweet family are very supportive of our missionary lives even though watching us leave is hard on them too.

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We are so thankful for each of you that helped us accomplish incredible things in Haiti this year! We have one more week for giving in 2015! We ask that you would prayerfully consider sending a year end donation to help us get closer to meeting our budgeted goals for this year. Any amount helps us reach our personal budget and ministry goals. Thank you to all of our friends, family, and supporting churches that have faithfully supported us through prayer and financial support this year!

Our biggest personal upcoming financial need is the $8,000 yearly rent due on our Haiti Hospitality House. This is due in April. It is difficult to save up this amount when we are not able to meet our minimum budget. We currently are now meeting 68% of our personal family budget to live and serve in Haiti. We are very encouraged as God has brought us many new partners this year! God has always provided what we need and we are blessed to continue to serve with the resources with which we have been entrusted. Thanks again to our ministry partnership team! If you would like to join us in giving as 2015 comes to an end we would love to share our hearts for ministry and answer any questions you may have.

http://reamteaminternational.org/donate/

Please read about the ministries you help support by supporting us! You can also listen as our Executive Director of Heart of God Haiti shares in depth about our ministries HERE as well!

The following are ministries we are privileged to work with directly in Haiti. We have included the financial ministry goals that we need to help meet in the upcoming year. If you would like to give toward any of these specific needs you may do so through our mission Heart of God Haiti and write what you are giving towards in the notes/memo section.

(Montrouis International Fellowship)

Eric is leading beach church and enjoys serving as one of the elders.

Eric enjoys serving as one of the elders at MIF.

 

Our children on a Sunday morning in front of our church building at MIF.

Our children on a Sunday morning in front of our church building at MIF.

Church building – $2000/year

Gas for generator -$20/month

Maintenance Paint – $500

Total = $2,740/year

El Shaddai Learning Center School

Our four children attend this school and Eric has served as principal for 3 years.

Our four children attend this school where Eric has served as the volunteer principal for 3 years for over 100 students Pre-K through 12th grade. (Eric receives no salary as the school runs on a very low budget, but our children do attend free of charge which helps our budget).

Eric sharing ESLC's theme for this school year, "I am again in pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you (Gal 4:19).

Eric sharing ESLC’s theme that God gave Gary Walker (the school’s founder) for this school year, “I am again in pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you (Gal 4:19).

A future student who recently trusted Christ as his Savior.

A future student who recently trusted Christ as his Savior.

God uses us to share Him with others.

God uses us to share Him with others. Recently our daughter Esmée led her schoolmate to Scriptures sharing how she can know Christ as her Savior. Heaven rejoiced as she did!

Another girl's life recently changed for eternity. We praise God for what He is doing at ESLC.

Another girl’s life recently changed for eternity. We praise God for forming Christ in us!

We would like to put an enclosure (safety net) over an open second story to create a playground area (23ft x 36ft x 20ft) as currently the kids have no other space to play at the school.

Total for net is $1,000 + 150 shipping to Haiti ($1,150)

School sponsorships for local Haitian students from poor families ($80 per month/per student to attend ESLC Christian English school)

Kofael (women’s micro loan ministry)

Several of the Kofael women in front of the new Port au Prince Kofael meeting house with our Haitian directors and their daughter and Elisabeth.

Several of the Kofael women in front of the new Port au Prince Kofael meeting house with our Haitian directors, their daughter and Elisabeth.

Kofael new house

Thank you to everyone who came together quickly to help us rent this house when we unexpectedly lost our former Kofael meeting house in August. The new location is home to our Haitian Kofael directors Frantz and Julienne and their baby Jo as well as the interview/meeting/classes location of Port au Prince KOFAEL. We also have a guest room that sleeps 5 set aside for our Kofael partners wishing to visit and help serve!

Kofael House Rent (partial/50% shared responsibility)- $3000/year (due Oct. 2016)

Snacks/drinks for monthly meetings and special events – $250/year

New Office Computer – $250

Printer Ink – $125

Medical Insurance for ladies (50%) – $375/month to help an estimated 75 women in the next year (20 currently enrolled and paying the other 50%)

Part-time Salary for a new KOFAEL group Haitian Director-$150/month

*Kofael loans have already been raised for a new group of 25 women! We are just praying for a godly, trustworthy Haitian director in the new area in order to begin!

Total = $15,925/year

*To read more about this program and/or donate directly to KOFAEL (also tax deductible through Heart of God) just click HERE.

Heart of God Haiti Children’s Center in Godet

Heart of God Haiti sponsored kids at the center

Heart of God Haiti sponsored kids at the center

Our mission’s center is located in the rural mountains of Haiti which is a 5-6 hour round trip drive from our home in St. Marc.

Church and Children's Center

Church and Children’s Center

Transportation and lodging for us to commute part time and oversee/accomplish our mission’s current needs for the children and workers (a responsibility we share with our housemates/ministry partners so we often take turns traveling). – $300/month.

Other needs and info. regarding the children’s center can also be found at: https://heartofgodhaiti.org

Total for our personal travel expenses to work on goals in the best interest of the staff and children on a consistent basis this next year = $3,600/year

New Ministries Currently in Progress

Training Haitian Pastor’s/Planting House Churches

We recently attended a Leadership Conference for Pastors and Teachers! A big THANK YOU to Louie Constantino and his small group in Kansas working hard to send us to this conference.

We recently attended a wonderful Leadership Conference for Pastors and Teachers! A big THANK YOU to Louie Constantino and his small group in Kansas who worked hard to send us and our Haitian leaders to this two day/overnight conference!

Literacy Program Supplies- $150/year

Learning to read and write is a luxury in Haiti.

Learning to read and write is a luxury in Haiti.

ESL Classes

New Area Kofael Group (need $150/mo. for new Haitian director)

School Sponsorships (helping Haitian families keep kids in school)

We love that many children from our neighborhood love to come play at our house. This has opened doors for us to get to know them and their families and identify/work towards the best ways to help them.

We love that many children from our neighborhood love to come play at our house. This has opened doors for us to get to know them and their families and identify/work towards the best ways to help them. These boys were not able to attend school a few weeks ago but are now back in school thanks to sponsors!

One family we have been getting to know. The four children are now all in school and have school supplies. Mom has agreed to do community service so that her kids will know she has earned their school fees with dignity. Mom and Aunt are also excited to attend the upcoming literacy classes!

This is one family we have been getting to know. Mom would like to do community service (in lieu of a handout) so that her kids will see she has contributed to their school fees with dignity. Mom and Aunt are also excited to attend the upcoming literacy classes!

8 children including Nahum and his 3 siblings are back in school thanks to willing sponsors! We still need a few more sponsors.

8 children including Nahum and his 3 siblings are back in school thanks to willing sponsors! They attend the Baptist School in our neighborhood. We still need a few more sponsors for more children.

Haitian Schools – $40 – $175 per yr./student (future sponsors needed)

We love connecting sponsors personally with kids and families that we know as we watch their lives and understand their needs first hand. This is a great privilege and joy to see how God brings people together across the world to meet the needs of others and answer prayers in many different ways.

One of our friends has sponsored this sweet family from our neighborhood and has researched and found doctors trying to help with a lifesaving surgery for their daughter. Please pray for this family as they face many difficult obstacles at this time.

One of our friends has sponsored this sweet family from our neighborhood and has researched and found doctors trying to help with a lifesaving surgery for their daughter. Please pray for this family as they face many difficult obstacles. It has been an honor to pray with them and see their daughter smile again.

Last year at this time many responded to help Djo's kids. This year a friend helped with backpacks and school supplies. Djo's family is doing well and has been able to add on/repair their house more this year!

Last year at this time many responded to help Djo’s kids. This year a friend helped with backpacks and school supplies. Djo’s family is doing well and has been able to add on/repair their house more this year!

Thank you for caring! Thank you for helping us serve! Thank you for making a difference and giving hope to Haitian families!

Exciting Upcoming Travels/Summer Ministry Opportunity!

Heart of God Israel Ministry (June 4 – June 16)

Eric will be a hosting a group for the tour and leading an extension mission trip. If you would like to join us the cost is $4,600/person (partnering with Heart of God Israel and World of the Bible Ministries – 10 day tour with Dr. Randall Price and 2 day extension trip with Heart of God’s ministry to drug addicts and prostitutes). You can join the World of the Bible tour (plug for Dad who leads this awesome tour-and this will be his 100th trip to Israel!) without joining the Heart of God Israel team as well. Here is the link to view the info and itinerary for just the tour. http://www.worldofthebible.com/IsraelTours.htm

If you are interested in the Heart of God Israel extended mission trip led by Eric just ask for details! You will be shocked, encouraged and challenged to pray for Israel and for the freedom of many who are in bondage.

We know our crazy lives are hard to keep up with but thank you for trying! We always want to know how we can pray and serve your family as well! Our family and friends mean the world to us! Please keep in touch in 2016!

Happy New Year with Love from The Ream Team!