*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.
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! Continue reading “Catching Up Part 3! Never a Dull Moment Continued…”
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!
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.
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.
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)
Church building – $2000/year
Gas for generator -$20/month
Maintenance Paint – $500
Total = $2,740/year
El Shaddai Learning Center School
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for caring! Thank you for helping us serve! Thank you for making a difference and giving hope to Haitian families!
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!