July & October 2011
We are well overdue for a newsletter and I really didn’t know how to start this one so I am going to jump right in.
Missionaries are expected to report all the wonderful things happening on the mission field God called them to. During the past 13 years, for the most part, we have been able to do that, praise the Lord! In late 2009, I remember sitting on the platform of the Good Hope Church waiting to preach. I looked out over the congregation and praised God for all the wonderful things He was doing for Missions in Haiti. It was a mountain top experience! All three schools were doing great, the children’s home was doing well and the Good Hope Church was growing. Support was rolling in, new buildings were going up. We had two wonderful ladies helping us, Trish Adams and Rachel Prihoda. As the musicians played, I sat there in awe of the greatness of God and I thanked Him over and over for His many blessings. Then in January of 2010 the earthquake changed everything!
After the earthquake our emotions ran the gamut from shock to deeply saddened, then to blessed, to wonderful and then aggravated – I trust you get the picture. God did amazing things for Haiti and Missions in Haiti, but negative feelings began to rise up around us and Alicia and I became emotionally drained, nearly exhausted. We were very glad when we were able to take our family stateside for a couple weeks in July of 2010. When we returned to Haiti in August, we were hoping and praying that the worst was behind us. We were looking forward to getting the new school year underway and to getting back to what was normal for Haiti. Unfortunately that has not happened and we slowly slid off the mountain top into the valley!
During this past year the strongest spiritual battle we have ever seen is raging, not only in Haiti, we feel it in the US when we are stateside. Satan knows his time is short and he is out to destroy as many lives as he can. We have been fighting one battle after another. Three teenage girls who grew up in the House of Compassion were lured out into the world by family members with the promise of freedom from the structure and rules at the House of Compassion. The girls were led to believe that after leaving the House of Compassion they could do whatever they want. This has been extremely difficult for us because there isn’t much we can do and we know the children are going back into desperate conditions, their promising futures derailed. Watching satan destroy the plan that God had for the lives of children that we dearly love is heartbreaking. Please remember the children at the House of Compassion and the 22 boys at the boy’s home in your prayers daily. God has a purpose for each one of them here in Haiti!
Right after the earthquake, the Good Hope Church grew to around 250 on Sunday morning. But some of our people soon forgot how God blessed them and spared them during the earthquake. Since last August Church attendance slowly declined to around 150 and many of the 150 who attend regularly act like they don’t really want to be there. Only a few are really getting in and worshipping God. We need a revival, please pray with us for the Good Hope Church.
The house that was home to the Delmas School was damaged beyond use by the earthquake. Since the earthquake, we held school in tents but that didn’t work well because storms continually destroyed the tents and the tropic heat made conditions inside the tents almost unbearable. We couldn’t find suitable or affordable property in the area, so the decision was made to close the Delmas School at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. We didn’t open the Thomazeu School this school year because of problems with our faculty.
We learned that we couldn’t count on our teachers showing up for work unless we were there to oversee daily operations and because of the distance to Thomazeau that was impossible. We decided to refocus our efforts on building a school near the House of Compassion that will accommodate up to 700 students and on a new school at Triano.
We found a piece of property that would be an ideal location for the new school building. The property is priced at $57,000.00 US and given the location, size of the lot and the fact that it already has a security wall, it is a good buy. Please pray that God will provide funds to purchase the land and to purchase and erect a two-story metal school house.
The first school year at Triano went well. The parents of the school children were grateful to have a school in the area. To show their appreciation, they brought fruit and vegetables to share with the teachers and with us. That was very touching. We test the children ourselves and we know that they are learning. We are happy to report that the first school year at Triano ended on a very positive note!
Our schedule for this summer is different from past years. Alicia and I must take time to get renewed spiritually, physically and mentally. We will be stateside July and August and we will be speaking at Churches in and around Oklahoma. We will gather and ship a container of supplies in August and then return to Haiti in September to get the school year started. Then we will return to the US for three months during which time we plan to attend revival services and itinerate - October thru early November. If you would like for us to visit your Church, please send us an e-mail or give us a call and we will do our best to accommodate you.
We want to return to Haiti in January of 2012 refreshed and with a renewed excitement for the work God called us to do.
Thank you to all of you who sponsor children in our child sponsorship program. We appreciate your patience with us. After the earthquake we lost track of some of the children in the program (many homes were destroyed and families had to relocate) and as a result we had to make changes to some of the sponsorships. We apologize for the confusion and we are working diligently on getting the sponsorship lists up-to-date. If you have any questions regarding the sponsorship program, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 918-497-9024.
In spite of all of the obstacles and difficulties we faced since the earthquake, we know that God is still moving in Haiti. The flame may have flickered but it hasn’t gone out. God has work for us to do in Haiti and we always want to be in the center of His will. Please pray for Missions in Haiti and for our family.
We genuinely appreciate your faithful support and your prayers. Without you we couldn’t do this work that God called us to do. Thank you and may God richly bless you.
P.S. Trish Adams will not return to Haiti next year due to health concerns and personal reasons. Thanks Trish for four years of faithful service! Rachel Prihoda completed her two year commitment and she plans to pursue her calling to be a mission pilot, so Rachel will not be returning to Haiti next year. Thanks Rachel for your help during the past two years! May God richly bless both of you and continue to open doors for you as you follow His leading.
We are looking for a couple people who feel a call to the mission field or a call to work in Haiti. Specifically, we need teachers for the ACE school. If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested in working in Haiti, please contact us by phone or by e-mail.
Also, we will be shipping a container out of Tulsa mid-August. If you or your Church are interested in gathering supplies (peanut butter, canned meats, cereal, clothing and shoes for children) please let me know and I will send you a list of our needs.
As you probably know, we spent the past thirteen summers itinerating and raising support, but as I mentioned in our last newsletter, we are on a different schedule this year. We arrived stateside late June, took a little time off for R&R, went back to Haiti August 31st for five weeks and then returned stateside on October 4th. We are preparing to hit the road and we are looking forward to visiting old friends and making new friends! We will be attending several special meetings and we anticipate a time of spiritual refreshing.
Fall is a wonderful time to be stateside, the weather is amazing. The seasons don’t change much in Haiti and if not for an occasional hurricane, the weather would be boring! Davy, Hannah and Samuel are accustomed to the heat of summer and the cold of winter when they are stateside and the mild autumn days have them a bit confused! They were expecting cold temperatures upon arrival in Tulsa and they were quite surprised when they didn’t need their coats! This is their first time to experience fall in the U.S. and they are really enjoying it! The kids were amazed to see all the pumpkins on display and Hannah asked me, “Dad, what are those?” Alicia and I are looking forward to seeing the leaves on the trees turn to their fall colors, this earth that God made is beautiful this time of year!
The five weeks we spent in Haiti were very productive. We opened the schools and provided uniforms and school supplies for all of our students. We printed the Christian based materials that will be used through the month of December in the schools. Just like kids everywhere, some of our kids are excited to be back in school and some were saddened that summer vacation was over.
While in Haiti we also unloaded the container of supplies that we shipped out of Tulsa in August. We want to say a special thank you to Tulsa New Holland, Westside Holiness Church in Claremore, Oklahoma and Calvary Assembly of God in Winfield, Missouri for helping us purchase a new EX450 Yanmar compact diesel tractor which we shipped in this container. The 45 HP four wheel drive tractor with a front loader, pallet forks, road grader and a tiller will be extremely useful in our building projects, gardening projects, road maintenance and general work around the mission. We plan to ship a container of supplies out of Richmond, Indiana in December. If you would like to contribute funds or supplies for that container, please contact me by phone or e-mail and I will send you a list of the items we need.
Thank you for your prayers. In our last newsletter, I shared from my heart about the things we are facing in Haiti. From the feedback I received, I know that the letter stirred a lot of people to spend extra time praying for us and that is what we needed. I know there were a lot of prayers going up for Missions in Haiti, Alicia and I received extra strength and encouragement from the Lord as a result of your prayers. Please keep us in your prayers, God is moving and Missions in Haiti is moving forward!
As I mentioned in our last newsletter, I located a property suitable for building a permanent school house near the House of Compassion. Pray that God will provide the funds needed for the property and for a 28 room school house. Funds are coming in slowly and we are praying that as we travel and present this need, the balance will be raised and we will be able to get this project underway. There is an urgent need in our area for a good Christian school!
We are also praying that the Lord will send us a good ACE teacher who will be responsible for teaching Davy and Hannah and nine of our oldest Haitian children at House of Compassion. I am filling in at the present time, but we need a good teacher, please pray with us about this need.
Thank you for your continued prayers and financial support, this work could not move forward without you.
P.S. Please keep our man Jude in your prayers. Jude is in charge of the day to day operations of House of Compassion when we are away, he carries a huge load for us. Jude is in the process of building himself a house. He has a lady friend and they are thinking about marriage at some future date. Jude needs about $5,000.00 to complete his house. Jude is a true laborer in the harvest field. If you would like to help with this worthy cause it would be a blessing to this man of God!