September & November 2003
The last two and one-half months have been like a whirlwind for us. So many things have taken place. We thank God for the strength that he has given us; we just couldn’t have made it without His help!
We were stateside from June 16 to July 19. During that time we traveled 4,600 miles and we were honored to be able to tell about our work here in Haiti fourteen times. We also attended the Paw Creek Camp Meeting and we were blessed. We really needed the spiritual refreshing.
Upon returning to Haiti, we were pleased to find that things at the House of Compassion were in good order. Our children were all very glad to see us! As soon as we unpacked our suitcases, we began making preparations for all of the things that we had to do in August.
August was extremely busy. We registered our 45 “Child Sponsorship” children as well as our 11 “House of Compassion” children in school. All of the children will be provided with the uniforms and books that they will need for school. We want to say a special “thank you” to all of you who support our Child Sponsorship program. Your unselfish giving is making a big difference in the lives of these children.
The Lord has led us to start a work out in the Province, about one and one-half hours northeast of Port-au-Prince. This area is very needy both from a financial, as well as a spiritual standpoint. We have been developing a relationship with the people of the community for the past two years. We felt that the timing was right to build a building to house a church/school. I gathered building materials and hauled them out to the site over a two-week period. My father and five members of his congregation from the Wakefield Missouri First Assembly came down and we built a 45’X28’ pole-barn type structure. Everything went great and we held the dedication service on Sunday, August 10. Over 100 people from the community attended the first service in the building! We will begin holding regular church services in the new building on the first Sunday in September and school will begin on September 8th! The people in the community are excited and are expecting great things to happen this year and so are we! Pray with us about this new work.
We want to take this opportunity to thank my father, “Big Dave” or “Arnold” as we so affectionately call him, and his people who unselfishly gave their time and money to help us put our plan into action. Thank you!
One of our other BIG August projects was—moving! Many of you have helped us pray that we would find a more suitable home for the House of Compassion. Our facilities were becoming too small and we were having problems doing all of the things that we needed to do. The Lord helped us find this house in May and we moved in during the second week of August. Moving is never fun, especially here in Haiti, but the Lord provided the strength we needed and we are completely moved! Our family and our extended family are settling in and it is great to have an extra bathroom and kitchen for the kids downstairs. We are expecting our Children’s Church to grow because there are a lot of children living all around us. We are looking forward to Wednesdays and we are very excited about the prospects for expanding our Children’s Church.
Our fourth “August” project was getting the ACE school that I work at up and running. This year I have been given an administrative position, which means that I won’t be teaching in a classroom. I praise the Lord for this new opportunity. Now, I will be involved with all 225 students, not just the 21 in my classroom. Out of 225 students, we have 75 new ones and for many of the new students this will be their first time to hear the Gospel Message. Please pray that God will open hearts and that many more will receive him as their Savior!
One can never say “thank you” too often so we want to say “thank you” to all of you for your prayers and your support. Please remember to pray for us and with us every day. Doors are opening here in Haiti and we want to be fully prepared to do all that we can for Jesus in the short time that we have left. Jesus is coming very soon-the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Do what you can for Him every day. We love you and we deeply appreciate all that you do for us. We couldn’t do our job here without your help.
House of Compassion is growing again! We now have twelve children-six girls and six boys! Jonas joined us last summer. He was abandoned last December at a clinic operated by Medical Missionaries. They placed him in the home of Missionaries that provide short-term care. No one ever came to claim him, so we agreed to bring him into the House of Compassion. He had been called “Ti Wat” all of his life. Ti Wat means “little rat” and he didn’t know what his real name was. We renamed him Jonas!
Rosnie joined us in September. Her father and two of her sisters died last May. A poisonous powder was found in the home. Apparently the girls got into the powder and the father got it on himself while trying to clean the girls. We suspect someone who wanted to “curse” the family placed the powder in the home. After the deaths, we visited the mother and the remaining children and we could see their health was rapidly declining. We agreed to take Rosnie, hoping that this would provide some relief for her mother.
The Church/School building that was constructed in August is serving its purpose well! We dropped in a couple times unannounced to visit and check on the school and found that school was being conducted in an orderly fashion. This is a small start, a single room classroom with 23 students. It is our desire that these children will be able to read and write when the school year ends next May. Hopefully we will be able to add a class each school year. Along with the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, these children are being taught Bible lessons from a Haitian Bible curriculum. They are required to memorize verses of scripture.
Every other Sunday, we are holding Church Services at this location. Our average attendance is sixty. One of the three local “witch doctors” stands outside during every service. We haven’t been able to discern his true purpose, we don’t know if he wants to make certain none of his flock will convert and leave Voodoo or if he is actually interested himself. We are diligently praying for his salvation. If this man gives his heart to Jesus a lot of others are almost certain to follow! It is a small community and everyone we talk to denies that Voodoo is strong, but according to Mania (Mania is one of our House of Compassion kids-she came from the area where the Church is) almost everyone in the area, including members of her family are involved in Voodoo. The fear of the witch doctor and his Voodoo powers is holding many back. Please pray with us that this stronghold will be broken and that this man will find God.
Life is getting harder for Haitians every day. We realize that we have told you that a lot of times, but incredibly, the downward spiral continues day after day. Haiti has been getting torrential rainstorms almost daily. Many have drowned due to flooding and many have lost their livestock and other means of survival. The deteriorating road conditions have made the roads nearly impassible in many areas, including the road in front of our house!
Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to say a special “thank you” to all of you who support this work by praying with us and for us every day. Without your prayers and financial support we wouldn’t be able to do the urgent work that must be done here in Haiti. Please continue to hold all of us here at “House of Compassion” up in your prayers each day. God changes things and the people of Haiti desperately need God and his help just to survive.