Renault Clothes Distribution #2

Last Sunday, we had the opportunity to help the Wray family distribute the rest of the clothes and shoes that were collected this summer during our church’s VBS! Due to the large amount of items that were donated, we were able to do a second distribution at the Renault Sunday school program.  I wrote about the first distribution in Oct, titled’Sunday Mornings.’  We feel the most important thing we can do for the 1200 children that attend weekly, is help teach them about Jesus, and give them a hope of going to heaven someday.  It is an added blessing, to be able to give them clothes and/or shoes!!  It took 2 hours, after the normal Sunday school lesson to distribute the clothes.  The girls and I helped sort and distribute the clothes, along with a team visiting the Wrays.  Scott was the lucky one in charge of keeping the approx 750 boys in order, while the girls filed through the line first.  (In my opinion, he had the toughest job by far!)   I wish you could all experience their joy and the smiles on their faces when they receive clothes.  Thank you for your generous donations!

 Packing the clothes and shoes this summer

The distribution line (toward the end)

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Enjoy some pics of the kids with their “new” clothes!

Before & After!

Flat Miles

“Flat Miles” came to visit Haiti a few weeks ago!  Flat Miles, was sent to our family from Miles Leman, as part of his Flat Stanley school project.   The girls particularly liked his Cardinal shirt, as well as his goatee. Due to spending Christmas in Roanoke, we didn’t have much time to take him around, but we did manage to show him some of the geographical features of Haiti, as well as visit a couple of our favorite places!  

His first stop was the Renault Sunday school program.   The program takes place in one of the poorest slums of Les Cayes, and is a ministry that holds a special place with our family. Flat Miles was among 1200 children worshipping the Lord, and learning about Jesus.   

Here he is on the roof of our house, over looking the bay of Les Cayes. 
  

This is Flat Miles in front of a banana plant and blossom.   

This is typical scenery around the southern part of Haiti.  Lots of mountains and rolling pastures.   

In front of a palm tree, which are very abundant here!  

Here he is at Gelee Beach, on the Caribbean Sea, where the water is always warm!    

Here is Flat Miles on a fishing boat.  This is a typical fishing boat found here.  They remind me of what I picture boats from biblical times, would have looked like.  We have been in boats similar to this, when we travel to different islands around us.  They actually do float!  The 2 fishermen who owned the boat, really couldn’t figure out why we were taking a picture of the paper doll on their boat, but were happy to let us do so!    

Miles, thanks for picking our family and the island of Haiti, for your Flat Miles project!   Maybe you will get a chance to visit Haiti yourself one day!! 

Christmas shoeboxes

This summer, when we were back in Roanoke, Bri, Chloe, and Gabby had the opportunity to go with Great Grandma Jean, and buy Christmas gifts for our 2 house helpers and their children.   This is the third year they have been able to do this with Grandma.  She lets them pick anything they want including hygiene items, household items, non-perishable food, candy, and a few toys.  The girls love spending time with Grandma, as well as giving the gifts when Christmas time arrives!

Mamize, Shelovema (15months), and Jenny(2 months)
       

Madame Lolo and Daniel (4yrs)

2 weeks before this picture was taken, Lolo suffered a small stroke.  She spent 1 week in the hospital, and has been resting since.  She continues to have right sided weakness and pain, as well as unclear speech.  She was so thankful for the gift, and was insistent on having her picture taken.

Unfortunately, neither Lolo or Mamize have been able to come to our house for quite some time.  Mamize continues to be busy at home with her 2 children, and Lolo is too weak, and continues to recover from her stroke.   I appreciate both of these Godly women, and pray God continues to give them grace to adjust to their new “normal.”

Christmas- Part 2- A surprise!

Christmas was extra special this year!  The girls and I were blessed to be able to make a surprise trip back to Roanoke for the Christmas holiday!  We spent 12 days in Roanoke, surrounded by the love and comfort of family and friends.   It was the girls idea to surprise as many people as possible, and they pulled it off pretty well!  The only thing that could have made it better, was if Scott could’ve come along.  Our days were packed full of fun, and we are thankful for every minute spent with family and friends.  Here are a few highlights!

 
  
The girls were so excited to play in the snow!


Words can’t describe how thankful we are for the gift of being able to spend Christmas in Roanoke!  It was a special time, celebrating the birth of Christ, with our family and friends, one we will not soon forget!

Christmas, part 1

Christmas in Haiti doesn’t “feel” like Christmas felt when we lived in IL, for many reasons.  Thankfully, there is a constant, and that is, the real reason that we celebrate this season, the birth of Christ!  We are thankful that we can celebrate the birth of Christ and share His love with those around us, in whatever country we are.   Take a look at a few of the fun Christmas activities happening around Cite Lumiere, from the past couple of weeks.

Christmas art with the girls German friends 


Christmas caroling at the nursing home and local clinic and passing out cookies

  
A Christmas dinner for the bosses and their families  


Helping the Wrays wrap 800 jars of peanut butter to hand out at Renault Sunday school for Christmas


Scott and Chloe working on my Christmas gift!

  
God’s blessings to all of our family and friends as you celebrate the birth of Christ, and the best gift ever given!

Christmas gift bags! 

We were blessed with the opportunity to visit a local Christian deaf/handicapped school this week.  Our main purpose, was to find out more information about the school, then distribute Christmas gift bags (similar to the shoebox projects). The school is located down the road from our home, in the village of Simone.  As we toured the school, Madame Lukner shared the story of how the Lord inspired and gave her the vision of the deaf school.  The school consists of 3 classrooms, and 3 bunk rooms.  The bunk rooms are for the children that don’t have family or that live too far away to commute daily.  This school provides a safe, Christian environment for kids who would otherwise might be uneducated, social outcasts in Haitian society.   We enjoyed visiting the school, but really felt an all-too-familiar communication gap, that we hadn’t felt for awhile.  (This time it wasn’t because we didn’t know Kreyol, but because we don’t know sign language.)  Thankfully, knowing sign language was not necessary to see how excited and thankful the children were to receive the gifts.  They shared their love and thanks though their expressions and hugs.

Lukner and his wife.  They founded and run the school. Pictures just don’t capture the true joy and thankfulness that these children showed.
  

  

   A big thanks goes out to Tammy Barth and the St. Peter Lutheran Church in Benson, for collecting, assembling, and sending the bags.

Community

Our family is so thankful to be a part of many different communities.  For example, we have our missionary community here in Haiti, our church community in Roanoke, our Roanoke community (even though we don’t live there currently, we are thankful to still feel a part of it), and I could keep going on and on.  Each one is vitally important to us.  We get a lot of questions regarding our Missionary community here in Haiti, so I want to take a little time to share about it.

What is a community?

1. A group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

The bible speaks a lot in regards in community!  Here are just a few of the many verses, on what the bible says about a community, and how it functions.

Hebrews 10:24-25 ~  Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Meet together, encourage one another.

Galatians 6:2 ~ Bear one anothers burdens.

Romans 12:5 ~ We form one body to work together under the command and authority of Jesus.

1 Thesselonians 5:14 ~ Warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient.

Matthew 22:38 ~ Love your neighbor as yourself

Cite Lumiere Missionary Community

IMG_4070-0This is our missionary community in Haiti.  This picture was taken last week at our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  There were approximately 120 people, mostly missionaries from around the Les Cayes area, including Bonne Finn.  Our differences are many including different backgrounds, churches, and countries( Germany, Canada, Jamaica, Haiti, and United States.)  But, we come together as one body to serve God and serve the Haitians.

Socially, there are many opportunities throughout the week, for both kids and adults.  There is weekly basketball, volleyball, and walking groups.  There is ladies tea, bible study, and Wednesday night prayer meeting.  But more than the social activities, we appreciate the fellowship and support of our brothers and sisters.  Its coming along side each other, encouraging one another in our Christian walk and ministries, and just doing life together. Our family is blessed to be a part of this community.  I can’t imagine serving in a foreign country without a Godly community surrounding us!

Yordy/Eureka Bible team

We are thankful to have spent a great week with family and a small group from Eureka Bible Church. Larry, Edie, and Kim worked with the construction team for 1 day, then worked on some much needed painting in the 2 apartments below our house. The rest of the team consisted of Ben Frerichs and Norm & Kristen Hostetler. They helped put a roof on Bambou church, as well as a school.

 Loading up for the day!

Bambou church

     

Ladies working on benches and spending time with the local kids.

  

We were excited to take the group to Renault Sunday school on Sunday morning!  We recognized a lot of clothes that had been passed out a couple weeks prior! 

We had a fun afternoon of hiking, swimming, and jumping at the waterfalls!

  
Another special event that happened during the week, was that our friend Mamize had her 2nd baby girl!  I got to be with her during the birth again.  The miracle of birth is amazing to me.  We really saw the hand of God, and we witnessed first hand, the power of prayer.  She started the morning by having to go to a hospital in town, for a C-section.  That is not a desirable option anywhere, but especially here!  The team, family, and friends started praying for her, and by 12:15pm, she had a healthy baby vaginally, without complications!   God is good!     (The baby doesn’t have a name yet)


It is always special when we get to share our life in Haiti with family and friends!  We were blessed by our time together!

Thanks and a shout out to Kristen Hostetler, the team photographer, for the great pics!  Thanks for sharing your talents!

Weekend fun

We found the closest thing to a water park in Haiti!   We drove to the mountains to explore a reservoir with some of our  good German friends.  The area was gorgeous!!  Everyone enjoyed jumping, climbing, and sliding.  Afterwards, we hiked down the stream, to the waterfalls.

  
  

Hiking the falls 

A few random happenings….

A gator ride with some of the girls from the orphanage!


Gabby & Sarah playing in the rain and puddles! (Notice their mud socks) 
The closest thing to McDonalds we have found…. This lady sells the best pate’s around, and she always has a smile!

 Often times, we see things that make us “take a second look.”  It’s rare that we can grab the camera quick enough to get a picture, especially if it is while we are driving. We have seen this a few times, and have never gotten a pic, until now….  Check it out

 What is it?

  

It’s a tiny pick up carrying way too many mattresses!  You wouldn’t see that on Rt 116!

Sunday Mornings

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Sunday mornings are a very special time for our family. Most Sunday mornings, you will find us helping out a fellow missionary family, Rod, Debbie, & Katie Wray, at Renault, in one of the poorest slums in Les Cayes. The Wray’s, started a Sunday school program, about 6 years ago, with a few kids, in a small tent. The program has grown to 1200-1400 kids, and is held under a large pavilion. The program is a safe haven for children, a place they can worship the Lord, learn bible stories and biblical truths, and memorize scripture.   We feel that for most of these kids, their only hope or chance in life is to have a relationship with the Lord, which will give them the joy and peace they search for.  When the program is finished, each child is given a Manna pack, a 6 serving package of rice with protein, to share with their family.  For a lot of the children, this is their best meal of the week.

This Sunday, was extra special for the children, because they each received clothes, that were collected by our home church, Roanoke, this summer.  (As well as clothes and pillow case dresses donated to the Wray family).  As you can see in the pictures, the clothes the kids typically have are dirty, old, torn, or the wrong size.  It’s not unusual to see a child with either shorts or a shirt, but not both.  I wish all who donated clothes could have experienced the excitement and smiles we saw this week!  Thanks for your generous donation of clothes, shoes, and bags!

The children waiting at the gate to come in

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Listening to the story

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Distributing the clothes

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Pics of some of the kids with their “new” clothes. image image image image imageimage image image

Lets just say, Roanoke will be well represented in Renault!  We handed out alot of Rocket gear, Sowers Elementary School shirts, and local business shirts!

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We have been so blessed to be able to love and serve these children! Pray with us, that these children can find hope and salvation through the one, true Savior.