Given with Love

Deaf and disabled children in Haiti have a hard life, compared to children without disabilities.  Often, they are abandoned or “cast off,” from their families and society, because they are seen as a burden.  Generally, they don’t get the opportunity to attend school, and are unreached with the gospel message.

There is a special school for deaf children in Cambry, about a 10 minute drive from our house.  It is being overseen by a Jamaican missionary couple, that moved to Haiti a couple of years ago, and have been ministering to deaf children for years.  (I could do an entire post on these special missionaries alone!)  Not only are the kids that attend deaf, but a few have other disabilities as well.  Materially speaking, these students don’t have much, but they are being loved and hearing about Jesus Christ!  It has been inspiring and faith-building to watch God bless this ministry and see the school grow!  The dorms where the children sleep, lost the roof, and was flooded during the recent hurricane.  The mattresses, bedding, and clothes the children had, was soaked or ruined.  The school structure stood (thanks to God’s protecting hand), but also sustained damage to the roof and walls.  Through HarvestCall hurricane Matthew disaster relief, both the dorms and the school were able to be repaired, and school is back in session!

2 weeks ago, my Mom, Chloe, and I had the opportunity to distribute hygiene kits to this school!  The kits consisted of toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloth, soap, fingernail clippers, hand sanitizer, gum, and candy.  (All things that kids in the US take for granted each day, but that are a luxury to kids in Haiti!)  The bags for the kits were decorated, and supplies were purchased and assembled, during a special summer camp, that a set of Grandparents hosted for their Grandchildren.   When we were praying about where to distribute the kits, the verse in James 1:27 came to our mind, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…..”  God put on our hearts to distribute the kits to the deaf school, to the children who are in a sense, orphaned.

My only wish, is that the kids that made the bags, could have been there to distribute them, to experience the joy and thankfulness of these children!  The excitement was palpable in that little one-room school house!

 

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Thanks so much for serving these precious children!

It’s been awhile!

Wow!!!   Sorry we have gotten behind in our communication with you!  Life continues to be busy, and God continues to be good!

Here are some of what has been happening since our last update…….

Bri, Chloe, and I were able to translate for 3 small medical clinics!  It has been a blessing to work together with Bri and Chloe to serve the Haitians!  Bri even had the opportunity to go out to a small rural village with the medical team.

We hosted our first scheduled construction team of this season in November!  We were thankful to have Ron & Linnea Shick here, with a team from Pennsylvania!  Their team enjoys ministering to the Haitians, and they do it well!  While the men put roofs on, the ladies hosted a women’s ministry, a children’s ministry, and an eye glass clinic!  They also purchased new mattresses for all the residents at Azile Dorcus, the local nursing home.  What a blessing it was to see the excitement of the old folks, when the new mattresses were placed on their beds!

We spent 2 days at a retreat with Haiti HarvestCall missionaries and our board.  It was a weekend full of spiritual encouragement mixed with relaxation and fellowship!img_0303

All HarvestCall Missionaries in HaitiGroup photo of the current Haiti missionaries!

HarvestCall Missionary Kids (minus Silas, plus Hartzler family!)

The missionary kids in Haiti (including the Hartzlers)!

Annual Thanksgiving dinnerSouth Haiti Missionaries, Thanksgiving Day 2016!

Renault Sunday School program is going strong, and continues to be one of our favorite weekly activities! These kids are just so precious!  We are privileged to share God’s word with them every Sunday!

We were blessed by a visit from my parents! It was special to have them here over Thanksgiving!  We particularly enjoyed taking Dad to Renault for the first time! It was awesome having Mom to help me with the little medical clinic too!

A sweet reunion with Phaniel, his mom, and sister!

We had lots of fun, played lots of games, and made some great memories!  (We even got some work done, especially my dad!  He wired the new kitchen addition at the guest house, and completed several other electrical projects with Scott!)

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family!  We really appreciate your love, support, and prayers!  We look forward to celebrating the birth of our Savior with our family and friends in Roanoke.  May God continue to bless you, as you seek Him during this special Christmas season!

 

Carpenters & Electrians

To say that the last 5 weeks, since Matthew hit, has been challenging, would be an understatement.  But, God has provided for our every need!  I want to share part of how the construction department and our family has been blessed the past 2 weeks.  Scott communicated a need for 2 teams of skilled carpenters and electricians, to help with his 2 page list of post-hurricane repairs.  He had a limited time frame of 2 weeks that the work needed to be accomplished, due to our regularly scheduled work team season beginning November 4th.  Scott shared the need with our board, who in turn put the word out via email for our urgent need.  In less than 1 week, we had 1 team of 5 scheduled for the first week, and a team of 8 for the second week.  It was awesome to see and hear first hand, how God moved these mens hearts to respond to the call, how He brought these teams together, and how much work was accomplished!   Each team worked hard, long hours, to accomplish all that needed to be done.  They blessed many missionaries as well as Haitian’s lives, by sharing their time and talents!

One of the first projects, was to help make repairs to a local deaf school.  Although the school remained standing after the hurricane, the kids were unable to attend school due to missing tin on the roof!  The team worked hard, and finished the project in 1 day.  The deaf students were able to resume their schooling!

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Below is a thank you from the Jamaican Missionaries that run the school.

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The teams did many, many repairs on the roofs and houses of missionaries around Cite Lumiere

The team spend 3 days at the local nursing home, Azile Dorcus, making much needed roof and electrical repairs.  The pastor and residents residing at Azile were so thankful!

There were 3 men, that stayed and worked for the full 2 weeks.  We were happy that we could take them to Renault to worship with us on Sunday morning!

Unfortunately, while we were at Renault, Scott tripped on razor wire and cut his arm severely.  We were so thankful that there was a team of American Doctors here that could stitch him up!  His arm is healing nicely, and I can remove his stitches tomorrow! img_0228

With Scott being slowed down, he was so thankful for skilled men that did not need to be supervised.  The team worked well with Scott’s Haitian bosses and together they accomplished a lot of work.  The last job they worked on, was a MEBSH church and school that overlooked the ocean!img_0270

I am happy to say that by the end of the second week, the 2 page to-do list was completed!  It is such a blessing for Scott to have these repairs done, prior to us starting the team season. First, we want to thank the Lord for His care and provision for us.  We also want to give a big thanks to those who responded to the call to serve in Haiti on such short notice, as well as to those that arranged all the logistics and travel.  A big thanks also to those who prayed for the teams!  May God continued to be glorified through all we say and do!

Roots

Since Hurricane Matthew roared through Southern Haiti,  one of the things I see on my daily walk, are hundreds of trees uprooted and ripped from the ground.  There are trees of all shapes and sizes, but the ones that I notice the most, are the biggest ones, that now have their root systems completely exposed.  What are roots, and their significance to trees?

-Roots guarantee the existence of a tree.  If there are no roots, there is no tree.

-Roots  anchor the tree in the soil, giving it stabililty and a base for the trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit.

-Roots also bring in water and minerals for the tree to grow and mature.

Throughout the bible, new and old testament, there are many verses and parables about tree’s and their roots.  The scriptures on this topic have come alive to me in a new way.  Here are just a few verses I’d like to encourage you with.  Jeremiah shared the analogy of a faith-filled person with a strong, flourishing tree.  “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17: 7-9.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does prospers.”Psalm 1:2-3

So then, just as your received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as your were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

In Ephesians 3:17, Paul talks about “being rooted and established in love.”

One of the most effective ways I can be rooted to Christ, is to continue to immerse myself in His word, as well as continue to put my roots or foundation down deep in the Lord.  So that when the “rain comes down, the streams rise, the winds blow and beat against me,” I stand firm  and have “stability” in Christ, instead of falling like the tree’s here in Haiti.  What is your foundation rooted in?  fullsizerender

POST HURRICANE UPDATE

We have an awesome team of carpenters here helping Scott this week!  The 5 men are working hard, and making good progress on projects around the campus.  One of the most helpful characteristics of this team, is that they are skilled, and don’t need Scott’s supervision, which frees Scott up to do other work.  We are thanking the Lord for this provision, as well as the people in the US organizing relief and teams.  I hope to do my next blog post on the team and their work.

Lots of rain!

We are praising the Lord for the sunshine today, and here is why……..   Thursday night around 9:30pm, it started raining, and it didn’t quit until Friday afternoon at 4!  In our 3 years in Haiti, I have never seen so much standing water.  I think the ground must have been saturated from the 30+ inches of rain that we got with hurricane Matthew. As I opened windows at the school on Friday morning, I heard Haitians crying.  My heart aches for our Haitian neighbors, who again have houses full of water and wet belongings. Please pray for the Haitians, that they can find joy despite another difficult trial. 

Here are some pictures from our venture out to Simone in the rain on Friday…  




Streets quickly became rivers

Downtown Cayes

Other updates………

We are so thankful for 2 teams of 5 carpenters, that are coming to help Scott out!  It is a blessing to see how the Lord has provided. The first team arrives Monday!   They will be working on projects/houses damaged by the hurricane. This will take us up to our first official construction team of this season.  Please pray for continued strength and discernment. 

Bondye Bon!

Bondye bon is creole for ‘God is good.’  This last week has shown us that even in the midst of destruction, God is good.  When we think of the lives that God spared during the hurricane, we can’t help but know He is good!   Yes, there are houses without roofs, and Haitians that are hungry, but we still hear them saying the “Bondye Bon!”  What an example for us, to see their contenment in all situations. Yes, God is good!  These past 2 weeks make Romans 8:28 come alive in ways in a different way than we have ever known before!  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Life for our family is slowly returning to somewhat of a “normal.”  Here are just a few evidences of God’s goodness in our lives. 

The girls returned to school on Wednesday last week! 

We celebrated Gabby’s 12th birthday!  

We are thankful that Scott, Les, and Jon were able to restore power to our compound on Saturday!  God provided them strength and safety to complete the challenging job! 

As we look around our compound, we can see the unpassable roads are beginning to look like roads again!!

And trees and bushes are budding and forming new leaves!  Check out these banana plants!

Our family was also able to return to Renault on Sunday!!  It was a joyous morning to reunite with a few of our  “special” friends, and see that they all survived the hurricane!  



To end this update, we want to testify of Gods goodness to us over the last few weeks.  We also want to Thank you for your continued prayers. We need them, and Haiti needs them!  

Post-Matthew update #2. 

Thank you so much for your prayers!  We are convinced your prayers are what are getting us, and especially Scott, through each day!   We are so grateful for those who are “bearing our burdens” in prayer.  

I would like to share a few updates.     

This is a common sight…..  the Haitians continue to dry out their belongings in the sun. 


As of late Saturday afternoon, we have running water!!  Scott and his crew worked tirelessly to get our water back!  It was a huge boost for us! 

The next focus, is getting our compound’s electricity reestablished. This is a huge task, as there are so many wires down!  Thankfully, we have Jon Zeller here helping Scott assess and plan on how to get this done.  We personally have power, due to solar power on our house, but there are several missionaries who are still running generators intermittently .  We are so thankful that the road from Port au Prince to Les Cayes is open, which allows food, supplies, and gas to be available!! Here’s a pic of Bri, helping put up one of the electric poles. She has been enjoying working along side her Dad.  She has been getting up early  every morning to start school, so she can help Scott when she is finished. 


The big construction depot is being used as a storage point for oil, rice, beans, and other supplies.   There is a group of 24 missionaries from other parts of Haiti, who were uneffected by the hurricane, that are working together to distribute supplies up the west shore. They are cleaning roads along the way and dropping off food to the hardest hit areas.  It has been neat to support them in their efforts, by giving them a place to store their items.  It’s a real picture of how the “body of Christ” can work together for the glory of God!!  Each person/organization having their own function or jobs, but working together as one. Needless to say, the construction yard has been buzzing with activity from sun up to past sun down. 

Please continue to pray for the Haitians.  They are in such need of just the basic necessities of food and water. (They are accustomed to having breadfruit, bananas, avocados, vegetables, etc from the trees and gardens around their houses, which are all gone now.)

Pray for our continued wisdom, discernment, and safety as tensions mount and people become desperate. 

Pray that God continues to give Scott, as well as the other missionaries strength, health, safety, and endurance. 

Update

Thank you all so much for your prayers for our family, our fellow missionaries, and the Haitians through hurricane Matthew and the aftermath! We are overwhelmed not only by the destruction around us, but by God’s faithfulness!  We are so thankful to report that the buildings that are under our direct ministry/responsibility (our quadplex, the depot, and the guest house) didn’t sustain too much damage, only minor repairs and water clean up. That’s significant when you see the damage surrounding us!  We are so thankful for our solar power, as our compounds electric system is not even close to functioning!  We do not have water restored yet, but are able to fill buckets/jugs at the guest house, which has a safe water source. 

This is the view from our back porch before Hurricane Matthew. 

This is after, same exact place. 


Here are a few more pics of our house after the hurricane. 



This is the house right next to us. Fortunately, the missionaries who live here, were in a different house during the storm.  

Before 

After 

We are encouraged, as we are starting to talk to the Haitians and hear stories how God protected them and is providing for their daily needs. The pictures speak more than I can, so here are some pics from our neighbors.  (I have hundreds of pics, but internet is too slow to post very many!)

 


I have a long list of both praises and requests, too long to share here.  Please join us in praising the Lord for physical protection from the storm and for sparing many lives.  Please pray that the hearts of the Haitians would be turned to the Lord, and many would come to know the Lord as their personal savior.  Pray that we could bring glory to God through all we do or say.  And 1 personal request would be for Scott, as he has the responsibility of the construction  department and has also been placed in the lead role for restoring power and water on the CL compound.  Pray for his physical safety, that God will give him strength and sustain him through the long days, and give  him restful nights.  Thanks again for your prayers, encouragement, and support.  Love, 

The Yordy’s 

Hurricane Prep

The last 2 days have been spent preparing for Hurricane Matthew!  The windows at our home and the guest house are boarded up, solar panels are taken down, we have water ready, and have done everything we know how to do to prepare.  Now, we wait and trust the Lord.img_6091img_6094img_6095

Pray for the Lords protection, that He would prepare our hearts for what we will find in the aftermath, and that ultimately He would be glorified.

We read in Psalm 93:3-4, “The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.  Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea- the Lord on high is Mighty.”

Back to School

School is back in session at Cite Lumiere Christian School!

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Chloe is an 8th grader, and Gabby is starting 6th grade.img_5951

Every year, school starts with a chapel service, praising and thanking the Lord for all his blessings, as well as praying for the school board, teachers, and students.  The devotion was on doing good works for others, flowing out of love for the Lord!  It was a great encouragement for the year!

This year, I have a small role in the 5/6th grade classroom.  I open up the classroom, welcome the students, and lead the first class of the day, devotion, which includes praise & worship, and prayer.  I have really enjoyed it so far, and am thankful to help out at school.  Here is a picture of some of my students.img_5973

Bri is a junior this year, and continues with the Abeka Academy independant study program.img_5929

Other exciting happenings……We recieved the container which contained most of the supplies we shopped for this summer.  Scott & Les unloaded the container and Bri, Chloe, & Gabby helped put supplies away in our pantry!

We were happy to return to the Simone orphanage for our every other week visits!  Hopefully, they were happy to see us too!

We continue to support the Wray’s and the Renault Sunday School program every Sunday.  The numbers have increased to 1400 children every week.  It is so neat to see the Lord at work in the slums.