A final post

From Les Cayes, Haiti to Roanoke, IL…… Where do I start????  I’m sorry for the lack of updates on our family.  We have been busy settling into what was once a very familiar, comfortable place and culture, to what now feels a little different.  It isn’t that life in Roanoke has really changed, but we now see things through different eyes.  Living in a different culture, and the experiences that we have been given while living in Haiti, has changed our point of view.  I’ve been thinking about this post for the past couple of months, and the words just don’t come easily.  So, I keep putting off writing an update.  I think to myself, how do I wrap up 5 yrs of joys, difficulties, relationships, challenges, etc into a blog post?  It is overwhelming.  I can’t even begin to explain the vast differences between cultures, society, people, and environment, from a small island in the Caribbean, to small town Illinois, much less the emotion and feelings behind it.   For now I can share what is most important to us, and that is the one constant in it all, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ crosses every boundary, and for that, we are beyond thankful and grateful.  We don’t have to transition using our own strength and resources, but we turn to the Lord, who is knows all and is sovereign over all.

We flew out of Port au Prince on April 4th, and spent 1 week in Florida.  We had a great, relaxing week together.  It was good to decompress and process our last few weeks in Haiti.  We unpacked our suitcases into a small house in Roanoke, Illinois.  We were so blessed to be able to move right in.  The entire house had a fresh coat of paint, was cleaned, stocked, and ready for us to move in.  We are so thankful for our family and friends who prepared everything for us.  We even had our dog from Haiti, Izzy, waiting for us!  Scott took a couple of weeks before starting his job, to do a few remodeling projects on our house.  He did a great job, and even had the girls laying flooring.  He and the girls also built a wood-fired pizza oven in our back yard.  It was a great project for them to work on together, and we have thoroughly enjoyed having family and friends over for pizza!

For a few personal updates….  Scott works full-time for a local construction company, and is enjoying the challenges of his new position.  Bri is now a CNA (certified nurses aid), and is working at a local nursing home, as well as taking online college courses.  She is majoring in Nursing.  Chloe is working at a local dog grooming/boarding business, and loves caring for the dogs.  Gabby has enjoyed babysitting this summer.  Both Chloe and Gabby will be home-schooled this fall.  I am busy behind the scenes, trying to keep everything moving smoothly.  We have enjoyed reconnecting with family, friends, and even some of our fellow missionaries this summer!

Thank you for your prayers and support, as well as the love you have shown us.  We are humbled by your love and generosity.  Our transition back to Roanoke, has not been without its challenges, but overall, our family is doing well.  We have had an overwhelming sense of peace during this transition, knowing that we are where God wants us for now.  A common question we get asked, “Does it feel like home yet?”  It is a hard question for us to answer.  As a family, we have learned that our “home” is not a physical dwelling place, it is where ever we are together.  So, yes, it feels like “home,” but so did Haiti.  In the bigger scheme of life, we know we won’t truly be “home” until we reach our heavenly home.   Please continue to pray for us, as we process and integrate what God has taught us over the past 5 yrs.  He has molded and shaped us in many different ways, and we want to be true to what we have learned, to apply it to our life here.  God is faithful and good.  We have so much to be thankful for, including you! God’s blessings to you all!

To those that are from out of town, especially those that we have gotten to know from work-teams, we would love to reconnect with you state side.  If you are ever in the mid-west, let us know!


A farewell party

Last Sunday, our friends the Wray’s, hosted a farewell gathering for our family, out at their camp!  Our missionary family was invited, and there was a great turn out!  It was an afternoon full of fun and fellowship!  fullsizeoutput_1609


After supper, we had a time of sharing together.  Those who wanted, shared memories of our time together in Haiti.  It was good to remember back over the past 4 yrs, and it touched our hearts.


We are so thankful for the friendships we have made during our time in Haiti.  These relationships were a provision and blessing from the Lord, that we weren’t necessarily expecting.  These people have not only become our friends, but our family as well!  It is hard to say good-bye, but we look forward to seeing many of them again!

On another note, the first “member” of our family arrived safely back in Roanoke this weekend!  Scott and Chloe drove our dog Izzy into Port au Prince on Friday!

Once in Port, she boarded the Agape Flights plane, and flew 4.5 hours, with the Agape crew to Florida!  After arriving in Florida, she was picked up by our good friend Heather, who drove her back to Roanoke!  She now resides at my parent’s home, until we arrive mid April!

We are all so thankful that God provided a way for Izzy to return to Roanoke, so we didn’t have to leave her behind in Haiti!  Thanks to Agape Flights, Grandma Luginbuhl, H, and mom and dad!!  5059483136_IMG_3225

For an update on our house…… It has a fresh coat of paint, new floor coverings, and new electrical accessories!  Thank you to all who are helping get it ready for our return!

A special week!

We had an awesome week!  The week started off on Sunday, celebrating the 10th yr anniversary of the Wray’s family ministry at Renault!  Rod, Deb, and their family started the Sunday school program on a small piece of land, under a tent, with a handful of kids, over 10 yrs ago.  The Lord has blessed and grown their ministry in amazing ways, and they are now serving 1500-2000 kids each Sunday!  It was a privilege to join them in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, for the work He has done in Renault. They showed a slide show with pictures from the past 10 years, and the kids loved it!  It was so fun to see the reactions of different kids recognizing themselves from photos taken years ago.  After the Sunday school program, we helped distribute clothes and food to each child.  fullsizeoutput_148ffullsizeoutput_1482fullsizeoutput_1463

Monday, started a week of translating for an amazing medical team from Missouri!  This is our 3rd year of translating for these Drs, and it has been such a blessing getting to know them and serve alongside them!   Their passion to serve this poverty stricken population, touches my heart each year.  Over the 5 days of clinics, the Drs saw just under 3,500 patients!  The first 2 days of clinic were held at Renault.  For most of this population, it is the only time in the year, they get to see a Doctor.  Not only did they get to see a Doctor, but there was a dentist (wish they would’ve counted how many teeth were pulled during the week!!), nursing/wound care, reading glasses station, scabies treatment, and a pharmacy!

Wednesday, the team moved to a different part of Cayes, and set up the clinic inside a small church.   We heard stories of how some of the Haitians came from up to 4 hours away, just to see a Doctor.   People were begging and crying at the gate to be seen.

After we finished our 3rd day of translating, the girls and I stopped at the Bistro on our way home, for an early supper! IMG_1908

Thursday, was our day off from translating, so we joined the Peoria/Morton Construction team for a day at the beach!  It was a relaxing day and a fun team!   It was also great to reconnect with Scott & Gabby, since they were out with the construction team most of the week!  Gabby had a “great week” with this bunch!  2018-03-10-PHOTO-00000579

DSC_6165Friday, it was back to translating.  We headed out to the countryside, to a small village church, and set up the clinic for the day.  The pastor and community were so thankful to receive the team, and their medical expertise!  They were a huge blessing to this community! IMG_0956IMG_0943




Saturday, clinic was held at Ti Verny.  The line of people waiting to be seen, was down the porch, around the dorm, and all they way out the gate!  IMG_0962

Let’s just say that work wasn’t the only thing being done this week!  We each had many opportunities to love on the little ones!

We are so thankful for the opportunity to translate for these Doctors, and serve the Haitians together with them this week!  Thank you for the love, generosity, and compassion you showed each day!

Once again, it was special for me to work alongside Bri & Chloe, and for Chloe to spend the week with Katie, her best friend!  As in most cases of serving others, we received exponentially more than what we gave this week!  What a pleasure to serve our great God together!


Dr.Deb, one of our favorite Docs! 



Roanoke Team 2018

We had a great week with a team from our hometown church of Roanoke!   The team put roofs on 3 different schools, and spent the night out in 2 different communities, Les Zanglais, and Port a Piment.  I (Mandy), actually went out with the team, which enabled me to get lots of pictures! The week was filled with fun, fellowship, and hard work!  Lot’s of great memories were made!

Saturday, the team started and completed the first roof.  The school was about 20 min away from the compound.  We had a great group of ladies putting school desks together and painting them.

And for the more serious work…

Sunday, we had the privilege of taking the team to Renault Sunday school, followed by lunch at our house.  After lunch, we had an afternoon of fun in the sun out at the Wray’s camp.


Monday, we started our 4 hour drive around the south west coast of the island.  The drive was so beautiful!  It was awesome to see the turquoise water of the Caribbean on one side, with mountains on the other.  28167828_553931094988918_8022837623986333303_n


The work started once we arrived at the church.

Taking a break after setting up 24 cots!




Tuesday, we finished the first job in Les Zanglais, and drove to the second church in Port a Piment.  The roof was 2 stories, which made things a little more difficult on the roofing crew.  They did a great job! IMG_0874IMG_0867IMG_0864IMG_0875


The bench crew working on the third set of school desks for the week!


The local Haitian kids loved the interaction with the team! IMG_0878IMG_0879

Enjoying Haitian cuisine together!


What is a Roanoke team, without taking time to “fish” for tarantulas?  They weren’t disappointed! IMG_20180218_21285823528166594_553443911704303_1733276173185053377_n

Our last day together, we enjoyed a tour of the dairy project, a quick visit to a waterfall, and the beach at Port Salut.IMG_4358


The week also included many fun nights at the guest house!

 DSC_5785 3

We are so thankful for your visit, and the time we got to spend together!  Thank you for your love and support!  You were such a blessing to our family! It was a privilege to work together with you to serve the Haitians!

Time flies!

Sorry, it’s been awhile since we communicated with you through the blog!  That doesn’t mean we don’t need your prayers, just that we’ve been busy, and haven’t taken the time to post!

Since our last update, we have been busy with team season, hosting construction teams every other week.  It has been so great to see and catch up with those team members that return on the teams each year!  There have also been lots of first-timers, and it has been a blessing getting to know them as well!  I just love seeing how God puts each team together, young and old, each with different skill sets and gifts!  When I see the team members together along with our Haitian bosses,  and Scott, Ed, and Isaac working together, it is a great picture of how the body of Christ works together to bring glory to the Lord.  It is a privilege to see this first-hand!

This construction season has been a little bit different, for the fact that most of the teams have been going out to the far reaches of the island, 10-12 hour drives away!  After the hurricane, the construction department started doing roofs that were close to the compound.  Slowly, they have been working their way out!  Now, they are out to more remote villages.  That basically equates to less time at the compound and guest house, and more time traveling!

Thanks to Brittany Steiner sharing her gift of photography, we have team photo’s this year!  She takes the time to set up each team for a picture, and does a great job!   Here are the first 3 teams of 2018. IMG_3921

DSC_4603 5x7



Silverton Team

Thank you to all that have given of your time and talents to come serve with the construction department!   It has been a blessing and joy to serve with you all!

That leads us to the 4th team of the season, the Roanoke team.  Chloe, Gabby, and myself actually went out with the construction team, so I have lots of pics, which I’ll post in the next blog.

A personal update on our family…..  We are thankful that the Lord has made a clear path forward for our family!  We have purchased a small house in Roanoke, and plan to depart from Haiti on April 4th.  We ask for your continued prayers, as we transition from our life in Haiti to moving back to our home culture, and settling in Roanoke.  As excited as we are, it is very bittersweet, as we have to say good-bye to those that we have grown to love deeply.







December has been a fun month!  We started the month with our first construction team, a group from Bluffton!  It was a great week of work, encouragement, and fellowship! IMG_2166

Christmastime in Haiti feels so different!  There is just something about the 85 degree temps, wearing tanks and flip flops, and having the windows open, in December, that makes it not feel like our typical Mid-west Christmas!   As far as traditional Christmas decorations, lights, Santa Claus, there isn’t much.  But, there were 2 stores in town that were decked out!


The girls put up our little tree, decorated the house, lit the balsam pine candle, and made Christmas cookies, which definitely helped it feel more like Christmas at our house!


One thing I really appreciate about spending Christmas in Haiti, is that there is time to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, and time for sharing it with others.  Here are a few pictures from the past few weeks in December.

Christmas Caroling at the nursing home and the clinic.


We enjoyed dinner with the construction dept bosses and their families. A big thanks to Ed & Julie for hosting!




Look at this hard working crew!!!

DSC_4229 5x7 1

The bosses plus their support crew!

The CLCS Christmas program.


Gabby’s class with teachers.

Probably the most meaningful Christmas activity we shared together, was Christmas Eve at Renault Sunday school.  We helped the Wray’s share the Christmas story, and then distributed clothes, shoes, small toys, backpacks, and health kits to all the kids!  There were over 2,000 kids!  (Just to put that in perspective, that is roughly the population of Roanoke, all in one small area!!). What an opportunity and a blessing to be a part of this ministry and share the story of the birth of Christ.  It touched my heart deeply, to see so many kids worshipping the Lord together!


Chloe and Katie leading worship


A big thanks to Roanoke AC VBS collection for many of the items distributed to the children.


After Christmas, we spent the day out at Camp Mahanaim swimming, playing volleyball as well as other sports, with our missionary family!  It was a beautiful, fun day!


Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.  Although it is different being away from family and friends over the holidays, it has been a blessing for our family to spend this Christmas in Haiti.

I would continue to ask for your prayers for safety for the upcoming team season, as well as the transition for the construction dept and our family.  IMG_0783

As we reflect on the past year, join us in reflecting and thanking God for His goodness, His faithfulness, His sovereignty,  His holiness, and His love in our lives.  As we enter into 2018, may we continue to encourage one another in  “Loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and to Love your neighbors as yourself. ”  Matthew 22:37-39

With Love,

The Yordy’s

Merry Christmas!

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”  Galatians 4:4-5

As you celebrate the birth of Christ, remember the real gift that was given for each one of us!  We thank you for the love you have shown us, and for the support and prayers on our behalf.  Merry Christmas!

With love,

Scott, Mandy, Bri, Chloe, & Gabby

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!”  2 Corinthians 4:18


DSC_3471 2

The firsts of the lasts.

The past 3 weeks, has been a whirlwind of activity!  We have so much to be thankful for!  It started with a well-drilling team, a HarvestCall retreat with our board members, Thanksgiving, and ended with a visit from my parents!

As I reflect back on some of the special moments in the past few weeks, that we have shared with those that we love, I realized that our family is starting the ‘first of the lasts.’  We had our last HarvestCall retreat, our last Thanksgiving with our CLC community, and the last visit from my parents.  It’s surreal.  4 yrs ago, what was foreign and uncomfortable, is now familiar, comfortable, and just normal life (most of the time:))    Although experiencing some of the ‘lasts’ here in Haiti brings heartache and sadness, I am also thankful and peaceful.  The scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”  There was a time that we were called to Haiti to serve, and now a time to prepare to return to our home culture.  Through it all, I’m so thankful for God’s sovereignty and the peace God has given our family to accept and appreciate His perfect timing.

Enjoy some highlights from the past few weeks!


HarvestCall missionaries serving in Southern Haiti (minus the Plattner family)

We enjoyed a time of teaching, relaxation, and fellowship together!  A big thanks to the board members who joined us, as well as Randy and Evie Mogler, who taught and shared their hearts with us!  It was a special time together!



Thanksgiving was a special time with my parents visiting.


Our Haiti family and a few guests at our annual Thanksgiving dinner


Helping the Wray family with their first ever Triathalon!


Having my parents visit Renault with us!


Fun exploring waterfalls and enjoying the beauty of the island.


My dad had the opportunity to help wire the Kaeb’s new house, while Scott and his Bosses put a new roof on the Dairy’s feeding center.


Renewing friendships with those we love.



Dinner at the Bistro

Moving forward, pray for our family, as we purpose to finish strong in our mission and purpose we have here, and for wisdom as we process and prepare to transition back to our home culture.

As my parents flew back to the US yesterday, our first construction team of the season arrived.  Please join us in covering our Construction season in prayer.

-Pray for the safety of our team and those visiting the Construction Dept.

-Pray  that the Lord would be glorified through all that is said and done.

-Pray that the Lord would touch hearts, both American and Haitians, and that those that do not know Jesus, could come to know Him personally.

Love and blessings to you all, as you celebrate the reason for it all, the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!


A Haitian Vacation

Recently, we took a few days out of our normal schedule, for a road trip!  Our family, along with the Kaeb family, enjoyed 4 days of driving, sight seeing, and relaxation!  (OK, some of the drive was not enjoyable or relaxing, but was necessary to get to where we wanted to go.  And, of course, we were in good company!) We all piled in the Land Cruiser, 5:30 am Friday morning, to start our journey. 20171103_091503

(Yes, we folded up the regular side-facing seats, and sat in camp chairs so we could all face-forward, and try to avoid car sickness!  The camp chairs actually made for a very comfortable ride, and took the massive pot holes and bumps quite well!).

2 stops, and 12.5 hours later, we arrived in Cap Haitien.  We were so thankful for safety on the roads, and so delighted to get out of the car.  We stayed at a small hotel that overlooked the city of Cap Haitien and the bay.  The view was gorgeous!  20171103_180043

After supper, a dip in the pool, a good nights sleep, and a yummy breakfast, we loaded up and headed to the Citadel and San-Souci Palace. (Seeing these 2 historical places was the main purpose of our trip.  This is something we have wanted to see since living in Haiti.).

We were not disappointed!  The palace, Citadel, and the view, were amazing!


We started our tour at the Palace, built in 1810.  It was the residence of Henri Christophe.  Since being built, it has been partially destroyed by several different earthquakes.  The detailed infrastructure and architecture were still amazing!  20171104_095201


From the palace, we mounted our 4-legged friends, to ride 3.1 miles uphill to the Citadel.  This journey took us 1.5 hours.  Here is where I want to mention that horseback riding in Haiti, is not like horseback in the US!!!!  (Enough said, I won’t go into further details, except to say I appreciate a nice American saddle, stirrups, and healthy horse.) We are very thankful that we didn’t have to walk 3000ft uphill to the Citadel, but we would have appreciated knowing that we could have driven our vehicle the majority of the way up! Haitians have to make money too, right!??

1.5 hours after we started out, we arrived at the Citadel. For us, it was well-worth the trouble getting up to it, although I’m not sure about the horses…… The Citadel was a large mountain-top fortress built during the Haitian slave rebellion in 1805.  It was built at 3000ft above sea level to deter attacks and provide a look-out.

The view from the top was breathtaking!  20171104_120608

The fort had cannons of various sizes, obtained from different nations.  A few of them still had the crest from the corresponding nation.  There were huge stockpiles of cannonballs still sitting at the base of the Fort.

After touring the Citadel, we mounted our horses for the journey back down the mountain.  Thankfully, Scott went ahead of us on the back of a Moto taxi, instead of his horse, to get our vehicle, so we could get back down in a more time-effective manor!  When we met back up with Scott, he was not feeling the best, and looked a greenish color, from his nerve wracking, death defying ride.   (I will spare you a picture of this.)

Our next, and most relaxing stop of the vacation, was 6 hours south of the Citadel.  We stayed Saturday night at a nice beach resort called Moulin Sur Mer.  The resort and grounds were beautiful, and the weather was perfect!  We felt like we were not even in Haiti!  Our rooms were clean, air conditioned, and nicely furnished!  The food was even American!   The resort had a great pool, and the beach/snorkeling was amazing!  We thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent at the resort.

They even had mini-golf, a first for us in Haiti!!

Sunday afternoon, we drove to Petionville, and stayed overnight at the Best Western, very nice by any American standard!  Monday, we toured the Haiti Baptist Mission, visited a couple of American-style grocery stores, and enjoyed the view overlooking Port-au-Prince, before heading back to Les Cayes. 20171106_091740

We were thankful to make it home safe and sound Monday evening.  We were welcomed home with supper from the Walder family!   On our 4 day road trip, we clocked 578 miles.  Now, that probably doesn’t seem like a lot of miles to the average American, but to those that have visited Haiti, and have been on these roads, that is quite a feat for 4 days!!!  We are thankful for the time away, and we appreciate getting to see a different part of this beautiful island.

Azile Dorcus

Azile Dorcus is a special place in Haiti.  It is a place where elderly Haitians reside, that do not have family to take care of them.  Basically, a nursing home.  Every time I go visit, my heart is touched by these kind, gentle souls.  The joy emanating from the residents, is contagious!  I always leave Azile feeling more thankful and blessed.  The residents have very little materially, but they do not lack in spirit or zeal for the Lord!  They are a great example of contentedness for me.

Recently, a group from Roanoke church sent gifts for each resident.  The men each received a new button-down shirt, slacks, and a hygiene kit (soap, wash cloth, tooth brush, tooth paste, clippers, etc.).  The ladies received a day dress, as well as a hygiene kit.  Each gift was cleverly packed in a pillow case, so each resident received a nice, new pillow case too!  It was evident that the residents do not receive gifts often!  There was singing, shouting for joy, and lots of dancing!!  I wish everyone that participated in putting the gifts together, could have been here to see the emotion and thankfulness shared that afternoon!


Thank you to those of you that shopped and put these gifts together!  It was so fun to bless and encourage these Haitians with the gifts!