December!

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!

 

 

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Look at this hard working crew!!!

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The bosses plus their support crew!

The CLCS Christmas program.

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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!

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Chloe and Katie leading worship

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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

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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

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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!

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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!

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Recently, we had the opportunity to hand out hygiene kits to the Renault Sunday school kids.    The kits were decorated and assembled by families from our Roanoke congregation, during a HarvestCall Family Missions Night at church, specifically for the Renault group!   The Haitian kids were so thankful and loved the decorated bags with “Jesus loves you” written on them.

From Roanoke, IL

To Les Cayes, Haiti

The kids waited patiently in line to receive their gift.IMG_1063

In addition to the hygiene pack, the children received their usual rice pack, as well as a pair of flip flops. Needless to say, their arms were filled and overflowing at times!

 

To those who participated in family missions night, thank you so much!  Thank you for giving of your time and talent to bless these children!  We appreciate the opportunity to not only share God’s word and truths with these children, but to provide for their health and hygiene needs this week!

Back in the swing of things

After a wonderful furlough in the US, we find ourselves settling back into the “normal” routine of life in Haiti.  It’s hard for me to believe that the beauty, chaos, and disorder of Haiti, actually feels like home, but it does!  By God’s grace, I am satisfied, and even comfortable at times, living in this foreign land.   We thank you all for your prayers for our adjustment back!

Here’s a little update, and a few of the things we are thankful for upon our return!

The girls were glad to get back into their school routine.  Bri (senior) and Chloe (freshman) are both doing their classes at home this year.  This was a big change for Chloe, as she has been at the local missionary school for the past 4 yrs, but she loves it!  Gabby (7th grade) is in the missionary school.

We are so thankful for our missionary family.  It was nice to return home and catch up with our friends that we hadn’t seen all summer!

We were also welcomed home by our Haitian family and friends!

The blessing of worshipping at Renault!  We are so thankful to be able to serve alongside Rod, Debbie, & Katie Wray in their ministry!

We also look forward to Isaac & Brittany Steiner and family joining the Construction Dept.  They arrive in 2 weeks!  Please pray for them as they say their goodbyes, and transitions to their new culture and home.

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Rainy Season and update

In mid-April, we experienced our first sun halo.  fullsizeoutput_c19

A sun halo, according to wikipedia, is “an optical phenomenon that belongs to the family of ice crystal halos, in the form of a ring with a radius of approximately 22° around the Sun or Moon.”  To us, it looked like a rainbow around the sun. (The picture doesn’t truly capture its beauty.) It was truly magnificent, more evidence of our awesome Creator, displaying His beauty through His creation.  We asked different Haitian’s about the sun halo, and got varying responses anywhere from, “it is a sign of the end times,” to “we are going to get a lot of rain in the next month.”  It very well could be a sign of the end times, but the Haitian who predicted it meant a lot of rain, was right on!

For the the first time in almost 4 years of living in Haiti, we are experiencing our first real rainy season.  It has been characterized with regular, nightly rains, and a couple of 3-4 day stretches of all day and night rains.  Fields and roads are currently flooded, rivers are raging, and most everything in our house feels damp.  We have been praying for rain, for drought stricken Southern Haiti, for 4yrs.  And here it is, God has faithfully, in His time, provided rain to Haiti.  Through this rainy season, God revealed a verse in the Bible, that has brought on a whole new perspective……

Hosea 6:3 “….He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain watering the earth.”

What a promise!  As I write this, physically, it is pouring down rain outside, and has been for 24 hours!  It seems like the floodgates have been opened up!  Likewise spiritually, God promises that when we call upon the Lord, when we seek Him with our whole heart, we will find Him!  He will come to us, pouring out His healing, comfort, love, strength, grace, goodness, sending what He knows we need, and can’t get for ourselves.  Great is His faithfulness!

It has been awhile since my last post, so I thought it would be good to share updates on some of the blessings in our life.

I’d like to start with a thanks to everyone who has prayed for Bos Ezekiel!  He saw the Orthopedic Dr yesterday, and received great news.  His arm is completely healed, no restrictions.  His leg is well on its way, and he was released to start walking without his boot or walker!  Dr.Belding feels his leg will heal fully and he will be released without restrictions at his appointment in July!  We hope to see his smiling face back in the construction yard soon!  FullSizeRender

Renault Sunday school is going strong and we continue to see God’s hand at work!  Rod & Debbie had a construction team put an addition on the side of the pavilion!  Now, everyone has a seat, and a dry, covered area to praise the Lord in!  It is so neat to see first hand, how God continues to grow this ministry!  IMG_0088

Speaking of Renault, we recently helped with a distribution of shoes and clothes!  We want to thank our home church of Roanoke, for all the clothes and shoes that you gave at the VBS collection last year. We put those donations together with clothes and shoes that the Wray’s received, and had more than plenty to go around!  I also want to personally thank 2 ladies from Roanoke.  One, who bought, collected, cleaned up, and boxed hundreds of pairs of shoes, that she donated!  And the other, who cleaned out DG’s end of the season flip flops and sandals to donate!  I wish you both could have been here to see the smiles on the kids faces!

 

The shoe pile!

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The girls celebrated their day off school on May 1st, by making cookies and delivering baskets to our neighbors.

We celebrated Chloe’s 14th birthday!  She is such a blessing in our life!  It is such a privilege to see how God is shaping her heart and using her for His kingdom!fullsizeoutput_c18

Bri and I attended a weekend retreat with our fellow missionary ladies.  I’m thankful it was a time of spiritual refreshing, and for the time I was able to spend with Bri.  A few of us hiked a small mountain, and really enjoyed God’s beautiful creation from the top!  FullSizeRender

My teaching responsibility at the Cite Lumiere Christian School has officially ended!  I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to teach Science to these 8th graders, and to get to know these young adults a little bit better.

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The past 2 months, these three ladies have been getting together regularly, to praise the Lord!  It has been awesome to hear their music and laughter fill the house!

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Pickle ball is one of our families new hobbies!  We have a pickle ball court measured out in the depo! fullsizeoutput_704

Sharing popsicle’s with some of the orphanage girls! IMG_0012fullsizeoutput_c22

Thanks to all those that send encouragement via emails, mail, and packages!  It is definitely a highlight in our week, to hear from those that love us back “home.” IMG_0050

Lastly, I’m thankful for my HarvestCall family, here in Haiti!  In a recent tragedy,  Janella Zimmerman,  a wife and mother to 2 young children, was called home to be with the Lord.    Though we rejoice that Janella won her victory and is in heaven, we are heartbroken for David, Cassia, Orin.  We are reminded that each day is a gift and a blessing.  We should use each day to live and serve God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.  Please continue to lift this dear family up in prayer, as well as our missionary family in Bonne Fin.15138340_1738600266463299_176130484978970140_o

May we all “Set our minds on things above, not on earthly things,” Colossians 3:2.

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Health kits!

I want to take a little time to share about Health kits.  First of all, there are several different “kits” that are assembled at Apostolic Christian Churches across the United States.  Some of the different kits include health kits, school kits, sewing kits, first aid kits, and infant kits.   Once the kits are assembled by different churches, they are sent to HarvestCall distribution centers, to be shipped to countries such as Jamaica, Mexico, and Haiti.

At the construction department, we are thankful to receive and distribute the health kits and sewing kits.   For many, many years, the construction department has used the health and sewing kits to hand out as gifts to the local Haitian ladies that cook for our construction teams out in the villages.   The ladies are always so thankful for the gifts!  fullsizeoutput_5faThis past October, after Hurricane Matthew ravaged southern Haiti, we were so thankful to have a small stock of health kits in our depo, or storage building.  With the help of another mission organization, we were able to distribute the kits to Haitians in the villages that were the hardest hit.  Since the hurricane, we have received and distributed thousands of health kits to those in need.

Health kits include; soap, washcloth, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a hair comb.  Occasionally, we receive kits with shampoo.  img_0013.jpg

We feel it is necessary to pass on a huge “Thanks,” to those that organize, purchase supplies, assemble, pack, and ship the different kits!  We also thought you might enjoy a few pictures of some of the recipients.

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Thanks again for all those that have invested time and effort into health kits!  Your efforts are not wasted!  The health kits have blessed many Haitians, and will continue to do so for many years! It’s our hope and prayer that God will continue to be glorified and that His love will be shared to those receiving health kits!   Matthew 25:40, “…I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  

Eureka Bible Team

We just finished a great week with a small team from Eureka Bible church!  We are so thankful that Scott’s mom, sister, and brother-in-law came to visit, and that they brought Pat, an awesome mechanic! They were a small, but mighty team, and got a lot of work accomplished!

We were blessed by Cory, Kim, & Edie’s organizing skills!  They spent 2 days cleaning and organizing plumbing and electric supplies, while Pat worked his magic on some of the vehicles.

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We at worshipped at Renault on Sunday morning, and helped with a distribution of clothes and health kits afterwards!!

The team spent 2 days working with Scott, Ed, and their Haitian bosses putting a roof on a church in a local deaf village.  The team really enjoyed getting to know Tony & Cilda, the missionary couple in charge of the project.  They also enjoyed interacting with the deaf children at the school.

Bri and Chloe were also thankful for Kim’s hair cutting skills!!  She did a great job!

We enjoyed many dinners together on the porch, as well as dinner at the Bistro, a local French restaurant!  (Thanks, Pat!). IMG_0763IMG_0781

We spent our last day together exploring one of our favorite little islands, and enjoying the natural beauty of this country!

Thanks so much for visiting us!  We had an awesome week with you!IMG_0793