Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Planning a party

We are planning a party for this evening, Bon Fet Ebens! (Party for Ebens!) Pictured here with his dad.  Ebens says, "this is my dad but he is my friend also."

            Ebens Renard, a Haitian staff member for MH4H, is going to be married on August 22nd
                                                                       That is big news.
                     And more big news, he will be married to Meredith Roberts in Falls Church, VA!

                 The party tonight is being held in honor of Ebens at Point Virgule restaurant in Pignon.
                                          There is one menu item…Yep…Rice and Beans. 

The city here has not had any electrical power for over 3 weeks now.  One consequence of this is there are no cold drinks to be found.  The idea of a party at the restaurant and no cold drinks is a problem.  The solution…We stopped by the restaurant late this morning, ordered the bottled drinks for this evening, brought them back to the dorm to refrigerate them in our fridge that runs on a solar charged battery system.  This evening we will take them back to the restaurant so everyone in attendance can enjoy a cold beverage. 

This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday were spent in Port au Prince.  We first visited The Apparent Project, see the website   The Apparent Project   and look for more to be reported on the next blog.

There is a maze of work areas where Haitian artisans and workers are crafting beads, metal art, fabric art, etc. to be sold.

The main reason to travel to Port was to follow up with Chalissa who is the 3 year old girl from Pignon that has cancer.

MH4H has been offering financial help for medical treatment.  Chalissa previously had surgery to remove her eye.  She is currently in the hospital in Port where she has undergone tests to see if the cancer has spread to her bones or to her brain.  We are still waiting to hear the results but the medical personnel have moved forward to schedule a Chemotherapy regimen that is supposed to begin Friday.  Our hope is in God as the great physician and Jesus Christ as the giver of salvation to those who believe in HIM.  The challenge is to try to meet the spiritual needs of Chalissa and her family while in Port. 

The plan after 2 regimens of chemotherapy with a surgery in between is for Chalissa to then travel to the Dominican Republic for a gradual chemotherapy regimen.  SO in the mean time passports need to be acquired.  The hospital only allows female companions for child patients.  This is another tricky situation since she is adopted by her father with no mother in her life.  Another relative will be her companion during the 4 month stay in Port and then followed by the time spent in the DR.  Please remember Chalissa in your prayers as well as so many others facing very difficult days as cancer patients. In the bed next to Chalissa was a boy, possibly early teens, who was literally skin and bones.  Ebens accompanied us as a translator to the hospital so we prayed with these children.  Just heartbreaking.

This scripture popped out a couple of days ago…seemingly at the very moment when the words just pierced DEEP inside exactly where it was needed.

Taken from The Message…. Romans 12:9-16 

9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.  Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.  Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. 

11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame.  Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.  Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.  Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality. 

14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down.  Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up.  Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

What perfect words to eject each of us as Christians out of a rut or routine.

There has been a flurry of activities going on with MH4H over the past weeks.  One BIGGIE is a new well being drilled on the land in Sylvain that MH has been blessed to have.

                 Drilling the well on the land where Many Hands for Haiti will be focusing on for
                        Educational programs, Agronomy programs, and Spiritual development

Drilling went on about 2 ½ days with water being found around 150 feet into the ground.  Today the equipment arrived that will determine the volume of water the well can be expected to produce.  At first sight of this we might get the feeling that this is a well that will NEVER run dry.  MH Agronomist, Claudin, says it might be the most water he has ever seen come from a well!!!  They are gauging 30 gallons a minute right at this time.  So much water is coming from the well, the community was told, “GO, get whatever you can from your house to fill with water.”  There are gallon jugs, 5 gallon buckets all the way to 55 gallon drums being filled from the test water.  Bondye Bon, Tout tan!!!  God is good, all the time!!! 

                                                          Water!  and it just keeps coming!

Jugs and buckets and barrels waiting to be filled.  As MH is getting acquainted with the community we are learning that one of the commonly expressed challenges is the long walk required to get water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing.

This well has the potential to bring much LIFE to this area.  The water from the well will be used for programs run on this piece of land.  This well water will be used for construction of buildings.  The well water will be used for irrigation on the portion of the land already in use for the MH4H agronomy program.  MH will be proclaiming words of LIVING WATER to everyone around. 

Today our words are those of Praise and Thanksgiving to our Lord and His out-of-this-world provision for the ministry work being established.  Please read the scripture from above also from the NIV translation…Romans 12:9-16

Love in Action….9 Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  10 Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  11 Never be lacking in Zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  16 Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

   Several loads of river rock have been brought to the land in Sylvain to start to create a driveway area

Two loads of gravel to be used for the construction projects that will be started soon on the MH land.
The water will also be a priceless resource for the community in so many ways.

And a third version of this same scripture...NRSV Romans 12:9-16 

Marks of the True Christian  9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.  11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.  12 Rejoice in Hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.  13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser that you are.

            Read.  Re-read.  Ponder.  Hide these words in your heart.  Live a life of ACTION for God.
                                           Know that HE has every part of your life covered.

Latest details from today....The well was tested for 4 hours straight to see what the anticipated capacity should be.  The well consistently produced a tremendous amount of water.  We will get the exact volume measure from the well driller tomorrow.  Praise God!

AND...The party is over.  The food was delicious but most of all the evening was a memorable time as we all gathered in honor of Ebens as he has worked with MH4H over the past 2 years and to give him our best wishes for his future.

                                                              Point Virgule restaurant

                                               Ebens.  Also known by many as 'Mr. Joy"!

                                                                         Celebration smiles

                                        Co-workers and friends: Appolon, Claudin, Ebens

                                                Tonight was a complete meal at the restaurant.
        Rice. beans, chicken legs, sauce, legume, coleslaw, plantains, pasta salad, beets, carrots, onions

                                                                     BON FET EBENS!
   Front: Burns  Back left to right: Ebens, Nelta, Beatris, Evenie, Claudin, Appolon, Jean Rene, Christi
                                                              Craig is behind the camera