Saturday, November 14, 2015

Planning time with family and friends

The anticipation of spending time with family and friends over Thanksgiving and through the Advent season has been on our minds for quite some time. This will satisfy a need for us as missionaries in a foreign country where there are no two days alike. We are thankful for each day God has given us to serve him in a challenging but rewarding way. The technology we get to use each day for communication is such a gift.

We still find it hard to believe that we can be "in the middle of NO WHERE" and answer a video phone call and see and hear IVY, our one year old granddaughter. The Kindergarten aged school girls we were with at the time were intrigued to meet her. Ivy and her brother Oliver, our kids, our parents, our siblings, other extended family, and so many valued friends are in our prayers as we plan the trip home, arriving in Spencer late Friday, November 20. We will have until December 22 to enjoy time to reconnect. If YOU are in NW Iowa would you have time to reconnect?

One many scarves will it take to stay warm in Iowa in December?

So much transpires in a month, a week, a day... time races by... a day begins and 'blink' it is done. Our "bofis", which is creole for son-in-law, has concluded that our grandson Oliver suffers from 'FOMO', 'Fear Of Missing Out'. We have concluded in the past couple of weeks that we may suffer from this as well.

The programs, projects, and people that fill our days have brought on this condition. God is at work and we have FOMO as we anticipate being away.

This is Evelouse. She was the main subject of our last blog post. She is a new mom that developed a heart condition during pregnancy. She was hospitalized with the help of MH4H but has been home for a few weeks. Today she is in pretty rough shape, retaining fluid because of her heart condition. A nurse that is a member of the short-term mission team serving with us this week visited her and reported that her resting heart rate is 128 beats per minute. She is a small woman but her abdomen, legs and feet are so full of fluid she has difficulty walking.

We pray... HOW do we help her? Her husband and mother are doing their best to care for her and her four month old son but it is not enough.

Agronomy is crucial to Haiti's future. Water is the main ingredient to success along with dedicated hard work. The two factors have been combined in the MH4H model garden to produce the most beautiful cabbage you could imagine. By the time we return all of this crop will have been harvested. Pictured below is Boss Kalo and two workers putting up a new goat house for the benefit of the MH4H goat program. The MH goats will have taken shelter in this house many times before we see it complete.

Mothers, fathers, and other caregivers of kids in the MH Thrive program are shelling peanuts, "pistache" that were grown by MH4H Agronomist, Claudin.  The peanuts will be made into peanut butter, "mamba" and will be a source of nutrition for the adults and kids that are part of Thrive. Marmits upon marmits of peanuts will be processed into mamba and eaten over the next month.
Below are two happy women, Geylene and Elirose, who work in the Thrive program.  New shelving has recently been installed to organize their supplies.  

Did you know that some scrap pallet wood and cardboard are all you need for a chicken coop? These two chickens think they have it made.

Pastor and Madame Francios are prayer warriors and 'sold out' servants of God. They tell us each time we see them that they pray for us every day.  We believe they actually do.

God will hear many prayers from these dear friends in our absence.

We have learned to do things the Haitian way. "Pa gen pwoblem", it is no problem to drive the moto up the mountain, sitting on the gas tank, while transporting two 75# sacs of cement on the back.

MH4H recently sponsored a new home build for a young family that had shown such determination and perseverance to beat the odds of living in poverty stricken Haiti. Far left is head of the household, Tibens, along with the concrete crew Francios, Kayiman, and Thermeland, plus 'blanc' helpers

A Christmas shopping list has been started for the approaching season. Included on the list are D'lite brand solar lights from Amazon for several people including Evelouse and two new cement trowels for Tibens and Thermeland.

The scenery will change as we travel from Haiti to winter in Iowa. During the time in Iowa there won't be any 'FOMO' when it comes to God's blessing and grace and goodness because that will follow us no matter where we are. Psalm 23:6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.