His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship


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Covid-19 Updates!

Recently God provided lots of rainbows to remind us He is faithful!

God knows! That is something Haitians say all the time. This describes well the last few months. “God knows” just covers it better than anything else…because it is so true!

Because of Covid-19 Susie and Grace had flights to return to Haiti that never materialized. So they moved into Grant’s new apartment and made the best of it while we waited. As the months continued on it became very obvious that I had to return to the U.S. if we were to be together again anytime soon.

Pastor Peterson explaining the Community Development program to pastors!

Because of Covid-19 the new Community Development program we are helping with has slowed down. Pastor Peterson recently qualified and met with pastors about the program, but we are not able to begin the training until larger groups are allowed to get together. In retrospect it has been a blessing to have lots of time for he and I to work together and be positioned to start the program well.

Being dropped off at the Cayes airport to begin a long day of travel!

God provides! Last week I was able to fly back to Indiana with missionary Jan Gutwein on his personal plane. Once the day was worked out things moved along quickly, and we were soon airborne! We dropped off two other missionaries in Florida, Sheila Moser and Diane Vrooman. The flights from Haiti to the U.S. and from Florida to Indiana were long and interesting, but our reunion with our wives was the perfect ending to the day!

Jan Gutwein’s plane that brought us safely back!

The all-day flight has ended!

God cares! After Susie picked me up in Indiana last week we began a two-week quarantine (and late anniversary get-away) together in Holmes County, Ohio. I was exhausted and we were thankful for these days to catch up, pray and reassess. How long until we can return to Haiti? God knows that too.

Together again!

Trinity continues to teach at her little school in Bonne Fin. She will be busy moving into the new school once the school year is over soon! She is hoping to come back during the summer but that isn’t certain. Grace has her eyes on the goal of finishing her freshman year soon. She is thankful that her teachers in Haiti have been working with her almost daily by internet. She has been enjoying her Ohio friends a lot since her stay here has been extended again!

An entire year of learning together!

Lots of fun art projects!

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The new Bonne Fin school is coming along!

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New murals are popping up inside!

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The Child Care library is slowly gaining momentum!

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The sweet family we are helping my brother build a house for!

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It now has a roof just in time for the rainy season!

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The small original stone and mud hut is directly in front of the new house!

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We can’t do everything, but we all can do something that’s in our power to do!


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HVAC Work Team and Other Updates!

It was great to have visitors for lunch again!

It was a great boost to have a team of four come from Ohio this month to install the office air conditioning units! The team worked together so well and so quickly we had time to explore Haiti a little bit too! A special thanks goes out to Ethan Schar, Ben Schar, John Rufener and Brandon Luginbuhl who served us here.

Saying goodbye to the kids Sunday morning at the massive Renault Sunday School!

Around 1,500 kids!

Thanks for your visit!

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Sunday afternoon visit to St. Louis Island with two other work teams and the Steiner family!

Visiting Eric and Melanie Stoller at the dairy farm!

Time for a little farm tour!

Meeting a few cows!

Leave it to the experts!

Flying right along!

Drilling hole number ten in the sun!

The office workers even had a little cake party to say thanks!

We were able to visit Hospital Lumiere, the Cancer Redemption Center, Centre Lumiere (Domestic Center) and David Brown’s school. We also took some gifts and supplies to the homes of two older sick ladies.

We drove to a waterfall but the water was sort of at flood stage!

They found the beach to be much more relaxing!

A new community discipleship program is starting! It is a huge blessing to get to assist with a new HarvestCall program in Haiti called GCCD (Gospel centered community discipleship). We are training a Haitian who will then teach communities across the south with God’s Word so they can rise out of spiritual and physical poverty. It is a huge visionary five-year program with the goal to transform many hearts, churches and communities. The training includes application activities for the church to work on together; for example, repairing an elderly lady’s home or digging a well. We are preparing the first teaching module for the Haitian context and also selecting churches to begin working with. We would really appreciate your prayers as we want to prepare well and work effectively. God is our strength.

Pastor Peterson Benjamin is the administrator of the new program!

We are still separated! Susie and Grace are still in Ohio since the coronavirus issue stopped their planned return. We are thankful God is providing places for them to stay and we are hopeful they can return soon. Thanks for your prayers as we can really feel them! God is our peace.


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Teachers Needed at the Missionary School!

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The front entrance to the Citè Lumiere Missionary School (CLCS).

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Grace and Annie Cameus (the only two freshmen) have been buds for six years!

Here is a short update on Grace’s school! (Grace is currently in Ohio but continues her freshman year of schooling by “extension”–via email–with her teachers in Haiti! The curriculum is challenging and homework takes most of her day.) There are only 25 kids enrolled this year, with two teachers and the principal that also teaches a few classes, but the teachers are currently quite stretched covering all the ages.

Students have to be able to speak English to attend and this year about half are American and half are Haitian. Two moms are teaching French which is required in Haiti. Having this school is a blessing because it allows the parents to serve full-time in their ministries while their kids receive a good Christian education far from home.

A principal’s office was built two years ago and then a new classroom was added last year, the first time the school was modified in over 5o years! That room will be used for a science lab, but it can be divided in half later if necessary. There is an ever-expanding school library that serves both the students and the surrounding missionary community.

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Phys Ed is always interesting!

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You will find those two together again!

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Lunch with Miss Stakes, Grace’s current teacher from Louisiana!

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First through third grades are in the same room this year!

Teachers are currently needed! Grace has loved every Christian teacher she has had the past six years! Teachers are volunteers and come for one to ten years based on their unique circumstances. Some are supported by organizations working in Haiti, some are supported by their home churches. Susie and I are serving on the school board and the board is trusting God that we will have teachers next year! We are also praying that God would send a husband and wife to serve our school long-term. God is able to do far more than we ask or think! Please contact us or the school principal (see the flyer above) if you have any questions.

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Thanks for visiting our quirky old school!

 

 

 


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Separation and Updates

A family trying to straddle between two worlds is interesting, to say the least! After enjoying Christmas and New Year’s with our families and a weekend trip to Dinold and Karla’s wedding in Oregon, Mike and Trinity went back to Haiti while Susie and Grace stayed in Ohio for awhile longer. Susie plans to continue helping with her Dad’s care and Mike and Trinity needed to return to work. Mike went back to the Child Care office which was open again and Trinity returned to the Bonne Fin Missionary school where her students were all waiting! After several months together we suddenly were all going in different directions!

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Dinold and Karla were married January 5 in Oregon!

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The happy new couple!

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Enjoying Multnomah Falls in Oregon!

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“We forgot our hiking shoes Mom!”

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We had the opportunity two times to present Child Sponsorship and our journey in Haiti!

Susie and Grace are staying at Rudy & Polly Zollinger’s farm, taking care of Paisley the poodle, lots of cats and 21 goats! Grant moved in with them temporarily and they are all enjoying the change and quiet of the country. Meanwhile things back in Haiti also are very calm and seem almost surreal since there was so much unrest so recently. Medical and construction teams are visiting as normal as the highways are open and clear for the most part. The weather is great so far in both places, relatively speaking!

Our main focus is using our time wisely wherever we are, whatever we are doing. Seeing parents age and friends pass away, we see that time is short on earth! 2020, here we go…

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The goats are always happy to see us!

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Wow, it’s really cold in this barn!

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Paisley has been a lot of fun!

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Trinity is settling back in! New specs add to her teacher image!

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The new school in Bonne Fin is quickly getting completed!

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Painting the inside is almost finished!

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The kids love their Friday visit to the hospital!

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They made these sweet messages to hand out to a few lucky patients!

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Grass and landscaping are growing quickly at Child Care!

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Meanwhile, the shelves have arrived for a small library upstairs! Books are obviously needed!

 

 

 

 


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Unexpected Sabbatical!

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Flying to Port on a Mission Aviation Flight (MAF).

As the unrest in Haiti continued to rise, most of the schools we work in closed and our Child Sponsorship office also closed for many weeks in a row. (Weeks later it is still dangerous for schools to operate or the office to open to the public for fear of being targeted by violence.) The missionary school where Trinity was teaching in Bonne Fin was also halted in Bonne Fin when the families there transitioned back to the States. We realized we had more to take care of in the U.S. than in Haiti, and the door opened for our return.

We stopped for a short break in Florida and Illinois, then we settled back into the Hartzler’s basement in Ohio where we stay in the summers. Trinity and Grace have loved seeing the seasons change; first the leaves and now the first fallen snow! We are feeling blessed to have more time with Grant and also Susie’s parents and family.

With the colder weather keeping us inside, we are finally finding time to work on several new Bible studies for sharing in Haiti. This unexpected break has turned into such a gift to allow us to prepare these studies, as well as make other future plans.

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The 45 min. flight is such a gift compared to the usual 4-5 hour drive!

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A short stay in Florida!

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Change of scenery!

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Our back entrance door! Patios for Patriots just gave this new patio to veteran Stan Hartzler!

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We were glad to be present for the big “reveal” when the patio was presented to Stan!

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It has been six years since Grace experienced this!

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First snow of the season!

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Precious quality time with our parents!

 


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Haiti Unrest Continues

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A view of tires burning in Les Cayes from our back porch!

The political unrest in the country hasn’t stopped very much all year. Food prices have continued to climb as the currency is devalued. Now there is a gas shortage that is really impacting everyday life here. Schools have not started, no one is able to get anywhere or buy and sell and there is so much tension in the air. People glare at you (or demand something) when you come out of the store with groceries probably because they aren’t eating much these days. People are getting robbed driving down the road because if you have gas you are rich! It’s like everyone is grabbing what they can get for themselves even more than usual.

Schools in Haiti tried to start in September but they all gave up. If they remained open, they felt vulnerable to attack. They will try to start in October again is what we are hearing. Thankfully for the most part it feels relatively safe around our mission compound which covers two adjoining hills. Our local missionary school has been open when possible except the days when major disturbances are announced.

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Our local missionary school that Grace attends!

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Mike planned the new classroom that was built over the summer!

Grace jumped up to 9th grade this year since other kids in her class moved back in June and she was the only one left in 8th grade. There was also only one 9th grader too–her friend Annie–so Grace was able to join her! She has the same teacher as last year who she really enjoys! So some things are different and some things are the same.

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Grace and her best friend Annie, the 9th graders!

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The high school class, grades 9 and 11!

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We have been assisting recently in the youngest class, grades 1, 2 and 3!

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With schools closed, many sponsored students have time to write their sponsors letters at Child Care!

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On weekends, the room easily transforms into a pickleball court!

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Recent visitors have blessed us! We are working on a new HarvestCall community development program!

Things around here continue to happen about the same as much as is possible, although we are living on edge. The unsettled feeling we all have is always present, affects everything we do, and forces us to either choose giving in to fears or to trust the Lord. The Lord is our refuge in times of trouble!

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Fresh beef!

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Fresh chicken!

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It’s a blessing to share what we have with Haitian friends!

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Sharing God’s Word is more important than physical food (with Dinold’s sister)!

 


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Trinity’s New Role in Bonne Fin!

Trinity’s classroom in Bonne Fin!

Trinity has been living and working in Bonne Fin for almost two months now! She has been enjoying her new role as teacher for the children of the families serving at Hospital Lumiere. Among other responsibilities, she enjoys teaching the kids Bible and Creole, as well as taking them on weekly visits around the hospital!

Each student has their own curriculum and videos to watch!

Bonne Fin isn’t terribly far from our home in Les Cayes, but with half the drive being rough mountain roads, it is about an hour drive. We see Trinity almost weekly, thankfully, since the families there are obligated to get mail and supplies here in Les Cayes! She can catch a ride pretty easily.

After living with us for five years in the city, Trinity is enjoying exploring a new area in the mountains (new to her)! There is also a big difference between people in rural and metropolitan Haiti. Wherever you hike, invariably you will get invited into someone’s home to get to know them.

Friend Ruthie Feucht will be her roommate in a few months!

Hiking with others after school!

Hiking with us on the weekend!

New people to meet are literally everywhere in Haiti!

Traveling on top the Land Cruiser to get to the swimming hole!

The nearest swimming hole is down the mountain!

Another huge find is the hospital itself. Trinity has found that many patients are lonely, afraid, and in need of visits. She loves to share the gospel where possible and encourage some in their faith. Some are there for quite a long time. The hospital is only a short walk away from her current home at the hospital guest house and she finds it a blessing to spend her free time encouraging others. And every Friday, it’s a great opportunity to take her students there as well!

Here they come to visit Hospital Lumiere!

Special things are planned with each visit!

New babies to see!

Sharing gifts or songs with kids!

Interacting with the people takes courage!

Bryce made a new friend!

Art classes for all the kids!

Two of a kind!

School days in Haiti are for making memories!