His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship


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Preparing for the Next Steps!

Thanks from Haiti!!

A BIG THANK YOU from Haiti!

News! We were so thankful to get our new Ranger on the recent sea container! We want to convey our thanks and appreciation to all those that contributed to this new set of wheels. It even came with the gas tank clear full! This has been a huge encouragement to us and will be invaluable here for many years to come!

The sea container is driven across Haiti after being shipped from Miami to Port-au-Prince.

Sea containers are driven across Haiti after being shipped from Miami to Port-au-Prince. Here it is backed up to our Depot.

Pursuing options to get our new Ranger off the sea container!

Pursuing options to get our new Ranger off the sea container!

Here is Brent carefully driving it down a ramp!

Here is Brent carefully driving it down the ramp!

Even Lazarre, a Haitian friend, was so very excited for us. He couldn't resist sitting in it when the camera came out!

Lazarre, a Haitian friend, was so very excited for us and couldn’t resist sitting in it when the camera came out!

We also got the 17 gallons of paint we put on that container…which only meant “Get to work!” We have been busy painting and organizing ourselves for our upcoming move upstairs to larger quarters. With thanks to many fellow missionaries and friends we got it all painted in three weekends! We never thought we would be able to move this quickly!

We thank the Lord for each of you and the many ways you share your love with us.

The two-story home we are preparing to move into soon. We currently live in the lower level!

This is the two-story home we are preparing to move into soon. The first six months we lived in the lower level.

Most of the first floor got knocked out in the first weekend!

Most of the first floor got knocked out in the first weekend!

Figuens, Grant and Elore have been working hard on the upstairs bedrooms!

Figuens, Grant and Elore have been working hard on the upstairs bedrooms!

Painting is much more interesting when it is your own room!

Painting is much more exciting when it is your own room! (This room will end up green.)

The girls are kept busy painting the office!

The girls were kept busy painting the office and bathrooms!

Lately, we have started a Bible study with three Haitians who often drop by the house.  They are all young believers in the Lord and we would like to disciple them further in their walk with Him. We have started the Salvation study with them, which is being translated into the Creole language. This study helps them all learn English much better as we go through these verses.

Such a blessing to share with Haitians who are hungry for God's Word!

Such a blessing to share with Haitians who are hungry for God’s Word!

Sharing the gospel with a conversation club at the American University of the Caribbean.

Sharing the gospel with a conversation club at the American University of the Caribbean.

Our first meal in our nearly ready home when Marvin & Nancy Dotterer and John & Kristie Zeller came to visit!

Our first meal in our (nearly ready) new home when Marvin & Nancy Dotterer and John & Christie Zeller visited!

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What “Back to School” Means to a Haitian

Education doesn't come easy to a Haitian family without a sponsor to help at least one of their children.

Education doesn’t come easy to a Haitian family without a sponsor to help at least one of their children.

Back to school? It is not always a given to a Haitian. We know, because as is gets closer to September and the start of the school year (or maybe October if the government chooses), we are seeing the anguish that this time of the year can give a Haitian family. They are coming to the child care office, they are even coming to our home nearly every day. Maybe it is just the mother who comes, report cards of her children in hand, maybe it is the mother with her children in tow, dressed up as much as possible. “I am here to see the blan (whites) to see if they can help me.” Often it is the child himself, “I am fatherless and my mother can’t pay. You are my last chance.” We cannot sponsor everyone…we would love to. We can listen to them, pray with them and tell them God knows their need.

Rising to their feet, the whole class says "Good morning" in unison!

Rising to their feet, the whole class says “Good morning” in unison!

Inflation is sharply increasing in Haiti, salaries are not. Families have to decide whether to send their children to school or to eat. If they go to school, they still might not have the money to buy school books. Schools are now charging entrance fees rather than monthly fees and it is a struggle to pay them. “Please help, please sponsor my child!” Families may have to decide which child to send to school, perhaps the brightest one. How would that make you feel if you were not chosen?

This is a true story. One day a mother came into the child care office with her youngest two daughters. One of our friends had decided to sponsor the 14-year old and she was very happy. Sitting next to her was her younger sister, age 12. Her mother brought her in her Sunday dress, hoping something could be done for her too. What grade was she in? First.”She is too big,” was what the receptionist said. How would you feel toward your sister who is bright and gets a sponsor and you are too old to receive a 2nd grade education? What is your future going to be? This is the reality of “back to school” to some in Haiti.

Sometimes we are out at night during the school year and this is what we notice: kids sitting under the few street lights they have. Lights high up on poles. They are studying. There is no electricity at your house and the test is tomorrow. You find a way to deal with it. Everyone is in the same boat.

Classrooms in Haiti consist of a blackboard, chalk, a few desks and shelter from the sun. The kids primarily learn and recite from memory.

Classrooms in Haiti consist of a blackboard, chalk, a few desks and some type of shelter from the sun. The kids primarily learn and recite from memory. They are so thankful for the 101 Favorite Bible Story books we give to each teacher.

Thank you to everyone who already sponsors a child or two. We know, we see the letters your child sends to you. To anyone else who has a heart for Haiti, you can also sponsor a child this “back to school” season. Check out the info. at: http://www.acworldrelief.org/sponsorships/  Either call, email or write to the address listed online and a child waiting for a sponsor will be forever grateful.

Here is an example of a letter that passed across our desk last week. Some of it is typical, but one simple sentence really stood out!

“I greet you in the name of Jesus the Savior. Today I am very glad to write you this letter in order to thank you for everything that you do and will continue doing for me. I am in 8th grade. I ask you to help me pray so I can go to the higher level (9th grade). Without you, I would not have been able to know how to write a letter. So I always pray God for you and for all your family and your friends too. I wish you a good summer. May God bless you my brother.”

Your sponsorship of a child’s education WILL give hope and change one life at a time. Can you do us a favor? Pass this along to a friend or two! (See the “share this” options below.) Thanks and God bless.

Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Proverbs 3:27

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”  Proverbs 3:27

 


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Furlough: Family, Friends and Fast Food!

Grant's graduation, June 1st, 2014

Grant’s graduation, June 1st, 2014

Graduation! We returned to Ohio on May 30th and the trip went very smoothly. Grant graduated from Smithville High School on June 1st, and even though Mike was enduring chikungunya fever (he discovered he had it the day we traveled) God helped him to deliver the graduation address! We were so excited for Grant and a very special class of kids! We had several busy weekends with graduation parties to attend and then Grant’s own party on June 15th.

Celebrating with Grant at his graduation party!

Celebrating with Grant at his graduation party!

We set up our R.V. at a campground a little north of our former community of Smithville. Maple Lakes Campground had several lakes, a nice pool and a private, wooded spot for us for two months. We enjoyed spending time together as a family, even though it was tight sometimes, and had to deal with a few ‘daddy long legs’ (nothing like the spiders in Haiti but still a lot of them in the woods!). Evan and Grant had landscaping jobs through the summer and could drive together. It was a little tricky to pull off while camping! The time with Evan was precious, knowing that we would be separated again soon by the miles between us. We loved getting together with family and friends too in the local area. We visited Mike’s family in Illinois and saw his parent’s new nursing home rooms as they have needed additional care as they advance in age. It was so very good to see everyone again! We were glad to answer any questions about Haiti.

It was a cool and rainy summer in Ohio, but this was a place to call our own!

It was a cool and rainy summer in Ohio, but this was a place to call our own!

Grace enjoyed her 8th birthday party at the pool at the campground. She loved the time spent together with her friends. What a good time those girls had!

These "bathing beauties" had a great time using the campground pool at Grace's birthday party!

These “bathing beauties” had a great time at Grace’s birthday party!

Friends sharing a meal that they brought and made on one of the days it actually didn't rain!

Friends sharing a meal that they brought and made on one of the days it actually didn’t rain!

It was a whole different world to be back in the States. We saw everything in a new light. The U.S. is such a rich country, so constantly neat, and the roads are wide and smooth with overpasses every mile. There is no trash left anywhere like in Haiti. For the most part, people follow the driving and traffic laws, whereas in Haiti it always seems like people don’t follow any laws (the driving is chaotic all the time with the biggest truck getting the right of way). In the States there is so much open space, so few people outside, huge, seemingly useless lawns to take care of and usually only ONE to TWO people in EVERY vehicle! In Haiti, there are always so many people in every vehicle, and sometimes piled on top too. The food seems to be in abundant in the States, of course, whereas in Haiti there is always a lack of food and many people live not knowing when the next meal may come. These are just a few differences between a wealthy country and a third world country.

We spent a week at the Outer Banks (near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina) to get away as a family and make some great memories! That time just flew by as we enjoyed the house, beach, eating out, and some fishing too! After that, Mike and Susie got away for a few days alone to bike and hike in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. What a gift that was to spend time in that beautiful valley as it was such a different climate then the tropics!

Launching from our dock for some fishing at dusk!

Launching from our dock for some fishing at dusk!

Choices, choices! Restaurants and menus had so many choices...

Choices, choices! Restaurants and menus had so many choices…

Time away as a family provided some great memories...

Time away as a family provided some great memories…

We arrived at the Outer Banks a day after a hurricane came through, but it didn't affect the waves any.

We arrived at the Outer Banks a day after a hurricane came through, but it didn’t seem to affect the waves any.

Who knows what this is is? Needless to say with fish with that many teeth and crabs in the canal, we swam in the pool and ocean!

Who knows what this is is? Needless to say, with fish with that many teeth and crabs in the canal, we stuck to swimming only in the pool and ocean!

We have fond memories of some outreaches we did on the 4th of July, the Rittman Sleepwalker parade, and the evening we made pillowcase dresses at the World Relief Center. What a blessing to all work together like we did! So many came that evening to the WRC to give their time, effort, and talent. We look forward to seeing what God will do with these dresses.

Handing out water and Bibles before the fireworks to start crucial conversations about eternity.

Handing out water and Bibles before the fireworks to start crucial conversations about eternity.

A huge evening where many came together to make pillowcase dresses for Haitian girls!

A huge evening where women and girls of all ages came together to make pillowcase dresses for Haitian girls!

We do have a neat story to share that we cannot forget! A dear brother from Smithville, Jeff Stoller, let us borrow his pickup truck the whole summer so I (Susie) could learn stick shift. I took that truck around all over learning how to drive. And I did learn and loved driving that truck! What a gift that was! Two weeks before we headed back to Haiti the clutch went out on the highway. I was able to pull over enough to the side of the road. I remember the gloom and doom when Mike told me the phone was dead too. We were supposed to pick up our daughter Grace from our friends in 15 minutes. We prayed and then Mike went out to check under the hood while I sat in the car and prayed some more. I asked in my prayer: “Please send us an angel of the Lord to send someone with a phone that I can call for help and to call the couple that was keeping Grace.” Well, soon after that, Mike and I decided it was best for me to stand outside the car and wave my hands for help (since I was a woman and we thought someone would feel sorry for me). It wasn’t long and a car pulled to the side of the road. Sure enough it was a woman! She gave me her phone and we made all the necessary calls we needed. We were so appreciative of her phone! I thanked her for stopping and letting us use her phone and asked her what her name was so that we could pray for her. She looked at me and smiled, “My name is Angel.” Wow! What a God we serve!

A special weekend to remember, the baptisms of Evan, Grant & Trinity!

A special weekend to remember, the baptisms of Evan, Grant & Trinity!

Our furlough ended in the best way possible…Evan, Grant and Trinity were baptized together on Sunday, July 27th! There were also three others baptized that day so it brought out many visitors. The whole weekend was a blessing to hear their testimonies, to see and  hear them make their promises before their baptism, and through it all, to glorify God! God’s Word was loud and clear in the sermons we heard on Sunday. We were blessed to have friends come from Haiti and some from other States that we met in Haiti. It was such a blessing for our kids to fulfill Christ’s commandment of baptism.

Many thanks to all of you again for all you did for us during our time in the States. May God bless each of you! We love you. On August 2nd Evan dropped us off at the airport and we returned to Haiti. He returns to school soon and we look forward to his next visit to Haiti over his holiday break!