His Heart for Haiti

Giving Hope Through Child Sponsorship


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Getting the Goods

Like it or not, we attract a little attention every time we show up at the stores downtown!

Like it or not, we attract a little attention every time we show up at the stores downtown!

About every two weeks we travel downtown for groceries. It is always an adventure! Driving downtown with all the pedestrians, motorcycles, and unorganized chaos is a sight to see! You have to have eyes around your head to keep track of the motorcycles weaving in and out. This week I drove downtown for the first time! That was a big step! We are always thankful when we can find a spot to park with plenty of space to get in and out.

Heading downtown where bikes outnumber cars probably 10 to 1!

Heading downtown where motorcycles outnumber cars probably 10 to 1!

No one ever stops except for one major intersection where there is a traffic light!

No one ever stops except for one major intersection where there is a traffic light!

Our minds are prepared for the next scene: the street kids. Usually, the first one that reaches us asks us if he can wash our car to make some money. As we begin to cross the road to the other side, we must always be alert to the possibility of getting hit by a motorcycle. As we approach the store more street kids recognize us (it’s not too hard!) and start asking us for Corn Flakes because they know we usually buy several boxes for them to share. Sometimes the “street mom” steps into the picture too and lets her requests be known before we actually get into the store. Next, the ladies sitting by the door selling fresh vegetables beckon and wave for us to come buy something!

Here is one of the grocery stores on the main street of Les Cayes.

Here is one of the food markets we usually shop in on the main street of Les Cayes.

Vendors are always calling to you on the streets! In many places they are all selling the same things.

Vendors are always calling to you on the streets! In many places they are all selling the same things. These ladies are parked right by the store entrance and do not want to be photographed!

Ah! We have made it inside! We grab a basket or two and start looking for some things that we need. Sometimes we have a choice between two brands, but often there is only one available, such is the case with butter, cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and sausage. I am always especially excited when there is cream cheese and sour cream since they don’t always have those! The stores downtown are small and narrow so we climb ladders to reach some items high up on the shelves. The “frozen section” consists of two or three chest freezers that you open to see what is available. We have to visit two or three stores to find the things on our list! Last week we were looking for plastic forks and spoons and one store sold only forks while the next sold only spoons! We have discovered if there is no price on something you cannot buy it. Why do they even put it on the shelf?

When you are finished shopping, one of the workers will announce all the prices to the cashier and after paying, another employee will box up and carry all your purchases to your car! That is when the street boys and other beggars will mob us again! We are ready to hand them the Corn Flakes cereal and sometimes we buy packages of crackers to hand out. Some come up to us that don’t have an arm or hobble on only one leg and we try to be prepared with small coins (5 gourdes) on our pocket to pass out.

The stores have fairly narrow aisles and items are stocked way up on the walls!

The stores have fairly narrow aisles and items are stocked way up on the walls!

What each store carries is fairly predictable and fairly pricey too!

What each store carries is fairly predictable and fairly pricey too!

Uhhm...not a huge selection in the frozen section today!

Uhhm…not a huge selection in the frozen section today!

There is one larger (but more expensive) store between our home and downtown that we affectionately call “Walmart.” The aisles are wider there and they have registers similar to the States. There are more choices there in some things and they have more items in general. That store always has a guard at the front with a long-barreled rifle that we had to get used to. This is a very common sight at gas stations and banks.

Buying meat is another story. That requires a separate stop. There is a store near the outside market where chicken legs are sold in a 22 or 40 lb. boxes, whatever they have available at that time. Fresh beef is brought to our home by the pound and it gets cut it up and most of it is grinded into ground beef. It is my least favorite thing to do! Small amounts of beef can be purchased in the store but it is much more expensive.

When any one of us travel downtown we often ask other missionaries what we can pick up for them. This is such a help and keeps unnecessary trips to a minimum. There are times that I can hop a ride with someone too. All in all, it is always interesting to go shopping here and you have to be prepared to substitute or go without when something isn’t available!

The street boys stand in the doorway and wait wait for their corn flakes!

The street boys stand in the doorway and wait for their corn flakes!

This one is pretty happy with what he received!

This is one pretty happy kid with what he received (I would ask for cookies, personally)!

Always watch where you step! Some streets are better than others...

Always watch where you step! Some streets are better than others…after it rains it is always worse!

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English Church and Kreyol Christmas Letters

We cleared out the "garage" and had English church this month! The people closest to the back are neighboring missionaries, and in front of them is part of the work team!

We cleared out the “garage” and had English church this month! The people closest to the back are neighboring missionaries, and in front of them is part of the work team!

English church. We alternate with the missionaries in Bonne Fin holding an English church service every month. In the States, people are used to hearing 8-12 English services every month…we just hear one (anything else is definitely going to be Kreyol)! Last weekend was our turn again in Les Cayes and we enjoyed hosting a group of about 75. This consisted of the missionaries in Bonne Fin and the work team (Rockville, Connecticut) and visiting minister they brought, and the other local missionaries that like to be included. We use the carport between our houses to set up chairs and Bonne Fin uses the benches in their waiting room for services.

Following our worship service we shared a meal together. Much of that is planned months in advance as we purchase food in the States, but many ingredients can be purchased locally as well. It is a very special time and many linger and help clean up and share the evening as well. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

Hundreds and hundreds of Christmas letters are getting produced this month!

Hundreds and hundreds of Christmas letters are getting produced this month! The left sides are ready with the Kreyol message and next they will be individually translated into English!

Kreyol Christmas letters. The past two to three weeks at Child Care have been filled with rooms of children writing Christmas letters to their sponsors! They write a rough draft, get it proofed and edited, and then fill in the left side of the letter with their Christmas message in Kreyol. Later it gets translated into English in the column next to it. Hopefully the whole stack will be ready to mail out to get to their sponsors by Christmas!

The desks and benches have been absolutely filled some days with kids writing letters!

The desks and benches have been absolutely filled some days with kids writing letters!

Working hard to express his feelings and best wishes.

Working hard to express his feelings and best wishes.

Waiting in line for letter editing!

Waiting in line for letter editing!

Patiently waiting and having a little fun too!

Patiently waiting and having a little fun with us too!


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Short-term Teaching Opportunity!

Exciting Announcement!

The Cite Lumiere Christian School has a volunteer position available this coming January through May 2015. For five months an elementary teacher is needed to teach seven 3rd graders! This is Grace’s class! Their teacher, Mrs. Leger (Renee Slagel), will be on maternity leave with her first child.

This will be an awesome opportunity for a committed Christian that loves children and has a desire to live in Haiti and and learn about its culture. Nearby, safe housing will be provided and an awesome adventure guaranteed!

If you are interested contact: clcsprincipal@gmail.com

Please let others know also! Thanks!

Mrs. Leger is definitely going to need a substitute teacher in a few months! The class is sharing in the excitement of Robenson-n and Renee's first child!

Mrs. Leger is definitely going to need a substitute teacher in a few months! Grace’s class is sharing in the excitement of Robenson-n and Renee’s first child!