Salvation

Haiti: January 2021

After months of canceled plans and stay at home orders, I’m still processing the fact that my husband and I spent a week in Haiti! I had been trying to plan a trip for over a year and the timing just wasn’t working out. When Pastor Gilbert unexpectedly visited our church on a Sunday in October, the plans just came together as we talked after church.  We bought tickets on faith, but in the back of my mind, I knew that the trip was likely to be canceled. We were sitting on the plane between Miami and Port-au-Prince when it finally hit me that the trip wasn’t going to be canceled!  We were really doing this!!

This was my fourth time in Haiti and the first time without at least one of my children.  My husband had been to Haiti 5 times previously, but it was our first time to get to go together!  That was just one of many blessings about this trip. Although it was in many ways a difficult trip and there were several moments of discouragement, God was abundantly gracious to us… He was our strength in exhaustion and weakness, our peace in confusing and unfamiliar circumstances, and our joy in discouragement and overwhelm.

It was wonderful to see the school again and realize how much it has changed since the first time I visited 8 years ago! Over the years, the Bridge program has enabled them to add 7th, 8th, and 9th grade classes. More recently, they’ve been able to add plaster and paint to the entrance and courtyard, as well as adding a sewing class, computer class, music class, and the art clubs which make paper bead jewelry and macramé!

As always, the main goal was to meet with each of the sponsored students to get updates and current photos and to give them notes from their sponsor, if one was sent.  We also got to observe the extracurricular educational classes and I got to participate in several of the classrooms. It was our privilege to get to bring bonuses to the school staff, thanks to some generous extra donations. Plus, my husband got to lead morning devotions on three of the days. 

One thing I was really looking forward to was working in the classrooms to do a craft with the younger children and a writing activity with the upper grades. My reason for wanting to do this was to obtain something from each sponsored child that we could use as a gift for their sponsor. And why not do it with all the kids so everyone could join in the fun? While it didn’t work out quite like I had pictured, it was mostly successful and a lot of fun! I’m excited to give our sponsors their students craft or letter, although unfortunately I don’t have one for everyone since some of our sponsored students were absent when we were in their class.

Overall I feel incredibly full and blessed at the memories of the week we spent in Haiti! Both my husband and I felt God’s presence with us carrying us through every moment of our trip.  We got to see and experience the fruit of the last 9 years of ministry and prayer, and enjoy the smiles and laughter of so many children whose education we are honored to help support. We planted seeds of the gospel and witnessed several people accept Christ as their Savior. We were blessed to get to work with and be encouraged by some amazing people whose purpose in life is to glorify God and do what they can to help their country. We even got to spend a wonderful day of rest at the beach!

We look forward to sharing more details about a few specific aspects of the trip over the next few weeks.  Until then, “Orevwa!”

Categories: Child sponsorship, Children, Education, Haiti, Missions, Salvation | 8 Comments

Big Things in Carrefour Poy

There are few big things to report that have happened recently in Carrefour Poy.

This first one brings me so much joy!

Claudel emailed me recently to tell me that the mother of two of our sponsored children has accepted Christ as her Savior!  Here is the story as told to me by Claudel:

It is a obligation for all the children of The Bridge to come to Church every Sunday. But some of them refuse to come. I [will] go to talk to them and their families. It is the case for Michelet and Michelda. I explain how it is important and who is Jesus and Michelet, Michelda and their mom all began to come. A month ago she became Christian.

On our About Us page, I wrote

Our prayer is that God will provide the increase through these children to reach their families, friends, and neighbors with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is so exciting to hear about one way that prayer has been answered.  Thank you so much to our sponsors who have believed with me that God is working through this ministry.

Michelet, Michelda & their mom in front of their home, July 2014.

Michelet, Michelda & their mom in front of their home, July 2014.

The second big thing to report is another answered prayer:

When Claudel told me about the new regulations requiring that the school in Carrefour Poy open a seventh grade class, I was so overwhelmed by the thought of the extra money we would need for that to happen, that I couldn’t even think about the space needed to house the extra classes.  I prayed about it and felt that in light of everything I was dealing with, God was not calling me to try to raise funds to build the extra classrooms.  With some trepidation, I determined to trust that God would provide another way.

At one point Claudel emailed me to ask if I had been able to raise money to build more classroms & I wrote him back saying that I was not able to raise the money, but that I was looking forward to seeing how God would answer that prayer.

Construction began when the school received a small amount of money from the Haitian government, but when that money was gone, construction stopped.

Here is how the new classrooms looked when the money from the government ran out.

Here is how the new classrooms looked when the money from the government ran out.

In August, with the construction at a stand still and new school year approaching, Pastor Gilbert came to the states and spent a Sunday with us at Grace Fellowship.  After leaving Amador County he spent the next few days with a friend who is also one of our sponsors.  A few hours after Gilbert left here, I got a phone call from him telling me that this gentleman wanted to pay to finish the construction!  Praise God!

When Gilbert arrived back in Haiti, the construction began again, and there are now 3 new classrooms on the 2nd floor of the school!

New classrooms ready for the new seventh grade class.

Construction is complete on three new classrooms which were built to accomodate the seventh grade class.

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Ready for higher education with new upstairs classrooms!

The last thing to report is a big prayer request.

Over the last month there has been widespread, violent rioting in the city of Arcahaie as the citizens are protesting the government.

Claudel sent me this picture of the riots in Arcahaie.

Claudel sent me this picture of some of the rioting in Arcahaie.

Since Carrefour Poy is on the outskirts of Arcahaie, it has been too dangerous for the children to go to school so far this year.  Please join me in praying that this rebellion will come to a quick and peaceful resolution and that the leaders of our school will use wisdom as they balance the safety of the children with the importance of their education.

Oh Lord, God of our Fathers, are You not God in the Heavens? Are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand…

2 Chronicles 20:6

Categories: Children, Education, Haiti, Missions, Salvation, Sponsors | 1 Comment

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