Bonjou (good day) from Haiti!
We are finishing up our 2nd week here and are happy to report that things are going so well! Before I left for Haiti I wanted to send out a quick blurb about our timeline while we’re here and what the next couple years will (probably) look like. SO! – We will be in Haiti for 4 months to begin construction of New Life Children’s Home. Zacharie has recently taken over the roll of Haitian Director for New Life mission and will also be helping Cindy Zimmerman, the American director lead and host 6 teams that will be coming to help with construction. We are only able to spend a couple months at a time in Haiti due to Zacharie being on his residency therefore we will be back & forth for the next ~2 years until he can apply for his citizenship. Both our jobs offered us the ability to return when we are home so we will be able to pick up where we left off which is such a HUGE blessing! By 2018 we hope to be full time in Haiti but for now we are happy that God is giving us this ability to travel back and forth.
We really felt the prayers on travel day and Abe did so well on both flights! We arrived in Haiti on January 11th with Cindy, our pastor Kevin Horning, and Luke Ulrich, our friend. We got through immigration with no issues however after waiting at baggage claim for what felt like an eternity we realized one of our suitcases was missing. They advised us to wait for the next flight coming through from Miami so we did, only to realize it wasn’t on that flight either. Naturally, I began to panic and kept thinking that we lost all of our stuff! But right as this thought crossed my mind Zacharie turned to me and put both hands on my shoulders, smiled and said with a laugh, “We’re in Haiti baby!” And I had to smile back in agreement because he was right. The amazing thing was that the suitcase that we lost just had all our random stuff and/or extras. All of our necessities were in our other suitcases. We ended up getting our lost bag the next Friday when we dropped off the team at the airport so Praise God for that! But honestly the whole experience just helped me get into the right perspective that I needed for transitioning into this culture and mission work. Stuff is stuff! Not only can it be replaced but it my definition of “necessities” is always a laugh for Zacharie. For most of his childhood, his list of personal items consisted of a single T- shirt that was 3 times too big. We can survive on so much less than we think we need and I hope this whole experience helps me to keep this perspective…including when I’m in the states!
Our first week in Haiti was filled with reunions, introductions for Abe, and of course, lots of hard work for Zacharie in beginning the foundation of the Children’s Home! Construction is going very well! God gave us the ability to bless 27 people with jobs this week! They finished digging the foundation and next they’ll place the poles & rocks. See the attached pictures! We also began the two rooms & bathroom over the Depot. This will be where Zacharie & I will stay when it is finished. Currently we are bunking in at the mission house on Mama’s land. We hope to be able to start building our own home next year.
Abe is adjusting very well! He gets lots of love from his Haitian family and is getting used to the heat! Prayers would be appreciated for improvements in his daily schedule. He takes lots of cat naps during the day and gets up every 2-3 hours at night, so if we could get back to his normal 7 hour stretches that’d be great! J
This past week our friends Hugo & Janae Tomas and their 1 year old daughter Gloria came to visit us! Hugo tagged along with Zacharie on his many trips to the city to get supplies as well as helped the guys at the job site. Janae & Gloria kept me & Abe company at the house and got to spend quality time with the family. They have a photography business and blessed members of the community by taking family photos. The people were so grateful as few people in the rural mountains of Haiti even have a single family photo. We loved having our friends support us and come to Haiti to share in the experience. We spent tonight, our last night with them, at a beach resort near the airport so that is why I have such a good connection that I can send out this email! Because we will be spending so much time in the mountain I expect internet to be few and far between. But I will leave you with that update and ask for continued prayers. We feel so blessed to have such amazing support from family and friends. God is moving in Haiti and we can ot wait to see all the ways he will use us here! THANK YOU and will send another update as soon as I can!