I want to start by saying Thank You to all of you – our supporters and friends.
We have had a crazy couple of weeks to say the least.
We had 2 teams come down in August that helped with our school sponsorship program and maintenance projects around the children’s home. During the second week of those teams, Cindy became ill. When she returned to the states with the team she went right into the hospital and never made it home. She passed away on September 20th from meningitis and internal shingles. It rocked our world and I think we have been living in some sort of haze ever since. It all happened so fast and it continues to feel unreal. Even so, we are slowly, but surely, picking up the pieces and we ask for your patience over these next couple months as the mission moves forward without our director and dear friend.
In the midst of our grief, God did bring 3 new children to us at New Life Children’s Home.
Asmalie, 7 & Pedline, 8 are cousins who were living with their grandmother in a nearby town. Their grandmother had 5 grandchildren in her care that she was barely able to provide 1 meal a day. She came to us and explained how these two girls were orphans and been with her from very young ages. Asmalie has AIDS and needed to find better care. Pedline’s hair was discolored and her cheeks hollowed from malnutrition. It was evident that we needed to bring them in. From the moment they joined us, they have acted like they have been with us their whole lives. They’re both so sweet and spunky, and we are so excited to watch them grow.
Renelson, 12 came to us on October 10th, just days before we came to the states…One day, about a month earlier, Zacharie came home to find a little boy climbing our dump truck outside the gate, trying to see over the walls. He asked him what he was doing and he responded with, “Does it cost money to live here.” Zacharie’s heart instantly broke open for this little boy, and he asked him who he was, where he was from. He was covered with dirt from head to toe and his clothes were turned inside out, a common sign that there is no money to buy soap to clean their clothes. He said that he was an orphan, but we told him he needed to come back with a family member or guardian to be able to see if we could bring him in. After over 3 weeks of asking people if they knew where he was, we finally saw him walking in the street. He told Zacharie he was going to his sister’s house so she could come talk to us. Hours later he returned with his 17 year old half sister. He had walked several miles to her house to ask her to come with him. She confirmed that he was an orphan and that he was living with his grandfather’s second wife who really didn’t pay much mind to him. While we talked with them, Renelson kept interrupting and pleading to us to let him stay, that he would follow all the rules and be a “good kid.” After much discussion, we told him that we would be happy to have him stay with us and the next morning he promptly arrived at 630 AM with all his belongings. His first question was, “when can I start school?” Something about him tells me he is going to be one special “bon timoun” (good kid).
New Life Children’s Home is now home to 5 children. We are looking for sponsors for these 3 new additions. Our goal is $150 per month for each child to cover living expenses. If you are able to help in any amount please contact us at email@example.com
The Hoedown for Haiti was on October 19th. Our family had been waiting on Liza’s passport to be able to travel home for the annual children’s home fundraiser. After 5 weeks of waiting and missing our family vacation, I got fed up and I called the embassy on October 9th. I explained to them that we had this event coming up and after answering questions the woman asked me to hold. When she picked up the line again, she asked if Zacharie or I could make it to the embassy the next day to pick up an emergency passport. I didn’t really understand because usually you must go through a whole application process, similar to applying for a new passport, to be able to be awarded an emergency passport. She told me that because we had recently applied for Liza’s passport they still had all her information and we could just pick up the necessary documents the next day. I began to cry – God was hearing our prayers!
But here was the next issues – would Zacharie be able to get through the road blocks to get to Port au Prince to pick up her passport? Would we then be able to get our family to the airport?! It didn’t seem possible. But we purchased our (very expensive) plane tickets for the upcoming Sunday, October 13th and began to pack our bags. The next day Zacharie took a motorcycle to Port. He had to get down off the bike and walk around several road blocks to get a tap tap on the other side, but he made it there and home safely without many issues. Then on Saturday we packed up the kids early in the morning in hopes of arriving to Port before the road blocks were set up. We ran into our first road block about 30 minutes down the road. Luckily we were able to contact friends in the area and were connected with the “boss” of that town to come and let us pass around the FIVE road blocks set up in that town alone. It cost us $100 American but we made it through! We were able to reach Port by early afternoon and spent the night in a hotel across the street from the airport to fly out on Sunday morning.
We didn’t think we were going to make it home for the Hoedown but God made it happen. After a busy week of preparing for the event, we had another AWESOME Hoedown for Haiti and OVER $27,000 was raised for New Life Children’s Home! The most successful year of doing this event yet! It was the encouragement we needed after such a difficult couple of weeks….
So many people have asked me , “How is Haiti?” or “What is going on?”
And honestly, it’s hard to know how to respond. Because how do you simplify such problems into a few sentences? How do you even begin to peel back the layers on years and years of corruption and suppression to get to the core of the issue that is placing the country on brink of collapse?
What began as monthly protesting and occasional road blocks have magnified into full on “peyi lok” (country lockdown). It has now been 8 weeks of daily protesting, road blocks in every town, schools & hospitals completely closed down, frequent black outs for extended periods, little to no gas available, and astronomical food prices.
The people are protesting the president and want him out, but he is showing no signs of stepping down. Please understand that yes, their actions are greatly affecting their problems, but what we must make known is that the Haitian government does not give their citizens the opportunity to speak their opinions. So this is the only way they know how to voice their pain and struggles – through rioting, burning tires and creating violence. I have attached a couple links to articles that go deeper into the issues of the matter and where it began, etc. because I just can’t explain it all here…
Currently in Charrier, our kids, family and staff are safe tucked away in the mountain. School is frequently canceled due to road blocks but is still open. Food prices are 4x the normal amount and its hard to find transportation because of the gas crisis, but we are still able to get to market twice a week. Our church is in front of our property so they are still able to get to the services each week. We are also blessed by green, fruitful gardens for veggies and plump chickens we raised for protein!
Follow this link to watch a recent video update we created ->
So we ask for your prayers –
- Please pray for safety for our kids, family, staff, and friends.
- Please pray for roads to open so vendors can pass through and dinner can always be on the table.
- Please pray we can get home to them (planned for November 19). Also Please pray for peaceful negotiations and hope to be placed in these hurting peoples’ hearts.
- Pray for the government to see real change and for attainable solutions to be proposed
- Please pray for real change in Haiti.
*Because of having to buy last minute plane tickets to come to the states and to return to Haiti (we haven’t gotten them yet) our family will be paying near or over $4,000. If you may be interested in helping to offload this expense for us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again , we want to thank you all for your prayers and support. Though we are facing difficult times, we have not lost heart. Honestly, it only has set our hearts even more on fire – to continue the work that Cindy started and to continue to raise awareness and support for the country we love so dearly.
We love you all!
Zacharie, Stevie, Katheline (who remains in Haiti), Abe, Moses, & Liza
John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”