I (stevie) woke up this morning to find out that our electrical lines were cut (again) from protesting towns who are demanding they receive electric as well. I mean, I get where they are coming from, but they sure aren’t making it easier for the rest of us! Also, we haven’t had running water in months during this dry, dry season and I gotta tell you, I’m really tired of carrying buckets. On top of all that, we have a truck stuck in the port (for multitple, what seem ridiculous reasons) in St. Marc that has our diapers, wipes, soap, toothpaste, etc for the next 6 months. Needless to say, I woke up with a poor attitude. And I can imagine some of you reading this, who might be stuck in quarantine in the states, might find yourself in a similar state.
There is a verse that I remind myself and others of CONSTANTLY….
I have told you these things so that in me you may find peace. In this world you will have trouble. But TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world! John 16:33
God knew this season was coming. He knew this year would be hard for us. But (and I have to repeat it to myself regularly) TAKE HEART because he’s got us. I’m not going to find peace in this earthly situation, that’s for sure. So I’m going to lean hard into my heavenly father who promises peace when the world lets us down again and again. Our problems are temporary but our God is ETERNAL! So I encourage you all, take heart and find rest in Him. It’s the only way we’ll get through this! Lift your eyes above these mountains and you’ll see, help is coming.
So we have had a busy couple of months and I (Stevie) have been slacking on providing you all with updates. I am starting to schedule “office” hours for myself to be able to better keep up in the future. Please pray for me because finding time with 9 kiddos ranging from 15- (almost) 8 months is not easy!
Because I wrote such a long update, I’ve decided to break up it up into 3 blog posts throughout this week.
Our family returned to Haiti on January 5th, almost two months after our original planned date to return home. There was continued rioting and road blocks in Haiti and as we got close to the holidays ticket prices were astronomical. So we decided to wait and were rewarded with added family time and an affordable flight home! It is so nice to be back in Haiti. In January we had 2 weeks of teams that came to serve with us. They came to help, but also to just be here and support us as we move forward without our dear Cindy. It was a sweet time. They helped do lots of projects big and small around the children’s home property, played with our kids, entertained us with laughs and farkle, and gave us encouragement in a time we needed it most. We love you guys. Thank you for your willingness to serve!
In other news…
All of our kids at New Life Children’s Home continue to do well and thrive.
We celebrated two birthdays so far this year. Asmalie turned 8 on January 15th and Bruno turned 15 on March 3rd. Being able to provide them with their first ever birthday cakes was really special. With three of our five kids only coming within 2 weeks of our departure in May, we hadn’t gotten to spend a lot of time with them. Our time since we have been home has been so sweet and it’s been fun to get to know their personalities.
As summer approaches and the kids will be off school, we are looking to create a day to day schedule for our kids. This is intimidating to me, Stevie, as we have kids ages 8 months up to 15 years old and I’m not sure what would be best to serve each child. If you have experience with this and would like to help me work on this, please let me know! Any and all recommendations would be appreciated! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Claudelson was the first child to join us at the home in February 2019. He came from a place where he was given very little attention or direction, and had no education up to that point. His mannerisms were similar to that of a toddler. He started school last March however has struggled the entire time to retain any of what is taught. The teachers have left him behind in class as there is no individualized schooling or special education in any school in our area. He also continues to be difficult to raise and does not seem to respond to any form of discipline. I would really like to talk to a child psychologist to discuss more of the details of his behavior, and to people with special education experience for recommendations on his schooling. If you are that person or know someone who could help, please email us. Thank You in advance!
We wanna give a shout out to everyone who blessed our kiddos with Christmas gifts! They were elated and play with them every single day! Thank you so very much from all of us!
We have been in need of a well for quite some time. There is water from a spring up in the mountain that is turned on 2x/day but during the dry season (which is now) it sometimes will not come on for days at a time. Also, there is not enough pressure to have running water so we’ve been carrying buckets of water to do everything – shower, cook, wash hands, etc. We are also in need of two additional wells on our other properties. I have contacted several organizations over the last couple of months to see if they would be able to come & dig a well for us but many of them do not travel out our direction. I finally got a hold of a mission near Port au Prince that said they would be willing to consider helping us because we are in need of several wells. They are very busy so it will be 2-3 months until they can come survey the lands to determine if they are able to dig. Please pray that they will be able to help us out!
For Christmas 2019 we had our second annual Christmas Feeding Program. A donation of $25 provided a family in our community or Montrious with a meal for the holiday. We were incredibly blessed and blown away by the generosity of our supporters. We were able to provide more than 400 families with a Christmas meal (double what we were able to give last year)! We were thanful for the opportunity to have our kids in the children’s home help pack the bags to give out and remind them the importance of giving back! Thank you ALL so much for your donations!
Please come back to our blog tomorrow for another update! Let us help you pass a little bit of your quarantine time! 😉
New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc.
420 E. Fulton Street, Ephrata, Pa 17522