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August 2018
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.

~Lamentations 3:22-23~
What a hot, mosquito infested, yet awesome and exciting, month we had in Haiti! Before I share about our trip, I will tell you about the team Kenny assisted with the end of July. This was a large group from San Antonio, who came down with John Leininger. Kenny helped the team with putting up a gutter system on 2 homes in Merci Village, then put the same water system on 15 homes in Deye Mon. Water in Deye Mon is a big issue since it is up on a mountain where it is almost impossible to dig a well. Water is carried from a river or collected from rain, so having a cistern to collect water off their roof when it rains is important.
Kenny spent some time assisting Christianville by taking 12 loads of building materials and supplies up the mountains, to a church where they were building a school. There are now, about 350 children attending the school which meets in the church building. Once the school is built, they will be able to accept more children from that impoverished area. Kenny said he is very grateful to have the truck to help in this way!
This month, on our trip to Haiti, we knew we were going to be helping Kenny and Laissa with their move, but had no idea we would meet (and work with) so many new friends. We were facing a whole new group of children at an orphanage, seeing many new and interesting projects for us and teams to help with, and dealing with such heat (and mosquitoes) at the same time. Mike Reed brought his nephew, Brice, from Paisley, FL and we brought Aaron Anderson from Ocala, FL to join us and help with the move. Brice was a very energetic young man who enjoyed building relationships with the children at the orphanage. Aaron had plenty of workouts with the children. They loved to be held, danced with, and trying on his sunglasses. Aaron and Brice helped with lifting and the move when they could. Mike did an excellent job setting up our panel box and invertor as well as organizing and building shelves for tools before he and Brice went to St. George to help Judy Foster. We always welcomed the late afternoon and evening rains so the temperatures could cool down a little. Even with fans and power to run them, some nights were pretty warm until about 4:00 a.m. The rain and heavy foliage around Kenny’s home made the mosquito population a non-stop issue. We were able to get screens in the windows and only had 1 door left to be screened when we left. Praise the Lord!
We were very happy to meet Kenny’s new neighbor, Sue Witt, who came to Haiti after she retired as a school teacher. She has been here 20 years now, has a sweet servant’s heart, and lives very humbly so she can care for 40 children in her home. Christianville supplies her with a place to live, electricity and water. She raises funds for her other needs. Her children were special to us because many of them spoke English well, were clean, very well kept and polite. Though they enjoyed looking at our phones and getting their pictures taken, they didn’t ask for things. We are now looking for a commercial washer for her children’s home. Mike Reed, who owns a laundry mat, plans to help us with this project.
While in Ocala, Bob Van Fleet, one of our past elders and long time friend, suggested hearing updates from Kenny in our newsletters. We thought this would be a great idea, so we have their update for you.
Another precious Sister in Christ we met in Christianville, was Elizabeth. She organizes transportation and the guest houses for the many groups who come to stay here. She gave us a very interesting tour and history of the compound. Smart (beyond her years), competent and organized, Elizabeth was very helpful and we all appreciated her sweet friendship.
Kenny and Laissa’s pastor, Pastor Fednor was excited to talk to us about putting new lights in his church. Fednor has the gift of shepherding and spends much of his time caring for his congregation each week. This was one way we felt we could be an encouragement to him and the body of Christ who meet there each week. While there, we were honored to distribute Bibles to 16 children of the Children’s Church of Christianville. To make sure the Bibles were truly theirs, we had each child sign their names and the date in the front page of their Bible. Thank you so much for making this possible for us to present these gifts!
Thank you again, First Baptist Church of Blanco, for the soccer balls for children in Haiti. What an exciting gift! It was a blessing to share your gifts with so many people. Pastors and school administrators were so excited to use the soccer balls for their schools. We were able to give away a few to children personally as well. Some were left for Kenny and Aaron to give away when they are hiking in the mountains.
Leaving Kenny and Laissa to return home was difficult since we knew the next time we’ll see them will be after their baby is born. Our hearts were also pulled by the beautiful children at Sue’s home. Several of the little girls were precious to us. One girl, Nifca, is about 13 years old and her little sister, Shelly, is 4. They both have cerebral palsy, yet their smiles were amazing each day. Nifca spoke English very well. Two more girls, Jenny and Baibej, both about 11 years old, were very sweet and special to our group. Sue asked Laissa if Jenny could come and visit her sometime and would Laissa please speak into her life. Laissa was happy to do so. As we left, Jenny and her twin friends Valine and Valencia came to tell us good-bye and asked when we would return. We are looking forward to visiting again and the opportunity to love and encourage these sweet children!
On a personal note for Kenny and Laissa, he has built 2 couches and 2 chairs and has the foam cushions. He now needs to purchase material to cover the cushions, which will be $220. If you would like to help with this project, it would be greatly appreciated. Having lived in Haiti and Mexico ourselves, we can appreciate how important comfortable furniture is at the end of the day. The floors are tile, the heat is intense, and your body is worn out. Haitian made furniture can be very hard and uncomortable. Nice furniture is very expensive there, so, Kenny decided to build his own.
The ways to serve and help Kenny and Laissa have opened up majorly by their move to Christianville. We can now accommodate individuals, small teams and even larger groups if you are interested. The opportunities to serve are endless. Please contact us if you are interested in joining OSM in Haiti at some time. We would love to help make that happen.
Our hearts are full as we return home. We were blessed to fly this trip with Missionary Flights International out of Ft. Pierce, FL. The plane was a turbo prop DC-3. Our pilots, Kenny and Ian, loaded the plane, prayed with the passengers before take off and served us during the flight. We are grateful to you for your prayers and support to make this trip possible. May the Lord Jesus bless you and your families!
In Christ,