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August 2021
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Saturday morning, August 14th, Lussade, his family, parents and relatives who live all around him, and the people of Haiti awoke to a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Lussade’s family lived through the 2010 earthquake, so they immediately knew what to do. They ran to get out of their homes so that they would not be trapped in concrete rubble. Praise the Lord, he and his family, Pastor Petty’s family and the children of the OSM school were fine. However, over 2,200 people were killed, about 12,000 injured and nearly 53,000 Haitian homes were destroyed, with countless more people still missing.
The areas that received the most damage and injuries are west of Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Pastel and the areas between. A few days after the earthquake a tropical storm went through causing mudslides and further damage to an already troubled and devastated country.
Sadly, because of gangs, people are having problems getting supplies to those in need. Some people distributing supplies have even been held up and injured. As we are writing this newsletter, OSM has purchased food, supplies and tarps that Lussade will be taking to many families in need. He made packages for 100 families and is hoping to go to a few areas we have worked in the past. Twa Mangoes is an area just outside of Les Cayes. Nearby is the village where little Woodsaiedmie lives. Many of you may remember Woodsaiedmie, who you helped cover the expense for surgery on her legs in 2017. Both of these areas have a church and pastor who we know. We’re looking forward to sharing more about this trip in next month’s newsletter.
After much prayer and seeking God’s direction for their future, Kenny and Laissa have decided they will not be returning to the mission field. They feel that with a young family and the dangers they dealt with daily, it is better for them to be here in the states now. As parents, we couldn’t be happier! We love to have their 2 boys here beside us so we can see them daily and they can play with their cousins! As partners with OSM we are sad, but very much understand. We will continue doing the ministry God has given us with the help of Lussade and his family. They have always proven to be excellent in-field ministry partners and Lussade has worked with OSM since 1999.
We would like to use this newsletter to share a recap of Kenny’s life in ministry with you. He has served in mission work with our family all of his life. He will be 35 this December, and he has only ever done mission work. Starting in the early 90’s living in Haiti, he was able to help the school cook and do other odd jobs. Kenny has always been totally committed to serving our family and the ministry.
When we moved to Texas, after leaving Haiti, Kenny was a bigger part of helping build homes in Mexico, usually helping me (Ken) with electrical. He quickly learned many of the skills it took to build a home. We have pictures of him in almost every aspect of building. As his older siblings began moving away from home and after Shelby left us in 2005, Kenny stepped into a much bigger role with OSM. He would go to Mexico and spend weeks with Pastor Santos, helping with the boys in the colonia and building. In 2011, Kenny was able to join our dear friend, John Leininger to help with the building of 70 homes in Mercy Village in Grassier, Haiti for families who were displaced from the 2010 earthquake.
Going back and forth to Haiti and Mexico, Kenny stayed very busy in ministry with OSM. In 2016 Kenny became engaged to Laissa, Lussade’s daughter, then on August 12, 2017 they got married. Kenny, along with Laissa, continued working with OSM. Thankfully, this past March, they and their 2 boys were able to come to the states as a family. At that time, we gave him time and space to seek the Lord’s will for his future.
Kenny and Laissa are very grateful for the many ways you have prayed for them, shared your love, encouragement and supported them while they have been married and with Trey and Asher. Since they cannot meet each of you in person, they wanted the newsletter to express their gratitude for you who have made their lives in Haiti as comfortable as possible.
Debbi and I want this letter to also express to Kenny and Laissa our deep gratitude for the work and ministry he and they have been a part of with our family for so many years! We could not be happier to now welcome them to Texas and have them living close by.
This month was full of children, Bible school and agriculture projects. Lussade and his teams went to the school several times taking gardening supplies and other needed items for the children. They also took material for the families to make uniforms for next school year, which begins September 6th.
The school children enjoyed Bible School projects we shipped in from Art for the Nations. It is a wonderful ministry tool which has a Bible school in a kit, with art supplies and Bible lessons, in French, for a week. We are grateful to them for the week of fun activities and lessons!
Pastor Coussou and Bertheson have kept the children busy working in the garden, setting up a water source and planting. Lussade took the 2 of them to Christianville for a week, where they will be spending time getting extra training on handling of goats. We are happy to get some of these goats back to a pen at Pastor Coussou’s home, where he will help children learn how to better care for them and begin what we hope to be an excellent meat goat project for our school children. This is very exciting for them.
If you would like to help with the food and supplies being sent to earthquake victims, the cost of food was $1,500 and tarps were $2,500 (which was a minimum order to get them quickly). This will provide help for approximately 100 families.
We are very grateful for your prayers, love and support which make it possible for us to help these precious children at the school and the families who are hurting from the earthquake. God has provided for so many needs and we thank Him! May Jesus Christ be glorified in our hearts and in all that we do!
Because He Lives!