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March 2008
Dear Friends in Christ,
To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens.
~Psalm 123:1~
Thank you for your prayers for Sara and Micah during their time in Haiti. They were excited to join John Leininger on this trip. The first two days were spent just up the mountain from Port-au-Prince close to where we used to live. Lussade's family, as usual, were wonderful hosts and took great care of them. Sara, Micah, and John went to both of the O.S.M. schools and were able to visit with the children as well as Pastors Mark and Peti Noel.
The visit to the schools was a reminder to Micah and Sara of how dire the school children's situation really is in Haiti. The cost of fuel, beans, and rice are rapidly rising. With 80% unemployment, the people are struggling so hard just to survive and starvation is a very common sight. The streets are full of half-dressed, malnourished children and babies. Because of the increasing prices, the monthly support we are sending is no longer enough to cover food to feed the school children daily. The two schools combined have approximately 350 students enrolled. We've worked the figures and realized that for as little as $4 a child per month, we can support our administrator and provide the schools with one good nourishing meal a day.
After Port-au-Prince, the group flew to Cayes and from there made the long bumpy drive to Deymoin which is in the Southwest part of Haiti. There they stayed at a missionaries' compound and drove each day to Joligubert. John Leininger held classes in the local church to teach health care workers, while Sara and Micah went with Pastor Etien to install cisterns. This area has been going through a drought so water has to be hauled by bucket from the closest source which for many is several miles away. One of the cisterns was installed at a pastor's home and the other at a church. Once rains come, the pastors will share the water with the people in their church and village.
Anywhere we go as foreigners, a crowd quickly gathers. At one place a group of 26 village children came to watch. Sara took this opportunity to do a small Bible School. The children listened intently to Bible stories and had fun answering questions and playing games. She had so much fun sharing games, balloons, candy, stickers and small toys with them. They rarely see these things, most of their toys are homemade, so they are very grateful and excited with anything we give them.
On Sunday they visited one of the small village churches. The recent hurricanes have taken large parts of the roof off and the church doesn't look like it will hold another one. The pastor and congregation were all so sweet and welcoming. It is always a blessing to visit churches in different cultures and to see people praising the Lord with their whole hearts. Haitians can sure sing. Listening to their acapella worship is just beautiful.
One afternoon they took a short hike visiting homes, passing out medicines where needed, praying with the sick and those in need, and sharing the love of Christ leading one lady to the Lord. Sara and Micah enjoyed every minute of their time in Haiti and look forward to their next visit.
It was a blessing to have Micah and Holly join us to paint the O.S.M. rental house in Nava, as well as hand out gifts to children. This month our precious Heidi and her cousin Chandler Prescott turned 3 years old. To celebrate their birthdays, gifts were brought for them to give away to children in Mexico. With a couple of bags of cute toys to be given away, and several buckets of paint we headed to Mexico. Finding the right child for each gift was not difficult, and we all enjoyed watching Heidi and Hallie Kate give toys to children in different colonias.
God was good to provide perfect painting weather, sunny, yet a little cool in the mornings and evenings. Within a few days, the house had two new coats of paint and looked much better.
While in Nava, we checked on Jesús and his family and gave him a teddy bear. We thank the Lord for His provision that through you we were able to help with his medications once again this month. We did learn that he is not blind, but has severe cataracts. It was exciting to see him in a walker which Maria (his Mom) had borrowed from his school so that he could practice "walking" around his yard.
Hermana (Sister) Paulina's Juan 3:16 Feeding Program for the children in the colonia is going well. She went shopping with us, and for the first time we experienced a local grocery store donating produce for the children. We were blessed to see this happen as it is only the second time since working in Mexico that we have had a local business help out in this way. As usual, many of the men in the colonia are jobless so Paulina has experienced an increase in the number of children coming for lunch daily. Thank you for helping with this project!
We are so blessed by God's continuous love to us through each of you! May you be encouraged in Him as you read this newsletter.
Blessings in Christ,
The Kennedy Family
~Praise & Prayer Requests~
1. We praise the Lord for His abundant provision! The medications for Jesús are covered for several months and we have received funding for a roof for Julius Ceasar's home as well as a roof for Pedro's Uncle Jesús. Also, funds for the transmission on the Juan 3:16 bus have been provided. Thank you for your generous response for these needs.
2. The Haiti project is in dire need of support. We are continuing this ministry in honor of our precious daughter Shelby. She had such a heart for the Haitian people. We are praying the Lord will provide the funds for us to be able to continue ministering there. We are currently receiving around $650-$700 a month for Haiti. With food prices constantly rising our monthly Haiti expenses are around $1,200. To cover food for both schools we need to purchase monthly, 5 (100lb) bags of rice, 2 (100lb) bags of beans, 5 (50lb) bags of cornmeal, and other misc. items such as spices, oils, proteins, sugar, vegetables, and LP gas. The cost for one bag of rice is approx. $50, one bag of beans is $70 and a bag of cornmeal $25. Please pray with us for this important monthly provision.
3. As we reported earlier, $14,000 has been raised for the electric on The Ranch of Faith, we still need an additional $6,000 to be able to have electricity on the property. After this is completed we will be able to start planning to build a home for Pastor Santos and Fini.
4. Please continue to pray for healing for Pastor Santos as we continue to research his side pains.
5. Our board is meeting in Nava the 11-13th of April. Please pray for clear direction and vision as we make plans for the future of Only a Servant Ministries.