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March 2010
Dear Friends in Christ,
Micah was blessed to be in Haiti once again this month. The main purpose for his trip was to host Doug Phillips' family and the Vision Forum team. Some of the group stayed in the home of our administrator, Lussade Eugene.
Haiti's latest tragedy, the earthquake of Jan. 12th, 2010, was of monumental proportions. Over 215 thousand are confirmed dead, and the final numbers are expected to be much higher. Thousands of people are recovering from serious injuries. Approximately 80% of the government is gone. Haiti is a country that is well acquainted with life being hard through many tragic events. Since overthrowing the French in 1802, it has been a downward spiral spiritually. Not only has the Haitian government experienced corruption, but some of the secular aid agencies have as well. In some cases, the donations these organizations receive are not used to benefit the Haitian people, but to simply promote their agencies. Christian missionaries, however, have had a very positive impact over the years. Although usually very under-funded, they have been able to evangelize, disciple, build churches, and run benevolent feeding programs. They have also built, managed and maintained many of the country's best hospitals. All this is to say that Haiti has always been a ripe and needy mission field. Our family realized that during our first visit in 1985. Haiti has had a pull on our hearts these 25 years.
Right now the plight of thousands of orphans is foremost on everyone's hearts and minds. Thank the Lord. There are many other children who have not been orphaned. They and their families are in dire need as well. Many of the children in the O.S.M. schools have been able to stay with their families partially because of the one meal a day that they are receiving through the school. Other parents are having to give up their children, whom they love, to orphanages because they cannot provide food and care for them.
During Micah's trip he was able to visit both of O.S.M.'s schools. Pastor Peti Noel's school has nearly 120 children attending each day. He was told that about three-quarters of the children have lost a parent or immediate family member. Many of their families are living in tents now. The children always love Micah's visits. After spending time greeting and playing with the children, he visited Pastor Marc's school. School was out, but about 20 children were still there of the 75 that normally attend. Again he was able to visit with the children and make sure the feeding program was being run properly. Both of these schools are struggling due to the lack of funds to pay the teachers. Because of the shortage, Pastor Peti Noel is currently the only teacher at his school. Pastor Marc has recruited his own children to teach, though he does not have the funds for teachers either. The schools are a vital part of these Haitian family's lives. They are providing a Christian education and a nourishing meal for the children that they might not receive otherwise. Please pray with us that God will provide to meet these needs.
Haiti is slowly leaving the front-page of the daily news. CNN has a short video on a little girl named Kimberly Lazarre. You can view the video from the home page of our web site: This story is very familiar to us as we have heard of many similar situations. Kimberly had a severe head injury and was treated by medical personnel on the US medical ship, Comfort. After recovering, she returned home to find her family's house gone. Her mother and sister had died in the quake leaving her father confused as to what to do next. Kimberly was also in need of expensive medications after her surgery. Praise the Lord there has now been follow up on this situation and Kimberly and her father are being cared for. There are too many stories like this in Haiti to keep track of. O.S.M. is trying to reach families who are in need of simple necessities for everyday life that we take for granted.
Work in Nava continued this month with building a fence around the Caretaker's House. Ken, Kenny, Micah, Brigitta and Luis worked long hours on the fence. It was a bigger project than anticipated. On our last day there, a front gate was installed. Micah and Luis also did some painting on the bars around the outside of the windows.
One evening Maria brought Jesús by our house to show us how well he is doing. We were all happy to see that he was able to stand up leaning against the side of the house. Maria stood beside him to support him the whole time, but he did stand on his own. He and Maria were both excited as they showed us this major accomplishment!! We are grateful God has provided for Jesús' medications each month. This has been vital in helping him develop and learn these new things.
Funds were provided for more goats to be given away this month. Three more families with children were excited to welcome a baby goat! The children love having the responsibility of caring for the goats.
This past month Leti made a list of materials that she needed for the thirty girls she teaches in the Dorcas House. By the time we finished purchasing the items, we had spent almost $300. She is teaching these girls 5 days a week so they go through supplies fast. We thought some of you might have extra sewing/craft supplies in your homes. If you would like to send them for the Dorcas House ministry this would be a great blessing. Here are some of the items needed: fabric (please do not send pieces less than 1 yard), embroidery floss and needles, machine needles, pins, tape measures, buttons, zippers, felt, cotton stuffing, beads, sequins, craft glue, glue sticks, scissors, lace, ribbon, elastic, etc.
Our family is grateful for the time each of you take to read our newsletters and reports each month. We want to keep you informed about what the Lord's leading and grace accomplished as well as urgent needs. We are grateful that many of you write notes, pray, and support the ministry financially. Each of these are very important to our family. Without your encouragement in Christ, we would not be able to do what the Lord has given us to do. Thank you so much! We pray the blessings of the Lord over you and your families.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family
~Praise & Prayer ~
1. We met a woman when we went to Haiti on the medical team last May who needed surgery to remove a large tumor from her jaw area. Many of you may have prayed with us that she could come to the states for the procedure. Because of the earthquake, she was able to get her paperwork finished quickly and had the surgery to remove the massive tumor on March 22nd. We praise the Lord and ask that you continue to pray for Laurette's full recovery.
2. Sister Fini's Mother has just finished chemo for cancer on her face. Praise the Lord that it is gone now. She immediately had to start chemo for cancer in her back. Please pray for her as she is in Monterrey, away from her home and family while she receives chemo.
3. A wonderful Christian couple, who our family has been blessed to know, Pastor Samuel and his wife Saby and their 3 precious little girls are in need of our prayers. Saby is having many serious problems resulting from lupus. Samuel pastors a church in Allende, but is trying to be relocated to the Reynosa area so they can be closer to family and hospitals for Saby.