return to home page
return to newsletters main page
September 2011
Dear Friends in Christ,
We praise the Lord for a drop in temperatures this month. We had hoped to be on our property by now but we are still in the process of moving.
Pastor Santos and Sister Fini are doing well. The Dorcas House and the Carpenter Shop are staying busy. Young boys and girls are coming each day to hear the Word and to be taught some practical skills. Life remains difficult in the colonia but God is at work there.
Because of Shelby’s deep love for Haiti, we still have a feeding program for 2 schools there. Depending on the time of the year, about 100-200 children are fed daily. We are blessed to join you in supporting these children so that they can have this one meal a day. Please remember to pray for Pastor Peti Noel, Pastor Marc, Lussade and his family, and the school children.
The Lord laid it on Debbi’s heart to share a particular testimony about our family with you. You may have heard some of this before, but we have never written it in our newsletters.~
~This month, on Brigitta’s birthday, Sept. 23rd, I woke up with warm tears spilling out before I even opened by eyes. My mind was flooded with many memories and emotions. Sometimes the Lord reminds me of special times or events in our families’ lives. They are beautiful reminders of how much His hand is involved and working in the lives of my family and me. I’d like to share one of these memories.
Sixteen years ago, on Sept. 24th, having just moved to Haiti 3 months earlier, I had an experience that deeply impacted my life. Ken and our older children were away from our Port-au-Prince home leading a medical clinic out in the bush. I was home with some of our younger children teaching school when a neighbor asked if I could take a very sick young lady to a hospital. Usually Ken or our oldest son drove people to the hospital so I wasn’t familiar with its location. One of my sons and a Haitian friend who spoke English went with me to help. We drove towards the woman’s home in the mountains as far as the street would take us. Then we waited while some men carried her up a mountain trail to my car and placed her in the back. About seven other women piled into the back seat of the car to go with us as well.
A friend of ours, Dale Heule, who was a medical missionary, lived close by. Not sure where to go with my passengers, I decided to stop by the Huele’s home to ask Dale’s advice. Upon arrival, he did a quick examination of the limp body and said she had just died. I was quite shocked and didn’t really know what to do or say. Dale offered to go with me to return this lifeless body to her home.
The drive back up the mountain was very loud. Haitians wail when they are sad or hurting and I had a car full of grieving women who were wailing very loudly. When we reached our destination, we stood and waited for almost an hour for the men to come get this woman. Many of her family members and friends came and stood by the car watching and wailing. The reason for the wait was they were preparing their home for her. Eventually some men came and lifted her body out of the car to take her to her home, a hut on the side of the mountain.
Later I learned that this woman had birthed a baby girl the day before, so we assumed she died of an aneurism or a blood clot. Her mother, our neighbor, Madam Lizanne, and her sister Maylene brought the baby, to live with them in a small hut in front of our home. Maylene had just had a baby girl herself and she planned to raise the two as twins. Our family was very sad about the loss of this young Mommy. Our girls had met her several times while visiting Madam Lizanne’s family.
A few weeks passed and we began to notice a lot of crying from the new baby. We saw that the baby was doing very poorly and tried to help several times but were unable to communicate because we didn’t know the language yet. Finally, with language help from missionary friends, we discovered the baby had thrush. Maylene had quit nursing her because she didn’t know what it was and feared for her own baby’s health. Instead they were spoon feeding the baby with the best they could provide, which was contaminated water, tea, and soup. The baby was slowly starving. Madam Lizanne asked our family to take the baby since they didn’t have the means to care for her. She was about 5 weeks old and weighed less than 4 pounds when she came into our home. With lots of prayer and plenty of formula she grew quickly, praise the Lord.
Another family was interested in adopting this precious little one, so we were caring for her until they were ready. After several months, they realized that they were not able to complete the adoption process. By this time we had grown much attached to this Sweetheart. We began the adoption process and gave her the name Brigitta after a dear Sister in Christ and friend of ours. Brigitta Joy became a very welcome new addition to the Kennedy family!
We saw God’s hand at work in many miraculous ways while living in Haiti, but we believe that Brigitta was the main reason He had us there. I pray this testimony blesses you in some way. ~Debbi
Our Father is good and faithful, full of mercy all the time!! May your life be filled with His presence each day.
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family