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November 2013
Dear Friends in Christ,
Thanksgiving is our family's favorite holiday! It's always a blessing to have this time for family and remembering God's blessings throughout the year. The week before Thanksgiving we were blessed to attend the National Bible Bee. What a God honoring event! The past two months we have shared highlights from our trips to Haiti. Ken and I are still very excited that we were able to go. We would like to share more about our time there.
Lussade's parents live next door, in very close proximity, to him and his family. Some of their children and grandchildren live with them. One of the granddaughters, Ketcha, had not been able to begin school because her parents didn't have enough money for her tuition and books. Through OSM we were blessed to fill this need. She is a precious and sweet hearted girl and was very grateful for this gift. In Haiti, the children really appreciate the opportunities schools offer.
While at Lussade's home, we had a nice visit with his parents. We shared previously the ministry his dear mom has to the hospital and the prison. After spending time with them, we began to understand Lussade's family better. His parents are the backbone of their family. They have 11 children, all grown now. Several of their sons are pastors and their children all have a relationship with Jesus as do most of their grandchildren. Hearing them sing hymns together, watching Lussade with his family and seeing Pascal ministering at the Bill Walsh clinic reflect the dedication of this precious couple's commitment to Christ. They have poured their hearts and lives into their family as well as many others. They are truly servants of our living God!
While traveling out to the village, we were blessed to see the protection of the Lord over our vehicle and belongings. For security purposes, Lussade tied our luggage onto the back of Kenny's truck with rope and wire. We also tried to watch the back of the truck as we traveled to avoid theft. As we drove through Port-au-Prince (PAP), the traffic was slow and backed up, which is normal. Kenny suddenly stopped as he was looking into his rearview mirror. He yelled in Creole toward the back of the truck as we realized what was happening. A young man jumped out of the back of the truck with one of our backpacks. Ken hurried after the man who, surprisingly, dropped the backpack into the street. Then, even stranger, he walked back to the window of the truck and stood and listened to Kenny while he kept talking to him. Meanwhile, Ken picked up the backpack and got back into the truck. Then we moved on in traffic and the man disappeared into the crowded street. Immediately, I wanted to know what Kenny was saying to him. He said he told him that he (Kenny) is working for Jesus Christ and that the backpack belongs to Him. He said that Jesus allowed him to see the man trying to steal His property. We realized how bad it would have been if the young man had succeeded in stealing Kenny's backpack which had his laptop, passport and some money. We thanked the Lord for protecting His backpack and prayed that the man would be impacted by Kenny's conversation. God is good and we are grateful!
Both our sons, Kenny and Micah, have witnessed the wrath bestowed on Haitian men who have stolen from others. They are not innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The people will run down a thief and the result can be brutal. They have no tolerance for someone who would steal from them, especially amongst themselves.
During our stay in the village, we enjoyed getting to know some of the teenage girls. They helped us learn a little Creole, which was fun. We often repeated the word back to them just as we heard it pronounced. They laughed because it sounded so funny with our accents. Debbi and the girls walked around the village filling garbage bags. When they finished they took their bags to the burn pit. The girls and others who joined us, turned picking up garbage into a lot of fun. We had a great time together!
Many of the children in the village attend school, which was just beginning. A few we noticed weren't going, so of course, we had to find out why. The parents said though their school tuition had been paid, they couldn't afford the books. OSM helped by purchasing the books and a couple of uniforms so the children could attend school. The children and parents expressed their gratitude for these gifts.
Kenny and Paul went back to visit Pastor Santos and Fini in Nava this month. While there, they drove back over the border to Eagle Pass to purchase some tools and supplies for the Carpenter Shop. The drive from the border to Nava is a concern since there are many miles of isolated roadway. They arrived safely, then took Lety to a local craft shop to purchase some needed materials. Both ministries have more and more children coming back. We are blessed to know these ministries are continuing through the sharing of God's Word by Toncho and Lety. They also pray with the children who come each day. Things did appear to be better in Nava this month. Praise the Lord!
Toncho and Pastor Santos continue to bring the boys out to the Ranch of Faith when they can. The boys really enjoy their time there. They help with the care of the animals and other chores. This is another excellent opportunity for Toncho and Pastor Santos to spend time together with these boys who need to see men who love Jesus. They will share His love and pray with them.
Please keep Pastor Santos and the John 3:16 Church in your prayers. He has some decisions to make which could affect the direction of his ministry. He appreciates your prayers in his behalf.
Also, pray for OSM as we will be hosting a medical team in Haiti, March 13-22. If you have medical training or would like to be a part, let us know. The cost is $1,400, plus airfare.
Just before the holiday brochure was written, Debbi and I got sick. We had only a couple of days to get the newsletter and brochure written. Once it was printed, we realized we had forgotten a couple of ideas we had hoped to include. As a result, we would like to share a few more ministry ideas for your consideration along with the brochure you received last month.
Sewing machines or sewing supplies for the women in the village. The cost of a pump sewing machine: $220 Sewing supplies: $35
Many of the families come to the village with no furniture. Therefore, they sleep on the concrete floors. What a blessing to provide bunk beds, complete with mattresses and bedding.
Cost: $400
Chickens can provide eggs or meat for a family in Haiti. They are both excellent sources of protein. This is a great gift idea for children as well as adults. Cost: 4 chickens $25
Kenny's truck needs a few repairs to make travel a little safer and more comfortable. Air conditioning: $750; Metal cage for security in the back of the truck: $150; Tires: $950.
We are so grateful for the opportunities the Lord gives us to serve Him at home, in Haiti or Mexico. Thank you for your love, prayers and support which allow us to do the tasks He has for us. We pray your holiday season is blessed with family and friends and that you keep your focus on Jesus Christ. To God be the glory, great things He has done. So loved He the world that He gave us His Son!
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family