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May 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

~ James 4:14 ~

Nine years ago on May 31st, our precious daughter, Shelby, went Home to our loving Savior, Jesus Christ. She was a huge inspiration to our family. As children of our loving Father, we know that our lives on this earth are as a vapor. Some are blessed with long life, others are here and gone more quickly. Each of our lives touch the lives of those around us, our families first and then our friends. Not a day goes by that we don't talk about Shelby, remember something funny she did or said, and miss her deeply. She prayed fervently and had a very close relationship with her Best Friend. Her life encouraged us to follow Jesus, to read His Word, and to share His love with others. Shelby also knew the importance of establishing a relationship with Jesus. When we are called Home, we want to be prepared to meet Him. We look forward to joining Shelby in Heaven and spending eternity with her praising, thanking and adoring our Savior and King! Glory to Jesus!
Many of you go through losses of your own. Tom and Dee are a dear couple we met in our church in Florida, but did not know well. Recently, Dee went Home to her loving Savior. She loved to sew, and over many years had accumulated many remnants of the fabrics she used. She kept them neatly organized in a closet. Unknown to us, she had been interested in the Dorcas House in Mexico and when she became ill, she shared with Tom that she wanted the Dorcas House to have her left over material. Tom contacted us, so Debbi's Mom drove to their home and picked up 2 suitcases full of Dee's beautiful fabrics for the Dorcas House. Then a gift was given in her honor, to help with the cost of material and notions that can be purchased locally. Just before receiving the phone call from Tom about the fabric, Pastor Santos let us know Lety needed more material for the girls to use. We praise the Lord for this kind, loving and timely gift for the Dorcas House ministry.
When things became challenging for our family to make monthly trips into Mexico, we began to focus more on Haiti. This change has been reflected in our newsletters. However, the ministries we started and support in Mexico have continued. OSM still pays Lety and Toncho monthly, along with covering the cost of supplies to keep both ministries going. The young people in the Nava colonia have had a place to go to hear the gospel 5 days a week. They can "get away" from the difficulties they encounter in their homes, schools and the colonia. The Dorcas House, is mostly funded through designated monthly gifts. We have been discussing the possibility of closing the Carpenter Shop ministry because it has never been fully funded and only a few specific gifts have come in for it over the years of its existence. The money to operate it has come from our "general fund" which is down considerably. We are looking for ways to trim OSM's monthly expenses. If you feel led to support the Carpenter Shop, and Toncho and the boys who come there, please let us know. Your prayers are coveted as we seek to make wise decisions for OSM.
Coming together with the two ministry houses, Pastor Santos and Fini still love to bring many of the children Toncho and Lety work with out to the Ranch of Faith, where they live. Sometimes on Saturdays they use the van to bring children from the colonia out to have another avenue to minister to and work with the children. The children love to go, helping feed and care for the goats, calves and chickens. What an awesome way for Santos and Fini to have more time to witness and speak into the hearts of the children in the colonia!
Kenny recently took a couple of days in Haiti to go to an area where he had never been before. He has always wanted to explore this area ever since our family lived there 18 years ago. He, Lussade and Md. Lussade drove up to see the Citadel in Cap Haitian, on the northern coast of Haiti. They hiked up to the Citadel on the top of a mountain. Then they toured around and saw some of the historic sites in that area. Kenny said it was beautiful and he was very happy he was able to go, but he would never drive to see it again. The drive was treacherous, which Ken remembers well from his travels in Haiti years ago. On his way back towards Port-au-Prince, Kenny had to cross a very fast flowing river that had no bridge. The four wheel drive in his truck had not been working and he knew if he was going to cross the river he had to get it to engage. Thank the Lord, it did. He sat at the river trying to decide how he was going to cross, when some boys around the ages 7-12 years old, with almost no clothes on, came up to his truck. They told him they could guide him through the river. When he saw another truck go through with their guidance, he too slowly followed the boys. He said the water was as high as the top of the hood of his truck and it was an interesting experience.
Before Kenny left on the trip, he had been trying to help a very sweet friend of our family, Wilda. She is 21 years old and Brigitta's biological sister. She lived with our family for about 6 months when she was 3 years old. We have always loved her and checked on her when we could. Sara and Joel visited her in February and she was not feeling well. Since their visit, she has steadily declined physically. Kenny was trying to help her find a doctor or a hospital that could help. The problem seems to be with her liver. We are not sure if it is cancer or liver failure, but both are very serious. Several hospitals in Pot-au-Prince (PAP) said they couldn't help. Then, a hospital in Mirrabalet, a city to the north of PAP, indicated they would try to help. She was immediately taken there. Though it is a 2 hour drive one way, Kenny has been back and forth a number of times now trying to make sure that she does not "drop through the cracks", which often happens in Haiti. He arranged for a woman to stay with Wilda to help with meals and her care. Through OSM, he paid for food and purchased a mattress so she does not have to lay on a concrete floor. They took a biopsy, but it could take 4-6 weeks before they get a result. She has had a very difficult life and now, again, she is facing another serious challenge. Her mother died when she was 3, leaving her with a negligent father who is heavily involved in voodoo. Please keep our precious Wilda in your prayers.
A few weeks after we returned home from Haiti, Tim Bolton talked to us about returning to the compound in Deyemon, to do a Pastor's Conference and evangelistic team in September. Pastor Wilfred requested a pastor's conference, training for husbands and wives, Bible school for children and evangelism for everyone. Tim and we are praying about taking a team of teachers and/or preachers to hopefully accomplish some of Pastor Wilfred's goals. Pastor Etienne said it would be a great help for many of the churches in that area. Please pray for the Lord's guidance and that He will bring a team together as He desires for His glory. In August, we would like to take a work team with possibly an electrician, to prepare the guest house and the church for the pastor's conference the following month. The area is beautiful and mountainous and the people are wonderful. The cost is $1,400 plus airfare, if you are interested, please pray and contact us.
In the past we have shown the Jesus Film and other evangelistic movies as we travel in Haiti. Now we are realizing the need for a set-up so that once again we can have that available when we do teams or travel outside of Port-au-Prince. It is an excellent tool to open doors to witness Christ to the people. Unlike here, they will walk or travel quite some distance just to get to watch a film. We would appreciate financial help for this ministry opportunity.
Pastor Etienne will be joining Kenny when he returns home the beginning of June. It's possible that Pastor Etienne will be visiting Tim Bolton's church in Fredericksburg, TX on the week-end of June 8th. If you would like to hear him share about his work in Haiti, please contact us and we should have more details about when and where that might happen. (830-228-4809830-228-4809)
Please know that we consider ourselves an extension of you in Haiti and Mexico. We desire to represent Christ first and you, our OSM family, secondly. We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers. 1 Thess. 1:2
Because of Christ,
Ken, Debbi & Family