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January 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
A few days after the December newsletter went out Ken felt the need to bring Kenny home to Texas for some down time. We have been waiting for Laissa’s visa and hoping they would be able to all come out together. Several things happened which made it a little more urgent, to be able to see Kenny face to face.
As a family we were very excited he was coming to Texas. He had not met Micah’s older son, Landon, and now he would be able to meet their baby, Morgan, as well. Two and a half years brings a lot of changes in a family and he had some very excited nieces and nephews ready to greet him when he finally arrived.
It wasn’t only family members who were blessed to have Kenny in Texas. We had a little “open house” for our friends to come and visit with him. We had a wonderful time at our home with Kenny seeing many friends. We set up tables to share about OSM and plenty of food for all to have a meal with us. It went very well, and Kenny enjoyed sharing what his life is like now that he is living in Haiti full time. We had put an open invitation on Facebook for family and friends to come.
Many of our friends in Florida were wishing they could be at the open house we hosted in Texas, so we decided to make that a possibility. After posting on Facebook and mailing invitations we enjoyed a wonderful evening at The Journey Church. Thank you to our dear friends Dan & Pat Stanley and Bob & Diane VanFleet for helping us and organizing the location for us! The evening went very well. We saw friends we had not seen in well over 25 years. Many people who support Kenny, were able to come to meet him, ask questions and get to know him. Both of these events were a huge blessing and encouragement to us and Kenny. We hope to be able to do more of this in the future. We loved sharing the work God is doing through OSM and each of our faithful supporters with friends face to face. God is always good!
Before Kenny’s return to Haiti, he was also able to visit Micah and Holly’s family in Puerto Rico. Kenny and Holly are very close and were grateful for their time together. Because of the turmoil in Haiti over the last year Holly hasn’t been able to travel there as she would like. Kenny arrived in Puerto Rico as they are experiencing many earthquakes. The earthquakes have been happening on the southwest side of the island and Micah and Holly are located on the southeast coast. Although they can feel the earthquakes, they aren’t close enough to be experiencing any damage. Micah and Holly have been helping locals who are working through a Pastor on the southwest coast to provide supplies and provisions to the many families who have suffered much loss and are now homeless on the island. We were grateful OSM was able to be a part of that as well! Kenny had a wonderful time with Micah and Holly’s family in Puerto Rico!
While Kenny was visiting us in Texas, Laissa and her father, Lussade, went to the school in Mirebalais. Most of the children are now attending. We learned that some of the children were not coming to school because gangs had made it clear no schools were to be open until January. Some of the children who attend the Mirebalais school, had been threatened by gang members that they better not be going to school, or they would harm them in some way. Many children were understandably staying home because of these threats. Now, schools in Haiti are open and children all over the country are attending. Most of the children are just starting their school year now, in January. Laissa reported that the children were in classes and things are going well for them and the teachers. Praise the Lord!
While traveling in Haiti has become better in some areas, sadly other areas are worse than ever. The area where Kenny’s friend, John, lives, has become more dangerous with vehicles. Some of the workers have been kidnapped, but thankfully were later released unharmed.
As I am writing this letter to you, we are in Ft. Pierce with Kenny. He will be flying back to Port-au-Prince early tomorrow morning. It has been wonderful to have him home and with a heavy heart we are telling him goodbye again. While visiting with people in Texas and Florida, Kenny said the #1 question he was asked was why Laissa’s visa has taken so long. Though we don’t understand a lot of the process, we do know that her visa has been approved. This past May, Kenny was told they are running about a year behind in getting the appointments set up so she can receive her visa. We were blessed to know so many of you truly care and are praying with us for this to happen soon. Another question we answered was if a feeding program would be happening at the Mirebalaes school. We are excited as Kenny goes back to begin feeding a meal a day, 5 days a week, for the children and teachers. We are hoping many of you will consider helping to feed these needy children, and even sponsoring this feeding program on a monthly basis. The average cost is $10 per child a month. It would be amazing to have this need met!
The Lord is always a loving Father, full of encouragement in often unexpected ways. December and January, He has encouraged us through so many of you. We are humbled by your outpouring of love, prayers and care for Kenny and our family. May He pour His love into each of your lives this month and throughout 2020!
Because of Christ,