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September 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
What an awesome month we have had. God unexpectedly opened doors and we stepped through. We were blessed by many wonderful experiences and are happy to share them with you.
Just after our last newsletter was mailed out, Lussade and a team took more food bags and tarps to earthquake victims. Each time they successfully go through gang- controlled areas with a loaded truck is an answered prayer. Our prayer team is a blessing as they ‘stand in the gap’ for our teams when they travel in Haiti. The group visited two churches to distribute the helpful supplies they brought. They also visited with many families who had earthquake damaged homes.
Ken and I traveled to Florida to see my 91 year old Mom in Ocala and to deliver backpacks and school supplies to MFI for our school in Haiti. As we were traveling, we decided to call MFI just to see if they had room on the plane for us to go down to Haiti with the supplies. We asked about going to Pignon (pee yon) so that we could avoid roadblocks and gang problems in Port-au-Prince. MFI called us right back and said, we have you booked on a flight and reservations at a missionary guesthouse very close to the airport. Wow!! So, we prayed and agreed it was time for us to go, and we are so glad we did!
This trip to Haiti was like no other. I have never been to Pignon and the last time Ken was there was his first trip to Haiti in 1985, with John Leininger. On this trip Ken had a surprise from the Lord, to get to see Dr. Gee Theodore, whom he had met in 1985. He has the only hospital in Pignon which is where Ken stayed when he went through with the team years ago. Dr. Theodore had been kind and graciously provided a place for the team to stay back then. Seeing him again on this trip was a blessing.
Our first night in Pignon, Lussade, his wife Yanique (yah neek), their son Richecarde, and nephew Kaloulou (kal u loo), our head teacher Nady (nod jee) and the ag teacher, Pastor Cossou (koe sue) all came to our location. We were able to sit and talk about the school and hear their ideas and express our ideas. It was a great time of sharing with each other.
Nady shared that the children have Bible every Friday. We asked that he try to begin each day with God’s Word and prayer. There was no doubt that he wanted to do this and is on board with sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the children each day. Ken and I felt reassured about Nady’s care for the children and his walk with the Lord. His testimony of how he came to Christ is solid. In 2009, he was 14 years old and his Mother passed away. He went to the church after her memorial service, and he decided that he would give his heart to Christ. We are grateful for his input and example to the children.
Pray for our expanding personel and projects that OSM is taking on. We are up to 8 teachers and 130 students now. We discussed starting a soccer league and are considering hiring a soccer coach. The teachers seemed to leave our meeting encouraged and excited for the many changes we plan to make which should make their jobs better and hopefully more effective in reaching the children. School is set to begin on September 21. We all look forward to sharing the love of Jesus with these precious children and their families.
Lussade had to bring 10 gallons of gasoline to Pignon with him in order to have enough fuel for the 2 vehicles to make the trip. Along with fuel being nonexistent at times, right now, when we can find it, the cost is $7.50 and up per gallon. Haiti has times when fuel is difficult to get because when ships bring the fuel into Port-au-Prince (PAP) they require the money up front before they allow the fuel to be offloaded. Sometimes it can take a couple of weeks and the ship just sits and waits for the government officials to come up with the money. This is one of those times.
The peaceful trip to Pignon reminded us of the way it used to be when we lived in Port-au-Prince as a family in the 90’s. Missionaries in Pignon shared that they would not even go into PAP because of danger on the roads. The situation has grown more and more difficult to navigate over the past 3-4 years. Lussade had planned to be at the school with supplies and food on the opening day, but he was not able to go because of roadblocks. He decided to try a couple of days later, and that was a successful trip, praise Jesus!
We are on the MFI DC-3 headed back to Florida now. Our time in Pignon was wonderful. Getting to meet with Lussade, some of his family and our teachers was our reason for going and it proved to be well worth the trip. Some other highlights were the Cherfils family. Their guesthouse was very warm and welcoming, Ved, Amber and their family were great hosts. In the evenings, we ate popcorn and played a few games together. Also, walking through a Haitian market again, walking on trails and seeing the people in their homes, their kind greetings and laughter, passing out Scripture filled soccer balls, watching the local boys play soccer and just being there was awesome! God’s people are everywhere. It was a privilege and blessing to see Haiti and the beautiful Haitian people again.
It is our desire to share some of our experience with you, we want you to feel you have gone with us, because in our hearts, you have. We pray His amazing love and provision for each of you and your families as you also pass His love and encouragement to others.
Because He Lives!