The Better Part

Semiradsky_Christ_Martha_Maria-57f55c125f9b586c358e08ca“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)

Since returning to North Carolina, we’ve been running to and fro getting caught up with all that comes with functioning in another country. Having one foot in Haiti and another in the United States has challenges of its own. We are still getting ours and John’s car back up and running after sitting idle for a year, then they have to pass inspection. We have caught up with our personal taxes plus the yearly 990-EZ form for Rehoboth Ministries has been updated. Seems there’s an endless barrage of things to do. It’s easy for the list to drive us instead of us driving it. This morning, I’ve decided to get back in the driver’s seat.

I am a lists girl. I have lots of lists and enjoy checking off each item as it’s completed. Taking my pen and  marking through a goal gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Whether in Haiti or stateside, I quickly fall into the rut of agonizing over whether the list is completed or not. But, sitting on my sister’s back deck with my Bible in hand, I endeavored, like Mary, to give the Lord the better part of this morning. Soaking in the sunshine and the beauty of the outdoors, I breathed in deeply and started another list – this time of thankfulness. Then, I started praying for our family and the friend who’s having cataract surgery today and the leaders who are carrying the weight of the ministry on their shoulders in our absence. I prayed for Haiti and for our own country, for the multi-faceted needs of our ministry, … and *sigh* – as with all lists, it goes on and on. I walked through the back yard feeling the wet grass on my feet and entrusted those things that were too heavy for me to the One who runs the universe. I know in my heart that when I give the Lord the first part of the day that often my lists get checked off more quickly. It seems His grace is somehow multiplied upon the time that is entrusted to Him.

I wonder if you need to be reminded this morning, as I often am, to give the Lord the better part? Don’t worry. Our lists won’t be forgotten because the Martha nature in us will always be there to remind us of them. However, time spent with Him is never wasted and is time well spent.

Back in NC!

Hit_the_Ground_Running_POD-300x300It seems we’ve hit the ground running since we returned stateside. Our car battery was dead and our car looked like it had come from the dinosaur age after sitting for a year. It’s working well now and has been cleaned up. However, it didn’t pass inspection and needs a new muffler and a sensor light. Oh brother! Next, we’ll be attending to John’s car which looks as bad as our’s did. Unfortunately, it will need a new battery too. We now have our taxes up-to-date as well as our 990-EZ for the ministry. I’ve also enjoyed catching up with our kids and relatives. We both have had our hair cut so that we can join the human race again. It’s a gorgeous day here in Jacksonville, NC, and we’re thankful to finally be back in good ‘ole Carolina.

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers out there. We visited one of our supporting churches yesterday and Pastor Kelley of Enon Chapel preached a wonderful message on Moses’ mother – Jochabed. Jochabed was married to her nephew, Amram. Would that make Moses both Amram’s son and cousin? Don’t you just love Biblical lineages? She was quite a brave woman and so much more could be said about this special lady which will warrant another post.

Thank you!

Thanks again to all our wonderful supporters. You have prayed for us as well as helped lift the heavy yoke from our shoulders that comes from running a huge ministry like Rehoboth. No matter where we go, the ministry always follows us. So, we’re busy here as well. We look forward to seeing many of you before we return to Haiti the first week of August. Thanks also to my wonderful sister, Mary Ann, for opening up her beautiful home to us this summer again and for letting us know how much we’ve been missed.

 

Déjà Vu All Over Again!

66896-5946549Hello everyone, we are finally stateside! Seems we had to pass through an obstacle course to get here though and it seems like déjà vu all over again. Last year, there was a split in the Cap-Haitien runway and we were rerouted by bus through the Dominican Republic. We had Pastor Dick and Roxy Iverson with us so they got to experience riding for hours to Santiago, hopping into a taxi and making a mad dash to the airport only to find them calling all our names on the loudspeaker to come board the plane at that moment. By the grace of God, we made it in the nick of time to make that flight.

This year was an experience of a different sort. John dropped us off at the Cap-Haitien airport at 4:00 p.m. for our 4:45 flight which eventually turned into 7:30 p.m. We wondered if we were going to make it at all when we saw a packed waiting room of disgruntled travelers that did not make it onto the previous day’s flight. Someone said there had been mechanical problems with their plane. We all waited together praying that everyone would be able to return to Miami together. Fortunately, American Airlines sent in a larger plane and everyone was able to board. After sitting for a while on the runway,  the airport staff tried to balance the weight created by the extra tables and equipment brought in by an orthopedic team with the gas that had to be emptied into other holding tanks to even things out. You can only imagine our relief as we finally ascended into the now dark sky to make our way to Miami’s shores.

After arriving stateside, we wearily walked through the massive terminal snaking  our way through immigration and filling out info on a kiosk machine proving with our passports that we were valid. After claiming our baggage, we finally made it to our hotel room at 10:45. We fell into bed exhausted and elected not to make our 6:30 a.m. flight the next day. Appearing at the ticket counter the next morning, however, we were dismayed to find there were no connecting flights to North Carolina. All the major cities anywhere near our destination were all booked due to people traveling  back from Spring Break. Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Jacksonville…. rien! So, we were obligated to stay an extra night in Miami and fly out the next day. Happily, we made it to Jacksonville yesterday (Tuesday) only to discover that our baggage didn’t make it.  Fortunately,  it was delivered to us this morning. Whew!

One bright spot in the whole trip, however, was that we were bumped up to First Class on our flight from Miami to Charlotte. That was nice.

At any rate, we are so happy to be stateside. Thanks for your prayers for a safe trip and please remember John who will be in Haiti until May 25th finishing up his school year of teaching. It’s been a L-O-N-G year. Great things are happening, yet we are in great need of rest and reunion with family and friends. We look forward to seeing many of you who have prayed for and supported us in this great ministry.

rien: nothing, in French

Time to Go!

IMG_1911Yesterday, the last two of our team from Guatemala left and today we have also been packing to return stateside. We’re glad to hear that everyone arrived home safely and now we ask for your prayers for us as we fly out tomorrow (Sunday).

John will stay behind until his school finishes 25 May, then he will head out as well. Our Bible institute has finished up, but our schools are still in session until they finish up their exams around mid-June. Until then, the kids, staff, and cooks of our three schools will still receive a nutritious meal each day thanks to so many who have given.

IMG_1912.JPGAs I write, it is pouring down rain outside – a relief from the oppressive heat we’ve been having. Hope it’s clear skies to Miami tomorrow though!

Jeep Fund

We wish to thank all of you again for making it possible for us to purchase not one, but two vehicles. As I shared in the last post, a tremendous opportunity has opened up to us to purchase a new vehicle come October. For those of you who have been giving to the jeep fund regularly, we will also be able to look for a good second-hand vehicle that John can use for traveling back and forth to school. We are so grateful for the help of our wonderful supporters and will let you know when they are purchased.

Make a Date!

UnknownIf you would like for us to come share at your church, now’s the time to pencil us in. We will be returning to Haiti around the second week of August and it’s going to be a super busy summer. You can contact us at the e-mail addresses on our website. Also, our #’s for the States will be functioning tomorrow. Pray for us as we have much to pack into this summer!

Pritchard: (910) 703-3098 / pgiba3@gmail.com

Dana: (910) 916-7229 / danaptl@gmail.com

 

Hola!

IMG_1842What a rich time we have had so far with our Guatemalan friends! Their expressed desire was to 1) come and learn, and 2) come and serve. They have surely demonstrated a servant’s heart since they’ve been here. Last week they went to Belle-Hôtesse to visit the school and feeding program there. They also carried bags of nutritious meals they brought with them to distribute to around 40 needy  families. Boy, were they happy!

This weekend the team volunteered to paint Pastor Lefort’s church inside. Now Pastor Lefort has a new roof AND a painted building. Slowly, but surely, the Lord is restoring the buildings on this compound which he gave us to steward.

Saturday morning in our Leaders’ Meeting, Pastor Otto and Sister Alejandra gave two incredible messages to our leadership team which meets once a month. Alejandra spoke on the subject of The Sacrificial Life of a Leader which involves humility and the need to endure through seasons of fruitlessness. I wrote this in my notes: Jesus has been waiting for 2,000 years for his sacrifice to come to fruition. How much more should we be willing to wait for him to do his perfect work in our lives. Pastor Otto also spoke on the Awakening of a Leader and gave lessons from Nehemiah. Nehemiah came to a city with no vision and helped restore hope by retransmitting the vision to the remnant which had returned to Jerusalem. There were so many more valuable nuggets that I don’t have time to share them here. These messages spoke directly to the hearts of our leaders who are well acquainted with suffering and have the awesome responsibility of transmitting a vision of hope to the Haitian people. They have incredible odds facing them, but they are up to the challenge. Afterwards, the team gathered around our leaders and prayed for them.

IMG_1854.JPGWe are so grateful for these brothers and sisters who have come to encourage and serve us who are laboring here in Haiti. They are a mission-minded team and have fit right in here. This team comes from Iglesia De Cristo Elim Central, a dynamic church which is affiliated with the MFI Fellowship as we are. More to come!

* MFI: Ministers’ Fellowship International

NOTE: I have tried for hours to add pictures to this post, but the internet signal is just too weak. Such is life in Haiti! I’m going to go ahead and post it anyway. I’ll add the pictures next time (hopefully).

Nearing the Finish Line!

Feeding Program

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Pastor Délinx Joseph & Pastor Gesner Lefort

Today, we made the last payment to cover our May to mid-June feeding program. Thank you so much Rehoboth supporters! You have given so faithfully all year long in order for our school kids to have a nourishing meal 5 days a week for the whole school year.

Thanks to Orphans Promise, Lifeline Ministry, and Rehoboth Ministries, our desire to feed hungry children for another year has been accomplished. Fête Accompli!

 

Jeep Fund

clip-art-smoking-in-your-car-clipart-1Great news! We have had an incredible opportunity presented to us from some very generous donors. They have pledged to purchase us a new vehicle by giving a donation of $5,000 a month beginning now and continuing through the month of October. When we return from the States at the beginning of August, we can look forward to buying a brand new vehicle in October. This is an incredible answer to prayer!

We would like to make a proposal concerning the money which has been raised so far for the other second-hand vehicle we were looking at in Port-au-Prince. Since my last post, we have managed to raise over $10,100. Do we have someone who would be willing to help us reach the goal of $10,500 to purchase this vehicle as well? The remaining figure that we need is $400. This would give us two decent-running vehicles that will not need continual repair like the Trooper which has had its clutch replaced two times already. Thank you for your consideration of this need as well.

 

Let’s Talk Turkey!

FullSizeRender-2.jpgWe are hosting a 10- member team from Guatemala for 10 days. I called Agape Flights on Tuesday and asked one of the pilots if it was possible to get a large turkey flown in today (Thursday). Usually, one has to make an order to Agape several days in advance to get something sent in. Imagine my surprise when Jeff (one of the pilots) wrote me back and asked if I wanted a free turkey. Every Thanksgiving, Agape flights (with the help of donors) flies in a turkey complete with a turkey dinner for the missionaries. This last Thanksgiving, for some reason, they had one turkey left over. Jeff explained that the Agape staff had planned to eventually cook the turkey and eat a meal together. But, they never got around to it. So…..we received a 20 lb. turkey today that we will be cooking tomorrow for 18 people: 10 guests, us 3, and 5 Haitian workers we feed 5 days a week.  Thank you, Agape Flights for your incredible thoughtfulness towards us during our time of need. You are the best!  For the next post, I’ll actually put up some pictures of our team. 🙂

automobile-1845012__480.jpgJeep Fund

Thanks to all of you who have been helping us with our jeep fund. We had another commitment today which will bring us to $7,609. With an extra $2,000 pledge which has been made, this will give us a total to $9,609. John has found a really nice jeep owned by a missionary in Port-au-Prince who is willing to sell it to us for $10,500. This leaves a goal of $891 to raise. They even told John they would take care of the title registration which we had anticipated to be an extra charge. We are asking for your aid once again to put us over the top. We don’t know how long the jeep will be available as other folks know that it’s for sale too. As soon as we have the money,  John can fly to Port-au-Prince and drive the jeep back to Cap-Haitian. Thanks for your help!