…And the Beat Goes On

Here are more photos of the anniversary service at Belle-Hôtesse, along with pictures of us moving to our new home. As you can see, we have a lot going on and a lot more to do before we fly out on Friday morning!

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Do you love a good challenge? Our new home, as well as the smaller mission house located right beside it, is in much need of reparations.  As you can see in the photos, we have so much work that still needs to be done! We are starting a project called, “Adopt-A-Room.” Taking this challenge in bite-size pieces will help us get the task done quicker. In a later post, we’ll have the costs of each room available in case any of our readers would like to help. We would like to get these houses ready for future mission teams. Adding another level to the house we’re moving into would enable Prit and me to live upstairs, thereby leaving the downstairs available for teams and guests as well. Would you please pray about being a part of this project?

No Time to Breathe

Where does the time go? This past week has kept us so busy that I’m not sure we’ll know what to do with ourselves when we finally have time to sit down! Our time is winding down quickly and we will be taking off early Friday morning for Ft. Lauderdale. Before the day is over, we’ll be in North Carolina. Here’s the latest update on what is going on through Rehoboth Ministries.

Thank you, Northwood Temple!

Jim Jackson, from Northwood Temple, Fayetteville, N.C., mailed us a huge box of medicine and another box that contained baby clothes. Below are pictures of school children receiving some of the worm medicine he sent. Thank you, Jim, and the other staff members at NWT for helping get these items together!

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Another birthday!

Yesterday, we traveled to Belle-Hôtesse with most of our musicians and several singers to join in the celebration of the fifth anniversary of Pastor Dieudonné Jasmin’s church. This was our first church plant (after the mother church). Belle-Hôtesse is located out in the countryside. It takes at least an hour to reach the church due to the horrible road conditions. But, that didn’t dampen our festive spirits. Many of the children that attend the school there came dressed in their uniforms. Prit preached a great message and afterwards many people came forward for prayer.

Moving, Moving, Moving

Don Davis, a longtime missionary friend, arrived early this morning with his truck to help us load up most of our furniture and transport it all to the compound where we’ll be making our new home. Of all the sunny days we’ve had lately, we were dismayed to hear the pitter-patter of rain falling on our roof this morning. It rained off and on all day as we worked on clearing out the house. Don came with another missionary friend and we had several helpers from our church that worked tirelessly to help us transfer our things down the hill. The bulk of all we own is now sitting at Sainte-Philomène. There’s no going back now! We still a few small pieces of furniture sitting around and ceiling fans to take down. Then there are our appliances and a few more “whatnots,” but we definitely made headway today. A special thanks goes to Don, Bud, and all of our helpers.

Birthdays All Around!

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. We took the day off and went to the Christophe Hotel for dinner. We are celebrating another year and reveling in the goodness of God. Thanksgiving and Prit’s birthday are always close together and sometimes on the same day, so we have many reasons to give thanks.

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Sunday, we celebrated the third anniversary of our third church plant in Sainte-Philomène. Pastor Gesner Lefort and his team have been doing a wonderful job adding to and building up the church. Prit shared the message and many people came forward for prayer afterward. What a joy to celebrate another birthday with this dynamic church!

Thankful for Agape Flights & Rock Church

Agape Flights flew in on Tuesday morning bringing turkeys for all the missionaries that use their service. They do this faithfully every year and for we who serve here on the mission field, this is a very special occasion. Already being away from home and separated from family and friends, Agape’s kindness means more than we can possibly express. Thank you so much Agape Flights!

Located in Venice, Fla., Agape is made up of a wonderful team of workers and volunteers that work tirelessly to bring in mail, cargo, and just about anything else that may be needed here in Haiti. They fly in once a week and make extra flights around the holidays just to get items such as Christmas gifts to the missionaries that don’t return home during the holiday seasons. They truly go beyond the call of duty. Check out their website and see all the wonderful things they are doing at www.agapeflights.com. They definitely live up to the name!

We also give a big salute to Pastors Mike and Mary Chatt and the whole Rock Church family in Tarboro, N.C. Rock Church contributed the funds to help Agape bring in our 20 lb. turkey. This also included all the trimmings that go with a regular Thanksgiving meal. Pastor Mike and Mary, we want you to know that we fed over 30 musicians, singers, and workers in our home with this turkey, rice and beans, salad, and fried plantain. With your gift, you made a WHOLE lot of people smile! We are so grateful for the care and support that you give to us and to Rehoboth Ministries! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Good News!

Dear Readers,

We have some very exciting news for you! Our son, John, has decided to move back to Haiti to work with Rehoboth Ministries. After months of heartfelt prayer for God’s guidance, along with a burden for the youth of Haiti, he is now making his plans to join us in 2013.
John also maintains our website and has truly been a blessing in every way. He has written his own post and we feel his own words can best express what is in his heart to do. We ask you to please take the time to read “Why Go Home?” and remember John in your earnest prayers.

 

Forward Movement

Still Moving

This past week has gone by like a whirlwind! We are still in the midst of packing up and sending boxes by the truckload to Sainte-Philomène. The small mission house awaits us and, once this house is emptied, there will be the dreaded task of sorting and arranging all that we own to fit into a much smaller space. We are moving ahead, however, and not looking back.

Anniversary Celebrations

Today Prit and I, our worship team, and singing group (ADPC), celebrated the third anniversary of our third church plant in Sainte-Philomène. It was a great service. The church was full and we are amazed at the wonderful job Pastor Lefort, his wife and staff are doing. Pastor Lefort has borrowed my camera, so I’ll have pictures to upload tomorrow.

Studio

Joy…elation…wonder! I experienced the full range of emotions on Friday the 9th of November when Prit and I returned to the 4VEH studio to record Prit’s final solo for our upcoming album in Creole. We started working on the album in 2009 and Prit was then slated to cap off the final song. After hours turned into days, and days into weeks in the studio, our group (ADPC) was finally ready to be done with the grueling work that this album required. Because of Prit’s incredibly busy schedule, we recorded the lion’s share of the music and vocals, laying down tracks and constantly tweaking our work. Our plan was to bring Prit in to sing the final selection.

As most of you know, the unexpected crisis of 2010 caused all our plans to veer violently off the chosen path. On that almost fateful Sunday morning of July 4, 2010, Prit suffered two brain aneurysms and was never expected to recover. The Lord’s unfailing love preserved him, however, due to a series of miracles which can only be explained as the result of agonizing, prevailing prayer. The story is told in my book, Into the Storm. After several months of rehabilitation and recovery, we finally booked our tickets and were ready to return to Haiti. Another surgery interrupted our plans, however, which would require the removal of a deadly, malignant melanoma from Prit’s face. More delays and more healing time followed. Finally, after almost a year away from Haiti, we returned to Cap-Haitian. Work on the album had come to a screeching halt, taking a back seat to all the other demands that awaited us after having been away for so long.

Finally, we made it back to the studio! As Prit sang “Take this Bread” (a Communion song), my eyes welled up with tears as the reality of the words that poured forth struck me. Only God’s perfect Lamb could pay the cost for mankind’s brokenness. “Take this cup….” The body and blood of Jesus fully satisfied the requirements of a holy God. This Covenant of Life of which Prit sang had sustained him in his neediest moment. Mind and voice intact, I thought of how dangerously close Prit had come to never accomplishing this task. It would have been incredibly sad to watch another soloist take his place – yet here he was singing effortlessly into the microphone!

Konnen Bib La

Tuesday, Prit also returned to 4VEH for the first time since 2010 to continue recording the “Konnen Bib La” series. “Konnen Bib La” (“Knowing the Bible”) is reaching 75% of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the surrounding islands, as well as touching lives through the Internet all over the world. As you can see, Rehoboth Ministries is moving forward on all different levels!

Thank you!

Thank you once again for your many prayers and generous giving to this work. We could never move forward without the faithful support of our partners!

This Old House

Dear Readers,

We are still busy transferring our things down to the compound. Everything has to be moved before we leave on November 30. We only have a certain number of boxes to work with, so several boxes have been taken down, emptied, and brought back to fill again. Thankfully, the weather is gorgeous here and we no longer have to contend with the heavy rains which last weekend brought to Cap-Haitian. Soon, I will post some pictures of the mission house where we’ll be staying. Meanwhile, I thought you might like to see what we’re leaving.

In our 16+ years in this house, it has been a great struggle. It is in tremendous need of repair in more ways than we can count. All the pipes need to be replaced. We’ve had to add new doors that were eaten through by termites. The roof leaks in several rooms, as well as on the stairway, and the tile reflects years of constant use. Life in Bel-Air has always been a source of contention. Having an ample supply of water always involved dealing with the folks in the neighborhood. It was often a common practice of our neighbors to purposely break a pipe, then come and offer to fix it for a small fee. Even the electric company, in our absence, came and took our breaker and has never restored it. This means much precious money is spent on buying gas and running our generator on a daily basis. So, in many ways, you can imagine why we are ready to move!

On the other hand, the house contains many memories for us. It would take a whole book to relate them all. If the walls could talk, they would speak of all the countless decisions that had to be made here in order for the ministry to grow. They would tell you about the range of emotions Prit and I felt as each child left one-by-one for the United States to continue their schooling. “The empty nest is never fun!” they would say. It would be quick to point out all the laughter and tears that were shed within. The ceilings would attest to all the prayers and intercession that mounted upward, often accompanied by what seemed like a constant torrent of tears. The doors would also speak of the steady stream of visitors that entered in hope of finding something to eat and leaving full. But, unfortunately, this old house must hold its silence, unable to speak of the faithfulness of God that has been proven time and time again in the midst of fierce trials – trials that have literally taken us to the brink of death and back.

So, while you see why we feel incredible relief to be moving to a more decent place, you will also understand the need to pause and reflect on God’s goodness towards us in this place. Each time we pass this area, one glance towards this old house will conjure up all sorts of memories and feelings. It’s a good thing we can take the memories with us, though. Please continue to pray for this move, that we can get everything done and we can be settled in before we leave Haiti at the end of the month.

Moving Day

Today was our first moving day. Saturdays are usually devoted to choir practice, but due to the heavy rains in and around Cap-Haitian, the rehearsals were cancelled. Many of our church members couldn’t even leave their houses today because their yards were full of water. Fortunately, no one from Petite-Anse was adversely affected by the flooding.

Instead, Pastor Lefort helped us haul a great number of boxes down to the compound. He made around five trips in all with the help of some of his church members. What a servant! I don’t know what we ever did to deserve such a wonderful man of God. He always goes beyond the call of duty and does it cheerfully.

There is still much work to do. Our living space has been greatly reduced, but at least the house is warm and dry. There is also an abundance of water and a security guard at the property. These things mean a great deal in Haiti! Here’s a picture of our faithful workers and the car packed for its last trip of the day. Pastor Lefort is on the far left.

Severe Flooding in Cap-Haitien

Last night, heavy rains began to pour incessantly in our neighborhood. They continued nonstop and, even then, they didn’t abate until around 11:00 a.m. this morning. It was a fitful night of sleep for us because our roof leaks in all three bedrooms as well as in the stairwell. We moved from our main bedroom (our bed was soaked) to another room that contains a single bed. Although terribly uncomfortable, we managed to get a few more hours of sleep. This morning we awoke to find the floor of the bedroom covered with water due to the leaking roof. It only served to make us that much more willing to move into the mission house that is awaiting us on our compound. Even though the mission house still needs more renovation, the roof is in good shape and there’s plenty of water.

On a larger scale, Cap-Haitien was severely affected by the heavy rains as well and there was much flooding downtown. Prit and I had an appointment outside of town this morning. On our way out, we saw much damage. A large bus had somehow managed to slide into a ditch and we could see water flooding down small ravines from neighborhoods further off the road. After finishing up at the studio, we dropped by the home of some missionary friends to return some DVDs. They recounted some very sad news to us and I would like to share an excerpt from Don and Karen Davis’ post about these events that took place just since yesterday. I’m sure they won’t mind if we share this information.

Our important, urgent trip came to an end with one phone call. The rains had caused flooding all over our area and into town. There were landslides, there is mass destruction. People aren’t hungry… they are dead… one family of 8, only the dad survived. Another family, the baby, another youngster and mom were found lying dead on the road, but the rest of the family has yet to be found….

 

My heart is so very, very heavy. We keep calling friends to make sure they are okay. Can’t reach a few of them, so we are very concerned. We sit here crying for the lost, for the ones left, who are hurting so much, for yet another devastation causing an already hurting country to go into mourning.

 

So again, we ask for prayers… for the families of those who are gone, or not found yet – for the families who have lost everything from possessions (as little as they were) to their homes washed down the hillside – for those wandering, looking for someone to help them find family – for the people in authority who are overwhelmed with what to do for those who have loss of life in their families, have lost their property and livelihood.

Dear readers, please remember those in and around Cap-Haitien tonight who are suffering and especially those that have lost loved ones. We also ask that you would pray the rain would stop. It is expected to continue throughout the weekend. This could cause more flooding and loss of life.

Prayer and Transition

Prayer for the Nation

Knowing many of you have had your eyes on the election for the last few days, I have waited to post this until today. Now that all the results have come in, we urge our readers to commit themselves to pray for our President and our country more than ever. Whatever happens in the United States has a bearing on the other nations of the world as well. The Haitian church continues to pray fervently for America.

Despite what is going on in our homeland, the goals of Rehoboth Ministries remain the same here on the mission field. We are tirelessly working to win souls, make disciples, train up leaders, and advance the reign of the Lord Jesus in this part of God’s vineyard. We also work to alleviate the suffering that plagues a poverty-ridden nation and restore the dignity of as many people as we can by putting them to work.

Transition Time

As of Saturday, we all turned our clocks back and began to adjust to a slight change in our schedules. Since we added an hour, it was a somewhat pleasant change. Also on Saturday, Prit and I learned of another change (although more major than the setting of our clocks), would be taking place in our lives as well. Our last 16 years have been spent in the same house, but this chapter is coming to a close. Since our landlord wants his house back by 8 January, we are presently packing to make our move over to the next neighborhood where our compound in Sainte-Philomène is located.  This property is the site of our third church/school plant and Bible institute. It also has two small mission houses that we have been renovating for future teams.

Since we have a team coming during the first week of January, we need to already be moved and settled in so that we can be ready to receive them when they come.  Therefore, we have shifted into high-gear and are scurrying about to get everything ready. We will be hauling our accumulation of ”stuff” of (almost) 30 years in Haiti to the other property to move into one of the mission houses.  Before our departure on 30 November, we will need to figure out how we’re going to reduce what we have and fit it all into a smaller-sized home, plus accommodate ourselves to life on a compound. Whew! We need your prayers.

Since our present home has long had all sorts of problems, which range from a dilapidated roof to a constant shortage of water, it will be a huge relief to live in a home that doesn’t share the same woes. Because the home is much smaller, however, our minds are working overtime to decide what will go into each room and what will go into storage.  We will also be just a few yards away from the constant activity of the schoolchildren reciting their lessons and playing in the yard as well as the church services that take place throughout the week. Students from the Bible institute will also be coming and going. Please pray for us as we make this transition. This will be our third move to another house since moving to Cap-Haitian 24 years ago.

Our true desire for the mission houses is to finish renovating them and make them available as guest houses for incoming teams. These would be teams coming to do mission work in the north of Haiti, not just teams coming down to work with Rehoboth Ministries. Thereby, this could be a source of additional revenue to put back into the ministry. It is our hope that our stay at Sainte-Philomène will be a temporary one, so we ask you to join with us in prayer for the Lord’s direction in our future plans.