By the time you read this post, we will have already taken flight (on Thursday) for Ft. Lauderdale. Early Friday morning, we will land in Cap-Haitian. Today, we are making last minute runs of buying food and other needed items that will fit into a suitcase, packing boxes to be shipped, and checking lists off as we go. As busy as we are now, it will get even busier in just a couple of days!
I received this note on my Facebook page yesterday and wanted to share it with you. Genuine compliments bring life and encouragement to the soul. All of us need those moments and this was one for me. A friend wrote:
Dana – it was great seeing you and Prit yesterday at Matt and Becky’s. I just finished reading “Into The Storm”. It is a wonderful and terrific read, and very inspiring. I have NO DOUBT that this book will be the template for numerous Christians facing a similar situation. Take care and have a safe trip back this week.
I am asking the Lord to cause my book to take flight as well – that the message may run and find all those who need a message of hope and faith in God’s healing virtue. Do you know someone today who needs such a message? I have several books here in Fayetteville available that can be shipped. If you need one (or more), don’t hesitate to write me. If you prefer to order online, it’s also available at amazon.com, xulonpress.com, or barnesandnoble.com.
My book has also been translated into French by a dear sister I’ve never met. God truly works in mysterious ways. Would you pray with me that the provision would come to get Dans la Tempête published in French as well as to locate others in French-speaking countries to oversee its sale and distribution? This is foreign territory to me, but I know God can make an inroad for this story that gives Him all the glory.
We want to thank our many supporters for being our “Aaron and Hur” when our arms were too heavy to lift. We greatly value and count on your prayers for us as we return to the field. There are so many pressing projects awaiting us and mountains only God can move. Will you join us in prayer concerning the needed funds for the following projects?
- feeding program
- construction of our new church building in Petite-Anse
- renovation of buildings on our compound that are in great disrepair
- a new vehicle
If you feel led to help us give flight to one of these projects, please contact us!
Sunday, (August 25), marked the three-year anniversary since Prit’s release from the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Canada, after suffering from back-to-back brain aneurysms. My mind traced back over the events of that crisis as I sat in the pew at Moncure Baptist Church Sunday morning and listened to my husband preach. The head nurse practitioner of the Acute Care Neurological Ward had warned me, “You need to think about gathering your family together to make a decision,” the decision being to remove him from life support.
I recalled the conversation between Prit and the speech therapist who interviewed him after he regained consciousness. Testing his cognitive skills, she gave him several hypothetical tests. “What would you do if your house caught on fire? Would you a) call the fire department, b) call your neighbors to bring buckets of water, or c) try to put it out yourself?” Her brow furrowed as Prit immediately responded with answer b. “Why would you do that?” she asked, slightly befuddled. I chuckled to myself as he explained that our house would burn down before the Cap-Haitian fire department ever made it there in time. “I’d call the neighbors to come quickly with buckets of water to put the fire out.” It was at that point that I knew he was back! As Prit quickly flipped from one picture on the slideshow to the other, summarizing thirty years of service in Haiti, I marveled at his ability to think fluidly once again.
It was great to see the folks at Moncure and to spend time with Pastor Matt and Becky as well as friends from the past, Mark and Norma Lloyd, that showed up to surprise us.
Thanks again, Moncure Baptist Church, for your partnership with Rehoboth Ministries!
Gearing Up for Haiti
A week from today, Prit, John, and myself will be flying into Cap-Haitian. The tickets are bought and hotel reservations have been made. It’s going to be a busy fall. John has been busy studying the book of Hebrews and gearing up for teaching in our Bible institute. Fortunately, he has been able to raise all the needed support for his return to Haiti!
We have a team from Trinity Church in Tacoma, Washington, slated to come the month of October. We’ll be in the States for our annual MFI East Coast Conference in Reston, VA, (Oct. 14-17), then will get back just in time to receive the team. At this moment, tile is being laid in the guest room of the smaller mission house as we get it ready for them to have a place for them to stay. The renovation work continues!
We had a short vacation with our kids. Deborah returned to West Virginia on Tuesday and Gabe took off for Portland on Wednesday. Goodbyes haven’t gotten any easier after 30 years on the mission field. 😦
The Father’s Heart Church
We had a great time ministering at The Father’s Heart Church in Hampstead, North Carolina, last Sunday. Pastor Scot and Kelly Painter are longtime friends. Prit relayed several experiences from our last 30 years in Haiti. We are so grateful for our partnership with this great church! We went out for lunch afterwards and Gabe said, “We’re only 1 mile from the beach. I can’t go back to Portland and miss this opportunity!” So, after eating lunch at Surf City, we spent a short time at the beach before heading back to Fayetteville.
- … for us as we buy last minute items, send boxes ahead of us, pack, and sew up loose ends here in Fayetteville
- … for our family members who have, once again, returned to their respective places of work
- … for a safe, trouble-free trip back to Haiti
- … for us to finish getting the mission house ready for John and for upcoming teams
It’s so easy to look the other way
Easier just to ignore what they say
“I’m hungry, can’t you please give me something to eat?”
The dry, red hair
and stomach protruding
the dazed look, the crazed look
A mother’s voice soothing
“I’m hungry, can’t you please give me something to eat?”
They’re a world away
out from under our gaze
Their voices too weak
We can’t hear them speak,
“I’m hungry, can’t you please give me something to eat?”
Eating our meals, throwing away the half,
Most of it ending up in the trash,
Can’t we hear their plea,
“I’m hungry, can’t you please give me something to eat?”
We listen one moment, some of us pause,
thinking, “Someone else will take up the cause”
While the voice grows weaker, the sigh grows deeper,
too tired to ask anymore…..
“Will someone please give me something to eat?”
On Tuesday, two lady friends came to visit us. They drove over from Mount Olive, North Carolina, and spent the day with Prit and myself. Not only did Janet and Karen come to spend precious time with us, but they came bearing gifts for us and our children.
Prit and I have been blessed with a wide circle of friends. Our travels as missionaries have opened various doors to meet people from all walks of life and we’ve been blessed to make a lot of friends along the way. Janet and Karen are two of those special friends. Yesterday, we sat for hours talking about this, that and the other. But the conversation always came back to the Lord.
An anonymous author once said, ”Friendship isn’t a big thing – it’s a million little things.” How very true this is!
I wrote a post some time ago asking folks that were interested if they would be willing to contribute some wedding dresses to a good cause. We’re trying to help a couple start a dress-rental shop to bring some needed income in for their family. The Haitians usually don’t have sufficient funds to buy a wedding gown, tuxedo, and other items. Instead, they rent these items for their wedding ceremonies.
To be honest, I had completely forgotten about the post. But, Janet didn’t. She presented us with several beautiful wedding gowns she had bought on sale for us to take back to Haiti. Maybe another definition of a friend should be ”one who remembers even when we forget.” This is not the first time Janet and Karen have been such a blessing to us and to Rehoboth Ministries. That day, Karen brought me a dress and jacket combination as well as some things for our house in Haiti, and also took us out to dinner.
As we were saying our goodbyes, Janet handed me an envelope and told me to open it later. She is so very humble. Later, I discovered that she had not forgotten the updates I had posted concerning the renovations we’re hurriedly trying to make in the little mission house beside ours. She wrote in the note that she wanted to help get John’s room ready for him.
Janet and Karen would be the last people that would want me to write a post about them. But, I just wanted to thank them for giving us a such special day together. Thanks also for remembering, even when we forget.
“Why is that lady taking a picture of her suitcases in the Barnes and Noble parking lot?” Well, because a friend asked her to do so, of course! “Isn’t that normal?” a woman would ask. Well, as I sit and type this post about the busyness that this week will bring, I decided to let you see a picture of our new suitcases as well. I know, I know. The men won’t care, but the women will say, “Oh, I wish I could have seen them!” It’s a girl thing, guys.
Our older suitcases have finally been relegated to the dumpster bin, having seen better days. If only those suitcases could talk, they would tell you about the way they’ve been mistreated, man-handled, and even lost in our journey over the years. Being ripped and torn from so much abuse, the time has come to discard the old for the new. Such is the missionary life that involves a whole lot of comin’ and goin’.
Speaking of comin’ and goin’, we have lots to look forward to over the next few days. Our kids are coming: Gabe flies in from Portland on Wednesday; John drives in from Asheville on Thursday; and Deb comes in on Amtrak on Friday. If you know anything about missionary families getting together, then you know these family get-togethers are pretty special. Our kids will only be here for a week and, before you know it, we’ll be saying, “Wow, that went by fast!” Would you pray for their safe travel as they come from different directions? Of course, this time we’ll find some comfort knowing John’s not leaving. He’s going back to Haiti with us. Before you know it, we’ll be “goin'” and putting those new suitcases to great use.
As our vacation is winding down here in the States, we have been busy working to get things up and running for our return to Haiti. Here are just a couple of things we have had to deal with over the last few days.
1) Getting electricity restored to the compound
Prit sent a bank transfer down to Haiti so that Pastor Lefort could pay the power company (EDH) a portion of what we owe. This was in order to get the electricity hooked back up to the compound. After paying them the money, Pastor Lefort then was required to go to town every day and argue with the workers at EDH to come connect the wires. Finally, it required a little more money and coercion to get it done.
2) While going to town every day and dealing with this matter, Pastor Lefort was stopped by a policeman. His registration sticker was out-of-date. Instead of giving him a ticket requiring him to update his sticker, the police impounded his car.
I’ve often described life in Haiti as a juggling act. There are always several things going on at once and the majority of them always require money. We had also sent money for the little mission house next to ours to be renovated little by little. We have teams coming down this year, plus John is returning with us. They’ll all need a place to stay.
After learning of Pastor Lefort’s predicament with his car, we had to shift gears. We immediately wrote him and said, “Go ahead and take part of the money designated for the renovation and get your car out!” Otherwise, every day there’d be a fee to keep it in.
So, the fun has already begun! Oh yes, and Pastor Lefort will have to travel to Ft. Liberté (a city two hours away) to pay the fee to get his car out of the pound in Cap-Haitian because it’s cheaper that way. (Who knows why?)
Please pray for Pastor Lefort. He is such a blessing to us and never hesitates to do what we ask of him. There is no one more dependable than him. When we moved from Bel-Air to the compound, he made at least 8 trips back and forth hauling all our stuff to our new home. He never asked for anything in return. Pray he can get his car returned to him quickly.
In just 10 days, Enon Chapel (Jacksonville, North Carolina) will turn 141 years old! Yet, in spite of being along in years, it is nowhere near slowing down. Prit and I had the privilege of sharing with the Enon folks a couple of Sundays ago about the work in Haiti and were very warmly received. My first description of Enon would be that of joy. Sunday morning worship is lively and there’s a rejoicing that takes place every time this tight knit community comes together. Even though the congregation must have had at least 200 people present when we were there, a family atmosphere still prevailed. Enon church members love the Lord, their pastors, and their church. They are excited about the Lord’s work and are as strong as ever.
Pastor James and Becky Kelley have been at the helm of Enon since June 3, 1986, and are doing a phenomenal job of keeping the church balanced and running on all cylinders. Enon is busy serving the community in multiple ways. Whether visiting nursing homes, assisting local agencies by providing food and doing home repair, or rummaging up school supplies for the local schools, Enon is buzzing with activity. In addition to their own ministries, they help support other outreaches such as the Onslow Pregnancy Center, Second Chance and Kairos Prison Ministry. They are striving to touch every facet of life with vital contact.
As if they didn’t have their hands full, Enon Chapel serves as a bulwark to the families of Marines that leave home to protect our country. Jacksonville is home to the Marine Corp Base at Camp Lejeune. It is the world’s largest amphibious training base as well as home to the 2nd Marine Division. There are approximately 150,000 Marines and Civilian workers that work on Camp Lejeune. Pastor Kelly and the church family gather around the precious families of the men serving abroad and provide them with moral strength as they wait for their loved ones to return home safely.
Fortunately, for us and other missionaries serving on the foreign field, Enon looks beyond the world just outside their door. They are presently supporting several missionaries who are laboring to advance God’s Kingdom in the earth. We are so thankful Enon Chapel is partnering with Rehoboth Ministries to fulfill the Great Commission in Haiti.
I encourage you to visit Enon’s website. You will see that the dust doesn’t have time to gather on this church’s pews. Also, it’s the only way you can discover the strange connection between Enon Chapel and pink flamingos. 🙂
It’s that time again, folks! School will be open again before we know it and we hope to be able to provide many hot meals for our students when they come. We are asking everyone who is able to join in and help us raise the needed funds for our children’s feeding program. Just $40 will feed a child two hot meals per week for an entire school year. It can’t get any easier than that.
One pastor told us “As long as you have a feeding program, our church will help support it.” Check out the update concerning Jennifer Steimel who will donate half her proceeds from selling jewelry to help us feed hungry kids. All we need are some ladies that will host a jewelry party. (see link: For Ladies Only!) Jennifer wrote me recently to say, “I’m ready to feed some kids!” Perhaps you know of a restaurant, school or another organization that would be willing to have a drive or a fundraiser to help us meet our goal?
This is my absolute, all-time favorite picture of our kids during mealtime. Even though the picture’s a little fuzzy, it still speaks a thousand words. The little girl with the braided hair looks like one of the characters from The Little Rascals. (Now, I’m revealing my age). Justin, Pastor Lefort’s son, (to her right) always knows how to look right into the camera. He is as adorable as he looks. The little boy beside him is too busy enjoying his meal to even care. Priceless!
We have a long way to go. Can you help?
Amount Raised: $6,555.95
Cost per month: $5,300
Feeds: 1,300 students, teachers, cooks and workers, twice a week
Prayers for JohnPrit and I have had a great summer. August is already here and we are beginning to wind down and set our sights toward returning to Haiti around the end of the month. As we’ve shared, this year will be a milestone. Our son, John, will be returning with us. We believe John’s presence is going to be a tremendous encouragement and strength to us in more ways than we can count. It will be a time of refreshing for us just to have our son on the mission field with us, but it will be much more than that. John will be able to add another perspective plus foresight and innovative ideas of his own. His knowledge of technology is greater than ours, so we already have plans for him to help us in this area. The Bible school teachers are eagerly looking forward to having him help them carry part of their workload.Just the mention of John returning to Haiti was like a breath of life to our church members. They are overjoyed to know that he is returning to the land of his birth. We ask your prayers for John as he gets ready to make this leap of faith. It’s going to be a very busy year for him. He has almost raised all of his support and this is one confirmation to him that he is on the right track.We ask your prayers for …
- his health: protection from overwork and sickness
- his course load: fluency in Haitian Creole and French, rapport with the students, insight into the courses he’ll teach and an anointing to make them relevant to the students
- a vehicle (he can use our Trooper, but there will be times our schedules will conflict)
- him to be a catalyst for our youth
- a flexibility and wisdom in all his affairs
- anything else that comes to your minds!Don’t forget to check out his website backtohaiti.com to learn more about John’s plans.There’s still time!So far, we have one Sunday scheduled this month for ministry. (Aug. 18) There’s still time if you’d like for us to come and share with your church, Bible study group, or men and women’s group. We never tire of telling all the wonderful things the Lord has done, and continues to do, through Rehoboth Ministries. Whether it’s a Sunday morning or during the week, we would love to come and share with you.Contact us:Dana(910) 495-6921Pritchard(910) 703-3098