Great news! Prit’s mom was released from the rehabilitation center on Thursday. Her greatest wish was to be in her own home for Christmas and her desire has been granted. We thank all of you again for your heartfelt prayers and ask that you would continue to lift her up until she has regained her needed strength and weight.
Gary and Magdaline St-Vil are a happily married couple as of Friday. They are a very special couple that have served in our church for years. Gary asked John to be his best man and to share some words at their reception
Gary and John were close friends when John was growing up in Haiti. Their friendship has been a special one throughout the years. You can read about it on John’s blog.
It was a joyous occasion for all.
A Desire Fulfilled
Proverbs 13:19 tells us, “A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” Pledges for $1,500 have been made towards our kitchen renovation project. We are looking so forward to having the opportunity to enlarge our little kitchen.
Thanks so much to all of you who pitched in so that we could get started on this goal! If you would still like to give, we would be happy to receive your help. The $1,500 was for buying the needed materials. It will actually cost around $2,000 by the time we pay for the carpentry work as well as remove the kitchen counter and lay tile in the kitchen area.
The clock is ticking and soon 2013 will be history. We have received the incredible challenge of raising $20,000 from one of our supporters by January 31, 2013. If we can raise the sum total of $20,000, our donor will match the funds. The $40,000 will be used to help build our main church facility in Petite-Anse. If you would like to help us reach our goal, you can click the PayPal button on the side of this page (or at rehobothhaiti.com if you’re reading this in an e-mail) or mail a check to our address in North Carolina and earmark it $20,000 Construction Fund Challenge. Perhaps, you’d like to make a Christmas gift donation for this cause to make it our best Christmas ever!
“It sure doesn’t feel like Christmas,” I told my son as we crept along L Street on Saturday. We were on our way to pick up a friend at 12th Street for choir practice and this busy artery of Cap-Haitian was overrun with people. Many were spilling out of the backs of tap-taps while others hurried to fill them. Motorcyclists weaved in and out of traffic. Others stood on street corners yelling and arguing at each other above the deafening sounds of street life. It was just another typical day in Haiti.
John pointed out a few decorations strung up high on one storefront and Christmas lights on another. I did see someone wearing a Santa cap. But to me, it didn’t feel like Christmas. After seeing photo upon photo of beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths on friends’ Facebook pages, not to mention all the mouth-watering desserts they planned to make, I admit a little bit of self-pity began to creep into my heart. I envisioned pictures of families gathered together drinking eggnog and munching on fruitcake or brownies. But the blaring horns and dirty streets quickly jolted me back to reality. Christmas is probably one of the most lonely times of the year for missionaries living abroad. Memories from our home country still call out to us after all these years.
All of a sudden, through the midst of the mayhem, the most beautiful song burst forth from someone’s loudspeaker. The well-known Christmas carol, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” seemed to take command of the airwaves around us, encircling and greeting us like an old friend. Something about those old Christmas carols stirs up familiarity in one’s spirit. John and I looked at each other and laughed at the irony of it all. Into the midst of the mundane had come the timely message of Emmanuel coming to earth. Nothing had changed the noise level in the street. People were still haggling with each other and we were still moving at a snail’s pace. Some people were just trying to get home, away from all the confusion, but our spirits had been changed and somehow, in a small way, it felt like Christmas.
Far away, in another country and at another time, the same frantic pace of life was going on. Caesar Augustus had just implemented a new tax. The market streets overflowed with merchants, hagglers, and beggars. Out in the countryside, shepherds were busy guarding sheep. Elsewhere, a woman was giving birth to a son, as so many women throughout the ages had done before her. I wonder, though, if there were some who sensed a stirring in their spirits? Perhaps as they gazed upon the unusual star, which seemed to light up the whole sky, they were keen enough to know something was afoot. Maybe, (although it didn’t yet have a name) they too felt like it was Christmas.
A few days ago, we planted into the future. Five lime trees and one orange tree will someday yield much fruit for us and the generations to come. Although it’s predicted to take anywhere around three years for the trees to reach maturity, I’m already excited over the fact that one day we will not have to buy oranges or limes from the marché. Feeding the three of us, four workers, and often extras who show up at mealtime, we value every penny that can be saved.
I wonder if God rejoices over us this way, over what we will become with his careful attention and oversight. He teaches us through creation. Careful pruning, patience, and time — lots of time — will one day yield precious fruit. With the right amount of rainfall and sunlight and so many other details that have to work together for the trees to grow, they should reach maturity. Junior, my agronomist friend who planted the trees, gave me a lengthy dissertation on the effect of photosynthesis on plants, the perfect placement of each that would guarantee the best reception of both sunlight and shade. He truly loves his work. God loves his work, too.
Many of you have sown into Rehoboth Ministries. Thank you for taking the time to plant into the future and the generations to come!
We want to thank all of you who responded to my last update concerning Prit’s mom. Lucy has been moved from the hospital where she has been since Thanksgiving. She is now in a rehab center not far from their home.
We continue to ask your prayers for her. Please pray the Lord will: 1) help her regain her strength, 2) develop an appetite, and 3) return home soon. We are quickly moving towards Christmas and we’re sure there is nowhere she would be rather be for the holidays except in her own home.
Kitchen Renovation Project
I have wonderful news! Due to the kindness of many friends, we have managed to raise $1,200 towards our $1,500 goal for the renovation of our kitchen. Many, many thanks to those of you that generously gave to help move us closer to our dream. If you would like to help us reach the finish line, we would be more than happy to receive your help.
A fellow missionary, Bill Moxon, preached a powerful message of forgiveness this morning. He and his wife, Darla, had their home broken into, not once, but twice several years ago. The gang took Darla’s wedding ring, stole all their money, and stole a vehicle from their yard (twice). Bill & Darla both suffered at the hands of the zenglendo (gang’s) hands & were severely traumatized. They and their three little girls returned to the States for a period of years, totally broken and disheartened, and yet God called them back to Haiti, to the very same place where they had previously served and were mistreated.
Our people were deeply moved as Bill opened his heart and shared the hurts that he and Darla had suffered at the hands of the Haitian people. Then they heard about redemptive grace and the road of forgiveness. As the Moxons obediently heeded God’s call to return to Haiti, they discovered that the road to forgiveness turned into the highway to healing and wholeness.
Bill and Darla are special friends. We are truly privileged to know them, for their lives are marked by humility and selflessness. Their testimony has been told over and over in the churches here in Haiti and God is using their message in a very profound way. God can take our sufferings and use them for his redemptive purposes.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Prit’s mom (Lucy) has been hospitalized again and is presently in Pinehurst, N.C. Lucy has been fighting the good fight of faith to regain her health for several months now. This past summer, she was in and out of the hospital three different times. We are here in Haiti and are unable to be by her bedside at the moment. Prit’s sister, Mary and her husband, Bill, have been with them since Thanksgiving. But, we know there is no distance in prayer. Therefore, we covet your prayers at this time. Thank you!
I’m sitting on our front porch on a Monday afternoon enjoying this gorgeous tropical weather. I can hear the school children on the other side of the compound laughing and playing. Maybe they’re happy today because they know they’ll get a hot meal since it’s Monday. Because someone cared enough to give, they’ll go home with full bellies. I’m admiring our beautiful porch that the Tacoma team recently painted and am so thankful for the hands that made it possible. Because of their labors, we’ll also be using the conference room soon to host the MFI team that’s coming in January, as well as having a beautiful place for weddings. No more paying out money to rent a hotel conference room!
We are so thankful for our many supporters and friends who have helped make our lives a little (or a lot) easier here on the mission field. In spite of their busy schedules back home, they have faithfully lifted our weary hands. From regular support to sending food boxes, from committing themselves to special projects or just coming to minister to our people here in Cap-Haitian, they are a tremendous strength to us.
Now, Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is just around the corner. Black Friday is behind us and Christmas trees have been set up and decorated. The eggnog will be passed around and packages will soon be opened. Then, before you know it, it will be time to take it all down until next year. Would you like to do things differently this year? How about giving a gift that endures, the gift of a lifetime? Say “Merry Christmas” another way this year to someone you’ve never met, yet someone that will never forget you gave. There is tremendous joy in giving, especially when it changes someone’s life.
Rehoboth Ministries is brimming with ideas of how you can make someone’s Christmas special!
- feed a child (or two!) $40 feeds a child two hot meals a week for an entire school year
- build our church: $20,000 Challenge to build our new church facility in Petite-Anse: Deadline is December 31, 2013
- renovate the kitchen in our mission house: $600 raised. Goal: $1,500 to buy materials
- ease the burden of tuition for a Bible School student: $600
Wouldn’t you love to have the satisfaction of knowing that your gift is one that endures?
Yesterday, we shared a Thanksgiving meal with several missionaries who serve here in the north of Haiti. It was great seeing old friends as well as meeting new ones. We enjoyed a wonderful feast and heard a great message about Ruth, a message of going from famine to feast. All in all, it was a great break from the ordinary routine here.
This little guy kept us entertained. He is full of life and has been adopted by missionary parents. You would never know that he was found in a suitcase, suffering from malnutrition. This is just one story of many that we hear of lives being changed by people who came in Jesus’ name to make a difference.