It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…a Home!

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Our guest house next door is beginning to look a lot like a home. New cabinets have been installed as well as tile. Thanks to generous supporters, we have a brand new refrigerator and stove. I’ve had our workers busy arranging living room furniture and hauling some items from our depot over to the other house. In a few weeks, we’ll receive new sofa, chair, and pillow covers sewed by a dear friend. I can’t wait to hang some beautiful Haitian paintings and give it the “woman’s touch.” Thanks so much to everyone who has helped us get this far.

There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. Here’s a list of items still on the “to do” list if you’d like to help:

  • Hot Water Heater
  • End Tables & Lamps for den
  • 5 Ceiling fans for kitchen, den, and back porch
  • Screens for windows (An important item for the tropics!)
  • A ceiling for the closed-in back porch to cover the wooden beams which are exposed under our tin roof
  • Tile for the back porch
  • Replace the ceiling in the small bedroom with celotex

We have some dear friends who are missionaries here in Haiti that are in need of a place to live. The home they were renting is no longer available. We have offered them the guest house until they know what their future holds. They will move in on January 1. We would be ever so grateful to those who can help us help them have a decent place to stay.

Partners for Life

partnersMan Pas, I found this on the ground. It must have fallen when boxes were moved from the other house to this one.”

Elaide (one of our workers) handed me an embroidered picture, now somehow separated from the glass and frame that once protected it. Prit’s Aunt Griselda had given it to us the day of our wedding. I stared in disbelief as I took this priceless, but now filthy treasure from her hand. It had obviously been trampled on several times and now was ruined.

I wondered how long it had taken Aunt Griselda to finish this piece. Having embroidered several items when I was in high school, I knew the time and effort that must have gone into its completion. The words on the piece of cloth read:

Now that we are one, O God
Go before us to guide us
Go behind us to protect us
Go beneath us to secure us
Go beside us to befriend us
Bind us closer in your love
Amen

Pritchard and Dana
June 13, 1981

In spite of the disappointment over a ruined gift, I was reminded that this prayer had truly been answered time and time again. The things we’ve faced together since that bright, sunny day of June 13, 1981, are enough to fill a novel. But our partnership has helped us weather some very violent storms. Without the Lord at the helm, our ship would have sunk long ago.

On January 10, 2015, Prit and I will have served together in Haiti for 32 years. I was remarking to Prit today that we’ve spent more of our lives in Haiti than we have in our own country. We’ve also spent the majority of our married life here as well since our next anniversary will mark 34 years.

If you are not already, would you prayerfully consider becoming partners with Rehoboth Ministries? We appreciate every gift we receive for this work, but we are seeking partners who give on a regular basis and who will commit themselves to pray for us. One-time gifts are wonderful, but running a huge ministry such as Rehoboth requires meeting the regular payrolls of leaders, teachers, and other staff members. There are a hundred other needs represented as well within our monthly account which includes feeding schoolchildren, maintaining our vehicle and generators, construction work, and the list goes on and on. Just as Prit and I are partners for the long haul, we are seeking partners that would commit themselves to us in the same way. Will you ask the Lord what part he would have you play in the support of this ministry?

On the Trail of the Permis de Séjour

blogger-image--1962370600Prit and I have made a daily trek to town over the last couple of weeks to obtain our Permis de Séjour. A Permis de Séjour is a permit that enables us to reside in Haiti without having to renew our tourist visa every three months. It also entitles us to buy and own land, privileges that citizens enjoy.

After all these years in Haiti, we had already obtained residency status. However, in January 2010, our documents were sent to Port-au-Prince (the capital) to be renewed. Unfortunately the devastating earthquake that took an estimated 200,000 lives on 12 January also brought down the building where our documents were held. There was no data to prove we ever had a permit.

As most of you know, 2010 involved a personal earthquake of our own. Prit almost became a different type of casualty during that year, but thanks to the prayers of many, he survived. The pursuit of the Permit de Sejour fell by the wayside. Finally, we started the process of renewing our papers again. We were both disappointed to be advised to start all over again at ground zero. “You would have to pay an exorbitant price for every year you missed, so it would be more advantageous to start over completely.” I wondered if it was going to be more advantageous for us or for everyone that would be paid along the way to getting the requirements met.

We’re happy to say that all the documents have been resubmitted and we’ve been told to return after the holidays. After running from this office to the next, sitting for countless hours in the bank just to obtain one letter, we are very relieved to have everything turned in.

Would you pray with us that things would move along quickly? Having the Permis in hand will free us to move towards our next step. I’ll share more about that later.

Here’s the list of requirements that has kept us incredibly busy. Now that it’s evident that we are not criminals who have fled to Haiti because of our sordid pasts and our fingerprints are on file, we pray things will move along quickly and that we will come to the end of our quest for the elusive Permis de Séjour.

To make an application in the United States, you must provide the following documentation to your closest Haitian consulate or Haitian Consular Agent:

  • Letter stating the reason why you are intending to spend more than a year in Haiti
  • Statement of good behavior from your local police station in the United States
  • Set of fingerprints from your local police station in the United States
  • Two (2) ID photos
  • Photocopy of the first three pages of your passport
  • Medical certificate from your doctor in the United States
  • Bank statement
  • Write a letter requesting an application for a residence permit to the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration by notifying the reasons.
  • A photocopy of the biographical page of passport of the applicant.
    A letter of employment from its employer or the person who supports it, guaranteeing the stay of the foreigner in Haiti and repatriation if necessary.
  • A Medical Certificate not older than thirty (30) days.
  • Two (2) photographs of the person applying (format: Passport Photo and color).
  • A photocopy of the boarding card obtained during last re-entry to the country.
  • A photocopy of Birth Certificate (French translation required).
  • A bank statement from a bank operating in Haiti.
  • A criminal record (Country of origin of recent date)
    Note that when filing documents, the applicant will have to be interviewed and then to complete the application for a residence permit. His fingerprints will be taken and stored in the database of the institution. In reference to Article 34, the annual application for renewal of residence permit will be accompanied by the slip proving payment of fee income taxes of the fiscal year elapsed. For those who work for a foreign organization, the letter of introduction must be written by the organization on its letterhead.

Reflections on Haiti: Steve & Kathy Fitzpatrick

IMG_4558-745x396It’s always interesting to see what speaks to our visitors during their time in Haiti and what they take away from being here. Steve and Kathy Fitzpatrick, who pastor an MFI church in San Diego, came and visited us in October and recently wrote about the experience. Click to read their article, “God Is Moving in Haiti.” Steve and Kathy are a dynamic team committed to training up and impacting leaders all over the world. Would you take the time to pray for these great servants today?

The Christmas Challenge

christmasThis year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales reached over $50 billion, with each shopper spending an average of $380 in-store and $160 online. At the same time, statistics indicate that most people in the U.S. — six out of seven — do not give away even 2% of their incomes. All of this in a world in which 13% of people do not have enough to eat. While I love to shop as much as the next person and I look forward to celebrating Christmas, I have to say that where we put our money greatly reveals what is important to us and what is not.

Why not do Christmas differently this year? Why not take the “Christmas Challenge” and give all or even part of what you plan to spend this year on travel, food, decorations, and gifts to change lives in Haiti? Or, if that isn’t really an option, why not choose to give less expensive or even homemade gifts this year–click here for a few nifty ideas–and then invest the money you saved into the Kingdom of God?

Christmas is a time of celebration. It is good to rejoice and spend time with our loved ones. It is fun to exchange gifts and bless others. In fact, I can’t wait to see the pictures of our first grandchild enjoying his first Christmas. There is no greater joy, however, than giving a gift that will truly endure. On Christmas Day, when you’re picking up wrapping paper and taking down the tree, wouldn’t you like the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference? Take the Christmas Challenge!