A Busy Week

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Tarboro, N.C.

We are heading down the highway back to Fayetteville as I type this post. The passenger seat of our vehicle often becomes my office.

We just spent the weekend in Tarboro visiting with longtime friends. Yesterday, we ministered at Rock Church and enjoyed a fellowship meal afterwards. We had such a great time – so great, in fact, that I forgot to take any pictures (the one to the left is a stock photo)!

Prit shared testimony after testimony of God’s goodness towards us over the years, building up the faith of God’s people. Many came forward for prayer. What a joy it is to pray for people!

Friday evening we went with Myrtle Wickham (our host) to eat at the Country Sunrise Grill & BBQ. The owner came over to speak with us. Elwood is a member of Rock Church. I thought he looked familiar and asked him, “Didn’t we pray for you last year for the Lord to help you start a new business?” He grinned and made a sweeping gesture across the room exclaiming, “Yes, here it is. The Lord answered your prayer!” He proceeded to tell us that the Lord had truly prospered him and now he sees the restaurant as his place of ministry. He’s led many people to the Lord and prays for everyone who comes there to eat.

If you’re ever in the Tarboro area, make sure you visit this place. They have some of the best barbecue chicken around and treat you like family. If Elwood’s there, let him know we sent you. He’ll give you the full story of how the Lord helped him start his business. It’s amazing!

Pastor Joel with Pastor Delinx from our church.

While we’ve been traveling in the States, our missionary friends, Joel and Yvonne Trimble drove to Cap-Haitien and ministered in our church Sunday, a week ago. Joel and Yvonne are special friends with giving hearts. When Prit was in the hospital, both Joel and Yvonne called to comfort me during one of the hardest trials of my life. During that time, Joel offered to fly up to Cap-Haitian and minister to our mother church in Petite-Anse. He came preaching faith and ignited the fervor of our people who were still praying for Prit and anxiously waiting for his recovery and return to Haiti. Last Sunday, Joel preached on prayer and, as usual, greatly encouraged our people in our absence.

Yvonne Trimble sharing with the church.

Joel and Yvonne now travel all over Haiti with the La Bonne Nouvelle broadcast showing their viewers the beautiful parts of Haiti. While many only see the poverty-stricken areas of Haiti, it is their goal to introduce others to the beautiful island that it is. They were filming in Cap-Haitien last weekend and other areas in the north of Haiti where our ministry is located, so offered to minister in our church as well.

Thank you Joel and Yvonne for strengthening the brethren in Cap-Haitien!

For more information concerning Joel and Yvonne’s ministry, visit their YouTube channel.

Project #4: School Lunch Program

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Project #4 is our school lunch program. This one’s very close to our hearts. Rehoboth Ministries is presently serving over 1,300 students, staff, and cooks two hot meals a week. To say this s-t-re-t-c-h-e-s our faith to the limit is an understatement! The picture to the left is of the students at our largest school in Petite-Anse. This does not include the other two schools in Belle Hôtesse and Sainte-Philomène. The school in this picture has around 1,000 students, so this gives you an idea of the size of the task we have undertaken. It’s a God-sized vision!

The burden to restore the feeding program was initiated at Faith Temple Church in Alexander City, Alabama, which is overseen by MFI Pastors Dick and Sandra Stark. When the members of their congregation learned that we had children coming to school hungry and that some of them even fainted from hunger in class, they determined to do something to help alleviate the suffering. The church began to send offerings every month to help and still continues to do so. Even their Kids Alive group got involved and started raising money for the Haitian school kids.

Since then, other partners have joined the effort and are sending monthly pledges to help as well.We have been able to maintain the feeding program for two years. However, due to rising cost of food in Haiti, the prices in the marché (public market) have skyrocketed. It is now costing just over $5,000 a month to keep things going. Due to other vital needs such as construction projects, salaries for the teachers for all three schools, as well as the teachers in our Bible institute, it is tempting to look the other way and abandon this project. However, we truly believe the Lord laid this burden on the hearts of the wonderful folks at Faith Temple and that His heart is toward the pitiful cries of these children.

We cannot do this alone. We need your help. If you are not already doing so, would you make a monthly pledge to help keep this program operating? We continually remind the Lord in prayer that he fed the Israelites a meal EVERY DAY in the desert. We are trusting him to mobilize people of great faith to help us feed these precious children TODAY. Will you make a difference in a child’s life?

If you choose to partner with us, there is a beautiful scripture tucked away in Proverbs 22:9 that’s just for you:

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”

Will you help?

Project #3

2013-03-23 21.20.47The bathroom for the small mission house has practically been completed. All we lack is a door!

We do not yet have all the estimates for the adjoining bedrooms. The smaller room will be for John’s use when he returns to Haiti at the end of August to work with Rehoboth Ministries. The larger bedroom will house teams that plan to come in the fall. We have at least 3 teams that have indicated that they would like to come to Haiti as well as individuals and couples. Because of this, we truly need to get these bedrooms prepared to receive them. We have bunkbeds that we can place in the larger room.

2013-03-23 21.20.59The mission house where we are currently living was originally meant to house teams, but we are now living there due to unforeseen circumstances.

Estimation for laying tile:

Smaller room: $340.00

Larger room:   $560.00

Total: $900.00

*Note: This includes the purchase of all the material, transportation for hauling the materials, and labor.

Project #2

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Before…

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After!


Project #2 involves the renovation of the smaller mission house located next to the house in which we presently live. There are two bedrooms, one bathroom, and a combination kitchen/living room area. John will live in one of the rooms and the larger room will be prepared for incoming teams.

We are almost finished with the bathroom. All we lack is a sink (which a supporter has already volunteered to purchase) and a door. We have a great team here that has done a phenomenal job and we would love to keep them working!

Here are pictures of the transformation that took place. I will send pictures of the bedrooms tomorrow. If anyone would like to purchase the door, it will cost $500 Haitian which is equivalent to $62.00 US.

Up and Walking!

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Yesterday marked a first for us. For the first time since we moved to Cap-Haitian in June 1988 (24 years ago), we flew out of Cap-Haitian on a jet! Over the years we have traveled on turbo props, a Cessna 402, a DC-3 and even the Agape missionary plane. We’ve flown out on jets from Port-au-Prince to Ft. Lauderdale, but never did we leave on a jet from Cap-Haitian. It only took us 1 hour and 40 minutes and was wonderful. I took a picture of the IBC jet just before boarding just to commemorate this occasion.

Prit and I have lived through dictatorships, coups d’état, and even an international embargo. We’ve watched Haiti descend a slippery slope with little hope of any recovery. Our children flew out of the nation’s capital early on the morning of January 12, 2010, only to discover when they arrived stateside that the south of Haiti had suffered yet another setback. A 7.0 earthquake took the lives of at least 220,000 people in just less than 60 seconds. Anguish took hold of the nation’s capital as one more blow rocked Haiti’s world.

The tide seems to be shifting, however. With President Martelly’s leadership, it looks like the church’s countless prayers over the decades are now coming to fruition. We are truly amazed to see great progress manifested in the north of Haiti and the rest of Haiti as well. People are repairing roads and sweeping the streets. (One can only appreciate this after riding on roads filled with potholes year after year which wreak havoc on the body and one’s vehicle.) An industrial park which intends to employ 60,000 workers has been built in the city of Caracol. This, plus the opening of the Henri Christophe University in the small town of Limonade is breathing new life into the students that are now attending there. Many of those students are members of our churches. Progess brings hope. Progress is life.

The body of my husband lay in the hospital of the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta, in a comatose state with seemingly no hope of any change. It now appears that Haiti is finally coming out of its own coma. Our hearts are full and our eyes brim with tears because we have witnessed Haiti at its lowest points. She has been the byword and the proverb of the nations for generations and still has a long way to go – but, she has awakened. She is up and beginning to walk. All the visitors that have come to minister here in the last few months have made remarks such the following: “As soon as I landed in Cap-Haitian, my first thought was, ‘Something’s different in Haiti’ and ‘There’s a different presence here. It wasn’t like this the last time I came.'”

Please continue to pray for Haiti. Pray for President MIchel Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Pray that the international community will not forget their promises to Haiti. And for those of you that wish to visit us in Haiti, you can now fly straight into Cap-Haitian from Ft. Lauderdale on a jet in only 1 hour and 40 minutes!

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Surprise!

Sunday was a red-letter day for our church in Petite-Anse. Our mother church celebrated its 23rd anniversary. Pastor John Finochio and Bryan Vos (Music/Media Director, Audio/Recording Engineer) of Crossroads Community Church in Hamilton, Ontario, were our special guests this year. It was an incredible service in many ways and full of surprises. Our adult and youth choirs joined together with other singing groups from the church to form a coalition of over 100 members. This great choir presented a special song called Praise Him. It was special in that it was composed by Pastor John’s son, Nathan, and was sung with the intent to take Pastor John by surprise. It worked! Since translating it into Creole, “Louwe-L” has become one of our favorite songs.

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There were surprises all around, however. On Saturday, Bryan accompanied me to choir practice. Upon entering the church, we discovered that no instruments had been set up, plus no one had even come to practice. I was a bit distraught since this would be our final practice before the choir was to sing. It was after that that I noticed a bustle of activity going on next door where the foundation of our new church lay. After lots of questions to which I received no definite answers, I finally managed to track down one of our committee members.

“Brother Brunel, what is going on? No one’s here for practice. What are all those people doing next door?” I asked. All the benches and the pulpit had been moved over to the new land where men were scurrying about to place a tarp on top of the wooden structure they had concocted. Brunel sheepishly looked at me and grinned. He let me know that they had planned a huge surprise for Prit. Sunday morning’s service would be held on the new foundation, rather than in the tonnelle.

“Please don’t tell him. It’s a surprise.”

It was hard not telling Prit what everyone had planned for the next day. I simply told him that the church had a big surprise for him.

The next morning when Prit and I arrived at the turnoff which leads to our church in Petite-Anse I said, “Honey, do you remember that I told you the church had a big surprise for you?”

“Yes.”

“Well, when you get close to the church, don’t enter in by the old gate. You need to turn in to the new one instead.”

As we entered the gate of what is to be our new church location, he started laughing as he realized what our church people had done. This will become a milestone in days to come. Our people moved by FAITH to have a service on our new foundation, even though the actual, physical church building has not yet been completed. It was somewhat like the priests of Israel putting their feet in the river Jordan by FAITH as they entered the Promised Land. The river did not divide UNTIL they took that first step of FAITH.

After a service full of music and preaching, our church committee presented us with a basketful of red roses, apple cider, and candy. In addition to this, they included a beautiful wooden picture frame. The frame contained pictures of Prit and me on one side and our three children on the other. Inscribed at the top was “GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.” This time it was our turn to be surprised.

We have decided (or rather, it seems to have been decided for us) that the tonnelle is a part of an era gone by. From now on, we plan to meet on the new church’s foundation until the needed building gets completed. I guess after seeing so many miracles over these past 23 years, moving out by faith to set up church next door may have seemed like a small leap of faith. We are so proud of our church leaders and members and thank Pastor John and Bryan for sharing such a special occasion with us.

After the service was over, everyone partook of an Agape meal. Over 1,200 people feasted on a delicious lunch of rice and beans, beef, salad, and fried plantains. Prit and I also received a special cake to mark this occasion decorated with the words, “Happy Birthday CFC.”*

Completing the church building is estimated to cost around $280,000 (US). Our people have held all-night prayer vigils for the completion of this monumental task. Now, they have moved forward to “take the land.” We are now waiting in faith for the Lord to move again. Will you pray and believe God with us for this miracle? Would you like to be an instrument to help bring this miracle to pass? If you would, you can send a check to:

Pritchard & Dana Adams
c/o Rehoboth Ministries, Inc.
333 Hilliard Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Please earmark your check: “New Church Building.”

*CFC stands for “Centre de formation chrétienne” (the name of our church in French).

Soup Joumou

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For those of you who have been waiting, here’s a recipe for soup joumou (pumpkin soup). Soup joumou has a lot of significance here in Haiti and  there is a rich history behind this recipe. Traditionally, it is eaten on New Year’s Day, but our family has enjoyed it so much, we eat it regularly. Being rich in vitamins, it is also a healthy meal. You can read more about the reason why it’s served on New Year’s Day here.

Soup Joumou (Pumpkin Soup)

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat
  •  1 lb. chicken
  •  1 lb. cabbage
  •  1 onion
  •  3 cloves
  •  3 medium size turnips
  •  1/4 lb. vermicelli
  •  1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
  •  2 lb. joumou (pumpkin)
  •  Celery leaves
  •  3 big carrots
  •  1 hot pimento, whole with stem
  •  6 medium-sized potatoes
  •  1/4 qt. water

Use a 9 qt. kettle to boil the beef and the chicken. Skim residue off the top. When the meat begins to get tender (about 2 hours or 1 hour in pressure cooker) add all vegetables. Continue boiling until meat is tender and vegetables are cooked (1/2 hour). Turn off the heat and let cool. Cube the meat and strain the vegetables through a fine sieve. Return cubed meat and liquid to the kettle and bring to boil. Add the pimento, being careful not to break or puncture it. (This is more for aroma than for flavor) Simmer until vermicelli is cooked.

Note: The deep orange-colored pumpkin used in the United States is different in color and taste from the pumpkin used here in Haiti. The pumpkin here is smaller and has more of an orange-yellow color to it. Its taste is a little more subdued and is more akin to winter squash. However, I have used the pumpkin here to make pumpkin pie and find it works quite nicely so the American pumpkin would most likely do well in Haitian pumpkin soup.

Poulè Sos Kreyol (Chicken in Creole Sauce)

Chicken Creole sauceYesterday, I posted a recipe for diri ak pwa (red beans and rice) which is the traditional meal in Haiti. I mentioned that often one will top it off with chicken cooked into a creole sauce, provided they have enough money for the extras. Here is a recipe of the sauce with added variations at the end. Again, bon appétit!

Poulé sos kreyol (serves 4)

  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 c.)
  • 3/4 c. diced green pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 2 c. cubed cooked chicken
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Hot cooked rice

In large skillet, sauté onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook and stir just until flour starts to brown. Stir in tomato paste, broth, salt, sugar and pepper sauce. Cook and stir until mixture comes to boil and thickens. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken and season with fresh-ground pepper. Heat until hot. Serve over hot rice.

Variations

Our cook likes to add pwawo (leeks) as an extra as well as fresh piman (hot pepper) to the sauce instead of hot sauce.

After posting the recipe for red rice and beans, one of our readers left a comment on our website asking about the recipe for soup joumou (pumpkin soup). Seems many of you are interested in the wonderful cuisine we enjoy here in Haiti! Further on, I will post a recipe for this wonderful meal that the Haitian people take so much pride in making.

Diri ak Pwa (Red Beans & Rice)

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In response to yesterday’s post (“This Is the Way We Do It“), I received a request from one of our supporting pastors for two recipes. One was for our traditional rice and beans (diri ak pwa). The other was for Chicken with Creole Sauce. Today, I’m posting the recette (recipe) for rice and beans. Further ahead stay tuned for the makings of the Creole sauce. Bon appétit!

DIRI ak PWA (Red Beans and Rice) – Serves 6

  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 3 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 cups water

In a large sieve or colander wash the beans under running water until the draining water runs clear. Transfer them to a heavy 3- to -4 quart saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and ground pepper, and pour in 6 cups of water. Bring it to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, and simmer partially covered for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender but still intact. Drain in a sieve set over a deep bowl and put the beans aside. Measure the cooking liquid and add enough water to make 4 cups.

In a heavy 2 1/2- to 3 quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the lard over moderate heat. When it is very hot but not smoking, add the rice and stir for 1 or 2 minutes, until the grains turn somewhat milky and opaque.

Stir in the 4 cups of reserved liquid and water, the remaining teaspoon of salt and ground pepper to taste, cover tightly, and reduce the heat to the lowest possible point. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. Taste for seasoning and set aside off the heat, partially covered to keep the rice warm.

Working quickly, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard in a heavy 8- to 10-inch skillet. Drop in the beans and stir until they are heated through. Watch carefully for any sign of burning and regulate the heat accordingly.

Fluff the rice with a fork, mount it on a heated platter, and surround it or top it with beans. Serve at once.

Variations

When our cook, Marie, makes rice and beans, she uses olive oil to replace of the lard or vegetable oil which is mostly used here in Haiti. It’s much healthier and doesn’t affect the taste.

Also, when she’s frying the beans, she mixes in garlic, onions, and sometimes green pepper along with a chicken bouillon cube to accentuate the taste. Often, she scoops some of the beans into a little dish and brings them to me as a treat. She knows I love fried beans!

Another variation: Instead of serving the rice with the beans on top, Marie pours the uncooked rice into the beans and reserved liquid from the beans and cooks them together. Personally, we feel this is tastier than the other way.

Finally, this recipe does not include the jirof (cloves) that I mentioned in the last article. Marie puts a small handful (enough to cover the inner palm of your hand) into the rice and beans as they are cooking together.

This Is the Way We Do It

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After thirty years in Haiti, we have grown accustomed to the differences between the American and the Haitian culture. We thought you might be interested in, and perhaps amused as well, to learn some of the idiosyncrasies we find here in Haiti. These idiosyncrasies have often evoked the response, “This is how we do it here.”

Cooking

The main staple in Haiti is rice and beans. It is often accompanied (if one has enough money) by chicken in a creole sauce. It is excellent and filled with protein. I never could understand the addition of “jirof,” however. “Jirof” are cloves and normally we would use cloves for baking. These are not garlic cloves, mind you, but cloves that have been finely ground to powder that we purchase in the grocery store in a plastic container. We commonly add this to our pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving.

Ah, Thanksgiving! One may find some turkey thighs in the marché, but it is unimaginable to the average Haitian for one to set a complete turkey on the table along with dressing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and of course, pumpkin pie. Our workers greatly look forward to our American holiday because Agape Flights flies in turkeys for each missionary family once a year. Our workers know they will get to partake of this feast alongside us. After making a traditional Thanksgiving meal years ago, I gave our cook, Angeline, a slice of pumpkin pie. Since pumpkin is used to make soup here in Haiti, she was amazed to see it used in a dessert. However, she loved it!

The first time I ate rice and beans with a chicken creole sauce, I noticed the sauce had something in it that looked somewhat like nuts. Sure enough, they had cashew nuts (nwa kajou) cooked into the sauce. Of course, we had always eaten cashew nuts uncooked. It was absolutely delicious!

From time to time, I will share more on this subject. We have enjoyed the blending of our cultures. We get the better part of both worlds, for the Haitian culture is a very rich one. The Haitians are also excellent cooks. It’s fun to watch our workers try foods they don’t have here. From time to time, we receive a box of food from generous friends in the States. Our friends here often get to sample things such as pecans, walnuts, cranberries, and such. It’s fun watching what they like and don’t particularly care for. All in all, we have been so blessed to partake of cassava bread, drink chadek juice (a fruit similar to our grapefruit), and partake of Cola’s papaya milkshakes.

One memory stands apart from the rest, however. An older lady in our church gave us the gift of a rooster years ago. The meat was so tough we will probably never eat another rooster. (At least, not if we can help it!) Yet, knowing that this was a gift of great price on her part made it very special. It was a seed sown, a sacrifice that could not be turned away. But for those of you who hope to visit us here in Haiti, rest assured. We promise not to serve you rooster!