The first part of June we spent planning for the youth from SCC to be part of our ministry in Tabarre. Ken and I prayed for their health, and their pathways to be clear as they would be obedient in following the instructions of Jesus to spread His love throughout the world.
Ken finished the beds, and we planned both community outreach and some special trips for them. It was a first time visit for all but one, and our hope was they would come to love the country of Haiti and their heart would be moved to continue reaching out to Haiti. We also hope they would become aware that service to others whether in Haiti our Stuart, Florida is such an important part of our faith.
The team arrived Thursday afternoon, and we took the rest of the day to set up mosquito nets over the beds, put away groceries, and take a walking tour of the neighborhood, which included the church and the school.
Friday and Saturday morning we were up early to meet a fellow missionary serving an organization called, Haiticommunitaire. This organization built a series of houses using nothing but recycled material. The hope was that any organization coming into the country to build neighborhoods for the poor in Haiti would come to them for ideas of using some of the materials which litter the streets of the city. We were all amazed with what we saw; beautiful little homes built plastics, Styrofoam, and discarded wood.
Sunday the youth hosted a great cook out for the youth of Galette Goureau Christian Church. The language barrier was not an issue as we sang familiar songs in English/ Creole, played games, and sang to each other.
Monday our hearts were captivated by the little ones of Mother Theresa’s Malnutrition Center. We arrived early to feed, care, and just love on the little ones.
Tuesday, we were off to the mountain village of Aumont, near Sauto. The youth did a mini- vacation Bible school for the children using games, stories and crafts to bring the word of God. While the children shared in the fun of learning about Jesus the men of the team put a new tarp roof on the church.
Wednesday, their final day we went sightseeing. Everyone made a wish list of where they would like to go, and our week long translator, Jenphen made it happen.
Thursday morning the team was packed and ready to go back back home after a busy and fruitful week. Ken and I were so sad to see them leave. To see the familiar faces of our church family had certainly lifted our spirits.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you that helped get our youth to Haiti on the first international youth mission trip in the history of Stuart Congregational Church. Our church has grown so much in outreaching missions over the past few years. It is a witness to our moto, “where faith and love are one”. As our faith grows we are becoming one in Christ. Thank you for being mentors and supporters of our next generation.
PS: Ken and I are looking forward to seeing you for the month of July. Until then stay blessed!
Team arrives at Port Au Prince Airport
The bins are loaded, now on to customs
The team helps with constructing a house at "Haiticommunitare"
Mark leads the SCC youth group and the HCM youth group in song
We celebrate the end of a busy and fruitful mission trip with a visit to the Haiti Historical Museum, and have lunch at the hotel Montana.
In the care of my terminally ill patient I found myself using my nursing skills like never before, and as her time to be with Jesus became really obvious I found my ministerial skills come into play. It was a time to help her youngest daughter, Margaret, understand her mother’s faith, and to hopefully bring Margaret to a fuller understanding of God’s love for her. It seems in Haiti there is a more legalistic view of their Christian faith, but also a more intense understanding of what it means to be Christian. There is no gray areas for them. Margaret believes in God, but she is not willing to fall under the “rules” of being a Christian, whatever that means for her. Whatever Margaret’s faith journey will be she knew for certain her Mother was with Jesus, and that all her pain was gone, her new body, and new beautiful whole face was in heaven praising the LORD. I hoped I conveyed to her how much God loves us all, and is always waiting on our return to Him. My patient, Janeese got her desire. She hoped she would die on The LORD’s Day, Sunday. She died Easter Sunday.
I soon found myself back at the school preparing to do Fluoride treatments. I put this on hold for a couple of weeks while I taught the 3, 4, and 5 yr. olds how to brush their teeth. This was done with a downloadable 3 min. musical segment from Sesame Street featuring Elmo. Music is the universal language, and the catchy song had all the kids mesmerized, and ready to brush. The brushing and review of brushing will follow with a Fluoride treatment for those 4 and up.
Ken was busy starting the plans for bunk beds for the youth team arriving in mid-June. There was lumber to shop, mattresses to purchase, and specific hardware to look for, but after about 4 trips to the local hardware store he was ready to go. He also made a huge picnic table which we will be able to seat 10. Thank you SCC for your continued support of us and our ministry here in Haiti.
We continue to ready ourselves and the apartment for hosting the first team. Painting, deep cleaning of the rafters (we have no ceiling), making sure all the little holes are plugged, making connection with people and places we will be serving. Ken and I are so happy to see be able to see some of our church family. Our spirits are high as we anticipate the day of their arrival.
In His love and grace, Barbara and Ken
The month of March found us expanding our roles in the ministry of HCM. Ken began assisting the students in the Bible Institute by helping the professors with online information the students needed. Whether he was explaining what snow and snow skiing was for the English language class, or finding video clips of the news, Ken was a great resource for the students.
I found myself taking care of a terminally ill women in our church, here in Tabarre. She was not accepted into the hospital at this point, and the burden for her care fell on the family. The family is made up of her 4 adult children who live with her, and only a few of them had even a high school education. When I came to care for her half her face was eaten away by cancer, and the insects were invading the wound.
As Ken and I witness the poverty and the suffering of many we have to sometime ask ourselves, “Where is God in all this?” Our faith has been tested in many ways, and we are relying heavily on our many daily prayers. Every meal time grace turns into a prayer list of all the people we have met, or have been touched by their stories. As we worked through the struggles of the month we have come to know for sure that much of our sufferings in this life are by our own hand, or by the lack of caring by others. It is the love, mercy, and renewing strength of our LORD which turns these sufferings into something good if we wait on His time.
Galette Christian School Physicals : The first of February we officially started to do work for the ministry. Ken was helping the Bible college students to Skype with their professors in Kentucky, and I did school physicals to identify any children with serious conditions. So far I have found most of them to show signs of anemia, most have a real issues with the relentless dust, so they have a lot of ear, nose and throat problems.
I have treated one with an ear infection and bronchitis, one family for worms and several have been possibly identified to be suffering with asthma. I have just finished the 3 kindergartens, and plan to start the 1st graders next week.
I thank you for your support for which I was able to purchase medications for these children along with Vitamins that contain Iron for those who are showing signs of Anemia. May we all continue to give God the glory for His work within us, and His work all around us.