Most of you know that those of us living in Haiti have been doing a lot of “staying at home” since long before the coronavirus hit. We haven’t had a short-term team here to serve with us in about 8.5 months…and really very few teams at all in the past 2 years. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do here. Far from it! Here’s a look at some of what I have been up to over the past 6 months…
December was a month of a lot of parties! In addition to a neighborhood Christmas party and a celebration at the church…
In December, our first group of young women and men “graduated” from our GlobalFingerprints program in Port-au-Prince. We had a special service, good food, cake, and gifts to honor them and bless them in the next chapter of their lives.
The GlobalFingerprints Jan Jan program also had an end of the year “party.” But, instead of the “typical” Haitian Christmas/end-of-the-year party that seems to require dressing up and gifts to hand out, the kids came as they would to any other Saturday GlobalFingerprints gathering. And while gifts were given, the gifts were a water bottle and water purification liquid. I love the heart of this staff and their desire to do what they think is best for the kids…even if it is counter-cultural!
January – the start of 2020
In January, I also had the chance to get together with the GlobalFingerprints Jan Jan staff for a time of celebrating all that God did in 2019 and to plan for 2020.
February started out with a bang! …with the visit of my mom and dad!
February also saw the completion of the new backyard pavilion!
We were disappointed that the insecurity forced us to cancel our annual Special Needs Health Fair and the medical team that was coming to provide GlobalFingerprints health checks. But I am happy that Aleece and 2 Haitian doctors were willing to go with me to the Sous de la Gras Church in Fontamara one Sunday to worship and then check on the health of some of the kids!
March brought International Women’s Day and…
March 19 brought the first 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti. BUT…
With the virus now in Haiti, the government took fast action and put restrictions in place…including closing down the airport. That meant many missionaries decided it best to head to the States. And some folks who were in the States couldn’t return. Consequently, I got the new job of keeping an eye on some friends’ house and their pets, including…
April was when ministry in the midst of corona really kicked in.
All 4 of the GlobalFingerprints sites decided it was necessary to provide extra food for the children – not only so that the families wouldn’t have to go to the crowded public markets as often for food, but also to help meet the needs with the rising prices. They also provided hygiene kits and cleaning supplies. In Jan Jan, they made sure that all kids had a proper bucket to dispense clean drinking water.
And, in Carpentier, the staff not only provided physical nourishment but also spiritual nourishment by using a tool called the EvangeCube to share the Gospel with every child!
On Easter, I delivered some homemade cookies to some of my Haitian friends along with the message of the Resurrection.
May – “Ministry in the Midst” continues!
Our team is continuing to create some more videos. I continue to check in on Rakker, Munch, and their house. 🙂 I’ve also been helping out my friend, Makenson – looking after his car, business, and brothers while he is “stuck” in the States. I gave out more homemade cookies with notes of encouragement…and plan to do more of that in the coming days/weeks. And there was even another party…!
GlobalFingerprints continues to give out extra provisions to help the kids and their families through this difficult time.
And thanks to a generous donation, Dave and I were able to buy a bunch of beans – a good source of protein that families might be lacking right now with the rising costs. Our plan, as always, was to work through the local churches – giving the bags of beans to some of the pastors in our community and asking them to distribute them to families they know who are in particular need.
AND THEN we saw how GOD’S PLAN IS SO MUCH BIGGER THAN OUR PLAN! Out of the blue, a man who has done interpreting, driving, etc. for many mission organizations in our area called me saying that he has a bunch of soap, bleach (for treating water), and masks to give out and asking if we could use any! Um…yes!
We figured we had enough beans to make 150 bags…with more than enough soap, bleach, and masks to go around. AND THEN…! We found out that the donor who funded the beans actually gave a second donation of almost equal value! So, in the coming days, we will buy more beans to put together 300 bags…to help the local churches care for both the spiritual and physical needs of the people in our community!
In the midst of it all – the insecurity, cancelled teams, coronavirus, and missionaries leaving – it can sometimes be easy to be short-sighted and lose sight of the big picture. But as I look back on these past 6 months, it is clear that God has been working! And I’ve gotten to be a part of it in some small way! Thank you, Lord!