Ministry in the Midst

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…


…it was Pastor Aniluce’s 50th birthday. It isn’t a real party in Haiti unless there is plenty of good food! Miglane was in charge of the food, and she asked me to help out. For those of you who know me…you know that most of what you see here had nothing to do with me! But it was a fun experience. 🙂


Next was Dalyson’s (Miglane’s son) 6th birthday (pictured also with brother, Darlens). Miglane made another big spread!


Then we had our annual staff Christmas party. Stephanie baked all these cookies! I just helped package them. :/ 🙂 After some games, a time to share talents, and food…we told part of the Christmas story and watched “The Star.”

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 Sèk Sipò Pou Fanm also got together and invited some of the young women in the community to join us. Betty called in via WhatsApp to share with the ladies about planning projects (as opposed to making resolutions) and how they should fit into our life purpose.

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


Unfortunately, the year started out rough for one of our GlobalFingerprints families in Carpentier who lost their home in a fire. They had to move into this shelter. Fortunately, I was able to quickly send some money down to our program manager thanks to a generous gift to our GlobalFingerprints program. And later more was sent from our Emergency Fund in the U.S. to help with the building of a new home.


In January, Stephanie and I finally had the chance to visit a new church planted in Cormier by Fan Fan (one of the elders of Christianville Church) and Merline (one of the Sèk ladies). It was a fun adventure as we had to drive a good distance in a river…and then park the car and walk the rest of the way!


Thanks to some generous donations from church partners, Dave and Almando (with the help of some of our neighbors and some of the Built To Last guys) tore down the old backyard pavilion and started building a bigger one to accommodate larger groups. Whether it’s for trainings or teams or other ministry, this new pavilion will keep people safe from the sun, rain, and mangoes! 

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!


Their visit was extra special for a couple reasons: 1) They hadn’t been here in more than 6 years!, and 2) We weren’t sure if they were going to be able to make it because of all the insecurity. But God heard all our prayers! Despite issues just before and after their trip, they made it in and out safely!

February also saw the completion of the new backyard pavilion!






And work on Denilson’s house in Carpentier (the little boy whose home was lost in a fire). After months of insecurity, Dave and I finally got to go down to Carpentier to meet with the GlobalFingerprints staff! We had 2 wonderful days of learning and planning together, and then…


…we headed to Aquin to meet with the GlobalFingerprints staff there! Here is the program manager, Pastor Peltrop, in the newly completed office!

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…


…a program about trauma for the women of the Christianville Church in TiBoucan by the Sèk Sipò Pou Fanm


Also in March, the family of one of the Sèk ladies needed to move out of their house and into a couple rooms at the back of their church. This family of 12 needed help to make this move possible, including beds. When I mentioned this need to members of the missionary community in our area, our very own Almando stepped up with his Built To Last guys! They made and assembled 4 sets of bunk beds (I just got to be the lucky person to transport this gift!)!


One of the challenges that the GlobalFingerprints Jan Jan staff identified at our January meeting was the increasing drug problem in the community. We talked about ways we might be able to respond to the problem. And, in March, we took a first step by inviting some folks from Celebrate Recovery and graduates of Haiti Teen Challenge to share their testimonies with the parents/guardians of the GlobalFingerprints kids in Jan Jan.

March 19 brought the first 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Haiti. BUT…

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…the GlobalFingerprints staff in Carpentier were ahead of the game! About a week or so before that, they gathered all the children in the program to teach them about the virus and to show them how to wash their hands properly.

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…


…this handsome guy, Rakker (and Munch the cat who I never see)!

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.thumbnail_IMG-20200417-WA0009

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!

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Our team thought one of the best things that we could do during the pandemic was to make videos to resource and motivate Haitian pastors and church leaders to BE the church even when they couldn’t gather in their church buildings.

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…!


On Thursday, I got to help Krislen celebrate his 6th birthday! Can’t believe that it was 6 years ago that I drove my good friend, Sandra, to the hospital in the middle of the night!

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!


Loved Ones and Llamas

Hey, All! You know me – the one who only blogs when she’s got some catching up to do and/or a bunch of photos she wants to share. So…here we go! 🙂

I got to spend some time in the U.S. a little while ago. While I did share at church and have some meetings, my primary reason for heading home was to celebrate some family graduations!

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First stop was Virginia for my brother’s graduation (If you want to know more about that, you can ask me). I flew into Richmond, and my mom and dad drove up from FL…so they picked me up and we headed there together. I am so proud of the way he took and chance and worked hard to get there!

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My brother and his beautiful family – Will (17), Michelle, Nate, Mikayla (20), & Frankie (18)


While in the area, my mom & dad and I went on a tour of Fredericksburg, VA – a town known for its colonial and Civil War history. Check out the date on this house!


I think this is where Martha Washington’s family lived.


We went to the Fredericksburg Battlefield and Visitor Center. This sunken road was the focal point of the Battle of Fredericksburg, one of 4 major Civil War battles that took place in the area.


Part of the original wall along the Sunken Road.


A statue commemorating a Confederate solider who risked his own life to bring water to wounded Union soldiers. No fires were shot while both sides watched his brave, selfless act.


Magnolia trees in bloom


Dad and I out for lunch in Fredericksburg (thanks for taking the photo, Mom!)


My parents and I drove to MN from VA. We went through at least part of 9 states! A long drive…but some pretty views, too.

When we got back to MN, we enjoyed a party for my brother – celebrating his graduation and wishing him good luck and farewell as he headed off to his new job in CA!


And then it was on to the next graduation! This one for my niece, Frankie!


She graduated high school from Shattuck-St. Mary’s – a beautiful campus!


The graduate with her dad, sister, and mom…



…And her papa, aunt (me!), and grandma.


Here she is wearing the alumni hat that all graduates receive after processing out and past all their teachers and coaches.

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And at her celebration dinner afterwards (The table decorations became entertainment!)


(And for Papa, too!)


After some wonderful time with part of my family, I was able to connect with some other wonderful people, too…including the Caribou – my best college friends! Some of us met to go hiking at Interstate Park close to Taylors Falls, MN.


Here is my friend, Jason, and his youngest daughter, Lindy…and Ben and his youngest daughter, Meriam.


And Heather and Angie


And the whole crew overlooking the St Croix River – Jason, Benny (Ben & Heather’s youngest), Matthew (Jason & Angie’s youngest), Lindy, Angie, Heather, Meriam, and Ben


Then, a couple days later, I got to meet up with some of the other Caribou at Surly’s – Don & his wife, Elizabeth, Jason, me, Brad & his wife, Laurie

I seem to always miss pictures of my good friends, Tanya and Heidi P! 😦 Perhaps it is because they are more like family – the people who always have a bed for me and who I just hang with/do regular life with. Nothing “special”…but oh so important..and oh so loved!


Then I got to have a mini “reunion” with some of the medical team that came down to Haiti in May to do health checks for our GlobalFingerprints kids. It was fun seeing them in MN – Kristina, Christy, Lisa, me, Lonie, & Trish


And finally the llamas! When I told my friend, Danielle, that I would be in town, she suggested we go to the Minnesota Zoo for the new llama exhibit. And when our friend, Heidi E heard about it, she had to come, too. You see, the 3 of us went on a mission trip to Peru together. And Danielle and I stayed on and went to Cusco and Machu Picchu where we actually saw llamas in their natural habitat. So…of course! We had so much fun! This is our attempt at getting a selfie with a llama…who apparently didn’t want to show its face!

I am so thankful for the chance I had to celebrate with my family as well as see some friends! Thanks for all of you who support and encourage me in all that I do! Love you!

Home Assignment

It has been FOREVER since I have shared anything here. Sorry! I told you I am not really a blogger.  🙂  But I was recently in the U.S. for 2.5 months on Home Assignment, and I wrote about it in my newsletter. So I wanted to share some photos of my time at home.

I decided to try to make the most of my flights, so I flew from Haiti to visit a supporting church in Bowling Green, OH. To do that, I flew into Detroit…which meant I got the added pleasure of spending a couple days with my good friends, Tammy and Jim Hobbs! I also had the pleasure of shoveling the driveway with Tammy after probably a 6-inch snowfall. Actually, I really did enjoy it!photo

After a couple days with Tammy, she brought me to meet up with friends from Brookside Church in Bowling Green. These are friends I met in Haiti about 3.5 years ago, but it was my first time visiting their church. My time sharing with the church went really well, but it was the time I spent with Mark & Beth and Andy & his family that I enjoyed most!


Andy – an elder at the church and member of the team who came down to Haiti – interviewed me.

After my weekend in OH, I headed to my first home – Minnesota! And I got home just in time to go to the viewing of my nephew’s film that he and some buddies made and entered into a film festival. They were they only high school team in the festival, and I am so proud of him!20180309_180041

In those first couple weeks at home, I had the chance to get together with several of my friends – my best friend from junior high, college friends, church friends, Haiti friends. Loved it!


Me and my “bestie”, Tanya!


My fun friend and frequent short-termer in Haiti, Maria!

Pretty much every Sunday I got to share at a different partnering church. These are all churches who support me financially and/or in prayer as well as churches who are significantly invested in the GlobalFingerprints program in Haiti. It was a joy to share with them stories of what God is doing in Haiti! And I especially enjoyed the chance I had to share with many children’s ministry groups, including an Awana club! (Wish I had pictures!)

I also got to participate in a ReachGlobal debrief. This was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the past, look to the future, and lay it all at the foot of the Cross. We had some great times of worship and devotionals, personal reflection time, and a few different times to process one-on-one with other ReachGlobal staff and members of our Care team. Needed it more than I realized and so thankful for it!

The weekend after debrief, I had the special privilege of getting together with 2 former students! So cool to be able to keep in contact with these 2 for so many years! Both are married and one is expecting her first child. Crazy! Thanks for taking the time to get together, Hannah and Charito!29354341_4449057986094_5265754491401941466_o.jpg

It was also super fun to connect with another ReachGlobal missionary friend who was also on home assignment at the same time! Thanks for some great talks and walks, Angie!IMG-20180417-WA0003.jpg

Did I mention that Minnesota had some exceptional spring snow while I was in town?! I hated to admit it to all the folks who had already had several months of winter, but…I was enjoying it!


I love hiking in the fresh snow! This day it was still coming down pretty good!


I was staying with my friend, Tanya, and she & her family recently moved farther out. Loved being so close to a state park and great trails!

From the evening of Friday, April 13 through the morning of Monday, April 16, we got 22 inches of snow! Crazy! It was blowing so hard on that Saturday that even the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport shut down for 8 hours! I didn’t drive anywhere for 2 days…and didn’t even go outside on Saturday (Heidi and I may have binge watched pretty much all of the first season of “Victoria”.). But on Sunday, once the wind died down a bit, I couldn’t wait to go out for a walk.


And who can resist a snow angel?!


The next couple weeks were more of the same (minus all the snow) – sharing at churches on Sundays (which involved one weekend trip to Naperville, IL), meeting with ministry partners throughout the week, and getting together with family and friends.

Throughout my home assignment, I was thankful to be able to spend some time on my personal health and development as well. I got my teeth cleaned and went to a gastroenterologist for the first time (got more out of that than I bargained for!). I had lots of great conversations that were good for my emotional health. I met with a financial advisor and even gave away some things I’ve had in storage. And I went on an amazing Quite Waters retreat!

The retreat was at Two Rivers Church in Knoxville, TN.


The green, rolling hills and flowering trees in TN were beautiful…and quite a contrast to the snow in MN!

Two Rivers has been a resource to ReachGlobal, in general, and to our team in Haiti, in specific. They are a church that focuses on Word and Spirit (the Two Rivers) and have taught us more about prayer as a two-way conversation and how God speaks to us. Quiet Waters was a sweet time set aside to just hear from God!

During my final weeks in the Twin Cities, I was busy trying to wrap everything up – see everyone I could, buy whatever I needed/wanted to bring back to Haiti, last church presentation, etc. Somehow you always manage to get it all done…or at least the things that REALLY needed to get done. But I did manage to sneak in a Twins game with some friends!


Thanks, Steve and Joelle, for inviting me to come along! It was a beautiful day…though I still had to bundle up a bit!


If you couldn’t tell from the other picture, Steve got us 4th row seats! Pretty sweet! We could look right across home plate and into the Twins dugout. Should have gotten a picture of Paul Moliter!

And then I got to go up north and spend a week just being with my parents! It was wonderful to have a week with no place I had to go and the time to just visit with my parents and help them with some yard projects. I love doing that…when I don’t HAVE to do it ALL the time. 🙂 And God blessed us with beautiful weather! We did take a little time to just relax outside as well.



We enjoyed a fire…and of course had to roast marshmallows! (Even made s’mores with some gluten-free graham crackers!


The epitome of calm!

From MN – on my way back to Haiti – I stopped in Hershey, PA to spend some days with friends and supporters there. My team was praying that I would have some time to relax before my return to Haiti…but they forgot what kind of hosts the Chocklettes are! Yep, that’s right – I have friends named Chocklette (pronounced like chocolate) who live in Hershey! Isn’t that awesome?! And they are awesome people who treated me to a wonderful few days!

I got to spend time at Hilltop Christian Nursery School where Becky is the director. It is housed at Hershey EFC, and they partner with a school in our area to do teacher training. My first full day in Hershey was Hilltop’s hot dog lunch to raise money for Haiti. I got to help serve. Becky was really the big promoter!


Complete with ketchup and mustard shoes!

The next night we had a Haiti dinner at the church. The Chocklettes made a wonderful Haitian meal – rice and beans with chicken, pikliz, beets, and mango ice for dessert. And another man from the church was able to find and contribute several bottles of Kola Kouwòn (Crown Cola – a Haitian soft drink that tastes a little like liquid Juicy Fruit). And then Becky shared about Hilltop’s involvement in Haiti; I shared about ReachGlobal’s work in Haiti in general; and Pastor Dave shared about Hershey Free’s involvement and opportunities going forward. It was a wonderful night of coming together!


In addition to some yummy meals out and time at Hershey Park, we spent a lovely afternoon at the Longwood Gardens. Not only are the gardens beautiful…


…but it was also the first day of the fountains for the season.


And we stayed into the evening for a illuminated fountain show choreographed to the music from The Wizard of Oz. Super cool!


Can you tell what this represents? And there are even flames on the top of the small fountains!

My time in Hershey – and the States – wrapped up by sharing with the KidStep kids of Hershey Free on Sunday morning and having a special lunch out at a nice restaurant to celebrate Mothers’ Day.

I would definitely say that my home assignment was a success. My “assignment” was to:

  1. Raise Additional Support/Connect with Supporters
  2. Retool/ personal and professional development including: taking courses, writing, reading books, attending debriefing etc.
  3. Refreshment

My time at home allowed me to accomplish all of those things! And I am so blessed by all my family, friends, and partners who showed me such great hospitality, generosity, encouragement, and support!


It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged. Let’s be honest – I am not really a blogger. This blog has been more of an overflow for my newsletter at times…a place to put more pictures, etc. But I feel the need to write. If you know me, you know that this almost never happens. I only feel inspired to write when I am really emotional. Right now, I am overwhelmed by loss…and this seemed like the place to get it out in words.

I was recently visiting friends of mine in Corpus Christi who are running ReachGlobal’s response to Hurricane Harvey there. On my third day there, I got word that three people I am connected to here in Haiti died…all on the same day!

Early that morning, my friend wrote me to tell me that a 24-year-old friend of ours died. Just a short time later, on that same morning, I received an email from the manager of our GlobalFingerprints program in Port-au-Prince saying that the mother of two kids in the program died…as did an 11-year-old girl in the program!


If that isn’t bad enough, there seemed to be no known cause for any of the deaths. I saw my young friend just the day before I headed to Texas. He was fine. Two days later he had horrible stomach pain that sent him to a nearby hospital. They gave him a shot to help with the pain and sent him home. Two days after that his family took him to a different hospital. I know they inserted a catheter and sent him to go have x-rays…but, for some reason, the family took him home instead. Maybe not enough money…? That night he died.

The 11-year-old girl went to bed fine on Saturday. When the family woke up on Sunday, they found her dead. What?!

When a young person dies, it is sad. When they die and you have no idea why, it makes it so much harder. But, unfortunately, that is the reality here in Haiti. Death is common. And, unless it is an accident, the cause is often unknown. It isn’t right.

But all of that is not what prompted me to write. It’s what I heard later.

I got to know this 24-year-old young man through my friend. He used to spend a lot of time at her house. She helped him out. His mom had died; his dad was sick. I gave a little money to help his dad have a needed operation. A few years ago, I found out he got a young woman pregnant. We had a tough conversation. I decided to help him pay for a course to learn how to lay tile. He and his girlfriend had a baby girl and made a life together.

Over time, I didn’t see him as often. I’d run into him from time to time. I found out that they were expecting a second child. I got the sense he wasn’t really going to church anymore.

And then, a few weeks ago, I saw him on the road. We chatted. I told him we had a visitor staying with us who was building some cabinets…and invited him to come work with him if he wanted to learn. He spent 2 days at our house. He even brought his daughter one day. He mentioned wanting to get some tools that would enable him to take tile jobs. We talked about. He sent me a few texts. And then he stopped by the day before I left to talk in person. That was four days before he died.

After I got back from Texas, my friend and I got together and she shared all she knew of his death. It sounds like he had gotten involved in voodoo. That’s why he wasn’t spending as much time at her house – she found out about it and told him he couldn’t bring that into her home. He was also sleeping with another woman. And here’s where the story really gets crazy…

People are saying that maybe he was poisoned…and I tend to believe it.

(That is something that never would have entered my mind prior to living in Haiti…and learning more about the culture over these almost 5 years!)

Apparently he told his “wife” about the other woman…and she talked about it very publicly at a “dance” – a voodoo celebration.

I was shocked to hear my friend recount how, when she saw him on the last day of his life, she told his wife that if he died it would be her fault!

What?! How could she say that?! HE’S the one who was cheating on HER! How can it be her fault? And, yet, a couple of my friends told me that’s how the “system in Haiti” works. If a hidden “sin” is made public, it puts the involved parties at risk.


I feel lost when I try to make sense of it all. It just doesn’t make sense.

And I am so saddened at the loss…how lost people are.

…and that I didn’t know…or do anything.


Oh, Lord, fill me with Your Light and let me share it with others so that the lost may be found!


“My people have become lost sheep…” ~ Jeremiah 50:6

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” ~ Luke 19:10


As I wrote in my latest newsletter, life has felt a bit like a whirlwind lately. Here are some of the beautiful reasons why…

16707382_10212328135383727_5775991176272068091_oI got to go to Florida to celebrate my grandpa’s 90th birthday!

16797079_10212328150144096_4586300265038640325_oMy parents planned a party for Popo’s birthday…

16707576_10212328141143871_4433032024148694072_oAnd we also got to celebrate Popo and Betty’s anniversary. 🙂

16716248_10212328155464229_2670377843602897112_oIt was great to be with family!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few days after getting back from Florida, we had the “Inauguration” of the new GlobalFingerprints program in Jan Jan run by Pastor Henry Claude and Rosita Joseph.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHow fun to see the kids all dressed up for the occasion! This boy was the first child to be sponsored, but I am excited to announce that ALL 70 kids registered in the program are now sponsored! Praise God!


A couple days later, I got to help Sally put on her second health fair for children with special needs.


Children went through a variety of health education stations, were seen by nurses and Sally, and then got to spend time with physical and occupational therapists.


And there was a whole team of folks working to provide special equipment to help improve the quality of life for these kids. Much of the equipment was made by hand on the spot…and you can see for yourselves what an impact it made!

The very next day, Karen arrived from Hershey (in connection with Becky and the team from Hilltop Christian Nursery School) to do trauma training with our GlobalFingerprints staff and the teachers from ECCA school.


I guess we were busy because I totally failed to get any photos (sorry, Karen!). Guess I will post the one photo I found from Karen’s page – her transportation to the training. 🙂

Before Karen even left, the next group arrived…


My sisters from ElevateHer (yep, I will claim them…gladly)!


We got together part of the Sèk Sipò Pou Fanm…


…And we headed back to do another trauma care session at the Baptist Church of Torbeck (outside of Les Cayes)…


And also at a new church for us in Port Salut


The destruction in this area is hard to comprehend!

But the kits that we put together with funding raised by ElevateHer…




…was a huge blessing to the women! Showing the love of Christ in word and deed!

I got a 1-day break…and then on to…


GlobalFingerprints health checks

17156123_733169286857980_5576442170085259512_nand VBS



…even including some Zumba!

The team found time to have fun with our neighborhood English class, too!


The day the medical team left, the training team arrived…


…to spend time with the GlobalFingerprints staff going over a tool we use to evaluate the overall well-being of the child and the progress that is being made through the program!

And with March 8 being International Women’s Day, the Sèk put on a program for the women in our area.




Whew! Thankful for a God who can calm the storms of life…even the ones within me!




M&M’s, Big Tex, and Good Friends

Some of you probably remember some of the photos I posted from the idyllic waterfalls of Bassin Bleu, the hike up to the Citadelle, or the amazing sunsets at Kokoye Beach. All of these experiences I was able to share with my friend, Marie. Marie served just up the road at Haiti Health Ministries for 2 years, and during that time she was not only my adventure companion but also my good friend.

While I miss having her here, I am so happy to share with you that – upon her return to the States – she met a wonderful man to whom she was married just last Saturday! And I was privileged to be able to travel to Texas to celebrate with her and Mark…and several other Haiti friends!

Dr. Clemence and I traveled from Haiti together and met up with Matasha (who had also served at HHM) later that night.

Dr. Clemence and I traveled from Haiti together and met up with Matasha (who also served at HHM) later that night.

We were blessed to stay with Marie's friend, Katy, and her husband, Cal - what a sweet couple with a heart to serve!

We were blessed to stay with Marie’s friend, Katy, and her husband, Cal – what a sweet couple with a heart to serve!

We got to spend one day together at the Texas State Fair. As a Minnesota girl, I was excited to compare it to our "Great State Get-Together."

We got to spend one day together at the Texas State Fair. As a Minnesota girl, I was excited to compare it to our “Great State Get-Together.”

We had so much fun that day with another of Marie's friends, too - her maid-of-honor, Zoe!

Here are Clemence, Marie, and her maid-of-honor, Zoe. We had so much fun together!

Anyone who knows the Minnesota State Fair should know of our famous 'crop art' - I love it! So I was excited to check out the Texas State Fair's 'canstruction' - sculptures made out of cans of food to raise awareness and donate to the local food shelves. Cool!

Anyone who knows the Minnesota State Fair should know of our famous ‘crop art’ – I love it! So I was excited to check out the Texas State Fair’s ‘canstruction’ – sculptures made out of cans of food to raise awareness and donate to the local food shelves. Cool!

This one was one of my favorites.

This one was one of my favorites.

I have to admit that it was also pretty cool to see some Texas longhorns in person!

I have to admit that it was also pretty cool to see some Texas longhorns in person!

And Marie made sure we got to see Big Tex - the giant mascot who welcomes you to the fair. :)

And Marie made sure we got to see Big Tex – the giant mascot who welcomes you to the fair. 🙂

But, of course, the main event of our trip was the wedding of M&M - Mark and Marie! Isn't she beautiful!

But, of course, the main event of our trip was the wedding of M&M – Mark and Marie! Isn’t she beautiful! And can you guess what the wedding favors were? You guessed it – M&M’s in all kinds of varieties. Yum!

I didn't have the greatest camera with me, but here's the happy couple with most of Marie's family.

I didn’t have the greatest camera with me, but here’s the happy couple with most of Marie’s family.

And it was so much fun to be there together with so many other Haiti connections...including Dieula (founder of ElevateHer who puts on our women's conferences) and Sally (with whom we do the community kids' health fairs)...

And it was so much fun to be there together with so many other Haiti connections!…including Dieula (founder of ElevateHer who puts on our women’s conferences) and Sally (with whom we do the community kids’ health fairs)…

And Aleece - who stole away from PA school Friday after class and flew back early Sunday for the baptisms of some kids in her youth group - and Sally's husband, Robert

And Aleece – who stole away from PA school Friday after class and flew back early Sunday for the baptisms of some kids in her youth group – and Sally’s husband, Robert

A sweet reunion! (Here is Katy's husband, Cal, chatting with Zoe...with Katy, Dieula, and Sally in the background)

A sweet reunion! (Here is Katy’s husband, Cal, chatting with Zoe…with Katy, Dieula, and Sally in the background)

And, after looking all week, I even bought a new pair of shoes (and a dress and sweater) for the occasion! ;)

And, after looking all week, I even bought a new pair of shoes (and a dress and sweater) for the occasion! 😉

Again, isn't Marie so beautiful!

Again, isn’t Marie so beautiful!

And don't they both look so happy!

And don’t they both look so happy!

We are happy for you! And I am so happy I could share this sweet time with so many friends!

We are happy for you! And I am so happy I could share this sweet time with so many friends!


Lots of GlobalFingerprints

After getting back from our division conference in Panama, August was a blur of a bunch of wonderful GlobalFingerprints activities!

Leadership Retreat


Twice a year, we have a retreat for the staff of our GlobalFingerprints program. It is a time to develop them as leaders, but also a time for building team unity. Unfortunately, Steve was not feeling well so was not able to attend…which means I got a bit more experience leading. It was a good time!


One retreat each year we hold at a nice beach resort. Here is the whole group after enjoying a nice buffet lunch (We named the giant fish “Steve” so that he would be with us.).


We are excited to be planning the launch of a second GlobalFingerprints site in Haiti! One of the managers of the new site was able to join us on the retreat, and it was so encouraging to observe questions being asked and knowledge being shared.


We also scheduled some free time so that we could have some fun together and enjoy the amazing water!


AyiTeen Camp


A few days after the leaders retreat, we had our second annual AyiTeen Camp for the youth age 16+ in GlobalFingerprints. The first day is held at the church.


We always begin with a time of worship. Our GlobalFingerprints staff is so talented…but it’s extra cool when they ask some of the kids to lead worship as well!


This year’s theme was “Stronger Together.” Throughout the day, we had a couple large group sessions focusing on the theme, and then split into smaller groups to discuss.


Day 2 of the camp was at Kaliko Beach. So, after a brief time of worship and meeting as a large group…


…we hit the beach and pool!


Throughout the 2 days, we had team competitions…which was pretty intense and a lot of fun. But, for me, the highlight was having a young woman choose to receive the love of Jesus Christ!


Health Screenings


Just 2 days after the AyiTeen Camp, we were busy doing health screenings for the kids in the program. After checking in and getting their chart, kids had their heights and weights measured.


Of course, when there weren’t too many kids who needed their heights and weights measured, there was other “work” to be done as well. 🙂


All kids are given Albendazole, a deworming medication, preventatively. With that comes not only water but a cracker with peanut butter…so kids don’t mind the medicine too much. 🙂


And BMI’s are calculated to make sure kids are growing as they should.


Then the kids head upstairs to see the doctors.


Even the wait is pretty fun!


Some of the “lucky” ones get their fingers pricked to test for anemia, but…


It must not be too bad. 🙂


Then a new toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and a hug…and they’re out the door. 🙂




After 2 days of health screenings, we went right back to put on a program for the youngest kids in the program (9 and under). Even they helped lead worship!


We used our same theme of “Faith Like a Mustard Seed.” The kids rotated through 5 stations. At this station they learned the story of Daniel in the lions den and worked on memorizing a Bible verse.


At this station, they listened to the story of David and Goliath…and played a game in which they took on Goliath.


There was another station that told the story of Esther…


…and here all the kids got to make themselves a crown so they could be princes and princesses.


Can you tell they liked that?! 🙂


There was also a station for doing heights, weights, and Albendazole…but they also played a get-to-know-you game that involved candy. Sweet deal!


And the last station was a “Faith Obstacle Course.”


One person was blindfolded…


While a friend helped them navigate the course. When they were done, they talked about what it means to have faith.


And then all of us princes and princesses got together again at the end to talk about what we learned – how all these people had just a little bit of faith but in a BIG God…and God was able to do amazing things! He can do the same in our lives!


Lots of Catching Up

So…hopefully by now you’ve realized that I am not really a blogger. I’ve always liked the idea of keeping a diary or a journal or a blog…but I just have never gotten into it. So this blog really has become an overflow (an infrequent one at that) for things I don’t have space to put in my newsletters. Mainly, it is a good place to post lots of pictures. So that’s what I am going to do – post a bunch of pictures to catch you up on what’s been going on with us for the past (too many) months. 🙂



Becky (from Hilltop Christian Nursery School in Hershey, PA) was back again with a team to continue doing teacher training at ECCA school.



Evaldo and Astrit led a Pathways training (how to study and understand the Bible and share it with others) with pastors and church leaders in Port Salut, Haiti.


A big group of people – both medical and non-medical – came down to help Sally put on her fourth community kids’ health fair.


Then we did health screenings for the kids in GlobalFingerprints.


We wrapped up the week doing a program for the kids age 10-14 years old in GlobalFingerprints – focusing on the theme of “Faith Like a Mustard Seed.”


At the end of the month, Lynn Richter brought down trumpets, trombones, flutes, and clarinets for the GlobalFingerprints music program. She taught the staff and other leaders who then started teaching the youth.



The wonderful sewing team from Constance came down not only to work with the ladies on sewing and crochet skills, but also to pour into their lives spiritually.


One of the highlights of the summer for me was getting to assist with the training of 20 women in trauma care and leadership. The training started in May and finished in August with a practical field experience in mid-June.



We were blessed with a couple amazing teams (Riverside & Forcey) who served in a variety of ways, including starting some tire gardens in a nearby community.



Quinn got to participate in her first Challenge youth conference…with about 4,500 other youth! Sharron and Astrit got to be a part of the conference, too.


July 4-7 ElevateHer put on their third women’s conference in Gressier…this time with the help of the women who went through the training.


We were blessed to have a young intern (Madison) with us for a few weeks who, among a variety of other things, helped Stephanie and Sharron put on a couple English camps.



Our whole team spent a week in Panama for our ReachGlobal division conference (held every other year). We started our time there with a trip to the Panama Canal.


One of the highlights of the conference for me is always the worship – praising God together in song…


…And communing with Him in His beautiful creation!


2015 Celebrations

With the new year upon us, we recently took the time to reflect back and praise God for all that He did in and through us in 2015.

ReachGlobal Haiti Team 2015 Celebrations

  • Interns “found themselves” while serving in Haiti
  • Stephanie on target to arrive early in 2016
  • Kelly B. continues to grow in her faith with her family
  • Jennifer Blevins long-term and fully funded
  • Sewing partnership
  • Orality Training
  • Pathways Training
  • Evaldo/Astrit translator (they’re also mentoring him)
  • Translation of Pathways Courses 1-2 in Creole!
  • Growth and Influence on Ex-pat Community
  • Continued strong partnership relationship with HHM and Healthfair
  • Teacher Training at ECCA
  • Relationships with Haitians in our community
  • Medical and Dental check-ups for our Haitian employees
  • Bible Studies with our employees
  • All contract employees have safe housing
  • Water to employee houses
  • Repair of community wells
  • GlobalFingerprints Celebrations
  • 2nd Annual Women’s conference with Sally and Local Church
  • Mark & Steve influence with 200th anniversary of Protestant church in Haiti
  • Haitian Perle Coffee being sold in 16 stores and at Hershey EFC
  • Dorlus’ surgery and recovery
  • Increase in number of STTeams
  • Larger STTeams
  • STTeams discipleship focus
  • Consortium meetings more robust
  • Haitians in USA for ONE conference and at New Orleans
  • Church Planting Catalyst training began
  • Trinity Seminary with 2 student scholarships ready for Haitians
  • Haiti Movement Leader Network
  • Haiti Potential Movement Leader Network
  • STEP change in how they develop leaders
  • Joe Casey – Mobilizer for Haiti and STTeams and Consortium
  • Influence in lives of STTeams
  • Evaldo / Astrit influence in Brasilian church
  • Evaldo / Astrit returned fully funded, even after 50% currency devaluation in Brasil
  • Senior Haitian Church leader came to know who the “church” is through Consortium influence
  • Senior Haitian Church leader was “invested in” for the first time by our influence
  • 2 wells helped to fund, install
  • 1 electrical generator project helped to fund, install
  • School roof helped to fund, install
  • Relationship Influence on variety of individuals

GlobalFingerprints Haiti Team 2015 Celebrations

  • 300 backpacks given out
  • 300 Bibles given out
  • Ayiteen Camp
  • Fedjina shown grace and love amidst pregnancy
  • Medical Treatment/check-ups for all 298 kids
  • Glasses given out twice (even for Villes – supervisor!)
  • Angeline / Angelene  heart issues – heart surgery
  • Music beginning / music classes
  • Wahoo Bay retreat for leaders
  • Kaliko Beach for kids
  • More children (298)
  • Child proudly coming to church with Bible
  • Giraud’s health
  • Antoine’s marriage
  • Wisconsin runners raising money for program, being able to come for distribution
  • Professional School beginning with 3 classes (English, Computer, Music)
  • Sofie coming to Christ
  • Spiritual Development
  • Relationships between supervisors, leaders, US team
  • Anne-Marie digging into program
  • Separate age groups / health issues
  • Girls’ spiritual retreat
  • Teen Sexuality classes

We also spent time discussing challenges and dreams for 2016. Would you pray for these things with us?

One of the “Key Result Areas” we have as a team is: “Community Impact – Seeing Gospel transformation in families, children, and communities in partnership with the local church.” Our GlobalFingerprints program is one way we go about trying to do this. Thus…

Would you pray for the GlobalFingerprints supervisors and staff as they work to more intentionally share God’s Word with the children in the program?

And ReachGlobal has a commitment to health, with one of our guiding principles being: “We are Team-Led and Team-Driven.” Thus…

Would you pray for our ReachGlobal Haiti team as we spend time every month for the first half of 2016 really working on developing our team?

Thank you so much! And please let us know how we can be praying for you!

Hope to see you in Haiti in 2016!

In Christ,

Jen, Evaldo, Astrit, Dave, Sharron, & Quinn

* As God has grown our team, we have need for additional ministry funds in order not only to continue but also grow our Gospel influence in Haiti. If you would like to give to our general Haiti fund, you can do so:

  1. Online by clicking here and entering “Acct. # 3914” in the “Other” box.
  2. By making a check out to “EFCA” with “Acct. #3914” written on the memo line and mailing it to:  EFCA, 901 E. 78th St., Minneapolis, MN. 55420

A Month of GlobalFingerprints

From the first week of November through the first week of December, we were blessed to be crazy busy with a bunch of great GlobalFingerprints activities!

On November 7, we had an event especially for the teen girls in the program. As a follow-up from a conversation that began last summer at the AyiTeen Camp, we talked about the value we have in God’s eyes; His good plan for our lives; what His plan says about sex; and how we can follow His plan even when the world and our flesh tell us something different.

We had 4 large group sessions...

We had 4 large group sessions…

...with small group times and fun activities interspersed between them.

…with small group times and fun activities                              interspersed between them.

And one girl came to know Jesus as her Savior that day! Please be in prayer for Sophie and for all these girls – that they would grow into the women God has made them to be!

The next week Lynn Richter came down to continue to pour into the music program.

Lynn beaming as kids stood up to play duets during the GlobalFingerprints music class.

Lynn beaming as kids stood up to play duets            during the GlobalFingerprints music class.

This time she brought her husband along. Andy is a high school band director.

The kids loved hearing Lynn and Andy play!

The kids loved hearing Lynn and Andy play!

It is exciting to see the GlobalFingerprints “professional school” up and running, including not only music classes but also computer and English (and, perhaps one day, sewing). This school provides great alternative social, spiritual, and educational experiences for the teenagers…and teaches them skills that will help them in their future! Lynn is looking forward to being a resource to Adelçon as he and the other teachers grow the program!

Later in November, we did our twice-annual medical checks.

Dr. Dean and our other providers not only saw about half of the GlobalFingerprints kids, but they also saw all the kids at a partner orphanage and our employees & their families!

Dr. Dean and our other providers not            only saw about half of the GlobalFingerprints kids, but they also           saw all the kids at a partner orphanage and our employees & their                           families!

This time we included dental checks, too!

This time we included dental                   checks for the  GlobalFingerprints kids, too!

On that Saturday morning, all the kids age 11 and under came for a time of fun and learning about God's Treasures.

On that Saturday morning, all the kids age 11 and  under came for a time of fun and learning about                                God’s Treasures.

Our wonderful ReachGlobal teams also served at the Haiti Health Ministries Kids' Health Fair where we saw about 350 kids in one day!

Our wonderful ReachGlobal teams also served at       the Haiti Health Ministries Kids’ Health Fair              where we saw about 350 kids in one day!

And then, early in December, we were able to give the kids some “early Christmas presents”! Last summer a couple churches/groups helped us to raise the money needed to provide backpacks to each child in the program. Unfortunately, we had a hard time getting them to Haiti in time for the start of the school year. Another church/group wanted to bless each child with their own Bible in Haitian Creole. They placed an order for them, but the order wasn’t able to be filled. So this fall we finally bought them in country. And the backpacks slowly were brought in by various people and teams. So December ended up being the perfect time to give them both to the kids!

Angenline and Angelene with their new backpacks. :)

Angeline and Angelene with their new                        backpacks. 🙂

The day after the backpacks and Bibles were distributed, the team attended church at Sous de la Gras...and were so happy to see kids with their new Bibles in hand and using them during church!

The day after the backpacks and Bibles were    distributed, the team attended church at Sous de  la Gras…and were so happy to see kids with their new Bibles in hand and using them during                                               church!

Thank you to all of you who support the ministry of GlobalFingerprints…by sponsoring kids, giving to special projects, coming down to serve, supporting me, and praying! Continue to ask the Lord to use this program to make Himself known more and more in the lives of these kids, their families, and their communities! Thank you!

P.S. Just before Christmas I had the privilege to go up to Cap Haitian for a few days of R&R with some other missionary friends…and to be part of the marriage of one of our GlobalFingerprints staff! Congratulations, Antoine!