TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
January 19, 2015
A N E W Y E A R
A new year has dawned and with it comes the blessings of teams arriving in Haiti to experience life here at its “coolest” time of year! As I reflect on the teams that have already been here and the teams soon to arrive, I know that each one brings uniqueness with the skills and insights that they have to offer to the ministry here. Once again, this year we have teams from Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and New York. For the first time ever, we welcome a team from Ireland! It is fun to watch the surprises God has in store for us!
Reflecting back on 2014, I am thankful that the onset of Chikungunya Fever in May of 2014 seems, at least in our area, to be fading into the past. It appears that my case was the first case presented to my doctor in the LesCayes area. It was not until more cases began to appear that he realized what I was suffering from. Watching an epidemic unfold before one’s eyes is a little overwhelming. It is a reminder that only God is in control.
A summer of personal medical evaluations has given way to some renewed strength to forge ahead for what God has planned for this year. I am praying for stamina and improved health for the days ahead!
One of the most exciting things that is unfolding in our work here is the recent opening of our Trade School. For the first time ever, skilled trade training is available to persons living on Île-à-Vache. Our first semester is offering training in stucco application, ceramic tile laying, window installation and plumbing. We are enrolling students from several communities on Île-à-Vache, as well as some students traveling from the mainland for the courses we offer. It is our hope that these skills will offer training that results in jobs for the Haitian people. Previously, positions were offered to qualified workers from other nations because not enough locals had the experience needed. We are hoping to change all that!
We are praying for funding that will make it possible to continue the Trade School into a second and third year. We are getting so many requests from people who want to enroll that we have had to tell some of them that they must wait to enroll in classes next year.
We have had requests for several other types of training sessions. Requests have come in for cooking classes, cosmetology classes, computer courses, hospitality training, English classes and electricity. As God provides instructors, funding, guest teachers from the USA and training materials, we will make plans to expand into other areas. Again, God is in control. He has a plan for the young people of Haiti!
The Trade School has also been a blessing to the oldest boys at Grace Orphanage. Some of the boys are about ready to head out into the world. Four of the boys are taking trade classes, so that they will be prepared with skills to provide for themselves. And to help them on their way when they leave the orphanage, Léon and I will be giving each boy a cow. This is like “money in the bank” as they start life out on their own. Please join us in praying for the older boys as they begin this transition.
Requests for medical assistance seem to be increasing. I am so thankful when I can find help for these cases right here in Haiti. It is so much more affordable to treat a patient here than to come up with the large amount of funds needed to send someone elsewhere in the world for medical care. The most difficult cases to deal with are the ones where there is no happy ending.
Your prayers and financial support for all aspects of our ministry are greatly appreciated!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time, God willing …………