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Last Week in Haiti

Last Week in Haiti

Dear Friends, Family, Prayer Supporters,
Two weeks quickly passed since our last report was finished and hard
to believe we fly home on the 18th of Feb. Think we’ll all miss the
Caribbean Sea being our back yard. The hard work began two weeks ago,
digging trenches and working on the foundation of the orphanage, and a
dip in the ocean was welcome refreshment! Building the orphanage has
been our main focus, and it has progressed well. At this writing the
foundation, well, and brick walls are almost completed. Some Haitian
men were hired to work alongside our team, although this also
presented challenges due to cultural differences, much has been
accomplished. The desire was to complete the building in these last
three weeks of our outreach. This goal doesn’t appear attainable;
everything always takes more time in third world countries.
Difficulties arise in having proper tools, materials arriving on time,
and everything is done by hand.

Many of you know Kim O’Dwyer, Gleanings’ director Rick’s daughter, has
been in Haiti the last nine months, having started an orphanage. Being
in a very difficult, remote mountain location, Kim has decided to
merge with Miss Lynn’s orphanage.  Through generous donations most of
the money needed to build the orphanage has been received.

Kim is here with us at the resort with her two 18 month old boys,
Joshua and Josiah and Caitlin and Suzi have enjoyed playing and caring
for them. Almost two weeks ago she accepted another child, a 2 ½ month
old, beautiful baby girl, who is the size of a small newborn, like a
porcelain doll. The mother has 8 children, the father died three weeks
ago and she has no way to care for all the children. She actually
wanted to leave two other children, boys aged 3 and 5. Instead of
taking them, the mother was sent home with two bags of soup mix,
peaches and money to buy beans and rice. The current orphanage is at
maximum capacity with eight children and the desperate mother was told
she could return in a few weeks when the new orphanage is completed.
She went away with the satisfaction of knowing her baby will live and
enough food to feed her whole family the rest of the month. And we
were faced head on with the reality of Haitian families’ struggling to
survive! Cindy took most of the responsibility for Esther’s care, her
carry-on transforming into a baby bed, and soon realized she was no
longer accustomed to the wee night hours a baby requires attention.
She and Kim are now rotating the night shift. As of Thursday there was
a nanny hired, who has started helping with the children’s care.
Yolanda loves children and has been a great blessing; also becoming
acquainted with the children now, since she will be employed at the
new orphanage.

We were honored to minister in Miss Lynn’s church on two Sunday
mornings, sharing dramas and the Word. Gleaning’s soup and rice was
prepared and everyone was given a meal after one of the services.
They expressed their thanks, saying that usually the white people
don’t come “across the street”, attending our church and serving us.

Last week Ben, alias “Professor Katz”, displayed his talents by
teaching English classes every morning at the public school across the
street. We’re not sure who enjoyed it more; Ben or the students, but
he did a great job and the children now recognize him as Professor! A
group of us have also been visiting the children at Miss Lynn’s
orphanage every afternoon; loving on them and doing various craft
projects. Relationships have developed sweetly and we are now greeted
with squeals of delight, followed by hugs and kisses. These children
are truly precious and we have received so much joy by spending time
together.

Two community meals were served last week at the soccer field, which
is near the work sight, on Wednesday and Thursday. Valter and the
staff from YWAM Port-au-Prince came and cooked up 1,000 servings of
soup to show God’s love by supplying a practical need. We found that
most of the men working on the building cannot afford any lunch. The
community is very poor and hungry, with many of the boys running
around half (or completely) naked due to lack of money for clothing.

“Beach Day” was Saturday, as the eight delighted children were
escorted across the street to the resort for a picnic and swim in the
ocean. Coconuts were first knocked down from the palm trees for a
coconut milk treat. Their palate was then greeted, for the first time,
with hot dogs, along with french fries and bananas. Everyone enjoyed
play time in the water together and the outing was concluded by eating
the fresh coconut and a lollipop. This was certainly a day all will
remember.

This last week we are working to complete as much as possible of the
orphanage construction. John is planning to extend his ticket to
remain as foreman until the completion of the project, which will be a
huge blessing for Miss Lynn and Kim. We are thankful for his
dedication to the project.

Please pray that we will finish strong. The physical labor in the hot
Haitian sun is quite exhausting, but the team is pressing forward and
doing an awesome work that will be a blessing for generations to come.

Andria, Cindy, Tiffany and Philip also continue ministering to the
orphanage children daily and they have become accustomed to our
visits. There previously bare walls are now quite decorated from all
the craft projects they’ve completed. Having only two more afternoons
with them, it will be sad to say goodbye and we pray they will not be
too disappointed when our visits stop, but will remember the love and
good times that were shared. They will also go through a major
transition when the building is completed and they join Kim and her
five children in the new orphanage.

Our prayer during this construction, and everything we put our hands
to do, is that God will be glorified; that we will be an example and
testimony for Jesus,  as Matt. 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before
men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your
Father who is in heaven.” Wow, shouldn’t we, as Christians, be living
our whole lives in this manner?

Remember us Friday as we return to California. Our flight is scheduled
to leave Haiti at 10:55 AM and arrive in LAX at 5:55.

Goodbye from Haiti.
Gleanings DTS Outreach Team

 

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