Dear family and friends; Thank you so much for your outpouring of kindness and prayers for us these past few days. We have been busy and have emptied our house, the guesthouse and as much of the other buildings as possible. We moved most everything to the shop (which is high ground) and has a tin roof and is the only building not seriously structurally damaged. We are so thankful for the kindness of our fellow missionaries at the Dairy farm (10 minutes from camp), who have invited us to stay in their apartment and make it our home base. It would not be safe for us to stay at the camp as all of the buildings continue to move and sink into the soft ground. We will not be surprised if some more of the buildings have totally collapsed tomorrow after the storm and rain. Also, the wall along the river is destroyed, so there is no protection for the yard when the river floods. Lord willing, we plan to sell, give away and organize all the equipment and supplies at the camp, and then we are hoping in a couple of weeks that Agape flights can fly us together with Sandy the dog to Venice, Florida. Once in Florida we plan to meet with Danny Thomas (Harvest director) and then hopefully, rent, buy, or borrow a small motorhome and drive through the US and into Canada.
Thank you for your continued prayers as we make these decisions and transitions. We don’t know if/when we will return to Haiti at some point in the future, or if the Lord has another place for us to serve as missionaries. We know that for now we are planning to head home to process everything and see family, Lord willing. Thanks again for you prayers and support. Bye for now.
Dear family and friends; Just a quick note to let you know that we experienced an earthquake this morning and it was a big one. The camp was full of about 150 people (70 volleyball boys) and 80 families on a retreat here, and nobody was injured thank the Lord.
Every building here is seriously damaged and some are unsafe to enter and the yard is full of crevasses.
We hear that there was a lot of damage in Les Cayes. We aren’t sure what we will do now, but appreciate your prayers.
We were packed and ready to leave by 2 pm on the19th, our required Covid-19 tests completed, only to arrive at the airport and find that our tests were not American Air approved. So off we went to the parking lot testing site for a 2nd test to the tune of $300. The remainder of the trip went great and we arrived at the hospital in Les Cayes by 4 pm on the 20th. Much work was accomplished this trip, including the preparation of the new operating room. Duane built cabinets and Evert began installing air conditioning and wiring. Dr. Jose is excited to begin a new area of testing/surgery that the hospital has not done before. The ladies cleaned, sorted, and prepared lunches for the 10 Haitian workers every work day, along with visits to encourage the local missionaries. Duane led meetings with the doctors and the administrator each day, talking through and dealing with many administrative issues. We are excited and encouraged to see the work continue. Dr. Bill is missed, but the work he began is continuing for God’s glory.
Thank you for all your prayers for Dr. William and his schooling. He is very close to finishing his required thesis, which must be completed before he is officially able to get his surgical license. He is currently working at the hospital.
The two chaplains at the hospital continue to share the only true hope of Jesus Christ to each and every patient. They have a positive attitude and are always eager to pray with each member of the team.
On Sunday our group of 4 spent the day with Rod, Debbie, and Katie Wray at Camp Mahanaim (God’s Camp) and attended the Sunday School and feeding program. It is always a huge blessing to visit this ministry. Every child attending the weekly Sunday School hears the gospel and receives a manna pack.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” – Philippians 2:3
God Bless, Duane and Ruth Verkaik & Evert and Kitty Bek
In other news…
We have completed our work on the design and engineering of the solar system and have given Smucker’s Energy permission to being purchasing the needed components. Our hope is to get all the components there by December for a mid-January installation. This has turned into a huge project; the new roof on the in-patient building, construction of an equipment room, design and engineering, solar components, shipping, and installation bring the cost to $440,000. We need to raise an additional $75,000 to cover this cost. If we aren’t able to raise the total cost, we will install the system with fewer batteries, which can be added at a later date as the money is available. Pease consider donating to this project. We are looking forward to being able to offer excellent 24-hour care to our patients without the obstacles of unreliable electricity and limited generator power, coupled with fuel shortages during times of civil unrest. We are so thankful for those who work to make this mission possible. We would not be able to do what we do without the support of so many. Tabitha Sheen, our recent board member addition, has worked very hard to reconnect with the IDA foundation in the Netherlands, which supplies low cost medical supplies for mission organizations. We have placed an order for supplies and they should be on their way in a couple of weeks. Jim Heist, a retired machinist, has also been hand-making much needed external fixators for our expanding orthopedic department. There are many more who work behind the scenes, using their God-given talents to aid this ministry.
We are sad to have to share that our head of nursing, Miss Corrine, passed into glory at the hospital on June 7 from complications with type 1 diabetes. She was a huge part of our ministry and had served with dedication for many years. She will be greatly missed. Please pray for her family and our staff as they mourn her loss and seek to find someone to fill her role.
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” – James 4:14
Thank you for your partnership in sharing Christ as CSL! Dan
Dear family and friends; We took a quick trip back to British Columbia a few weeks ago when our son Tim got married to his bride Katie.
It was a fun and beautiful wedding, and we had a special time visiting family while we were home.
When we returned to Haiti, we were greeted with two weeks of steady rain.
School was cancelled due to the rains, so the young people came almost every day asking for volleyball in the gym
We soon forgot the falling rain and dark skies once we were in the bright gym with 70 or so enthusiastic young people.
The young people appreciate the Manna packs, granola bars and prizes that we give each time we meet, especially when it is rainy and difficult for them to find food.
These cute t-shirt dresses came all the way from Pender Harbor, B.C. and the little Haitian girls love them.
Deb is teaching an English class for several of the young people from our youth group. She is preparing them as translators for when the big Missouri medical team comes in 2019, Lord willing.
The sawmill and woodwork is in full swing and we never have a problem getting rid of the scrap wood. Without fail, it never takes more than 5 minutes for a full truckload of scraps to disappear, and the local people really appreciate having a good supply of wood to cook with.
Thanks so much for your support and prayers, Thanks for sending things like peanut butter, granola bars, clothes, shoes and other treats that we are able to share! Thanks and may the Lord bless you,
Dear Family and Friends; We trust that your summer is going well. We are doing well and have a lot to be thankful for. We were able to share soccer balls with many Haitians again this summer, thanks to you, who bring and send soccer balls to us each year.
It was great that we were able to have several camps this summer, and this group of older campers was very interested in the sawmill. Due to the riots in Haiti our other 2018 teams have had to cancel, so that means quite a few kids won’t have the opportunity to come to camp this year.
After camp there is a lot of work involved in getting everything cleaned and ready for the next camp. We are thankful that several of our “Angels” volleyball girls have become great workers and helpers for Deb.
We are finding many beautiful trees of several species that fell down in hurricane Matthew, which are still in good condition. Mainly this is because the entire tree was uprooted and the roots now hold the fallen tree up off the ground. Mango, Mahogany, Almond and several other hardwood trees are in great condition. The problem is often getting to them, so I rebuilt our old battery powered U.T.V. into a man powered skidder that we use to haul the logs out with.
This is Julane. She is a widow who lives in the village near us and last week we were shocked to learn of the poor conditions that she was living in.
We quickly got to work and built a home on the small property up the road that the camp well is on.
Deb, Katie and I were very shaken as we helped this widow and all the children she takes care of move to the new location. Their belongings were meager at best and we didn’t notice one food item in their possession. One trip with a half full truck was all it took.
Wendy and Windja (the two oldest children) are in our volleyball / youth group and we see them every week, but we had no idea of the conditions in which they lived.
We had a rental agreement written out and Julane signed with an “X”, but then she didn’t have the “widow’s mite” that she needed to pay the year’s rent. Thankfully Germain our friend was nearby and he gave Julane the 5 Gourde coin (about .10 cents) to cover the year’s rent.
Yesterday, Deb and Katie traveled to Orlando where they are enjoying a week together with the Yordys. Katie has missed her friends since they moved back to Illinois in April, so this is a special opportunity for the girls to get together.
We appreciate your prayers and hope that you have a great summer,