May Trip and Other News

May 2021 Trip (19-27)

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

Exciting News

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,

bye for now, Love Rod, Deb and Katie

The Widow’s Mite

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,

bye for now,

Love Rod, Deb and Katie

Sawing Logs

Dear family and friends;

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support. We really enjoy hearing from you!

We are very excited to have completed the construction of our sawmill area. Many thanks to Duane and Dan from Grand Rapids for all the building materials that they sent.

The Woodmizer sawmill works great and saves so much wood as compared to cutting by hand, which they still do here in Haiti.

Thanks so much to our friend Verlon Thompson from Missouri who came down for the week to help me set up and show me how to use the sawmill. Verlon is 75 yrs old and runs his own Woodmizer sawmill.

We started showing some of our Haitian staff how to use the sawmill. They were all amazed at the beautiful straight, uniform boards that it produces.

Lord willing, we plan to begin building wood items with the boards that we cut.

Here is a mango wood slab that should make a beautiful live edge coffee table.

We have been busy here at Camp Mahanaim hosting numerous groups which come to the camp for a day of activities and a meal.

All of the groups are enjoying the water slides and water activity area. Many people have mentioned that they are so thankful for a fun place that they can enjoy right here in Haiti.

There are 41 steps to reach the top of the water slides, and some of the kids climb those steps over and over without stopping for hours on end.

Deb does an amazing job of organizing all the kitchen staff and helping them serve beautiful meals to our visitors. Many of our Angels volleyball girls work for Deb on a regular basis.

We never get tired of watching the kids have fun.

We would really appreciate your prayers as we head into the very busy camp time these next two months. Please pray for safety for all the campers and that God would work in the hearts and lives of the children and young people who come here. Please pray also for Deb, Katie and I and for the teams that will be coming to help with camp, that the Lord would use us all and keep us healthy and strong. Thanks, so much,
bye for now,

Love Rod, Debbie and Katie

Bursting at the seams

Dear family and friends;

Thank you for your support and prayers for us and for the Renault Sunday school. We had over 2,000 children attend this past Sunday (56 boxes of Manna Packs with 36 packs in a box) and we feel that the Sunday school is bursting.

We would  appreciate your continued prayers for the Renault Sunday school as even the addition is overflowing and we are having to turn children away on some Sundays.

We have a visiting team from Alabama here and it was fun to do a wedding for 20 Haitian couples today.

Deb does a great job of coordinating these weddings.

The local kids that live near us at Camp Mahanaim love it whenever we do weddings, as they usually get a leftover sandwich every time we return from doing a wedding. We have trained them to line up nicely.

This dear lady and her husband were the oldest couple married today, and they had many, many grandchildren. She was so thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to finally be married.

We are making progress on projects around the camp. We are just about ready to put the roof on the new sawmill area.

Our faithful young workers; Roro and Nadair are doing a great job of building a gazebo on the Island near the watersides.

Thanks again for your prayers and support. We have some openings for teams in July and early August, if you would like to bring a team and help us do camps for the Renault Sunday school kids this summer.

bye for now,

Love Rod, Deb and Katie