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

God’s faithfulness

Dear family and friends;

We are so thankful for the continued ministry of the Missouri medical team which began 14 years ago through the efforts of one man; our dear friend Dr. Jon Roberts. Over the years, he has brought more than 150 different people to Haiti, mostly in the medical field. This year we did medical clinics in 4 different locations and served about 3,400 patients.

 

It has been fun to have several of the Haitian young people from volleyball work with us, not only in translating, but learning about the medical field.

For many of the poor Haitian people in our area, the Missouri medical team is their one opportunity each year to see a doctor and receive medical care.

We are sad that this Easter Sunday will be the last Sunday at Renault with our friends and co-workers the Yordys, They will be returning to Illinois next week, so we ask for your prayers for them as they travel and get settled back home.

We had a special farewell for the Yordys here at Camp Mahanaim a couple of weeks ago and many people attended. Katie will especially miss her friends Chloe and Gabby.

We were sorry that our second German Shepherd died in February, but with the help of some very kind friends, and Agape Flights, we were able to bring in “Sandy” from Florida. Sandy is a 12 week old purebred English Mastiff puppy and Katie loves her.

We continue to thank the Lord for Jeanette who has been with us for 15 years now, since we moved to Haiti in 2003.

We recently had the Athletes in Action Canadian volleyball players here and we had a great time of fun and ministry together with them. They really connected with the kids in our rec volleyball program.

The Athletes in Action young people had opportunities to minister in several ways, not only by playing volleyball. In one of the small Haitian homes we found an older man lying on the cement floor, naked, and curled up, just waiting to die.

Katie has tried to keep up with her online school even while hosting teams, but it isn’t always easy and the other day, she fell asleep while studying. We are so thankful for Katie’s help in hosting teams and her heart for serving the Lord. She is a great partner in ministry.

Thanks so much for your continued support and prayers.
bye for now,

Love Rod, Deb and Katie