A Great Finish

Dear family and friends;

We hope you had a special Christmas. In spite of a difficult year for Haiti, the month of December has gone well, with calm returning, roads opening up and fuel flowing. 40 ft containers which have sat in Port au Prince for many months were released, and arrived in time for Christmas. We worked for 5 days to prepare over 2000 gift bags for our Sunday school children at Renault.

Thanks to you who sent the beautiful clothes, gift bags and food items. 
The kids were thrilled with the special personalized gifts this year. 

Some of our family had hoped to visit us in Haiti this Christmas, but with the uncertainty of Haiti, we agreed to meet in Florida for a visit.    We had a great time and it was great for Katie and I to finally meet Daisy. (Dan and Christie’s youngest)

While in Florida, I enjoyed a visit with Danny, Pam, Ethel and Cassie (the Harvest International Staff).    We appreciate their partnership so much and when Danny heard that things had calmed down in Haiti, he immediately took action and sent us another container of manna packs.

We arrived back in Haiti on Christmas day. Three days later, on Saturday we had a huge day with a volleyball tournament  for the young people, and a hot dog lunch, where we served 300 hotdogs. 

Saturday evening, we continued with a sit down dinner for the young people and a Gala type event, where they were able to taste many special Christmas baking treats.    Deb and her kitchen helpers did a great job and even Sandy helped to make sure that the guys didn’t take too many items.

It all ended at 9:30 pm, and just as the kids were leaving the yard, the container full of Manna packs arrived, so we worked until midnight unloading it.

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we have our younger kids group coming for a big day of volleyball and another meal with about 500 hot dogs. 

The Renault Sunday school is very full.   This picture shows the addition, which is now unable to seat all the children.    Please pray with us as we have a meeting planned on Jan 6th with a man regarding the possibility of buying the larger, original piece of land where we began the Sunday school 12 years ago.   

Thanks again for your prayers and care, We wish you a Happy New Year.    Katie made a video of the Christmas gifts to the Renault Sunday school kids if you would like to watch it on youtube.  https://youtu.be/JBz_DLemfn4
bye for now, 
Love Rod, Deb and Katie

The Cupboards Are Bare

Dear family and friends;    We trust that you are doing well.   We are doing well, and we thank you for your prayers and for checking on us while Haiti works through this difficult time.   We haven’t been able to buy fuel for more than 2 months, there has been no utility electricity given for over 3 months and school has not started yet in Haiti due to demonstrations.

The Haitian people are finding it more and more difficult to find and buy food, as prices continue to increase dramatically.    We are thankful that we currently have a good supply of Manna packs, so we have been giving out extra at Sunday school and at the camp to help as many people as we can.   This morning at Renault Sunday school we distributed approximately 3000 Manna Packs and the children were very appreciative of the extra food.

We are so thankful that Steve and his team of six men from Michigan were able to come and spend a week with us.    They did a great job installing a security system, building and installing a new front gate, doing service and repairs on all the vehicles / equipment, and installing solar panels and a solar pump in the well that provides water for the camp.    We are so happy to now be able to share our good water with the people of the community again. 

It is at this time that we are especially thankful for the solar power system that the Lord provided for us at Camp Mahanaim. We usually only run our generators when we have volleyball at the gym.   For some of the local young people, volleyball and other activities at Camp Mahanaim have become more regular than school.    Katie made a video which includes testimonials from some of the Haitian young people who are very involved at Camp Mahanaim.    You can watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZcjlclAIL4
Thanks so much for your support and prayers, 
bye for now, 
Love Rod, Deb and Katie 

Camp Mahanaim Waterslides

Dear family and friends; 
                                         Things continue to be unsettled here in Haiti.   Yesterday demonstrations began once again, with people demanding the departure of the president.    In the capital of Port au Prince, most everything is shut down and there are roadblocks in locations throughout the country.   On Sunday, we were able to get through 2 barricades and arrive safely at Renault Sunday school, but on the way home, we couldn’t get through the roadblocks, so we took 4X4 trails and finally made it home. 

We are so thankful for your generous response to last month’s request.  With the support of your “Camp” donations, we have been, and will be able to host groups for camps this summer.   This particular school came from an area up in the mountains and the young people didn’t know how to swim. Some of the kids were afraid of the water. 

They all had to wear life jackets, but by the end of the day, they were loving the  water and the water slides. 

Katie has done a great job of following in her big brother’s footsteps with the making of videos.   Here is a link to her first video which shows the new Camp Mahanaim waterslides in action.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZO1QtYCceU

Thanks again for your prayers and concern for Haiti and also for your support which will make it possible for many kids to attend Camp this summer!

Thanks, Love 
Rod, Deb and Katie 

Looking Ahead

Dear family and friends;     

After Sunday school this morning Deb sent several very needy souls to the hospital for medical care.   We are so thankful for those of you who send medical funds so that we can continue  to help these poor people.    A 15 year old with a huge hernia, a lady with a large stomach mass, this quiet man with a badly infected foot, a 6 month old with a high fever and many other sick people.

Without medical care, he would soon lose his whole foot. 

There was another rock fight outside the Sunday school yard this morning as older boys were fighting over the small bags of rice (manna packs) that we distribute.    This innocent bystander was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was hit in the face by a large rock.   We quickly sent him up to the hospital.

There are always many needs and requests each week at the Renault Sunday school.

I had the privilege of cutting and milling a  beautiful mahogany tree which had been planted by Pastor Johannes Schurer 45 years ago when he and his wife began serving as missionaries in Haiti.   (They continue to minister here in Haiti). 

Roro and Nadair helped me lift the clear mahogany slabs.

The Mahanaim volleyball club is flourishing and we have held several tournaments and have new players joining.    The Angels continue to play and are praying that it works out for them to go to the Haiti National volleyball championships in May.

Last weekend we took the volleyball club (70 kids) to the nearby Apostolic Christian Church dairy farm project.   It was a great field trip and the Haitian young people were interested and amazed at the agriculture methods which are showing amazing results.

A glass of cold chocolate milk was an extra treat.

We don’t know this lady’s name, but we call her “Friday”, as she and her daughter come to see us and get some food, most every Friday.   Three years ago both of them probably would have died had it not been for the Missouri medical team who nursed them back to health.   

We are looking ahead to summer, which normally means “Camp time” for us.   We regret that some of our teams have had to cancel due to the continued instability in Haiti, but we are thankful that they are sending the funds, so that we can still host camp for the Renault Sunday school children.     We are also thankful that other teams are still planning to come and help us with camp.   We would appreciate your prayers as we are trusting the Lord to provide ways for camp to continue this year. 

 
Thanks for your prayers and support.

Bye for now,   Love Rod, Deb and Katie

Oh Foolish Galatians

Dear Family and Friends; 

It is possible that you have heard some of the news about Haiti the past few days. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. We are safe and doing well, although things are very bad in Port au Prince (Haiti’s capital city) and throughout certain other areas of Haiti. We have had a team of 18 friends from Michigan here this week and it has gone really well, although we were unable to help 25 couples get married as originally planned. Instead, we mostly stayed at the camp, had lots of fun with local kids and the team did some excellent work projects, including a beautiful job of carpentry on the apartments (there were 4 journeymen carpenters on the team, plus a crew of great workers). 

Please pray for us tomorrow morning as I take the team (Lord willing) to the Cayes airport where they will be evacuated from. We would also appreciate your prayers today for our family, as my Dad passed away at 84 years old. Thanks for your prayers and for standing with us. Thanks also for the many beautiful emails we received from  you on Katie’s birthday. 

Bye for now,

Love

Rod, Deb and Katie