David and Goliath

Dear family and friends;       

A couple weeks ago was Haitian Mother’s Day in Haiti and we were able to share gifts with many, both locally in the village, as well as through the area of the Renault Sunday school.

Deb preparing gifts to give to the Haitian mothers.

Distributing to the volleyball kids.

The kids were happy and thankful to have a gift to share with their moms.

At Sunday school we did the story of David and Goliath and our friend Duane did a great job of playing the part of Goliath against the little Haitian “David” reciting bible verses.    Here is a short video;   https://youtu.be/ouFm8hKl7kQ

We continue to host Haitian groups here at the camp and Deb has a good group of kitchen workers.

Years ago we built the track around the soccer field using “limestone” or white sand.   Now, we are removing all that white sand and using it to make a type of pavement on the roads inside the camp, while at the same time planting more grass and building a larger soccer field.

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In just the past few weeks the covid virus has started to strengthen and spread in Haiti.    As of yesterday  we have reduced activities at Camp Mahanaim and the Sunday school.   We appreciate your prayers for us and Haiti during this time.   Here is a link to a youtube video that Katie made of the weddings last month; 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61OC3A7vQiw&t=7s

Thanks for your support and prayers, 

bye for now, 
Love Rod, Debbie and Katie 

Merry Christmas

Dear family and friends;

May you have a very blessed Christmas this year!    Thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement and support.   We  have appreciated it more than ever this year, and most of all, we are thankful for God’s faithfulness unto us.

We’ve been very blessed to have a few visitors this Fall, including Duane and Ruth from Michigan who shared Thanksgiving with us.
This week we have Steve and Jeff and Steve with us for the week and they are repairing vehicles, and doing numerous projects around the camp which we really appreciate.

Katie does a great job of leading the Sunday school kids in singing every Sunday morning, and she also looks after the technical / computer duties, which is a great help to us.

We spend time in the evenings packaging rice into heat sealed bags.    This process not only keeps the bugs out of the rice, but makes it simpler to distribute the smaller packages of rice (rather than large sacks).

Rod continues to use the sawmill.   Here he is cutting a mango tree into 2 X10 boards which will be used to make bed frames.

Katie is doing great with her pottery.   She is getting ready to glaze these creations.

Volleyball continues at Camp Mahanaim and we have about 20 teams made up of children and youth from our village that play every week.   The kids love it when we have granola bars to distribute.

We would appreciate your prayers as we are planning a Christmas camp for these young volleyball players.   We have invited Joseph, Stanley and Berlin from the Sunday school to come and be the speakers / evangelists, and we are asking you to pray that God will use us all to really reach these young people with the Gospel.   (The camp will be next Monday , Tuesday and Wednesday, Lord willing and there are about 70 young boys in this volleyball group)

Thank you again and Merry Christmas,

bye for now,

Love Rod, Debbie and Katie

Treading Water

Dear Family and Friends;     Thank you so much for watching, praying and asking about us as Tropical storm Laura passed through Haiti yesterday.   We are very thankful for the Lord’s care and that the river wall held firm through the flood.    The yard was full of water, but other than banana plants, there was no damage done. 

Our Sunday school helpers have faithfully delivered “Manna Packs” for 4 months now going from home to home on both sides of the Ravine.   These young men have delivered about  100 boxes (3,600) manna packs per week  to the poorest most needy people. 

School has now restarted in Haiti and also we have a very low supply of Manna Packs, so this month we have stopped the distributions.    We are hoping to be able to begin Sunday school in the very near future again, Lord willing.  

We have had a  summer full of volleyball ministry this year, which has mainly focused on the children in our village.   We had several 30 team ongoing tournaments, plus 2 on 2 tournaments when social distancing was required.  

Katie led a week long training session on setting which went really well. 

Also, Katie organized and hosted a wrap up party for her volleyball team; the Angels.    9 years ago we began playing volleyball with this group of young girls from our village.    They are now young ladies and although we never made it to the Olympics with them, they are great volleyball players and they all serve the Lord.

Katie and a few of the Angels were able to participate in the Canadian;  Athlete’s in Action total athlete online volleyball camp this month.   It was a great opportunity for the girls and they had fun. 

Rod turned 60 this month.   He enjoyed working with his friend the Bobcat on his birthday.

Deb is always organizing and caring for all the different young people that work with us.   These young people helped us run the volleyball tournaments this summer.

This is our friend Wendy, who is growing up.   4 years ago, before hurricane Matthew, we gave Wendy a job selling coconuts and bags of ice to the people of the village.   Due to the extreme heat that we have been having this summer, our neighbors asked if Wendy could begin selling ice again, so he comes during the week and does a great job and all the proceeds go to him. 

Thank you so much for your continued support and prayers and for sending things.   We are able to give out food, clothes and even prizes, thanks to those of you who continue to send.    Thanks also for your prayers  for our Harvest director;  Mr. Danny Thomas.   We are very thankful that his open heart surgery went well and he is back on the job.   
Thanks, 
bye for now, 

Love Rod, Deb and Katie 

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