Happy 16th Birthday Katie!

Dear Family and Friends; 

It is Katie’s 16th birthday and that also means that this year will mark 16 years in Haiti for us.  We are so thankful for Katie and would love it if you would send her a birthday greeting as she turns 16 (Feb 5th).

We’ve had a few months without visitors, so it is great to have teams coming again. Last week, together with a team from Michigan, we did a wedding for 28 couples and a camp for about 150 young people.

More than 2300 children came to Renault Sunday school at Christmas and they all received some very nice gifts.

It was a huge distribution which took about 4 hours, so we were really thankful for the help from Deb’s English class, who are also part of our volleyball club. 

We also held a special day of activities for the young people in our volleyball club. They divided up into 4 teams and competed in many events including tug o war, 

Timed team Toyota push,

High Jump

Anytime we have work projects we have a great crew of young people from our volleyball club who are ready and willing to work.

Our long time employees Roro and Nadair are learning carpentry and woodworking and they are doing great. We are planning to make 200 of these chairs, Lord willing, to replace our rusted folding chairs. The chairs stack together and are made out of local Haitian cedar. 

Thank you for your continued partnership as we begin this new year. We truly appreciate your prayers and support. 

Bye for now, 

 Love Rod, Deb and Katie 

Glory to God in the Highest

Dear family and friends; Merry Christmas!

The kids at Sunday school this morning singing Glory to God in the highest.

Today’s bible story was about David and Goliath, and I thought for a moment about 3 people doing a Sunday school for 1500 children each week and just as God fought for David, He also has given us what we need to continue this ministry. Each Sunday as we arrive, Deb greets the children and exchanges money for coins that they have found. Katie organizes the kids as they get seated and Rod sets up the equipment.

At 15 years old, Katie does a great job of leading the singing.

Deb helps the kids who need medical care, usually by putting triple antibiotic cream on cuts and scrapes and other creams on skin diseases.

We are so thankful that the Lord is really working in the lives of Stanley and Joseph who have been in the Sunday school for 10 years and are now taking leadership roles. They both read the bible and give a short talk and prayer every week.

We would appreciate your prayers for Stanley and Joseph as God seems to be really working in their lives and they both live in difficult situations.

Deb always finds time to care for even the smallest needs.

Rod does the bible story, Katie helps give out the Manna packs and Deb does a short medical clinic every Sunday as we finish up.

As the children leave, there is always a group of adults that come in with medical needs. Deb is giving antibiotics to a young man who might lose his middle finger. It is very swollen and these people have no other place to come for medical care. We are very thankful for the Missouri medical team who leave enough meds with us each year so that we can help serve the people.

Several times we have had to use our Dewalt cordless shop vacuum to remove rocks or bugs that get trapped inside ears.

This little guy today wasn’t too excited about the procedure once he heard the sound of the vacuum. I use a small tube to reduce the suction of the vacuum.

We had a very special visit with our long time friend Max whom we hadn’t seen for many months. Max has aids and we worked together with him 15 years ago, helping people who have aids and also building an orphanage for children who have aids. Max recently had a stroke, but thank the Lord, he is recovering well.

Thanks so much for your prayers and support. Merry Christmas, Love Rod, Deb and Katie (the Wrays)

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

September News

Dear Family and Friends; 

Here in Southern Haiti we are experiencing the heat wave of the year with clear blue skies and there is no wind, which is unusual for us. We are thankful that no hurricanes or big storms have passed our way so far this year.    

Deb and Katie took the Angels volleyball team to the beach over the summer break. A couple of the girls have departed and gone to play volleyball in Port au Prince, but we are thankful for a faithful group of Angels who continue on.
We recently hosted this wedding in the Camp Mahanaim yard and it was very beautiful. There are many requests, but few wedding parties who agree to the No alcohol rule in the yard.
Last weekend we held our big “Back to School” volleyball tournament which was a lot of fun and a huge success. It’s a unique tournament because girls and guys play together at a very competitive level. 
When our good friend Marv Owen passed away, a scholarship was set up to help children and young people in Haiti pay for school, and this year we had the privilege to administer over $4,000 in scholarship funds which greatly helped many people with school and college fees. 
The Renault Sunday school has gone well over the summer. We are really thankful for the help of the monitors who are young men who have grown up attending the Sunday school and now are great helpers. There are seven of them and their names are (from left to right) Berlin, Junior, Joseph, Andy, Stanley, Watson and Emile. We would appreciate your prayers for these young guys as they truly are trying to live for God and learn more from the Bible. 
The girl standing beside Katie is Cassan. We can’t be sure of Cassan’s age, but we know that she is very close in age to Katie. Cassan has been in the Sunday school for about 10 years and we believe that she is now 13 or 14 years old. Sometimes when a young child is severely malnourished, they do not grow. 
Thank you so much for your support, prayers, encouragement and emails.      We appreciate your partnership in ministry.

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