Speak UP: This has encouraged our hearts...(14 Oct 2022)
E-newsletter: 14 Oct 2022
A group of boys cook rice and moringa over an open fire.
At the end of August, we praised God for full water holes and asked you to continue praying for rain...
Throughout September, we got a few good rains! Not only that, but the water holes were re-filled to capacity a couple times with rainwater run-off from the mountains.
This has encouraged our hearts and provided incredible relief, even as we are burdened by the sorrows and practical hardships of Haiti reeling under chaos with no foreseeable solution in sight.
Haiti: An update...
Since early September, the situation in the country has continued to unravel. Gangs are taking more and more control, and violence is rampant in Port-au-Prince and other cities. Major roadways remain blocked or dangerous. Protests and strikes continue. Fuel is in short supply and is very expensive (between $25-$34 USD for a gallon of gasoline!). Many people in Port-au-Prince are cut off from food and potable water, because they cannot go out on the roads. Transportation--including transport of food and other goods--throughout the country has been crippled. Schools have still not been able to open.
On the Plateau, we are feeling the pinch of no fuel, limited availability of supplies, rising cost of food and other goods, and increased risk in case of medical emergency.
Yet, we also have much for which to praise God! Not only has He blessed us with desperately needed rain and water, but we continue to experience evidence of His care and provision for the people of our community, as you will see below...
Do you remember the friendly competition between the boys/men and girls/women in the Chapel? The intent was to encourage an atmosphere of motivation, participation, and excitement...kind of like a VBS.
Well, the girls won! As their prize they were given the resources necessary to plan and execute a fun party for their group. The party included songs, dance, games, some delicious food, and presentations about what it means to trust in God and about not giving up, even when you feel you are behind. (The girls were actually behind the guys at one point, but they rallied together to pull ahead.) They obviously had a great time!
We praise God that the Chapel competition could provide a space of joy during difficult days. We praise Him for the way in which it stirred up greater motivation and participation in the services, especially among the youth. We praise Him for the new faces that were brought into the Chapel in the course of the competition--some from our community who do not normally hear Truth from God's Word.
Please continue to pray for the Chapel services and activities, that they would be effective in reaching the people of our community with the truth from God's Word and in investing in the spiritual growth of those who believe. Pray that God's Spirit would work in the hearts of those who hear.
Although the government has not officially changed the opening date for school (which they had already moved once to October 3rd), the majority of schools are not able to open, due to the context in the country.
Due to many precautions that need to be taken in the current context, Lemuel's school has not yet opened classes for students. However, we are praising God that because of His provision through the Grade Sponsorship program, we have been able to bring on our school staff in October. These men and women support their families through their jobs. Most of them had already waited an entire extra month (September) with no salary. As an organization that sees PEOPLE—including our staff—as the most important part of our ministry, this weighed heavy on our hearts.
School director Almaïs developed a proposal for the month of October that would allow the staff to return to work, regardless of whether classes open or not. He organized the staff into two groups: one group is developing a program to help parents work with their children after school on homework and their studies (once classes are in session); the second group is doing some work to improve the school grounds. If they finish with work on the campus before school can open, they will also move out into the community to do community service type projects.
In these two photos, the school staff is collecting gravelly sand from across the airstrip and transporting it in wheelbarrows to spread around the Kindergarten. This is to prevent mud when it rains.
Praise the Lord with us that our school staff can return to work!
The Development Department
Djephson is now responsible for the community development office.
We praise God for the spiritual and leadership growth we continue to witness in his life.
Over the past several weeks, his office has continued to oversee work around the new water hole to prepare the hillsides for tree planting. These temporary projects also provide desperately needed income for families in the community.
We thank God for the privilege of sharing His love by providing economic relief to vulnerable families in our community.
Running a business in the current context is extremely difficult and carries with it a certain amount of risk, depending on what you are selling.
MACOL did have to close temporarily for one week. They are currently back up and running at a more limited capacity, selling only construction materials for the time being.
We thank God for His protection over our MACOL staff. We also thank Him that MACOL can continue to function and sustain its employees at a time when many businesses have shut down--not only its full-time employees, but even other men hired from the community to manufacture cement block.
There are many other incidents of God's faithfulness that we could share, both on personal levels and organizational levels. Even as we thank God for all His goodness and provision, we would greatly appreciate your prayers during this time...
Please pray for peace and stability in Haiti. We often are at a loss for words when we try to pray for the country. The issues are far beyond us and our understanding and our ability to offer suggestions. We ask that God would intervene in His way and in His time. We ask for the grace to stand firm in our faith and continue walking in obedience to Him, whatever He may sovereignly allow to take place--as it is written above the doorway in the Chapel: "Whatever may come, my trust is in God."
Pray for Manis and Lemuel leaders. It is an incredibly difficult time to set direction, plan, and make decisions. Not only because of sustained uncertainty, but because of the mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion of trying to live and function in the current context. Please pray for God's sustaining grace and His guidance for each and every day. Pray for a maintained spirit of unity and mutual encouragement, even as everyone faces pressures of many kinds.
Pray for the families in Port-au-Prince who are cut off from essential necessities.
Thank God for the MAF pilots! Because they continue to fly, so many throughout the country--including us!--are not completely cut off. And please keep them in your prayers. Their families have been moved to the US. The pilots are sleeping in the hangar, so that they can continue to make flights. Pray for God's protection over them and His encouragement for their hearts.
Thank you! Do you know that we take time to pray for you too? If there are specific ways we can be praying, please let us know.
May God encourage your heart, strengthen your faith, and demonstrate His love to others through you in whatever circumstances you may be facing today.