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Update from Phyllis Schmid

I am so sorry that it has again been a long time since I have written. We have been having a lot of trouble with our internet. I wanted to pass along this most recent update from Phyllis Schmid on the Bolosse campus (adjacent to the Lemuel House).

Well, I know it is time for another update and what better time than a quiet Saturday afternoon. You would be surprised at how quiet it actually is during the day when many of the thousands who sleep on campus are out and about. The campus is a “sea of blue” tarps that is and things are going as well as you could hope for under these conditions. I’ve come to realize that I’m adjusting to the “new normal” as Cindy says.

Every Monday and Wednesday some of the STEP wives have been having children’s club in the afternoons and then on Friday’s they have been showing a film outside. People though tired, discouraged and grieving in various degrees are handling things well. Having drinking water available through the water filtration system given us by Samaritan’s Purse has encouraged people. We are not seeing medical needs on campus anymore from the quake itself. Pray that other diseases that can come from such tight living conditions will not become a reality.

We are hoping to be able to have running water to the houses before too long. An organization has offered us a temporary “bladder” to use at the top of the hill to hold water until we can build a new cistern or repair the old one which is leaking from the quake. It hasn’t arrived on campus yet so that is on hold right now.

Most every evening a group gathers for singing in the evenings and I love to hear the voices joined in beautiful hymns. This Sunday we will again have a service on campus. People are still concerned about being inside buildings so churches are meeting outdoors. Maybe I can attach a picture of last Sunday’s service with this email.

David has been working on his home office as much as he could today. He hasn’t been able to get in there since the quake with everything else going on. He needs to get it cleaned up and functioning again. The Bible School offices of David, Bruce and all the other professors especially on the lower floors where most of them are still are too dangerous to try to get into. Like David was saying today many of his and Bruce’s books are out of print anymore. Many of the profs had French theological books which are also very hard to replace. But the STEP library did not sustain damage other than bookcases falling over – the building is fine.

I worked on regular CrossWorld finances this morning and am relieved to have that done for a while. Not everything came out as it should have but after the month we’ve had I’d have been shocked if it did.

This afternoon I was rather self centered and took a nap, washed my hair, and am now soaking my feet in a bubbling foot spa (a Christmas gift from my son several years ago that I much appreciate from time to time) as I write to you. McMartins are showing a movie (not sure what is showing) at their wide screen living room theater (they project it on their wall) tonight so Roger, David and I will join them for a little “down” time, a movie and popcorn!

Right now David, Roger and Bruce are working to put up razor wire across the areas where our wall fell. People in the “tent city” have had things stolen and we know it is mostly from that area of the campus where the wall is down. These people have so little so having thieves take advantage of the situation is sad.

We do not know of another food shipment coming our way but we are researching where and how people can get some of the aid food coming in. We have received fuel shipments which have been a big help. Also a huge surprise yesterday was that a neighborhood near us got city electricity back. We don’t have it but just to know that one small section has received service back is such an encouragement.

Jehu and the boys are doing well. Still sleeping in “camp” like conditions but working to salvage what they can from the debris of their rented home. Once the new building is judged to be stable work will continue so that they can begin using it.

We are receiving some people from CrossWorld this week – to do some debriefing and evaluating the situation on the campus and in the country.

This update sounds a little dry to me but just want you to know that we are “hanging in there” and thankful beyond words for your prayers, encouragement, uplifting emails and generous giving to meet the many needs in this country at this time. This is sure not how we saw ministry unfolding for us in 2010 in Haiti but God had other plans. Pray we can be sensitive to His leading and guidance in all areas of our lives as we seek to be used by Him in Haiti “at such a time as this”.

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