Friday, October 25, 2013

One Month In

Hello from Haiti!!

So we've been in Haiti just over 1 month and thought it would be a good time for a little update. First of all, I'll say that it's still totally surreal to us that we actually live here now. No matter how prepared mentally I thought I was for life here, it's still been quite an adjustment. We're all doing well, but as it goes when things don't go as planned, it can be a bit of a shock to your system. :)

So as you may know, our first month here felt like forever as we waited to find and move into our home. The wait was important because this house has to function not only as our home, but also as a team and guest house, and also space enough for home church and homeschool! This was also a slow process because 'we' had to buy appliances for the kitchen as well. So several big expenses were put out all at once. I say 'we' because my in laws {Theo's parents} are graciously and generously putting funds toward helping us get set up and running. This is an incredibly huge blessing and we are so thankful for them and the Lord's kindness through them. The Lord led us to a spacious and beautiful home in Port Au Prince at a decent rent, so we prayed and took the lease. We've been in our new house about 1 week and have already had 6 guests with us! I'm praying that's a sign of team and guest house success. :) We host and welcome long and short term missionaries, missions teams and other visitors for a small donation.  We are quickly learning the ins and outs of a guest house and are incredibly thankful and excited about our staff.

Celi is a sweet and happy girl who is our cook who prepares dinner each evening for us and the guests. {we do breakfast and lunch on our own}. Roslin is another sweet and godly woman who does our housekeeping. Our girls just love Celi and Roslin even though they literally can't speak to them at all except for maybe 2 phrases at this point! When they arrive at the house each day, they're greeted by all 3 girls with big hugs and basic greeting in creole. Theo and I are really striving to keep a humble and loving attitude toward them although they are paid to help run the house. Before they are employees, they are sisters in Christ and we want that to be the thing they see most from us.

 The other part of our work is the family business, which is construction. Theo's dad has been building here for decades and now that we're here, Theo is blessed to step into a partner position with his father.   Literally 2 days after we arrived, Theo began working 6 days a week on the construction sites. He is out supervising the crew and checking the work being done...studying and learning this side of the business. Before we got married, he was the one with the hammer in hand along with the crew but now he's getting the one-on-one apprenticeship/on the job training opportunity.  He's really enjoying it and adjusting to it along with everything else. 

The girls are doing great. Stella and Naya are eager to start homeschool which will hopefully happen next week. Olivia turns 3 next week and Galia will be 4 months old next week. Galia coos and 'talks' and rolls over and is just such a happy long as she's being held! We've found her weakness is being put down!! ha! Her sweet smiles makes us want to hold her all the time anyways, so it's not so bad. :) We also will officially hold our very first church meeting here next Sunday...the first Sunday of November. I'm so so excited and trying not to have expectations, but several people have asked about it. We haven't been advertising it or anything but seems the couple people who know about it have spread the word and people are interested! Please pray for that situation as it's the closest thing to our hearts and know it's our main assignment here.

The Lord spoke clearly for us to 'feed the sheep' as we did in Mexico and we know that while we do that, we are to work toward freedom from personal support raising. That is why we are pursuing so much work right get an income that's sufficient for our family to live and do what we're called to. As of now though, we still need your support financially and prayerfully to get ourselves going. This transition is massive but hopefully by the new year, our work will be providing enough income to be completely off personal support raising. At that point though, any financial support that is given can/will go to our non-profit organization called 'Christians Concerned For Haiti.' We are partnered with a wonderful local Haitian pastor and we currently have a boy's home, a girl's home and a clinic in a province called Cannan. No one lived in this desolate area until the earthquake in 2010 and thousands of people set up the tent cities there after they were displaced. The children in our 'homes' are true orphans, meaning they do not have either biological parents and are now personally cared for by pastor and his wife. They are not up for adoption as the Lord has given them their family. They all go to school and are cared for as in a typical family, with chores and homework, etc. They all go to church together on Sundays and spend their extra time learning about the Lord, just as we do with our children. We currently provide funds for the 56 kids and are actively praying and seeking new ways to practically support and serve them with our personal time when we have the opportunity. Our cook that I mentioned above, Celi, grew up under pastor as a mentor and excelled and was able to go to culinary school after she graduated and now has a great job cooking for our guest house!

Obviously as time progresses, we'll all get into some sort of groove with life here and schedule and everything and we truly covet your prayers for that. The Lord has really spoken to Theo and I on so many subjects, from 'care for the poor,' 'pray for your children as they adjust to life here,' 'keep your marriage a priority,' 'learn to adjust to life in close proximity to in-laws,' 'joy and peace,' 'keep trusting Me,' and countless more things and we want to just keep some focus through it all. We thank you all for your prayers which have brought us peace and comfort during difficult times and when we have felt like there was no grace to deal with certain things with a completely new life set up amid in a 3rd world nation. Your prayers have given us perspective which is priceless! We really love you and appreciate your quick prayers to the Lord on our behalf!  PLEASE keep in touch and let us know how life is going with you and how we can pray for you if needed. Let us know if you feel led to support us monthly or to give a 'special one-time donation.' {also, if you think of it, please pray our van is released to us asap. It just arrived a few days ago, but is still with customs.} Thank you and lots of love to you!

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