Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Excitement

Christmas is always a special time of year at the House of Hope.  The house gets decorated, excitement builds as talk of Christmas gifts fills the air, practice begins for the Christmas program the kids put on, and songs are sung about the coming of God's gift to us -- Jesus.

It is especially exciting for the kids who haven't been at the HOH for Christmas before.  They hear all the stories from the experienced kids, and some days it's hard to contain all that energy!  This year has been particularly challenging as there has been so much rain, school has been cancelled a lot and Linda has to keep everyone occupied at home!  

Last week, former HOH kids St. Germain came back home to help direct the decorating of the house.  He is very gifted in this area, and together with the kids who are at the HOH now they did a beautiful job.  Here are some pictures...


One of our very talented and creative boys, Reginald even built a few fireplaces to add to the atmosphere:


Yesterday, two things added to the excitement in the house.  First of all, the Christmas presents arrived on the boat...
It might not look like much now -- but in these plastic totes are all kinds of wonderful gifts our kids can't wait to see!  We are so grateful to Grace Baptist Church in York, PA who sends these gifts each year.  They make our kids feel so special and loved.

The second thing that brought excitement... FOOD!  Yes, we received a shipment of food to fill up our food pantry ahead of the holiday season...

Receiving these food shipments are such a blessing and we are grateful to our friends and partners in Miami who assist us in shipping these supplies down to the HOH.  Supplying food for our big family is always a stress for Linda.  This shipment will allow her to relax a bit over this Holiday season.

But, before all the fun stuff of the season begins... 
  • There are exams to finish writing.  So, please be in prayer as they write their exams over the next couple of weeks. 
  • Pray also for one of our beautiful young ladies who is suffering from depression and some mental health issues.  It is difficult finding proper treatment and someone who can help her in our area of Haiti.  We need to try and send her to Port-au-Prince this week to get better help for her.  Pray for wisdom and decisions to be made in that area.
  • The kids and Linda are working hard on preparing a special presentation of the true meaning of Christmas through skits and song.  Many people from our local community are always invited to come.  Pray for them as they share the Best News Ever with those in our community.
  • Jenny starts her trip to the US to speak on behalf of the HOH in a few locations this week.  Pray for safety as she travels and good times with friends, partners and family.
We appreciate you all and want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas season...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rain, Rain and more Rain!

That is what seems to be dictating life at the HOH these days.  We don't have "snow" days in Haiti -- but the kids sure do seem to be getting many "rain" days these days.  It affects all of life -- the roads turn into deep mud pits, traffic slows and even halts.  Food, produce and even charcoal to cook with becomes rare and the challenges of life seem to get even more challenging.  Because of this, I know Linda would appreciate your prayers for wisdom and patience to meet these challenges.

I wanted to share a great link with you today.  Tim Fausch from Extreme Response came down to Haiti with me on my last trip and wrote an informative post on the ER blog about the House of Hope.  I thought it might be interesting to you all hearing things from his perspective.  You can go to the link here:  Extreme Response Blog .

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Whirlwind Trip

Greetings to you all!  A big thank you for your prayers for my recent trip to Haiti.  Everything went just as we had planned it -- and if you know Haiti at all, you know that's a pretty big deal!  Three other Extreme Response Staff members joined me on this trip to Haiti and it was an amazing trip.

For me, the chance to get back and see 
Linda and the kids meant so much to me.  
Here's a picture of the best hug ever.... 
me and my Nannie!
For both of us the trip was too short and the tears were hard to hold back on the day I left. 
 
 I was thrilled to meet the newest member of our family, tiny Moise...
I held him every moment I was able to, 
what a precious little one.  
Can't wait to see him grow and get healthy in our care.

I'm not the only one charmed by the new baby
 Three year old Mits doesn't remember coming here around the same age as little Moise,
but he sure is excited to be here for his new little brother!

It was good to be able to get an update on some of our family who have been sick.  Oliana is definitely doing better and she asked me to thank you for your prayers.  You can just see that her poor body is having more and more trouble coming back from those crisis moments, so thank you for your continued prayers for her.  She is determined to continue with her studies and started back to school while I was there.

I was not able to see Lyse while I was there, but the fact that she didn't need to come to the hospital while I was there is always a good sign.  I was able to chat a bit with one of the other young ladies who is having some trouble with some mental health issues.  I won't publish her name for her own privacy, but if you could pray for her and for wisdom for Linda and our health care professionals as they try to work with her, that'd be great.  

It is always good for me to see the House of Hope through the eyes of people who have never seen it before.  So much happens in our home every day...
  • Our dedicated staff serves hundreds of meals each day.
  • Approximately 80 infants, children and young adults call the House of Hope home at any given time. 
  • We are able to help over 50 children and young adults receive an education.
  • Our yard is constantly filled with children and youth from our local community who find in our home a place of safety and refuge.  They simply call it, "The House".
  • Our kids, young and old, who have received help and hope for their lives are quick to pass that on to the others that come along behind them.
  • The love and hope of Jesus is spread both through many daily activities as well as through everyday life interactions.  

The visiting Extreme Response team put together a short video of our time at the House of Hope.   Here you can find it and see a bit of what they saw while there... House of Hope Haiti Slideshow 2017

All of this is possible because of you, our great team of partners who bless us with your support to keep this ministry going.  Thank you for your part. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

New Faces

Thanks so much for your prayers last week. I've had a hard time keeping in touch with Linda over the past couple of days due to some telephone problems, but it sounds like things are going ok in general from what I hear from the kids.  Since they haven't written me that Oliana and Lyse are any worse, I'm taking that to mean they are hanging in there.  Since I'm heading down this week, I'll see for myself firsthand and give you an update after I get back.

I'd appreciate your prayers for our trip down there.  I'm taking a group of 3 (we are all coming from 3 different countries) to two different places in Haiti in a matter of 6 days! So, as you can imagine there are a lot of logistics that have to fall in place.  

In the meantime, we have several new faces at the HOH... these have come in with various illness and will be with us for a time. 




This little 17 day old baby was brought to the HOH after his mother passed away.  He is named Moise (which is Moses in English)...
And here are two updates to make your heart smile.  These little ones are doing incredibly well having been with us for a while now...

 Hendy has put on a lot of weight in his few months with us -- he looks like a totally different boy!
Widson is also doing much better -- and always happy!

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support that give us the chance to bring hope to these precious lives. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Update

Hi Everyone!  We just wanted to ask you to continue to pray for the requests we put on last week.  Oliana is still struggling and the doctors are struggling to know what to do to help her.  Please continue to pray for wisdom and healing for her body.

The kids are all busy studying and writing their exams this week and would appreciate your prayers for them.

Here's a couple to add to the list!
  • Lyse is back in the hospital again needing a blood transfusion.  We continue to thank God for preserving her life and ask you to pray for continued protection as her body fights through her blood disorder.
  • Linda's family has once again experienced a loss.  Just a day after burying an aunt, they lost a young 17 year old boy to cholera.  It hit him fast and he died within 24 hours.  It was a terrible shock to the whole family and they are having an extremely difficult time dealing with it.  Please pray for comfort and peace from our Heavenly Father to the entire family.
Thank you so much for holding us up in prayer!  You are an important part of this ministry.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Update on Oliana

Thank you so much for your prayers for Oliana this weekend.  While the doctors still consider her in serious condition, she is doing a bit better.  Her blood pressure has stabilized but they are still unable to get her blood sugar levels steady.  She sends her thanks for your prayers and was able to sit up for a picture to send you all...
Thanks for your continued prayer for Oliana and the whole team helping her.

Some more items for prayer this week are:
  • Dieula (Lala) is writing mid-term exams this week and the rest of our students will write their exams next week.  They would all love your prayers.
  • We are still having issues with our vehicle -- it's hard to find a good and honest mechanic and just all around hard to get it in good working order again.  We could use your prayers!
  • Our University kids have just started their courses for this semester.  Pray for them and their studies and that they would be a light to their schools and classmates.
  • We are in need of some clothing again if anyone out there is able to do a clothes drive for us.  If you'd like to participate in this, just let me know and I can give you more details (houseofhopehaiti1@gmail.com)
Thanks so much for all of your support.  Have a great week!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Pray for Oliana

Good Evening,  I know it's a bit late for an update.  But, Oliana has been very sick for the past couple of days.  This evening she seems to be worse.  Her blood sugar levels are high, and her blood pressure is low, her blood count is low.  The doctors need wisdom in caring for her, Linda needs wisdom and strength to deal with everything as well as the other kids who are helping her out.  And pray for Oliana, she is in a lot of pain. 
Because Oliana is not doing well, the car is not finished and a few other issues at the HOH, Linda will not be able to go attend her aunt's funeral.  Thank you for your prayers that that would work out, but with all that is going on she doesn't feel right leaving.  Thank you too for supporting us in prayer.