Wednesday, January 4, 2017


This last month has brought many endings and new beginnings. We are immensely thankful for each day we had in Haiti, for good conclusions to our work there, and for a warm welcome back to life in the States.

We officially transitioned all of the work in the aquaponics garden over to Nicolas and he is now the greenhouse boss. Nicolas continues to message us with news from the garden. He is doing a great job of critically thinking to solve problems, getting kids involved with daily garden work, and planning for the future of the system.


The nursing students continued to do great work in the lab and had a strong finish to the semester. I (Allison) was grateful to be able to say goodbye to the students at their annual Christmas party… complete with singing, fun games, and lots of laughter.

The massage girls and I were able to welcome Essie back for further training for the girls. They worked very hard, learned more techniques, started chair massages, earned certificates for their accomplishments, and were able to make their first massage income. It was a great week and we are so thankful for Essie’s hard work and commitment to their success. If you ever find yourself on La Gonave, look them up for a wonderfully relaxing massage!

After many hard goodbyes, we took a break for a few days on the mainland and then made our way back to the States. Even though we have been freezing, we had a very warm welcome from friends and family.  Thank you to all of you who have prayed, provided, and been patient with us as we transition back to life in Indiana. Please continue to pray for us as we look for jobs, reconnect with people here, and seek the Lord’s will about how he wants to use us in Indiana and Haiti.

Thank you for following along and supporting us all through this amazing Haitian adventure!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grateful and Hopeful

"Come Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free.
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart."

This has been a full month of work and working to transition our roles to those around us as we prepare to head back to the States.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with our missionary friends and have once again been reminded of all the great work that is happening on this island and all over Haiti. One of the newest endeavors is a project headed up by our 10 year old friend, Morgan Janofski. She is working with a very remote village on the island to bring help, resources, and hope. I was able to visit this village with her and her parents this week and it was so fun to see the way Morgan is seeking to help while affording dignity and not claiming to have all the answers. Check out more of this story at
We walked through this very rural village to visit several homes and families
Here is one couple telling us their story and showing us their home that was damaged in Hurricane Matthew
One of the church buildings in the village
Morgan and Renee interviewing a family

We continue to work in the garden, but are there less and less as we give more and more responsibility to Nicolas. He is doing a great job of keeping up with all of the responsibilities and has even started some gardening just outside of the greenhouse. We are still harvesting lots of okra and basil and seeing good growth in other plants, but working on ideas to get the system producing like it should. We are hoping to do some testing of salinity, oxygen, and pH soon to determine what the root of the problem is. Please pray for wisdom and creativity as we work to make the aquaponics system better. Please also pray for Nicolas as he is taking over all system management.
 Jason training up the vanilla vine that has continued to get taller and taller in the last 3 weeks!

The garden that Nicolas has started just behind the greenhouse

I, Allison, have continued to work with the massage trainees from the Children’s Village and am loving how they are growing in their skills and professionalism. Next week, their massage therapist mentor, Essie, will be here for another round of training and we hope to have them ready as an official business after that. Pray for strength for the girls as it will be a long week and for wisdom for Essie as she trains.  

    Some happy massage clients and Francesca at work

I have also been kept busy with training at the nursing school. I love every class with these students who are excited to learn, have a desire to know skills well so they can provide great care, and are always wanting to know more and how to handle specific situations. One such round of questions, along with a few other circumstances this month, have vividly reminded me of the darkness that seems to have such a grasp of these people and this nation. I taught the third year nursing students about care of the body after a person dies in the hospital a few weeks ago. I thought this would be a very simple lesson with a quick round of check offs, but I was wrong. Many of the students voiced fear of touching a dead body, that it would come back to life, that any curses on the person would pass to them, that they would be asked to take the soul from the body and put it in a jar for the family, that any gas from the dead body would turn them into a “crazy person,” that if they had been caring for the person before they died, the family would blame them for the death and have a curse put on them, and the list of fears went on.  I did not feel well prepared for all of this, but turned them to Christ, reminding them that his Spirit lives in us and we do not need to walk in fear. He is our strength, protection, and defense. I reminded them that they have heard these stories all their lives, but have not seen these things happen -instead they personally know the love and power of Bondye (Good God). When you hear these things that people have been taught all their lives, it is easier to see why they cling to fear and ritual instead of walking in freedom. Please pray for these students and people all over Haiti to truly understand that Jesus has come to set them free from fear and sin, to be their rest, strength, consolation, hope, and joy.
Nursing students hard at work... but not in lab. Apparently, I've been too busy to take any photos during class!

Thank you all once again for your support, love, and encouragement over the past year and few months. We could not have done this on our own and are thankful beyond words to have had this experience of life in Haiti. Please continue to pray that we will be fully invested for our last few weeks here, for a smooth transition (including finding jobs) as we return to the States, and for safety as we travel on  December 19th

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our October

Jason and I are so grateful for each day we have here in Haiti. It feels like we are living on bonus time because we did not know we would still be here at this time when we arrived last year. We are doing our best to make the most of each moment and not take a single thing for granted here… but this does make our days more full!

As many of you know the first part of our October was taken up with Hurricane Matthew. We are so thankful for all of your prayers and for the incredible protection we had from the storm. There are so many, especially in the South of Haiti, who lost so much more than us. Our neighbors who live in a small house not built to withstand hurricanes and a missionary family from the other side of the island (which was hit much harder than Anse-a-Galets) stayed with us during the storm. All of our neighbors’ belongings were wet when they got home, but thankfully, there was no damage to the house. Our missionary friends were able to get some supplies to their village soon after the hurricane and have used this opportunity to encourage the nationals they work with to work together, provide for each other, and trust in the Lord. Please continue to pray for the areas of Haiti that continue to suffer due to Hurricane Matthew and that aid will be provided wisely.
 Our cloudy view for days on end
 After being cooped up inside...
Our city was full of praises after the hurricane passed

We continue to work in the aquaponics garden alongside Nicolas and are passing more responsibility to him. We do not yet have a power solution in place to decrease our generator run time further, but are working to make things as efficient as possible. This includes keeping only the healthiest plants in the system, encouraging plants to produce more, and reworking some of the plumbing. Glynn suggested we spray our passion fruit forest ;) with a vitamin concoction and have been amazed by all the blooms that are popping up. We are hoping for fruit very soon! Please pray for wise decisions to be made about the garden as we work with those investing in it to determine how to proceed with adding more power and the big cost that this would be.

Passion fruit blooms...Growing vanilla vines...Big okra harvests every other day

PVC work

I, Allison, have had a great time working with the nursing students in the skills lab. It is a challenge to keep everything organized, make sure all the competencies are written well (In English and French!), and cover all the areas that the Haitian government requires. However, the students are doing a great job and I love seeing them advance in their skills and critical thinking.

The third year students demonstrating tracheostomy care

Second year students learning about suction from guest teachers

I have also had a great time working with the girls from the Okipe Children’s Village who are learning massage and working to start a business providing this service. We continue to practice a lot and are so thankful to have our very own table now! Our massage therapist mentor, Essie, has been such a blessing as she has continued to stay connected with the girls, teach them new skills, and ask about their needs. The girls are learning and improving in their massage technique, but still very shy about speaking in English with their customers J Pray for them to persevere in their learning and for those of us who are leading to be encouraging and wise as we try to get this business off the ground.
Cartine and Nadelta giving massages

I know I just keep typing, but I just want to take a moment to introduce you to our amazing neighbors. We love this family so much and they always amaze me with their selflessness and joy. Mirland and Toutu live just up the road from us in a one room home along with their 5 children, including a baby boy who was born this month. They have no steady income but are willing to work very hard to provide for their family. While many other Haitians are asking us for things because we are foreigners, they welcome us into their lives, invite us to just sit with them, help us with our Creole, offer to teach us to cook Haitian food, and send the kids over with avocados for us every few days. We are so thankful to have friends like these in our lives and so encouraged by the way they trust the Lord to provide for all their needs. Please pray that we would love this family well and use our resources to help them wisely.
Allison with Smine and Fabiano... with Mirland and Toutu's new son during the hurricane

Toutu worked really hard to fix the road in front of our house in order to earn money for cement to make block for adding on to their home.

Finally, we wanted to let all of you know that we have decided to return to the States in December. We are so very thankful for the time that we have had here in Haiti and are very sad to be leaving, but feel this is the next right thing for us. As we prepare for another transition, please pray that we will live fully invested here in these last several weeks, that we would pass on our projects well, and for God’s guidance as we decide what we will be doing once we move.

Thank you so much for sharing in this adventure with us and supporting us every step of the way!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

One Year to Date!

It is amazing to us that, as of tomorrow, we have been in Haiti for 1 year! This year has been an incredible adventure with some trials, some victories, and lots of learning. We are so thankful that the Lord has given us the opportunity to be in the place, serve him here, and live life with our Haitian friends.
 At the airport, then....
 and now :) 

September has been a different month for us, but a great one, none the less! Our big highlight was a visit to the States. As we had not left Haiti since arriving on October 2, 2015, we thought it was time for a break and to reconnect with some friends and family. Our 2 weeks in Illinois and Indiana were a blessing with lots of rest, visits with friends and family, a day of roller coasters, an English church service, and lots of good food! Thank you to all of you who made our time sweet: hosting us, taking us out, relaxing, encouraging, and just showing an interest in how we are. You mean so much to us! We felt truly refreshed after this time away, but unfortunately, Allison battled a cold the whole time and has now passed it on to Jason.
 A great service at our home church. 
Allison and Jason with Grandpa Bachman

Cedar Point!!!
We took lots of photos of the flat roads and fields of the Midwest for our Haitian friends. Many of them have never seen so much land before. 

Since returning, we have spent lots of time catching up and settling into our new routine.
Nicolas did a great job taking care of the Aquaponics system while we were away. We noticed lots of growth, pruning, happy fish, and few pests when we returned to the garden. There is still lots to do there, but we are now trying to pass more and more responsibility to Nicolas to prepare him to manage the system on his own. Please pray we provide a good transition for him and have wisdom in preparing Nicolas for work on his own.

From Sept 6th to the 23rd. Wow!
Allison stood in the splash zone to feed the fish... 
they were super excited to see her!

Great vanilla vine growth.

Allison has also started up work in the Nursing School skills lab again. Due to an unfortunate injury, her partner in the lab, Susie, will not be here to help until December. This, along with now having second and third year students in the lab, means this is a bigger role than before. The students are wonderful and ready to get back to learning and make this job a fun one, though! Please pray that Allison will be effective in her communication with the students (as she doesn’t have a translator at the moment!) and that the students will grasp compassionate care, patient advocacy, a servant heart, and patient education in addition to their skills.

A few of the new second year students Allison is working with in the skills lab. 

Thank you so much for your love, support, and continued prayers as we serve and seek the Lord here on La Gonave.

Also, please keep us and all our neighbors in your prayers and we prepare for Hurricane Matthew (Now category 4!) to arrive in the next few days.