"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 www.mopaja.com.
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.