Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August: Full, Fun, & Hot!

August has just flown by and been a great, full month for us!

We continue to work in the garden, train Nicolas, and are working at passing more leadership off to him. We are seeing lots of plant growth and some ongoing harvests. We took our first cuttings of mint up to the kitchens a last week and were met with excitement… more tea in the works! A new electricity solution has been found and we hope to implement that next month. Please pray for wisdom as we decide what responsibilities to give to Nicolas, perceptiveness in teaching him, and that we can get the new power in place soon.

 The mint plant and harvest!

A few of the girls who live at the Children's Village checking out the basil plants and gambousia (little mosquito eating fish)
The nursing school has been a happening place, too. At the beginning of the month, we had a special ceremony to award caps and crosses to the sophomore nursing students as a symbol of all they have learned and accomplished and to distinguish them as being able to perform more skills in the hospital. It was a very touching ceremony that made it clear just how many dreams are becoming a reality because of the nursing school. All of the students have been in clinicals at the hospital this month. It is a great time for them to not only get experience with skills, but to learn how to relate to and really care for their patients. The goal of this nursing school is to produce Haitian nurses that are skilled, knowledgeable, and provide great patient care, including compassion, advocacy, critical thinking, and teaching. We have a long ways to go, but I (Allison) love how eager these students are to learn and provide good care. Please pray for me and the many others who are working to plan how best to teach and then carry out that plan to help these students become godly, caring, wise nurses.

Ready to enter the ceremony, new uniforms and all.

The sophomore students sung a beautiful special with Velande, the secretary, performing the solo.

  Sophomore students received coats, lamps, caps for women, and cross pins for men.

At the beginning of the month, we were busy with a youth team that came to work with the older kids at the Children’s Village. They stayed with us and were a breath of fresh air. Their love for the kids, excitement to give both generously and wisely, and joy in the day to day experiences of Haitian life were contagious.
The team also spent an afternoon
helping local students practice their English. 
After class they sang a song and were treated like celebrities :)

 And... they brought this! I am so lucky!

There are always odds and ends that seem to fill our days and make time fly- Helping with a tech issue, massage training with the girls from the Children’s Village, trips to the mainland, visits to neighbors, checks on the elderly at the House of Hope. We love this work and are so grateful in your partnership with us here. Sometimes it is easy to be the hands and feet of Christ, to show his love, selflessly serve, and have grace for those around us, but some days we are just tired and these things are not so easy. We know that it is only in the strength of the Lord and with the backing of your prayers and encouragement that we flourish here. Thank you for all the ways you continue to support us!
We were able to do a slideshow of old pictures other missionaries have taken at the Children's Village. The kids loved seeing themselves and laughing at the fun memories! 

 Our new song book for church- a mix of Creole and French. We don't understand it all, but it sure helps and worship here is sweet. 

Having fun with the neighbors

Sometimes technology is a novelty and Youssantha took
advantage with some selfies while she waited for Cartine-Flore to finish her massage :)

We are very excited to let you know that we will be in Indiana and Illinois for a visit from September 7 to 21. We would love to see you and catch up, so please, please, please let us know when we can get together!!! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Our July

 It’s funny how sometimes days on the island pass slowly, but weeks and months just fly! The Lord is at work in many areas and has been keeping us busy, too.

The Aquaponics garden continues to provide some steady produce, but we are still working around heat and electricity that is not ideal. Just the other day I took a big bunch of okra and basil to Madam Florence, one of the Children’s Village supervisors, and she was so grateful and excited. She said she was getting ready to start of a big pot of rice and the okra would be a perfect addition. She also raved about the basil, saying it makes the best tea when boiled with a pinch of salt and a spoonful of sugar. We have installed some new, bigger batteries as a test to help determine the best electricity solution and have seen a little less generator run time. We plan to have a complete power solution in place by the end of September. Pray for wisdom on our part as well as the system donors for how best to implement this.

The growth of our mint plant from July 11 to August 1!!!

Our beautiful basil plants.

Craig and Jason installing new batteries

I, Allison, have continued work in the Nursing School skills lab. This month we focused on more advanced skills, including blood draws and IV skills. We have now reached the end of the trimester, which means a break for me and exams for the students this week. On Friday, the capping ceremony will be held for the sophomore nursing students in recognition of all they have achieved in the last two years. I am so proud of all of the work they have invested in their nursing education! Please pray as we begin clinical time in the hospital next week with both freshman and sophomore nursing students. With so many students, this is a lot for us instructors to keep track of, the sophomores will be allowed to practice many new skills, this is the freshmen’s first time in the hospital, and most of all we want to be the light of Christ in that place.
Never a dull moment when practicing IV starts on one another!

This has been a busy month at the Children’s Village and it has been a huge honor for us to be involved there. 
We had a massage therapist, Essie Cade, come at the beginning of the month and provide training for 4 of the older girls on massage. This is a huge, incredible step as we think about teens transitioning out of the Children’s Village and needing to support themselves. We have been dreaming about small businesses that could be successful here on the island, but this is the first concrete step we have made towards an actual business start. Since the training, the girls have come over to practice their technique several times and I have loved getting to know them a bit better in the process. So, if you need a great, very relaxing, free massage during this training period, you know where to come J
It is such a joy for us when groups come to the Children’s Village with a purpose and seek to provide new teaching and help the children be proud of the lives they can have here. We had two teams that did just that this month. One did a day camp for the younger kids, teaching about Haiti and the world around them. Another took the older children to see national historical sites in northern Haiti and then spent some time just building relationships at the Village.  Please pray for continued provision for the Children’s Village as the start of the school year and all its expenses are right around the corner and as Madam Soliette seeks to help so many children from all over the island.
 Youssantha, Francesca, Essie, Nadelta, and Cartine-Flore 
 Learning anatomy before practical skills
Practicing massage technique

Learning about the world and Haiti. Dave's hand drawn map of Haiti. 

I know I sound a bit like a broken record, but we are still unsure of what the future holds for us and desire your prayers for wisdom and direction on that front. We have had a few doors open up for continued work with the Aquaponics system, Children’s Village, and Nursing School, but continue to wait on direction from the Lord. Our desire is to live at the center of his will, not just doing what makes sense or we think is best. Please pray that we would know his voice with assurance when he speaks and act in obedience at that time.

Thank you for the many ways you encourage, support, and love us well as we serve here on La Gonave!