TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
March 7, 2005
The contents of the sea container shipment FINALLY arrived in LesCayes, requiring two separate loads on the school bus. Pastor Israel arrived from Port-au-Prince with the first bus load at 11PM on a Tuesday. In the dark, many of us (including the little girls of the orphanage) hauled item after item to a storage room where we could secure the items under lock and key. Pastor Israel then returned to Port-au-Prince for the second load, returning again at a late hour on Friday of the same week. A full moon greeted us on this night, making the unloading of goods a much easier task. What a joy to see so many needed items! We had run out of rice for the orphanage. Thus, the five gallon buckets brimming with rice were an especially welcome sight! Buried among some of the clothing were compact fluorescent light bulbs! Those too were badly needed! Each box or pail contained a new discovery of items that were exactly what we needed! It is wonderful to see how God uses YOU to supply us with just what we need!
A donation of dresser units for the orphanage arrived on this same sea container shipment. Finally, the children would have somewhere to store their things in a drawer of their very own. Now it was my task to assemble the 10 units. While the children were in school, I began to tackle the task. In one of the bedrooms of the girls’ orphanage, I laid out all the panels and screws and nails and my “do it herself” tool kit that I had recently brought from the states. The cordless screw driver (a hand-me-down from my father) would soon get it’s workout. I didn’t realize at the time what a spectacle I would become. The male workers that were applying stucco to the exterior walls of the orphanage began peering through the little slits of concrete that serve as windows of the orphanage. You could tell by their conversation throughout the morning and the looks on their faces that they had never seen a woman doing such work. When the little girls came into the room during their recess at school, they too had curious looks on their faces. They soon started asking questions. Was this the profession that I had in the states? No? Then how did I know how to do such things? I explained that partly I knew how to assemble furniture from watching my dad doing tasks like this. But I explained that girls can do anything that they set their minds to. They watched as I pieced the panels together, as I used the screw driver, and as I read the instructions on what to do next. I think we may have some little Haitian girls become carpenters as a result! The girls returned to school when they heard the bell ring, but returned to see my progress as soon as the next opportunity arose! By the time they arrived, I was drenched in sweat, in this room that had one lonely ceiling fan struggling to push the humid air around in the stifling room. Five little girls quickly scurried to find pieces of cardboard from the furniture packing to fan me. They would not stop until I assured them that I felt much cooler. What little sweethearts! Again they were called back to school. When the school day was finally done, the girls were delighted to see the finished product. They learned that each day I would complete one more dresser, until all of them had a drawer of their own. They could not wait to tuck all of their treasures inside! Next I will head off to the boys’ orphanage to assemble the remaining few dressers. What a blessing to receive enough dressers for BOTH orphanages!
I must tell you about another HUGE blessing … that of transportation for me! Thanks to generous friends, I now have wheels! Yes! A little Honda motorcycle! (See photo!) It enables me to go outside of the church compound for needed trips to the post office, the drug store, the airline ticket counter, the cyber café and any other chores that come my way. No longer do I have to wait for someone to take me or do I have to use the HUGE school bus because there is no other means of transportation available. Before venturing out, however, I took “driver’s training” along a secluded shoreline of the nearby Caribbean. After almost running over a little girl sitting on a reed-woven chair, I managed to learn which foot pedal to push when and I am now soaring the streets of LesCayes solo! I promised my daughter and her husband that I would wear a helmet, unlike anyone else here! When the kids of the orphanage see me with the helmet on they call me “Policeman!” as those are the only people they know of that wear helmets around here.
We keep unburying more treasures from the sea container, like CHOCOLATE brownie mix and cereal with REAL fruit in it!!! What a nice taste from home! I rarely get the taste of chocolate and the most affordable and readily available cereal here is corn flakes. It sure is nice to have a change! The dogs were especially grateful for REAL dog food! However, I must let you know that it came as quite a disappointment to the cat who, thinking she found a gold mine, crawled into the tote only to discover that she did not like DOG food! Thus, Mimi is back to begging for scraps underneath the dining room table.
For those of you who have come to know and love Jean Danio, I will give you a little update! We recently received his birth certificate and have found that his name is really Jean Junio (John Jr.). He has taken on the “big brother” role at the boys’ orphanage and is now a role model citizen. (See photo!) We are very proud of the changes that Jesus has brought forth in Jean Junio! It helps us to know that the orphanage has been instrumental in making the difference in little lives! We praise God for that!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic
Until next time ………….