We have now been back in Haiti for a little over a week. But to help you understand how exciting life is, I'm going to have to backtrack to right before we visited the states six weeks ago.
By the end of November we started to wonder if Abby could be pregnant, but every test we took in Haiti came back negative. I guess you get what you pay for as we were able to purchase five tests for a dollar. :-) The day after we got back to the states we took another pregnancy test and learned that we were five weeks pregnant!
So fast forward six weeks, to our return to Haiti. We are back to coordinating trips that come to Haiti with Global Orphan Project, and we are back to playing with Haitian kids. We absolutely love the work that the Lord has allowed us to do. Its not easy, but its good!
Our plan is to be here until April 2nd, at which point we'll head back to the states for Abby's third trimester. We will be 13 weeks along tomorrow, and the baby is due July 19th. We have no idea where we'll live, where we'll work, or what we'll do. But we are very sure of the fact that God will provide for us and our future child!
We are so excited to be back in Haiti hosting trips at the Jumecourt Inn. We get to meet so many cool people from churches all across the country. It's great to learn from them and swap stories of why we came to Haiti and what orphan care means to us.
We appreciate your prayers in the coming months for the following:
That we'd be able to minister effectively to all the teams that visit.
For our baby's health and safety.
That we'd be able to clearly discern God's plans for us and our next steps once we return to the states in April.
Thank you guys so much for your prayers and support!
John and Abby
Hello! So John and I aren't going to be able to go to Iowa for Thanksgiving because we'll be in Haiti. Our whole family goes every year and it's always a really fun time. My grandma Angie asked those who won't be in attendance to send a paragraph of our current "happenings" so everyone could stay up to date with us. I thought it'd make a good blog post so here it is!
Hey everyone! We're a little bummed that we can't be with everyone for Thanksgiving- but not too sad because we get the great privilege of loving on orphans in Haiti. Since June we've been here working with an organization called the Global Orphan Project. Our main responsibility is hosting teams while they visit our 5 orphanages in the Port au Prince area. Global's goal is to get the villages able to support themselves. The hotel where we live and work (the Jumecourt Inn) was the first micro business put in place to support the orphaned and abandoned children. All of the profits from the hotel support the care of the kids. When we first arrived, we saw the grand opening of the sewing center. This micro business makes uniforms for all the kids in Haiti that attend our orphanages' schools. Most recently, John was able to start a bakery that makes fresh bread and sells it to the community (yum!). We're in the process of starting chicken farms as another microbusiness. The hotel, sewing center, bakery, and soon-to-be chicken farms all serve to employ local Haitians, support local economy, care for Haitian orphans, and teach the older kids a skill. With the micro businesses and orphanage staff, Global provides jobs for over 200 local people in Haiti alone; People that would otherwise not have a job to care for their family! Anyway we've been busy doing the good work of the Lord and we love it. It's hot and exhausting but we've never been more joyful in our lives. We're thankful for our family friends and for this great task of orphan care that Christ has set before us! We love you and miss you all :-)
John and Abby
thanks for staying posted you guys. We SO appreciate your prayers for us and our ministry and, of course, the orphans.
We were recently blessed with the opportunity to start a bakery in Haiti. This is so exciting to me (John) because I was able to be a part of the process by overseeing everything and working with our bakery manager to get things rolling. I'm going to tell you guys a little bit about that whole process.
The building was built for us by a company in Canada, and we thought it would be a perfect spot for a bakery. Jake (Director of GO Haiti Operations) and myself went to a few different bakeries and researched how the bread was made, how much it cost, what sort of ovens were used, lengths of time it took to cook each piece of bread, and finally had a report filled out which we sent back to the states for approval at the office (Global's headquarters in KC). We got approval, so all we had to do was find a baker, and turn the building into a bakery. The bakers actually found us (thanks, God!) and after a series of interviews we hired them to help get the bakery off the ground. I worked closely with a general contractor as he installed wooden shutters, built shelves, a door, steps and set up electricity for a light bulb. While i did this the bakers got ovens, supplies, and ingredients for baking. Last Thursday the bakery started cranking out bread! It's hot and smells delicious!
All the profit made from the bakery is going to support orphan care, and it gives Haitians jobs and skills. The ripple effects will definitely go farther than that, (and only God will really know), but for now its enough for me to be able to say we are one step closer to helping the Haitian churches support (and provide the funds for) their orphan care. So if you guys ever get a chance to come to Haiti, you'll have to visit the Boulangerie Jumecourt to buy some fresh bread while you're here!
Thanks for reading! God Bless
The ultimate question
Of course our niche is orphan care, and no matter how messy it gets, we know that the Lord has called us to hold firm. I can't help but ask how far the ripples of our ministry go.
I am overjoyed with the progress that has made in the past couple months, without having to look any farther than our own GO Haiti staff. We currently have five Haitian staff members who are able to become land owners, one former member of our house cleaning staff has been able to enroll in accounting school, and another staff member has just enrolled full time in construction school. Not to mention the 22 Haitians who have full or part time work with GO Haiti.
I'd say if there was any question as to whether or not we are making a positive difference, we need look no further than our own staff.
EXCITEMENT and hope often go hand in hand. The breeze blows lazily on a hot day. To the untrained eye this may appear to be just another summer day in Croix-des-bouquet, Haiti. But to the trained eye, there is a tangible difference in the air. Mademoiselle Troica, the head seamstress has waited months for this day. Her EXCITEMENT is absolutely contagious, EXCITEMENT begins to spread first in the employees of the new sewing center and quickly spreading to the kids, that this center will help support, and finally washes over the two vision trips who came to the grand opening of the sewing center. It is unmistakably the work of God that so many people would show up to support Haitian business enterprising, and to support some very amazing children. The thing that gets me so EXCITED is the hope that is found in the eyes of the men and women who believe that the Lord will bless their work.
When the time comes to dedicate the sewing, a few people step up to pray and talk about their experiences with the young sewing center. Jake Barreth, director of operations for Haiti spoke briefly of the joy he has had in being able to be a part in this plan that God is forging. After him Alan Dietrich, gave a prayer of dedication. Following Alan, on of our village pastors, pastor Calixte gave a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving and dedication.
To be at this event, in the middle of the Lord's plan, can only be described as EXCITING!