We have been buried in snow for the past two weeks and only yesterday were dug out by a wonderful friend. It’s been tempting to feel cooped up, but I’ve actually enjoyed the forced time at home. I’ve been translating bios from sponsored children and working on other things for HOPE in Haiti. I got a call this morning from Pastor Louinet at 5:30 AM and wished him a Bon Anne, as most of you were sleeping.
As I reflect back over 2008 and what HOPE in Haiti has meant to these people, I am well satisfied. In March we funded and helped build a church/school in the very rural mountains of Haiti. There are now 400 children attending that school, some of which are not yet sponsored. In October, we again funded a building program in the valley of Nan wo and the first floor of the church/school is up. We also repaired the existing church/school and helped repair some of the individual homes that had been damaged due to the three hurricanes that hit Haiti in 2008. We provided school supplies for these children, paid teachers in both schools and are supporting pastor and teacher training programs. Children were able to go to a camp for the first time – what an amazing experience. A 10 year old boy was able to have surgery after an injury to his eyes. He is now doing well and continues his education in secondary school. His mother wants you to know how grateful she is. Another 3 year old boy will have surgery on his leg this month, enabling him to walk much better…. because of your willingness to give.
We are planning another trip up into the mountains in mid-February. If anyone is interested, please contact us soon, as we need to plan and book flights. This will be a long, hard hike up to Kawo, camping in tents and using outhouses. I figure if I can do it, anyone can….. We will be taking pictures of the children once again and updating our documentation records. We also hope to help finish the church/school building and possibly repair broken homes of some of these families. This will be a small team of dedicated people. Are you to be one of us?
We have been sending out updated pictures to those of you that sponsor a child in Nan wo. Quickly I would like to explain a few things. You may notice a small change in the spelling of your child’s name. This is due to the fact that many of these children’s parents are illiterate and there is no one correct spelling of their name. The teacher may spell it one way and someone else another. Also in Haiti, the people write their last names first. When we come along and ask that the first names be written first, things get very confusing and we’re not always sure what we get. Slowly we are beginning to figure this out, so when you thought your child’s name was Joseph Gary, it really is Gary Joseph. You may have been told that your child is 8 years old and now you see that he’s 11 years old. Many of the children don’t have birth certificates and don’t really know their age. We go by what a parent or grandparent tells us. So when I look at an old grandmother and question that her child was 8 last year and is now 11, she just shakes her head saying, “We, we” (yes, yes). I smile and know that things are not always as tidy as I would like. So hopefully that answers a few of your questions.
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshed others will himself be refreshed. Prov. 11:25
So very grateful to be partnering with you,