Life and Progress in the New Community
Bonswa!! Greetings from Haiti. I hope this post finds you all loving life and feeling passionate about your pursuits. It has obviously been a whirlwind couple of weeks down here as I have not written in over a week – I apologize for that lapse in information and sharing, but am excited to write to you tonight with good news on many fronts. Thank you for your continued prayers, letters, and e-mails of encouragement as we are all working very hard in the pursuit of the ambitious and beautiful goals of the deaf community.
This post will be more of a progress and programming update and I am overwhelmed with happiness at the changes and progress over the last couple of weeks. First of all, our water solution: We are now pumping regularly from a nearby aquaduct to provide grey water to the entire community (water to be used for bathing, washing clothes etc…). This is a difficult endeavor as we run often into issues with farmers downstream who feel that we are taking all of the water they need for irrigation – this is not the case as we are pumping at a rate that in actuality does not cause any problems for them. We have many interesting conversations and the important building of trust as we work together for all communities involved. The community leaders at Leveque are discussing the coordination of the water filtration system and making the availability of clean water a community asset as opposed to an asset overseen by Mission of Hope of 410 Bridge. As soon as possible we desire for that asset to be in the hands of the community – meaning, the funds they generate need to include maintenance on the pumps, treatment system, pay for security, etc… As I have written many times on this blog, it is of the utmost importance that the community leaders come up with those plans so that they are held accountable for an asset that should remain in their hands only. Please pray for clarity, wisdom and discernment for them as they try to figure this out on their own.
We also have great news on the outdoor solar lighting for the community. The Haitian Government has come through for us and on Saturday agreed to fund the first 10 large solar lights that will be providing lights for the safety and communication of the deaf families in all communal areas including the marketplace, water station, recreation areas, and strategic locations for street lighting. We will begin installing those large lights on Saturday morning. We are still seeking funding for the last 10 lights that will complete the outdoor solar lighting for the community. A grant is in progress for the rest of the funds and we have made it to the final stage of the selection process – please pray for eloquent writing as I finish the last step of the proposal and for the selection committee to realize the need and tangible change that these lights will bring to the community.
Our spiritual programs and church for the deaf community are well underway. A Haitian sign language interpreter has been present the last 3 Sundays for services out in the new community. The deaf leaders have also taken it upon themselves to lead a twice weekly prayer time and Bible study that is occurring in one of the home gardens from 4 pm – 5 pm each Tuesday and Thursday!!! Those prayers are being answered. The deaf leaders are taking the lead in a lot of endeavors and are coming to us for the areas in which they need further support – a good sign of future sustainability. We have a long way to go and many tough challenges ahead, but as long as we retain these daily dialogues I have no doubts that we will continue moving forward in the right direction.
Also exciting news – we are working with Mission of Hope to provide an additional 2-3 interns to travel to Haiti for the summer to work with me and to work with our extremely hectic schedule of short term missions teams. Be on the lookout for those application materials within the week if you are fluent in ASL and desire to come spend a few months engaged in this awesome work in Haiti!!!
On a more personal note – I celebrated my 27th birthday last Thursday and was blessed to have a team from Frazer UMC here to celebrate with. They definitely made the day special and I was glad to have them here. I am looking forward to the next year and all of the adventures that are in store here in Haiti and elsewhere around the world. 26 was a good year as I moved to Haiti, learned 2 languages (Haitian Sign Language and Kreyol) and have been blessed to spend the majority of the last year with the Haiti deaf community, working hard and learning a lot from them.
A prayer from my personal journals last week:
“Lord, today we thank and praise you for challenges, trials and hurdles in our walk with you. For the chance to learn new ways of working together, encouraging one another, and praying together we thank You. Lord we also thank you for difficult trials as they remind us of Your infinite goodness. That when our eyes be looking downwards, you raise them upwards in recognition of Your Hope and plans of abundant provision for Your people in Haiti. Lord, this week we also thank You for JOY – that everyday in the deaf community we are greeted by hugs and smiling faces – people eager to learn more about Your love and peace. Lord, You will provide – for Your constant and beautiful reminders of provision we thank You. Lord, if we start to veer down the wrong path, we ask for Your strength and peace in finding again the correct path. Father God, today I lift up the leaders of the deaf community – that as more is placed on their shoulders, they turn to You for strength and guidance. I lift up all of these things in Your Glorious Name. AMEN.”
wishing you all continued passion in your daily pursuits!
grace and peace,