Thanks to all of the incredible teams that have come to help us out here at Maison de Lumiere, we have been able to transition into a new "normal" way of living that now gives us more time to breathe post-earthquake. It has been such a blessing having everyone here. We couldn't have done it without all of their help! Each and every person that God has called to serve here short and long-term have been so vital in expanding God's Kingdom in so many wonderful ways! Through God's strength and provision, we have been able to be a light for Christ to so many people surrounding us. We need to continue to pray that God touches the hearts of people all over the world and brings them closer to Him than ever before. In our new "normal" way of life, we have officially started our new MDL school today, which is pretty exciting for us. This has been our dream for a long time, so now it is finally coming to fruition! Please be praying as we seek to give the best education possible to our children that will challenge them and prepare them for their futures as best as possible. Please also be praying as they seek out what God wants for their lives after they graduate from school. Thank you all for your continuous prayers! We are all very excited to be a part of what God is doing in Haiti!
So many lives have been lost, so many homes have been destroyed, so many people have been permanently injured, so many people will forever suffer emotionally, all from a 45 second natural disaster. It’s incredible how quickly life can change in less than a minute. If people truly lived with the mentality that life can literally be turned upside down within seconds, then how much more passionately would we live for God? Would we dare to be just a little more bold in our faith? Would we trust God more in both the little and big things in our lives, knowing that He’s sovereign and He will keep us exactly where He wants us? Are we willing to trust that the safest place to be really is in the center of God’s will? Are we willing to go wherever He wants us to go, no matter how hard or “odd” the calling is? I challenge you to really follow wherever the Holy Spirit leads you. Don’t hold back, because it’s not worth it. There’s no greater life than a life surrendered to God alone.
From painting multiple sets for our Christmas program, to learning dances like “Gingerbread Man,” “Silent Night,” and “Shackles,” to teaching songs to our feeding program children such as “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “We Wish You A Merry Christmas," to rap songs, to practicing the nativity play over and over again, to rehearsing everything multiple times, we finally were able to perform for all of our neighbors at our Christmas program and share the message of Christ with them! It was such a blessing this year to have one of our own boys from the home, Junior Fanfan, preach the message of salvation to all of our feeding program children and their families. He did an incredible job, and we all could feel the presence of God throughout the entire program. After having to cancel our original date for the program due to stormy weather, we were able to finally pull it off (though we greatly missed all of those who had to fly home before we were even able to do the program!) and had such an incredible time ministering to the 350 people and giving out food and gifts. Nothing compares to serving alongside all of our children as we seek to further His Kingdom together. Thank you to all of you who were involved in making this Christmas program happen! We couldn’t have done it without you!
After much praying and waiting, God has finally answered our prayers for three of our boys, James, Jocelyn and Alex, to get their visas and go to America! It is only by the grace of God that they were all three able to obtain their visas at the same time and be able to move to Pennsylvania together on Friday, December 4th!
Tom and Patricia Murphy, the ones who have made this all happen, have been working on getting the boys into a good English school in New York city for over a year. After overcoming many obstacles that were continuously put before the Murphy's, Christ was able to bring all of the glory to Himself and bring it to fruition! It is incredibly hard for Haitian's to obtain visas, so the chances of three boys getting their visas all at the same time is pretty much non-existent, but by God's hand alone He made it happen! He orchestrated it so they were all three called up at the same time at the Embassy, which is unheard of. All of the people in the Embassy just stared at them in awe as they walked up to the counter. A few minutes later, the lady issued visas to all three of the boys! We rejoice with them as we see God rewarding them for seeking Him first and foremost.
All glory be given to God for this miraculous work! As soon as they came back from the Embassy last Wednesday, December 2nd, it was nothing but a time of rejoicing! Two days later they flew off to America. It was kind of ironic having all of us Americans say goodbye to three of our Haitian boys as they boarded the plane to New York City. They are now living in Pennsylvania with the Murphy's, and will be commuting to Rockfeller center in New York City every day to enhance their learning of the English language. Thank you Tom and Patricia for all of the work you have put into making this happen, and thank you for loving our children so much! We are all excited to see how God is going to further mold them into the men of God He wants them to be, and we are excited to see how God will use them to further His Kingdom.
If you would like to follow their journey in America on facebook, please join the "Haitian Youth Work-Study Cooperative" group where you can find photos and updates of them.
While making our way up the mountain toward a little village where we would do another feeding program and clinic, we couldn't help but notice how wide the dried-up river was that we were driving on. Anne, one of the women whom we have the priveledge of working with a lot in our in-house clinic, explained that every time she drives up the river, it just gets wider and wider due to flooding. Many homes have been washed away and many lives have been taken because of it. This dried up river is apparently one of the only main highways, Route 102, in Haiti. Who would have thought a river with just a few coal trucks, donkeys and people walking along it could be termed a main highway! Only in Haiti...
After passing the main market, many starving children on the side of the road waving hello to us, people walking with their donkeys, a school full of children, voodoo witch doctors, and coal trucks, we finally made it to the church where the villagers were awaiting our arrival.
We made our way into the little church where we set up our clinic, prayer area, and feeding area. We had the Bohlinger team with us at the time, so they helped us out in various ways and were such a blessing to all of us throughout the entire week. Some of them helped out with the medical side of things, some checked the villager's eyesight and gave them glasses, some prayed over each individual that walked through the door, and some helped to hand out the 400 bags of rice and beans to the people. It was a very blessed time, and was encouraging to all of us to hear and see that many of the villager's already knew Jesus Christ and had accepted Him into their hearts. It was very obvious that they had the love and joy of Christ in them. Even when they had absolutely nothing, they still had joy in Jesus. Nothing is more beautiful than that.
As we made our way down the mountain back to the city of Port-au-Prince, we couldn't help but praise God for the beautiful scenery that lay before us. It felt like we were in New Zealand or some other beautiful green place. It was hard to believe that we were still in Haiti.