Sunday, August 31, 2008

August, We Hardly Knew Ye

There are so many things to write about but not enough time to write. I am attempting to keep notes so that once we have internet at our house I will have months of material stored up. :) I also have many photos and videos ... it will come eventually. TIH - and when the guy says "sure, no problem" he really means - you won't have internet until year's end or so.

I warn you that this post will be scattered all over the place. I am tired and need to just go ahead and have a melt down ... so forgive me if this is raw.

We pulled out of LaDigue last Sunday late afternoon, many tears were shed. Paige, Jeronne and I cried the entire way down the dirt road out to Route Nat'l One. Dad wished he had chosen another vehicle to ride in. I still feel on the edge of tears as I write this. I miss what had become our "normal" and finding the new normal is going to take some time - I have never been a patient person, although Haiti has managed to make break much (some??) of my impatience. I just want to find our groove, feel at "home" and have it all figured out ... but wanting it does not make it so. :(

Tipap and Jeronne both seem very happy to have moved into town with us. They are helping with so much and have been a godsend to us during an insane time. We've taken time to discuss the future with them and they're both excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

Tipap is so good with babies that he doubles as the back-up nanny when Jeronne and I each have a baby and there is a third demanding something. For whatever reason the kids seem more overwhelming to Troy and I right now ... a product of exhaustion and emotional upheaval I'm sure. Sometimes I just wonder why God ever thought we could handle so many kids. I don't feel very capable right now. Sigh.

Jeronne is so impressed with the house. She made me laugh when she said she needs to take photos to show the people in LaDigue because they will certainly think this house sits somewhere in New York. :) (New York is second only to Heaven in the mind of most Haitians.) Meanwhile I am bummed that the plumbing and electricity are spotty and the bugs and heat are nothing short of horrific! It is all about perspective I suppose. I need some of Jeronne's perspective right about now.

Troy and I and the kids are so thankful that Dad came down to help with the move. He built shelves for Troy in the "depot" and as it turns out kitchen cabinets here do not come with shelves, so he took care of that for me. He helped with a ton of things and we really needed him.

We put in some really long days, the poor man was forced into our goofy non-eating schedule and probably felt hungry half the time. One night he was walking into his room to sleep when Troy announced he wanted to take the ginormous green table apart and move it. Poor Dad ... Troy needs five hours of sleep, and is a slave driver - and I forget that most people like to eat meals. ;)

Dad finally got out on Thursday, but not without a crazy experience that left him both overwhelmed and disturbed. He had a new ticket reserved - and my friend Beth was also trying to get out on standby because her seat had been cancelled due to Gustav. They both reported never having been in such a scene before in their lives. Dad said for once he was glad to be a great big guy (not necessarily all height) and that he worried that people could get trampled.

Beth called and said that there were 2,000+ people and no one could move. No one would get in line, there was no order and everyone wanted on a plane. There were women crying and pushing and people yelling and upset ... mass chaos best describes the scene at the PAP airport on both Thursday and Friday. Beth finally got out on Friday late afternoon. After hearing the stories I've determined never to enter the airport the day after major cancellations, it sounded pretty awful.

We received a telephone call from our Pastor in MN with more news about Steve K. (from our home church- we had asked you to pray as Linda tried to get out of Haiti and home to MN to be at his side) He passed away Thursday. We know many of you prayed for Linda and Steve and their kids and we ask you to continue to do so. We're sad for the loss of a Dad, a husband, and a friend. . Steve never regained consciousness after his heart attack. Please pray for them in the coming days and weeks.

We paid a year of rent and met with the owner of our house on Friday. It all went well and he is letting us use his really nice bedroom furniture. At one point he said he wanted $1,700 U.S. for it - hahahhahaaaa. Then it was free.

Troy got a kick out of the discussion over our address. On the contract they needed to fill in an address (if you have been here - you know that it is all pretty arbitrary and pointless). The attorney present for the meeting said, "Well this is the first road into this neighborhood - so it is Road number one." Then he said, "Usually you just see what the numbers are on the houses around you and pick one different for your house." He left and went outside for a few minutes, came back and said, "it's vague." Then, after much discussion, it was decided. "Eleven". So -- if you're visiting Haiti just head to Road One house Eleven in the vicinity of Tabarre. We're waiting for you.

School is going well for the kids. We're trying to figure out a way for Hope to stay there, the noon end time is making things tricky for us. Isaac and Paige are both making friends and feeling a part of the community already. Noah does not seem too sad without Hope and Ike, he is suprisingly okay with being the oldest for a few hours a day. Phoebe, Lydie and Annie are all doing pretty well. As I said earlier, everyone seems needier and we feel less able to meet all needs right now -- but we're trying to take it five minutes at a time. Lydie is the target for all mosquitoes and looks like some sort of dot to dot game was placed on her chunky thighs. The poor little smooshy baby.

Before I head home where we hope to have Internet in the next decade, a few random bullet-points:
  • IF YOU WANT TO BUY TROY'S BOOK -- THERE IS A PROMOTIONAL COUPON AVAILABLE -- PURCHASE BEFORE WEDNESDAY and enter coupon code brookbrides during checkout to receive 10% off. Link to Blurb site is found on the left column of this blog. All proceeds help us pay bills and feed kids - which in turn makes it possible for us to work/serve here. Thanks!!!!!!
  • Troy leaves for the missions conference in Michigan later this week. I am fighting off my tantrum ... we'll see how that goes.
  • Our house has some serious accoustic issues and noise is amplified and reverberates off the cement walls, floors, ceiling ... what we really need is a few more crying babies. aaaagh.
  • Port is 8 degrees hotter than LaDigue ... coping skills at bedtime have not been so great. I wish I were referring to our children, but I am not.
  • Only *we* could possibly locate and rent the only house in a neighborhood that is DIRECTLY next door to an enourmous rooster/chicken farm --- oh, we have the video proof for you - 4am brings an entirely new set of challenges --- we never visited the house at that time and had no idea that our neighbors on one side were birds ... good times, good times.
  • Thank you for participating in the "It is so hot" contest. September is traditionally *the* hottest month of the year in Haiti. Off we go!
  • The winner needs to come to Road One, House Eleven, Haiti - to claim their Ipod Shuffle ... or we can also mail it to you if you prefer - please email us your address and allow six weeks for delivery. (BestBuy jerked us around on a return and Apple tried to make it right by giving us the Shuffle - we're passing it along to you.) 
  • The winner is : GWENN MANGINE !!!!!!!!!
As John Ackerman told us recently:
'Hangeth In There'
He's so spiritual. ;)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav, Moving and other Joys

I made my way to the Heartline office to use Internet for a minute.

Just a quick note to let you know we're doing fine. There has been rain for about 36+ hours straight, but no wind in Port au Prince. The roads are a disaster, school was canceled for two days and we're just kind of in awe of the mess it is making -- but we're safe. We have had no access to internet/news so we don't know what you've been hearing. We're more than a little removed from all world news. Tara's Dad's flight out of here was cancelled two days in a row so the airport should be interesting come Thursday!

All of our property and children are finally moved to the new house. There is A LOT to do still but we're hanging in there. We totally overestimated what can happen in one day in this country, I guess we are slow learners. :( Eventually it will come together.

EDH (electricity not created by a generator - but offered by the city) has been on a ton in the last day, which is great! We had piles of laundry to catch up on from the move.

The Internet guy probably won't come until storm waters recede and driving is easier. Lack of infrastructure makes even rain turn a city into a gigantic mess. We're blessed to have a solid place to get out of the rain. We're thinking of the millions who don't.

The mosquitoes in Port are about 100 times worse - poor Lydia seems to be the favorite victim. She is covered head to toe. :( With all the new standing water we may only be seeing the best case scenario so far ... blech.

One Isaac story before I go back home ... The other day we were driving. I was crabby (hot tired and just sick of moving) and as usual there were multiple buses screaming past us on our side of the road making it dangerous for all drivers. I had to get off the road onto the shoulder and I was so ticked off I said to myself under my breath "I hate this country". (I don't at all - but I DO hate the driving rules/lack thereof.)

Isaac overheard my angry comment and in his ever-so-cheery and wise way - said, "Well Mom, *this* is where God has us!" (Read: DEAL WITH IT MOTHER!)

We hope we'll be back soon. Contest for Ipod will end Saturday. Drawing on Sunday for the winner.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts as we go ...

A week ago today we met the family above. We had been walking through the village of PetitBwa praying for people who wanted prayer. Each time we would walk into their yard and they would tell us what specific things they wanted us to pray about. In Haiti everyone prays at once out loud. It is actually kind of a cool thing. We had gone to a handful of houses and I was taking it all in as we went. When we got to this house I could not stop the tears.

I am always amazed at what brings tears (because plenty of things could - but don't). As Madame Pierre shared her requests I was totally humbled by her smile, her demeanor, her joy. When she shared that she had six kids ... Then laughed and said, "Ooops, I mean SEVEN" ... I instantly felt connected to her. (Keeping it straight is not easy at times.) Her oldest boy travels on foot 90 minutes one way to school and she wanted prayer for his safety. She also prayed that her husband would come back into a role as a father and husband and come back to his faith because he has recently pulled away. (You see him seated behind them in the photo.) She then prayed for the health of her children and for a growing faith and closer relationship with the Lord.

The tears would not stop as I thought about the tiny mud floor house she lived in with her kids. She did not pray for a nicer place to live, an escape from poverty, or anything material. I felt very small in that moment. After we prayed the rest of the group went on to the next house and I stayed to speak with Madame Pierre. We compared the ages of our kids and laughed about how easy it is to forget how many there are when they come so fast. I have thought of her so many times this week. I am grateful to have met her and to have learned what is truly important from her.Troy and Rony have built a solid relationship in the past years. When Pastor Rony comes to mind we'll be praying for his strength, discernment and wisdom. He has a heart of gold and many people come to him for help. We're so glad to be just an hour away so we can remain in contact with him and many others in LaDigue.
There was also another man named Pierre that we met. His mother is overwhelmed with caring for him, he is mourning the loss of his leg. In July he was in an auto accident that resulted in the amputation of his left leg. Troy and I both hope to be able to get him to Healing Hands very soon to find out if there might be a way to have him fitted for a prosthetic leg. As soon as we are settled into our new place, Pierre is on the top of our priority list - we pray that there might be a way to lessen his suffering and the burden for his mother.
In a few minutes we will pack up the computer and try to get the last load of stuff into the trucks and moved into town. I think we'll all cry when we leave here today. Paige has been down all weekend, change is hard.

The first week of school went as well as it could with the limited sleep we all operated on ... But Paige had a great third and fourth day and says she likes it there. The first two days were rough, Junior High is often a time for learning to deal with mean people. That seems not to have changed since Troy and I were 8th graders. :( It will be an adjustment time for all of us for a time.

We won't have Internet until mid to late week at the new location. Thanks so much for all of your prayers, thoughts and kindness. You're an encouragement to us - You truly are!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Argh. Bullet Point Purge

I need to purge this information and then get back to packing ...
  • Our kids were late to school on day two. :( What winners we are! Driving this far through that traffic is not the best way to start your day. Patience required.
  • MN Team departed without drama - in the air to MSP already ... only one hour delay out of PAP - To continue along and to support the Kohnen Family through this difficult time, you can go to their site at: I know they appreciate your prayers.
  • New house not ready. "It will be ready August 15" - actually means - "It won't even be ready August 20" The owner informed us it was "not his fault". We questioned that logic (silly Americans) and he said it was the workers he hired - it is their fault. TIH
  • There were some tense moments trying to negotiate how to move forward.
  • Spontaneous and involuntary crying happened ONLY 4 times today. 1. When house was not ready and I could feel Troy's disappointment. (Not that I was not disappointed, just that I was more sad to see him so defeated.) 2. At lunch talking over the sadness of leaving people we love out here. 3. Over finding out I had majorly screwed something up. 4. Upon picking up Paige and seeing that she looked sad and cranky.
  • (Thank you Shelley for your help!)
  • We bought two desks. It was a smooth transaction. Customer service was superb. That was the highlight of the day. They even gave the wrong price then when they gave the higher price and we stood there trying to decide if we still wanted them, they said "Because it was our mistake we will give it to you for the lower price." We just about fell over dead. That
  • Troy was supposed to photograph the Gray Family. We set it up, it is on our calendar, I even spoke with Gail Gray at length yesterday and KNEW we had an appointment to meet them and take their family photos at 4pm. Phone rang at 4:30 and I burst into tears when I saw it was Gail and realized the stupid mistake. I never thought of it once today. Troy did not have his camera. They got dozens of children (or what seems like a dozen) ready for photos and sat in the heat waiting for us. Lovely. I feel like a total dweeb. We'll try to screw our heads back on and actually show up and try it again on Friday.
  • We attempted to set up for delivery of appliances for tomorrow. We'll just see how that translates into reality. TIH.
  • Knowing there are some Q. Christian School folks reading, I'll word this carefully so as not to offend anyone ... none is intended ... but Paige says (and I agree) it is very alternate universe there ... she said she had to get used to being the "rich" girl in her little village setting -- now she is the "poor MK" in a school with many very wealthy students. We decided the subculture of the school is like some sort of vortex of socioeconomic oddity- both bizarre and intriguing ... and that we will all have an amazingly entertaining year watching and learning about that subculture.
  • Isaac really likes school so far. He just wonders if he is cut out for waking up every day at a certain time. It feels a bit rigid and restrictive to him.
  • Hope goes for half days. We decided we need to wait until Monday for her to go back, the noon pick-up think won't work with moving from 90 minutes the opposite direction.
  • The work left to do on the house is going to need to be done as we move in - requiring extra patience for people who have fried brains and are communicating poorly. Good times good times.
  • While at the house today, Noah asked "When are we gonna be done?" 784 times in one hour. Then he informed me he wants to live at the "green gate house fo-evah". (Lifeline) On the way home he and Isaac had a deep conversation about the UN. I was highly entertained as they pontificated about the soldiers and the ramifications on the political process. ;) No. Not really. But they did have a lot to say about the tanks, the guns, and the soldiers. I had no idea they knew what the UN was.
  • My Dad gets here tomorrow, I am guaranteed to melt down at the sight of him walking out of the airport.
  • I miss Lydie and Phoebe and Annie like crazy, I feel like I have not had five minutes to connect with any of them in the last week. Jeronne is doing great as their stand-in Mom, I could not be more pleased with the way she cares for them. Tonight when I finally got home at 7pm Lydia was content to sit on Jeronne and did not do her happy dance that she usually does when she sees me. :( Waaaaahhh. Sad.
  • Troy and I talked on our drive through Port today and realized that one person we met up in Petit Bwa on Sunday was heavy on both of our hearts. We're looking into finding help for his situation. It was cool to realize we were both thinking the same thing and feeling compelled to enter into his situation. Pray for Pierre. We'll share more later.
  • There will either be a major cry-fest or a major fight --- we feel it coming on. If we fight, it will totally stink. Crying is much preferred to fighting.
  • We have a real sense that we are on the cusp of some really exciting and fun and challenging ministry stuff ... it feels good to be moving toward that.
  • I hate that I am a person who uses terms like "ministry stuff".
  • We feel loved and supported by you. Thank you for that! We'll see what sort of Internet access we have in the coming days - until then ... entertain yourself with this contest ...
The Contest:
To enter you simply need to make a "It is so hot that _____" or "It is so hot you could ___" statement. It does not have to be funny or even unique. The winner will be drawn from a hat. All entries will be eligible. The only other requirement is to share one random thing about yourself. We're thinking lurkers could maybe even delurk. One entry per person. Not sure when the contest will close, but not for at least a few days.

Brand New IPod Shuffle - valued at $49.99

My non-entry entry: (True) It is so hot that my deodorant curdles in my armpits.

tara (for all of us)

Thinking ...

As we move our things from LaDigue to town, recognizing our incredible blessings, these thoughts swirl in our minds.

Rich Christians In An Age of Hunger
by Ron Sider
Excerpt from Chapter one “A Billion Hungry Neighbors”

To help us imagine what poverty means, a prominent economist itemized the "luxuries" we would have to abandon if we were to adopt the lifestyle of our 1.3 billion neighbors who live in desperate poverty.

We begin by invading the house of our imaginary American family to strip it of its furniture. Everything goes: beds, chairs, tables, television set, lamps. We will leave the family with a few old blankets, a kitchen table, a wooden chair. Along with the bureaus go the clothes. Each member of the family may keep in his “wardrobe” his oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. We will permit a pair of shoes for the head of the family, but none for the wife or children.

We move to the kitchen. The appliances have already been taken out, so we turn to the cupboards…The box of matches may stay, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt. A few moldy potatoes, already in the garbage can, must be hastily rescued, for they will provide much of tonight’s meal. We will leave a handful of onions, and a dish of dried beans. All the rest we take away: the meat, the fresh vegetables, the canned goods, the crackers, the candy.

Now we have stripped the house: the bathroom has been dismantled, the running water shut off, the electric wires taken out. Next we take away the house. The family can move into the toolshed…

Communications must go next. No more newspapers, magazines, books-not that they are missed, since we must take away our families literacy as well. Instead, in our shantytown we will allow one radio…

Now Government services must go. No more postman, no more fireman. There is a school, but it is three miles away and consists of two classrooms…There are, of course, no hospitals or doctors nearby. The nearest clinic is ten miles away and is tended by a midwife. It can be reached by bicycle, which is unlikely…

Finally, money. We will allow our family a cash hoard of five dollars. This will prevent our breadwinner from experiencing the tragedy of an Iranian peasant who went blind because he could not raise the $3.94 which he mistakenly thought he needed to receive admission to a hospital where he could have been cured.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day '08-'09 School Year

The campus of QCS - beautiful green in the middle of a concrete city. :)

The ride home ... Exhaustion sets in.
Paige, Isaac and Hope all had a successful first day. Back up-and-at it by 5:30 tomorrow morning. I spent the day with them in Port -- Troy worked with the team on some projects then everyone headed to the beach.

Tomorrow after our team is dropped and on their way North, we'll sign our lease - hand over a giant payment and start moving in! We're excited and nervous and a little bit exhausted. It should be an interesting few days.

Marcy A - Thank you for getting Hope's uniforms down here -- they work perfectly!!! You are now assigned personal shopper for our family from this day forward. Good work!

Thank you to all who are praying for Steve and Linda K. and family - as soon as I know more about the medical details I will let you know. He is an excavator and had a heart attack on his machine - then a 2 X 4 hit him in the head - the concerns are many medically speaking. He is currently in a coma. Their kids range in age from 23 to 13 --- thank you for covering all of them in prayer.

Good News

We went to bed with only a plan to show up at the airport and beg for mercy this morning. A reader in MN (Thank you Ginger - Thank you God!) was up late and kept searching for seats. She said she came up with nothing over and over -- then she found one! The coolest part is that Linda is booked on Britt's flights. She will go to DFW with Britt and then make a connection to head to MSP. Thank you for praying, our prayers for a seat were answered. Please keep praying for good weather, on-time flights and easy connections.


Below are a few of the photos from yesterday that would not load last night. We are off to school and the airport soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bullet Point Update

  • Please pray that we can get Linda out of here tomorrow. All the airlines tell us, no seats available, we need a miracle. Mike will stay in Haiti and leave on Wednesday with the rest of the team as originally planned.
  • Tomorrow is the first day of school for Paige, Isaac and Hope. Until next week we live 100+ minutes from school ... prayers for logistics, excellent planning, good traffic on Delmas (hahahaha) and endurance are appreciated.
  • We begin moving Wednesday and hope to be able to sleep there by Friday night, Saturday at the latest.
  • Tara's Dad comes in on Thursday to help.
  • Late this afternoon six people were baptized, including Troy and Britt. It was very cool to see.
  • Britt heads back to Texas tomorrow at 11am. :(
  • We'll try to update all situations in 24 hours.
  • I have photos, but I guess they won't load tonight. :(
  • Must sleep now.

Please Pray

Linda and her son Mike are here on our current team.  We have just received word that Linda's husband Steve had a massive heart attack while at work today and desperately needs  prayers.  

We are trying to get tickets out of here and we need prayer for Linda and Mike to be able to get home to Minnesota to be with their husband and Dad  --- please pray for this family and for God to intervene -  for seats to open up and miraculous healing in Steve's body to begin even now.

Thank You.

(Linda is the second lady from the left in the pink shirt. They also have three other children in Minnesota - pray for Anna and Stephanie and Tom.)


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ATTN: Jen H - The baby above is the one you delivered!!! He is doing great and is HUGE. :)

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The Bride & Groom

Drawing By Hope Livesay

There is NOTHING more exciting to a six year old girl than having a big sister getting married. Hope is the flower girl and she is spending all of her creative energy on drawings like these right now. :)

"How We Met" (by Britt)
With Hope's sweet drawings as of late, I have finally decided to tell you the story of how I met my man.

Please, if you will, rewind back two plus years and to a well-known American "holiday" in May. If you're a smart child (or husband), you might do something special for a certain woman in your life. But that was not the case for me, Isaac, or my dad on that given day. No. We went to the beach. Without my mom.... and several small children , especially one who will remain unnamed that to this day is still a lot of work.

We (my dad and I) like to blame it on the fact that we were hosting a mission team and were actually taking *them* to the beach. Regardless, we didn't realize the fact that we forgot Mother's Day until we had been at the beach for most of the day. Oops. Here's where I tried to make amends that year.

At the beach, Isaac and I were playing near the shore. Later on, he asked me to take him out to a floating raft. I really didn't want to go out there because I had noticed that the raft was already occupied by some guy. We had been living in Haiti for five months. That was long enough to know that the only guys at the beach on weekends are usually UN soldiers. Besides, the guy was wearing black trunks and was tan - which was sure enough sign to me that he was UN. I had learned the hard way that many beaching soldiers were Brazilian. And Brazilians tended to be how do you say, forward?

Isaac continued to insist that we *had* to swim out there. Hoping that the unknown guy would leave as he saw us swimming up, I agreed. But he didn't. And as we approached the dock, I realized he wasn't UN at all, but an all-American boy.

He introduced himself and made small talk, mainly with Isaac, and shared that he was a student at UF here on a mission trip with his dad's church.

He said that he had been to Haiti before when he was younger, but this trip would be spent working at his godfather's clinic, which coincidentally is the closest ministry to Lifeline (about 3 miles.) And that was about the end of our short conversation, because he had to go join his group for dinner. I remember that he dove off of the dock. (Show-off) ;)

So that was that. No email addresses exchanged. I don't even think I told him my full name. It was a beautiful moment and then ... it was gone. I begged my dad to go visit that clinic during the week that I knew Chris would be there, but he didn't have time (or so he said!) I soon put that guy from Wahoo Bay out of my mind, knowing I would never see him again.

We met on May 14. On July 27, Mark and Kathy Fulton visited our house. They just so happen to be the founders of the ministry Chris was working with that week in May. They are ALSO his godparents - having been best friends with Chris' parents for all of his life. Somehow my mom and Kathy got to talking about Chris. My mom recalled him as the guy that I rushed home on Mother's Day to tell her all about (after extensive apologies first of course). Kathy took my email to give to Chris and I got his mom's email because she didn't have his memorized.

I wasn't about to email his mom (sorry Jill:), figuring he had long forgotten about me. After the two week "cool" period came and passed, my presumptions seemed to be true. He was clearly too busy or just plain not interested. So again, I put him out of my mind.

Then a few months later, I received an email from him. He said that he remembered me and had just gotten back from a medical missions trip to Honduras and wondered if I wanted him to tell me more about that. Also if I could help him practice Creole - he had enrolled in an intro to Creole class at UF. I think I waited a couple days to reply, you know the "cool" factor still being important that early on in the game.

And pretty much the rest is history. We first got to know each other through email and instant message. We talked for the first time on the phone on Christmas. And then again on New Years - I was the only one in the whole house who stayed up to ring in 2007 - with Chris on the other end of the line. Soon after, Chris visited me in Haiti. And that was the end of the beginning.

Christopher proposed to me in Central Park on a Bernard family vacation to NYC this May.Chris just moved to Waco to attend Baylor, I return to school later this week too. Please pray for us as we start this new chapter of our lives, preparing for marriage, searching for a home church, and both of us continuing our education.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

More Mountains

Team (missing two who rode up with Troy)
Tipap, Robensen and Pastor Rony - watching the blans work from their comfy horse seats. ;)

Today the team got to see (and feel) the truth behind the saying, "beyond the mountains there are more mountains" -- as we climbed our way up the mountains to attend church. It was a super day! We're all physically exhausted from the climb and the descent ... And we're praying safety for the last five that need to come down in the dark yet tonight.

Making the Jump

We are excited to share our new plans with you. We have enjoyed and been stretched by our first two and a half years in Haiti.  The time has come and we are ready to move into the city, something we said we'd never do.

September 1, 2008 we will officially join another ministry. We're excited, scared, sad and happy all at once. We're learning that faith does not grow in the house of certainty; and our faith is growing.

We've been incredibly blessed by the support of our readers and we're anxious to share this news with you. It is clear to us that our time in LaDigue (with Lifeline) was a perfect way to learn culture and language for a time, and for many clear reasons it is now time to move on to new opportunities.

Our desire is to use the experience we've gained by focusing our time, energy and resources on doing things that will impact individual lives (building relationships) in God's kingdom and the country. We have come to believe that we are most effective in working with our Haitian neighbors and friends when we have respectfully and lovingly gotten to know them and have asked them what they need. Additionally we have a burden to bring missionaries together in a more cooperative effort - for greater impact.  We believe that some are called to operate large ministries, some are called to small, some are focused on sustainability while others respond to immediate needs - but ALL can make a greater difference when working in cooperation. 

We're amazed by the work of so many here. We hope to find ways to encourage them. We all work better in community. (And yes, the word community is overused. But give us a pass.)

In our new role, we will begin partnering with Heartline Ministries. Heartline Ministries has multiple programs. They offer a Women’s Program that works to help empower women by giving them life skills and training. This program is nothing short of amazing and is growing at a very fast rate. We're anxious to help them and support their work in any way we can. 

Tara will work with the pre-natal and maternity program and early childhood development progams in an administrative and support role. She will likely begin training to become a certified midwife.

Troy will be working in a variety of roles, working along side John McHoul.  Troy has been given the title of co-Director of the left half of Hispaniola. (No. Not really. He specifically asked for no title.) We’re thankful for the opportunity to join solid and proven missionaries like John and Beth McHoul.

We're glad you're making the jump with us! If you wish to financially support us -
Include a note that says "Livesay Family" with the check.  

Heartline is a non-profit, registered 501C3 and will provide receipts for tax purposes.

Heartline Ministries
P.O. Box 898
Sunnyside, WA 98944

Donations can be made by: credit card, bank transfer or mail.The email address above is to the accounting guru at  Heartline.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shopping Haiti Style

If you need clothing, groceries, or household items in LaDigue - you head to the Arcahaie market on Wednesday or Saturday. Usually you buy each item from a different vendor.

Today Paige, Tipap and Robensen took the team to the market and offered them the authentic experience of riding to town using public transportation ... a tap-tap.

B & N

"A face without freckles is like a sky without stars."
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Fay Fay, Go Away

Expecting rain this weekend.

We're hoping the weather agrees with our group plans this weekend!

What a difference a year makes ...

From Mid August 2007 ...

Today - Mid August 2008 ... two more babies have joined us, we're headed to school, losing teeth, growing taller, learning to read (Isaac can read! A brand new development.)
Noah finally catches her ... Hope 6.5 yrs old - Noah 4 yrs old
She can still take him though.

Friday Plans

On every team there is that one guy ... that one person who insists on riling up the children and bringing the chaos to a new level. We talk about "that guy" after ever group ... it never fails, there is always one. Everyone in MN reading right now knows exactly who I am speaking of -- there is one "fun guy" on this team. Scott Farkas has the role more than covered. The boys are totally thrilled; I might hurt Scott before the weekend is out. :)

This morning we're headed to the prayer rock for a bit. Then the group will split up and some will work with the Pastors and some will work with kids. I have to run to Port to try to find a lost bag ... an excuse to ride in air-conditioning, I am so bummed I have to do this. ;)

This afternoon the group will visit Licia and Lori in Cazale and work on various projects around the mission. Tonight we are going to bring a bunch of film equipment out to the dam and show a movie in the village ... Or, some of us might go to the B-Attitude dance party we were invited to earlier this week. I laughed when the flyer was handed to me and Tipap said, "You see this - Paste Blaze?" (Pointing to the place where it says the party is hosted by Pastor Blaze.) I said, "Yeah?" He said, in English, "This not real Pastor - this fake Pastor." (Thank goodness he clarified.)

We joked about bringing the team in to the Friday night party in Port - but we'll probably stick with the movie in the village plan. Paste Blaze will have to make his $30 on a different short-term mission team. Have a wonderful Friday ... give thanks for air-conditioning. :)