Thursday, December 18, 2014

Let Her Go! Let Her Go! Can't Hold Her Back Anymore

The children have been studying England and Queen Victoria.   It was suggested that we have high tea.   That sounds great but in the scheme of things, pulling off a high tea would be a lot of work for me and something I would have to study and learn more about to actually do.   BUT, God put someone very special in our lives to pull this off with class and charm.

Queen Elsa, the original Elsa, sent an invite for a high tea to the ladies of our home.   Elsa is Austrian so her knowledge was far greater than mine on the topic and she has WAY more class than I do.

The girls dressed up fancy for their tea with Queen Elsa.   We were quite the parade walking across the mission with Dolly clanking along in my heeled shoes.   A driver even stopped to pick them up (walk beside them.)   James is his name..........yep, can't make this stuff up Queen Elsa and James the driver.  

Elsa greeted them at her "moat" and welcomed them dressed up in her fancy clothes too. 

She was in full character and instructed the girls in etiquette and history as she served them.  

The girls had a WONDERFUL time and indeed felt like royalty due to their royal treatment.   They left with hugs and curtsies and a favor of a royal trumpet to use for declaration (or decoration.)  

Elsa has served in Haiti for 30 years.  Her husband brought music education to Haiti.   He has since gone to be with the Lord but Elsa stayed in Haiti and continued to serve.   A couple of years ago, she resigned her position and stayed on to aid in the transition of someone else to her position in the child sponsorship office.   This week, she will board a plane and leave her home of 30 years.   She is a wealth of knowledge and entertaining stories.   She has driven all over this country and prayed herself through all kinds of situations.   I selfishly will miss her and the way she loves on our children.   I will miss out on all that I did not get to learn from her.   She has encouraged me in language learning and in parenting our children, reminding me that they are my first ministry. 

                     See the little birdie that catches the drips of the clever!

                                Just cutting the edges of a napkin makes it extra fancy.

Lord, I thank you for Elsa, for the heart that You gave her to serve the people here.   I pray God, that you continue to put people in her path that she can minister to.   That folks in the states see the vast wealth of knowledge that she has in loving and serving others.   Help her to find her niche and remind her, when she is lonely that she is still serving you....just on another mission field.

Nou renmen ou Madam Pete....anpil! anpil! anpil!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Messy Motherhood, Messy Heart

Saturday is a work day on the mission making it a 6 day work week.   My Dear drove a team to the airport but stopped at the grocery store on the way home.   I work Saturdays on the mission as well completing projects.   Today was no different.  When I got home from working in the dirty depot sorting through linens, I was a bit overwhelmed by the condition of the house where 3 unattended children had made sandwiches, opened mail,  and did whatever kids do and left the evidence!  

I was a bit hungry but could not function in chaos....I hear it is a sign of a weak mind if a person has to clean up so they can work...if so my mind is WEAK y'all!   I also had exchanged only a few words with My Dear throughout the day, maybe even the past couple of days.

We needed to make some decisions but being able to talk without interruptions or input was becoming difficult.   We were talking in the kitchen and little people kept entering and interjecting or arguing or just being loud (I know, shocker in our family!)  I asked everyone to leave the kitchen in hopes that My Dear and I could talk.   Now, I also know that one little person is extra curious and wants to hear all of the details....I know, cause I was that kid when I was little.   Riding "the hump,"  middle spot, in the back seat of the station wagon. pushing my face up between my parents so I could get the scoop!   No one wanted the middle anyway so I learned to make lemonade so to speak.

Again, My Dear and I attempted our conversation but they just kept coming.   One was there to help sit the table for dinner without even being asked.   Guess which one!   Yep, the back seat, hump rider!   Plates were less than carefully plopped from the cabinet making yet another noise disruption in my attempt at any type of conversation with My Dear.  It was the straw that broke the camels back!   Instead of kicking everyone out of the kitchen again, I barked specific demands of where they should be.   "I was just trying to help," said one tearful voice.  Not that being sent to the shower is always a punishment, but the tone, most certainly would make it feel that way.

Yep, I blew it!  

My Dear tried to explain to the children that we had asked numerous times for space to talk while I prepared dinner.   Let's be honest, the damage is done.

Sin is like that, you know right afterwards  *BAM* but the damage is already done!

Since missionaries are on furlough for Christmas, Dolly's Doggie Daycare had a client to care for. She's gone international y'all!   I did not want her to go by herself in the dark so to make up for my "performance" I said I would go with her.   After she asked over and over and over again , "are you ready?"  We were off.   We played awhile with the critter and then headed back toward our home.  As we rounded a corner, we heard music playing and singing in English.  

I asked Dolly where she thought it was coming from. We went on a walk across the mission in hopes of  finding the source in 1 of 2 places.   Right here on our campus, a group of young Haitian men were preparing to lead worship with a team that arrived today.   They were in full praise and worship!   Dolly and I entered and they asked if they were being too loud.   My response, "NO WAY!!"  

We sat with the young men as they sang some of our favorite worship music in our native language.   Such a sweet time with this little girl by my side.  I accepted the Lord's forgiveness from my earlier "tantrum" and just basked in who He is and praised Him for just that.....for being Him!

What a sweet reminder tonight was of the good gifts that God gives and that His timing is PERFECT!   Looking forward to tomorrow night as we will join these young men for worship again.   I might just have to jump around as they do as I belt out how God's grace rescued is indeed jump worthy!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Prayer Request

I was surprised to see that it has been over a month since I posted.   You know what the means, our lives are becoming normal!   Things do not seem as "note worthy" as they did.   The smells and sounds are more normal.  I am no longer awaken by the 6 am service at church.   I no longer smell corn from open fires roasted or even smell cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven at the bakery at the top of the hill ( not sure if that is good or bad!)  The routine is more normal.  The children have a good idea of what their boundaries and limitations are on the mission.   Faces are becoming familiar too....which is all good!!!

About a month ago, we learned that there were items to be  picked up at the docks that had came over on a ship for the mission.   It was assumed, it was the vehicle we purchased.   WAIT, let me back track.

 Early October, My Dear made a quick trip to the states to purchase a vehicle that he found online.   Folks went to check it out for us and began negotiating with the seller on our behalf.  We purchased a little SUV because 4 wheel drive is a must here.   My Dear purchased the vehicle in TN and had to drive it to one location in FL to be shipped and then to another city in FL to catch his plane.   There were lots of paperwork and even an extra bump in the road we did not plan for.   My Dear, along with his sister, sister-in-law, niece, and mom did a massive shopping trip to bring back some supplies that we wanted.  My Dear was exhausted when he got home but he did get to eat at some of his favorite places.


The mission got a call that a skid was ready for pick up.   YEAH!   It must be the flooring My Dear purchased to cover this naked, concrete floor (which is wonderful for spills but ugly and unfinished.)  Because it was our personal stuff we were encouraged to go along with the employees to get it so we loaded up "the reds" for a road trip.   Dolly stayed behind with our neighbor because the thought of the road trip brought her to tears.   She knew she would feel miserable with car sickness and the heat as we move down the mountain.

Smart girl that Dolly!   We started the trip off right with lunch and then headed down to "Port."  We followed the gentlemen from the mission.   They knew back roads which made for a bumpy ride but meant we were not waiting in traffic much either. 

We went to a location, to have to go to another location, and then waited.   A lady jumped into the vehicle with the men and we followed them to another location.   The lady was the manager of our case and took us to the items for pick up.   She did paper work and we waited in the vehicle.   Then we waited with the employees in the shade by the truck where the items would be loaded.   We peeked into warehouses of items being held and saw numerous motor bikes that are still waiting for their paperwork to clear or the folks did not do the necessary paperwork....waited and sweat.  

Finally, a pallet was brought out with 5 small boxes on it.   My Dear and I just stared at it!    My Dear said, "This is not ours."   They flipped through clipboards of paper and everyone stood with questionable expressions.   It did belong to the mission but it was not ours and no one here was expecting this either.  Sadly, we loaded up without our flooring and dog food.   We were frustrated because such a trip truly takes a full day.

BUT as we were leaving, I looked out the window and saw what I believed to be our vehicle!  I saw it, it is here.......but is it not HERE!   HERE, with us,  where we can use it.   Instead we continue to use the missions vehicles when they are available.

Miss B. is extra proud in this picture.   She asked if she could climb on top with Billy.   I told her only if she could do it all by herself (with dad standing below just in case.)

Our hope was that our items would be released before Christmas.    Will you join us in praying that our vehicle and our skid of flooring and dog food are released to us soon?   We do not want to feed the warehouse rats but hope that there is still dog food on the skid that is safe for our pup to eat.  We would like to have it before Christmas (and this time My Dear will go down without me and if Billy rides with his dad, he may be given grace on his school work for that day!)  Pray also that all of the contents that My Dear packed are accounted for.   School books for next year were in the car along with a couple of dry erase boards.

Pray also please about some paper work that we have misplaced and need (not associated to the above request.)

Thanks friends.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

We Have Arrived....After Arriving Five Months Ago

After 5 months......I think we are settled!

We are no longer in survival mode with weekly tears of missing our church, our house, our neighborhood, our friends, our familiar.....well.... for the most part.   

We pull a chair up to the sink for Miss B. to fulfill her dish-duty-day.   The water and soap were ready but Miss B. was sitting in the chair with big tears.   I talked with her about why she was crying.   She said, "I want to go home."   As I hugged her, I asked why and she said through her tears, "I want a dishwasher."   I giggled through my hug and realized......We have come a long way!  

We have missed "home" but God is certainly remaking home for us.   I am thankful for the precious memories and the joy the kids have when they think of the brick home on the dead end street that we lived in...really, it was PERFECT for us just like it is perfect for the sweet family that is there now.

I knew the girls were a bit more settled when Miss B. wrote her BFF Eliza a note and said, "It is a lot, a lot, a lot better."   (commas added.)  AND Dolly was able to Facetime with Isa (who now lives in the "home" of the kiddos memories).   She gave Dolly a tour of the house.   Dolly was actually very interested and pleased to have a tour!!  Before she had trouble thinking about someone else calling "her house," home. 

Billy keeps contact with some of his friends with Skype and Facetime.   He still has moments but for the most part...I think we are finally all here! 

My Dear is filling in a new position for a couple that went on furlow.   Amazingly, they went in for check-ups with their health care providers when they got to the states and learned that "Miser Wojer" needed open heart surgery!   We are praising God for the way he took care of our friends.   My Dear will serve in this position until Roger, "Miser Wojer" as it is spoken in Creole, is able to return to work.  Which means he is BUSY!   AND it is a good busy!   He is enjoying what he is doing, getting to know many Haitian men and working on communicating in Creole with them.   He is learning more about the mission and the culture of the Haitians. 

Part of the adventures of My Dear's "filling in position" is the zoo.   A crocodile arrived and My Dear asked for a man to go to market and get some chicken.   He came back with 4 live chickens.   My Dear giggled a bit as he slowly put words together to explain he wanted DEAD chickens.   There was laughter and then the meeting of the minds as the employees and My Dear put a plan together to feed the croc....the croc that wouldn't eat a dead bird.   Nor would he eat a live bird but enjoyed sharing his cage with him I guess.   My Dear tied the bird to a pole and waved it in front of the croc but it only nibbled.   Sadly. 2 dead birds and a dead croc who did not adapt to it's new home.  

One Sunday afternoon, a visitor on the mission sent Dolly home to let My Dear know that the croc was not in the cage...for real!   It had scooted out into a swampy area much more appropriate for a croc.   A sweet Haitian man Johnny was on the scene and helped My Dear make sure it was secure in that area but a crowd certainly had gathered.

Speaking of culture!   This happened this past week.   Our B. lost her first tooth!

Our sweet Haitian friend was visiting with us so I shared with him what children in the United States do when they lose a tooth.   He then began to giggle and said, "You are not going to believe what Haitian children do."   The children take their tooth and through it over the roof and call for the rats (after living here, I understand why it is rats!)   The rats are supposed to collect the teeth and bring the children back new ones.   I asked Miss B. if she wanted to do that and well, you can imagine the crinkle in her nose when she said, "No."  Her tooth is laying on my desk in a little bag cause like her brother and sister did, she wants to keep it.

With My Dear filling in, the girls and I have been helping sort through the produce when it comes in from market and deliver it to those who have ordered it.   We are learning food words in Creole.   We are a bit pampered, but here is how it works.   The mission employees go to the market for us.   Haitians can get a fairer price in negotiations.   This allows us to stay on the mission to carry out our responsibilities here.   Dolly enjoys fresh fruit so she is helpful in making our "wish list" for the market.   Sometimes you get all of your stuff and sometimes you get some of it.   It depends on what is available.   Dolly had to look up a few words to make sure she was picking the produce that she wanted.  Unfortunately, there are no apples, grapes or strawberries but there are pineapples!   We can sometimes get bananas off the trees in the mission but they are different than the bananas we are used to.  Mangoes and avocadoes are usually present as well.  I must say I appreciate the fresh produce that is available to us long after the gardens in the states are finished producing. Tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, and carrots are our favorite.

I met Linda at a Bible Study and she offered to give us a ride to a pool party last week.   The kids had a nice time and had not been in a pool all summer, so they were excited.  They met more children there and got to know some a bit better.   It was good!  Children who live in a culture that is not either of their parent's culture are called Third Culture Kids.   This was a fun day with other TCK as our faith and our residence already have us connected.  We joined Linda and her family again this weekend for a birthday celebration.   We lost track of time in our visit and Miss B. said being at their house was like a vacation!

Last of the ramblings is that we Trick or Treated on the mission.   We did not do it much in the states until one day I saw our elderly neighbor sitting and waiting at her door.   There were no children coming.   I told the kids to grab something from their dress up clothes and go to her house.   They loved it!   We never put much thought into costumes and just let the kids make something out of what we had at the house.   The following year, we made baked goods and the kids delivered those to our neighbors to give them a treat as well.   I saw how God can use ANYTHING for His glory.  

It was Baby C's first Halloween so his mama dressed his as the Big Bad Wolf which inspired Miss B's costume!  Baby C's grandmother made Miss B. a way cool cloak that she wore all day so that our Little Red could hang out with the Big Bad Wolf!!!!  The precious folks here on the mission were ready and armed for trick-or-treaters.   It was so sweet.   I am not sure if the kids or the adults liked it best!

Billy was not quite sure how he fit into the festivities so he hung out with Mr. Colton who Dolly said was dressed up to look like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.   Dolly was dressed as Chester the dog and Chester the dog was dressed as Dolly....just long enough and then he peed on his happens!

Feeling more settled and more at home in the mountains as we continue to learn more of the culture, language, and how the Lord desires for us to serve Him.  He is faithful!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sweet Spot

Because of the demands on the mission and the electricity, My Dear does not shave his head everyday.   In fact, he doesn't even do it weekly so his hair is growing out.    I have noticed the change in color in some spots.  I was surprised by the shiny slivers of silver in his hair. 

My hair too is sporting a cluster of grey   A patch right in the front.  While Skyping with a family member while My Dear had a quick trip to the states, I heard him quietly whisper, "did you see the spot in her hair?"   I realized he too had noticed yet another change in his former 21 year old bride.  I mentioned that I was going to get it colored while we are on furlough and he was quick to say, "No you're not!"   Not that he wouldn't let me but just to let me know how he truly felt about the spot of "wisdom."

My hands now look like my mother's.   My abdomen has housed 3 babies that took a breathe of air that captured us as their biggest fans.   It is no longer flat as it once was.   It droops and folds around the scar that brought one of children to our arms.  Parts are sagging, dropping, shacking, and flapping and well, I am no longer 21.  Some of me is bigger now than before.The diamond he bravely asked my parents if he could give me still spins on my hand beside the $40 gold band that is more precious to me than any real estate.  

My Dear can no longer land his back tuck that swept me away.   In fact, he doesn't even try it anymore.   His  24-year-old baby face  now wears a beard speckled with a salt, pepper, and a few shards of ginger.   His body is still strong but grows tired at the end of the day.   He is not up for midnight basketball games like before.  Instead of gathering sports equipment off of the floor, I am gathering books and commentaries.

I remember coming home from a special education conference that overlapped with his youth ministry conference and finding a card on my pillow in the days when it was just the two of us.  Years later, the bed had nursing pads, burp clothes, tiny socks that had fallen off during the night time feedings when I was just too tried to sit up in the rocking chair. Later, we found little cars in the sheets, "blankies", and favorite board books.  Sometimes they brought a giggle and sometimes we were just too weary to appreciate what was our normal.  We passed out beside one another to prepare to do it all again the next day.  Recently, I pull the covers back to find a big ole Holman Christian Standard Bible. 

When we were first married, I would get emotional and just need to talk and cry that one time a month.   He, of course, wanted to fix it.   He would try so hard and what I really wanted him to do was just listen.   I came up with a line that I would add to my weeping and jabbering to clue him in that I just wanted him to listen and hug me.  I recall seeing him physically relax when "and children are starving in Africa" came out of my mouth.   Recently, I was sharing my heart and mind with him while preparing a meal together.   As I began to weep, he said, "How about you wait until your over your period before you decide anything."   I just began laughing.  I don't have to give the line anymore, in fact, he is giving me the reminder!

 In 18 years of marriage, a lot has changed.   We survived college together and then graduate school with a baby.   He has been by my side for truly the most monumental moments of my life.   Funerals, births, memorial, encounters with Christ,  celebrations and defeats.   I do not look like the young lady in our wedding photos, that dress does not fit me and I can't even guess that last time I wore a full face of make-up.  But, as I wash dishes, he comes behind me and whispers, "You're beautiful."   He knows what treat to buy me.   He knows when to just listen, tease or to hug me.   He prepares a plate of veggies for me and I prepare a plate of meat for him.  After 18 years and 3 babies (and two teenagers and one young lady in our home) we are in a sweet spot.   The getting to know you bumps and curves are over.   The trying to figure out this parenting thing is getting easier and more often than not, we are on the same page.   See, sweet spot.

Many of the teenagers we have worked with over the years are now adults.   We chat about our marriages and the difficulties.   I see folks getting divorced and even saw an advertisement making fun of marriage.   Couples are choosing to just live together instead of marrying.   They are giving up on marriage after starting or not starting at all.   Marriage, is a journey. 

 The roads of Haiti are probably the best descriptors of marriage.  Bumpy, rocky, steep hills, big holes, and unrecognizable at times.   There are sweets spots along the way, fresh pavement here or there and even places where it is safe to pass.   Stay on the journey!   There are bumps, pot holes and puddles still but you learn to navigate those.   Allow the Lord to grow you together with Him.   You will reach your destination and there are plenty of sweet spots along the way.  It takes time to get to the point where you can be saggy, stinky, and at our worse and still know you are loved.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Least of These

 Tonight, I was planning to post about Miss B's birthday and all the love poured out on her (and therefore her mama.)   Adults willing to act silly to insure she had a wonderful birthday, those are pictures you would want to see!

That was the plan.

 I walked to the dining hall alone thinking on the post.   My Dear had taken "the Reds" (as I call our redheads) along with the dog to fill water bottles and they would meet me there, the people not the dog.   Dolly left early to  help our neighbor.  It had been a know what I mean!   Children whined about "more school work."  "Do I have to do alllll of the dishes??"   "That's mine!"  "MOM!"  "Do I have to?"   "She did it!"  and the newest one "No likes me in this family," followed by tears.

 You get it!!!!

As I made my way around the corner, I was met by a guard and another man  who I did not recognize.  I chatted with the guard who was looking for someone.   Since this someone is on furlough, My Dear is covering his responsibilities.  My Dear who was at the top of the hill filling water bottles with 2 children and a dog trying to get it done before rain came and in time to get to the dinning hall for dinner.   The mission was closed and this guard was off duty so he explained to the man what was happening.   Just as we were about to attempt plan #1, I heard the ATV coming.   I gave My Dear a heads up and took over the water business.

Sent Miss B. to the dining hall and Billy to take the dog home.  I then began to unload large water bottles and the tears fell. 

I had walked past them several times.   Wooden, painted black and so small.   But never looked at the face of a person who needed one.   This small man was here on behalf of  a friend.  He was here to purchase a coffin for a 5 -year-old.

This is the reality in this country, parents bury their children.   I don't like it!   I don't like it at all!   I also don't like when folks do not care for the children in their care such as in some so called "orphanages."   Slavery is ugly and it is real and some children end up there.  Truth is, this is not just in this country.   Thankful I serve a God that sees and knows it all and He has not forgotten the "least of these."   

                                    A few boys.....sweet, rotten, active, 100% boys!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hair Cut, Rolling Pins and Tap Taps!

That past 2 weeks we have entertained children from the other sites.   There is no better way to speed up the motivation in the classroom then to know friends will be around to play.   It also means sleep overs and late nights that lead to crashing when everyone has gone back home. 

 We have prayed for the kids to be more comfortable with the people of this culture.   With the help of our neighbor, we have taken Miss B. to the playground a few times to let her play along side the children who visit it.   I asked her to join me on Sunday to take some mail to drop off at the office.   As we walked past the playground, she asked if she could go play because she saw 2 little girls there.   She did not interact or play with them but played near the children.  God let me see that it was not my suggestion but her's....progress!

A team left last week, so I went clean up with my Creole book in hand to help with communication with the lady I would be working with.   I practiced the words  I knew that would be a part of our work together.   When I entered, it was the normal greetings.   Haitians ask "How are you?" much like Americans do.  It is more of a greeting then the actual concern of how you are doing.   She then asked me how I was.   I thought that was odd since she just did in the greeting.  She stated it about 5 different ways watching my brow draw up in confusion as the unfamiliar words were spoken and then said "Chikengunya."   That seemed like a long time ago but she knew I had been sick and was asking me how I felt.   I saw a joke posted on FB today about Haitians having the right to know everything so her knowing that I was sick made me smile.   I learned she too had been sick but a team was on campus while she was sick so she just kept working.    This of course was her choice.   It was a reminder to me how working is a choice.  I know that some Americans look down on Haitians.  Haitians may not be employed, but they all work! They farm and sell their produce at market.   They work to provide and care for their families at home.  They set up shop on the side of the road selling food, medical supplies, clothes, shoes, Haitian made artwork....they all work!

Speaking of chikengunya, this is how you open a bottle when joint pain flairs up.   Yeah for pliers!

We can not always find the items we want at the grocery nor are we always able to go to the store so making stuff has become necessary.   I found a rolling pin in a store but it was $80.  Needless to say, it is still there!   My Dear really wanted one as he was making cinnamon rolls and biscuits.   An email to Ms. Judy who loved on us in IN was an email away.   She had made a rolling pin for the youth auction and well, now we have one in Haiti.   It is no normal rolling pin cause this one was made by the hands of a woman that we love. 

Another HUGE blessing is that we finally got haircuts!   I had hacked at Miss B's hair and with Billy's help, hacked some of my own hair.   But REALLY needed a haircut for morale purposes as well.   A young lady in cosmetology school was here to visit her sister.   She came to the mission and to visit our neighbor and said she was willing to cut hair for us.   The kids and I all got a haircut!   My hair was so long that I could put the front in 2 little pigtails.  I am a little old for pig tails y'all!

The outdoors does make a lovely salon.   Anyone feeling the need to MOVE here to cut our hair?

I think the hair cut made this guy a few inches taller.   Glad to see his handsome face again!

We took a Tap Tap ride, which is a form of a taxi where as many people cram into a pick up truck with benches in it as possible.   We used a tap tap that was a van.   Billy, Dolly, and I joined some friends off of the mission for a ride to get pizza.   My Dear was under the weather and well, you will remember the first paragraph about Miss B.   Well, she cried not to go and asked me to give her a list of chores to do instead....I think she was desperate.   She did get some pizza though.   Our friends, the Wards, use tap taps often so they took good care of us and the pizza was good!!!!  

Side note, see that grey band on Dolly's wrist?   They are called Sea bands and are wonderful for travel sickness.   The road down the mountain is one curve after another mixed with windows down, pollution, and strange makes the drive down a bit harder on a person prone to get car sick.   These little bands have been well used!    My girlfriend used them for her newborn under doctor's orders for getting sick in the car.   They work for any kind of nausea well, at least they have for us.   My Dear picked these up for us at a Walgreen or CVS after we had 2 kiddos get sick last time we were in Haiti.   One in the car and one on the plane....we keep it exciting!

Click here to see more photos and read Jen's blog about our pizza outing.

My Dear has been working in a different position the past couple of weeks to learn that position as the couple that works in that area will soon be going on furlough.  It has been a great way to learn more about the mission.   It also allows him to work with the Haitian men.   Last Friday was pay day for the employees of the mission.   The security guard was heading to the check in location and Billy usually runs out to unlock the door for him.   My Dear had his paycheck and ran out cheering and waving it.   It was fun to watch this big guard's gruff appearance fade before his long night shift at the front gate.   My Dear thanked him in Creole for the work he was doing.   I was so impressed with how easily the Creole rolled off of his tongue and congratulated him when he came in.   He said, "Well seeing that that was the 51st time I said it today, it should be good."   Funny guy!

He is currently working on a writing a couple of grants for reforestation. This country once was rich and plush but the needs of the people  have destroyed much of it.  The mission has worked in reforestation in the past and hopes to continue that education in the future.   The area around the mission is plush, evidence of the years of service and education in those areas.

We have found a vehicle to purchase in the states and would appreciate your prayers as we work to get it to us.   So if you think about it about this week and next pray that My Dear gets the vehicle where it is supposed to be with the paperwork in the right places.   It will take awhile for us to get it through shipping and our wait is probably 2 months once we get it to Port here.  Pray that it is kept in safe keeping as theft is ALWAYS an option and happens state side as easily as it does here.