Monday, April 21, 2014

This is a difficult blog for me to write.

I do not like writing about the financial end of things for the mission.  I, however, feel I must let friends of HATS-Haiti know the situation we are in.

Our donations are down quite a bit compared to the past three years and we are quickly running out of funds to keep the mission running as is.  Financial help is needed.   Some 'Friends of HATS' have told me that if we find ourselves in this situation to let them know.  I am doing just that today, but feel the need to go public and let all who follow HATS-Haiti, in Canada and in the US, know we are in need of financial help.  We need general funds so we can continue to care for the needs of the children, which includes paying salaries.   

I knew a lot of years ago I was to go to the mission field to help children. I felt I would do this with my life, when my girls were grown and married, as long as I did not have to ask anyone for financial help - ever.  I have always found it easy to support other missionaries and give help where needed but have always found it extremely difficult to be the one looking for help. If we are honest I think we would all agree it is much nicer and easier to give than to receive if we had to ask for help.  I am still like that and I know it is my pride that gets in the way. 

Today I am looking for help.  Not for myself but for the needs of the children and for our mercy ministry in the community, which includes seniors who have no family.

If you can help in any way please do so.  All donations, whether one time or monthly help,  should go to:  Hands Across The Sea,  PO Box 101,  Yarmouth, NS  B5A 4B1.   100% of anything you donate will come down to HATS for the running of the mission.
OR
If you would like to donate, you can use the following credit cards through PayPal to do so online:

In the past I have mentioned specific projects that needed to be done.  I will still do that.  Some people prefer to help with a specific project.  Our church project is still underway and in need of funds to finish it. 

After our Easter Sunday Service yesterday some people asked if we could go look at our church that is under construction.  They are all anxious to be able to worship in it.  I took a photo and am including it even though it is not a good one.  I asked everybody to stand down on the ground for the photo so nobody would be in the shadows. They wanted to stand in the church entrance instead and some even stood inside the church and could not be seen at all.  They said it made them feel more like they were 'in our church'.  We actually had 109 people in church yesterday. 

Church congregation today standing in front of unfinished church construction

We will soon be putting windows and doors in the church.  When that is done we can use it without it being finished.  We do, however, need something to sit on and are considering using cement blocks with planks on top for now.  Is there anyone who would like to come down and make benches for our church?  If so, please let us know.

Again I say a huge thank you for every dollar that has come to this mission over the years.  Your funds have seen children fed, educated, given homes, and hospital bills paid, and more.  THANK  YOU.

Thank you, too, for all the prayer suport and the encouragement during the past 19 years that HATS-Haiti has been in this area of the Artibonite Valley.  Your support has been a tremendous help in the lives of the children.

IT    IS    ALL    ABOUT    THE    CHILDREN

God bless you all.  Karen

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hello from HATS-Haiti.

Happy Easter and blessings to you as we celebrate the reason for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

I know it has been awhile without a blog but here we are.  I have been unable to get it done for various reasons.  One of which has been internet problems once again - on and off - more off than on. Today I have had no internet service.  Have no idea when this blog will actually be posted.  We are on satellite and internet service can be challenging.  I, however, am very thankful for the internet service when we have it.

Once again this blog will be short.  Photos will do the talking. Everyone here at HATS-Haiti are well and certainly keeping busy. The children are enjoying their Easter/Spring break.  It is back to school again on Tuesday.

My lovable kids

Fun skipping time

Mama Karen's two youngest

Sandra & Jonathan checking out preschool and visiting big brother Jofky

School break. Play time with Mama

JJ and Moise love to do puzzles

JJ & Moise can't finish the puzzle. Enter Djemima to do so

Two oldest girls and two youngest children

Godfather Vladimy with his godson Ronel

I will blog again soon.  Then next weekend a team from two Baptist churches -  New Brunswick and Newfoundland - will arrive.  They will blog while they are with us.  Two of those arriving, Kathleen from NB and Jess from NL, are very special to all of us and are definitely a part of the family of HATS.  We look forward to making new friends who are coming with our Jess and Kathleen. Excitement here is mounting as we await their arrival.  They are coming to help with the work of the mission generally but especially with the children.

IT    IS    ALL    ABOUT    THE    CHILDREN
Karen

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ti Sandra turned three.

We had a fun birthday party.   The highlight of the party food was a big mango for everyone.  The mangos are not yet ready in this area so mangos are a huge treat right now.

Birthday girl Sandra

Mangos for Sandra's birthday party

Mango birthday feast

Mango juice everywhere

Happy Birthday Sandra

Sandra likes her birthday gift

Those of you who follow the blog know that my kids love to be outside the compound with their mama and love to climb trees.  Sometimes it is nice to leave with just the two older girls, Leica and Djemima.  They love it because they have mama Karen's undivided attention.  We talk, laugh and have an English lesson together.  The girls like to climb trees just as the boys do and do it quite well.

Two precious girls

We go through a lot of food at our school.  The kids filled the truck and off we went to store it elsewhere so two cases can be cooked every morning.  Keith, this is another of many ways you are missed.  We are all waiting for you and Joan to join us.

Food for school loaded to be taken to front storage

April fools.   I am known as a prankster.  When in Canada I almost always pulled some things  on April 1st.  I have done some things here, but not on April 1st, and mostly to visitors.  When message chatting with friend Heidi last night about April Fools Day I decided to do something this morning to Ti Luc and Germaine.  I knew that by doing something to Ti Luc it would be doing it to Germaine too.  They both love the pranks that happen here when Dickie is with us.  Ti Luc is getting good at it and he still tells people that he is Dickie's accomplice.

When Germaine opened the jar of peanut butter to feed Ti Luc this morning she found what looked like bugs mixed with the peanut butter.   It was actually black raisins. Ti Luc saw it and ran away.

Ti Luc needed to use the bathroom and so I helped him sit down.  Germaine was there too.  Ti Luc quickly stood up with a very puzzled look and said "problem, problem, something is stuck to my bum."  He and Germaine laughed so much over the plastic wrap on the toilet.

Germaine was putting his uniform shorts on him but could not get his legs to go in.  Germaine asked Ti Luc to try harder and said if he was playing a game to stop as he might be late.  After several tries Germaine took the shorts off to investigate as she started to suspect something.   When she discovered the legs were sown together she and Ti Luc laughed so hard they fell on Ti Luc's bed.

These uniform shorts will not go on..

Ti Luc then wondered about his uniform shirt.  It was hanging on ahanger in his closet and Germaine checked and told him the shirt had nothing done to it.  It didn't either to the sleeve that was in front.  She took it down and got Ti Luc's one arm in the sleeve, not easy to do a lot of the time, and proceeded to try put the second arm in.  No way.  It was blocked.   Again gales of laughter from both of them.

Removing thread from sleeve

Germaine kept saying "Dickie is here this morning.  Dickie is here.  When did he arrive from Canada?"  Dickie you have a reputation here so I told them to blame you for everything.   That works well for me.

Again from the bottom of our hearts - thank you for everything that you have done, are doing, and will continue to do for the children in our area of Haiti.

IT   IS   ALL   ABOUT   THE   CHILDREN

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Another photo blog from Karen.

The photos will show that HATS-Haiti truly is    ALL   ABOUT   THE CHILDREN.   Everything is done with them and for them.

Karen

All kids happy for Papa hugs

The 'Man' of HATS who wears many hats

Low water in canal so kids could climb down this morning

Sandra

Anne

Jofky

Karena

Ti Fi and Josie

Four monkey doodles

JJ, Leica & Djemima - going higher

Actually meant to keep animals from going in - obviously not the two legged kind

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

School exams are over once again.

A good many of us are glad about this, which certainly includes me.  Not sure how glad I will be though when the report cards are given out. 

Secondary students writing exams

Guess who I saw struggling with his exam

Every day I had been putting pressure on the children to study, study, study.  One afternoon they requested the ball for 'a little soccer time'.  I responded with ' no, a little study time'.   I sent them off to get a textbook and study.

Shortly afterwards I was on the way to the school and saw them all sitting on the steps of Kay TimbrMart, laughing and talking.  They saw me coming.  They all grabbed a textbook and started reading out loud at the same time.  Some of the books were upside down and what they were saying did not make sense but they were showing me they were obediently studying.  It was just too funny.

Monkey doodle kids - supposed to be studying

Vladimy, too, is glad exams are over.   It made no sense for him to return to school shortly before or during exams.  Instead he has been tutored by one of our own secondary teachers to bring him to a level to hopefully fit back into his class.  This mama was very happy today to see her big boy return to school.  The other children were pleased for Vladimy too.  Thank you for your concern and prayers for him.

Big brother Vladimy is returning to school. Yeah!

The church construction has kept moving along.

Work on church foundation

There were ups and downs, supply problems, problems with some workers, etc, etc.  We had a problem with the boss mason who started the project.  Things were on hold for a short time, but then a new boss and some other new workers agreed to finish the project. Off we went again.  Luckner has been stretched as he was keeping an eye on the work, and the workers, along with everything else on his plate.  He wanted to see it finished without any wastage of funds.  Not an easy task in this country. 

Work on the church is progressing.

Checking it out after church on Sunday.

The building is a good size for which I am thankful.  It will be full for our school morning devotions and on many special occasions, and have some space for growth in the church. 

Standing on roof of my place and watching the final preparations for roof of the church

The cement roof was put on the building yesterday. 
What a horribly long, hot and tiring day for Luckner and the workers.  Luckner along with other workers was on the roof of the building from 7:00 a.m. yesterday until 10:00 p.m. last night.  He was determined to get it finished despite the atrocious heat, and intense fatigue they felt.  Some men were standing on the ladder all day passing bucket after bucket of cement up to the roof.  

Mid day, very hot temps, passing buckets of cement up the ladder

6 p.m. and no sign of pouring cement for roof slowing down

From 7:30 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. last night we had three vehicles in front of the building with our lights on high beam.  A friend of Luckner's had brought a small generator and he used lamps and flashlights as well.  He saw that the roof was done before quitting.

The basic structure of the church is now finished. The roof needs to dry for two weeks before anything else can be done.  Next will be two doors and windows.  We had planned on using cement block windows and did the estimate with that in mind.  We, however, decided to go with rebar windows, which is more costly, but will allow much better air flow and light. 

The next step in the church construction is the smooth cement work on the walls of the building.  We have not yet raised funds for this part of the construction.  This takes a lot of cement.  It makes the building attractive with a nice finished look.  More importantly, however, it makes it more solid.  We can certainly use the building, when the doors and  windows are in, without the walls being finished and we may be doing so.  We used the school like that until we found funds to finish it.  I, however, want to bring you up-to-date and let you know of the needs to see it completely finished.  When the funds were raised for the basic construction, a couple of people asked me to let them know when that part was done, and we would move on to the next step.  This is my way of letting them know, and other friends and supporters of HATS who may be interested in helping us get it finished. 

Too, we will be putting a raised platform at one end of the church - perhaps in wood.  I wonder if there is any chance of getting our Bob The Builder back here for this!!  I don't have an estimate for this cement and platform work from Luckner yet, but knowing it will take a huge amount of cement besides the wood, etc I am thinking perhaps around $5000.

An important part of being able to worship in the building is the need for benches (as they are called here.)  We would like to have them done with metal legs.  We are thinking 30 - 40 benches - perhaps 30 to start.  We have no idea for cost of these yet.  When the roof is dry and we are able to get inside and measure the length of benches we will need, then we can do an estimation.  If there is anyone interested in trying to find some funds and/or in coming down to help with construction of these, let us know please.

Thank you to everybody who has been a part of this church project in any and every way.  Thank you.  We are thankful for every bag of cement, for every block, every truck load of rocks, gravel, sand, for the wood of various kinds, nails, and especially for the encouragement and prayer support as we moved along in the project.

This building is going to be used regularly by many children - in worshiping every morning before school and on Sunday mornings.   We will continue to work towards helping the children to become good citizens of their country.

IT     IS     ALL     ABOUT     THE     CHILDREN

God bless you all.
Karen

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Recent Visits

Recently we had visits from two interesting groups - One was a workteam from the US to Project Help in Borel.  We enjoyed a walk together along the canal.  On late afternoon walks one always sees a few of our kids become very tired on the way home.  The group members were fun and very supportive.  We want to say thank you for coming to spend a little time with us.

A visit from a team to Borel from the US

Ti Luc showed the youngest team member the church construction

Late afternoon walk - our kids were tired on the way home

Ti Luc was tired and found help back home

Anne and Pastor Scott

The other visit was from a UN group stationed in Gonaives.  They apparently have a section there that will work directly with orphanages - especially if an emergency should arise.  They looked around this compound and the school compound.  They seemed to like what they saw here and enjoyed time with the children.  They told me they would definitely like to return.

Visit from the UN group

Enjoying time with our kids

Anne is now friendly quickly - not hiding away.

Bye for now.  We want to return.

On their way

I am including a photo of our two youngest children.  Sandra and Jonathan are inseparable.  Like all children they get upset with each other on occasion but they sure do love each other.

Mama Karen's two youngest

All our children are precious.  All need love and affection.  We hope and we pray that these two littlest ones, and the older children, will grow up to become good citizens and leaders of their country.  On the wall outside the mission it says,  "Orphans today, leaders tomorrow."   Let's continue to work together towards that end.

IT   IS    ALL   ABOUT   THE   CHILDREN

Karen