Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hello All

I don’t know any other way to start this blog, other than to apologize twenty times over for not writing you all in so long. I promise it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I have missed it! I started this blog 4 days ago. So, it is a little behind, but nonetheless still information on whats going on at HATS. So, here it is:

With Karen leaving in a little more than a week, I have been trying to get my current job done. I have been organizing all her pictures and files on her computer. The problem is that she is taking her computer with her when she leaves. Lots to be done! I have also done Children’s Church the last 2 weeks, which is mostly the reason I didn’t get a blog written last week. I become slightly obsessed with it when I am planning! I just love it!

Children's Church

Karen’s office painting is complete and looks incredible. Karen said that her and Theresa painted it quickly when they moved in and were planning on painting it again two weeks later the way they wanted it, but that was over 6 years ago. :)

Karen's Office

Seth has done more things than I think I can count. My favorite task this week was the tooth brush holders he made. He made little holders for each kid to put their brush in. He made soccer balls for the boys and dresses for the girls. They turned out so good!! And yes, I have already told him that we will probably need those for our kids’ bathroom one day too!

Boys' toothbrush holders
And the Girls'

Another project he did was a TV cabinet. The TV room got moved to Kay Timbrmart’s gallery. The TV needed a protective shell from the kids, so Seth made a TV cabinet. He didn’t make any regular TV cabinet, no, not Seth. He made it into a movie theater. It was created to look like our home town theater, the Orpheum, in Hillsboro, IL. Seth and I love to go there. We can get popcorn, soda, and a movie for $6 a person! They also have sofas in the theater. Truly a gift from God, our town needed something like that and the family that runs it is AWESOME! The cabinet turned out fantastic! Seth loves being creative when building and, in the end, he always surprises me with the beauty of the finished project.

TV Cabinet
The Kids are Very Excited for the New TV Cabinet

Since Seth moved the TV over, they have watched many movie there and last Sunday we even showed them “Planet Earth” after our Children’s Church lesson on God being incomprehensible.

Planet Earth Showing

His other tasks include putting screens on the bath house window to keep out mosquitoes, fixing water lines, and my all time favorite a threshold for our door to keep out the mice. Speaking of mice, we haven’t updated you in a long time! Since we last spoke, Karen bought us some high tech mouse traps in Port. We set up 3 that night. And take a guess at how many were full in the morning? You got it... all three! It slowed down a little after that night on numbers. We soon learned they liked fresh bonbons, not stale! Silly us! :) Anyways, we have now caught 12 mice. Things are looking up to finally having the house to just Seth and I. :)

As for the children, they have been as busy as ever. Now that the school is out, they have been just soaking in the rays. I mean REALLY soaking in the rays. They are always told to be careful not to spend too much time in the sun during the midday because it will wear them out, but they are just too excited with their new swing set. The past few days they have been out there for hours on end! One day Seth and I were out trying to fix a piece on the swing set. Within about 5 minutes of being out there, we were sweating profusely and had a sun burn. I don’t know how they do it! :)

Another recent development is that two new sounds have begun to appear. One occurs about 7:00 am and includes random bursts of yells and screams. They have set up a soccer field next door. For the past 5 days, we have been hearing these noises as one team scores a goal. The boys from day one were very interested and of course wanted to go. They have been over several times now and really enjoy that a soccer field is so close. The other noise caught me very off guard. Seth and I were sitting down after coming in from outside. The day was starting to dwindle and about this time in the evening the generator would click one to provide us with light and a microwave to heat up food. :) But, instead, all of the sudden, the lights came on and there was a low humming noise. No loud generator. I thought “Electricity without a generator, the humming noise is angels’ wings, God must be doing a miracle!” He sure was, Haitian power had arrived, sadly no angels, though!! Let me preface that we had not had Haitian power for almost two weeks and when we do get it, it is known for leaving again in five minutes. At max, we have it for a total of 3 hours every several days. Lets rewind to how we didn’t have it for almost two weeks. We have been having trouble with our generator recently and one of those times was during the two weeks without any Haitian power. Our generator had bit the dust once again and with no Haitian power to charge our batteries, we all went into survivor mode. :) We had to ration our power which meant for two nights we didn’t have a fan. I think God thought it was funny because those two nights happened to be the only two nights it didn’t rain in about 4 weeks. Funny, really funny! :) But, as of right now we have had Haitian power for over 45 hours straight... and its still going. Man. God is good. We did lose it for a few minutes this morning. Seth and I quickly switched over to our inverter to use the internet and within seconds it started beeping to let us know it didn’t have charge. Oh, when some things go well, others don’t! haha. :)

The boys have had quite the treat these past few days, I already mentioned the soccer games, but they also got to do something else they have been longing to do! I have several paint jobs on my list of things to do, one being to paint the boys bathroom. I wasn’t necessarily excited about doing it. :) You see it is a bathroom used by boys and cleaned by the boys. I must say that they do do a really great job cleaning it, but I still cringe at the idea of laying down on that floor to trim the wall like Seth and I did in Karen’s office. So, Karen thought up a brilliant plan. She said the boys could paint their bathroom, with one stipulation. They must clean it really well first, scrub with toothbrushes and all! The boys were pumped out of their mind to paint, but a little less than excited to clean. However, they agreed and did a phenomenal job!!!

Vladimy Making a Straight Line
Moise is Pumped to Paint

You all know that all of our kids our cute, but all of us here at HATS have been extremely interested in one little being lately. Ann has started walking. I don’t mean a few steps anymore. She is always walking now! Since most of you may not be down here again until she is a walking pro here is a little video of her wobbly legs, smiling face accomplishment!


We had a very exciting night last night. We pulled out the grill, threw on some charcoal, and had a cookout! Seth, the boys, and I found some sticks and carved off the ends for hotdog sticks, Karen thawed the hotdogs, and Antwa heated up the grill. The kids loved it. They got to roast their own hotdogs and choose their own toppings. They were even more excited when Karen announced their were cookies! It was a blast. And as we all guessed they loved the hotdogs. What kid doesn’t? :)

Jessie and Antwa Helping Mirlande
Sticks Around the Fire
Jofky, Judel, and Deiunel Roast Their Hotdogs
The Kids Dying to Get Their Hotdog
Ti Luc and Karen at the Cookout
Anne with Her Messy Mouth

Karen did a video for Sportsgrants, the group that is fundraising for the construction of the school office and library being built and a few other needed construction tasks. She did a fantastic job. However, the process was a bit rough. They tried to set up a skype date probably 3 different times, but we kept having a storm come in and we would lose all internet connectivity. One day we had very little clouds, but we didn’t have good enough internet to do a group call with three other people. We finally decided to just tape it on Seth and I’s computer and send it out. Once the video was filmed, we tried to send it through yousendit.com, however our internet was too slow. We then did dropbox, where we reached an all-time high uploading time. Seth and I have uploaded stuff to dropbox here before and we have seen some horrific times, like 76 hours or 6 days, because our internet is slow and in-and-out. But with this video, we hit a new winner when it comes to uploading times. 63 days!!! Check out the picture for proof. The video got to them, after 2 full days of uploading, and will soon be edited and put up on our blog for everyone to see!

Uploading Time

Seth has been baking away lately. We always tried to make bread every few weeks at home. It is just something Seth really loves to do. He made croissants a few weeks ago and is making bagels for a second time today, a revised version (the others were great too, just not the right texture). They are smelling great! Any one want to fly down and have one? :)


So, I guess a little information about me. I was born in Kankakee, IL (try saying it, pretty tough. huh?). We moved to Litchfield, IL when I was 4 and to Hillsboro when I was 6. My childhood was a lot like Seth’s. Since I grew up in the country and small towns, we were always creating fun. Jamie, my sister who is 2 years younger than me, and I were always creating our own fun. When we lived in the country, we would fill up our wagon with water and ride down the hill pretending it was a new roller-coaster ride. (I may still have to invent that one day) Jamie and I also had a fetish with Barbies. We would ask for them for every birthday, Christmas, Easter, etc. since we were 3 until we were in junior high. Every time we got money, we would buy them and new clothes for them. We were crazy about them. Jamie and I would play for hours on end, we would take them everywhere with us!

Funny Story- Towards the end of our Barbie run, we had probably close to 200 Barbies, tons of clothes, 6 cars or so. Our whole lives went to Barbies :). Anyways, we decided we needed to give them away and move on. We wanted to help out the church with their yard sale, so we decided to donate them for the church to sale, but not after preparing them. We spend days preparing their hair, matching dresses with each Barbie, making sure each one had matching pairs of shoes, and a few accessories. Each one was separately bagged nice and neatly. The day of the yard sale came and Jamie and I decided we would go up just to see what little girls bought our Barbies. When we arrived, to our dismay, the Barbies were out of their bags in one bucket for a single price and all their clothes and accessories were in a basket that said free. I think Jamie and I had to restrain each other from doing a drive-by: grabbing all of it and riding off on our bikes!

Anyways, I love what the small town culture taught me: how to be creative and invent fun, how to survive on what you have a be happy, how to find a cheap deal, and how to truly cherish family time. We always took fun vacations, but most of my time when I was little was consumed with sports and groups. I loved being involved. My mom had to be crazy or just love us a ton because when I was in Junior high I played regular league and traveling team soccer, regular league and traveling team softball, school volleyball, school and traveling league basketball, school track, I took dance classes and tennis lessons, and I was in Girl Scouts. All the way through high school and college I was crazy busy! I continued to take on things, leading bible studies, Key Club, FCA, I played tennis in college, jobs, baby-sitting, not to mention I am a slight perfectionist when it comes to school! :) All the way up to this point in my life, I had had God and would go in and out of truly seeking Him. An addition to all this was this man named Seth.

Funny Story- Seth and I are 5 1/2 years apart. We were introduced at church when he first started coming his junior year of high school. At this time, I was in 5th grade, already knew who we has, and had the BIGGEST crush on him. Somehow I had gotten a picture of him and always carried it around in my billfold. (I know..pathetic :)) When I was in 5th grade, I told my mom jokingly that one day I would marry Seth Huber, and well it all became history. :) Anyways, once I was in high school, we had a high school/ college sunday school that Seth and I were both in. The summer before my senior year of high school, our sunday school class hung out a lot and Seth and I slowly started dating. The thing was that I was 17 and in high school and Seth was 23 and out of college. (I know what you are thinking, yes, both of our parents were completely fine with it. :))

OK, back to the normal story, over the years of dating Seth, I let him, like everything else in my life: my need to do well in school, my love for kids, and my obsession with being busy, become gods in my life. I needed to have their approval. I needed to do well in all things, at all times and I needed them to be God to me, even though they couldn’t. During this time, in my life I went through some tough spots that I had an extremely hard time trusting God because none of my other securities were there. I eventually had to learn that everything in this life means nothing without God in it. I had to let them go and give them to God. I had to realize that all the other things were just extreme blessings that I could do without and as Paul says are even considered trash compared to knowing God. (Philippians 3:8) Thankfully I stumbled upon two life changing studies. One was Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. One thing that really stood out was a story. I don’t have that study here with me, but I am pretty sure it is a story about Henry Blackaby. Henry had a wive and five kids at home and felt called to overseas missions. He knew that it was God’s will. When he had decided he was going, others said “How can you leave your family!? It can’t be God’s will. You need to raise up your children and be there for your wife!” But, he said the fact that he knew for sure that it was God’s will made it even more urgent for him to leave. He knew that if he left his family they would be cared for even better than he could ever care for them and that they would be protected even more than he ever could protect them. It was such a testament to me. He would place all his concerns, even his family in God’s hand to serve Him more fully. So, I let it all go. It is all in the hands of the Lord. The other was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. It is a book about how God, “the creator of the universe, loves us and doesn’t want our begrudging leftovers or our good intentions- he wants us, our hearts, our souls, and our minds.” After letting all go, I needed to seek Him fully, not just give Him my leftovers in time and devotion. And how I found myself here in Haiti? Good question. Actually kind of like Henry Blackaby’s story. :) Seth and I had a really neat house, I had just graduated college, and like Henry, I had people at home that thought we needed to be around to lead to and build up in Christ. But, we knew it was God’s will for us to be here, so off we went! We later read this, while here in Haiti:
My Utmost For His Highest
Oswald Chambers
“If when God said “Go,” you stayed because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. As long as you would not obey, you were in the way.”
Seth and I are beyond happy that we obeyed and followed God’s call and that we can trust that God is teaching and preaching Himself to our friends and family far better than we ever could.
Is there anything you need to let go of and let God fully work in?

JJ and Moise's Houses
The Kids Amazed with a Plane Flying Overhead
Leica, Karena, Josie, and Dieunel.
Sandra Sitting up by Herself
Jofky being a Ham
Anne, of course, with Something in Her Mouth
Being Goofballs

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Greetings once more from the oven.

It truly does feel like an overheated oven. Yesterday we did not get rain which meant the heat and humidity stayed high. With rain comes mud outside the compound but it also reduces the atrocious level of humidity somewhat, and makes for more comfortable sleeping. This is important especially in light of the fact that the generator continues to give us problems and has not been working again for four days. We will be sending someone to PAP on Monday, to where we purchased the generator for a new relay for the starter. We have been managing due to a 'fet' in Liancourt. EDH (Haitian Elelctric Company) does not tend to give electricity for things that are necessary to live, but will do so when people want to party for a few days. Right now I say "party on folks and keep the electricity coming our way too."

The construction on the foundation for the office at the school is nearing completion. Soon work will start on the building itself.

Foundation almost finished at school

Today the clotheslines for the children's homes are being moved to a better location. They are no longer between both children's homes, which was a nusiance, prevented children playing there, and an eyesore to boot. The lines are going up between Kay Timbrmart and the Multipurpose Room (aka devotion room). They will run the length of the fence there which will not be a problem for the play area - swing set, basketball court, etc. Today also, now that the clotheslines have been removed there, the cement in front of Kay Margo is being leveled, and the holes from the clotheslines filled in. There will soon be a beautiful place for the children to play between the two houses. Plus a nice place to walk quickly (which I tend to do) without the danger of being cut off at the neck by a line.

clotheslines moving to a better location
Clotheslines gone, cement being leveled

Due to the cement work being done today, the children all have to stay in Kay Timbrmart, watching videos (oh torture for them), and eating on the gallery there. The only problem is Ti Fi. She constantly sneaks out and tries to walk through the wet cement.

Movie time in Kay Timbrmart
Lunch time on gallery of Kay Timbrmart
lunch time

I told you on the last blog that since Ti Luc's paperwork had not come through that he and I would not be going to NS and NL as planned. I had completely given up on the idea of attending the Springdale reunion and other reunions affiliated with it. It was not an easy thing to accept. Ti Luc and I were both very disappointed and sad, but I did my best to explain to him why we could not go. Well, thanks to my daughter Liette's encouragement, good advice, and gentle loving pushing (something like mine to dear little Anne to walk, not crawl over the rocks) I will be going, not Monday, 18th, but one week later Monday, July 25th. It means one week less to be away but it also means I will miss out on what is always very special to me - time in Yarmouth. I will have to save that for another year. I still can't imagine leaving without Ti Luc, and the tears flow when I think about doing it after my promises to him, but I know he and I will survive it. He cried a lot this morning when I mentioned it to him and kept saying "mwen meme tou Maman, mwen meme tou." "Me too Mama, me too." I know that I will have a precious and blessed time back east. Luckner, Jessie and Seth, agreed wholeheartedly with Liette that I really should go. Luckner, as usual, will be in charge here. He will have help from Seth and Jessie and the three of them will be covering things with Ti Luc. Jessie and Seth have agreed that Ti Luc can sleep at their place, and no doubt he will spend some time at Papa's too. That arrangement is what is going to make it easier for him with me going without him.

Our kids, including us big kids sometimes, are enjoying the swing set. Moving it here was a very smart move. I will be looking for two additional attachments for it that the children can enjoy.

Djeumima and Mirlande
Looks who likes the swing
Again thank you for all your support and encouragement. Together we stand, divided we fall. We need all of you to help us keep standing for the children of Haiti.

Anne 14 months holding Sandra almost 3 months
Dieunel, Ti Luc and Anne
My orange tree
Corn growing in back yard
Grapes on the vine outside my house
Karena and Josie
Jofky and Karena
Ismyis and Judel
My kids. Two missing
JJ and Mirlande
Ti Luc with Jessie
Moise & Vladimy
Anne with Jessie
 It is all about the children!!!!

Love from all of us,
Karen and gang

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This blog will be more photos than words

I said last week I was going to try to blog more often but a week has passed and I am just getting around to it again. This blog will be more photos than words. I am too tired to think or type.

Ti Luc fell down hard last Tuesday and drove his teeth into his tongue through to the bottom. It was quite the gaping hole. He has suffered a lot but has been a real trooper. It is healing, but he is still suffering, and he will need to eat only very soft foods for some time yet. The first two nights I sat with him, not sleeping at all. My other kids love Ti Luc and after a few days five of my little ones came to see him. I was amazed and thrilled when little Dieunel told me he wanted to pray for Ti Luc. He told the kids they should sing first and they started singing "Rivers of Babylon". Dieunel prayed and then Josie prayed, followed by Judel. Karena wanted to too so I helped. She is my little parrot anyway. I was very touched by what I was seeing and hearing. It showed me we are doing something right here.

Ti Luc not feeling very well
Dieunel, Judel, Karena, Jofky & Josie praying for Ti Luc's mouth to heal

Still no adoption papers which means no passport or visa for Ti Luc. This also means when Air Canada leaves Port au Prince next Monday Ti Luc and I will not be on it. Sad indeed but reality must be accepted.

Construction is underway on the foundation for the office and for the library. Foundation only is being done for the library at this time. When the foundation is finished work will proceed on the office itself.

Measuring for school office
rocks and rebar delivery for construction
Preparing for cement work for support columns
Foundation construction

The swing set is up now and tomorrow the children will start enjoying it. I decided the kids needed a sand box. Seth built it and the kids liked it so much as it was that there is still no sand in it. Now I have asked Seth to build a playhouse. He loves to build things and does a great job of everything. I want to keep the playhouse a secret until it is finished.

Luckner in suit for a wedding working with spray paint
Swing set almost ready

We are busy with school things again. Registration for our school for September is taking place this week. Jessie has been a tremdendous help with getting all school lists and registration forms ready. She is experiencing life and work here with last minute decisions and changes. Go, go, go and never a dull moment. For someone who was organized in her Canadian life and liked to have things ready long in advance, I have had to make big adjustments to the way I work here.

School registration started

Recently I walked outside my kitchen door and into a wedding ceremony. There was Ti Luc and Leica sitting across from each other as they do in Haiti. (Ti Luc was being married in shorts and no shirt.) It was too cute.

Praying during wedding ceremony for Leica & Ti Luci Luc
JJ played his guitar in kid's wedding ceremony

A few months back we gave a lady a goat as a gift from someone in NS. She was thrilled. Recently she went to Luckner in tears because her goat had died. It had eaten a plastic bag. I told Ti Luc about this and he promptly said he could give her one. Someone has been looking after Ti Luc's goat. Today Ti Luc gave his goat to her. Both Bott and Ti Luc were happy about this arrangement.

Ti Luc giving his goat to Bott as her goat died

Cholera is still taking many lives and many thousands are ill all the time. Martha's husband had it last week. Luckner knows a lady whose husband who almost died recently with cholera. The clinic at the hospital close by needed to give him 40 IV bags over a period of many days. We continue to vaccinate children from our school and church.

Cholera vaccine for our church students

Thanks again for your support. May you all be blessed as you continue to be a blessing to the people of Haiti.

"Remember one person's life being changed is more important than all the material things the world has to offer." Children's lives are being changed. " IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN"

Karen and family

Anne's first steps during devotions   
Luckner, Ti Luc & Sandra
Walking tires out the kids including Sandra
Seth making TV cabinet for Kid's Home, JJ & Moise building something
Sandra the sleeping beauty
Karena Mariah with the Creole Bible
Cutitie Pitutie Anne
Moise with Anne
afternoon family walk