Tuesday, October 25, 2011

So much for good intentions

Goodness another week has passed since I last blogged. So much for good intentions. The intentions are good but the time to follow through is not good.

We are all doing well here. Other than colds the children are good. Our new baby boy, Jonathan, is eating well and growing. Sandra looks big in comparison to Jonathan. She is chubby and healthy now, loves to try to stand and has two teeth coming though. She lights up like a little Christmas tree when she sees us. I have her in the office with me whenever possible, which is good for both her and me. Karena is still Mariah's little girl and gets jealous of anyone else with Mariah.

One month old Jonathan
Cutie Pitutie Sandra
My kids love books but destroy them. Thus I now have library hour at my house. It is a great way to get them interested and teach them to care for and respect all books.

Library hour at Mama's place
Karena & Moise at library hour
Jessie and Seth are busier again now since school reopened. Seth has been building storage cupboards for our school office, and a big tool cupboard for our depot. Jessie has been helping in the office and wherever needed at any given time. Sorry photos next time.

School is going well. We have not yet been able to start our feeding program for this year but hopefully we will be able to start feeding the students soon. They are, however, glad to be receiving their Reliv Kid's Now nutritious drink every day. They call it their 'chokola' and they love it.

Mariah is teaching and assisting with all prescolaire classes. She is doing a good job for our school which is being noted by all teachers and the school direction. In fact the school director asked if she could stay a little longer and leave in Dec instead of Nov 24th as planned. She agreed. I will attach a couple of photos of her in her two different teacher uniforms. Her being fluent in French and Creole as well as English is a tremendous blessing for us.

Mariah in her teacher's uniform
Mariah teaching at IMKH
As the office for Luckner and I is not yet finished we are both having problems trying to get necessary paperwork done. Getting textbooks into the hands of the sponsored students is proving a major problem as always but we are almost finished that. Now I need to get going on the sponsored students list and get accurate information out to the sponsors. Jessie will come in handy there soon. Speaking of sponsors - to those of you who have already been sponsoring and to those of you who are new, thank you very much for helping your student(s).

Office-Library building starting to look good
Liette and her good friend, Yvette, will be arriving November 15th and Liette will undertake her huge task once again of getting all student's thank you letters and photos done for this year.

Speaking of students. Is there anyone interested in sponsoring students to attend the Trade School at Luckner's place. He has people wanting to sign up for English and Computer classes - 6 and 8 month courses - but they are unable to pay. He needs to pay the teachers but without help for the students there is a problem. Later other courses will be offered there. The students attending, and wanting to attend, range in age from 14 to adult. Some are presently attending our school - IMKH, and some are former students of ours.

Computer class at Trade School
Our church/Sunday school continues to function. Our numbers are rising again now that school is in. Last Sunday was a special one at our service. Mariah's biological father, his wife, and Mariah's four half siblings left their area and came to our service. It was special for them and Mariah but also for all of us who were there. I explained to the congregation who they were and a little about Mariah's adoption. Everyone was extremely interested, and the school students were totally fascinated. After church the family joined us here and Mariah served them a meal she cooked herself. It was indeed a special day. In the photo, and video clip (if it can be attached) you will see her biological father and family at the back of our little church group.

Ti service at church Sunday morning
On Wednesday we had a lovely group of ten from Montreal with us for the day. Allan Heron, who I first met here last March, was the leader. This was a very interesting group and their time here was too short. I am sorry I do not have photos as my camera battery decided to quit that day. I expect photos will come to me from the team and I will add some on another blog.

Those of you who have been following my experiences here for some time might remember a young lady, Janine Roth, from BC who was here with me some years back for approx 2 months. Janine is presently in Haiti again and we look forward to having her join us for three days tomorrow. She will see some major changes and improvements and meet lots of new children and employees. My kids are excited. Moise was very little and does not remember her. JJ, one year older, says he does, but I am not sure. Mirlande and Vladimy certainly do remember Janine. No doubt the three days will pass too quickly.

I have been blessed several times recently by hearing people say they had been told that this mission has a really good orphanage, and children are extremely well cared for. The word is out that if someone needs a 'good' place for a child they should come here. Government workers and UN workers have passed this along too. Nice to know people see us as doing a good job with children. We now have 2 babies and several small children. I think we need to wait now before adding another one.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN

I cannot blog without saying thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU to all of you.

God bless each and every one of you. Karen and gang

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Birth announcement.

It is a boy! Three weeks old. His name is Jonathan. Number 18 in my family. He is a precious brother to my seventeen other children: Sandra - almost 6 months; Anne - 1 1/2; Jofky - 2; Karena - almost 3; Judel - 4; Ismyis - 5; Dieunel - 5; Josie - 5 1/2; Karma - 6; Ti Luc - 6; Leica - 7; Moise - almost 9; JJ - almost 10; Djemima - almost 9; Mirlande 10; Ti Fi - 11; Vladimy - 16. All the children are thrilled to have a new baby brother. My boys are especially happy as they have been asking for some time that the next baby be a boy.

My newest one - Baby Jonathan - 3 weeks old 
Jonathan being introduced to his brothers & sisters
Baby Sandra welcoming Baby Jonathan
Last Sunday afternoon Mariah went to do some gymnastics with the young girls who meet Sunday afternoons at Antoinette's church. They had a blast and want her to return. I decided she only goes if Antoinette picks her up on a moto taxi and brings her back to me the same way. Why you ask? Perhaps the photo I am attaching of the road I drove Mariah over last week, to take her to Antoinette's, will help you understand why.

I drove this ROAD with Mariah
Mariah has been great about putting Ti Luc to bed every night. It has been a great help for me. Then I go in, pray with him and kiss him goodnight. Tonight the tables were turned. I found Ti Luc putting Mariah to bed instead, and putting her in his bed I might add. He brought a blanket (and did it himself with his hands) to cover her. Then he turned his back to her, so he had the bed railing for support for his back, and proceeded to pray just as I do every night with him. He finished it off, also just as I do, with kissing her goodnight. It was so cute. He then found me in the office and asked where he was to sleep. I told him he needed to go outside and upstairs to Mariah's bed. I expected a negative response to that idea but he quickly responded 'okay mama'. He, however, went back to check on Mariah just as I do him and then he ran to me to tell me Mariah was stuck in his bed. He kept saying 'come please Mama'. Off I went and there was Mariah with her hair severly caught on the metal headboard of his bed. There was no way she could get up without me untangling it. Ti Luc thought it was just too funny.

Ti Luc put Mariah to bed and now praying for her.
Ti Luc now kissing Mariah good night
Good night folks. Thanks again for all your love, encouragement and help in every way. Can't do it without you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving....

.... to all my Canadian family and friends. As you celebrate together may you truly be thankful for who you are; for your children and theirs; for all you have; for all that you have done - the good and the not so good; and thank Him for the wonderful country of Canada you live in.

We do not celebrate a "Thanksgiving day or weekend" in Haiti. I, however, endeavor to give God thanks every day - for the privilege of serving Him in Haiti, and for the things I mentioned above. This certainly includes the good and the bad throughout my life as it is the combination of it all that God has used to shape me into the person I am. I am thanking Him for all of you and for all of your support. Your friendship and loving kindness is what keeps me going and keeps me in touch with the needy ones here.

I would certainly enjoy a thanksgiving turkey dinner today with all the trimmings and would enjoy chatting and laughing with loved ones in Canada. I, however, am enjoying the chicken drumstick cooked by Magalie and for the love of my child, Leica, who proudly delivered it to me here in the office so I can keep on working. I am thankful for Mariah being here with me and for all seventeen of my precious children. IT TRULY IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN. If I tried to write all the things and people I am thankful for I would do nothing else so I will leave it at this. I thank my God for his presence in my life and for all of you.

School should actually operate normally this week and for this I am very thankful. By the end of this week we will know who is, and who is not, in attendance at our school. We will be using Mariah's help at the school every morning until she returns to Canada at end of November. Teachers at our school also dress in uniforms (which I might add gives them a very professional look) and I will be having one made for Mariah also. I detect some reservations from Mariah about what it will look like, but I promise I will post a photo later of her in uniform. There was a lot of excitement on Friday when my kids received a new backpack for school. O happy day. Karena, Jofky and little Anne are not yet in school but I gave them a bag too. They were thrilled and hopefully it will ease the disappointment that they are not yet able to go to school.

My kids - happy over their new backpacks
At the moment my house is a mess due to textbooks and boxes. It is ugly and not comfortable but a necessary part of life for the school to operate. Mariah says we look like we are moving house. I might add I do not at all enjoy the first month of school - but survive it once again I will.

Small start on huge textbook job
Hopefully we will be able to get Phase Three of the present construction at the school - especially the room that is for an office for Luckner and I - underway soon. It is not easy to meet with parents, teachers, or anyone else without an office.

Yesterday we had a 'ti fet' for Ti Luc. He was quite excited to be celebrating his birthday.

Baby Sandra kissing Ti Luc Happy Birthday
Ti Luc getting birthday kisses from Rose Lore
Papa Luckner brought Ti Luc gift and icecream
The last blog talked about the two voodoo priests who came to the Lord and were baptised. On Thursday morning a fasting and praying time was held for six hours at the land of one of these men. The, well attended, prayer time was for both of the men and was broadcast on Radio Creole. That day most of the HATS employees were turned to the radio station and praying along with those of us, including Mariah and I, who had gone.

Happenings at prayer vigil going to Radio Station
Prayer and fasting. Mariah & Magalie in foreground
Computer skills and Basic English are being taught presently at The Trade School. Many people are interested but despite Luckner's helping with school fees (just taking enough to pay teachers) most are unable to attend as of yet. I am enjoying doing English pronunciation with the students Monday and Wednesday afternoons for an hour and I must add I do enjoy getting out of this office and doing this. For my friends who know me and have made me laugh, I want you to know I am being careful to have them pronounce the words in Canadian English and not Newfie English a.k.a Newfinese. Because, however, I am writing this and no one can edit it, I am taking the liberty here to speak from my heart. Newfie English is by far the 'best' English there is. It takes a Newfoundlander, a true Newfie, to speak it properly. " Deres nuttin like it by. Nuttin a tal. So dere! "

Some students of English course at the trade school
"Remember one person's life being changed is more important than all the material things the world has to offer."

Love from Karen and family

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

School's In

God is moving in our area, thanks to the radio station at Luckner's. Radio Creole FM is sharing the word of the Lord, praying for people throughout the area, playing Christian music, and Luckner is teaching that attending a church means nothing without accepting Christ and following his leading. These things taught through the radio station are having fantastic results. Lives are being changed daily. Marriages are being restored, families are being reunited and people are receiving physical help when needed. Two transformations took place in the past 24 hours - one last night and one this morning. Two voodoo priests have accepted the Lord and with the help of Christians have burned all the paraphernalia they used in voodoo. This afternoon both these men were baptised. Many people throughout this area are thanking God daily for Radio Creole.

Luckner (in blue) with the two men left of him who are about to be baptised
Luckner, Appollon (Magalie's husband), Benoit (Antoinette's husband) and other pastors
Mariah at the baptism
Richard - a changed life
Wagler (works at radio station) & Luckner sharing what is taking place with radio listeners
Schools opened yesterday, Oct 3rd. By next week we should be operating somewhat normally. The first week of school in Haiti tends to see students drifting in slowly. My children were anxious to get back to school and are quite happy to be putting on their uniforms early mornings again and going next door to the school compound. Yesterday was a very exciting day for sweet little Judel as it was his first day of school. This year I have Judel in Prescolaire 1; Josie, Ismyis and Dieunel in Prescolaire 3; Leica, Karma and Ti Luc - Grade 1; Moise - grade 3; Djeumima - grade 4; JJ and Mirlande - grade 5; and Vladimy - grade 9. Jofky cried both days because his buddy Judel was leaving him here on this compound. Ti Fi, Karena, Jofky, Anne, and Sandra must wait their turn for school.

Judel's first day of school - Prescolaire 1
First day of school for this year for my kids
Please give me a little time to know exactly which students are in the school this year. If there is a change in your sponsored student (s) I will be in touch as soon as possible. By next week I will most likely be using Jessie and Mariah's help with doing the student sponsored list, etc. for this school year. Liette, with her friend Yvette, will be coming in November and will be doing all the school photos and letters for sponsors. This huge task being removed from my shoulders by Liette again this year means a great deal to me. Thank you, God, and thank you , Liette.

Basic computer skills and English are presently being taught at the trade school at Luckner's. I am enjoying helping Luckner with the English course on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. He teaches the students English theory for an hour and then I do a second hour and work with them on pronunciation.

Again I thank you for your awesome support of every kind. A lot is being done to help throughout this area, and especially for children, but the people would not be helped and blessed without you.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN

God bless you all. Karen and gang