Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My recent visitors.

The past couple of days has seen me with two visitors at my house. One gave me great joy while being totally amazed. Baby Jonathan, 10 months, left the boys home at the bottom of the kid's yard and crawled all the way to my house to find his mama. He stopped at the gate of the children's yard, stood up and rested, then crawled the rest of the way. Quite proud of himself, as so he should be. Actually Mama Karen was very proud of him too.

Jonathan resting while crawling from Kay Margo to Kay Mama
Jonathan - rest finished - on to see my mama

He then proceeded to follow the example of Moise and Ti Luc on the living room floor and started colouring.

Jonathan 10 months wants to colour too

The other, very unwelcome visitor, at my place, had a family member or close friend that decided to visit the housemother's room at Kay Timbrmart the same day. That one was not welcome there either. They were quite close in size and looked alike so I figured the one photo would suffice.

Two of these - one in Karen's living room and one in bedroom of housemother in Kay Timbrrmart

I walked into my living room around midnight and found my visitor slowly moving across the floor. First thought was scream and run for help. I certainly would have done so in the past, and not too distant past. My daughters should be proud of me because I decided I was a big girl and could not ask security to come into my house and kill it. I needed to take care of it myself. I had to be sure it was really taken care of or I would certainly not close my eyes all night. So, I quickly found a fairly big and heavy box in the laundry room and dropped on it. After devotions the next morning I told Germaine there was a present for her in my living room. It, however, was under the box, not inside it.

Ti Luc's mouth is doing much better. He is once again able to eat normally. Thankfully he is back to enjoying life with the other children. He spends a lot of time with big brother, Moise, and loves to have Jonathan and/or Sandra around, so he gets to be the big brother.

Ti Luc at papa's
Ti Luc trying to swing
My two boys, Moise & Ti Luc cleaning the truck

The school kitchen is still not finished due to the shortage of cement and some other materials. The work on the elementary section of the school is also delayed due to cement. The supply is almost nil and the cost has risen a great deal. I have been informed that the Haitian government has closed the borders to the Domician Republic to supplies coming into Haiti. Haiti has to pay a hefty tax for anything going to the DR for sale and now Haiti has decided it is time to do likewise. So for now, there is a shortage of a lot of things we were previously able to get. It is a 'keep checking/wait and see' game for now. Never a dull moment.

Sandra with Moise in church, tambourine on her arm and clapping at same time

Thanks again so very much everyone for everything.

Love and blessings to all of you from Karen and the children.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Hi Karen here again.

This time I am writing about my need of support workers at HATS.

Some of you realize I need help with the workload I carry here at the mission.

As I said on a previous blog Mariah has agreed to return to work with me for September to December and will have the position of coordinator of the children's homes - overseeing things for the children and housemothers. I am thrilled to be able to pass this responsibility to Mariah for this time period. This is a tremendous blessing for me and for the children. She will be sorely missed at the school this year, but their loss on that compound is our gain on this one.

Mariah with Karena Mariah

Mariah has a need of some financial support which includes help covering the cost of airline tickets to return here at the end of August and to return to Calgary to live in December. Mariah has again delayed attending university in Calgary. She is doing this so she can return to Haiti to help me out for four more months while I wait for my permanent help to arrive. To say I am thankful to Mariah is putting it mildly. I need her help!!

Mariah helping little kids with their freezies

Brad and Lois Reimer and their children, Kaeli and Peter, will be joining me in the work here sometime in the new year. How long into the new year remains to be seen. That is up in the air at this point due to them needing to take care of something before moving here. I, of course, hope it is not too long after Mariah leaves, but we will make it to whenever their help arrives. When they move here Lois will take over the coordinator position of the children's homes. Brad will be our resident Mr Fix-it and keep things running as best he can with what supplies we can find in the area. Brad, however, is not only a handyman but is also a bookkeeper. I am hoping to see his handyman skills in the financial area here as well. I have been waiting patiently, and sometimes not so patiently, for this kind of help. (Photo of the Reimer family will be posted in a later blog.)

Mariah feeding Sandra and Jonathan at the same time

Support with finances, prayer, and encouragement - will be needed for both Mariah and the Reimer family. The first need of this kind is for Mariah. She plans to return on August 27th.

Anyone wishing to help this mission, and the children we serve, by helping with these needs can do so through:

Hands Across The Sea Association
Box 101
Yarmouth, NS
B5A 4B1

All donations are tax deductible and all funds donated will reach those for whom it is sent. Donations can be made by cheque or by paypal.

Thank you once again for all the past, and ongoing, support for the HATS Mission, which includes the support Mariah received last year.

Mariah goofing around at Radio Creole

May God richly bless each and every one of you as your support continues to bless the children in this area of Haiti.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hi Karen here.

The main topic of discussion around HATS again is school, school, school. Yikes, I thought we were going to get a little break from school - but not really.

Construction started on the new kitchen just after school finished at end of June. The work was held up due to lack of cement available in the country. Luckner was able to find small amounts here and there so the work could be restarted. The cost of cement has risen throughout the country and there is still not a lot available. Luckner wants to see the kitchen project finished by this weekend so when he finds more cement he can get work started on the second project of finishing the work on the elementary section of the school.

Working on school kitchen
The cement Luckner was able to find being put into depot overnight.
School kitchen with Moise & Jonathan

All this week our school office is open for registering for school for September. Next week we have to go to St. Marc to purchase fabric for uniforms for all students in the sponsoring program. That will all need to be measured and cut and distributed to the parents of the students. Then the horrible job of purchasing textbooks to distribute to the students in 12 different classes begins. NO REST FOR THE WEARY HERE!

School registration for Sept underway
A different school office registration

We have some students needing a sponsor. Anyone willing to do so please check our website or contact Dickie MacDonald at hatsa.yarmouth@gmail.com for information regarding sponsoring.


If you have been following the blogs you realize we had two house mothers pregnant and due to deliver babies this week. Antoinette took her maternity leave quite early and still no baby has arrived. Magalie took her leave last Saturday and yesterday, Tuesday, she gave birth to a baby girl. Due to Antoinette and Magalie needing extended leave we have some new house mothers on site. The children are being well cared for. Baby Jonathan has become very attached to me and yells and cries if I do not take him.

Sandra & Jonathan wanting the same doll
Jonathan says 'I have it'.
Sandra says 'Oh no you don't Jonathan'

Next week we will be having a visit from Jessie and Seth. They are excited about returning to see the children. They are doing so sooner, instead of later, as they have been blessed with Jessie getting a full time teaching position starting in August. Thus it is come now or have to wait until next summer. It will be good for all of us to have them back for a short time.

HATS kids singing in church

Everyone is missing Mariah and looking forward to when she rejoins us for a few more months. The children await her return and I am looking forward to her help once again. Too, I am really looking forward to the day when Brad and Lois Reimer and their two children arrive to live here. I look forward to being able to share, and to delegate, some of the work load that I have to carry. Oh happy day it will be when they join me!!!

Sandra with tambourine and clapping at same time

Thank you once again for your many varied means of support that enables the work for the children, here on site and at the school, to continue.

May God bless each and every one of you.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ti Luc

On the blog written last night I said "Tomorrow we are taking him (Ti Luc) to St Marc to see a dentist, in hopes something can be done. "

We did indeed take Ti Luc to St. Marc to see a dentist this morning. I had no idea if or what might be able to be done but was feeling desperate to find help for Ti Luc's ongoing bleeding mouth and to save his front permanent tooth.

I don't think I can properly put into words how it was, how I felt, how Luckner felt, and how poor Ti Luc felt and suffered. I, however, am going to try.

We went hoping for help for him. It was not to be. The dentist tried to help by doing what he knew - what he could - but which scared me half to death.

We were put into a room, which felt like a matchbox, about 3 ft x 3 ft, where he had Luckner place Ti Luc in the chair. Dental chair? Consultation? What is that? The dentist left the room, returned with a needle - skinny and long in his hand. He tried to open Ti Luc's mouth. I hear myself speaking saying something to the effect to hold on, what and why. Luckner, too, was asking what he was going to do. He was going to freeze the mouth so he could try to pull the tooth back into place. Okay. That is what I was hoping could happen - hoping the tooth could be saved. Ti Luc was looking terrified but when papa Luckner held him tightly he felt better. The dentist put the needle in three times, no problem there. That made sense to me. Each time, however, he pulled it out to put in again the needle bent - a little more each time - so that he was having trouble inserting it again and getting it to go where he was aiming. Finally having accomplished what he could with what he had - he put the pliers to the tooth to try and move it down into place. So far so good. Then out comes the tooth completely, and naturally, blood everywhere. I was in tears. He said he would be putting the tooth back into place and it would hold. Yeah sure, and I was born in 2010 too!!! If we were at a dentist in Canada I would have lots of faith and hope! I, however, had none whatsoever there today. What I had was fear for my boy and regrets that I had gone. The word that was in my mind today was 'barbaric'.

At the dentist

The dentist then left the 'matchbox' room returning with a curved sewing needle and something long (some kind of thread). He placed Ti Luc's tooth in his mouth and said he would be sewing it in place. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Luckner and I were trying to hold Ti Luc. The dentist was jamming that big dull needle up into Ti Luc's gums like someone sewing up a soccer ball. The little bit of freezing in Ti Luc's mouth had worn off and he wailed in pain. He had to get Ti Luc's head in an awkward position closer to him so he could see in his mouth.

Ti Luc at the dentist office

Papa Luckner was leaning over Ti Luc holding him in position. I was leaning over Luckner's back holding unto Ti Luc's hands and trying to not let him see me cry but encourage him. The big problem with that was my eyes kept overflowing with tears even though I was speaking encouraging words. Papa Luckner held him and encouraged him, but a lot of the time had to look elsewhere. He could not watch his boy suffer so. I felt like Ti Luc was holding on by looking into mama's eyes. But he kept saying "Papa, papa, papa". At one point I had to run out into the street to take a deep breath and return to help hold and encourage him again. All the while the 'huge and very dull looking needle' kept going in and out to sew the tooth in place and Ti Luc suffered greatly. After awhile, Luckner told him our boy could not take another minute - he was suffering too much as the freezing had worn off too quickly. The dentist started getting upset thinking we were accusing him. He started arguing with Luckner and not paying enough attention to what he was doing to Ti Luc. Luckner tried ignoring the tirade of the dentist and focused on encouraging Ti Luc instead, while I asked the dentist to pay attention to Ti Luc and get if finished.

My poor suffering little boy

When we got out of there Ti Luc was shaking but relieved. Luckner ran to a pharmacy to get the meds the dentist recommended, one being an antibiotic (which I would definitely have given anyway) seeing what I had seen there today.

Just walked out of dentist office

We had gone in separate vehicles as I had to go to bank first, and Luckner needed to try and find some cement for the school kitchen construction. Ti Luc wanted his papa but settled for curling up next to Richard, our security guard, who had driven with Ti Luc and I. We got him home as quickly as possible.

Once home I quickly had Ti Luc lying on a mattress in my room. I was very close by, and within a short time I heard a scream and turned to see blood and that the tooth had moved down somewhat. I think perhaps Ti Luc's hand had involuntarily hit his mouth. I sat with him for a very long time - holding his hands and telling him stories. I went for water and heard another scream - only to see the tooth had moved again on its way out.

By then I could do nothing - but cry and hold him. Luckner had arrived on the compound with a few sacks of, badly needed, cement and came running up to see Ti Luc. He took over. He encouraged Ti Luc, held him and removed the tooth. We had to give up on the idea of saving the boy's tooth. He now has a big hole in the front of his mouth with a lot of ugly thread, some not so tiny holes from that needle, and a swollen face, but is finally doing better and has fallen asleep.

I wanted to try and save the tooth but could not. The tooth is big and long and is now sitting in a little medicine cup. I failed to save it in his mouth. Ti Luc decided he wants to save it now a different way.

All that suffering and the tooth is in a cup

Ti Luc is one precious and tough little boy. Luckner and I know that not one of our other children here at HATS could stand what Ti Luc did today. Absolutely could not. Luckner and I are both very proud of him.

Now to the adoption subject. We have a plan for Luckner to go to Port au Prince tomorrow morning. He plans to go to the office of the present lawyer who is, supposed to be, working on the paperwork for Ti Luc, and ask for the receipt that was given him when he deposited the papers at the social services office. With that receipt in hand he will then go talk with a lady lawyer who is willing to take over and try to get it finished. There will be another legal fee to pay for her services but since some of the work is done it will be less than before. Luckner will take half the money she asked for (correction - half of what she agreed to when speaking with him) to her tomorrow and I will pay her the rest when things are finished.
Do I dare hope once again???

Thank you for your ongoing support of prayer and encouragement in every way for Ti Luc. Hopefully the day will come when I can bring him to Canada for a visit and many of you will get to meet him in person.

It truly is " ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN " and Ti Luc is one of those 'special' children.

Love and blessings,
Karen and Ti Luc

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Greetings from all of us at HATS-Haiti.

Once again I am delinquent in getting a blog posted, but better late than never.

First I want to remind you that you have the option of having the blogs automatically download into your computer. That way you will no longer have to keep checking our blogsite to see if something new has been posted. Many have gone that route and have let me know they are glad they have taken advantage of that option.

The construction of our school kitchen came to an abrupt stop last week due to no cement being available. HATS is not the only place with work being held up in Haiti due to lack of cement. We were able to do as much as we did on the foundation because we had a little cement left over from the last project. Naturally with the supply in the country almost nonexistant, what people did have on hand was sold at an exorbitant price. Apparently cement has been held up in customs for some time due to a work action there. Rumour has it that cement might be released from customs in the next few days. Hopefully when the supply increases the price will decrease, but then again - maybe not . . . . Luckner and I are hoping this won't affect our cost estimates for work at the school.

Ready to pour cement to finish foundation - no cement

Lately Ti Luc has been spending a lot of time with older brother, Moise. They get along well, and Mosie enjoys being with him. Today the two boys asked to wash the truck - just the two of them. They had fun and did a good job on the truck to boot. I am trying to keep Ti Luc nearby so I can keep a closer eye on him.

My two boys, Moise & Ti Luc cleaning the truck

Many of you have been enquiring about Ti Luc - how he is doing, status of his adoption, etc. It has been difficult for me to respond or to blog about Ti Luc, as I had no good news to impart. I have been given hope several times only to see it come crashing down around my ears again.

Ti Luc has fallen a few times in the past couple of weeks, on his face, which meant more damage to his mouth/teeth. Ti Luc falling own is not new. He has learned how to roll and most times can do so and prevent hitting his head. Sometimes, of course, he has no control of where he hits. Within the past two weeks he fell and hit his two front teeth (second teeth) on the cement wall. One was broken a little, but is good. One of his teeth was pushed up into his gums. This tooth continues to bother him daily as it is not where it should be. Tomorrow we are taking him to St Marc to see a dentist, in hopes something can be done.

Ti Luc after accident with his teeth

It has been 3 1/2 long years since I approached someone to start the adoption proceedings for Ti Luc. Now, I am looking for help elsewhere to get this finished. I do not want to get my hopes too high in case they come crashing down again, but I think this is a necessary step to take. If, and when, you think of my boy I ask you to pray for him and for the new direction I am about to take, to try and get the adoption completed.

The children are all well and enjoying time away from school. Jonathan and Sandra continue to delight us with their antics. Jonathan does not permit me to enter a room or pass him anywhere without taking him in my arms. Dear little Sandra, 14 1/2 months, now leaves the safety of the children's yard if the gate is left open, comes to my house, stands outside and says "mama, mama". It is okay if we hear her, but if we do not, it is not okay when she sits down on the step outside the door. She cannot be seen by anyone leaving this house, and she would get hit in the head with the door. The front door at this place is in none stop use so I have encouraged everyone leaving to do so with great caution. Before too many more months Jonathan will be walking up and calling mama too.

Three pretty girls in three pretty dresses
Moise playing golf with his followers watching
Ti Luc, Anne and Karena with Papa Luckner

Thanks again from all of us for your ongoing love and support for the children.
It is and always will be - A L L A B O U T T H E C H I L D R E N

Blessings everyone. Karen

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joel Hawley here.

Greetings in The Name of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus The King

HATS Haiti - after the fresh air trip in the back of the pickup from the Blue Ridge International for Christ guest house in Santo, near Port-au-Prince, Catrina and I(Joel) were able to untangle our legs upon arrival , Carol having ridden in the cab! During the trip, we survived about 16 drops of rain and the beggars along the way when we stopped in Montrouis for a few minutes - Catrina's first such encounter.

Arrival at Luckners after long, hot drive in back of truck

The ladies of the kitchen at HATS - Germaine & Marguerite - served us a great Haitian supper of chicken and veggies soup and Haitian rolls. Since then they have treated us with many of the foods we have missed since we left Haiti in 1999.

Germaine preparing a delicious meal
Martha helping Germaine

As Karen Huxter says - "It's all about the children!" and it is! We have had great interactions with them individually and as a group. They are quite content, which speaks volumes about the quality of care they receive on a continual basis.

Catrina and Sandra
Carol with Jonathan

Catrina says that the food is the highlight so far for her, even the oatmeal. She has been enjoying interacting with the children and the staff and is really picking up the language. Carol is making a great comeback with her Kreyol and is having a good time with the children and staff.

Some of Karen's kids
Anne, Ismyis & Sandra

I, Joel, of course am struggling more with the Kreyol, but have had the opportunity to build a swing seat for Karen to use when the children are swinging.

Swing for Karen going up
Karen with a swing that is not hard on the hips

The three of us have put together the next payroll and that has helped us to remember the money system.

Please pray for Karen and the ministry here. They all need support and safety is a big concern.

Right now, the school is out for the summer, so repairs and new construction have begun to make for improvements for the next session.

measuring for school kitchen

Gotta go for now.

In the service of The Eternal One,
Joel for Carol and Catrina and the staff and children.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hi Karen here this time.

I have to say T H A N K Y O U to Beate and her team of Sam, Rebecca and Kathleen. What a crazy, fun loving, helpful small team. Before saying anything else about this fantastic group we all want to let Laura know know that we are sad, that at the last minute, she could not join us due to illness. The door is open for you, Laura, to come at another time.

We have just spent a really great week together. None of us want to be separated tomorrow and no doubt there will be tears as they walk away from me at the airport. They, however, will be back!!!

It will be difficult to see them go but perhaps it is time for them to leave. Why??? Have you heard that sometimes when people are together too much they start to resemble each other?? This seems to have happened here. They came looking very different than they look now when they are leaving here. We not only resemble one another now, but do so with crazy changed features.

New Karen

Last nut, but not the least nut - Mme Director of this mission

Mme Director of HATS-Haiti Mission