A couple of weeks ago I tried to blog but did not have the energy or time to do so. I shared that we had been dealing with three things that had hit us. I also shared the following two scriptures, and I asked for prayer for both Luckner and I, and for HATS.
These same scriptures are still very important to us as we walk through, and deal with, what has been happening here.
2 Corinthians 4:8,9:
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."
James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
Today I want to say "Thank you for your prayer support and for your encouragement, that has come for both Luckner and for me, since that blog. The prayers and encouragement were very important and greatly appreciated.
God has put all of us together as a team to serve children of the Artibonite Valley. He has placed us, the two directors - Luckner and Karen - on the frontlines. Without all the rest of you, working together with us, the vision and direction God has placed on the mission HATS, cannot be fulfilled. Often the fiery darts are sent against those on the frontlines, but we deal with them together as a team. We walk though these things with you, while we hold tightly to the hand of God.
I am feeling tired, drained, and still without energy to write a blog. I know, however, that since we are a team I need to do so today so we can walk through it together.
First: The Reimer family who joined HATS early February have decided to not stay on with the mission. They will be returning to Canada on October 21st. We thank them for working diligently with us and we pray for God's very best for the four of them in the future. Presently the board is advertising again for a couple to join Luckner and I in this work.
Second: Three weeks ago Luckner, myself, and our police security, Daniel, were returning from a trip to PAP. Approx 6:00 p.m., when we were only ten minutes away from the mission site, we were hit forcefully by a moto that came careening out of a side road. The moto, with driver and passenger, smashed into us, on the front left - driver side. The two men on the moto were thrown to the pavement. Daniel quickly found a Tap Tap (public transportation pickup) in the area and rushed to the hospital with them . One was released within a few days. The driver, however, is still in the hospital. He badly damaged one leg. Luckner and I stayed at the accident site with our vehicle and awaited the arrival of other policemen and a judge from Verrettes. We knew we were 100% in the clear, as to the cause of the accident, but also knew the men needed medical help and they had no money to pay for it. We eventually left the accident site and came to the mission with judge, police and some family members of both injured men. That same night we gave some money for their medical expenses. We have continued to help financially with their expenses.
Recently family of those injured on the moto decided to try and make trouble for Luckner and I, and HATS. They hassled Luckner for money, money, money. They were threatening. Luckner is scared of no one and they soon realized they were going up against the wrong mission with Luckner Estimable at the helm. They were talking of taking legal steps and trying to get $100,000 H ($11,500 US) out of HATS. Luckner, being a lawyer, started preparing to battle in the justice system for HATS. I thank God many times every day for Luckner. He knows his country, his people, the law, the games people play, and sees that things are done properly and fairly.
A few days later eleven people - family and friends - of the injured driver turned up at the mission compound and tried to see me. I'm sure they were thinking if they could get past security they could pressure me and get money. They obviously do not know me, as that would never happen. Security called Luckner and he quickly came up to deal with the situation. He knew if he were not here it could get ugly. The eleven people arrived with bad attitudes but left with better ones, as Luckner made them very aware of some truths of the whole situation. Things are not yet settled as to how much money we will need to help the injured driver. He was at fault completely and admits it. This is Haiti, not Canada, and things are dealt with differently.
This moto driver has caused a huge pile of trouble for HATS.
HATS truck, the mission's one and only vehicle, received a lot of damage. The estimation for repairs on Thursday, from the dealership where we purchased the truck, is $10,500 US. We have been surviving without a vehicle for three weeks and we have not yet given the go ahead for the repair work to get started. I expect the repairs to take two or three weeks. It is not easy to function without a vehicle as we do our banking in St. Marc and purchase groceries, etc in St. Marc. The vehicle is needed to take care of things every day and living without one has made things more than difficult.
Third: One week after the accident with the moto the third thing hit. That Saturday night Luckner had a young man on the air at Radio Creole. He is often on the air Saturday nights. He stays over at Luckner's when finished and leaves early morning. That night, around midnight, he unwisely decided to take Luckner's motorcycle and attend a party. In the middle of the night he left the party and ended up in a ditch somewhere. To make matters a lot worse, around 5:00 a.m. someone called Luckner to say the young man in question had just left the radio station, had an accident and was dead. Luckner was already dealing with all that had come due to the moto smashing us one week earlier, and then he was dealt this blow. Thank God this news was not accurate. The young man was in the hospital for three or four days, and then home to recover. Luckner ended up with a lot of damage to his motorcycle, and was expected to help the young man.
Before all this happened we were preparing to let you know some good news about a project that we feel is important for HATS. For some time we have seen an importance of putting a building on the land we have behind our school. In this building we would hold church services, our Monday to Friday morning devotions for our school students, and parent/teacher/student meetings, etc. The estimation of construction costs was between $26,000 and $27,000 US. Brentview Baptist Church in Calgary (Liette's church and mine) offered to donate $15,000 for this construction if we could raise the rest from our donors. Before I could let you, our team members, know about this project and the need for us to fundraise approx. $11,000 or $12,000 for the project, we were hit with the accident.
Too, for quite some time now we have been having ongoing problems with our generator. It is getting old and tired, like me. It is still running with ongoing repairs and servicing, and hopefully will do so for some time. It, however, is also too small to run everything properly here on the mission site. When the generator was purchased for the mission I was advised to buy a bigger one. The owner of the business in PAP, who sold me the generator, actually drove to HATS and took a look around to assess our needs. He said the Lister Petter that I bought would do a good job for awhile, but as we developed and our electrical needs became bigger, I would regret not having bought a bigger one. He gave sound advice but I absolutely could not purchase a bigger one at that time.
We have been going through a few trials. The mission has needs. God is so much bigger than any of it. This is God's work!! He has seen HATS grow since I purchased the very wet, boggy three pieces of land, which were side by side, and was told nothing could ever be built on it. That kind of talk was just a challenge to me. I remember telling people to just watch and see what God could and would do with that boggy land.
Just as he has in the past years God will see that everything will be taken care of at HATS "in His time and in His way". We will continue on with the work he has for HATS to make a difference in the lives of many children in this area.
Speaking of children. School will open October 1st. Our enrollment has increased this year and we are in need of sponsors - possibly fifty or more.
No matter what might happen, God is in control, and he will see to it that things at HATS will work out.
Remember - I T I S A L L A B O U T T H E C H I L D R E N