Friday, June 17, 2016

Some of you know...

...Ti Luc and I are in Canada and Ti Luc has medical appointments.  We are in Calgary but will visit Dana in Kelowna soon and we will also attend the famous Harambee camp held yearly in the Okanagan for families with adopted children. This will be the first time for Ti Luc.  I expect he will have a blast and won't be our last time attending.

On Tuesday evening of this week a fantastic concert was performed in my Newfoundland home town of Springdale. This was organized and run by our very special Newfoundland volunteer team members and the beautiful and extremely talented Paula Strowbridge as a fundraiser for the HATS-Haiti Mission.

The concert a huge success on all accounts. The band Chicago Tribute was deemed fantastic by all who attended. The group were touring Newfoundland and the awesome Paula lady, who knew at least one of the band members, was able to get them to do an extra concert in NL at Springdale, where proceeds would be used to help children/students in Haiti through HATS.


Such talent, such energy, such a success. I know this well because I was there.  I was there in person - as a surprise - to all volunteer organizers, family members and friends. A huge thank you goes to Dr Todd Young for making it possible for me to attend and for the success in keeping our plan for me to be at the fundraiser a surprise.  A job well done indeed Todd - we pulled it off.

A big thank you to Paula and all the volunteer team members who work hard for HATS in Haiti and in Newfoundland to make the evening the huge success that it was. Thank you to the band who agreed to add an additional night to their already scheduled tour. I am extremely thankful that I was a part of it.  Thank you to all corporate sponsors and to all who attended.


Together we will continue to make a difference in the lives of the precious children in our area of the Artibonite Valley in Haiti.

HATS-Haiti is -
A L L  A B O U T  TH E  C H I L D R E N

Karen

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Goodbye for now

June 1, 2016

By Mike and Nicki

What a beautiful country this is!

After years of thinking about it and months of planning for it, it seems strange that our time in Haiti is over. We have been asked by a few if it was like we expected. Well...no. I'm not sure what we expected, but our minds could not have fathomed what we have experienced, and we can hardly believe that our 3 month stay has come to an end. Mike mentioned at our last staff devotion time how beautiful the country is here and how friendly the people have been to us. HATS really became home away from home for us. Karen accepted us like one of her own kids and took care of us when we wanted to travel to the beach and to LaGonave. She even called and made our reservations for us, and gave us some emergency money just like a mom would do! Luckner came over our last morning to say goodbye for now. We highly respect Luckner's heart for HATS, the school, the community and Karen. He truly is a huge asset to the ministry.

Thank you Karen for allowing us to come and share in your kids lives.

The kids really love Mike

Nicki gets a big hug

What fun it was to get to know some of the school children!

Thank you to the staff at HATS for welcoming us, forgiving us when we couldn't effectively speak creole and for accepting us as a part of the HATS family.

Mike and Germaine

Thank you to our Haitian neighbours who greeted us with smiles each morning as we passed them on our walks.

Some of the local people we met on our walks

We never got tired of looking at this beautiful scene each day!

There are many things about this beautiful place that we will miss. We walked along the canal and through the community each morning and will really miss those beautiful mornings alongside the local people. We knew we would enjoy getting to know and spending time with the kids but we had no idea how difficult it would be to leave them. They sneak in and steal your heart without you even knowing it. We have left a piece of our hearts in Haiti and can't wait for the day when we can return.

It's all about the children!

cute kids!


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thank you so very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you Nicki and Mike for joining us at the mission HATS-Haiti for three months.  You came, you gave of yourselves in many ways, you accepted all of us, you accepted the Haitian people, accepted the culture of Haiti and the fact that this country is not North America and one should not try to make it so.  You gave of yourself, you worked diligently and you learned as you worked. You kept an open mind and always showed an heart that was filled with the love of the Lord.  You loved on the children but held them to the standards we have for them so they can hopefully grow up in integrity and honesty.

Bye little princess Magdala

We worked, we laughed, we prayed, we taught at the main compound, at the school  and at church, and very importantly we supported each other.

You are missed.  Four times on Tuesday, after you had left, I found myself saying the following "mention it to Mike",  "Nicki will help with that",  "Mike can fix that for us", and even "Have you seen Nicki?"   Yikes, I sure had come to depend on you guys

Bye sweet Dickieson

A big thank you for accepting me, just as I am, faults, quirks and all, and allowing me to see I could depend on you both.

It was very difficult to see you on the bus and heading back to your other country and other family.  I am happy for them but sad for us.  I am already awaiting your return.  The children are awaiting your return.  Luckner is awaiting your return.  You are missed by us all.

Magdala holding onto Mike as long as possible

THANK YOU.
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Another big thank you to the Springdale, Newfoundland team - Emma, Todd, Don, Jenny, Alycia and Lacee.

Springdale group ready to board the bus to head to their other home

It is always a huge pleasure to have you guys come and always difficult to see you leave.  You are all 'my family' - family from Newfoundland that we depend on coming regularly.

Bye gang
All are leaving - even N and M

Each time you come to serve you do different types of jobs, whatever is needed upon arrival  - this time was no exception. The Health Awareness help and teaching to our school students was invaluable and so very necessary.  So many small health problems become big ones without knowledge and information.  Kudos to all of you for jumping in and helping with this and also to our school director, Luckner, for seeing the need and asking if it could be done.

Devotions at school the morning group left giving huge thank yous for all their help

You come to help and that you certainly do - help our children, our students, but very importantly help me too.  We laugh, we cry, we pray, and we look to the future of HATS together as a team.

THANK YOU.

You are indeed on the calendar for May 2017 and we are already looking forward to having you back.

Losing my 'right hand man, Mike' and my 'left hand woman, Nicki' at the same time that you left was very difficult but I was thankful they were traveling with such a great bunch of fun Newfoundlanders.

Two special men

This beautiful lady has an interesting idea of travel attire. Is this what Haiti has done for her

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I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported Nicki and Mike for their three months with us and who supported the Springdale team to return and who gave  help once more.  Thank you so very much to all who donated clothes, shoes, various needed items, laptops, toys - frisbies and skipping ropes-  for the students and children here, money to pay to bring extra suitcases, and, and, and. . . . .

Working with the blessed gifts of laptops

May God bless all of you who came and gave of yourself and all of you behind the scenes who supported and gave to make it all possible.  You have blessed us and we are asking God to bless all of you.

Papa Luckner, saying goodbye to N & M and team and loving on our little Dickieson

It takes all of us working together to make this mission the place of help it is in this area of the Artibonite Valley.  All of you behind the scenes are extremely important to the work being done here and we thank you.  Without you the children would not receive the help they do.  THANK YOU!!

I T    I S     A L L     A B O U T     T H E     C H I L D R E N

Karen