We have been busy indeed!
We then went back to the feeding center and spent time playing soccer with the kids and talking with them. The kitchen update is awesome.
Back at the hotel the class is going great! Thursday is the last full day, and the one most difficult student really changed – he is now liking the class and invited the team salsa dancing! We won’t be taking him up on the offer but this is just another reminder that Prayer works!
Popcorn for movie night was more difficult than we anticipated – we were finally able to make it right here at the hotel but the pot was too big for the burner and it wasn’t working at all. We almost gave up when the hotel staff got involved and took it over to the large charcoal burner – with their help we got the 120 bags of popcorn ready for the kids! We made them a batch too – a kettle corn and butter concoction which they loved!
ice age was the movie and the kids stayed for the entire show – so much fun! We had 17 people in the tap tap on the way back to the hotel – this is a small Nissan pickup with special benches. It was crazy fun!
Today is the last day. We give out creole bibles this morning and have a banquet tonight to celebrate!
Also on Monday the service team went to visit sister Duc, the widow we building a walkway for. The original trail barely has spots for your toes, it is so hard, and it also isn’t on her land.
While visiting we asked of her life, and found that her niece and child live with her now and help care for her. Her niece considers her a grandma as she was raised by her. We estimate sister Duc to be about 75 – she has seen Haiti change so much over her life. We hope to bless her and the family she has invested her life in.
The message was on overcoming obstacles. Pastor encouraged us with the story of David and Goliath; of how David responded to Goliath in confidence having stood against a bear and a lion and trusting that with The Lord the outcome would be the same. And it was!
￼Mark DeLongs dad passed away and so we are requesting prayer for comfort and peace for him and his family during this time. While death is expected it is not something we look forward to. Thanks be to The Lord for his promises of eternal life with Him!
We also toured Jacmel quite a bit today and found that things are improving here – slowly, but they are improving. Of note, there is now a beautiful boardwalk along the ocean which was completed this spring. The community desires to be a resort town.. It’s well on the way!
Tomorrow our work begins. Let us be servants with our eyes fixed on Jesus bringing glory to The Lord!
The Carrefour team left Grace Village for the airport very early, and Tom and Ann settled in for a bit of a wait outside the airport. 2-1/2 hours later we landed, and everything went pretty smooth getting our gear and entering the country.
We we discovered that our ride was not at the airport yet, and so we piled together outside, switched our shoes to sandals, applied bug repellant, and began to wait!
The wait wasn’t terrible as a ride to Grace Village could be had! We piled into a van with ac and made our way to grace village. The accommodations were lovely for the hours we waited, and as they began lunch for us our van arrived. After loading the van we had the best meal we had eaten since leaving PDX – fried rice with carrots, peas, and diced hot dog!
The ride to Jacmel was smooth and we made great time. After getting things all sorted it was determined that Rachel’s bag was missing (and is yet to turn up!) A great meal and showers were had by all. At team debrief we shared where God showed up today. Countless ways …
Church starts at 6:30am! Photos tomorrow.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
First a report about Movie Night at the Boy’s Home last night. It was the highlight for all of us! After we arrived the boys were so excited. We were mugged from all directions.
We had the usual technical difficulties. Tom realized he left the DVD player for his computer back at Grace. We borrowed a computer from one of the boys. The movie we selected was plugged in and when we went to the language selection, No French!
We finally got things going and had a great time. Ann made popcorn for them and we had boys on all sides of us and in our arms. Eric was the all grinning ear to ear when he found and held Caleb.
A huge rain storm came in and it rained hard for two hours straight. The road outside the home looked like a river. There was a concern that Bob’s Tap Tap might become a water taxi.
Training Day 4
Today was less chaotic with no other classes going on in the same area we were training in. Then we served lunch. Luce had made them one of my favorite soups. However it turns out Haitian police don’t eat soup. A group of them left to find their own lunch.
Murray taught cuffing and searching this morning, Mike taught Crime Scene Investigations. Mike shared what it means to be a Christian Police Officer. After lunch we did patrol tactics and crowd control. This group was actually very good. They were able to demonstrate all the learning points and techniques on the first or second time. We finished early!
This week seems like it has flown by. We thank-you for your prayers. This team has really been a great team changing and adjusting schedules and equipment seamlessly. And there have been several last minute changes this trip.
Please be praying for the traveling of the Jacmel team which leaves tomorrow evening. Annand Tom will take the Carrefour team to the airport and meet the Jacmel team as they arrive!
This may be the last entry for the Carrefour team. Friday is a pretty packed day and we will be getting back from banquet late. Tom and Ann may get the last day of training and banquet entry in Saturday.
For the families of the Carrefour team thank-you for sharing your loved ones in Haiti. They will be home soon.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Day 3 of Training went pretty well. We were at Grace International and which was very busy. They had a couple of sewing classes while we tried to divide the students into 2 groups taking all available space in the classroom area. We had to jockey around rooms to make it all work. While we were teaching on getting out of arm holds, Garry a very muscular young officer asked if Jean Phillip could break his grip around Jean’s waist. Jean Phillip ran his knuckles across the back of Garry’s hand and Garry could not let go fast enough. He showed us the technique and it was amazingly easy. I am looking forward to taking it back home with me!
Patrol Tactics was interesting as well. Because of the room situation, we had room clearing in large room where several women were doing a sewing class. No one seemed to mind.
Bibi came over from the Boy’s Home to pick up the tools Marci Jackson had sent down. He was very excited to get them.
Ann helped out with check in again then got out to do some errands.
We cannot believe that 5 full days have come and gone. This has been a very fast week.
We were getting ready to go to the Boy’s Home for Movie Night when we learned they would be I church until 7:30. We will go over there then. So since it will be a late night and we have free time, we are getting the blog out now.
Thank=you for all of your prayers. They are being felt here in Haiti.
We are getting photos to download but it is very slow
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Today, on the second full day of training (4th overall day here in Haiti) the team is finally adjusting to training Haitians in the heat and humidity. Well, maybe not “adjusting” but more like just getting used to living in a constant state of profuse sweating. After a morning devotion, we again set out in to the always-unpredictable Carrefour traffic to go to the Coast Guard station to continue our bifurcated efforts: 1) Training the Haitian National Police/Coast Guard in policing and 2) developing relationships with the trainees to show them Christ’s love.
The morning started off with some Defensive Tactics training. Again, it is always an enjoyable foray when it is 80 degrees and 80 percent humidity at 0800 in the morning. The physical exertion of the Defensive Tactics combined with the hot and sticky weather conditions made an excellent opportunity to sweat side-by-side with our Haitian brothers and sisters in law enforcement. The class gave feedback that the tactics we were teaching were really something they could use on a day-to-day basis, which was encouraging and reaffirming.
The excellent staff at Grace Village brought out a fantastic lunch. As soon as it was devoured, Tom once again led a voluntary Bible study for any students wishing to attend. The group of students who attended started at about 4-5 but soon grew to 8-9. What was intended to be a quick 15-minute study on David quickly grew to over 45 minutes. The discussion was lively and electric and actually had to be cut off (with a promise to resume tomorrow) so that the police training sessions could once again resume. The Haitians seem to be such a passionate people and it was fun watching them colorfully discuss some of the points that God was leading Tom to share.
The afternoon classes were centered on Identifying Armed Individuals, Weapon Cleaning, and a Power Point on Introduction to Building Searches. As with any training (probably anywhere in the world, but certainly in the U.S.) the attention span and interest level began to fade in the afternoon so we released the class a bit early. Some of the students once again came up to us, thanked us for putting on the training, and told us about their belief in God.
The day ended after another “eventful” ride home and a fantastic Haitian meal. Please continue to pray for the hearts of the Haitian students that they would be receptive to hearing God’s principles and that the members of the team would also be receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in however way He wants to use them. For now, it’s off to bed for an attempt at some sleep!
We wondered where our police/firefighter friend Jordany was. We learned he had been put into prison on an allegation off excessive force. Yes Prison on an allegation. They decided yesterday there was no evidence and released him. He showed up today and it was so good to see him. He told us as he was sitting in prison he knew Jesus would get him out in so he could be at our training!
Ann helped with the morning and afternoon check in. then she got to visit the Widows. Her favorite part of the trip. One of the widows is very near death, so Ann was very grateful she was able to visit with her.
We apologize for no pictures the last couple of days, For some reason we having difficulty uploading them.
We are trying to get this out during one of the times we have power. Good Night!
Mike Wood began the day with a brief devotional on removing the earplugs and noises that each of us employ and which prevents us from hearing God. We then crammed into the back of tap cab (pick up truck) with six luggage bags and a water cooler a drove NASCAR style, along with a lot of horn blowing during the maneuvers, among the Haitian traffic until we reached the police station for the first day of training.
Our students arrived on Haitian time and quickly became very engaged right from the start. There was a little concern at first as we disarmed them for the training and watched them clear their weapons by pointing them at their body or looking down the barrels to ensure thy were clear. It was not hard to imagine how all the holes in the tile floor (from accidental discharges) happened. Meanwhile, just outside the door prisoners were brought out of the jail and marched across the area in their underwear to wash over by the water spicket. Despite this check in went well and the class started off strong. On this trip, the students were given pens and notebooks and used these ferverously to take notes during the morning sessions. Relationships also started quickly. At the first break, two officers surrounded Eric to get a picture with him and to tell him that they believed in God and expressed how happy that we were there and that this training was exactly what they needed. At lunch, Tom tried something new, and no it was not peanut butter on pancakes (that’s Eric’s breakfast). He offered to conduct a short Bible study during the break. Two students joined in, then five, after a few minutes, twenty of the twenty five students packed onto benches in a small circle right outside the training room and adjacent to the jail cells to engage in a blunt and lively discussion on how to live out their lives as a Christian and a police officer. The rest of the day went well with training on gun handling, defensive tactics and policing in a democratic society, which continued the discussion that began during the lunchtime Bible study. A down pour in the afternoon turned the training room into a sauna, but what is Haiti without heat. We ended slightly early and packed up for the trip back, this time with a few less suitcases. However, the ride was just as eventful as we pulled out onto the street in rush hour traffic and vehicles swerved around us and bared down on us with no sign of braking or slowing. Another quick turn took us out of traffic and down side roads, which felt more like off-roading, but it gave us a new view we had not seen up till now.
The day ended with a beautiful sunset and visit over dinner with other individuals visiting on other missions related to investing in the local orphanages with financial and adoption support programs. Oh, there is also a single catholic visiting Grace Village and out of Christian mercy and love we let him eat with us too. Day 3 is quickly on its way and tomorrow we will be working out of the Coast Guard station, which should be a little cooler with a nice breeze coming off the ocean.