Happenings

It has been a great week here at MOH. The work that is going on here is happening at a God speed and I was glad to here that we hired a new Haitian engineer to lead the construction projects. He is a nice young man named Fils-aimé. I am looking forward to working with him.

The Housing project in LeVeque is going strong. 138 started and close to 100 finished, except the roofs. We have been waiting to get a container out of port with our roofing material and it finally arrived early this week. Time for some roofing!!!!!

The Hospital is getting painted and the windows were ordered this week. May will be a big push to get the paint and floor finished. We finished 6 homes in local villages this week and teams will be painting them in the weeks to come.

MOH Cribs has been so much fun. We are finding random people from the church and some that are complete strangers and painting their houses for them. A common response when we ask if we can paint their house is, why or what do you want in return. When we say we want nothing but that The Church of Hope just wants to be a blessing to them and the community, the look on their faces is priceless. Random acts of kindness opens doors for the love of Christ every time. We will start to plant trees and do minor repairs soon also.

The big push for the last couple of weeks and for the next few is to complete the first floor of the new guest house. It needs to be completed by May 14th!!!! Teams painted 4 of the 6 rooms on the 1st floor this week and the front porch. The electric, plumbing and septic work began also. Oh yeah, the air conditioning went in too!!! NOT!!! Well it has been windy this week. It is going to be a great place for teams to stay and unwind at the end of a long day.

We are beginning the footings for our new 37,000 square foot warehouse this coming week and continuing to push hard to get the guest house ready. The new school rooms in Bercy are ready to be roofed and painted. September will bring some happy kids as the hope of an education becomes a reality. Very exciting!!!

As you can see things are moving fast and there are more things to start soon….

Thanks to all of you who support MOH. Your faithfulness to your part of God’s call to MOH is truly transforming a country….. WE are so blessed to be a part of God’s work here in Haiti….

John

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Our Visit Home (Our Michigan Home)

Home, we now have 2 homes.  One in Haiti, where we actually live and work and the other is in Michigan, but this is the place where we were born and grew up and have lots of family and friends.  Noah one day was confused, we were talking about ‘home’ and he asked ‘Are you talking about our home here or in Haiti?  We need to figure out what to call each one.’  Although we still haven’t figured out a name for each home, they are both very different, but both ‘home’.

The flights back to Michigan were very crazy.  The flight into Miami was like a roller coaster, the nose of the plane was going every direction just before landing.  The flight into Detroit was very turbulent.  We went through a big line of storms and had to climb 4,000 feet higher than what we were supposed too, we were still in turbulence.  I do NOT like turbulence, so I had a good hold on the arms of my chair.

My visit started out really well until later in the day the 1st day we were here.  My mom ended up in the hospital.  She had several infections going on and what the medical people are calling the ‘superbug’.  She came home after 2 days in the hospital with a picc line so that nurses could come to her house to give her the medication.  My mom got home and the next day I started to get a sore throat.  So in order to visit with her, I had to wear a mask, so I didn’t give her something else.  She cannot leave the house while the picc line is in, which won’t be removed until after we leave.  A big disappointment that we won’t be able to shop together while I’m here, but glad she seems to be doing better.

It has been very different being back in Michigan.  Not just because of the weather or the scenery, but because of the many things that just become natural when living a totally different life style.  What I mean by that is: getting a drink out of the tap, in Haiti you only drink water out of a Culligan bottle;  I am finding myself walking through the house when I get up in the morning, turning all the lights and/or fans off, in Haiti I do this because throughout the day we run on batteries and I don’t want to use up all the battery life on things we don’t need running;  I have to drive very conscience about stop signs, lights and other traffic rules, in Haiti there aren’t many stop signs or lights, I found myself almost passing a person on the left today as they were turning left, this is common in Haiti, when you are turning you have to watch for the traffic behind to pass on any side;  When I am on facebook, I still continue to pass over any videos or anything that streams or has to be downloaded, in Haiti we can’t view any of these things, our internet is very limited.  Those are just a few of the differences that I continue to find myself shocked that I have learned a new way in such a short time.  The craziest thing was, I could only think of the Creole word for grapefruit (chadèk), it took me a minute to think of the English word.

It has been great to see many friends and family.  Noah and Caleb have enjoyed getting to see some of their friends too.

By the way, I have uploaded many new photos to our albums, so be sure to check them out.

Mary

Afternoon Adventure

Last Sunday after church, John, I and the kids decided to head out for the afternoon.  Our destination was the Baptist Mission and the Lookout.

The Baptist Mission is a nice place to go up in the mountains.  They have a little restaurant, a store, a bakery and a zoo.  They also have a church and a clinic among other things.  While you sit and eat at the restaurant, it over looks the mountains and you can see all the farming that is going on, on the side of the mountains.  This is something the Baptist Mission taught the Haitian people, how to terrace farm.  It is a beautiful view.

The Lookout is up in the same mountain as the Baptist Mission, but a different direction around the mountain.  You basically walk out onto someone’s roof top and can look out and see all of Port-au-Prince.  It is a really neat view.  I have some pictures of our last trip to the Lookout in our photos, ‘Our Family Times’ album.

So, these two places were our destination.  We arrived at the Baptist Mission only to find the restaurant and bakery closed.  We were bummed, as we were all hungry!  We hopped back in the truck and John decided to head up the mountain further to see if we could find somewhere to eat.  As we climbed and climbed and came across such beauty, we finally came across a restaurant that looked like somewhere we could eat.  Now, you can’t just eat any ole place in Haiti, you have to be careful that they serve Culligan water/ice and know how to wash/clean the food properly.  We parked and went in.  What a beautiful restaurant, we sat right by the windows that had a view of the mountains and valleys.  And the food was really good.

Once we finished eating, we decided to trek further up the mountain.  We didn’t know we were in for such a ride.  It was such a different world up there, John even said at one point ‘I feel like we just landed on the moon’.  It was really neat to see the valleys and next mountain tops and all the houses down the sides of the mountains and how they farmed the land.  We drove through many different villages, some good-sized and some really small.  We came to one point that all you saw everywhere was green onion.  The air even smelled like green onion.  They were bundling it up getting ready to take it down the mountain to market.  Shortly after that point, we came to a stop in the road.  By stop, I mean there was a couple huge piles of rocks in the middle of the road and no way to get around them.  So we had to turn around and head back down.

On our way down, we found another road to go up another mountain top, so we took it.  We were looking for a Lodge that is supposed to be in that area in the Pine Forest.  We drove through many pine trees, but didn’t find the Lodge.  We did however make it to the top of another mountain.  The road to go down the other side looked too dangerous so we turned back around and came down the way we went up.

As we were on our way home, down the mountain, a guy came running towards us.  I didn’t see what he had in his hand, but John did.  He got up to the truck and John started bartering with him, he then handed me a bouquet of beautiful flowers.

We continued on our way and made it home.  What a great day!

To see the other awesome pictures from that day, go to our photos and look at the album ‘Our Family Times’.

So Much Done!

Sorry it’s been a while since John or I have posted.  Things have been really busy.

We just had 1 team of 88 people here for 2 weeks, and they worked and worked and worked.  They were able to get so much either finished or helped us get pushed ahead, by a lot, on many projects.  Just on the construction side alone, they helped get an apartment ready for another family that is moving down next week as staff, worked on getting the guest kitchen to be moved to the new kitchen area, poured a cement patio and put a cover for an outdoor eating area, built many picnic tables for the Hope Village kids to eat at, built and put up a wood screen for the Hope Village kids to watch their once a week movie on, helped get a water cistern put together and hooked up in Leveque, got many homes in Leveque started and well on their way to being completed soon, worked on 2 village homes for 2 families desperately in need of a home, helped work on the hospital and…..I’m sure I’m forgetting something.  But, this is just the construction side of things, we had maintenance things worked on, doctors/nurses working in the clinic and doing mobile clinics, people sorting through donated clothing and items for the Hope Village, people painting the church, ladies making address signs for our homes in Leveque and street signs and ladies working in the kitchen to feed all of us.  I may have left some things out, only because there was so much going on, it’s hard to keep track.

With that all being said, take a look at the photos.  I have uploaded many new ones.

Mary

More about the 500 Homes

After a few snags, we are under way again with building homes for the 500 Homes Project.

We are getting close to having 4 homes completed.  Once the 4 are done, the Ministry of Finance will come to check them out.  After we have their approval, we will begin on the rest of the 500 homes.  Our goal is to build at least 50 a month.

Now, when I say a completed home, this is what completed is……..a 16′ x 19′ two room block home, with a patio and patio awning that sits on a lot that is 42′ x 90′ and is sitting in a way that they can eventually add-on if they wish.  It will have a toilet (outhouse style) and a shower room (outside).  The home will also be painted inside and out.  The perimeter of the lot will be lined with a cactus like plant, which is common in Haiti.  Each home will also have 6 Moringa trees, 2 Almond trees, 1 Orange tree, 1 Citron tree, 3 Banana trees, 1 Coconut tree, 1 Mango tree and 1 Papaya tree.

It will be so exciting to be there when people start moving in.

I have uploaded more photos of the homes being worked on; from our blog page, go to ‘Haiti Photos’, click ‘More Photos’, then click ‘500 Homes’ and then in the upper right corner click on ‘slide show’.

Mary

Election Time

Elections in Haiti are very different from elections in the US.

Election day was Sunday, November 28.  The results didn’t come out until this past Tuesday evening, December 7.  The results were that the top 2 vote getters would move on to a run-off in January.  This is because neither of them received the 50% vote needed to be elected.

Now, the man who came in third, his supporters were not happy because his percentage of the votes was so close.  They let their voices be heard that they were not happy, rioting.

Many of you have probably seen on the news, the burning of tires, the road blocks, etc, this is the normal way that they protest in Haiti.  Yes, the airport has closed, schools are closed, most everything is closed due to the rioting, with the roads blocked nobody can make it to work or school, so it’s easier just to close things down.  And just remember, what you see on TV is just about always portrayed to be worse than it is.  That being said, I’m not saying that things aren’t going on and what you see isn’t real, but it’s not going on everywhere.  Where we are is pretty calm and quiet.

So, please continue to pray for Haiti, but know that we at MOH are safe and fine.  We are staying close to home and not much is going on, but that’s what we do when nothing is open.

A quick update on the Hope House kids, they have moved up to ‘Hope Village’.  The big move was this past Saturday, December 4.  They seem to be settling in well.  For those of you that have helped work on these buildings, whether it was painting, plumbing, pouring the slab, putting on the roof, moving beds around, etc…….Thank You!

Mary