Sunday, December 2, 2018

Getting Resituated

The sun is still shining in Haiti!  Just as the cold, cloudy days become commonplace in the Midwest November that we left behind, the warmth and blue skies can soon be taken for granted on the other end.   I recall looking forward to our sunny walks to church while we were rushing to get inside out of the frigid rain in Indiana, and it makes me glad once again for the continually beautiful (albeit quite warm sometimes) weather here in Haiti.

Not only is the sun still shining, but the little church is still coming together here in Hostin, Arcahaie. Not only the three regular meetings they had before, but three new meeting times have been added as well.  They’re now holding twice weekly, 5am prayer meetings, as well as a leadership training meeting for those interested in pursuing the ministry. Barry said the prayer meetings are quite a blessing.  It is still completely dark out as brethren gather under the metal roof and begin to sing.  They had already begun to sing as he was finding his way through the quiet darkness approaching the church property. Their voices were all that could be heard, and it was quite inviting to hear that sound    At such a time!

All of these meetings are more precious at such a time as this, when the country, once again, is turning itself upside down with riotous behavior for the sake of politics.  The riots were becoming so violent that people began to question whether we should even go back to Haiti when we did , that it might be worth canceling our tickets.  Under the Lord’s direction we still felt led to go, and landed safely in late afternoon of November 20th. Ramos, who always comes to pick us up at the airport, said there was no possible way he could come.  Earlier in the week he had been robbbed on his way to buy pig feed, and he wasn’t about to try to come again just yet.

After some time waiting in the airport while Barry made some more phones calls, another couple we know was able to pick us up and take us to a nearby guesthouse. They had just flown in that morning and were also picking their daughter and a friend up that same evening. The place we stayed was only 5 minutes from the airport, and the route was clear as we made our way there just as nightfall made the situation more ominous.

We stayed there two nights before Ramos could make the trip. The leaders of the rebellion called for a “ceasefire” so that citizens could spend a day finding food and making a little money. We made a quick stop at the grocery store on the way, but by 11am nearly all the perishable foods were picked over. We got a bag of rice and a few vegetables and hurried home in the back of the tap-tap style Land Cruiser. I’m pretty sure it was the fastest Ramos had ever driven with passengers in tow.  We would have been easy, obvious prey for anyone on the lookout for Americans to pester, but as usual the angels of the Lord were round about us. I sang that Psalm to myself all the way home as a reminder of how we’ve always been safe and protected.

Once we were back at the mission house, a different battle was on, but this one was only with the dust that had gathered on every imaginable inch of the house after three months of non-use. With Katie and Saloma’s hard work, we’re gaining some headway. The little ants, however, might be succeeding in taking over. Yikes!  I’m so thankful to have the extra help along with all there was to do! I’m afraid I had underestimated when I thought about how we might’ve found the house. They’ve both been a temendous blessing with all of that, and even all the adjusting with getting a family with four little ones settled back in. It’s all new for Andrew, and he had some days that he just wanted to be rocked and held.

Barry jumped right back into the swing of things and is blessed to be preaching up North this weekend with Stanley Fox. He’s hoping to make it back in time for Bible study tonight. We’re thankfuk for all the prayers that lifted us up as we were able to get back safely! I want to take another opportunity to thank everyone immensely for all that was done while we were in the States during a roller coaster time in our lives. Your prayers and deeds of love and kindness are too many to write here!

P.S. Bear with me as a try to get more detailed posts done, too. The internet signal, or lack thereof, is one more thing to “readjust” to.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


What an exciting day for the Kingdom today!  Nearly a year after the first service was held at the little stick church here in Arcahaie, and after seven weeks of baptism classes, four men and three women were added to the fold this morning.  

Some of them have been with us since the start, while others started coming a little further down the line. They are all evidence of God's mighty power to change hearts and lives.   They each had the opportunity to share his or her own testimony at the morning service, which was quite touching. 

Allow me to briefly introduce these brothers and sisters to you. 

Herode, a man full of questions and a desire to learn. In his mid 30s, he has one little boy with his "madam,"   who also attends regularly. She had already been baptized previously, and confesses straying for a time but now returning her dedication to the Lord. Although not married, these two were one of the couples who agreed to abstain from intimacy until they were soundly converted, baptized, and married rightfully before God. 

Jeraldson, a young man who has made an outstanding turn around and come out of the woodwork as a stand out in his desire to do God's will. He's thankful for every piece of Bible literature he receives, and has been a real encouragement and blessing in the last few weeks. 

Reynaldson, at 17, was the first one to say "I'm ready." He had some issues to work through, but with counseling and much time growing, his fruit is evident. He lives just across the narrow gravel road from the church with his adoptive mom and twin brother. 

McClawd came a little later onto the scene, invited by his long-time girlfriend, Jilline.  He was resistant to change for some time, but it seems as though he's submitted, broken through his hindrances and allowed God to change his heart.  

Jilline, the first woman to confess her desire to serve the Lord nearly a year ago. She comes from a family of voodoo, and should have been handed the reins in a powerful position, but she turned her back on it all to give her heart to God.  She opened her testimony with a song, and cried as she sang "Jesus delivered me."  I'm amazed at the joy that radiates from her, as well as how many people she has shared her new found faith with while inviting them to church. She and McClawd would like to be married and have a Godly home trying to raise the children they already have together. 

Jilline singing with tears "Jesus Delivered me" to begin her testimony of salvation

Mari Lourde (like Mary Lou) is another amazing piece of evidence of God's hand at work. She shared in her testimony about how mad she was the second time she came to this church and a bench fell on her leg. She was so upset she left before the service was over and said she would NEVER come back. After missing one Sunday, the Lord wouldn't have it and the Spirit called her back to church. A few Sundays later, she was broken in repentance before God and the pastors.  The evidence of new joy was incredible after that. She hasn't been without struggles, as her family has opposed many of her changes, but I see her coming through shining. 

Antonia, Reynaldson's adoptive mom, has a testimony of the Lord changing her heart and making her joyful and forgiving, especially to a sister she had struggled with for a long time, and freeing her from sin. She's very outgoing and loves children, although she's never had any of her own. 

After the testimonies and closing the service at the church, everyone loaded into the Mission's box truck and headed to LaDigue. There is a place where the mountain meets the lowland, and the river that feeds a huge area of Arcahaie is diverted into different canals to be sent off in varying directions.  It's a very public area, but the children that had been using the desired spot for a swimming whole were briefly diverted from their fun, and we were able to continue the baptism service without much trouble. 

After each one was baptized, the pastors commissioned them and prayed with them.  We closed the service by singing "Mwen vle Sanble Jezi."  (I want to be like Jesus.) 

After hugs, handshakes, and "God bless you's" we loaded back up and returned to the church to unload everyone. We came home uplifted and encouraged that the day went so well. It has taken much labor to get here, and God has shown himself faithful. 

"Be not weary in well doing, for in due time ye shall reap, if ye faint not." 

We know the battle is not over! There are many adversaries and it's only just beginning! These seven people need prayer and support like never before.  They need to know that there are people with them on the journey.  

And the Lord won't stop with them. People were touched by what they saw and heard today, and the Lord is allowing hearts of other regular attendees to be turned and softened. 

Pray for Barry and Pastor Bazalet as they council and guide these souls, that they could direct them only onto the straight and narrow! 

After the first part of the service, at the church house, we asked if they wanted to take some pictures
to share with the congregation at home.

A Joyful Day!

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Country in Chaos

Once again, it's been an eventful time here on the Island of Hispaniola. This time things have escalated enough to make world news.  The people of Haiti don't like what their government is doing, so they're following the custom that has most always worked for them: revolt.  The Capitol, Port-au-Prince is in utter chaos.  The streets are filled with burning tires and riotous men filled with whiskey to loosen them up in order to be willing to do anything. Huge stores have been completely turned upside down. The airport closed off any flights coming in. Many people who had flown in when the madness was beginning were unable to leave Port-au-Prince.   They were forced to stay in hotels, which also became the targets of destruction. The Best Western in Petionville, the wealthier side of town, had all the cars in the parking lot set aflame and the street surrounding it covered with burning tires. An unknown number of lives have been lost.

The pastor of CAM was robbed at gunpoint and was unable to make it home from the city for several days.  

But the madness doesn't stop at the city limits.   There is no travel anywhere. The rioters have demanded that there is to be no work, so no progress is being made on building the wall around the church.

The other day when it all started, Barry went to the blacktop on the motorbike in order to analyze the situation. While driving down the deserted street he met a group of men demanding him to stop. Without much time to think, he decided to increase his speed and force the mob to split, allowing him through. He then approached a road block in front of the church, where many things were on fire. He started taking a video, but it was only moments before large rocks were flying his way, along with screaming and cursing. The mobsters approached him and demanded his phone. Barry could hear them talking about burning his motor bike, but he calmly told them he wanted to show some people back in America what was going on. They thought that was a good idea and let him go.

There is no market. I only wonder how long it will be before hunger drives everyone to desperation.  We've heard activity outside the mission house every night, but we can only speculate at what's happening. The whole countryside has their lights turned off at nightfall, and all is strangely quiet until some of this rustling happens.

The people are mad about the "gas crisis." They got what they wanted on that note and the prices were brought back down, but now they say they want the president removed from office. I still don't quite grasp what destroying everything that fellow Haitians have worked hard for will accomplish, but that's what they do.

Thankfully, we are still able to walk to church.  During the Sunday mornings service, gunshots were fired a short distance away at the blacktop. During the evening Bible study the toxic smell of burning tires filled the air, while more gunshots and screaming could be heard.  Even as I write this at home, the gunshots are still ringing out, much closer than they were yesterday and all around us. We see people running for their lives from our upstairs windows. Helicopters are flying overhead, and once again we feel like we are in the middle of a war.

This post is simply a request for prayer as we share a bit of what's going on. Our neighbor noticed a truck sitting outside our wall with its lights off last night, a sure sign that somebody was "scoping things out." As usual, we know the Lord is in control, but we also know that prayer makes a difference.  

Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Vision for Expansion

It's been about 28 months since we first moved to Haiti.  Things have changed a lot over those two years; a lot has progressed, in some ways. The mission house was built, a small farm was started, the church was opened, lives were dedicated to Christ.  Now, the page is turning for yet a new chapter.

Room to Expand

It was no simple task,  but a land purchase was recently made right next to the church with plans for a future children's home. As could be expected, there were some glitches in getting the purchase closed.  The seller, a pastor of a large church, was given an agreed upon amount of money for an agreed upon amount of land. When time came to settle the paperwork, he decided to declare that it was actually less land in the agreement. So, he wanted more money or we would get less land.  When all the officials, surveyors, and notaries will automatically take the side of their fellow native, there's not much that can be done. We ended up with a little less land than we intended, but we're glad it's all fine and seems to be settled now. We know that God is in control of all these situations, and every time we are cheated, short-handed, or lied to, we pray it can be used for some greater purpose He has in mind.   Hopefully, within the next week will be groundbreaking on beginning a wall around the property.  With the home will come a small education system for teaching the children, as well as jobs for a lot of the church people, and the best opportunity possible to have a direct impact on the lives of children who were otherwise without much hope. It's an exciting and ambitious long-term plan, but without  a vision, the people perish.  

Road Blocks and Robbers

One sunny afternoon while Barry was far down south after preaching, he sent a message that said there were road blocks in Ti Goave and he might be a while getting home. This is a fairly common occurrence, so I said a prayer for his safety and kept busy while I waited for his return.  A short time later, while I'm picturing the wickedness and chaos that goes on during these unpeaceful protests, Barry sent another message saying that the US Embassy had issued a warning to all missionaries in Arcahaie. For the rest of the day I heard every loudspeaker and every bang, sounding like gunshots, and wondered what was going on. I heard groups of men arguing outside our wall. Is this related to what the warning was about? I wondered. I quickly did a round to give all the animals water for some relief from the scorching sun, gathered the eggs, and kept the children inside for the rest of the day. We kept ourselves busy making cookies, cleaning floors, and praying for Daddy to get home safely

Meanwhile, while Barry waited to get through the mess to get home, things were escalating at the scene.  There is a community centered around a large bridge nearby. For quite some time, topsoil, rocks, and debri have been running off the mountain and filling in the river under the bridge. The pile up got so high that there was no more room for water to run through after a big rain, so it flooded the nearby community. All it would take is a few hours with a bulldozer to clear it out. Community members tried peaceful petition to the government first, but didn't get anywhere. When help doesn't come, the people have to take more drastic measures. Blocking up Route National 1 is the only way to get anyone's attention. Unfortunate, but true, this is the precedent that's been set over the years. The police ended up tear-gassing everyone involved, including some innocent bystanders, and one young man was shot and killed.  The protest dissolved, but the government also gave them what they were asking for.  It's as if they say, "ok, fine. We'll bring the equipment, but you're going to suffer loss, too." 

It was dark, pouring down rain, and past the children's bedtime when we finally heard the truck at the gate. Like other stories, we were extra glad when Barry finally got home that night, several hours later than expected!

 I also found out later that the warning, more specifically, was put out due to a group of men who were making rounds robbing people in Arcahaie and the surrounding area, and some missionaries had already been hit. For the next several days, we were all a bit on edge. One night after the lights were turned out and we had just fallen asleep, Zoey started barking vigorously. She barks when she's tied up at night and sees something she can't get to.  Moments later there was a crash in the garage. We usually go see what Zoey is barking at, but this time nobody wanted to move. We were inwardly bracing and wondering if someone was actually out there. We may never know what it was, but we do know that the Lord is always watching over us. Thankfully, there haven't been any startling instances since, and we haven't heard of any more break-ins. 

A Quick Roof and a Rooster Roundup 

This past week we were blessed with a visit from two families, Steve's and Melvin's. There were several preaching opportunities throughout the week, some close by and others a good distance away. One morning they left at 7am to head for a service scheduled at 11:00. Things went well getting there, the preaching was a blessing, and they hoped to be home by four in the afternoon.  As the saying goes, though, "expect the unexpected."  They came walking in the gate just as the sun was setting at 7:30 or so that evening.

There was one service lined up right in Arcahaie one evening, so all the families joined for that. What we didn't know until we got there, though, was that our church was basically asked to conduct the service in this rather large building.  As usual, there were a handful of people present at the starting time, but people slowly trickled in over the next hour while pastor Bazalet led the singing. It add different for him trying to do do with the accompaniment of backup singers and drums, but he made it through none the less. When the congregational singing was done, the real "entertainment" began. By now the once empty pews were packed full of fashionable young people.  A group of five or six teenage girls in skin tight miniskirts stood up and assembled themselves in a line at the front of the church. When the music started, they began dancing and stepping in sync, shaking their hips to the rhythm while they sang about faith in Jesus. It was quite the contradictory scene, but really not unordinary.  When it was finally Barry's time to preach, the children were hot and tired and ready to go home, but his soul was so tired of the worldliness and mockery that nothing short of a fiery message could be put forth.

Sunday morning services were at the little stick church. It was a still, sunny morning and it was already quite warm by 8:30. Despite the heat, the singing was lively and the benches were full. Barry shared an opening and Steve brought the main message, "Is Your Ship at the Shore?"   People hung around to visit for a little while after the service was over. This in itself is a blessing to see happening now.  For the first several months, everyone would hop up, quickly shake hands, and bolt out the back.
After the Sunday sermon at our church, the Lengacher family shared a song.

Some physical work was done too, while the group was here. A lady from church had been asking for help with her patched up, leaky roof.  Since she rents the less-than-glamorous little hut, she didn't want much- just a new tarp to cover the whole roof in one solid piece.  This was as good a time as any to take the tarp over and visit her. With several hands, it was slipped over the house and tacked down in a short time.  She was so thankful! She's a sweet older widow, and one that's always blessed with the help she receives. MayCelia, or "grandma" as we lovingly call her, since she always brings her grandchildren to church with her, also received a new cape dress that day. She was beaming when she wore it to Bible study that night.  She also received a large bag of rice.  Some of the visiting children had worked to earn money at home for that very purpose. . Getrid, our old neighbor from Barbancourt, was also very glad to receive a bag. 

MayCelia's leaky, rented roof

Slipping the large tarp over the roof. Any bit of action will always quickly draw a crowd, which also brings a good opportunity to witness.

Monday morning right before they left for the airport, both families cheerfully helped us with a big chicken-butchering project. Mia, a young mother that helps us around the house for some income, came to help too.  In a few hours there were 60 chickens clean, packaged, and in the freezer ready to sell. They had a few minutes to quickly clean everyone up (its a stinky job!) and grab a bite to eat before heading for the US. We are so thankful for all the help!

Katlyn worked diligently to clean all the entrails. 60 gizzards is a lot to clean!
Assembly line; plucking and gutting

The children all had fun together through the week, for the most part, and spent a lot of time holding their own church services. They took turns being song leaders, preaching, and sharing testimonies. During one of their little meetings, we looked outside to see the laundry tote being used for a baptism.  After visiting a couple of the loud churches around here, they also needed a reminder why we don't have drums in church.  Watching them and listening to what they preached was rather interesting, as it reminded us how easily little children are influenced. Are they headed in the right direction?

To Wrap it Up

Overall we've had a very blessed and busy month. This evening another group is flying in for an extended weekend, while Katie, I and the children are headed to the US for a short time while I spend time with family. Barry will begin teaching the pastor training classes next week at CAM, which is a wonderful opportunity!  As always, we thank you for the continued prayers, encouragement, and support!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April Comes and Goes

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  

A thin, dirty hand reached through Barry's window and over to my side. His eyes were dark and hurting under his ragged dreadlocks and rainbow striped knit hat. "Mama" he pleaded as his open palm nearly skimmed my cheek.  We were parked on a street in Port-au-Prince with vehicle problems, and this was one of the many encounters with different people in one evening out with just the two of us.  We had our first appointment with a Nurse Midwife  about an hour or two drive from the mission house. Getting there was a whole story in itself.  Katie volunteered to keep the children at home for us while Barry and I made the drive to the late afternoon appointment.  On the way there, we had to stop and buy pig feed from the place Barry regularly gets it from. The same man he usually talks to was behind the counter to take his order, but after making his way through the long line that always gets longer if one doesn't hold his ground, there was some trouble communicating.  The brand of feed he always gets is called "Gwo Kochon" (big pig.). They make two different feeds, one for adult pigs and one for small feeder pigs. For some reason, this particular day, the man couldn't understand when we said we needed Gwo Kochon for small pigs, but eventually the message came through and we were on our way back outside for the bags to be loaded.

Forty five minutes after arrivng, we were on our way to the appointment again with less than half hour to make it all the way across town in backed-up traffic. We ended up being 45 minutes late, after we finally found the right place.  The visit went well and we were on our way to the nice grocery store on that far side of Port-au-Prince. We didn't get far, however, due to vehicle troubles that kept us from driving anywhere. After several hours in and out of dark alleys, encounters with a few drunks and lunatics, and finally getting the problem fixed along a busy roadway, I felt like I experienced a small bit of what Barry goes through all the time. When we made it to the Carribean store shortly after 8:00, they were just closing the gates, and our long awaited supper would have to wait a bit longer. How glad we were to make it home to the children that night!

Stuck in the canal a few minutes from home. 

There's never a dull day at the mission, whether from our own busy family life or from outside excitement.  The biggest challenge over the last couple of weeks have been the individual meetings with everyone that's been regularly attending church. It hasn't been a particularly enjoyable task, but one that's necessary.  The last thing we want to do is to be another church on the block that allows everyone to continue in their sin, and carry on as if there's no danger there.

The most prevalent issue seems to be so many couples living in fornication, since this has become such an accepted cultural practice in this country. There are some family units, as well as a few mothers with young children, who have expressed a desire to sincerely live a holy life. One young couple with a two year old son has committed to go on from here in a pure relationship, with marriage in their sights after they know they're winning the victory and are both converted to Christ.

Juline, a young mother who was one of the very first to start attending, has proclaimed her sincerity in wanting to walk uprightly. She has apparently separated from her baby's father and is no longer living with him. That was encouraging to hear! Several months ago, about a month after the church was opened, she said she was ready to turn her life around.  We are really seeing the fruits of that commitment now. She still has some personal struggles, but she has asked several times that the pastors be patient with her, because "you don't understand how wicked I was," she explains.

Some meetings, however, were not so encouraging. There were some who have declared that they can't break free from their current relationship(s) and live without fornication. Some of have chosen to stop coming until they are ready to be committed, Lord willing, at a later time. This church, as stated many times, is going to be more than a Sunday morning clubhouse.

These are just a few examples of the outcomes of the meetings, but hopefully it gives you an idea of what Barry is working with and perhaps what to pray for.   It seems to be that with the very old and the very young, a complete lack of knowledge of biblical principles creates a challenge.  In my last post, I mentioned going to the market to buy material to start making dresses for the church ladies. Several have been made now, and there are still more to make just to get the first dress to all those who have asked.  I'm so thankful for Katie's help with all the sewing to be done!

Along with the task of shepherding the little stick church, the team continues to do some traveling, but they've narrowed down the focus to nine groups that seem to have a desire to learn and change. They'll meet regularly with these groups as long as they see evidence of a desire to learn. Some of the questions that are asked at the evening Bible studies are almost astounding. Just for example, one woman was wanting to know how God felt about living in blatant adultery because her husband was already doing it first.

Today we're in Port-au-Prince again. After getting a bite to eat and dropping Katie off at the airport to go home for her brother's wedding, we headed downtown. This is probably my absolute least favorite place in Haiti to go, but we know the Lord is with us everywhere.  This is definitely a man's place to be. Block after block of filthy, run down concrete buildings are used auto parts stores. The streets are always packed full of people and traffic, but only about one in fifty is a female. It seems at that rate they only come through to sell something.  For some of them, the service they offer is their own body. . An older lady is a regular and comes through with a pitcher full of freshly made juice from real fruits and vegetables.  She sells hundreds of them. We're thankful to at least be sitting in the shade inside the truck, although the temperature is still high enough to cause pools of sweat to run.  By the time we're done, we'll hopefully have the truck's air conditioner up and running again. From all appearances of the crowd gathered around the hood of the truck, it shouldn't take long. :) "If you ever feel like you're running out of patience," Barry says, "come to this part of the country." Thankfully, the littlest missionaries are using the opportunity to pass out Gospel tracts and practice their Creole while telling people "Ou bezwen sa!" "Ou bezwen li sa. Li pou Ou! " (You need this! You need to read this! It's for you!)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

An Unusual Market Day

Our first week back from furlough has already gone flying by.  It was an enjoyable and encouraging four weeks in the US, but we were happy to get back to the warm weather, sunshine, and the little stick church. Thankfully, Katie met us at the airport and was able to fly back with us. The first week was spent mostly trying to catch up on some sleep, finish recovering from some bouts with the flu, cleaning up the accumulated dust, and getting things back to "normal."

While we were gone, the church group and Pastor Bazalet decided they would like to have Sunday evening services as well, so we're now meeting twice on Sundays.  Franz can't make it to the evening service, so Barry does his best to share what he can in Creole without the help of a translator.  It's a laid back time of sharing and asking questions. This past Sunday, several of the women expressed a desire to have a modest dress of their own.

A few days later, we were off to the market to look for dress material for the church ladies, buy some rice and beans, and see if we could find out how the sale of our first plantain harvest was going. When we were a few dozen yards from the main entrance of the market building, we noticed a commotion in the crowd. As we kept approaching, a motorcycle came bolting from the chaos, carrying a man whom Barry recognized, with a bloody chest , eyes closed, and unable to support himself. It looked pretty evidently to be a gunshot wound. Unfortunately the main entrance was right in the path we needed to take, so we squeezed our way through the jumbled mass of people, right past the fresh blood still spattered on the concrete.

After asking a few questions to various vendors, we learned the victim was the man who sits in front of the building exchanging money.  He was shot 3 times in the back and robbed. Despite all the witnesses, the gunman easily escaped.  Apparently there is a gang of men in the area who are shooting people for much less than a wad of cash, even for a basic flip phone. The money changer, who did not survive, was also a witch doctor.  Barry had made efforts to witness to to him on multiple occasions there at the market. He was so set in his beliefs that he would not even allow himself to touch a Gospel tract, as if it was a curse to him. Another time he finally took one and ripped it up and threw it on the ground.  His death was rather tragic and a stark reminder that we're back in Haiti, and there's no less work to do.  Our boys were a little shook up after seeing the wounded man and being squeezed in throng of people, but their little minds seem to be able move past such things.

We're thankful for all the hospitality that was shown during our visit home, and even more thankful for the prayers that are raised on behalf of the mission!

Plantains from our garden ready to go to the market. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Projects and Happenings

Here's just a small glimpse at some of the latest happenings around the mission house and surrounding Arcahaie.

The largest project, and one that's still going on, has been the bulldozer work on the mountain road that stretches 22 rough and rocky miles behind Arcahaie. A bulldozer was hired to move large rocks, flatten the terrain, and widen the road where it was needed.

The large bulldozer making its way through a narrow passage in the mountain.

Before construction, heavy duty metal mile markers were placed every half mile for the entire stretch of the road.
Here, Nate is drilling a hole in a rock where one of the rebar sign posts will be driven.  

There's always a crowd gathered to watch the 'dozer work.  A couple of young men have been sleeping with it every night to help prevent theft or any unwelcome activity.

We were blessed to host a large group, or two groups that overlapped, last week. The mission house was all filled up and bustling with activity.  We always enjoy the time of fellowship and singing (in English!) with a group that's much larger than our young family :)

Sharing with Emmanuel, a youth who spent a lot of time around the house.

Walking single file up the narrow path to church.


Talking with some of the neighborhood boys

Putting a cabinet together to be installed in the mission house

Lots of helpers were here to get them put together quickly. They sure transformed the kitchen area!

Over the last several months, Barry has been working diligently to establish a "pig operation." In the past two weeks, the herd has doubled with the birth of 24 new piglets.  There are many foes for a baby pig, but most of the babies are growing and thriving.  We hope this is a good start to a small business that will generate income for the mission.

Abram and David displaying two piglets from the latest litter.