Sunday, December 26, 2010

Church services in Haiti

Today we went to a church called Mission of Hope. I think this is about our 4th time there.  Even though the service is in creole they try to put some of the words to the worship songs in English.  Most of the time they play the same songs we do in our contemporary service at First Baptist.  So even though we can't read creole yet we know what the words are in English.  I was so worried about not being able to understand the songs or preaching that I didn't even want to go.  But God is so good!  I was in sort of a bad mood before we went but God turned it into a huge blessing.  I don't know why I keep putting God into a box that is surrounded by me.  I need to remember it is me in a small box surrounded by God.
    Its a little harder to keep the kids entertained.  They got new bibles for Christmas so today was a bit easier.  We can see the kids starting to warm up to the Haitian kids.  They don't seem to be as shy around them.  Haitians have no concept of personal space.  I guess I wouldn't either if I was used to having 15 people living in such a small space, the houses aren't very big, usually no bigger than 10 x 10.  The kids especially love sitting next to Xander and Ellie.  We'll start out the four of us standing side by side on the pew while singing then when its time to sit down a few Haitian kids have squeezed in amongst Xander and Ellie.  The Haitian kids just love touching Xander and Ellie, especially their hair.  Most of the time when we go to the schools the Haitian kids gather around Xander and Ellie and just hold on to them.  This is going to take some getting used to by the kids.  I'm sure the more they are around Haitian kids the more used to the closeness they will be. 
  During the church service Xander and Ellie where sharing the silly bands they got for Christmas, so we had all these kids sitting around us with silly bands on.  Its great to see our kids sharing.  The Haitian kids just thought that was the coolest things in the world, they were stretching them and wrapping them around their fingers.  I forgot to mention we got to church at 9:30 and didn't leave our pew, no padding, until 12:30.  They do a lot of worship songs and special music groups and only a little preaching.  It is awesome to see hundreds of people so intent on worshiping our Lord. 
  Hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and remember how blessed you are in the U.S.  We gave out 200 backpacks filled with toys, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, combs,and brushes to the kids at one of the schools on Wednesday.  Haitians don't celebrate Christmas like we do at home, definitely no presents.  So we were happy to give out these gifts and to see the smiles on the kids faces. 
  The past month and a half have gone by very quick.  It is wonderful to see how our awesome God is using us.  Us, who are we that the Lord has chosen to use us?  It is such a great opportunity to know that we are doing what God wants us to do.  So many people were against us coming to Haiti or at least didn't understand why we would want to go to Haiti.  We feel that the Lord has blessed us so much in the U.S. that how could we not go where his will leads us.  I'm sure we are much happier here in God's will than being back home not doing what God wants us to do.  I encourage everyone to take a closer look at their lives.  Is this really what God wants from me?  Are all these material things worth my time and money?  Take time to listen to what God's will is.  It may not be loud, we just need to slow down and not busy ourselves so much trying to please ourselves.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Life in Haiti

The kids caught a baby goat.  They named him Goaty.

Nicky working on one of the Mules used to get around the compound.


   God allows tragic things to happen for a reason .
   Today we went sight seeing with the team that is here until Wednesday.  As we were returning back to the compound we came upon a tragic scene.  There was a little boy, about 5 or 6,  he had just been hit by a car.  It had just happened a few seconds before we got there.  No one was helping him the crowd was staring but not getting close and  no one would touch him.  There were others running down the road chasing after the car that had hit him.  There was no hope for this child, he was gone.  He may lay there all day before someone moves him.  No one wants to touch him until after the police get there.  If you try to help you go to jail because they hold you responsible for hurting or killing them. 
  All we could do was pray.  Unlike the States there is no first responders, ambulances are very few and far between,  and no EMTs.  This tragedy shows how short life is.  We know that child is in heaven now, a better place, but the parents and the driver of the vehicle we don't know their fate.  It makes us hold our kids closer and slow down to remember what's really important. 
   Nicky has been trying to fix vehicles as soon as parts come in from the states.  He starts at 6am to get trucks loaded so workers can go straight to work at 7am after devotions and closes up about 5:30 to clean up and lock up the shop and containers.  Friday he moved gravel till midnight then was back up at 6am to clear some land behind the NC Baptist house that was over grown.  This is the house that we will live in when we return next year.
  Each week we hear of so many salvation's.  It is so exciting to see and hear of all the conversions.  One of the chaplains for Samaritans Purse told of a three year old child who died of cholera when they went to pray and comfort the grieving family they told them of Christ's love.  The mother and 11 others mourners accepted Christ.  Praise the Lord!  God can use any tragedy to His glory.
  Cholera has touch some on this compound too.  One was a doctor from NC that used to be Nicky's doctor in Hendersonville.  The team here will leave on Wednesday.  The Haitian workers will be off until Jan. 3rd, this will give us sometime to slowdown and fix things used everyday like the well machine that needs servicing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our latest week in Haiti

Xander and Ellie playing with Franklin Graham

       Sarah Palin talking about seeing Haiti first hand

Franklin preaching and thanking people helping

                 Don and Evan plowing fire brake

 Nicky and Joelle remaking springs for truck
                                                               no place to buy new one's

This morning has been really full of excitement.  We had found out a few days ago that Franklin Graham was going to preach a service here at Global.  Then we found out that Sarah Palin was coming with him. We were all excited that they would take time to come visit and see the parts of Haiti that people rarely see. 
  Yesterday they went to one of the cholera clinic's that Samaritans Purse has set up and went this morning to view more of the poverty to see first hand how Haiti is and how much more needs to be done. They came back to shoot a media segment with Fox News and Greta.  It is suppose to air Monday night at 10pm.  If someone can email us the link or something so we can see it that would be great. 
   Both Sarah and Greta said they wanted to let America know the true circumstances here, with a christian perspective. Its awesome to see fox news reporting the truth when others are showing what they want. The last team we had just couldn't believe how Haiti really is.  They kept saying you have no clue until you have been here for yourself.  You have to experience the sights, smells, noise, and heat to get a true feeling of what the Haitian people are going through.  I hope with these important people visiting and seeing first hand the Haitian people and what people from around the world are doing to help them, the world will see how desperate the need for the Haitian people to come to know Christ is.  Jesus Christ is their only hope!
  We have always said that coming to Haiti for at least a week will change your life forever.  NC Baptist men have a team that was suppose to fly out on Saturday but with the manifestations and other problems caused by the recent political mess, has to wait until Wednesday to fly out since American airlines wont fly till Wednesday our team coming Wednesday may not make it since its been shut down for a week.  We told them God has a reason for allowing them to stay longer. 
    We started running out of groceries and were afraid it would be too dangerous to go in to Port but one of the Haitian drivers said the grocery stores were open and the roads were clear.  So we took the opportunity to get out to the stores with NC baptist men  before the protests started again.  Judy and Dave said it will probably be like this until after the run-off election in mid January.  We stocked up on our supplies, who knows it maybe another 4wks before we can go to the store again. 
   The protests in have been widespread and they burn tires , build concrete walls and dig big trenches in the road to stop all movement to shut down the city.  We are about 12 miles outside of the city in a town called Titayen.  Every Tuesday and Friday they have a market that you can get a lot of fresh vegetables and flour and sugar.  Since the cholera is all around us we stick with getting fruits and veggies like bananas, onions, garlic, lots of different types of melons, and avocados.  All though you can get any part of a goat, cow, or pig you could ever want,  all laid out on concrete tables or in wheel barrels.  I could hardly stand the smell.  We had gone to the market with the last team that was here, the kids went with us.  You know how we Americans gush over how cute a child or baby is, well Haitian women do the same thing, they thought Ellie was so pretty and they loved Xander's red curly hair. The team from Wisconsin left Tuesday a day before they shut down the airport thankfully. Nicky really enjoyed Don and Evan who are farmers back in Wisconsin and helped him fix tractors and trucks and started plowing the fire break around the compound. If theres one thing we are enjoying its the warm weather as you all are frozen.  We weekly visit with the NC Baptist men to have fellowship with them our old doctor is here we went to in the 80s.
                                                                          His servants,
                                                                          The Runks
Ps: Thanks to all who are partnering with us to share Jesus's word and love to those who haven't heard it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Getting Settled

We have been here a little over three weeks now.  I finally feel like I am getting settled for the most part.  I say I because well the kids are doing great, We brought down just a few of their toys but they would rather chase goats and chickens and play in the trees, and Nicky well he is getting used to my cooking down here, nothing tastes the same as it does in the states even though you use the same ingredients. 
  It has been cool and dry here, by cool I mean in the low 90's, the other missionaries say this is cool.  Plus our showers are a lot colder, and I mean cold, than they are in the summer.  It is so hard to get Ellie to take a shower so we bought a kivet, a very large plastic tub so I can put warmer water in it.  It is pretty easy to sleep at night with it being cooler.
  We had a team leave on Tuesday so I am able to get back up here to the volunters quarters where I can use wifi.  Its pretty busy around here when a team comes.  Nicky had help from a couple of mechanics that came down and I cooked a lot of desserts for them.  You definetly have to get creative, I can't just run to Ingles when I need something.  I've heard from some Haitians that there have been problems since the election so we aren't going anywhere outside the compound.  We have a guy that goes to market for us and gets bananas and other vegetables.
  This Sunday Franklin Graham is supposed to be doing the service for Samaritans Purse and we with Global were asked to come too.  We thought we could be more involved with what Samaritans Purse is doing but we have a hard time just keeping up with what we need to do.  There is a lady who is visiting this week, her and her husband lived here for 10 years.  We asked her for some advice for us and she said not to get to overwhelmed and focused on what we have to do and not make relationships with the people.  I asked her how is that possible, especially for me.  By the afternoon I am so tired, she said that would come after being here for a while, I hope so.  Praise the Lord he sends people for encouragement.  Pleaese pray or more encouragement especially for me.
  The kids love being down here.  So many times they tell us they love living here, but when someone else asks them how they like it they say they don't.  I don't understand.  But they do love Monday mornings and the elderly feeding program.  We could really use some of those reusable shopping bags like at Marshal's, they are really big and made out of a tough plastice I think.
  I will try to do better at getting more blogs done, so keep praying for us to do God's work and to know his will.