Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Rain rain and more rain

We keep waiting for the rain to stop and it just doesn't.  It has been raining almost everyday since the beginning of November as even I sit here tonight the rain is falling steadily outside. November is usually wet but never this wet, so everyone tells me.

Last Thursday the rain came down in buckets and we heard reports of flooding in lots of areas.  Almost everyone I talk to has some sort of flooding inside their house.  All of their clothes are wet and they are sleeping on wet beds.  One of our nurses in the clinic lives in Plaine du Nord and the water was as high as her dining table inside the house.  Everything was covered in muddy water and the rain washed some of her things away.  We heard of other houses in that area that the rain was as high as the door with people losing everything they have inside.

Yesterday in the clinic Dr Rodney was talking about the flooding asking our staff how things are where they live.  He said that people can come to work, they look well, they look happy, they are talking & laughing but we can never know what is going on at home.  Some of our staff have some water inside their homes and others are completely flooded.  Dr Rodney went on to say 'God has enabled Haitian people to live in a way which we can't understand, in a way that doesn't seem possible.....that is called a miracle.'

Monday was dry and sunny so everyone spent the whole day washing clothes and sheets and putting them out to dry.  I left Sam to school and went to visit a friend in Vaudrieul.  Varesca showed me where the rain has been coming into her house and explained there was a leak onto her bed so she had to sleep with a little bowl on the bed to catch the water.

Oh Haiti always has something that is making life more difficult.  As if life is not difficult enough already.

Please continue to pray for Haiti and her people.  Pray for this election results.  Pray for a good president who is going to do something for Haiti.

Pray for so many who have been affected by the rain.

On a more positive note we got to meet baby Victorieux, baby brother to Victoria, Victory and Victor.  Lucner is a teacher here at the seminary and his wife Luna is a student. The baby wasn't due until December  but decided to come a few weeks early and thankfully all went well.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

A faithful follower

On Thursday I had a new patient at the clinic, her name was Henrietta.  When she came in it was obvious she had had a stroke so I was expecting the subjective assessment to be quick and easy.  When I asked her what the problem was, she started with ' Since I was born......'  My first thought was 'oh no this is going to take forever and none of it will be relevant as to why she is here today for physiotherapy!!'

It turns out none of it was relevant but it was great and encouraging for me.  This is her story.....

Since I was born God chose me to serve him.  As I grew up I believed in what God had done for me and I have spent my life serving him. I did not get married or have children because I was serving God.  I was born in Cap but heard God calling me to Port au Prince as a missionary to tell people about what he has done.  My life had been difficult but we should expect to go through suffering when we are serving God.

I was in an car accident in 2014 and hit my head and was paralysed all down one side. I was in hospital for 2 months.  My family have abandoned me because I am a christian, I don't have a home and I just sleep in the church that I belong to.  When I find a little money I eat, I have gone 10 days or so with no food but I know that I am suffering for Jesus. the life of a servant of God is not easy.

I tried to encourage her and tell her the bible tells us we will suffer but we know our hope is in heaven and when we get there, there will be no more suffering.  Her face literally lit up with the thought of heaven.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone's face light up like that.  She agreed and sung a song about it! I can't say that has ever happened when treating a patient before.

I asked her how she knew we had physio here in Bethesda?  She told me a few nights ago she had a dream where two ladies told her she should go to Bethesda because there would be someone there to help her.  Anyway we continued to talk as I treated her, every now and again she would say   ' Thank you in advance Jesus for healing me.'

It was encouraging for me to see someone following the Lord so faithfully in the midst of such suffering.  Some days I think we are suffering by moving here.  There are many things we miss from home such as family,  friends, being able to take the boys to the park, going for walks, nipping out to the shop to get what we need,  church, our home culture (although Bill isn't quite sure what his home culture is anymore!!) It would definitely be easier for us to live in Northern Ireland.

Other days when I see how people are suffering here I think we are not suffering at all.  God has given us so many things to be thankful for.  We have a lovely house to live in,  we can eat everyday, we have clothes, shoes, toys, books,  our OMS missionary family, good internet (mostly) to keep in touch with family at home, friends here and many many more things.

However with or without the material possessions Heneritta and I have one major thing in common we both believe and trust in the same God. We are both thankful that even though we will have suffering in this life, it is only temporary. And when we are going through times of suffering we have a God who is able to help us, who will strengthen us and who will give us the grace we need for each and every situation.

Romans 5 v 3-6

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
 because we know that suffering produces perseverance,
 perseverance character; 
and character hope.  And hope does not put us to shame.

1 Peter 5 v 10 

And the God of all grace, 
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, 
after you have suffered a little while, 
will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

We're back!!

After over a week of no internet were back online and here is an update I wrote last week....

We literally went from one world to another. The boys and I (poor Bill had to stay in Haiti to work) spent a week in Florida with my mum, dad and sister. It has been 5 months since the boys saw their Granny and Bampa in person and not over facetime! Sam was a little overwhelmed and shy when we met them in Miami airport but he didn't take too long to come round. Joel was his usual smiley self for them.

We had a great week together, Sam had been looking forward to the trip to the zoo for months so he really enjoyed it. In his own words he ' actually fed a giraffe!!' We went to the beach, the pool, the park, had ice cream, ate strawberries & blueberries, went on a boat trip, saw dolphins and even stroked a baby alligator!! It was funny for me to watch the boys and their reaction to America. Joel eyes were wide open the whole time taking everything in. Sam had definitely forgotten about somethings from home. In the airport he was asking me was the escalator was and was scared when we got in the lift which was strange because he used to love going in the lift!

After a week Leah had to fly home as she was starting work again and my mum & dad flew back into Haiti with us for a week.

It was raining when we arrived and has hardly stopped all week. Bill told us it had rained really heavily on the Saturday night. When he was driving to come and pick us up the road was covered in mud which had come down off the mountain. By the time we arrived it started raining again.

Mud which has run down off the mountain onto the main road

It has rained and rained and rained all week and now Cap Haitian and surrounding areas are flooded. We have heard reports that 9 people have died in the flooding. Almost everyone I talk to has water inside their house and everything is wet. Some people have lost their homes and many of the few possessions which they have. The roads are terrible, schools have been closed for the week and once again Haitian people are suffering.

With no infrastructure to cope with the amount of rain that is falling is causing a lot of problems. Often it feels like Haiti has so many problems its impossible to know where to start even trying to fix things.

The traffic on the way to the airport, it took us over 2 hours a journey which normally taked 40 mins. 

The election is supposed to take place on 20th November, this is the same election which was supposed to take place last October as in 2015. It has been postponed many times with the most recent one being just after hurricane Matthew hit.

So one week we were taking a boat trip around one of the richest cities in the USA where the houses cost millions upon millions and are just holiday homes for people to use for 2 weeks a year and just a few days later we were driving through a flooded city where people are losing their possessions, their homes and for some their lives because of something as simple as rain. It is quite a difference and hard to get your head around.

Maybe your tired hearing about Haiti's problems, it seems like the people never get a break, as if life isn't difficult enough Haiti gets hit again and again and again. We ask you again to pray. Pray for the rain to stop and the sun to come out. Pray for the election, Haiti needs a good president, a good government who are going to work to improve Haiti. Pray for those suffering from the rain, who don't have any dry clothes to put on or who are getting into a wet bed every night. Pray for wisdom for us, there is so much suffering and so much need all around us that we would know who and how to help.

****Thankfully the rain has stopped, the clean up is happening and the roads are still terrible but its dry.  In other news Sam had his first day in school on Monday, he is going to Cowman School the OMS school here in Haiti on Mondays and Wednesday's at the minute.  He was excited to go and a little nervous when we went in but he seemed to like it.  

Meanwhile Joel has discovered oreos.......


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