Wednesday, 20 June 2018

In just a year...up and downs

This picture came up on my facebook feed from a year ago and it got me thinking about how much has happened in this past year, so much of which we could not have expected.

This time last year we had just arrived back in Northern Ireland for a very full summer of speaking engagements, appointments, more travelling and seeing family, friends and supporters.  We had a great but very busy time both in Northern Ireland and Canada.  We arrived back in Haiti in August ready to get stuck back into working.  Little did we know how much things would change.

This past year has been a year of ups & downs,
 coming & going and hellos & goodbyes. 

I was so excited to have the new therapy building open in January, it was amazing to see how God provided the funds, a team at the exact right time and Altidor, my PT tech.  It was the highlight of my time in Haiti so far, to see how everything came together and being able to work in this new facility.  I was (and still am) so thankful for the people who invested in this project. But now with Bethesda having to move premises (if you don't receive my prayer updates you can read the letter from the board about what has been going on) its been difficult to get my head around why it had to happen at this time.  What was the high point of my time in Haiti is turning into the lowest point.  I know that we have been able to help hundreds of people with this new building but it still feels somewhat like a waste.  Things just don't always work out the way we have them planned do they, but I am praying in time I will understand why things have worked out they way they have.

I have to remember His ways are higher than ours.  I know this is true because I have experienced this before in my life.  In between Sam & Joel I had a miscarriage and lost my baby at 12 weeks.  It was awful.  The reason I got pregnant so quickly after Sam (who was just 11 months when we found out) is because we were anxious to get to Haiti.  We knew this is where God had called us and we were ready to go and be involved in ministry.  The time between knowing we were going and actually going felt like we were just putting in time.  Bill was working in a minimum wage job and ready to use his qualifications to start teaching.  

We were ready to go but it wasn't the right time and its only looking back I can see why.  Maybe we lost our baby because God was asking us to wait, maybe it was so we could share our experience with other people who have been through the same thing or maybe we will never know exactly why it happened.  But it was during that time I learnt a lot about living each day well, where you are rather than being restless and always waiting for the next thing.  There are so many things I could be involved in at home in Northern Ireland which are still serving God but I was too busy thinking about leaving.

Then almost exactly one year after we lost the baby I gave birth to Joel.  Wee Joely who has been the easiest little....ok really big baby and is now the happiest, most content and loving little boy we could ask for.   So I know God has this situation with Bethesda under control and that he has a plan and that's what I am trusting in.

Then there is Jacob, definitely a big up from this year.  When we first began discussing adopting Jacob, I just knew it was the right thing to do but we had no idea how we would work it out.  We didn't even know if it was legally possible given that I am not a Canadian citizen. We got a bit of legal advice and it didn't seem to be a problem so we procedeed.  However moving to rural Alberta in the middle of winter was not easy.  As you know the boys are used to shorts, t shirts, bare feet and playing outside for 12 hours a day, they went from that to indoors pretty much 24 hours a day.  Looking back that time of being inside with a 4yr old, 2yr old and this new baby who I was trying to get to know and who was trying to get to know us was hard. The days were long and lonely.

The lane to our house, yes its rural!

 However it didn't take long for Jacob to settle and relax and really become part of our family, it did take a little longer for the snow to melt and the spring to come though...thanks Canada! Now we can't imagine life without Jacob, its funny how he just fits in with the boys even down to the blonde hair and blue eyes! Someone even told me a few weeks ago how he had the round irish face.  Again Gods ways are higher then ours.  Adoption is not something that we had been considering before Jacob and now I am so glad we did.  To have the opportunity to give this little baby a home and a family for the rest of his life and be able to show him the gospel is a gift.

Well I've written and shared more than I planned so I'll leave coming & going and hellos & goodbyes for a different post.

So much can change in a year, maybe your in a place of waiting, maybe in a place of pain or maybe even in a place of despair.  Look to God for the future, know that He is in control and He has a plan for you if you are willing to follow him.

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3 v 5&6

Monday, 11 June 2018

Its official

We were a little disappointed after not hearing anything regarding Jacobs adoption last month but today we got a phone call from the court clerk saying the adoption order was granted today!  The judge was in court for a trial and got a chance to read over our papers.  We are so thankful Jacob is now legally part of our family.  Its been kind of a strange situation to be in, to be caring for this beautiful little baby but not 100% knowing if he will actually be yours and wondering when that will happen.

I felt more relief than anything which I wasn't expecting actually.  But we are all, the boys included delighted that Jacob has joined our family forever. 

Over the past few months we have got to know Jacob better and better, he is very sociable and loves to be talked to and smiles at everyone.  He loves to eat and sleep and laugh! But his absolute favourite thing in the world is Sam, no one can make him laugh the way Sam does. 

There were so many unknowns coming into this year, would we adopt Jacob, how could we leave Haiti for a few months, how would we afford it, how would we go from summer to Canadian winter...etc

But God knew and he had it under control and here we are just a few months later with the process complete.  We are so thankful to all who have prayed for us and those who have continued to support us.

When it became apparent adoption was Jacobs only option and we were told we had two weeks to get to Canada we started to talk about the practical details and I shared at prayer meeting and said ‘It almost seems impossible.’  To which one of the other missionaries responded ‘Nothing is impossible with God.’ 

How right he was. 

Friday, 1 June 2018


I am little behind but EBS graduation took place on 11th May at our new outdoor space which was finished off last summer.  This year we saw 19 men and women graduate from their 4 years at Emmaus.  Some of them are already pastoring churches they have planted, some are associate pastors, three are worship leaders and a few are teachers and administrators in Haitian schools.  Either way they are all now better equipped to go out into Haiti to preach the gospel and make disciples.

Bill was looking forward to graduation and not only because he is dying to wear his robes! But we were in Canada and not able to be there so I will leave you with some photos which Stacey took. (Thanks Stacey!)

We have had nothing in the post this week regarding Jacobs adoption so we think it is more than likely our papers were not given to the judge and it will be 25th June before a decision is made.  So were out in the country for a couple more months.  We have speaking engagements in August in Northern Ireland so we would really need to be back there by the beginning of August. If you think of it pray for Sam, he asks almost daily when we are going back to Haiti. He struggles the most with all the moving and changing and this is the 3rd county he has lived in in his short 4 years. 

Last week we enjoyed a visit to Bills sister, Melissa, in British Colombia.  It was a 15 hour drive to get there but we stopped of at some cool places along the way to break up the journey and even got to see a real bear by the side of the road! 

We had a great time and the boys really enjoyed playing with their cousins. 

A frozen Lake Louise....yes this is Canada at the end of May!

It proved impossible to get a picture of all 5 kids together, little Ella was the only one who sat still. The difference between girls and boys!


 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paedi...