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Our Point of View

Serving in Les Cayes, Haiti

Month

November 2015

9 Things We’re Thankful For This Thanksgiving

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thanksgiving /θaŋksɡɪvɪŋ,θaŋksˈɡɪvɪŋ/

noun

1.the expression of gratitude, especially to God.

 

1. God – How could we not reserve #1 for God? After all, the purpose and ministry we have would be nothing without Him. He is our driving force, our glue, our compass, and our comfort.

2. Each Other – We’re grateful to be in Haiti together, it’s been really impactful for our marriage, and we’re excited to see how God will continue to grow us together while serving here.

3. Family – Our family is a huge support system for us, we are grateful for the notes, the prayers, the emails, the Skype chats, and the packages. Family is so important to us and we’re grateful for the blessing that they are to us.

4. Health – When you visit a clinic and see the overwhelming need, you suddenly realize how much a blessing good health is. Minor sniffles are nothing compared to cholera or malaria. We’re grateful to have a clinic on the premises of the CCH and to have friends who run clinics, treating and healing those in need.

5. Food – When the vast majority of the Haitian people don’t eat three meals a day, suddenly food is a huge blessing. Sitting in a restaurant, listening to the whispers of street kids asking for food, makes you realize how even in a third world country, we’ve got it pretty good.

6. Water – Living in the US you don’t really think twice about sanitary water. Sure, it might be gross to drink out of a public water fountain…but not because you’re afraid the water might contain bacteria or cause cholera. If we buy a water bottle off the streets, we don’t really think about the source of water, where it came from, how long it’s been sitting, etc. In Haiti it’s important to be cautious about your water sources because one swig from the wrong place could have you pretty sick. That’s why water purification ministries are so important to development in Haiti.

7. Electricity – Another luxury we easily take for granted in the USA power outage in the middle of a snow storm better not last more than a few hours—don’t the power companies realize we have internet work to do and television to watch? In Haiti, we’re blessed to have solar power, which allows us to sleep with a fan at night, and is dependable for constant electricity. But in Haiti it isn’t uncommon to find people who live without electricity—they survive with candles, flashlights, and fires.

8. Internet – Again, yet another luxury that we’re really thankful for. Internet is our main means of communication, either through Skype, emails, or blog posts! We are grateful to be able to use it to stay connected.

9. The Kids – Wow. These kids that we get to work with on a daily basis make life so much fun. We’re blessed to be able to be in their lives, building relationships, and making memories! It’s a joy to be here and we’re excited to see how God will continue to impact their hearts for His glory.

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Want a tooth check?

Already, the goal of writing every week is bombed. I thought about it numerous times this week, even sat down to start, and never finished a post.

Today, I did finish.

We’ve had quite a busy past two weeks—starting with the arrival of a dental team from Clear Lake. Followed by two other teams, one dental and one not. It was a busy week with three teams on the ground, coordinating meals, leading the teams, coordinating projects, and working at the dental clinic.

photo 3(4)
Some of our “excited” patients. . .

The first day of clinic was exciting for the team as they planned to work on the teeth of the children in the school and Center. With a few hundred children going to school it was a huge task, especially with many members of the community wanting dental care. The second dental team finished a a large portion of the children (and staff) and will see the remainder of the patients in February when they return.

photo 4(2)
One of the first patients waiting to be seen was a young man from the Joshua House who had a “sore tooth.” The true diagnosis by the dentists was an abscess, which was swollen and badly infected. This young man was blessed by the dentist’s ability to assess his condition and alleviate his pain–just a few days later we saw him smiling and very happy that the problem was being remedied.
We are so thankful for the teams that came this past week, and the work that was accomplished.

 

Day of the Dead

I find it ironic that this time of the year brings up a very controversial issue among Christians concerning the “Holiday” (though there is nothing Holy about it) Halloween…and yet not far off the coast of Florida on an Island occupied by 10 million people a very similar holiday is being celebrated by followers of the voodoo religion.

In the U.S. there seems to be a big debate among Christians on whether or not celebrating Halloween is a moral issue. Some see no harm in it…others knowing the origin or having come from Wiccan backgrounds have a far different opinion. Readers will not have a hard time trying to figure out our views on the subject…but the point of this article is to share how this day looks like in Haiti.

November 1 and 2 are recognized holidays in Haiti known as “The Day of the Dead.” Children get the day off and many shops are closed in recognition of this day. Yesterday during the first day of the celebration…the Haitian pastor at CCH preached that as Children of the Light we shouldn’t engage in these practices. Even though this message comes across the pulpit many Haitians still have a foot in “Voodooism” while regularly attending church.

Almost all of today and yesterday there were drums being played in the distance and sometimes very near…like right next door. Nothing sounds unusual about the drums…but when you know it is for the purpose of some voodoo ritual then it gets kind of an eerie sound to it. Today, I was in town running some errands and a guy came up to me to show me of an event that was happening at the cemetery. I didn’t engage much in conversation, but I tucked that away in the back of my head. Later I looked up some common practices in Haiti on this day and found that Haitians will flock into the cemeteries and light candles to summon spirits. These may be family members that have died, known “mystics” (a kind of witchdoctor), or the Baron Samedi…the guardian of the dead. He is depicted in the photo below.

Baron_Samedi

After Bible study tonight, I was talking with some of the girls about the darkness that goes on during this holiday…and one of them opened up to me and told me that her grandfather was an “Ougan” (voodoo priest). She told me of some of the practices that were performed on her when she was sick and shared more on some of the things she witnessed.

Departed spirits, and demons, and ghosts are all things that bring fear to the people of Haiti and cause such bondage. I was able to explain to the girls that the power of Satan is real…but he has no power over those who put their faith in Jesus. The devil tries to cause fear which is a direct attack on ones faith in God! Thank God we don’t have to fear him.

So why take part in a day that is surrounded around fear, death, witches, and darkness? Let’s be children of the Light.

Ephesians 5:8-11For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

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