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Our Point of View

Serving in Les Cayes, Haiti

Month

March 2016

Update

We’ve had quite a few people ask us for an update, especially concerning Baby DeRoos, and I realize that we haven’t been as diligent in writing frequent updates as I had hoped….so here is my attempt (plus some other fun pictures!)

We will be returning to the States the 27th of April, first to Maryland for two weeks and then to Alta, Iowa for the remainder of our stay. We don’t currently have a return date-but our hope is to be back in Haiti by the early fall. Since Baby DeRoos is due in the beginning of July, that will give us several months to prepare for our return.

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24 weeks.

We would love to connect with you or your church while we are home, so please contact us!

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Winner for the most girls on his lap at one time. Best seat in the house.
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This is Ruth. She has the best sense of humor I’ve ever seen for a preschooler, she’s tough, and she’s got the best laugh.
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Last week we visited the Center of Help with a team.
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Willienne

We’re starting something new around here so that our readers and supporters can meet some of the people and children that we work with on a daily basis. We hope that through our website you’ll be able to connect or reconnect with some of the girls, boys, babies, and staff. Enjoy!


 

Willienne Deralin

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If you’ve ever visited the Consolation Center, you’ve no doubt met Willienne. Her bubbly, outgoing nature makes her one of the more outgoing girls. If she’s happy, you’ll know it. If she’s angry, you’ll know it. Needless to say, she’s very transparent with her emotions. She recently turned 17 and would be considered one of the older girls at the Center. Willienne is known for her superior athletic ability and her love for singing worship.

Many of the girls we work with have been through horrific situations, which can either cause them to withdraw emotionally or be more transparent. As mentioned above, Willienne is the latter. Also, like several of the children we work with, Willienne lost her mother at a very young age. Following her mothers death, she was sent to live with her father in a very destitute and rough part of Port-au-Prince. At the time of the 2010 earthquake, Willienne was separated from her father. She was eleven years old. The earthquake made many orphans that year and forced many children onto the streets for sheer survival but also made them prey to many dark and impressionable experiences. Many children, including Willienne, fell into a restavek situation (a domestic slave) .  Restavek’s are children who are promised care and education, but in turn are often mistreated and forced into completing menial domestic tasks for no pay. Eventually, she was kicked out of the home because the man of household did not like her. Again, she was back on the streets. Several months later, a friend of Eddy ‘s (the director of the CCH) found Willienne and brought her to the Center.

Willienne has a relationship with the Lord and we pray that she continues to grow in her love and delight in Him.

*Photo Credit Audrey Sultenfuss

Demons of darkness, Savior of Light.

One week is not enough.

We hear teams say this frequently, about the time they spend with the kids, working on projects, and just enjoying life here in Haiti. I’ve been there, I remember my first week long trip. One week isn’t enough time to absorb the culture, the people, the poverty, the newness of it all, and the need for Jesus in this culture. I mean, Zachery has lived in Haiti for almost three years and he still experiences “firsts.”
Lately, something that God has been drawing our attention to is the utter darkness that has a hold over Haiti. It’s something that’s hard to imagine when you spend a week holding precious babies and working with adorable boys and girls who want to braid your hair and play patty-cake.
It’s something that you don’t really see until the gloss of those precious babies wanes and suddenly you realize: life here in Haiti isn’t so beautiful. Beyond the gates of the Consolation Center, there are dark forces at work.
Satan has a foot in the Church with his voodoo, and we battle with pastors practicing evil spirit worship on Saturday and preaching Christ from the pulpit on Sunday. We’re forced to wonder if the same person who raises his hands in worship on Sunday, is raising his hands in worship to another god on another day. We talk with people who declare God’s Truth one day and deceive and steal from us the next.

When the gloss and newness fades away, you realize that sin is sin and broken people are broken people, just like at home. They need healing, just like we do.

It’s not just a Haiti problem—it’s a human problem. A sin problem. A darkness problem.

Just the other day in the market, we were driving through the street and a woman slapped our vehicle and started yelling. We stopped, thinking we had done something wrong, and rolled down the window. She had followed us, yelling, and approaching, her rage increasing. All of a sudden she started yelling in perfect English expletives and threats, her animosity towards these “white intruders.” She threatened to kill us if we didn’t leave the country…and gave us a slew of F-bombs, for good measure just to make sure we got the point. The deranged, crazy look in her eyes coupled with the perfectly clear English threats caused Zachery and I to believe she was demon possessed. If you could’ve witnessed her outrage, you would’ve know that the look in her eyes and the words from her mouth were not that of just a “crazy” woman…but someone controlled by another spirit.
And yet, this happens so much. When people open their hearts and homes to evil spirits, incantations, oogans (Voodoo priests) and witch doctors, those evil spirits become very real and take advantage. While this type of spiritual warfare is prevalent here, a different type of warfare is going on at home. Look around and you see it, the Church struggling to become unified, Church leaders becoming compromised. Little pebbles of the lukewarm Church threaten of a greater landslide ahead.

God is at work in Haiti and in the United States, destroying Satan’s craftiness and by Scripture we know that the battle is already lost for Satan.

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When team members say to me, “You are living my dream,” or, “You are so lucky to live here full time!” I don’t hesitate to set the record straight: We are blessed to live here and have so much joy in what we do. I mean, we get to see chubby, little kid faces ALL day long and hold babies and have 100+ little brothers and sisters and paint nails and color pictures. However, many trials make this much different from a dream job.

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 Worship to a voodoo idol on the Cross.

I’ve heard it put (by my husband or someone wise like that): darkness is the void of light—and Haiti has been a dark place for so long. In His perfect timing, God is powerfully, awesomely shedding Light on the darkness.
My encouragement for this post is this: Haiti needs prayer, not just for the kids and their well being, but for the people as a whole, and the country. Haiti has been dedicated to Satan for several hundred years, when the first presence of voodoo arrived with slaves from Africa. {Voodoo is a recognized religion and ironically the Haitian calendar shares the Day of Dead (to honor the dead spirits) and Christmas (to honor the birth of Jesus)}

The real problem isn’t poverty or health or abandonment—it’s the lack of Jesus. I’ve seen kids who have literally been thrown away, comforted by the Great Comforter, and their lives have been forever changed. If more people knew that great joy, maybe our world would have less darkness and a whole lot more light?

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