Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I am SO very thankful for friends that stick through thick and thin. We screw up! Imagine that. Thankful for your Grace and for the Grace of God and that we have a God that forgives us and then does NOT remember that we screwed up! Wow! That is awesome!!
I am thankful for family that loves us. God has brought our family on a crazy path and sometimes even when they do not understand they still love us and pray for us and are there for us. They support us. How we love them for that.
I am VERY thankful that God sent us to Haiti for 10 weeks. I would not trade that experience for anything. Our family grew so much. We felt our kids slipping away and we were able to restore what we were losing and grow closer for it. It was not always easy dealing with issues that came up. We learned that Integrity is so important. We learned, again, that missions is not about us but about the God we serve and furthering His kingdom. We learned that we have to completely take what we want out of it and let God fill us with what He wants. There were times this summer that it felt very stressful but that was Satan and work and we learned just how hard he tries to break relationships. We worked hard at fighting that battle. Satan cannot win and will not win. We are very thankful for the teams that came down this summer. We are SO thankful for all they did for the mission and for the people of Haiti. They accomplished so much.
We learned how much we love the Haitian people. We love the relationships that were built. We love watching God use them to be missionaries in their own country.
We are thankful for all of you who are supporting Ebenezer! Through finances, prayers, mission trips. Each one of you are a huge part of what Ebenezer is and we could NOT do this without all of you.
We have had some things that have happened this year that we totally did not see happening. It makes us sad, sometimes even angry, but we know God has a plan. Just remember that in relationships God does not tear apart. Satan does. Jesus asks us to meet and try to figure out what happened and what went wrong. I am thankful I can say that I have tried. I can now leave it in God's hands and feel confident that someday it will be made right.
Things have not be easy this year but we are thankful that God continues to use us in big ways. We do stop and wonder and how He chose our family so long ago for this task but we realize we only need to be Obedient to Him and he will continue to show us the way!
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL of you!!
Nate, Brenda, Nikolas, Ekaterina, Heather, Hannah and Caleb
Thursday, September 30, 2010
We are coming to all of you to ask for prayers.
We are asking for prayers for Ebenezer Discipleship training center. Please continue to pray for the Staff.
Pastor Marc - Pastor and Director
Ruth - cook
Esther - cook
Jimmy - Take the Jesus film around
Jeile - Groundskeeper
Please pray for the two classes that are going on.
We currently have 11 pastors in the Discipleship portion and over 60 that are on the waiting list. (this is just from the first area that we have spoken with - We know there will be so many more as the training center stays open)
We just found out too a few days ago that the literacy program is up and running again too. We do not have a total number yet on that.
We also would love to continue with the house building project and any other needs that the community has (we we know are HUGE)
We have a 4 man construction crew to build the houses and we have a 6 man cement crew to put in the foundations and floors. What a joy and a privilege to be able to give these men a job so they can provide for their families.
We are asking for prayers for all of this and for funding to come in. We KNOW God will continue to provide. However He has also put us in place to help advocate for these people.
If God moves your heart to donate please go to www.ebenezerdtc.org. We know that the website needs to be updated and God has this past weekend provided someone to make that happen. Keep checking back often. We have watched God provide many miracles this past summer on our time in Haiti. If you have questions about this mission or if you would be willing to help us advocate for these dear people please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like us to come speak at your church we are more than willing to do that as well. If you would like to call us please send us an email and we will give your our phone number.
Thank you to all of you who have donated in the past and are already praying for these people. As of right now we have enough funding to go through November. Again we know God will provide but we also know that God loves to hear our prayers!!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We put together a video for our church testimony night and thought I would share it here as well.
I will try to put up more pictures of the summer and maybe post some stuff that way.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
We went to Lighthouse in the morning. Nate preached his sermon on Isaiah 6. I love this sermon. I really makes things make sense!
After saying some hard goodbyes, we loaded up in the van to head to Detroit for a 1:30 flight. Thank you Mike, Diane and Tori for bringing us!
This was the first time we had flown Spirit Airlines. The flight was very smooth but of course no drinks. The kids hated that but the flight was cheap so we could not complain! We flew in Ft. Lauderdale on time and knew we had to spend the night on the airport floor. Not a fun time but we made it through just fine. The next morning our flight was to take off around 7am. We were at our gate and they started boarding the plane. A few minutes later we heard that there was a delay. We then heard there was another delay. After awhile they took off the passengers that had already boarded and told us the flight was now canceled because of the pilot. We thought that was kind of strange but no more info. We gathered our things and went to change our tickets. Wow! The Haitians were causing a riot. It was scary and they had to call in security. The kids were a little nervous to say the least. We just told them we were going to remain calm and that God would take care of us. It was our turn at the window and we gave them our info. They gave us some food vouchers, a hotel voucher and a taxi voucher but told us they did not know our flight situation yet. It could be that day or two days from now. After a few hours they called Nate back up to the window and they told them they could get some of us out that day and some of us out the next day. They had all but Nikolas on one flight. Needless to say that was not going to happen. I was not about the send Nikolas off alone. Finally they had Nate, Wilson and Heather on Insul air and the rest of us on American. We flew into Haiti one hour apart. It was not my first choice but again God took great care of us. We were able to spend a great day at a very nice hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Kids were able to go swimming and we ate some good food. The next morning early we took 3 different cabs to Miami Airport and then separated ways. I kept saying a little prayer that an angel would be on the otherside of passport in Port-au-prince to help with our luggage and the kids. I knew we could do it but I was not sure about customs and how it was working at that time. We flew in and went through passport control just fine. The only glitch is that the passport guy took my customs form and told me to go on Tiffanys. Needless to say I was not sure how that would work as mine claimed 6 of us and hers claimed 0. He told us no problem. I trusted God would make it okay. The most wonderful thing is on the other side of passport control I could see Nate's head gathering our suitcases. There was a young man at the airport, Alexei, who was able to get Nate into the secure area to help us. How I thanked the Lord over and over for my angel and my protection! We went through customs no questions asked and were on our way to Petiti Goave. It was a long, long ride and every mile devestated my heart further and we saw more and more destruction.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
This summer was truly watching God at work. He taught our family so much. Some of it looked just like it does here at home. I still had to be a mom and a wife. I still had to do laundry, clean, make sure the children behaved and make sure that I was everything God would want me to be while I was in Haiti.
I needed to be respectful of my surroundings and let nothing that I did effect the mission. We knew that no matter what the mission had to come first. Not our comforts or what we wanted in the flesh, but what was important to the mission. At times we had to make decisions that would not make others happy but it had to be done because of the mission that was going on around us. Satan wanted to try everything to break this mission down and he knew that the kingdom was advancing there and wanted it to end.
One of the things I want to write about in my first blog post was about something called Integrity. It has become something very important to me.
The definition of Integrity is this:
in·teg·ri·ty/ɪnˈtɛgrɪti/ Show Spelled[in-teg-ri-tee]
One tough thing about being on the mission field for longer than a week is you really get to know people and those you are serving. Some of what we saw brought us great sadness. Some of what we saw brought us great joy.
I have learned that I value honesty so much. I value people who are willing to admit to having problems and are willing to submit to those in Authority and work through those problems not just bury them. If you cannot have that you have to look hard at yourself and who you are as a christian. This is what Christ asks us to do. We ALL need to be refined. It is a process. However a huge thing is being able to admit it when you do something wrong and you work on fixing the problems. Some of the pastors we were working with did not have integrity. We had to sit them down and talk to them. What we found encouraged us. After wards they showed us great respect and even called us as we were leaving crying very hard because we had to go home. They were willing to admit to their sins and work on what was wrong. God called us to make some tough decisions and they HURT! They HURT bad. It is hard to do the right thing.
We all have problems. Certainly I do to. It is how we act with those problems and what we do with them that shows our character.
My kids learned this this summer as well. This summer was a huge learning experience for them. We grew so close as a family. Now that we are home they do not want to lose that closeness. We are probably going to step back somewhat from some things we are doing and spend time as a family.
Now you might think that our summer was not good. It was the opposite! It was an awesome summer. We went down specifically to do the discipleship training. We did get that done. We at first did it with 5 of us and because of time issues it ended up with just Pastor Marc and Nate.
What else was wonderful is that thanks to Paige and the Livesay family, we were able to put up 26 houses plus build one more house for John McHoul, for a family through Heartline ministries.
We were able to hire 10 people. 5 on a construction crew and 5 that worked on putting in the cement floors. They grew to form great friendships and a lot of laughter is occurring while they are putting up these houses. We may have the opportunity to put up some more. If you want to know how to be involved with the school or housing please email us. email@example.com
Nate and I had the honor of standing up in the wedding of Jean Rene. He became a Christian during the first part of our summer and soon became our head construction guy and a great friend.
We were able to visit many tent cities and bring bibles and proclaimers. We saw the Haitian pastors lead many people to Christ and we knew follow up is going on and they are being discipled. Praise God.
We also were able to host 6 teams. It was not easy. There was no privacy. We enjoyed most of the people that came through and it made us realize why teams are a part of the mission and how important they can be. It made us realize just how short a week was. It also gave us a GREAT RESPECT for missionaries that are on the field all the time. We get them now. We understand why they do things the way they do. We understand why at times they have to be hard. We love how they are REAL! Troy and Tara you are real. We love your family and what you are doing with all our hearts. You understand what needs to be done and why its not always easy do it.
The hardest thing we struggled with was a vehicle. There were times we had something to drive but most time we spend a ton of money on tap taps and things like that to get us around. If a team was not there at times we were stuck at the mission.
We know someone that has a vehicle fund started for us so if interested in learning how to donate to that again please email us.
This summer was huge in learning how to do thing and learning how not to do things. We had to do some things that were not popular but Christ does not ask us to do things that are popular. He just asks us to be obedient to him and follow him only. We can say 100% that we did that.
We do not know what the future holds at this point. We only know we want to continue to be obedient.
Thanks for all the prayers, all the financial support and all the love. We cannot do any of this without all of you!! A huge thanks to Melissa for her time at our house and with our dog. We could NOT have done this without you!!
It was great having friends at the end to help us come home. They understood how hard it was for us to leave and also understood the excitement we also felt in knowing we were coming home. It felt twisted. I think it will always feel that way. With God in the lead it will be OKAY!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A little background on this family. Last summer Eli's father was in the literacy class at ebenezer. His dream was to be able to read the bible on his own and to preach from it. His Kids would always read scripture to him before and he would preach from that. At the celebration dinner, the father, was given a bible. He was so excited as he began to read and then began to preach. The Lord then chose that moment to take him home. The other pastors were sad but very encouraged that the Lord gave this man his dream. When we got here this summer we found out pastor Marc was taking care of Eli and his brothers (nevil and joseu). we were able to giv Eli and his family a house and a job (building house) and his family is finally able to live together. Their daughter, Julisa, is adorable. She is around 9 months old and needed a bed. Thank you again Judy and boys for allowing God to use you in helping another family.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010
As you all know we have two children adopted from Irkutsk, Russia. Judy also has two boys from Irkutsk. Her boys raised money on their own to help the children of Haiti.
Right after the earthquake, Nate met a family with a very young boy. He was just a few months old. His mother was killed in the earthquake. We have been praying and wondering how to use this money. This morning we were still discussing how to use this money. Right at that moment the father walked in with the baby. Instantly we knew the first person to help. We were able to provide them with a proclaimer, (bible in kreyol that uses crank and solar power) food and clothing and a toy. This baby had nothing and through the heart and compassion of two boys, who listened to God, this baby is now clothed and fed. We have a little girl named, Julisa, who we hope to use the rest. When we figure out her needs we will share her story.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010
We do not have much of a variety and its our job to let the cooks know what to make.
We always have rice and beans in some Form and usually some sort of sauce to go with it. Usually a beans sauce or red sauce.
Several times we will have fried plantains.
We will have different veggies. We brought canned corn and brand with us. The cooks take tje beans and add carrots, onions and some other items and it is so good.
For meats we have beef, goat, or chicken. The beef is made a little bit like we do at home. The goat is fried or cooked like the beef. Tje chicken is one of 3 ways. Fried, bbq (using a ketchup mixture and then baked) or fried using a mixture of butter, flour, mayonnaise and mustard. All of them are very good. Sometimes we will have a good pasta salad with supper too. We addre in mashed potatoes every now and then.
For breakfast we will rotate eggs or oatmeal, lots of fruit and fresh juice and bread. We will make a potatoe dish some mornings. One morning we had something called pate. Looks like a fried pasty with meat and veggies in it. It is one of the best things I have tasted in awhile.
For lunch we have fruit, avacado, bread with peanut butter or cheese.
On the weekends we give the cooks off. We a lot of times will make soup and the other night Haitian spaghetti. We make a huge pot of shell noodles and then add hot dogs, onion, garlic, peppers, hot peppers, green onion, and chicken bullion and cook that in oil. You eat it plain or with ketchup. So good.
We drink coke, sprite, 7-up, tampico juice (you can buy in the states) or another kind of Caribbean brand orange or fruit punch that is very good.
Not much for snacks here. Sometimes we will get packaged cookies that are good.
I am sure I am missing something. But this will give you a basic idea.
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Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Flushing the toilet: bucket of water.
Laundry: one tub for washing, 2 for rinsing. We use and old washboard my mom had. We are thankful for that. (I miss my washing machine the most)
Refrigeration: we have a small camping size refrigerator but use the freezer for everything else.
Vehicle: we have a small car here (thank you Wilson) but if its close we walk. Yesterday we had 10 people in a car that is meant for 5. We had some fun times.
Shopping: mostly go to the markets. Its an everyday experience. Usually the cooks or one of the boys go. The best store here (where my caffeine free diet coke was found) is located in a gas station.
Electricity: usually on from 6PM-6AM. Unless there is a soccer game on. Then they short us a night. Would rather have power at night.
anything else you want to know let us know!
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Sunday, July 04, 2010
I have been asked a few times what my days look like. They are not all the same but for the most here it is in a nutshell.
We get up anywhere between 5 and 7, depending on when the fan goes off. Once the fan is off its hard to sleep. Plus its already daylight. We eat breakfast around 8am. If we do not have a team here the kids do the dishes . The next few things are thrown in through out the day. Every other day we have discipleship essentials. This usually goes for 2-3 hours. On the other days we do laundry. It is very time consuming. Especially after a team leaves and we have the extra towels and sheets. On Tuesday and Thursday we have kid's club. It is isually from 7-8. The Kids sing, do memory verses and other fun stuff. We had over 30 Kids last week so it is growing. A lot of afternoons the Kidd come into the yard and play soccer or to play with the other balls. It is fun to go outside the gate and hear the Kids all yelling our names. Cool relationships being built. We eat dinner around 5PM. It gets dark so early here so right after we go for walks to different places to witness and to play with the Kids. Last night we drove to a tent city we found along side of the road. Found out they have had no help. 3 new people accepted Christ! We also prayed over other Christians there. It was a peaceful place. They are all in tents. Not very good ones either. They were from the mountains and there are over 450 people. They are tents made out of sticks, sheets and very old tarps. Not very good. They are still praising the Lord. No toilets there. We are going to help them with that project amd anything else the Lord provides us with. Some nights we hang out by the water and the kids come running. This week, at the park, there had been a revival of some sort. We have been hanging out there and listening to the music. Last night they did God of this city In creole. Awesome! Nate has lots of meetings during the day with the pastors. We do have some down time as well. The Kids are doing well. If you have any specific questions for us email us at. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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