Bonjou Tout Moun (Good Morning Everyone),
I (Matt) just wanted to fill you all in on what’s been going on here in Haiti the last couple days. Amanda and I arrived on Monday around noon and made it to Mission of Hope roughly an hour later. Monday was mostly just unpacking all of our stuff, organizing our apartment, and basically just getting a feel for where we are and what life is like here now. It’s been three years or so since either of us have been here and things are SO different and God has done truly miraculous things at MOH since 2010.
The people we’ve been most excited to meet (besides all the Haitians, of course) are our new friends Brooke and Justin, you can follow along with them at live-give-love.blogspot.com if you’re interested. They’re the only other married couple here that are about our age, married a little longer than us but not much, with no kids. We’re very excited to become family with them over the next year and beyond.
Ok, now on to the fun stuff. Tuesday and Wednesday we spent all day in the various 8 villages that Mission of Hope works in. Amanda, myself and a few other North Americans joined 32 Village Champions (VCs; missionaries to their own villages) in giving tours of all that God has done and is doing in their villages. Each of them were able to share with the group a specific way they’ve seen God work in their villages over the last few years and give their biggest needs that they would like to get accomplished. We went from a rural mountain town where we drank coconut milk straight from a coconut and ate keneps (google them, I have no idea how to explain what they are but they’re delicious) to a couple densely populated towns walking through markets and other businesses (like sugar cane/rum factories) in the community to oceanfront and desert villages. This week was the first time the VCs were able to really spend time together as a team and to get to know one another and see where they all live. Each man and woman had a unique pride in their village, and they are really eager/excited to own the lostness of their village.
These are the men and women who I will be working very, very closely with over the next year or so, and being able to spend casual time with them was HUGE. Amanda will also be teaching English to them so her being there with everyone was also incredibly beneficial. They are amazing people who are proud of where they come from, welcoming to blans (white people) and so eager to be a part of what God is doing in their villages. Today will be a relaxing beach day with all of them to just kick back and relax and enjoy company. I know…work here is tough 😉 There are many more stories I could share, but that will be for another time.
And as a conclusion, last night ended with Justin killing a rat with an empty water jug. It was quite a sight.
- Creole. Our language skills are slowly coming back from when Amanda spent 5 weeks here in summer 2010 and many of the VCs are eager to help us. Pray that God continues to give grace to us for learning the language to be able to better communicate with everyone in their language. Speaking to them in Creole instead of English will be huge.
- Relationships. There are currently about 11 North American staff here, so pray that we can all build a strong community to support one another and enjoy life together. The same with the Village Champions…earning their respect will make this next year wonderful for everyone.
- Marriage. We’ve been told several times by the people who have been at MOH longer than us that working in any ministry/mission environment puts a strain on marriage. Mission of Hope does a wonderful job at pressuring us to spend time together as a couple and to get away whenever we need to just be together. Marriage is our most important thing here, so pray that we don’t neglect each other.
- Support. As always, we ask that you would pray for how God might use you to support us here. By God’s glorious grace, we are a little less than halfway to our goal for the year. Thank you. Thank YOU! We appreciate all of you who support us financially and support us in prayer. We love you and are so thankful for YOU!
Stay tuned for more from us!