Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maple City Chapel Team

In early March a team from Maple City Chapel in Goshen, Indiana, came to serve in Gramothe. They had a good sized clinic team, and also had enough people to do some construction. They put in a sidewalk to the bathrooms, that should hopefully keep out the mud during the rainy season. And they also built a see saw for the preschool playground. It is a favorite for people of all sizes!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My awesome husband

I'm not sure if I've posted about this already, but I'm too lazy to go back and check right now. :-P

In February Willem asked my husband to preach during church one Sunday. He really wasn't looking forward to it, but he prepared for a couple of weeks and was ready when the time came. He did a great job! He was only nervous for about the first 10 seconds, and after that he was fine.

The topic of the sermon was "The Mark of Distinction." He first talked about Passover and the blood of the lamb that protected the Jewish families. Then he talked about the blood of Christ and difference it makes in our lives. Everyone agreed it was a great sermon.

At the end of the service two boys from 11th grade walked up to the front of the church and said they wanted to dedicate their lives to Christ! Willem, Arold, and the deacons prayed over the boys as they prayed the sinner's prayer.

What a great Sunday!!

Under Construction

If you are visiting the blog and are annoyed at all the changes, I'm sorry. I think I'm finished tweaking the new design. I'm not sure how long this one will last, but I needed something different from the blue that had camped out for more than a year. What would make it easier for you to read? I'm open to suggestions.

And if you are reading via an RSS feeder, click on over the blog. Tell me what you think of the new look.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Coming in Sept 2012

We have a little surprise we'd like to share with you.

A new ministry partner will be joining us in late September.

He or she will be living in our apartment, so we'll need to spend the summer months preparing the house.

We're pretty excited about this new adventure because it means...




We're going to be parents!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Meal with a View

The same week the school was being primed, Willem had the floors tiled in the cafeteria and classrooms. It has made such an improvement in how clean the rooms look! However, lunch could not be served in the cafeteria while they were laying the tile, so they ate outside!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Painting... from Feb

I haven't been writing much lately, and I feel like there is so much to catch up on! I hope this week I can write a series of posts to fill you in on what has been happening in Gramothe.

To start with I'll share some photos from February. A team from Mt. Pleasant church in Terre Haute came to paint the school. They had high hopes of painting both the inside and outside of the elementary buildings. However, they only had enough time to prime the interior and exterior walls. They were bummed that they had to leave their project unfinished, but we promised them that another team (or two or three) could finish the job. Here are some pictures of their work.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Illini Life Friends

Last year some pretty awesome people from Illini Life Christian Fellowship came to Haiti and did a makeover on our computer lab.  You can read their account of the week they spent here in 2011 on their blog. Anyway, they are back and working in the computer lab this week! Already they've prepared three new laptops to add to our cart, fixed the internet connections on two of the original computers, and set up the printer to work wirelessly with our network (it was formerly only working with one computer and had to be plugged in).

The team is also working with the chemistry and math students this week. Yesterday they facilitated the first ever chemistry experiement with Philo and Seconde. The students were pretty excited about being able to see some chemical reactions and even mix some powders and liquids themselves. There are more science experiments and even some calculator activities planned for the rest of the week.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Whole New World

Imagine that you live in a one or two room dwelling with dirt floors. There might be a bed for your parents, but most likely you and all your siblings sleep snuggled on the floor. You are lucky enough to go to school, even if you do have to walk for an hour to get there. Like a good studnet you memorize your lessons each day. Your teachers give you notes, so you copy them into your notebook. You memorize chemistry formulas, but you've never see chemical reactions. In fact you study French literature, including the classics, but never actually read the works you study.

This is the world my students lived in up until about a month and a half ago. Much of their world is still the same. Their houses haven't changed, nor has the style of instruction from their teachers. BUT, they now have access to the internet in the Gramothe computer lab. They have access to anything and everything they want to know--including things I'd rather they not know! It has revolutionized their lives. Honestly, it has.

Recent internet searches include: World War 2, author biographies, Haiti's President Martelly, President Barak Obama, soccer players, definitions of words, translations, medical terms, etc.

They have the world at their fingertips all because of a little box we call a modem.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Riding along in my automobile

The Tracker has arrived!!! Thank you, Jesus!
And thank you Pladson family for your very generous donation of the Chevy Tracker to our ministry!
And thank you Cowan family and Chris D. for taking car of all the details to get it here! 
parked in our driveway

watching the road carefully as I drive up the mountain

a very serious driver who doesn't like to go fast

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Joys of Haitian Government

Two things happened recently that I think highlight the awesomeness of the Haitian Government.
Exhibit A: The constitution of Haiti says that government officials cannot have dual citizenship with any country. They must be soley citizens of Haiti. This makes perfect sense to me. However, there was recently a big hoopla over President Martelly's citizenship. Reporters have been hasseling him for months, asking to see his passport at press conferences and accusing him of having dual citizenship. Of course the president denies that he has dual citizenship, but he also told the reporters that he's the president and doens't have to prove anything to them. If they wanted to see his passport, he dared them to come and try to take it from his pocket.

Fast forward to last week one day. A senator came on the radio and told everyone to go home. He warned that the president was going to make an announcement later, and they anticipated riots in Port au Prince. My husband texted me to say there was a problem and he was on his way home. I turned on the radio just in time to hear the president announce that he is in fact a citizen of Haiti and does not have dual citizenship. He presented all eight of his Haitian passports he's had over the years and a US senator was there to confirm that Martelly is not a US citizen.

Here's my issue with this. Doesn't the government have a committee or something in place to check that all CANDIDATES meet the requirements of the constitution before they are allowed to run? Why in the world did they allow him to be elected as president and serve for 7+ months before they decided to see if he met the presidential requirements? This is seriously distrubing to me.

Exhibit B: Haiti switched to Daylight Savings Time on Sunday. That's not really a problem. What is a problem is that the government decided on Wednesday and, here's the real issue, didn't make any announcements about it. Cell phones just switched time overnight Saturday and everyone was confused on Sunday. Crazy!

I really do enjoy living in Hait, but this kind of crap stuff from the government really irritates me.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I haven't blogged much lately. I'm sorry about that. I know some of you are very faithful readers. It's not that I don't have things to say. It's just that I've been grumpy lately and you really don't want to hear all my complaints. So instead I'll leave you with some pictures, and I hope I'll have more positive thoughts to share soon. ;)

Someone brought aprons and goody bags for the cafeteria ladies. They LOVED them!! They were so excited about the aprons and other goodies they were dancing. :)

Table with a view! The kids had outside dining for a few days while the cafeteria was tiled. It looks great now that the floor can be mopped and thoroughly cleaned each day.

My husband visited my 10th grade class one week to snap some pictures.

Karen and Desiree worked on a mural in the principal's office for the week they were here. I don't have a picture of the final product yet, but it's awesome! That's God's hand reaching down to the kids, and they eventually put the words Dream Big (in French of course) in the clouds near the top.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Kelito needs your prayers

Kelito (left) with my brother-in-law
Kelito, on the left, is one of my Rheto students, and he's also in my computer class. Today he needs your prayers for healing. He was diagnosed with Typhoid fever at the beginning of February, and he's still sick. His family took him to the hospital and he was treated, but he hasn't recovered yet. He's able to come to school some days, but he's missed quite a few days in the last month.  
Please pray that God would heal him completely.