What is it?

Looking through my journals and email, I found out that I was wishing for a lot of good things to happen. I claimed to be “hoping,” but I did not/could not be confident the desired outcome would happen. That is not what hope is about. Hope is more than wishing. [Want to know more? Click here.]

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Haiti Part 8: People

This will be the last post about Haiti for this year. I thought I’d end with some photos of various people. I will not identify them to protect their privacy. I will comment about them a little.
Spectators at various roofing sites. The children loved having their photos taken.

Children playing.

At the American University of the Caribbean talking to students learning English.

A man de-husking coconuts for us.

 A family in front of their newly roofed home.

So farewell. Orevwa. Good bye. From Haiti.
I hope you've enjoyed these articles about my trip -- God's work -- in Haiti. I pray you will continue to pray with me for Haiti and the work of LSM.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Haiti Part 7: A Developing Country

I hinted at the ruggedness of Haiti. What we all need to keep in mind is that Haiti is a developing country. We can’t go there expecting the amenities we are accustomed to in the United States. The economy is developing. The construction is developing. The government is developing. Education is developing. Transportation is developing. However, Haiti has a rich culture and traditions that should not be overlooked.
On Day #7, as we were trying to get to the airport in Port-Au-Prince from Les Cayes, there had been some demonstrations going on in a town about halfway to our destination (2 hours into the 4 hour drive). We were delayed alongside the road for several hours. There were many rumors about what the disturbance was about, but God had kept us safe by causing us to have to stop in a queue of traffic several miles before the troubled area. God had arranged for our safety – using the LovingShepherd Ministries hospitality people and a very skilled Haitian driver to keep us safe. Sure, there was some fear. However, I knew we were in God’s hands and under His protection. Whatever may come, we would be safe (if not in the present, in eternity). Just another indication we were in a developing nation.
As a result of the delay in our drive, we missed our flight out of Port-Au-Prince. The LSM support person was able to arrange for lodging for the night, and new flight arrangements were made so we could leave the next day.
On Day #8 of the trip I wrote in my journal:
Right now as I sit in a hotel room in the heart of Port-Au-Prince (near the airport), I’m fully aware this is a developing country – used to be referred to as third-world but that sounds too close to third-rate or a low priority. As Christians, we should see it as God’s harvest fields, ready for harvest, a first priority, a first-rate country [Matthew 9:37-38: “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.’”]. [The hotel is] in the heart of the industrial areas and there are sheep bleating, chickens clucking and crowing, intermingled with the roar of diesel engines and cars honking. I don’t quite feel safe – I do feel God’s protection. I feel my vulnerability as a mere human in the masses of people. Yet, again, I’m experiencing God’s peace and love in the midst of “scary” situations and the fears of my own mind.
I share this so you have an accurate picture of Haiti and an understanding of its great need for help. LSM is doing much to enhance the development of Haiti’s economy, availability for education to some of the most vulnerable children, and training for future workers. Again, I’ve said it before in previous blogs, LSM is a ministry worthyof our prayers and support. And, Haiti is worth such support.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Haiti Part 6: Some of the Sights

This blog post will mostly be photos of some of the sights we experienced with brief explanations about what you are looking at.
Some contrasts first. 
 Most of the shoreline in Haiti is littered with debris. The people use the riverbanks during dry seasons as places leave garbage. When it rains, the garbage gets swept out to sea and ends up floating back up on the shores. There are some (mostly) private beaches that are well-kept and swimmable. We saw both. This nice beach is in Port-Salut south of Les Cayes. 

There are open fields between the hills and crowded cities. The city is Port-Au-Prince from the balcony of our hotel. When you think “city” do not picture Chicago. As many people might live there, but homes and facilities are still rather unsophisticated.

The landscape can be described as mostly hilly and mostly rocky. It’s amazing to see the people navigate the hills and the rocks as though they were on a flat sidewalk in the U.S. The climbs and walks were very challenging for me. Being able to walk a couple of miles on my road at home did not prepare me well for the terrain in Haiti. Next time (hopefully there will be a next time), I will be more prepared.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Haiti Part 5: Homes of Hope

Haiti Part 5: Homes of Hope
On two of the afternoons we were in Les Cayes, we visited the Home of Hope our church helps sponsor. This home consisted of a married couple as the parents and fourteen girls ranging in age from about three to late teens. This provides a family-like environment for these vulnerable children.
On Loving Shepherd Ministries website these homes are described the following way:
Homes of Hope are not orphanages. They are not institutions. They are not group homes. Within their permanent family, each child receives the love, spiritual guidance, and close parental relationships they need to feel safe and loved. The very same things we strive to provide for our own children.
That dynamic was very much in evidence during our visits. They are a family that provides the security and guidance we would all like to see in every home. These “vulnerable” children and the home environments are best described in LSM’s own words. Please visit their website using the various links in this blog to read more about this exciting ministry and find out how you can help.
We were shown the family’s garden that they took great pride in. It supplies fresh vegetables to them and plenty of coconuts. They shared coconuts with us and I had my first taste of what coconut is supposed to be like. I’ve never been one to enjoy the dried, stringy stuff we get in our markets in the States. I usually avoided it, but fresh coconut is nothing like that. We drank the liquid from the inside through a hole chopped into the “shell” before it was cut in half. Inside was a soft, pudding-like food, which we ate with spoons. It’s something I will remember (and it will probably prevent me from buying coconuts from the supermarket).
The girls, through our translator, asked us many questions. We asked some of them. On the first visit, as we were getting ready to leave, the girls spontaneously broke out in song There’s a short video on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mary.grimm.9) from February 7th. Then they asked us to sing and we stumbled our way through the first verse of Amazing Grace. They were much, much better at carrying a tune than the six of us. Then we all sang, in English, Jesus Loves Me. It is a memorable experience from the trip.
Again, please visit the Home of Hope page on LSM’s website to find out how to help support these terrific ministry situations. There are about 20 homes all together, some for boys and some for girls. The education and training these children are getting is making lasting changes in Haiti and you can be a part. There are other ways you can help. Contact Loving Shepherd Ministries to see what they need.