Matt, Sarah and family are enjoying a break in the States. They are busy bringing family and friends up to date on all the changes in their lives.
Excerpts from Faith's Journal
January 16, 1996
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. - II Peter 1:5-7
I've never kept a journal before except on trips, however the future has the look of a long trip so I feel the need to start one.
February 23, 1996
... I find myself this Friday evening in need of rest: physically, emotionally and spiritually, I've been overrun with things to accomplish. Now I stop and look up and rest in God he gives me rest for my soul. In that rest I see again that Christ will carry the load all I have to do is follow Him ...
March 30, 1996
... We are sure we are following God's call so we know we're doing the right thing. We'll miss our friends and family. I guess to me the hard part is the changes that will go on in our absence. People will die, move out and move into our lives. ...The thought of actually moving is unnerving to me. Family and home folks have always been dear to me. I'm certain God will bring people into our lives to be friends with and in the last few years He has deepened our love for each other and Him.
Through this season at many times I have come full circle to being exhausted, physically, emotionally and spiritually, I've been overrun with things to accomplish. So glad my Rest is in God.
There comes a time when our burden is lifted. Our vision, refocused, perhaps God is asking you to surrender one vision for another. - Unknown
This journey started 21 years ago and has been a growing time for our family - from 4 young children (3-10 years old) to 4 grown adults, who have chosen their life partners and started raising their children (8 of them, ages 21 months to 6 years, with another boy due to be born in June). Growing time for friendships that have lasted over the last 20 years and deepened to making new friends and growing friendships. Looking back over our thoughts is fun because it reminds us how God was, is and will be with us guiding, preparing and equipping us in each season of our lives, if we look to him. Those overwhelming times are when He shows Himself strong, in the valleys and on the mountaintops. What a journey it has been!
As we move over the next few months into different roles, and seek to clarify the vision for our future, we appreciate your support and prayers. We will still be serving during this transition time in Haiti until November 2017. God is Faithful.
Since we're talking about changes and growth we include hospital growth as well. When we came in 1996 there were 3 hospital beds and 1 delivery bed; we averaged 7 hospitalized patients a month. We now have 18 beds with 4 overflow and average 31 hospitalized patients a month. Salaries for the hospital were $883 per month and now are $3303 from IMF and an additional $16455 from GHESKIO per month. Purchased medicines by the mission were $1079 per month, now they are $5071 a month. Dr. Leandre's steadfastness through the last 21 years has helped make possible increased services and level of care making the hospital the reference center for the area. We look forward to seeing even more improvements in the months and years to come.
The Cistern Project
We are in the dry season, hopefully near the end. Some years it stays dry into June. We have been using the dry time to repair cisterns. We have 14 cisterns of various size on our compound with combined total capacity of 65,000 gallons of water. Cistern crew members have been busy repairing guttering and cisterns in the community as well. It is good to see houses that had hurricane damage getting their roofs repaired and guttering back in place.
Last month I had a unique opportunity. A team of 12 came from my home church to work with a mission in Port-au-Prince. On that team were five of my family members, my dad, brother, grandpa, and two uncles. I was able to join them for about 4 days to visit and work alongside them. The mission that we worked with is Servants in Fellowship (SIF). Since the earthquake SIF has been building homes for people living in tents. It was a great time of fellowship with my family and friends. I also enjoyed being able to interact with the Haitians talking with them and loving on any kid that I could. After a house was built we presented the family with a lock and key for their new home and a Bible. I enjoyed being able to present one family with that in their own language. What a blessing to be a part of helping 7 families receive a new, safe, dry place to live.
Left: Betsy with kids Right: SIF house building
Thank you for all your prayers and support,
Steve, Faith, Betsy, Matt and Sarah
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