Wednesday, July 22, 2015

And now it's summer.....

  It is so much quieter now at Citi Lumiere.  Many of the missionaries have left for the summer.  They've gone for vacation, to visit family and friends, and to gain further support for themselves and their organizations.  True!  They are missing the humid and hot summer, but it is also a time when activities slow down for all organizations.  It is our first summer here in Haiti and we're glad to be here even in the heat!

Arne, Priscilla, Olivia, and Lilia Clemm

In June, we finally moved into our new home in Simon.  We live on the second floor and another missionary family from Germany live on the first floor.  We are so thankful for the US Church work teams, some of our own RMI staff, an electrician and plumber who helped us get the house ready for us.  Several volunteers helped Joel with the painting.  A big thanks to everyone!

Batteries for backup to city power
We are learning how to adjust to differences in everyday life like using generators, monitoring inverters with batteries,  having inconsistent city power, and chlorinating our drinking water. One day, I came home to the batteries boiling! It's a challenge, but we're learning!  Compared to missionaries in other countries and early missionaries in Haiti, our life is easy!

We are amazed at the differences in the culture of the mission center and the village where we now live.  It's much noisier, but there is varied and beautiful music along with many interesting people.  We experience beautiful smiles each time we smile and greet with a "Bon jou. Koman ou ye? (Good day.  How are you?).  Blessed experiences like our older neighbor who thinks it's her responsibility to take care of me.  She covered my four-wheeler with a sheet so I wouldn't get burned by the hot seat from the sun and walked me across the street (one lane dirt) so I wouldn't get hit by a motorcycle.  Joel had a lady stop him twice to quote scripture and to pray with him. He calls her his "angel." A merchant in the street market GAVE me 10 bananas and said it was a gift.  These people are blessing us daily!

Building a home in a very mountainous place.

Several work teams that have been an invaluable help to Joel and to RMI.  Their projects have included building homes and doing projects at our Simon house and at the RMI retreat center at Zanglais.

Work team helping at the retreat center

I've transitioned into responsibilities more in line with my educational and experience background.  I'm developing an education program for our staff than has health care, cultural knowledge and awareness, computer and language skills, basic driving and auto maintenance, leadership, and spiritual growth.  NO!  I'm not teaching all of the modules! I'm also involved in a directing a small research study with the purpose of  measuring outcomes of our child sponsorship program, Hope for Kids.  Who would believe that I would come to Haiti to do research?

Our field director, his two children and the Nunemaker family
  We just welcomed our new RMI missionary family, Lee and Tina Nunemaker with their four boys, to our Haiti RMI family.  It's really exciting as they bring even more talents to the mission here.  They are living in our "old" home.  Pray for them, too, as they transition into Haitian culture.

  Joel and I are so thankful to be here and to experience daily what God has in store for us.  We still are struggling with our Creole, but are much better than nine months ago!  At least, we can talk with our Haitian neighbors and staff in Creole, however slow and incorrect it is!  Creole is the key to our work here with the Haitian community.  Real knowledge of the love of Christ and His saving power is limited even though there is a lot of "church."

  We need your continued prayers and support for our work here.  We are supported at a little over 50%.  We need your help!  Please consider donating toward our mission here by clicking on the button at the side of this page or writing a check to either Reciprocal Ministries International or The Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society.