Thursday, January 4, 2018

The End of 2017 and New Beginnings in 2018

We were blessed this fall, 2017, with an increase of teams coming here. The fall is usually our slow time after a total break in August. Most teams are sister church teams who came to help and visit with their sister churches. A few had not been to Haiti for two to four years. AND, we had two new prospective teams.  God is great!

Praise God!  In 2017, 540 people accepted Christ, more than 16,500 children received deworming medicine, 40 teams visited RMI/Haiti, and thousands of food boxes were distributed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.  By the way, RMI at Cite Lumiere is a major distributor of food for "Feed My Starving Children." If you want to see our own Benjamin Altema, Haitian Administrator of the RMI Haiti office, click on this link:

RMI Team in Haiti Fall 2017

Our RMI team on the ground has expanded to 41 Haitian administrators, staff at the Zanglais Ministry Center and the Cite Lumiere office/depot, three missionary teachers at the Cite Lumiere Christian School, and missionary families of Thompsons, Nunemakers, and Suttons.  Even with all these folks, we find ourselves short of people and resources with the many teams now coming to help RMI and their sister churches.

We're excited that Rob and Becky Thompson with family are back on the field. We are also anticipating the arrival of Dawn Shoemaker, the Speel and Starkey families soon.
Andrew enjoying Giant Jinga

We enjoyed the month of August in the States, primarily Gainesville, FL (annual checkups), D.C. area, PA, and the farm in WV.  Rather than travel everywhere in a short time, we asked family to join us at the farm. We were excited to see 5 of our 8 children with their families and both our siblings.

We were very happy to have our FIRST family visitors in 3 1/2 years, our nephew Perry Barbee and son Andrew.  Andrew fit right in with the missionary community and wants to return.

Finally, we were blessed with some time with family in the States for Christmas. However, we found that we are very "climatized" to warm weather in Florida and Haiti, so hugged close to the fire while in the D.C. area.

We see one of the greatest needs here as education.  So, we are using ministry funds to support six children and a young adult in school. It is exciting to see Saed, 25 years old, doing well in 4th grade. He didn't have the opportunity nor funds to attend school. He's doing well now. He's not an unusual case. No one goes to school anywhere, even public schools, without money for tuition, uniforms, and books.  Pray for him and the others here.

We are back and Haiti and ready to welcome many more teams as the holidays end.  We continue to welcome your prayers and financial support. 

Bondye beni nou!

Joel and Laura

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