Good Friday is not complete here without a special soup meal with fish. The children always look forward to it. We had fun together in the afternoon. Our planned walk along the canal did not happen due to rain.
Easter Saturday we ventured out to go to the market in Verrettes to look for pants and t-shirt for Vladimy. We do not go far at Easter time due to the Rah Rah bands that tend to block the roads and sometimes cause a problem. We met two bands but they did not give us any trouble.
Easter Sunday morning we had a church service and celebrated the resurrection of our Lord.
|Karma, Leica and Ismyis heading to church|
|Mama with Anne during service|
|Ti Luc, Anne, Judel in church|
After our service Mariah and I gave something to all who attended – an item of clothing or an item for school and candy. We gave dresses to the girls and shorts to the boys that had been made by people in NS and sent down with our own Bob The Builder. Since we did not have dresses for the older girls we gave them geometry sets. We gave nice new Timbrmart t-shirts to the older boys and men. (sorry, photo of men and boys did not turn out well.)
|Gifts of dresses or geometry sets|
|Sunday morning gifts of t-shirts|
Sunday afternoon Mariah and I held a hunt in the compound for our own kids. We hid a mango, banana, and a bunch of candy for all the children. The kids had fun, but then so did the two housemothers on duty. Baby Jonathan (6 1/2 months) grabbed a candy that one of the children had found, and quickly put it into his mouth, paper and all. He was not giving it up either. No way.
|Jonathan found a candy on the ground and put paper and all into his mouth|
|Anne, Jonathan, Sandra & Karena|
|Everybody with their loot – mango, banana & candy|
The children love the family fun we have Easter weekends. They really enjoy it when they get lots of time with Mama Karen for three days like that. Last Easter Jessie and Seth were with us, and this year we have Mariah.
The children are now looking forward to the next team which is coming from eastern Canada, and I mean the east – the wonderful province of Newfoundland. They are thrilled because the team leader is our very own – Misye Komik (Mister Comical) Don Huxter. They are looking forward to having Jocelyn and Jennifer back again and meeting the new members of the team. The children are not the only ones very much looking forward to having Don back. Mr. Assistant Director of HATS/Mr. IMKH School Director/Mr FounderDirector of Radio Creole/Mr. Founder/Director of the CFPTM Trade School, Luckner Estimable, who we see as a brother and good friend of Don, is also anxious to welcome him back. He and the children are often heard discussing the date of arrival of Misye Komik Don.
Speaking of Luckner and his many jobs – I will tell you a little about the great job Radio Creole 104.7 FM is doing in this area.
Radio Creole is not a part of the HATS Ministry but is 100% endorsed by Karen. This radio station is having a tremendously positive effect in communities in the Artibonite Valley of Haiti. People are crying out for it to become available throughout the country.
Many churches in this area are becoming filled every Sunday. Pastors have said it is because of the teaching they are receiving through Radio Creole. More voodoo priests are calling in, going to the radio station to talk with Luckner, and saying they need to change their lives. Gangs who had been trying to kill each other have been stopped due to Luckner’s talking to people on both sides and his use of air time to teach how wrong it is.
A gang was operating in this area to abuse girls and women. They used cellphones to lure the females with a promise of jobs of money, often saying they were Canadian, and had only a short time to recruit. The females would believe and go to the appointment and then be raped by the gang members. Luckner talked about it on the air and continued to do so while having his life threatened. He said he would be making the names of that gang public. Not much was heard about that horrible thing that had been happening after that.
Yesterday a man went to see Luckner to ask for time to refute everything that Ian Rawlings of Hospital Albert Schweitzer had said on the radio. He kept saying what Ian said was a lie. Luckner pushed him for proof, which of course he did not have. Luckner talked with him for a long time pointing out a great deal of incorrect thinking about those who are in Haiti to help. The man stayed at Luckner’s for four hours. When he left he acted very differently than when he arrived. He thanked Luckner several times. He said he could see things were not as he thought when he came. He said he was no longer interested in air time on Radio Creole. Instead he encouraged Luckner to keep up the good work on the radio so people can continue to change.
Monday night Luckner did a good teaching on the radio about the derogatory comments people make to, and about, any person who is handicapped in any way. That was one very important subject and a lot of people called in with their opinions. Again people were thanking Luckner for taking a stand about lots of things that have been accepted, and allowed to go on, too long. A lot of pastors and other people want the radio to continue daily and to grow so it can be heard further away, but they do not have the means to help.
I believe HATS is doing a lot of good in the Artibonite Valley, but Radio Creole is doing a fantastic job that HATS cannot do. It is reaching people, touching lives, and making a big difference throughout the area. Teams who come down usually go to the radio station a few times and go at least one night to spend a little time on the air, singing and/or sharing a little. It has always been a positive experience for the team members. Now we (Luckner, Mariah, and I) are looking forward to having Mr. Comical Don and his team come and spend time at the station soon.
Luckner is inundated with requests for help constantly. People think he can give them funds, build them a house, paint their houses, put their children in school, and meet all their needs. They do not understand that when someone builds something, they have borrowed money to do so, and must repay it all. They think if someone builds something they have a house full of money and can build for them too. In fact, Luckner’s monthly salary from HATS goes to the bank for monthly payments, along with funds he makes selling cold drinks, etc at his business. This question was asked by one caller to the radio “How can students be asked to pay for the courses at the trade school so teachers can be paid, when the bank already gave Luckner all that money?” Obviously a complete lack of understanding.
I am feeling led today to let you know that Radio Creole is having a difficult time staying on the air due to the amount of diesel needed to run the generator. The radio station itself has a small inverter and four batteries, so for a few hours each day it can operate without the generator running. A drum of diesel at approx $250 US can keep the station on the air for a week, which means $1000 US per month needed for gas. The radio station runs solely on funds people give/donate for gas.
If anyone is interested in helping keep Radio Creole on the air to reach the people of the surrounding communities, you may donate through HATS Mercy Ministry. If you should do so, please designate what the funds are for. Thank you.
Our rainy season is definitely upon us. It rains every day and sometimes several times a day. If the sun quickly reappears it makes it easier to accept. Mariah reminds me of myself some years back – not liking all the rain so much. I remind her she has a couple of months of it yet before school is out and she heads back to Canada. I, however, will still have it until October or November. The sun just came out again so life is looking better at the moment. Funny how one gets used to tons of sunshine and how one misses it the moment it is not there.
Thank you from all of us to all of you.
Remember – no matter what HATS does or does not do – IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN.
May God bless you and keep you.