Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from Miami

Wow is it really Christmas time? We are currently in Miami staying at a nice place on North beach. We are taking the time to relax, reflect and recharge for our next stay in Haiti. It has really been a great time to talk and think about the last four months we spent in Haiti. So much happened we got to know a number of wonderful people who work at Haiti Arise and/or attend church there. We were blessed and stretched in many different ways.

Not surprisingly we had culture shock when we arrived in Miami. The roads are in great condition, every thing is very orderly, and there are a lot of nice cars and houses. It is really in striking contrast to the place we just left and it is very hard to connect the two worlds. I think that can be one of the hardest things in coming to Haiti and then going back to Canada/US. How do you live differently in North America after seeing people living their lives with so much less (materially) and yet many still happy. It can especially be hard at Christmas time when a lot of the focus on the television is buying this or that to make someone happy. Is that what we need is more stuff? Needless to say it's hard to connect the two worlds.

So we are spending our time here reading at the beach and going for a swim from time to time. We are also enjoying eating some of the little treats we were unable to get in Haiti. We are enjoying some fresh Florida oranges yogurt and chocolate. It's really a treat to get to eat some of these things. We are also both looking forward to seeing a Miami Heat basketball game vs the NY Nicks on Dec 28. We originally looking at going to the Dominican Republic during the Christmas break to see the rest of the island we have been living on, but then Becca said something about a NBA game which peeked my interest (I'm a big fan). So we are very much looking forward to that. Chris

Rebecca here just saying hello and Merry Christmas. It's been a lovely time here so far. Actually a little cool, we've been hiding indoors in the evenings because we don't have enough warm clothes. I can not believe how acclimatized we are to hot weather. I am so thankful for this time of rest. Even our last week at Haiti Arise was busy with the staff Christmas party, Anel's wedding and prepping things for the children's programs. Both Tapion and our church Sunday school wanted to have a Christmas party so we had to make sure everything was together for them. Well that's all I have at the moment Chris already gave you his thoughts for the day. Many Blessings to all and thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
Merry Christmas~
Love Rebecca

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December News

It seems I have been neglecting the blog. But I am here now so bear with me as I give a rather large update. Just so you all know everyone here at Haiti Arise is safe and well. I know the media is telling otherwise. With cholera and the election results. Yes there are some uprising happening but it's mostly located in PAP. So we are all very thankful, praise God for his protective hand over Grand Goave.
About a week ago the last team of 2010 (Surrey Alliance) left Haiti. We had a really great time with them. We were able to go out in the community a number of times to visit and to evangelize. A few of the guys built bunk beds for one of the rooms upstairs. The ladies finished painting the inside of the elementary school. One highlight was on last Thursday we had the opportunity to visit the homes of our kitchen staff. We prayed with each ladies family and over their home . It was such a great time. Lucianna one of our cooks is having a new home built so we went to the plot of land which is near Haiti Arise and prayed over it. The home building is slowly starting to happen and it's exciting to see who will receive a new home.

The past week has been quite restful but eventful as well. We went to Jacmaal on Tuesday and had a great time at Basin Blue. It's a beautiful water fall that you can swim and cliff jump into, at one point it is 75ft deep. The ride up to the falls is quite bumpy and adventuresome but everyone with us was up for the challenge. We also went for a meal at this nice hotel. I forget the name, but the food was amazing and for a few minutes I forgot I was in Haiti. At one point I felt a bit guilty for being there when people just outside the gates are living in shanties and we were enjoying this treat. But I think back to the building at Haiti Arise it's beautiful and comfortable and the people living outside the gates live in shanties too. Anyways it's hard, but a reality and I am still not sure what I think about it all. I really like Jacmaal and hope to go back at some point next year just to see the city more and the ocean. I keep hearing about the amazing snorkeling. :)

Wednesday and Thursday were spent helping Anel (Marc's nephew) paint his house. It is looking really great he has done such a good job getting it finished. He was supposed to get married today but with all that's going on in PAP many of his fiancees family wouldn't be able to come and they didn't have all the dresses from the PAP dry cleaners either. So it has been post poned until Tuesday, I think anyways. Really and truly you have to go with the flow here. Everything changes so much everyday. I continue to say that the only constant here in change. Like we have a few people from Canada who are supposed to fly out on Monday. American airlines has cancelled flights until Tuesday. So these people can not fly out until the 16th (Thursday). So we always have to be ready for change and be flexible because you never know what can happen. So please pray for peace and stability to be restores in Haiti. Also thank Him for his continued protection over us here in Grand Goave. Also that we'd be able to fly out next week with out any problems.
Thanks for reading~

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Walking and talking with the people.

Prayer is powerful, it can change you heart and mind in an instant. One minute you feel hopeless and down the next refreshed and renewed because you took your burden and gave it to the Lord.
Sometimes that's how the days and moments go here but I am learning so much. I can't even begin to tell you about all the teachable moments and blessings I have had recently.

We have a new team here from Surrey BC. Yesterday was so encouraging we split up into 4 teams and went out to visit the people. Our purpose was sharing Christ and that happened. God is moving in peoples hearts, a couple of adults accepted Christ who seemed to be waiting for someone to come and pray with them. So the angels were singing praises in heaven yesterday afternoon. It was truly a blessing to see some of the people we know from church in their homes. I had one teacher from the elementary school ask me to come and meet his wife and see his home. What a privilege and blessing, you could see all the hard work he put into building it and how they care for it. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to serve and be here in Haiti at this time. (Also for giving me some Creole to be able to communicate.)

On our particular walk we met an old man named Bon Bass (Good Bass) who wanted prayer and to be sure Jesus was his savior. This man truly touched my heart. Half blind, no shoes, skin and bones but with a heart wanting the Lord. We prayed with him and for him and today I was able to bless him with a few clothing items and shoes. I know I could worry and think about his particular situation a lot but that wouldn't do me any good. I needed to pray and ask the Lord to look after this man. Most importantly knowing that his soul is secure in Jesus has given me peace. We also met a few people willing to listen to us realizing that their eternal security is important but they had lots of excuses for not being ready. We had no one wave us off or tell us to get lost or that they didn't want to talk. They want to talk here they know about God and the devil, it's real. ~Please pray for those we witnessed to and those who accepted Christ. That God would continue to move in their hearts and cause them to see their need for a savior.
It's so good to be out in the community with the people. We need to do it more. They are lovely and the kids are always excited to see us.
Having the elementary school here has been a blessing to the teams and children. Right now as I am writing the team is painting the inside of the classrooms and it's going to look amazing. Also this afternoon we are spending some time with the young girls from the church doing beading and nail painting. The guys are making bunk beds, helping with the medical clinic, and a few other odd jobs around the compound. Tomorrow the team is going to cook dinner for the whole Haiti Arise staff. I am super excited about this and I think the kitchen ladies are especially happy. We are even going to have cake with icing. (Chris and I are looking forward to that part! :)
Well that's what has been and is happening around here.
Please continue to pray as the elections are coming on Sunday and also for cholera, I keep seeing stories about it getting worse.
I am also thinking about my dear friends in S.Korea right now. May God be with you all as you trust Him for safety. There are many situations all over the world that need prayer. Oh Come Lord Jesus Come! But we must remember there is still lots of good things happening even though those stories don't always get reported. So Praise the Lord too! Have a great weekend.
Love Rebecca

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3 months already!

Hello from Haiti on this fine day in November. Well, Chris and I have been in Haiti for 3 months today. I can not believe how fast that went. It almost feels like we have been here for longer than 3 months, just with everything that has happened since we arrived.

The medical team and Nowochin family left today. So it's very quiet in the building today. It's good because we do need a rest before the next team comes on Tuesday. I definitely think the medical teams efforts were successful. So many people in the community received treatment for all kinds of illnesses. It was the 8th or 9th time Dr. Bob had been here so everything ran really smoothly. I got to help out with all kinds of random jobs from making photocopies to cleaning up pee on the clinic floor.
Chris has been faithfully helping out with construction. He seems to be the go to guy for going to get gas and diesel in town. He's also been great at helping with the power problems in the building. Sometimes the inverter and generator do not run well together and shorts keep happening within the electrical system so sometimes we don't have power or good water pressure.
I just want to say to all of you that are coming down to Haiti in the new year that when we have good water pressure and proper power that we really need to be thankful. It's a blessing and shouldn't be expected, just walk outside the compound walls and you will see that no other person around has these luxuries, so we really need to be sure we are thankful for what we have and not complain if something does happen. Be prepared to be stretched and taken out of your comfort zone during the time you are here. God will help you and be your strength while you are serving here. I really felt in my heart to write about this so I hope it's helpful.

I am so encouraged to watch the medical clinic continue to go up. They are almost finished phase 1 of the building. The workers are understanding the new design and Kathleen has really been encouraging and the driving force behind the progress, it's really awesome to see. Next week she will have more help as the Surrey Alliance team is coming and some of the guys will be working with her. I am sure lots more will get finished.
The Nowochin family (Charles, Nicole, Noah, and Anica) were a great encouragement to Chris and I while they were here. They are an awesome family and we admire the way Charles and Nicole have raised there children and care about each other. They were definitely an example to the church here and they helped out in a lot of ways. I hope they have a great trip home and that God continues to bless them for their faithfulness to his word.

Continue to pray for us as we all serve here.
~For the needed rest for all of us between the teams, for wisdom on making decisions for January and the new year.
~For God's leading and guiding in everything that is happening here.
~Thank Him for safety of all the workers and teams and the good health he is giving us. Praise the Lord for that!
~Also there are important elections coming up at the end of the month. The people need to vote wisely and this country needs a good government to come to power and help its' country.
~Also that the cholera would stop in Jesus name that no more lives would be lost and that it wouldn't spread any further.

Thank you for your prayers and for taking time to read this. God bless you all~
In His Service, Rebecca

Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's a beautiful sunny day here in Haiti. Blue sky and a cool breeze wow can't get any better than this. I am thankful for the cooler nights and days that the winter months bring.

So here we are in the midst of the medical clinic. Overall it's been going really well. The threat of the hurricane last week really kept people away but this week the people are coming. The whole downstairs of the compound is turned into a clinic. They have a pharmacy room, storage room and 2 check up rooms. Our office is in the midst of it all so we've converted our bedroom into a makeshift office for the moment. It's just to busy with people walking by and I don't want to be in the way.

The way the clinic works is we give out tickets for each day. 20 tickets per hour, 8-11 and 1-3. So the doctors and nurses are seeing about 120 patients a day. The people are supposed to come at the hour it says on the ticket but, they don't always come on time, so that creates a bit of a wait. Most of the people are treated for illness. We don't see very many injuries. Lots of babies come and they are super cute. Yesterday we had a lady come to the clinic who was experiencing chest and breast pain. The doctors found that she has cancer and there is nothing they can do for her. So Marc Lisa Geanne and I prayed with her. I can only hope that she left with peace in her heart from the Lord. It was intense.

The medical clinic continues to progress. There is now one whole room/section installed. It looks pretty good, I will get a couple new pictures on the blog tomorrow. The school is finished being painted and it looks really sharp. It is really encouraging to see all the progress and changes around here. It's exciting to be a part of this ministry. Challenging too as we all face trials during the day. We are finding that these trials are truly character shaping as often our true colors come out. We find out where we need God's help and then ask him for his mercy to do the work in our lives. I am also learning I need to be willing to have God work in my life and not just pray or say the words.

Since today is Remembrance Day in Canada we are going to have a service here in about 15 min. The team really wants to do something to remember. I think that's great because last year we were in Korea and didn't really think about it at all. I just have to say I am thankful for being born and raised in Canada. We have so much freedom and things to be thankful for there. Truly blessed! :)

Well that's all for today.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, November 6, 2010

He's got the whole world in His hands.

"Have mercy on me, Oh God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until this violent storm is passed (Psalm 57:1).

Yesterday we woke with the news that hurricane Tomas was heading our way. We started to move materials into safer places. We put down the tent that would surely fly away, and made other preparations for the storm. By the afternoon, the rain had stopped, and the wind had slowed down. We checked the 'hurricane watch' on the net, and it had turned North! Praise the Lord.

Last night while watching a movie, we thought we heard an airplane flying outside. As we went outside to listen, we realized it was the winds from the storm. Where we were sitting not even one leaf was moving in the trees, it was totally still. But we heard the storm raging nearby. God gave Becca the verse above to trust in and meditate on. Praise the Lord, the storm has passed and all is intact. We must remember to pray for those who did get hit by the hurricane and the floods as well. For those living in tents the rain can surely be too much, Lord have mercy on them.

So back to our 'normal schedule.' The medical clinic is busy today and they are treating many patients. I am currently preparing to speak tomorrow at church. I just hope that it doesn't rain, and we can have church. If it rains here, people like to stay home. It gets too muddy and not many people have umbrellas. Rain days here are comparable to really cold, snow days back in Canada (the prairies that is :). So if God wants church to happen tomorrow, he will hold back the rain.

Our time here is going by so fast, and it is hard to keep track of all that we've done or are going to do. We've learned that the only constant we have is change (besides God's unchanging faithfulness and goodness in our lives :). So we live each day asking God to allow us to serve, and continue to be flexible to whatever the day will bring about. One day it is sunny the next a hurricane is threatening. But through it all we are learning to trust in Him who brought us here. What a blessed time it is!
Check Spelling
In His Service,
Chris Girvan.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Hello from my office. I finally have some time to sit in here and report a few things from the last few days. The Crossroads team left yesterday morning bright and early. I can not believe how quickly their trip went. Wow, 10 days almost doesn't seem long enough. I really enjoyed getting to know some of the people. I was encouraged by them and how flexible they were when what they had planned to do often was changed everyday.
They were able to make some more playground equipment for the school. It looks really great and the kids are loving it. They also painted primer on the school and finished the school office by painting and moving in all the supplies from the main building.
On Thursday we had a baptism service for the church. What an absolute blessing to hear 20 people confess faith in Christ and proclaim what He's done in their lives. Two of the Crossroads team members were also baptized. It was such a great experience. Memorable and unforgettable I am sure.
We also did some finger painting with the 2 younger classes in the school. It was a lot of fun I am sure most of them had never done that before. Some of the really little kids were actually scared of us. I had one little girl come up to me and say that her sister was scared of the blan moun. (white people)
I think by after recess most of the children were warmed up to us as we couldn't get them to stop clinging onto our legs and asking to be picked up. It was a lot of fun to hang out with the children. I hope to be able to come in and teach some English is the new year
So next week there is going to be a medical team from Cranbrook BC here. I look forward to this different experience and everything it will bring. I am sure it will be busy but really fulfilling in serving all of these sick people.
Please pray for protection on all of us here as a lot of sick people will be coming in and out of the building. Also for great endurance to serve well and be a great witness to the people on the medical team. As far as I know some of them do not know Christ. We need God's strength everyday and every hour. I have a head cold at the moment and would like prayer for healing. I don't want to already be sick when we will be ministering to all these people next week.
The reason I called this blog resting is because that's what we are all doing for the next few days. Recharging our batteries to be able to serve to the best of our abilities.
Last night we had a movie night with everyone who is still here. Marc, Lisa and family, Kathleen and the Nowochin family. All of whom I mentioned in my last blog. It was fun and relaxing we ate popcorn and drank chai tea. Good times on a Friday night at Haiti Arise.
Well I think that's all for now.
Thanks for your prayers and faithfulness in reading and following our blog.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The long awaited...

Too many things have happened and are happening since I last blogged. Please forgive me we have been so busy since the teams have arrived. It's been great and we are excited to have new people here and be helping them serve. It's also great to have our wonderful leaders Marc and Lisa back. It's been awesome catching up and sharing prayers together.
Today the construction team left, there were here for ten days with the goal of getting one section of the medical center up and train a team of Haitian guys to continue the process. They succeeded but, not without trials and frustrations. I believe they learned a lot out of the experience. It's amazing how God teaches everyone patience when they come to Haiti. It's just something that we need more of. (me included)

There is a also lady here named Kathleen who is an architect. She is here until Christmas to over see the building projects on the compound. It will be great to have her bring continuity to the projects and the building teams that come in.
The Crossroads team has been fitting in well. They have a few projects on the go. Painting the elementary school and also building more playground equipment. They've really enjoyed the beach afternoons, but seriously who doesn't. :)
It is such a change for Chris and I having all these people here. I am thankful for it and we are learning lots from everyone.
I also want to mention the Nowochin family that is staying here with us in Haiti for the next 4 weeks. They are planning on helping in the elementary school and with some of the construction. They have two kids that Miesha and Asher are having lots of fun playing with.

Last week Sunday we went to the children's church in Tapion. It really was a blessing and such a joyful experience seeing all those children recite Bible verses and sing praise songs.
I shared my testimony with them ad Chris gave an encouraging word and prayer. Tomorrow we will go back with the team and minister to them again. God is doing good things amidst the suffering.
I know some of you may be concerned about the cholera break out. So far nothing has come to Grand Goave. We just need to be cautious. Continually washing our hands often, drinking only water from the compound (or bottled). If you are healthy and strong the disease won't really harm you too much. It's treatable with Gatorade and rehydration salts. The reason it's spreading fast in Haiti is the poor sanitation and lack of health care. But, please pray for us and the people here. I can't understand why the Haitians continue to experience trial after trial. But, God is good and in control and we can have hope in that.
I will end here.~

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Over Due.

So I've been meaning to write this blog for about 3 days now. So here I am amidst the busyness of Haiti Arise. School started on Monday so there is plenty of noise and entertainment on the compound. The kids are super cute. Some of the youngest ones were crying Monday because it was their first time coming to school. We actually have a pre-school for 3 year olds and they are precious. They raise the flag every morning and that is neat to see, all the kids proudly standing in lines and singing their national anthem.

We now have 4 guys from Surrey BC here with us. They are here to start working on the medical clinic. They got to work right away yesterday by fixing the bobcat. Oh how thankful we are to see it being driven around the property. Today they are making a work site near the back of the property to cast forms and prep materials. It's great to have some new faces around and be able have some good conversations in English. Chris is excited to learn from these guys and he will be a great help.

I just want to thank God for the Kreyol I have learnt. I can understand so much more than I can speak, but it's such a blessing to be able to convey small things about my family to some of the wonderful staff here. We don't have too many lessons any more but we study our selves and people are willing to help out if we have questions.

Last Thursday and Friday we got the big vinyl tent back up. Another huge praise item. We had David Wine here, he goes around Haiti setting up tents for NGO orgaizations. He is an awesome motivator and a huge help. It was an adventure and the weather didn't always seem to want to cooperate. But it was a success nonetheless.

As we look ahead to next week it's going to be busy around here. Marc and Lisa get back on Monday. Then on Tuesday we have a team from Crossroads church in Red Deer coming. We are looking forward to it and the excitment all the people will bring. It will be so great to have construction and building happening for 3 solid weeks.
I wanted to mention that if you ever have questions or want to know about something that I haven't blogged about. Please feel free to leave annonymous questions in the comments box below. We'd be happy to tell you more about how life is here.
I did want to talk about what we eat here, especially for our moms. :) Our diet mostly consists of the following: coffee, bread, bananas, mangos, juice, rice, chicken, beans, macaroni salad, cheese, spagetti and other types of rice like substances and sauces. (only know names in Kreyol)
We eat well, we are very blessed. The kitchen ladies take great care of us, they have huge servant hearts. Well I think that is all I have to report for today. Thanks for reading.~

Monday, October 4, 2010

October is here~

Today is Monday, the start of another week of adventure. Let's just say that last week we were singing the song rain rain go away come again another day. It rained on and off all week so we didn't have church, Bible study, or kids English class. Instead we had lots of mud on our wet feet and rivers running through the property. But the fence did get put up around the elementary school so that was an accomplishment.
Elementary school starts next Monday along with putting up the big vinyl tent. As that has been delayed by the rainy days of last week. Next Tuesday a team of 4 men are coming down to do some construction projects. So next week looks like the start of some serious busyness around here.

Yesterday Chris had the privilege of preaching in church. By God's grace it went over really well. He spoke about the certainty of God's promises and how God never lies and that we can trust in Him completely, no matter what situation we are in. We looked at a bunch of promises from the Bible that we have in Christ. Encouraging for me to hear a sermon in English. We have had our sermons translated for us but it's not the same as being able to listen and hear in your own language.
We also went to the beach yesterday but it was really crowded and didn't have the best vibe. We usually go on Saturday and it's much quieter then. This weekend and today there is a celebration for the city of Grand Goave. So there are lots of people around and parties happening. I think today we are going to go and see some activities that are happening in the town.

I think I mentioned about hitting a road block in studying Kreyol in my last blog entry. Well we (I)seem to be excited again as we have all this new vocab to learn and I've been able to talk with a lot of kids. It's funny how I have these crazy expectations to be able to be speaking really well by now. Ridiculous I know, we haven't even been here a full 2 months yet and we do know quite a bit.

We are looking forward to the return of Marc and Lisa and all the teams that are coming. It's going to change everything around here so much. I am thankful for this time we've had to get to know people and get adjusted to the climate. I remember I wasn't looking forward to this time, but God knows what we need and He's been our sustainer even through the tough weeks when it felt like we weren't contributing in any way. God is good and we always need to remember this truth.

Thanks for reading today~

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lavi okipe. (life is busy)

Bonjou from Haiti.

Here we are days away from October and I can't believe it. My mom was right in saying that as you get older life only goes faster. Also another reason why the Bible mentions our life as a vapor.
It seems as though the pace of life has quickened here in Haiti as we look forward to the next few weeks. Teams are going to be coming down and next Tuesday the elementary school will be starting. Which means there is going to be a lot of commotion on the Haiti Arise compound. I am looking forward to it, more challenges and things to help with.

Last Friday there was a big wind/rain storm in Port Au Prince and a few people died. Here in Grand Goave we had a bit of wind and lots of rain. We were actually in PAP that morning getting supplies for the tent but thankfully we left in time to miss that storm. Sometimes I think it's not fair that the Haitian people always have to deal with bad weather this time of year. There always seems to be some sort of adversity that they are facing just to survive everyday life. That's especially why they need Christ, to give them hope and comfort.

So finding things in PAP was an interesting experience the first hard ware store we went into was guarded by a guy with a shot gun but there wasn't much in the store. Then we went a different hardware store where were surprised to see it full and stocked like an American store. We found what we needed but were shocked when we heard the cost. It was about 3 or 4 times more than what you'd pay in Canada. The only people who could shop here would be NGO's or rich Haitian people. So we are pretty sure that was an American Store. There is no way the average Haitian person could shop there. So that was quite surprising.

The reason we needed supplies was for the large vinyl tent that went down on the property a few weeks ago. It's going to be cleaned, ropes repaired, and put back up sometime later this week. Along with those preparations we needed to clear a new site on the property for the tent. How are we going to do that you wonder, well there is this amazing tool called a machete. Christoph (the gardener) and Chris went to work hacking and wow it was a hot experience. I helped wheelbarrow away all the piles of grass and brush. It's amazing how much energy that sun takes out of you. It's intense but I am happy to report that as of today the site is cleared and ready!

Today is definitely the coolest day we've experienced since being here. We are actually a bit chilly if you can believe that. But Chris and I have noticed that we have become quite climatized. We don't turn on the air conditioning at night and the shower is 'more' refreshing than usual. I am thankful for this because it makes the heat way more easy to manage and we have more energy.

A few prayer requests:
~ there are a few small projects that need wisdom and strength to get them done.
~ grace and patience for learning Kreyol and an attitude of service.
~ for the leaders here and the people that serve, hearts need to be encouraged.
~ Marc and Lisa and their family, they need our prayers as they travel around the US.

Thanks for reading today. May God be with you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A rainy day in Haiti

It's raining so I thought it's a perfect time to update the blog. We are doing well and would like to share a few things about the past week. On Saturday we started teaching English. It was definitely a good challenge as all the students levels were mixed together. Next Saturday we will divide the group into two so that we can manage it better.
Also yesterday we started an English camp for the kids from church. I think about 50 came. It's funny when you announce "children's" camp in church you end up with "kids" ages 2-17. With some improvisation and prayer I have to say it went well for a first try. I really just wanted to get a feel for how the Haitian children behave and respond to learning English. They enjoyed it and were really enthusiastic, well.... most of them. :) We are doing it again on Wednesday and then probably again next week. It's amazing what you can do with a chalkboard and energy!~ Oh yes and we said come at 9am and well we actually didn't start until 9:45 because it took a while for everyone to show up. That's something we still have to get used to, that when you say 9 o'clock it means that's when people start getting ready to come and by ten most people will be there.
There has not been to much action on the property this week. The elementary school is getting closer to being ready for classes on October 4. The teachers had meetings here last week for preparations and orientation. It was neat to meet some of them and chat about the upcoming school year. Many of them could speak some English. We look forward to helping with recess time as I hope to plan some sort of exercise activities and games!~
Kreyol is going okay, I feel like I've hit a road block for studying like I can't learn anything else at the moment but i know that's not true. We have very patient staff and teachers so that really helps. Please continue to pray for us there.
Seen all kinds of creepy crawly flying things lately. Some I've never heard of before. It's definitely interesting. The cat we have here entertains us by playing and eating the various creepy crawly flying things. I guess they have some kind of fire fly type bug too because when we shut the lights off last night we saw this little light flying around our room!
Well that about tells all our adventures lately, thanks for reading.
Blessings from Him through whom all things flow.
Rebecca Girvan

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's my turn to write - Becca said so.

Greetings family and friends.

We have almost been in Haiti for a month at this point (time truly flys). I believe we are getting accustomed to the heat but I am definitely not okay with the mosquitoes. I think my annoyance of those little bugs started in Korea and is continuing to grow here in Haiti.

Our days seem to be going by fast and we hopefully are making the most of it. We are both spending a lot of time studying Creole and talking with various people around the compound. I believe I am getting better at speaking but really have a hard time hearing (Pray for the Lord to open my ears. We will start teaching an English class this Saturday which we are both excited to do. I have just recently started to teach a few people English these last couple of days. So as we wait for the official classes to start I have fun teaching individuals.
Becca has been putting in lots of time doing inventory around the compound and has many lists and things in order. We hope this will be a help to the teams and workers here.
I am not as thrilled about doing inventory as Becca. So when I'm not helping out, I am working on a Bible study that I teach on Friday nights. We are starting in Genesis and I hope to go through a lot of the major stories and promises found in the Old Testament. Needless to say I have a lot of information to cover which is great. I realized though, after the first study, that few actually have complete bibles, most just have the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. Please pray with me so that we can get some Creole Bibles. I contacted the Canadian Bible society but they are all out after sending down over 20,000. So I just sent an email to the Haiti Bible society. God will surely provide! It is just not clear in what avenue at the moment.

Last night we had one of those moments where you realize not only are we living in Haiti but also a reminder of the times. We went to play basketball at a local mission (Life-Line). Upon entering their property we found a large, loud crowd. It turns out yesterday was food distribution day put on by Samartians Purse. As we walked past the one huge crowd we made our way to the basketball court and found another large one. There were people everywhere, motorcycles flying by, little arguments taking place, and lots of food being distributed. I was a bit shook at our surroundings. We started shooting around while dodging various motorcycles, and people with wheelbarrows full of wheat (I think) running through our court. We actually played a number of games in this atmosphere. Before driving to the basket, I would have to take a look behind me and in front to check for motorcycles. At one point a wheelbarrow ran into me. I can honestly say that was the most epic and memorable games of basketball I have played :).

So we are doing well and continuing to find ways to serve God, Haiti Arise, and the people here. Praise the Lord for good health, good fellowship, and always good food as well. Oh God is good!

To finish I was just like to relay what an older Haitian man told us concerning the day of the earthquake. He said "everyone was speaking the same language, all you could hear was JESUS! Everyone was calling on His name." Please continue to pray for Haiti at this time in their history. I am reminded of something I read in Isaiah that speaks about when Jesus first came to earth but also about this time as well. "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." (Isaiah 9:2).

May the Light of Jesus shine ever increasing here in Haiti and I pray in your heart as well.
God Bless.
Chris (I wrote it) and Rebecca (she made me write it and corrected my spelling and grammar :) Girvan.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bondje beni ou!

Dear faithful blog readers!
Today is a cloudy day for a change. It's still just as hot though, too bad. :) I probably should tell you what the title of this blog means. It's 'God bless you' in Kreyol. We are still studying Kreyol everyday. It's neat to see the improvements and hear a few compliments from the Haitian people. I think that's what keeps me motivated is their appreciation and encouragement.
This week has been really busy around the compound. There is a new group of guys working on the elementary school. So between the tech school, wall building, and now the elementary school there's a lot more noise and people around the property.
Yesterday we experienced our first after shock from the earth quake. It was a bit scary and really different, hard to put into words. Then this morning there was another little shake. Apparently after shocks can continue up to a year after the initial quake. So now I am a bit more prepared (hopefully) for the next ones.
Chris and I have been able to get to know a lot more of the staff here at Haiti Arise. It's been good and a challenge as it forces us to communicate in Kreyol, but we are finding that's the best way to learn.
I am looking to start a young women's (19-30) Bible study on the women in the Bible. I am praying for a translator at the moment and a time when it will work out. Please pray for me as I go about this, I am nervous and excited at the possibilities this could bring. Chris will be leading his again on Friday and he and a few of the Haitian guys we know are going out to evangelize and bring encouragement to those who live close by tomorrow.
There is quite a few things to be done around the building so I am filling my time with tasks that will help the administrative side of things. Also sometime later today we are going to go with Sterling (director of the the school) and promote our English classes. We still need more students so that we can get started. Patience is truly a virtue. :) Chris has been able to help with building and is just such an encouragement to the guys. It's really great to see.
Church services continue to bless us. Even though we don't always know what's being sung we can feel the presence of the Lord and we know that these people are truly worshipping the Lord. I am so thankful to be here, to learn so much and to be as much help as I can. I am continually being taught that I can not be a help here by myself or on my own strength I need Christs' strength and grace each and every day. I want to leave you with this verse that gave peace to my heart this morning.
Titus 3:5 'he saved us not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy!
Thanks for reading today,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Answered Prayers!

First of all I would like to say thank you for praying. These last couple of days have been great we have felt encouraged and blessed and we know that's because you are faithful to bring us before the Lord. I realize my last blog entry wasn't all that positive. Forgive me for that as I was just being honest. Oh, before I forget, I would just like to thank the Lord for his provision of finances. We are so grateful for the support and the Lord has confirmed more and more that we are right where we should be.
Yesterday Chris was able to help put in some posts for the new fence that is slowly going up. I was able to get work done on the computer and I am hard at work trying to get inventory lists for all the rooms and buildings on the property.
Learning Kreyol is interesting, I constantly fumble over words as I try to practice with our cook Lucianna. She is wonderful by the way, going out of her way to make us feel at home and spoil us with great food. I am so thankful for her and Geanne (the finance secretary) they are the constant female presence here and fun to be around.

I just want praise God for his goodness and providing. Thank you all for your prayers and helping us live and teach here this year. As Becca said we have really been carried along by your prayers these last few days, so thanks again.

On another note, we saw a cool sight at the beach the other day. It was the day Hurricane Earl was just passing by Haiti, but did not hit it (Praise God!). As we were swimming we saw some dark clouds off in the distance. From these clouds we witnessed two tornadoes slowly form and take shape. Thank goodness they were miles (or Km depending on where you read this from) away in the Caribbean Sea. It was still something to witness that's for sure. The only thing we received from the Hurricane was about 45 minutes of strong rain.

Please continue to pray for our language studies. Right now we have the most time to put into it. We will soon be busy with teaching English, coaching basketball, and helping with the elementary. Oh yeah also pray for me as I teach a Bible study on Fridays starting tomorrow.

It is so cool that we are living in Haiti, WOW! Until next time. May the Lord bless and keep you :)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On our own.

Well here we are last day in August. Marc Lisa and the kids left this morning leaving us or me rather feeling a little out of sorts. It's just Chris and I here with all the Haitian staff for the next 6 weeks. We will be stretched and pushed this coming month as we figure out what we can do and where we can help. Not exactly sure when English classes will start up again.
Lots has happened here in the last couple weeks which is really encouraging. The guys finished clearing the technical school site of all the rubble and today started digging the boundaries for the new foundation. Lots of panels have been made for the new fence (at the other property) and today the other guys are putting in a bunch of posts so that they can actually put up more wall.
Chris and I finished the first part of our tire playground. We are not sure yet what to do with the remaining tires because we are not sure what supplies we have to potentially connect all of the tires together. Unfortunately the tire swing that the team put up a few weeks ago continues to fall down. Going to have to get that figured out because the kids love it.
Studying Kreyol is hard, and can be very discouraging. Please pray for us as we try to get more phrases and vocabulary into our brains. I really need all of your prayers and encouragment during this time. Culture shock and everything has finally hit me and I need God's strength to stay positive and joyful.
Looking forward to going to the beach today. I think that's about all for today thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Project Day!

Bonjou from Haiti. Today started out really good. Chris and I got motivated and decided to start building a tire playground for the kids to play on. (once school starts in October.) We used a pick and shovel and made holes in the ground big enough for five big tires to sit in. In this heat that was more than enough to tire us out for the day. Tomorrow we will go back and fill them in with concrete rock and dirt so they will be stable. (I will post a picture once it's finished.)
There was a lot of action on the compound today. We had 2 teams of guys working, one making re bar molds for the concrete panels they're building for the new property wall and the other guys were smashing the concrete where the technical school used to stand. We even had a dump truck here today taking away the busted up rubble. It's amazing how much has to be done by hand where in Canada we just have the equipment to get the job done with half the time and effort (or sweat).
We are learning that in Haiti everything takes a lot more time and patience. It's something good to learn but hard because we just want to be useful and get things done. Thank goodness for the grace of our Lord who gives us what we need each day to get through.
On Monday Chris and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary at the beach. It was so great to swim and snorkel in the Caribbean Sea. The water temperature was a few degrees cooler than the air so it wasn't as refreshing as I expected, but still fantastic.
Last night we started Kreyol lessons with Joany our new teacher. He's really serious about us learning so we'd better study hard. We are looking forward to being able to communicate more with the people. It's a slow process but definitely worth it!
Church services continue to be a blessing, we are able to sing a couple of the songs in Kreyol so it's so neat to worship with the people in their language. We are off to prayer meeting in a few minutes here but I just wanted to write a little something on the blog today.
Thanks so much for reading. Your continued prayers and support are still very much needed.
love Rebecca

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Learning the Ropes

Here we are it's Saturday morning in Haiti. We just had a meeting with Sterling who is the leader for the schools here. We talked about English classes and how that is going to look. It's exciting and we are very much looking forward to getting into a routine of teaching. We've been able to go through one of the storage rooms and take inventory and do a few odd jobs for Marc and Lisa. So slowly we are figuring out what we can do and where we can be helpful. There have been 3 church services and they have all been such a blessing. The people pray with a certainty and expectation for God to come and answer. There is such a freedom in praising the Lord here wow!
We have moved into our little home/room. It's great and already feels like our own space. There have been no incidents with critters yet but I am on the lookout.
The kitchen staff is incredible, almost all day yesterday they were singing praise songs and just having such a good time while preparing all our meals.
Creole learning is coming along, everyone is really patient and appreciates that we are trying. Hopefully soon we will have our tutor. Well I think that is all for me right now~ Rebecca

Things are going well. There are many things happening. Today a group of guys continues to work on a new wall for another property where a school and an orphanage will be built one day. They work hard and I try to help out when I can while trying my few phrases of Creole. I am always trying to learn a new phrase, and am excited to learn a new song from last nights church service. Roughly translated (I think it was actually originally written in English) it goes like this:

At Golgotha, at the cross,
Jesus' blood was shed,
He accepted the crucifixion,
So you and I could find life.

With all my heart, I will sing,
How great is God's love,
I adore, and praise,
for the sacrifice he has made for me.

So I am learning to sing it in Creole, praising the Lord and learning some new words, very exciting! Today we get to watch a Haitian wedding, should be a lot fun, and I imagine a lot of dancing :). Please continue to keep us in prayer as seek to make friendships, learn Creole, and serve God with his strength not are own. Also pray that our planning for English classes would go well, as we can teach from the Bible here :). I imagine the classes will be much different than the ones in Korea :).

All is well and God is good! Well back to trying to learn this worship song.
Peace and God Bless.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Impressions

So here we are landed safely in Haiti. (We had planned to post this yesterday but the Internet doesn't always work to well.) Our welcome to Haiti Arise has been wonderful. We are blessed to have two couples from Canada to show us the ropes over the past couple of days. They are leaving today but it's been helpful for getting adjusted.
Yesterday I experienced the market. It was fascinating to see all the different people selling all kinds of things and just hanging out. There are guys everywhere on motorbikes, random animals running around, and trash on the streets. It's a whole different world and hard to get down on this blog. I think seeing what I've been seeing hasn't quite hit me yet. I see the people living in these tiny tents with basically nothing and I just can't believe it.
The residence building at Haiti Arise is really nice. We move into our room tomorrow I know after a few weeks it will feel like home and be really comfortable. There's running water, power, and even air conditioning in some of the rooms. We had our first church service on Tuesday night which was such a blessing. Marc and Lisa translated for us foreigners. We will have to learn creole but it will take some time and hard work.

Wow! It is so surreal to be back in Haiti. It will take a little while to adjust to the heat and language but with God's help we will. There are some amazing people here that we will work with and for. I am excited to see how teaching English here will compare (if at all) to our experience in Korea. I had a cool experience working with some of the guys building cement slabs for the new wall on the other property. I was eagerly trying to learn every ones name and a little Creole as well. That is one of the most important things for us to be learning over the next weeks and months. Please pray that God would grant us great wisdom (especially for me, Becca has a better memory for language) in learning the language.
i would have to agree with Becca that life here has not sunk in at all. You see the living conditions for some, the tents, the huts, and it just doesn't register that it's a way of life. One day we will be hit with the reality and it may make it harder. May God grant us servant hearts and fill our hearts with his love and peace.
God bless you all.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One Week Away!

Greetings family and friends. We have had a wonderful time in Canada visiting family and friends over the past two months. God surely had this all planned out. We were both able to help coach at Clipper basketball camp which was something we both had wanted to do for sometime. Thanks to all for your wonderful hospitality and great visits along the way :).

We are both excited and at the same time nervous with the adventure that lies ahead. So we are back in Red Deer with one week to go...we still have lots of packing, and supplies to get before leaving this country again. This morning we woke up and were a little anxious so we had a time of prayer. We need God's strength for every step we take, and prayer will be our staple as serve God and the Haitian people.

We decided to name this blog "In His Service," because we believe we are in God's service. He has opened the door for us to serve Him in Haiti and we are being obedient in walking through that door. We hope to use this blog to not only describe the good news but also the hard times we will experience while in Haiti. Our hope is that while reading our blog you will get many ideas as to how you can lift us up in prayer.

Thanks for reading our first post. There will be many more to come, hopefully once a week.
We will also do our best to upload pictures too.

Chris and Rebecca Girvan