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 :)