Wednesday, August 17, 2011

For Claire

So we attended the Annual General Meeting for Haiti Arise in Calgary this past weekend. It was a great time, Chris and I got to connect with a lot of people we met in Haiti this past year. One of those people is a dear lady named Claire. (Hi!) She said she misses reading our blog so I decided to write one. I have no idea how many people will read it but that doesn't matter.
It's sad to not be writing from Haiti though. I definitely miss the warm/hot weather and people. Well lots of things really.~
Being back in Canada is a hard thing. Reverse culture shock or re-entry back into your own country is interesting and tough.
We spent a lot of time prepping to be in Haiti and to be ready for anything and I wish I would have done that in getting ready to come back here.
I forgot how 'go go' and fast Canadian culture is. It's a rat race and I don't want to join in or get caught up in the next 'thing.'
I want so badly to not forget what I learned in Haiti and live in a way that glorifies God and not myself.
Part of reverse culture shock is a feeling that you just don't fit or belong. That is probably my biggest struggle, whether it is going into a store, conversations with people or even my job.
May God give me the grace and strength I need.
I know Chris and I will be back to Haiti in the future so that is exciting. We definitely left pieces of our hearts there.
I am now helping with the administration of the Education Fund for Haiti Arise. So if any one has any questions about sponsoring students please send them my way.

Blessings, Rebecca

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Farewell Haiti~

Here we are already in our hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale. We left Haiti yesterday afternoon at 3. There are no words really to say how I feel about leaving it is all quite surreal. Driving through PAP one last time I just kept thinking to myself I have to come back, I have to come back. A piece of our hearts is definitely in Haiti with the people. This good bye was probably the most difficult I've ever had.

We had a goodbye party on Friday night it was really great. Even though it was raining a lot of people came. We were so blessed with kind words, prayers and songs.
I am so grateful that God brought us to Haiti. In church last Sunday that's all I could do was over and over again thank Him for bringing us to Haiti.
In the days to come we are going to reflect and remember all the experiences and try to figure out what we learned and how our outlook on life has changed.
So hopefully in a week I can write again with some more insight into our time in Grand Goave Haiti.
Thanks for taking the journey with us this past year.
Rebecca and Chris

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rainy last days~

Well here we are 3 more sleeps till we leave. It's a mix of emotions that we can't really express. Saying goodbye is hard, everyone wants to know when you are coming back and we don't know. All we can say is if God wills it. Chris is having his last English class with the young guys right now. Like I said in the previous blog it's lots of lasts. The weather has been really strange, so overcast and lots of rain showers. We haven't seen the sun in a few days. Very different because I've seen the sun pretty much everyday since we got here.
The medical team left today. I posted their blog site on the right it's called HFL Blog. If you read that you will find out what they all experienced and the patients and different cases they dealt with. I think the most difficult case for everyone was a woman who was brought in having seizures. I guess she had pre-eclampsia with her baby and was now very sick. Her baby however was very healthy. They had to take her to the hospital right away or else there would have been no hope. She survived and came back about 5 days later with the baby, who was now sick. I will let the team tell it from here:
She (the baby) was dehydrated with a sunken fontanel eyes wide open and too weak even to cry. Her breathing was such a struggle for her as if she could barely have the strength to take air in. Angela was able to get 60 mls of formula in to babe but it was so hard to understand how this could have happened. A thriving babe last Friday and now so ill. Mum left with babe to go to a midwife who she said would remove a blood vessel from under her heart which was causing the problem. We only can pray for this little one and keep her and her mum in our hearts. There were tears shed over this babe and shock at how changed the situation was.

Chris and I haven't been doing too much, we shared our goodbyes with the church on Sunday and I also went and shared at Tapion church for the last time. Such a joy to see all the children come to church even in the rain. We've just been taking walks, packing and spending time with all the Haiti Arise staff. It's a bit awkward but I am beginning to like awkward more and more. :)
I hope I have more to say tomorrow or Friday. Until then.....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winding down~

Well here we are in the midst of a busy medical clinic. For Chris and I its been fairly relaxed. We make photocopies and take care of the logistics of the team being here but for the most part they do what doctors and nurses do. :)
We always appreciate seeing the people of this community served in this way.
Since Chris and I are not so busy we've taken the time to visit some of the families of the houses that are being built. Yesterday, seeing Christoph's (Haiti Arises gardener) children hauling rebar and helping contribute to their new home was exciting to me.
The people receiving these homes are so grateful and you can see it in their faces and body language. Then today we went to visit a lady in the church (Madame Voltaire)who has 8 children and is receiving a home. Her daughters were so excited to have us in their home, I only see them at church or for childrens' program. They live in a more remote area of Grand Goave quite far off the main road. They don't have any power so at night when it's dark it's dark. We went for a walk with them to get water from the well. It took about 10 minutes. Again I am reminded of the many blessings we have even here at the Haiti Arise building. It's incredible to have running water and power. Wow I am so thankful.

We've also started packing up our office this week, which is a little sad. Chris has the opportunity to preach on this last Sunday in Haiti for us. We have a lot of 'lasts' coming up but that's all part of leaving.
Well I can't think of any more news at the moment. So that's it I guess. Thanks for reading, not sure how many more posts there will be. Incredible that this part of our journey in Haiti is almost finished.
Oh please continue to pray for a resolution at the childrens home property. I have nothing to report except that Marc has sent letters to deputies, mayors and others asking them to get around to resolving this issue. Also for all the sick people that are coming into the clinic. Some with really bad situations. For Chris and I as we prepare to leave and our future.
Thanks :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News for May 18th.

Good afternoon from Haiti Arise. Thought I would take a few moments to update life here at the compound. We had a busy morning with the elementary school kids. We had a mini kids market for them, Lisa and I had saved a whole bunch of things (like school supplies, toys, games etc...) to sell. It was great we pretty much sold everything. Actually I can not believe that all of the clothing and stuff from the containers is all gone, praise God. I know our church and community was really blessed by all the markets we had here.
We have found that having markets and charging a little money for things is better than just handing it out. People can choose what they want and they also value it more as they have to pay for it.
It's been a good experience for me to witness the different ways we bless the people here. I have learned a lot and can see what helps and what doesn't help and also what is just plain needed. I don't claim to have it all figured out by any means (I have so much more to learn) but I have some insight now by being here this long.
I am excited to read a book called, "When Helping Hurts, How to alleviate poverty with out hurting the poor or yourself" By Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.

As our time shortens here there seems to be a different feeling about. We've noticed some people backing off a bit and keeping distance. It isn't nice but I guess that's how they can best deal with us leaving. It's going to be so hard to leave so please pray for us we prepare and say our goodbyes. Chris and I have been talking and planning for the future. That is our biggest prayer request, we have lots of ideas but no decisions have been made yet.
As I am writing this our last team is arriving in PAP. It's another medical team. They will be here for 2 weeks to serve the community. I am always blessed to see the Haitian people helped in this way.
This morning Chris had the opportunity to play bball on a 1/4 of a regular size court. A foreign aid group that fixes water wells is also building a bball court nearby one of their wells. Though the court is barely finished it is being used everyday all the time. He started playing bball at 7 am and came back at 11:30am very tired but blessed. He said it was a great experience just being with all the Haitian guys, something not many others are able to experience.
Another good adventure we had was on Monday. Marc and Lisa took us up to a place called Value, in the mountains. It's 5km from the main road but takes about 1/2 hour to actually get to the top. We had lunch at the hotel/restaurant they have up there and were able to go on a hike as well. It's a totally different life for people who live in the mountains, much more simple than people in town. (And I think their lives are simple.) It was nice to share some time with Marc and Lisa and get to see another part of Haiti.
I am really happy the kids are back in school now, it's seems to be a bit more 'normal' in Grand Goave. We can thank God for that answer to prayer.
Well that's all for today. Thanks for reading~

Friday, May 13, 2011

Picture Blog~

Here Chris and a few others are helping unload the container. I should have been putting up pics all along but the few times I tried this past year it failed and I just gave up. But in these last 3 weeks I hope to get some good ones up!

This is one of our full mango trees ready to bless us with its wonderful fruit.

This pic is was given to me by a team member. Often Chris and I stroll the beach!

Volleyball camp at Haiti Arise compound.

Young guys listening to a member of the team share their testimony at bball camp.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Playing Sports in GG.

Well it's been a fun filled few days. The team that is here from Briercrest is doing bball and vball camps for youth and young adults. (I posted the link to their blog on the right) It's been a different dynamic having a team of all college age students. I definitely believe they are being challenged and it's good.
Last week they held a bball clinic for 3 days in Grand Goave at the Catholic school court yard. The school has some good hoops and the young people that came out had a great time. Yesterday and today they are teaching volleyball to the youth of our church here at the compound and everyone is just loving it. Lots of smiles all around. :)
On Sunday we went up to Tapion and partcipated in the church service and handed out rice to all the kids. After the service we went to pray with a family of 11 children who just lost their mother to cancer. It was very sombre, I mean what can you say.... really? But prayer was good and Haiti Arise is working on having all of the children sponsored so that in September they can all go to school.
On another note Eldon and his friend Dave just arrived here to help put the plumbing in the clinic. It's really encouraging to see the work projects here continue. The tech school and clinc site are buzzing with activity. Still no word about the childrens village property so we are leaving it alone for now.
Unfortunately there still hasn't been school in Grand Goave.
Some of the students we know from church are concerned they won't be able to graduate this year because it's already been 6 weeks that schools are closed.
So please pray that all these election woes will soon be resolved and then the children can return to school.
Well time is ticking away soon we will have our last team here and then Chris and I will have to say see you later or see you in a while because good byes are not fun and I don't like to think that I won't come back here ever again...
We have a medical team coming next week Wednesday so looking forward to serving the community in that way again too.
Well that's all for today~

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No news is good news~

Well it has been really quiet these days after our eventful week. Actually the days following the 'event' were really strange. There was (and still is) no school and no work was being done at all on the property. Chris and I were the only ones here most of the time. Sort of lonely and waaaay too quiet. But now that has all changed as the Briercrest team arrived yesterday.
Right now I am sitting at the table with Miesha, Asher, Jasmine and Lisa. We are all doing homework together :) I guess I consider writing the blog my homework.
Yesterday Marc also arrived as did a couple of guys from Red Deer to help continue the work at the tech school. Albert and Dan are here for 12 days to help pour the rest of the columns.
This morning the team is collecting all the mangos from the work sites. It's nice to hear the drone of the cement mixer going again too.
As for the wall situation. Marc said the mayor called him while he was in Canada. He had tried to meet with the 'bad' guys to come to a resolve but nothing came of it. The guys dont care about the community and what Haiti Arise is trying to do for them. So Marc and the mayor continue to be in contact and a decision is being made and something will happen but we don't know when or how. Luckily the Lord knows and we will continue to pray for a resolution soon.
Well that's all for today. Thanks for your prayers, blessings to you all~

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 26th pics~

This pic is the trench that the 'bandits' filled with rocks that our guys dug.

Our sign amongst the carnage that we will be able to salvage and fix up. :)

Post from the wall that they tried to break but couldnt, instead they burned a tire on them.

Everyone surveying the mess~ This is what they did to try to block the road to Haiti Arise.

Haiti Arise gate with some burn marks!

Continue to Pray~

Hello, well nothing has happened since Tuesday and we are all very grateful. Thank you Lord. Apparently the mayor of Grand Goave held a meeting with all the persons involved and well nothing was resolved. Supposedlly he gave us the go ahead to continue working on the wall but we aren't doing anything at the moment. All work has stopped even work on the Haiti Arise compound. Marc asked for that to happen until he comes back from Canada on Monday. So it's really quiet around here with no work going on, no classes or school too. It's really different for sure.
Marc went to Canada to meet with some of the board members for Haiti Arise. Pray for him and the board for wisdom and that he would recieve a lot of encouragment during this short trip.
You wouldn't believe the rumors that are going around Grand Goave about this situation. I will just give you a few examples, some lady from our church called Lisa this morning asking if she is okay. She heard Lisa had been beaten up. The other rumor is that Marc and Lisa have packed up and headed back to Canada. So it's interesting. :)

People in Grand Goave continue to protest the political situation. Apparently there was no final announcement about who the deputy is going to for Grand Goave so both sides are upset. They like blocking the roads with big trucks and piles of rocks. Hmmmm we don't quite understand why these things continue happening....... But we trust that God is in control and things will settle down soon.
We had a great prayer service last night at church and God spoke to my heart and told me not to be scared because he's watching over me. It was very comforting.
We thank you for all your prayers and concern. We are safe and continue to prepare things here for the next team and will head to the beach tomorrow.
well that's the update for today. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Please Pray for Haiti Arise~

This is an email message that Lisa wrote yesterday to inform everyone what is going on here right now. Also I have connected some other blogs to my blog that have more pictures and interesting stuff about Haiti on them. Feel free to check it out!

Dear friends and family~

Well, I was hoping to send out a joyful newsletter before May 1st, which I will still strive to do. But this short letter is to ask everyone for URGENT prayer. Haiti ARISE is under serious attack, and I mean, for real.

A brief background: We purchased a piece of land right along the main road for the future construction of the elementary and high school, church, sports arena and children's village. We have been trying to wall it in since Nov 2009, as you cannot start any construction until you have a wall. But we have run into nothing but battles since we began. There is a group of men that have been fighting us every step of the way, trying to gain more property for themselves from the land that we purchased. Some want a highway put in down the middle of the land, another has moved our boundary lines and another built his house right on the property line to force us to move in our wall. Naturally, we do not understand these attacks, as the land was fairly purchased, is private, and there are many accessible roads in the area. But we recognize that these are clearly spiritual attacks, as the enemy is not happy we are taking ground for Christ in Grand-Goave. All that we are doing is for the community's development.

At present: We have received court order and the justice have issued warrants for the arrest of the main perpetrator, named Jimmy. We have sent our labor crews out to build the wall numerous times, and tried again this morning. The police came to arrest Jimmy and a riot started.

His gang of vagabonds chased off our workers with machettes and many threats. It is noon now and we are all inside the compound, watching as they are smashing bottles and throwing rocks over our front gate. They have set tires on fire to try to burn the gate down. We extinguished them and when they saw the gate open, they charged again with rocks, bottles and anger. Marc called the police twice already and they are busy with other matters in town. But we are safe inside. The school children are safe. The workers are all safe. The staff are safe.

I cannot understand the mentality, nor can any of our workers and staff. Many say Grand-Goave is a town where people cannot prosper. Jealousy and hostility rises when someone tries to advance. Others say they have received too much help already and are ungrateful. As for us, we know that God called us here. It is not an easy place, but God calls us to be victorious and stand our ground.



Marc and Lisa Honorat

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter from Haiti~

Dear family and friends, we have had a wonderful week and weekend. Celebrating Easter in Haiti has been a huge blessing. We had multiple prayer services through out the week and Friday night Chris preached a message about what really happened on that cross regarding the payment of sin for all. It was intense and then the church watched the Passion of the Christ. Not the children though, I forgot how gruesome that movie is. I can't even watch it all. Easter Sunday we were blessed with great worship and Pastor Marc reminding us that Christ is no longer in the grave, He has RISEN and that there is so much freedom in accepting that payment he made for each of us on the cross.

I think that the Link team was really blessed and had a wonderful time with the people worshipping and working alongside them this past week. They just left this morning. I have posted a link to their blog on the left side of the page. I am sorry I didn't do that with all the teams who wrote blogs. I also posted the medical teams blog as well if you care to read how things went from their perspectives.

So this past week we held a 3 day childrens' program. It went really well had over 200 kids each day wow!~ The team also helped with the building of another house pouring the foundation and making blocks. This was one of their greatest high lights working along side the family that we are building the home for. We got to walk in the community a lot and show them how the people in this area of Haiti live life. It was eye opening and stretching to everyone. This team was especially keen to sponsor children so we spent a lot of time visiting the kids they chose and meeting their families.
I truly believe that being in Haiti for this time has changed Chris and I. We are not the same people anymore and our values are different and how we look at life has changed dramatically. So please extend grace to us as we process things and look at coming back to Canada. We will need your prayers and help to change cultures again. When you come to Haiti for 10 days you get a glimpse as to what goes on here but you don't see the big picture or understand truly the mentality and why things are the way they are. I am not saying we are experts because we are not but we've seen and experienced a lot and I am so thankful to be able to share with those of you who want to know more.
Yesterday we had a rice distribution for the church and community. Near the end it was quite chaotic and many of us had different reactions to it. Some people were scared, some angry, and some felt their heart breaking. It's always a struggle to know if this is something that Haiti Arise should continue doing. Only in the fact that a few people stir up others to push, yell, and shove their way to the front of the line to be first. But think about it how would we deal in their situation, if we didn't have the abundance of food and someone was giving out a free meal once a month. Hmmmm well I will leave you with that thought for today. Thanks for reading and sharing in our time here.
May God Bless you this day as you follow him.

~ Oh, and feel free to post comments and questions below our blog in the comments area if you would like.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's raining Mangos!

Bonswa from Haiti Arise, where the current weather is mangos, mangos and more mangos. No joke almost every where you walk on the property you are bound to step on a mango. So it's already the middle of April, I am always in awe of how time passes. Life truly is short and I am believing more and more what's done for Christ will be what truly last.

So I would like to explain the pics I have on the blog, the big one with all the people is everyone who helped pour the last section of the medical clinic roof. That day was actually the day before Kathleen left and she was so thankful God answered her prayers and got to leave with that part of the clinic finished. Roy, our engineer, the one who started with the technical school also left that same day. They both accomplished so much during their time here on the compound. The foundation for the tech school is finished and some of the first columns have even been erected. We were so blessed to have those skilled people with us working along side our Haitian brothers to get these projects going. We really miss them here, it's been really quiet these days on the compound these days.

School hasn't been in session for 2 weeks. Mostly because parents don't like sending their kids to school during election results. Also since many people in Grand Goave have been protesting the vote for the new deputy things have been interesting. Nothing to worry about but the town is divided in their loyalties and each party wants the other in place. Just like Canada we have our own loyalties or preferences we just don't throw rocks around if our person is not voted in. (even if we want too :) Apparently the final election results will be announced this Wednesday but that is subject to change.

Right now we are actually waiting for a new team to arrive. They are definitely going to have a good experience with it being Easter this weekend. We are going to have special prayer services during this week and show the Passion of the Christ on Friday night. I am looking forward to everything especially the kids program we will have from Wed-Fri. We have had 4 kids programs this year and they have been really successful with just under 200 kids each time. Marc always says that the children are the future of Haiti (obviously) and we need to invest in them as much as possible. That is part of his vision with the elementary school and orphans village it's amazing and so necessary here. We still need lots of prayer for the children's village property. We are still experiencing opposition and building is still at a stand still. We need God to break through to the few that are trying to stop this good thing from happening. I don't understand why this is happening but we have to trust the Lord's control in the situation and keep fighting the good fight.

The home building continues to go forward, this past week 2 new homes have had their land cleared and foundation dug and is ready to be poured. There are 3 finished homes and those families are now living in those homes. It is really awesome to see especially because those first families are staff of Haiti Arise.

Oh the other pictures is of us ladies dressed up in the evening gowns we found in the container. We had a break from sorting and decided to have some fun with a little fashion show. Lots of fun :) Elisa if you are reading this blog thanks for sending those they will be a blessing to the women who recieve them.

Well that's all for today. I think Chris wants to add something to this blog about his eventful, "you know you are in Haiti when" morning. But he can come and edit this later. Please pray for Chris and I as we make decisions regarding our future. We want to continue following Gods' will and need guidance. Thank you so much for following our journey. God Bless you today~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Haiti Awareness Blog!

So we've had an interesting week sorting through both containers and coming across a lot of interesting items. Pretty much this blog is going to be about what not to send to Haiti. I also hope it makes us ponder where we get the mentality that we can send 3rd world countries junk or things that we wouldn't want to use ourselves.

In the first container we received lots of hygiene products (all brand new). It was like shoppers drug mart emptied a warehouse and put it in a sea-can. In this particular container we received the following 'not' Haiti friendly products: ~ sunscreen, tanning oil, skin bronzers ~ panty hose ~ stevia, expired food and candy from 2008 ~ expired cough syrup, protein shakes, vitamins as far back as 2008 ~ hair removal cream, bath oil, face mask packets ~ heating coils so your pipes wont freeze ~ fabric softener sheets, I am sure there were others but that's all we could think of as we made our list.
Now mind you there were some really good things in that containers as well like baby diapers, soap, shampoo, lotion, candles, and band-aids. I have a story for you about the hair removal cream. In our sorting we made a "not for Haiti pile" and placed the hair removal there. Some how as stuff was being distributed a few ladies received the hair removal cream. Marc was talking with some computer students today and we heard that the ladies were using it in their hair as shampoo and were starting to lose their hair. Like it's falling out! Whoever handed out that product clearly did not read the label or tell the ladies what it is and how it can be used. Can you imagine if that happened in Canada? Lawsuit central~ Ha anyways that was supposed to make you smile.
Now onto the next list of things we found in the container that is staying here. ~ ski pants, snowboard boots, knitted slippers ~ an English book on Canadian parliament from 1983 ~ 2010 calendar ~ VHS videos on the petroleum industry ~ Used binders with school papers notes in them from whatever class ~ 1950 black and decker drill that does not work plus a bunch of other old tools that do not work and are in the junk pile. ~ A polaroid camera from like 1960 that has no film and doesn't work ~ used, dirty stuffed animals/ toys
These are again a few of the items that we found and sort of shook our heads at. I guess what I am trying to do is help people try to understand that what comes here needs to be useful. It costs a lot of money, time and effort to fill the containers ship them here and then get them out of Port au Prince. People in this country want good things and need good things. So please before you donate something to Haiti or any other 3rd world country please think about what you are sending and if you were on the receiving end what would you think.
I do want to thank those who did put a lot of time and effort into putting good things into the containers that will be useful here in the future and now. I am sure it was a lot of work to get everything together and sorted.
Thanks for reading~

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tet Chage - means lots going on in the mind.

Greetings family, friends and whoever else reads this blog.

Big suprise, we have been a little busy these days at Haiti Arise. Good news, the containers have finally come and now we are in the midst of organizing the 'goods.' The first container was shipped in two trucks to the property here. I will try to paint a picture of what that day was like:

As the two trucks arrived, many other things were happening at the time as well. There was a Bible class in session, a VBS with over a hundred kids running around, construction on the technical school and maybe something else that skips my mind. This was last Wednesday, and we had also finished a cement pour on the medical clinic at lunch (one more pour to go and the roof is finished there).
So needless to say there was a lot going when we had to figure where to put all the stuff. We ended making huge piles of boxes on a make shift platform and cleared the trucks as quick as possible.

The next day we were met with the other container sent from Red Deer, Alberta. This was a 40 foot container that we had to empty before we could drop it anywhere. It came about 3 in the afternoon. So we had a big group of workers (Canadians and Haitians) emptying it for a good 3 or more hours. As we were emptying it I (Chris) worked beside a young man (Eli) who was reminiscing with me about when I taught him basketball about 3 years earlier, kinda cool. After emptying the container the real fun part was getting it off the truck's trailer. Any guesses on how they do that in Haiti? They tie it to a tree and drive away haha. So we had our expert bobcat driver Dave Dale litfing up the container so they could stick some wood underneath to free the container. It took a litte while but eventually the truck drove away and left the container with a bang, as many of us looked on in amazement. It was quite a sight to behold :).

The timing of the container was really God's grace as we have two teams here at the moment who have been great at helping to organize and sort throught it all. Both teams have been great at serving in this area, and I imagine we will be sorting through it for sometime, though I believe we are having a market here today and maybe tomorrow to help distribute some of the items.

Funny side note on Thursday night both containers had been emptied on the ground and we had not had time to find shelter for them. It has not really rained here in the past 3 months maybe 2-3 times, it is incredibly dry. But as we were sitting around that night playing cards, what do we hear, but the start of rain. We all frantically ran outside and covered it all with tarps and even used the plastic table cloths as well. God has a sense of humor I am certain about that.

Note to everyone, snowboard boots and ski pants are not needed in Haiti - may we all use a little more discernment in sending things down.

Today is also a sad day as Dave and Beth our good friends and fellow workers left today returning back to Canada. They were great examples to us and were a real encouragment to Rebecca and myself. It is hard to see them go, but we are thankful for the chance to get to know them and serve alongside of them. You have to wonder who will God send next? Is God tugging on your heart to and come serve for a few months or more? I have to say taking a leap of faith and coming down here hasn't been easy, but we have seen blessing upon blessing. It is always good to be in God's will.

Until the next time we have a moment to spare. God bless.
In His Service,
Chris and Rebecca Girvan.

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Blog (I know really original).

So here we are the day after Election Day in Haiti. So far everything is pretty calm as far as we know. Continue to pray for this country as the results will come out in a week. I realize there are lots of prayer requests for the world Japan, Libya and Haiti. There are probably a lot more requests that I am not aware of. Thank goodness we know that God is in control of all things and that he is watching over us.

So this past Wednesday the medical team left. We had a really great time with them, Dr. Amelia’s first time with us and she and her team saw about 840 patients. The translators and other staff all worked so well together. I was really encouraged to see the people get this kind of help. We saw lots of pregnant women and babies. The medical clinic is such an important part of this ministry. Please continue to uphold the construction part of it to the Lord as it is continuing slowly and steadily.

Be sure to check out the smile box I posted above this blog. It has pictures of what’s going on around the property and Haiti Arise from the last couple of weeks.
I keep hearing about rainy season but I have yet to see some actual rain. It’s really dry here right now so I am looking forward to moisture and more green. Compared to when we first got here in August. Speaking of that I cannot believe we only have 10 weeks left in Haiti. But I am not going to talk about that right now.

So we are still working on getting the containers out of Port au Prince. It’s been slow moving, months actually. But this past week we finally got word that they will be here soon.

I (Chris) had the opportunity to preach on Sunday. Since it was election day and we don't know how it will all turn out, I preached on what We know. That Christ is our King and we are His ambassadors here. It is always a blessing to be able to speak to the church and encourage them with God's Word.

Now we are preparing for two teams to arrive today, one from Abbotsford, and the other from Nelson BC. We will try and write another blog later this week. Si Bondye Vle which is Kreyol for 'If God wants.' Things are always so uncertain so we often say after everything 'If God wants.' So Si Bondye Vle we will write another blog later this week :).

God Bless.
Chris and Becca.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Medical team news~

Hello and once again here I am in the middle of the night writing a blog. I think God must want me to write at night because I always seem to be inspired when I can't sleep. I am happy to report we are in the middle of a realy great medical clinc. I am enjoying the nurses and doctors we have so much. They are providing such a great service for the people of Grand Goave. They have seen everything from gangrene toes to scabies and just regular fevers and colds. You can check out their blog at this link:

We also have one of the other Haiti Arise board members here with us this week. Jessie, her daughter Sarah and friend Gwen are here with us. Jessie has been busy in the office as she is our accountant and Sarah has been doing a children's program with the 4th and 3rd grade students from the elementary school.Gwen has been helping Sarah with the program, painted a mural on the building and redid the Haiti Arise sign on the all, she's a very talented artist. It's been great having them all here and I have really liked helping with the kids. In English class today we made one of the crafts that Sarah brought with her. I think the teacher that is translating for her is really understanding the need for the students to do crafts and work with their hands more.
Construction is still going steady. The foundation for the tech school is almost finished and the other section of the medical clinic is being prepared for the next roof pour. Not too much has been happening at the childrens' village this week but we can only trust in the Lords' timing for all things. There have been 3 community homes built since January and the 4th one will be started soon. The leaders took some time to evaluate the building project before deciding to start the next home.

We had a great encouraging prayer service tonight. I really felt the spirit of the Lord moving. I have a great love for my Haitian brothers and sisters but God showed me his love for them while we were worshipping and I was filled with joy. Knowing He alone cares for them so much more than I can ever hope to or imagine fills me with peace. This country definitley has a piece of my heart.
Well I will leave you with that. Pray for continued strength for the nurses and doctors and they minister here and have long days. Also pray for the leaders of Haiti Arise as they often encounter situations that need wisdom and discernment.
Pray for Chris and I to continue to have a servant heart and attitude no matter the circumstances.
Thanks for reading~ Rebecca

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When you eat chocolate too late in the evening.....

Good Early morning from Haiti. So it's midnight right now and I can not sleep. Why, well I already mentioned that in my title. But my thanks goes to Chris' parents who sent along the treats with someone who just arrived today. Ha, well it leaves me some time to think and to blog about the past while. Before I get into everything I just want to mention that Chris is starting to feel better. So thank you for your prayers.
On Wednesday Chris, Beth, David, James (their son) and I took a trip to Jacmel. It was time for a short break away from all the activity. We went up to Bassan Bleu the waterfall I mentioned back in December. We spent an hour and a half swimming and diving off the rocks. Then we checked into the Cap Lamondou Hotel in Jacmel and laid out by the pool for the rest of the afternoon. The whole trip was very relaxing and such a blessing to be away for a night. The hotel was very nice and I recommend it to anyone wanting to check out Jacmel for a night or two.

Right now in Haiti there is a celebration called Carnival happening. It's basically an excuse to party and have a good time in the streets. There is lots of dancing, different music groups performing and people wearing masks. It's not something that Christians participate in because of its' history, being that the mask would hide your face so you could be free to do things you wouldn't normally do because you are somewhat hidden. You have a 'mask' on. I could speak a lot more about that but I think you get the idea. So also because of this holiday the children have 3 days off school this week.

Talking about the school children, on Fridays Lisa and I have started doing a sports class with the children. Mostly just follow the leader exercises in a circle but it's fun and the kids really enjoy it. Teaching English is going well the kids are learning and I like being able to ask them how they are and getting a response back in English. My goals are to have them knowing the alphabet, numbers 1-10 and colors by the time I leave Haiti.
Our Saturday adult classes are going great as well. I've started getting my students to listen to songs and try to pick out some lyrics. I like to use music from Hillsong because a lot of their words are repetitive and that's helpful for learning.
Something I am excited about on the construction side of things is that the technical school foundation has started to be poured. Also that things with the wall at the children's' village property have calmed down and are moving forward. It's a blessing for people like Roy (the engineer) and Kathleen (the architect) to be here spear heading these projects. I have seen so much progress and am excited about all the building.
The nurse/clinic team arrived today which means we are going to have medical clinic here for the next 10 days. Tickets have been handed out and people are anxious to come and see the doctor. This is a great and necessary part of what Haiti Arise is doing and is going to continually do in the future. I am happy to be helping out in whatever way I can. I am by no means a trained nurse but sometimes the people here must think I am because they come to me with all kinds of cuts, headaches, stomach aches, you name it. :)
We also had 3 other people arrive today, not part of the medical team. One of them is Jessie she is the Haiti Arise accountant. Her daughter is also here to do a program with 2 of the elementary school classes, and also a friend of theirs. So it looks like there is a busy week coming up.
Please pray for the health of the nurses as they will be seeing lots of sick people everyday. Also for strength and wisdom for each day as all of us serve here. Long term and short term missionaries.
Well I think that's all for tonight. Gods' gracious and merciful blessings on all of you.
love Rebecca

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The hospital in Grand Goave

Greetings friends and family members.

Life is going by busy as usual here at Haiti Arise. The team currently here from Saskatoon are preparing to leave tomorrow morning after an eventful time. They worked hard at the construction projects, did a great job with the children's VBS, and really just came with a great heart to serve.

I (Chris) have not been feeling well these days, and after waiting for my body to get better I finally gave in and went to the hospital (Becca may have had some influence there :). I would like to share with you about my visit there yesterday. A friend of ours put me on the waiting list at about 7:30am. We went to the hospital at about 8:30 am and continued to wait for an hour or so. It is funny there does seem to be a system of first come first serve but also a system of if I can get in the doctors office first I win. So after waiting for a good while, we simply waited by the doctor's door and were the first to enter after a patient had left :). The doctor wanted me to get some x-rays done, so we found ourselves waiting at another door. Again we just had to be the first to step into the room when the door opened to get the x-ray. Don't worry I waited a good amount of time before doing this. After getting the results back we had to again be the first in the doctors door, this time 2 other people did the same move, so it was a little crowded :). I have a throat infection and an infection in my lungs so he wrote my prescription and off we went.

First we went to one building to exchange my US currency and then proceeded to walk around for about 45 minutes to various 'pharmacies' of various sizes. By the time we were finished it was noon and I had most of the medicine accounted for, and actually on the walk back to Haiti Arise we discovered another pharmacy and picked up the remaining items. This whole experience has again made me so thankful for the health system we have in Canada, I know its not like it used to be, but its much better than here in Haiti.

All the doctors were Cuban, the Cuban government has an agreement with the Haitian one. Despite the crowds, and waits, it was a great experience treated by experts in their field. The hospital visit did not cost me a penny (I'm not sure who carries that cost), and the medicine was about $35 US. All in all it was a good visit and a very educational experience. Please pray that this medicine will help put me back to good health. Also continue to keep the elections in your prayers as they will coming shortly (I think March 20th). So never a dull day here, no matter what we do.

Thanks for reading, Chris

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Praise and Prayer at Haiti Arise~

Hello from Haiti. Well Chris and I are sitting together writing this blog. It's been a whirlwind of activity here these days. We are not sure where to begin. We have a team from Saskatoon here at the moment, they arrived on Monday.
Chris has been helping Sterling with the Bible school that opened a couple weeks ago. He watches the video cirriculum with the students and then helps answer questions after. It's keeping him busy in the afternoons. Chris also preached this past Sunday on 2 Peter 3. He really enjoys preaching and the church recieves his messages well. We are so blessed by the people we have gotten to know in the church and community. They especially have a respect for Chris as he has been able to minister to them often. We've also had time to build relationship which is so important in a hot climate culture such as Haiti.
On a completely different note~
Chris wants me to mention that one of the best gifts his parents gave him was the love of reading. Thanks mom and dad! Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary~ :)

There has been a lot of spiritual opposition here lately. I believe the church here is moving forward and growing. In January we started Bible Study classes and the church is really encouraged from it so it makes sense the attacks have been coming. So pray for the church that it would stay strong and continue seeking God in this time. The childrens village wall continues to move forward but everyday there are people who don't want to see it completed. Some people have parts of their homes on the property line and are getting a bit excited when we are trying to build a wall exactly on the line. So we need prayer for this project to continue moving forward in a positive way. One good thing happened there yesterday. The well was drilled by a team of guys who are actually staying with us for a few nights. We are hosting them if they are in the area need a place to stay. They are from Ohio and are based out of PAP but drilling all over Haiti.

I have been busy teaching English and coordinating the teams that have been coming. We have been doing a lot of childrens programs. Everything from singing, face painting, story telling, games and snack time. On average we have about 120 kids coming to the programs today we had 160. So that means tomorrow we will have more. Lots of fun, it's encouraging though to have these kids to influence and share Christ with even if it's only a short time. Each time we do a childrens program we work out more kinks and each time it goes better.
It's been really great having people we know here on the last team and now this team. It's great to reconnect and have a familiar around.

Roy who is the engineer we have here now is really getting the technical school started. I am so encouraged by him and his positive out look. He works well with the Haitian workers and has experience working in Haiti. I am so thankful the school is finally getting built. The sooner the better because so many students want to come back and learn. The medical clinic is almost ready for the next section of roof to be poured. So things are really coming along on the property.

Please pray for all the projects that are ongoing here at the campus. Safety of the workers and teams. Also for Chris' health, he hasn't been 100% for a while and needs strength. We have a medical team coming next week so hopefully the doc can have a look at him. Wisdom for the leaders of Haiti Arise as they make decisions and lead the church. We can thank God though for his provision each and everyday for watching over us and providing all that we need. I am thankful and blessed. Even though Chris stopped helping me write this half way through. Well that's all for today seems there is a lot going on and i need to write more often so I don't forget something. Yikes~
God's grace and peace be with you all
Rebecca and Chris

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines~

Do you know what, I got a box of chocolates from Chris today! What an awesome Valentines surprise. (Who knew he'd find good chocolate here :)
We went out to one of the tent cities this morning to hand out rice and hygiene bags and on the way back he stopped and surprised me. The team from Moose Jaw SK is here and we had a great time this morning. The hand out went really well there were no crowds pushing or complaining. God heard our prayers and went before us. Lisa and I were security at one of the gates to the park and could only let in people with a ticket. It was great to be able to bless the people still living in tents. Though there are not very many left now.

Haiti Arise was really busy this past weekend as we had a women's conference for the ladies of the church. There were 4 sessions of speaking and worship. We covered lots of topics from serving one another to being a good parent and finding a good husband. We also had a rummage sale on Saturday morning and then spent the afternoon at the beach swimming, eating, and doing some crafts. I think it was received really well and lots of the women were challenged. I know I was blessed and have lots of things to think about. I was even given the opportunity to testify to what God has done in my life over the past year. Such a blessing to have all the women together. We even had the men of the church cooking for us. They sure made up some great meals, I was amazed to see the hearts of the men that came they worked tirelessly to make everything yummy. That cement pad that the last team poured worked out really good for cooking on. Everything was cleaner and all around better.

With 24 extra people around everything around here is bustling. The guys finished pouring 1/4 of the roof for the medical clinic today. Chris just told me there was a big cheer from everyone once they finished for the day. Seems to be a lot of joy around this place these days and lots happening. Also it looks like the wall construction will be resuming again soon. We've faced opposition, prayed and God is answering in His time. Still may get some more opposition but we are trusting God.
I am so encouraged by the answered prayer and too at the timing of it all. God only wants us to know what we need to know at just the right time.
Tomorrow we are planning on doing a childrens program in the afternoon. So I am looking forward to that as always. Something about those children just touches the heart, love it:).

Oh just wanted to mention we now have an engineer staying with us until the first week of April. He's from BC and has been in Haiti since October. Anyways long story short he knows some people Marc and Lisa know and his term at another organization was up so he got in contact with us and asked if he could come. He's going to be really vital in getting the tech school construction up and going again. So that is exciting news for us concerning our building projects.
Well I think that about updates to today. So much going on don't know which way my head is going sometimes. Thanks for your thoughts and continued prayers.
Have a great week.
Love from Haiti

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time to relax~

Today has a relaxed atmposphere here at Haiti Arise. The CrossRoads team (from Red Deer, Alberta) left this morning. We have a team from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan coming on Tuesday. So today the pace seems a little slower, though the elementary school is in session, and construction is going on outside, so maybe its just me :).

The CrossRoads team was kept busy with various building and construction projects. They surveyed the land on the other property, helped out with the conscrtuction on a few houses, and some other odd jobs as well. The last project they did before leaving was pour a cement pad outside the kitchen for the ladies to cook on. Previously it was dirt so every time it rained, it was quite the mud mess. It was fun to help out with that and always good to labor in the sun. I was amazed after we were finished that one of the workers, Anel, had kept his white shirt clean. I mean most of us where covered in sweat and cement. But Anel worked right along with us, and yet kept that shirt clean, it must a Haitian secret or something.

After teams leave we usually try to take the next day a little slower (doesn't always happen). I spent the morning reading, and reflecting which was a blessing. I am reading through the book of Acts in the Bible and the Lord continues to show me the Apostle Paul's heart for the Church. He traveled around modern day Turkey and Greece and led many to faith in Christ. But he never stopped there, he always had to know how they were doing, gave them encouraging words, as well as loving rebukes too. He cared so much that a believer would grow in their faith and be strengthened in the Lord. That is my prayer for the church here at Haiti Arise as well. That as people grow in their faith in Christ they would be a positive influence on their families, and the surrounding area here as well. That the light of Christ would bring many hope who are in spiritual darkness here in Haiti and through out the world as well. Praise the Lord!

Please continue to pray for us and all who work with Haiti Arise, that we would have God's heart of love and service here. It is good to have a moring of rest, but I only have rest because I rest in Him :). Chris

Hi, Rebecca here, thought I should say a few things before we post this blog. Had a really great week with the team from Crossroads. I really enjoyed teaching the elementary school kids this week. Also I am teaching the kids how to jump rope during recess time. (some don't know how to)
Kathleen Morrissey is back here in Haiti to continue helping with the Medical Clinic construction. It's neat to have someone return who we spent time with before.
The wall construction hit a bit of a road block this week. Some people in the community are not happy about the wall being built over 'their' walking path. The property is owned by Haiti Arise so we arent doing anything wrong. It seems as though a few people want to cause a little trouble because we are causing a slight inconvience to their walking travels. The houses continue to go up this morning another roof was poured on the 3rd house and it looks like number 4 will be starting soon.
Lisa, Madanm Luc, Madanm Artis and I took a little trip into Peti Goave yesterday which was fun. The market on Friday is a lot more quiet then on Saturday. We did the grocery shop for the next team and bought a few treats for ourselves. It's nice to get out and about once in a while.
Looking forward to next week as we will be having a women's conference here on the property. I will report about that as the time gets closer. Should be an interesting week as the next team has 24 people. Well good that's all for today.
blessings~ Rebecca

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another beautiful day in Haiti.

We are half way through another work week here at Haiti Arise. Building projects are on the go, the elementary is in session, and the computer classes seem to be happening all the time (yesterday there was 3 different classes).

A new team arrived on Tuesday and they are busy putting in work in various places. They are from CrossRoads Church in Red Deer Alberta. Yesterday we were busy sifting sand and helping some guys who were parging the walls of an almost finished home. Others were helping prepare lumber for building forms for the roof of another home. Rebecca was teaching some English to the elementary students and getting them all hyped by blowing bubbles at recess. In the afternoon I met with a few young men from the church and helped them with their conversational English. It is a great time of fellowship and getting to know each other more.

This afternoon we will heading out to visit people in their homes and pray with them. And then we will have our Thursday night prayer service. So never a dull moment here at Haiti Arise.

We were encouraged by Jim from Father's House Church in California (I forget the city), to blog more often and just share our thoughts and lives more. Thanks for that encouragement, God willing we will blog a little more. And by 'we' I mean me because Rebecca is great at writing where I usually never do.

As I return to the various jobs going on here, I just want people to know that God is using Haiti Arise to make a difference. People are being strengthened in the church and growing stronger through Sunday school classes that are just starting. Houses are being built for those who lost them in the earthquake. Many young children are receiving an education here. The technical school will soon start to be rebuilt, providing useful education for people in the surrounding areas. They can learn skills that can create/or help them get jobs. The medical clinic is almost ready for the roof to be poured and many other things are going on. I just want people to know that despite what they hear on the news and despite the lack of government. Changes are being made, people are moving forward and God's kingdom continues to expand and be strengthened here!

God Bless.
I better head back to it all.
Please continue to keep this ministry and us in your prayers.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A week of good times~

Bonswa from Haiti Arise~ I just finished teaching my Saturday morning English class and thought it would be good to take some time to write a blog. We had a really great and busy week with a team from California. They were great group, very willing to serve in any way or area that we suggested or needed attention.
My favorite part of the week was the VBS program they had for the kids in the afternoons. The first day was organized chaos but after each day we met and discussed what we could improve on and how we could keep better control. So if any of you reading my blog are planning on working with the kids or having a VBS program at Haiti Arise I am yours to plan and prep with. :) We did crafts, snack time and a puppet show with lots of singing. The kids really love to sing and can get really into songs with actions. A lot of the children's songs we sing in Canada the kids know in Creole. We also did face painting one day and they loved it. All the boys wanted beards and mustaches. The girls enjoyed flowers and hearts.
I really enjoy working with the children. I am especially getting to know the elementary school kids since I've started teaching English in each class once a week for 30 minutes. They don't know any English, most can't even say hello properly. So I get to start at the beginning and teach ABC. Marc is really keen on having me teach because he wants the children to learn to not say "you, you" or "blanc, blanc" when they see a white person/foreigner, but rather hello.

We had a lot of opportunities to walk about in the community to pray and share Christ with different families. We met a lady dying of a heart condition and the team went almost everyday to pray for her. She did pass away Thursday night but went home to be with our Lord. We met a 17 year old girl with a baby who wanted to be converted and who now is coming to church and I have a had the privilege of praying with her and encouraging her. So please continue to pray for the people of Haiti and Grand Goave as Christ is working here and touching lives. We need Him everyday and every hour.

Chris had to opportunity to preach in church again last Sunday. It was well received and really timely as the message was on quiet time seeking God in prayer by following Christ's example. Christians in Haiti really need to seek God in prayer especially with the elections coming again in a month or so. Chris really enjoys the opportunities he gets to preach and the Bible study through Genesis that he faithfully teaches each Friday night.
Construction and building projects are going forward. The technical school foundation was dug out this past week by a crew of 20 Haitian guys with Chris and Dave jumping in the odd afternoon. The bob cat wasn't working for a few weeks but one of the guys on the team was able to fix it so the building of the wall around the childrens village property got started again. Also the homes for people in the community are being built. There is lots of progress. This morning the guys poured the roof on Madanm Luc's new home. There are 3 homes being built at the moment and it's going really well. We are excited to see all the projects going and thank God for what He's doing through Haiti Arise and all the supporters.
Wow that was a lot of information. I am pretty sure you are all caught up though.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A year later in Grand Goave

Greetings from Haiti. Well it's going to be hard to put into words what has happened here in the last week. It's been a really good and busy time.
Last Wed to Sun we had crusades in the evenings. They took place downtown by the park (if your familiar with the town).

Chris had went to the same area in early October for the celebration of Grand Goave's birthday. The atmosphere at that time was a big party, drinking and dancing. So this last week it was a blessing to see over a few thousand people singing praises and dancing for the Lord. And then we very encouraged by the preaching that took place as well. There were pastors from Canada (Pastor Ed,Leduc and Pastor Russ, Saskatoon), and many from the surrounding area of Grand Goave. So each day we did our various tasks and jobs around the compound and then went to the crusades at night. Haitians know how to worship God, it's really neat to experience and be a part of it.
The picture on the blog is from the Sunday March around the town. It was a cool experience marching for Christ. :) The other picture is of the girls who helped serve for all the meals during the seminars. From Mon to Wed (today) we had the leaders of Grand Goave and churches in the area come together for the seminars. Topics from how earthquakes happen, basic health care, spiritual leadership and building were all addressed. Pastor Marc says it was a big success and the people were really appreciative.
I was also so encouraged to see all the people from church come and serve by cooking, hosting, leading worship and taking care of technical details. Everyone serving with their gifting.
There was a memorial service in the park at 2:30 today and they laid flowers, had a minute of silence, and lots of prayer. I think it's really good for the people to get some more closure from what happened last year and to continue moving on.
Tomorrow we have our first team of 2011 coming from California. As for what they will be up to I will have to let you know that next week.
I am so thankful to be in Haiti at this time. It's been a huge blessing for us and I can only hope and pray God is using Chris and I to be a blessing too.
I hope that shows you what's been happening in a nut shell. If there are any question please post them in the comments below.
Thanks for reading~ Rebecca and Chris

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Back in Haiti~

Well here we are back home. That is what it seems like to us since presently this is actually our home. It's good to be back. Happy New Year by the way. We definitely had a great New Years party here on the compound lots of good food, praising the Lord and bringing in the New Year with hugs and prayer. We've had a quiet week up until now just getting back into the swing of things with meetings and planning. There is lots happening in this new year. David and Beth from Moose Jaw are here with us helping out for 3 months. It's good to have them here for a longer time and Chris and I are excited to be serving with them.
We are in the middle some exciting times in preparation for the anniversary of the earthquake on January 12th. For the next 3 days there will be crusade meetings at the park in Grand Goave and prayer meetings in the morning. Next Monday and Tuesday there will be seminars held for church and community leaders about why earth quakes happen. (geologist is coming to speak) Also on health care, construction and sharing of the gospel. Then on Wednesday there will be a memorial service to remember those who lost their lives in the earthquake and help bring closure for those who are still grieving.
So there is lots to plan and prepare for. Then next week Wednesday we will have our first team of the year. They are coming from California.
Miesha, Asher and Jasmine have started going to school here at Haiti Arise. It's neat to see them playing with the other kids and in class.
Well I think we are off to the first crusade in a few minutes. Pray for the people of Haiti and Grand Goave that God would touch them and save many during this week.
God Bless