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