OUR FIRST MONTH IN HAITI!

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What a journey this first month has been!

In the past month, A LOT has happened! Here are just a few of the things that have happened small and big, silly & serious over the past month.

    • We moved to another country and into a new house that we worked hard at to make a home.
    • The boys started a new way of doing school and met new friends.
    • We are learning to flick bugs off ourselves & food and make sure and cover up food when not eating so bugs don’t have fun in our food 😉
    • We have started sleeping with fans on us, well ok fans on us at all times really haha.
    • We have learned to drive ATV & motobikes around our village to take the boys to school and take us where we need to go.
    • We are learning what foods we can & can’t eat here and how to get them.
    • We have made new friends. We have cried. We have laughed.
    • We have wiped more sweat off of us than we thought possible.
    • We have missed our family and friends dearly, while embracing the new season God has called us to.
    • We had the privilege of going to the beach this past weekend.
    • We have started to learn the unique language of Creole.
    • We have house staff working in our home daily, which is a transition that we have to get use to. We already love them and can’t wait to get to know them more.
    • We get our meat & produce in a completely different way here.
    • We have learned to not put our seat belts on in the car until we are on the main roads because the roads in our village are so bumpy, that it hurts to have the seat belt on 😉
    • We have had fun running around in the warm rain that happens quite frequently in this season.
    • We make sure we get our showers in by 10pm each night when the electric goes off and we run on our batteries.
    • We have been learning our Haitian stove and so far its taking us 2-3 times the amount it did in the states to bake something, so it definitely has a learning curve 😉
    • We have seen a plethora of new creatures and some we already knew that are just used in different ways here or hang out in different places than they do the states. For example, goats just randomly tied up everywhere along the streets, donkeys and horses used to carry goods/materials.
    • We are learning how to pay for things in Haitian goudes.
    • We have learned to LOVE cold showers because its so hot that we look forward to a cold shower at the end of the day.
    • We have learned to be creative and figure something out with what we have.
    • We have watched the boys fall in love with this country, their new friends and yet process emotions sometimes of missing what they left behind.
    • We have learned that we truly have so much and therefore have a lot to be thankful for.
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The drive from our home and village of Simon to Zanglais ministry center & the beach is around 45 – 60 minutes. Thankfully much of it is a beautiful drive filled with mountains, trees and rolling hills.
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The boys LOVE their new way of going to school. They take turns on dads motorbike because its their favorite but he can only take one at a time. April takes Zeke and one of the older two and Jim takes the other. They switch every ride to keep it fair 😉

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Now that we have been here one month, we are moving onto the next stage which is LANGUAGE & MINISTRY! We are very excited for this. Last week we started our language lessons with Pastor Mezi and this week we start working with RMI doing our ministry work. Until Jim starts going out with teams, and in between when teams are here, he will do different projects and various things. This week he is working on welding and putting on a new railing on the stairs at one of the guesthouses that teams stay at, so that it can be safe for them. April will be training on how to plug in all the Hope 4 Kids program stuff to help them as this is their VERY busy season with getting kids sponsored, pictures taken and letters written from the kids to their sponsors. She is very excited to be a part of this amazing program.

Our mornings look like this: We wake up, get the boys ready and pray with them before taking them to school. Then now that we are both doing ministry work, Zeke will stay here at the house with Merita who will watch him a few hours while April goes into the ministry center. Then we go for morning devotions with all of the RMI staff. This is one of our favorite things as we open in singing, then one person is assigned to do devotions each day then we end in prayer and greeting each other.  April will go up to the office to work for a few hours before heading back home to Zeke. Jim will work more during the day then me at this time until Zeke is old enough to go to school. When teams are here, it’s a whole other story with how our schedule looks and so we will update you all on that next month.

Then at 1pm we pick up the boys from school and have lunch (the big meal of the day here) with all of us and our house staff. We look forward to learning the language more so we can conversate more and more with them during this time. Then on various nights here we have various things going on in the community from bible study, ladies tea, basketball, game nights etc! Remember, with not many options of entertainment here, we get creative as a little community to do things together, which we are appreciative of.

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We had a wonderful relaxing day at the beach this past Saturday. We are HUGE beach and water people, especially our boys so this made their day!

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

We fall in love with this country more every day and so then our hearts break more and more as we watch the struggles the country are facing right now with a fuel shortage & complications from that, resulting in little to no food, water, transportation, work etc for the people. The kids cannot go to school. Protests making it hard for anyone to go anywhere. Please pray for these resilient, hard working people that love their families just like you do, that love their God just like you do, that work hard to provide for their families just like you do.

Please pray for Isaac concerning school. Pray for God to continue to work healing in Isaac with some of the issues he deals with, wisdom for us as we guide and help him and his teacher as she learns what is the best way to reach & help him.

Continued good health & protection for our family. Also as we continue to transition to this new way of life and new season. Pray we will focus on God and not the things we are leaving behind or miss. That we would see this beautiful country and the people here like God does and that we stay so attuned to the Holy Spirit for His daily guidance of what He wants us to do here for His kingdom.

Thank you so much for your prayers this first month. Thank you for your support. Your faithfulness in giving how God has called you to, allows our family to be here and do what He has called us to do here. We thank God so much for you!   Love, Jim & April Starkey 

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