To Haiti We Go – Starkey Family December Update!

December Update!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…SUMMER? 😉

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Holidays in Haiti

This is our first time celebrating Thanksgiving & Christmas somewhere other than where we grew up. We have definitely missed family so much but we have been trying to make the best of things and start new traditions here in Haiti for the holidays. Thankfully a sweet family sent us a Fall/Thanksgiving care package that really helped us be able to do some neat crafts & games with the kids. It’s harder here to find things and you can’t just go out to the store and pick up stuff to do neat holiday themed things, like we could back in Ohio so we were so grateful for that box.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with about 80 other local people. It was around 91 degrees that day. Many of the people we didn’t know but we did get to know a few new people and even had one of the families over to watch the OSU vs. Michigan game this past weekend. It was neat celebrating a day of THANKS with so many people.

The day after Thanksgiving, is the day we always decorate our house for Christmas and we would go out to the local tree farm in Ohio and chop down a tree. With the heat, and it looking more like SUMMER than WINTER 😉 haha, we knew we needed some help in getting into the Christmas spirit. We turned on Christmas music, a fake fireplace on our TV 😉 and had a blast decorating together. Thanks to donated foods that came in, we even were able to have hot cocoa with whip cream and sprinkles. It was a BIG treat as we can’t purchase whip cream here! Instead of chopping down a tree, Jim took the older two boys down to a field in our village and flew kites with them and the neighborhood kids that came down. It ended up turning out to be a wonderful day together!

We tried to make it feel as much like Christmas as we could, so it would help the boys have a sense of normalcy here in Haiti because we as a family did so many things around Christmas time in the states. We started on the Advent book called “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” with the boys, which will have us learning about different names that Jesus is called and what each name means!

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We know around this time of year, people like to give and so we wanted to give a fun reminder that if you want to send anything to the boys or care packages to our family for the Christmas season, it takes a few weeks so sending now versus in a few weeks, will allow us to get it in time for Christmas. If you would like to see a list of items that are helpful or fun to have for us that we can’t get here in Haiti, our amazon wish list is HERE . Thank you so much!

Other family happenings…

We got a dog! She is a 6 week old female Rottweiler mix. We named her Reesie because her coloring reminds us of a Reese Peanut Butter Cup. She is very sweet and loves playing with the boys. She is quickly capturing our hearts and helping distract us a little, from missing family during the holidays.

We go to bible study every Wednesday night with the other area missionaries and we are so thankful that our friend Lee works hard at delivering a lesson that not only ministers to all ages but helps the littles stay attentive to the lesson. This night he did a play of when Jesus healed the lepers and only one came back to thank Him. The kids and adults were able to get involve in the play while learning about this lesson from the bible.

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April has been able to play and sing with fellow missionaries here in our village. Below is a picture of their practice for a special night of Christmas music coming up this week that they were practicing for.

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Saint Mathurine Waterfall & Day at Port Salut

This past month has brought a little bit of calm, enough to where we were able to go out twice, on the weekends, to do some sight seeing of this beautiful country. Our first stop was in the beginning of November to a big, beautiful waterfall near Camp Perrin. Our second time out, we drove through the beautiful mountains to Port Salut and went to a waterfall and then the beach! It was a beautiful day with some very yummy food as well. Jim & Isaac were very brave and jumped off a cliff into the ocean.

MINISTRY UPDATE!

This past month Jim passed his first drivers test here in Haiti. There is no actual Haiti test, but this is through our organization RMI, who wants to make sure all drivers are very capable and knowledgeable of how to drive in Haiti since driving here is VERY different from driving in the states. Jim already knew how to drive stick, so he just needed to practice driving in Haiti road & traffic conditions. April will learn here soon, how to drive stick so that she can start practicing to eventually be able to drive here as well.

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HOPE FOR KIDZ

This past month, has brought enough calm in our area, that the Hope for Kidz team has been able to go out to several schools. Most days they have been gone, as they are trying to get caught up and get to all the schools that we partner with. This is great news and it has also given April more work to do, which is great. She works on editing the pictures and information that comes in for each child.

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LANGUAGE LESSONS

We have both continued our studies this month. Our teacher comes twice a week and gives us hour long lessons each of those days, for each of us. We do them separately since Jim started learning in the states a few years ago and knows more Creole than April. We are both finding that it is much easier to read and write Creole than it is to hear it and understand quickly enough to know what to say back, since when we read & write it, we have more time to think and/or look things up. We look forward to the day when hearing and speaking is as easy as reading & writing is.

PRAISES & PRAYER REQUESTS

We praise God for the funding of our solar panel system for our house that will be installed soon. Parts are being ordered right now and everything is being figured out for the installation.

We praise God a great Thanksgiving.

We praise God that this month brought enough calm that more ministry things were able to be done and we were able to explore the country a bit.

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We ask prayer for our continued language studies. That Jim and April will be able to quickly learn Creole well so they can further develop relationships and do more.

We ask prayer for the sale of our home. The people who were renting from us and trying to buy it, can no longer due to things on their end so our home is now for sale again. Please pray for the quick sale of our home as this is not in our budget.

Pray for April & the boys as this time of year has brought more times of missing family so much and wanting to see them.

Pray for the RMI Haitian staff. For encouragement, provision and for things that God knows. If you would like to donate towards something special for the holidays, we would LOVE to ask you to donate to RMI and check the box for it to go specifically towards the Haitian staff. Go HERE to do so!

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We cannot thank God enough for you, our supporters. We go through our monthly support list every few months and we recently just did. It made our hearts so happy to see the faithfulness of month after month, giving that the families on our team have given to God, so that we can be here serving in Haiti. You will never know how much that means to us, that you are partnering with us in reaching and discipling people for Jesus here in Haiti. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Love, Jim & April

 

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