“Our hope is not in the New Year but in the One who makes all things new!”
What a year it has been!
In the beginning of 2019 we didn’t have a move date yet and we were still raising support. Fast forward 7 months later and we were loading our container to be sent over to Haiti so it could arrive before we did the following month. When we look back on this past year there is one resounding theme that keeps coming to mind…ONLY GOD! Only God could have gotten us to this point of moving our family to Haiti, only God could be the one who gave us such peace and unity in what we were doing, only God could do what He did in our hearts in the first four months we have been here. So much change has happened in our lives this past year, more than ever before in our lives and God has walked every single step with us.
We love knowing as we enter this new year in our new home in Haiti, entering our fifth month here on the field, that God is the One who makes all things NEW, not really a New Year. He is the One going before us, before all that RMI does, He is the one who knows every single thing that will come our way this year and we are so grateful that we have this HOPE IN HIM! In Him is peace…in Him is love…in Him is kindness…in Him is joy…in Him is all we need!!! We have felt that more than ever the past four months here in Haiti.
(SIDE NOTE: The top image is from RMI’s annual Christmas celebration held at the Zanglais Ministry Center. It was a beautiful day held with all RMI Haiti staff, celebrating all that God has done this past year. The second picture is of our family being silly with reindeer antlers we made around Christmas time and the last picture is of Jim building a bike ramp for the boys.)
December has been a fun month for our family as we have been busy with a lot of Christmas activities with fellow missionary friends, the kids school and our own family. The boys participated in their first Christmas concert here in Haiti in the beginning of December and they did such a great job. We were so thankful for the hard work they and their teacher put into this because it was such a blessing to our hearts. Zeke turns 3 years old actually today, December 31st! We are so thankful for the gift that he is to us from God. We have loved seeing him blossom and grow just in the four months since we have been here. We call his language Zekaneze because it’s a mixture of Creole, English and toddler talk 😉
Jim and April have continued in their language studies and have been so thankful for the teacher that they have. Even though we have a long ways to go in our language study, we have come such a long ways since the first day we moved here so we praise God for that.
(SIDE NOTE: The first picture below is Isaac and Micaiah with their teacher Miss Andrews and their classmates at their Christmas concert. The second image is of Jim and the older two boys helping local fishermen and the community draw in the fish nets from the ocean. The third picture is of a really special night we had at our neighbors house. They are german and had us and another family over and shared stories from their Christmas time as a child growing up, shared neat traditions with us that they do and goodies as well. It was a wonderful night that we will always remember. The last picture is from a special Christmas concert that the local church in our village did that we went to. They did a great job! We loved watching a few of our RMI friends in it.)
A HUGE thank you to each and every one of you who donated to RMI’s special food box fundraiser. We have been able to give out over 5,000 boxes of food, which equals to 1,080,000 servings of food! ALL GLORY TO GOD! Jim has been a big part of that with helping load the boxes each time they go out and then RMI staff take it out to the different villages, churches & schools in need. Micaiah even took part one time and went and helped load food buckets as much as he could. This has been such a huge need and blessing to the Haitian people with all the country has gone through this past year.
The past month Jim has been busy doing various welding and other projects around the center and helping load food boxes to go out and be distributed. He is excited for teams to start in January when he can start going out with them and get to do that aspect of ministry as well.
April has had a chance to go out to a few schools this past month with the amazing Hope for Kidz team and Jim went to one as well. It has been such an eye opening and beautiful experience to be a part of. It is so humbling to see these kids who don’t have much, get so excited over something like new bowls and spoons to eat their donated hot lunch everyday. We were excited to be a part of handing them out and seeing the joy on their faces made our hearts full. We love RMI’s Hope for Kidz program because school in Haiti is not public or free, it’s private and it costs money, which most of them do not have. So in order to go to school, most of the kids are sponsored. RMI has around 2,700 kids sponsored so far, many more still needing sponsored. We serve a hot meal lunch every day to several thousand students in all of our schools. April was also able to help with the taking of yearly school/sponsorship photos for us to send out to each of person who sponsors a child. The child gets their previous photo after the new one is taken and it is so fun watching their faces as they look at a picture of themselves.
If you would like more info on sponsoring a child yourself through RMI, please let us know and we will help you. It is only $32 a month to help a child go to school, get all their uniforms, supplies and even medical care when needed. You can send letters, pictures or gifts occasionally as well and they write back too! We got to meet the boy we sponsor this past month and it was so cool meeting him in person and talking to him and encouraging him in his studies.
We are ending this year with VERY thankful hearts. We have around 77 families, churches & individuals that support us every single month so that we can be here in Haiti doing what God has called us down here to do. Without you, we wouldn’t be here so thank you for being a huge part of all the ministry work down here that RMI does because you are the hands that have sent us. You are just as much a part of this as we are! We are so grateful for you and we don’t have enough words to truly describe how much it means to us when we look at the list of supporters and see each of you giving faithfully, month after month. We know for many of you, it’s a sacrifice for your family and yet you do it anyways! Just think of the countless lives that will be changed because of what your family is doing! THANK YOU! Thank you to EVERY SINGLE PERSON in our lives that has prayed for us on this journey, helped or encouraged us in some way. It has not gone unnoticed and we love you all dearly.
For the sale of our home in Ohio.
For us as we continue to transition and learn the language.
We thank God for all He has done this past year and we are excited for this new year. We are looking forward to welcoming all the teams that are coming down soon and getting to do ministry with them alongside all of RMI staff here in Haiti this coming year! Happy New Year everyone! We love and thank God for you!
Love, The Starkey Family