Hello friends! We will try and keep this newsletter short but have some important details and prayer requests in it that we’d like to share with you.
After our last newsletter in February, when we shared about the teams we both were able to go out with and all of the exciting ministry things we were starting to do, our organization had to cancel teams after March 13th due to the spread of Covid-19 in the world and borders being closed down. Once the first official case came to Haiti, we decided to quarantine due to a few factors including less medical care in Haiti and April having asthma. We went out and stocked up on food for a month and sent home our house staff, with pay, so they could stay with their families as much as possible too.
For Jim and the boys, the first month of quarantine went really well and the boys handled it great. We think because of us going through peyi lock (country lockdown) in the fall, it conditioned us for this. Being homeschoolers before Haiti anyways made it a simple and easy transition to school the boys from home. We are blessed to have a yard for the boys to run around in and plenty of beautiful sun to brighten each day.
However, that month included a lot of health issues for April and a lot of pain. Friday will be 6 weeks that she has dealt with some severe gastrointestinal issues. Many days it left her in bed for most of the day and in pain. After the first month of it, we decided it was best to come back to the states where she could get tests, medical help and the right foods and supplements to help her heal. It was a very hard decision as our home is in Haiti and other than her health, we were doing well there. No flights can come into Haiti but they seemed to allow flights out every week or so.
Last Friday we flew on a small 6 seater plane with MAF missionary pilots from Les Cayes where we live to Port Au Prince to await our flight out of the country the next day. Our organization tried to book a hotel for us but they were all booked. Praise God for answering our prayers for lodging and friends of ours who live in PAP and had been staying in themselves, let us come and stay with them last minute and took us to the airport again the next day. From PAP, we flew to Fort Lauderdale, then Atlanta and then finally to Cleveland. It was a crazy 33 hours going through 6 airports, 4 planes, 4 cities and 2 countries but God was with us the entire time and we saw time and again the way He provided for us and led us. He gave April more strength then she had had in a long time to get through that day too.
We were so blessed to have access to a place to stay during this quarantine time and as April is healing. Friends of ours, parents, have a place that they weren’t using and so for the time being are letting us stay here, which has been such a HUGE blessing to our family. April’s sister and Jim’s parents dropped off more than enough food before we got there, for us to last the two weeks we are in quarantine from our travels, before we can go out and get groceries. April’s best friend dropped off before we arrived, many healing foods and other things to help her.
April has had a phone appointment with two doctors now, a gastroenterologist and her regular doctor. She has some blood tests and a CT scan of the abdomen coming up. Our guess is it’s a stomach ulcer, gastritis, pancreatitis or something along those lines but we won’t know until the tests are done. She hurts everyday but some days are worse than others so she is so grateful for the days she can sit out with us and help the boys with their schooling. Other days she is in bed for most of the day. We do feel some healing is happening in whatever it is that she has but that she has a long road still to full recovery.
So where does that leave us? Well we weren’t planning on coming back to the states until mid July for our furlough because April’s niece is getting married September 12th. With April’s health issues, we now had to come almost 3 months early so we are not for sure how long we will be here. It all depends on how fast April heals and what happens with this Covid-19 situation and the government opening up etc. We are not sure if we will stay until the wedding and then head back to Haiti and do work throughout the summer remotely from our laptops and speaking at places if the country opens up or if we will go back sooner if April heals and then come back for the wedding. What we do know is that GOD KNOWS and we trust Him. We will look forward to the day we return to our home in Haiti. We already miss everyone dearly and the life God has started for us there.
In the mean time, RMI is still busy and helping as much as they can even during this Covid-19 situation. They have been reaching out to the churches and pastors throughout Haiti that we partner with and checking in on them and sending updates to the churches in America that are partnered with them. It’s been beautiful to read the correspondence and how they are praying for each other. RMI is also doing a LIVE zoom today actually with all of the churches in America that come down and do ministry with us. Thankfully so many things can still be done online and with computers so we are thankful for that. There is also school construction going on in Barth that is really needed there and so in that area there are no confirmed cases and they are working hard to try and get this school done for the children by September.
QUICK FUN FACTS:
*Micaiah our middle son turned 7 in March and celebrated his first birthday in haiti.
*Micaiah lost his first tooth and was very excited as he had been waiting a long time.
*Our family even during quarantine, was able to celebrate our first Easter in Haiti and spent the week remembering all that Jesus did for us. We had fun doing a reenactment play of Palm Sunday outside. Reesie our dog was the donkey and we had plenty of palm branches to use.
*Prayer for April’s health and healing for all her gut issues.
*Adjustment for the boys and our family as we adjust to the cold, to life here in America since it’s so different from Haiti and much different than when we left it 8 months ago due to Covid-19.
*For God to show us even through this time, what He wants us to do each day and how we can be fruitful in this season.