Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Upcoming Events

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Annual MAF Garage Sale,
Plant Sale, Car Wash & BBQ Luncheon

at the Unity Christian School Hall on McNaught Road, Chilliwack, BC, Canada

Donated items for the garage sale may be dropped off at the above location, Friday, June 3 between 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.

Proceeds go to supporting our work with MAF in Haiti.

Monday, June 27, 2011

MAF Banquet Fundraiser - British Columbia

We hope to do a presentation about MAF and our work in Haiti at the NRC Fellowship Hall
located at 8920 Broadway Street
Chilliwack, British Columbia

(space is limited, RSVP by email

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MAF - Dessert Evening - ALBERTA

We hope to do a presentation about MAF and our work in Haiti at the Bethel Free Reformed Church Fellowship Hall
Located on highway 3A, 15 km west of Lethbridge

For further information email us at

Rumor has it...

Rumor has it that the reason for the burning barricade and demonstrations near our home was because a baby had died and someone had left the corpse in front of the school on Delmas 83, just past A Simon. The police had been contacted to retrieve the body, but didn't come initially.

After five days the baby's corpse began to create quite a scent. People wanted the corpse removed, but when this didn't happen, they demonstrated. They barricaded the road in front of the school on 83 and additionally burned tires at the corner of A Simon and Delmas 83.

The result was that people got the attention of the police and the police came and removed the corpse and the barriers.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it would explain why no one was angry or protesting.

It makes me sad to think that someone could just leave a child's body on the street and also sad that the only way for the people to be heard is for them to build a road block and light it on fire.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Very Present Help in Trouble

“The Apparent Project sure was a bee hive of activity.. ” I stop in mid sentence, not believing my eyes.

“What is that?”

Two vehicles ahead of us several men are pulling large branches and tree trunks across the road forming a barricade. Seconds later the pile bursts into flame.

I rub my eyes. Is this real?

Honk, Honk. The two vehicles in front of us are trying to back up.

“What is going on?”

“I have no idea,” Gene Jones replies nervously, backing up our vehicle too.

“Me neither,” adds Jan, his wife.

“I thought everyone was happy with the election results and I haven’t heard anything about protests, so what’s happening?” I wonder out loud.

Unsure of what to do Gene backs up some more and we wait. Craning my neck to assess the situation further I notice that other then the burning barricade not much seems to be happening.

“I don’t think any vehicle is getting through that anytime soon and I don't know a different route, so I might as well walk home from here, it’s not far.”

“Okay,” the Jones’s reluctantly agree.

I lift Jayden and his stuffed doggy Cocoa out of the car and say goodbye. Holding them both in my arms I cautiously make my way to the burning road block.

The Caribbean sun reaching its zenith, burns mercilessly while the added heat of the blazing fire makes the temperature almost unbearable.

Ignoring the heat I edge closer while continuing to assess the situation. From my vantage point I can see that several tires and a bag full of garbage have been added to the fire.

I look around to see who is responsible but it’s hard to tell. A crowd is beginning to form but they seem more curious then fearful. Several bystanders have begun directing traffic. I glance at the street vendors and notice that they’re not moving. Everyone seems relatively calm.

I watch as several motorcycles and people make their way past the barricade to the right without any problems so I decide to do the same. Keeping my eyes wide open for trouble, I carefully make my way towards the barricade. Still holding Jayden, I do my best to shield him as hot ashes and soot blow at us.

No one stops us.

Picking up the pace now, I hurry on. Reaching the bend a police officer in an unmarked vehicle pulls to a stop in front of the fiery barricade. He looks at it for a moment and then backs up and turns around. Seeing Jayden and I he rolls down his window.

“Tout bon?” he asks.

I nod, I’m okay.

He looks at me doubtfully, and I offer a weak smile. I guess I look worried. When we’ve rounded the bend I put Jayden down and reach for my phone. Jason doesn’t answer, but when I call Christine she does.

“It might have something to do with an accident,” she tells me. Her house is only a stone’s throw from the burning barricade so she promises to keep an eye on it and send out updates.

Calming my pounding heart I send a silent prayer upward to my Father who is everywhere present.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cleaning and Dreaming

Achoo! Dust tickles my nose and I sneeze.

I pick up a pair of shoes and proceed to load them into Jayden’s cart. Once the cart is full Jayden pulls it proudly into the bedroom and dumps the shoes on a pile. With our trip to Canada a mere month away it’s time to crack down on organizing and cleaning. Binders, books, papers, shoes, clothes; everything gets piled into the cart and transported from the closet to the bedroom floor.

Dust swirls through the air. I sneeze again. I think I’m allergic.

Jayden loves helping. “Look at this Mom!” He says over and over again holding up some random object. When he finds 3 skull caps in Jason’s flight helmet box he’s ecstatic!

“Look at my hat!” He pulls on a red one and then passes me a yellow. I pull mine on and giggling we check out the results in the mirror.

“Mom, look a fish puzzle!” Hat still on his head he gets to work. Two seconds later it’s pulled apart and five seconds after that it’s all back together!

Just then a crack of thunder rumbles. I check my watch, it’s only 2:00 p.m.. Rainy season is here. Through the open window I feel the breeze pick up. It swirls the dust around in the closet. I pull myself up of the ground and move closer to the window. A cool breeze on a hot day, what a blessing. Looking past the screen and bars I see dark clouds rolling in.

“Looks and feels like rain Jayden.”

Several minutes later a gentle rain falls, cooling the humid city. Finding a spot on the floor beside Jayden I close my eyes and dream of grass fields, cool air, and mountains with thousands of trees. Canada. Only four weeks away!

My thoughts drift over the faces of family members and friends; it’ll be so nice to see them again!

Pushing the puzzle aside Jayden nestles down beside me.

“When are we going to Grandpa’s house Mom?”

“Soon Jayden.”

“Can I feed the horses carrots and play with the little Tigger and Winnie the Pooh and Piglet?”


“But it’s first my Thomas Birthday right?”

“Yes, your birthday comes first.”

He sighs contently and then we both close our eyes and continue to dream.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Safely Home

Wednesday, May 4

After 28 hours of traveling I finally catch my first glimpses of Port au Prince. I press my face against the glass to get a better look. Almost home!

Eight minutes later the plane lands smoothly and I take a moment to thank God for bringing me home safely. It doesn’t take long to de-plane and minutes later we’re on a bus to the main terminal. When the bus stops and the doors open I catch sight of Jason. I run toward him and hug him. There’s nothing like 12 days away to realize how blessed I really am with such a wonderful man. He hugs me tightly and then teasingly pushes me away.

“We’re in the airport you know!”

I laugh and hug him again. It’s sure great to see him!

We head through customs together and then wait with Shelley for our suitcases. Once we have them all Jason drives to the domestic terminal. He needs to do more flights today so Dieucon will be dropping us off. At the terminal Jason hops out and Dieucon hops in.

Driving through the rugged streets I can’t stop smiling. It’s nice to be home. Blue skies, palm trees, friendly people, unpaved roads, Caribbean heat. I turn to Shelley and we agree that though China was great, we’re glad we live in Haiti.

After 20 minutes of navigating rough roads we stop by Shelley’s gate. Dieucon and I help unload her suitcases and then it’s my turn to get dropped off. As we turn onto Rue Barbancourt I’m met with the familiar sight of a half a dozen UN soldiers. Even though things have been quiet since the elections they’re still there. I wave at them and they wave back. I then lean over to honk the special pattern so that Anoud knows it’s me and can open the gate.

A minute later we pull in and Anoud rolls the gate shut behind us. As Dieucon turns off the car I hop out and run to the stairs. Running up I meet Jayden halfway. He looks at me and blinks as if he can’t believe his eyes. Considering that he thought that just like Jonah, I had been swallowed by a big fish, I guess to him it is a miracle! Getting over his surprise he launches himself at me and I catch him in my arms. “I love you Mom!” he hoarsely whispers as I squeeze him tight.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hong Kong

I dip my feet into the cool water and then slowly lower myself into the pool. It’s perfect.

I sigh, and then stretching my tired, aching muscles I tip my head back to scan the night sky for stars. Surrounded by skyscrapers only a small square of sky is visible from the pool deck. Between the lights of Hong Kong and the haze of cirrus clouds I can’t spot a single one. For a moment a pang of loneliness tugs at my heart. I really am on the other side of the world.

Shaking the mood I continue to do stretches and then start to swim laps. As I swim my thoughts drift over the sequence of events that made up today.

The morning had started early. Up at 7:00 a.m., I had quickly checked my hotmail account for any emails from Jason. Having all access to our blog and website blocked, China finally even made access to our shared gmail account next to impossible. Thankfully I had an old hotmail account that still worked and now I sign in. Sure enough, a message from Jason. I scan its contents, type a quick reply and then get to work re-packing my backpack and suitcase. Today is our final day in Guangzhou and it’s going to be challenging and busy. Challenging because we are without our translator and busy because we need to pick up all our fabric and beads from the individual shops with a van we somehow need to rent and then drop them off at a warehouse that we haven’t been to yet.

With the help of a bellboy we manage to carry our suitcases down the stairs and check out. Shelley walks to the main road to hail a cab as I wait with the luggage. Thankfully she is able to explain to the driver that she wants him to drive into the back alley where our hotel is located. We load the taxi and then hand him a business card of the first shop we need to go to. Since the narrow street is a one way the taxi driver needs to do a three point turn to get us back on the main road. Apparently he’s never done one before and Shelley and I look at each other as he struggles to turn the taxi around. What did we get ourselves into?

Our first stop is the Fabric Center and since from there we need to rent first a bicycle carrier and then a van we let the taxi go. Sitting on top of our pile of luggage I wait as Shelley finds a bicycle carrier. She gives him three business cards with addresses where the shops are located and then off they go. Shelley rides on the back and I laugh and take pictures, so far, so good.

They return 45 minutes later with all the rolls of fabric we had previously ordered.

Now we need to rent a van. Shelley finds an information booth with English speakers and asks one of the workers to come with her to hire a van and driver.

They pull up together a few minutes later and we load the van. Since the seats are out, I get to balance on top of the rolls of fabric.

We hand the driver the business cards of the bead shops and we’re on our way. When we finally arrive at the main entrance we are unsure of what to do. The van is not allowed to park here and we don’t know how to make our way through the side streets to get to the loading area of the bead shops. Thankfully one of the workers from the bead shop walks over and shows us the way. Once again I wait as Shelley goes to the shops and with the worker in tow explains where are van is parked so the boxes of beads can be loaded.

Now our final stop, the warehouse. Judging from the confused expression on the drivers face, I’m certain he has no idea where it is. Sure enough, he takes many wrong turns, and stops to ask for directions 6 times before we find the warehouse.

Since today is one of a three day Chinese holiday, we are grateful to see that the warehouse guard is there and can open the large sliding doors.

Together with the driver and guard we unload all the boxes, label them, and then put them in the correct spot.

Now, if all goes well, we will see our cargo again in about 6-8 weeks in Port au Prince.

Heading back to the van, Shelley pulls out a map and points to the train station. We need to catch the train to Hong Kong. The driver makes us pay extra, a lot extra, but by now we’re too exhausted and happy to argue. At the station we eat our last bite of McDonalds and then buy tickets for the 4:30 train.

By 6:00 p.m. we’re in Hong Kong and take a taxi to the airport hotel. After checking in and collapsing on the bed, I change into my swimsuit and make my way down to the pool.

Now, feeling the cool water around me I relax my tired muscles. Looking up into the night sky, I thank God for His providential care over us today. So many times He sent people are way to help us. All glory to Him.