Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Summer Days - By Justin Krul

Hi! I am Justin and I am one year old! 

Mom thought it would be fun for me to be on the blog for a change so hear I am! 

Don't you love my hat?

My brother wears one too! I think we look like scary soldiers in these Tupperware helmets!

My brother is hilarious, by the way!

I love him a lot!

What else has been happening here in Haiti? 

Well, a few days ago Mom decided she had enough of the pests invading our home and yard. Singing 'I can't take this anymore I had enough', she spent hours emptying everything out of the kitchen.

 I helped too, sort of.

She said I helped her 'van de wal in de sloot', that's Dutch for 'from the bank into the ditch', so I guess I wasn't super productive!

Then she drove us to the store and stocked up on cockroach spray and glue traps. That night she wrapped a bandanna around her face, (just like a robber!), and she sprayed the whole kitchen.

Don't mess with my Mom! Especially if you are a cockroach!

The next morning...

Yes, totally disgusting, I know.

 Here, you can have a closer look!

I knew you wanted to see that!

The glue traps, meant to catch the rats outside, have so far only caught a gekko and a cat! The cat did manage to get away but left half of her whiskers behind on the trap! Mom was not too impressed! 

But enough about our pets, I mean pests! 

We had a visitor this week too! Djempsky came to visit us again from the village!

If you want to read the story about his first visit just click here. It was fun having him over!

Mom took us all swimming at a nearby pool. Djempsky could swim very well as he often swims in the river close to his home!

I love swimming and playing in the pool too!

The next day Daddy took Djempsy flying with him and he saw the ocean for the first time in his life.

He couldn't believe how big and wavy and salty the water was. He didn't dare to swim out too far because he was worried a shark might eat him up!

Dad taught him how to hunt for crabs which he though was pretty cool! 

Dad forgot to tell him crabs can pinch sometimes though! Oops!

While Daddy and Djempsky were out flying, we had a picnic outside in the grass. 

In the corner of the yard where the bougainvillea drapes over the wall, Mommy found a shady corner. 

When we finished our snacks, we rested on a blanket and looked up at the sun filtering through the trees.

It sure was a nice way to spend a warm summer afternoon!

Well, that's all for now! Hope to share again sometime! 

Love, Justin

Friday, June 14, 2013

To Know Him and to Love Him

I don't normally publish the same articles on my blog that I write for our mission magazine or newsletter, but since receiving an email from a reader what an encouragement this article was to her, I felt compelled to post it on our blog as well. 
Over this past year, in the quiet moments as I studied God’s Word and prayed, God impressed a truth upon my heart that I now feel called to share with you: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) 

Serving others is important; whether that is for us here in Haiti, or for you in Canada or the United States. I can make a list of how we serve others, but then, so could you. The truth is, you don’t have to be in Haiti to serve and love others, wherever we are, we all need to emulate the example of Christ, who “..made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant..” (James 2:7a) But loving and serving others is NOT the first and great commandment. 

What did Jesus tell Martha when she complained that Mary wasn’t helping her serve others? Luke 10:38-42 38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. 

How can we love a God we do not know? Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:22-23 by saying: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” 

And God says in Hosea 6:6 “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” And in Hosea 4:6a “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:” 

Don’t waste your time seeking the things of the world, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) Don’t spend your time only on physical sustenance, but heed the words of Jesus when he said “..It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) 

He urges us in Isaiah 55:6 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39) “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8a) Try it. It’s simple and it’s true. It doesn’t say, “Draw near to God and He MIGHT draw near to you.” No, it says “Draw near to God and He WILL draw near to you. And the more you draw near to Him, and He to you, the more you will get to know Him. And the more you get to know Him, the more you will love Him. And then you can say with the Psalmist: “I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.”(Psalm 116:1-2) Then it doesn’t matter what trials and struggles you may be going through, for the “joy of the Lord is your strength”. (Nehemiah 8:10b) 

So I urge you dear readers; seek Him, draw near to Him and He will draw near to you, and when you find Him, for you will, for He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him; (Hebrews 11:6b) tell those around you about Him and urge them to seek Him as well. 

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” (Hosea 6:3) Then we shall be like “..a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. (Psalm 1:3b) 

Then when trials come, like they inevitably do, we won’t fall, for we are founded upon a Rock, “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:25b) Then you can say with the Psalmist;“I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”(Psalm 104:33) and “I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.”(Palm 13:6) 

Everything else pales in comparison to the first and great commandment; to know and to love God above all. There is no greater joy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Jeremie Adventure

'Don't follow me.' I read the words on the car in front of me and laugh. What? Don't follow me? Does he mean no tailgating? Or is it maybe a line of his favorite Kompa song? Or did he just paste that on his car because he thought some English words were cool?

Shaking my head, I ease into the left lane and pass him. He doesn't want me to follow him; fine, he can follow me! 

30 minutes ago, Jason had called to say there was a seat open on his flight to Jeremie. Since Justin was still under two he could sit on my lap, but since he wasn't sure if there was another seat for Jayden I quickly made some arrangements for him to play at a friend's house.  I had been pestering Jason for weeks to let me fly to Jeremie with him and if there was an opportunity today, I wasn't about to pass it up!

Just yesterday Jason had flown in there and had taken pictures of a sunken submarine right off the coast, very close to the airport.

Seeing it made me want to go explore!

Packing the necessary swimming gear and pre-making a few bottles for Justin, I was ready to go in no time flat.

Now, in front of me, traffic slows down to a crawl. I sigh. I really hope I make it on time. 

My cell phone rings and I quickly answer it. It's Jason.  "Will, are you almost at the airport yet? The team is here and as soon as their bags are weighed we have to leave." 

"Traffic is pretty slow, but I will do my best. Hope to see you soon!"  I hang up and inch forward. The white patrol in front of me slowly starts to pick up speed, so I do as well. A minute later he slams on his breaks. Having almost no time to react, I stop a mere centimeter from his back bumper. A pedestrian on the sidewalk, looks at me, points at our almost touching bumpers and shakes his head. 

Breaking eye contact, I give myself a little pep talk. "Okay, Will, in a hurry or not, you are definitely not going to be going to Jeremie today if you rear end someone."  

Leaving more distance now I pray for extra patience. 

Ten minutes later I'm at the domestic terminal. Whizzing through security, with Justin on my hip and my pink bag flapping behind me I slip right in behind the team who are just heading out onto the tarmac. Perfect timing!

Once everything is secure, passengers are seat belted, and checklists and briefing are complete we taxi to the active runway. Behind us, American Airlines holds short, waiting for us to depart.

Once airborne, I pass Justin his first bottle and get myself comfortable. When we reach open ocean I play with my camera settings and try to take photos of the sailboats floating in the ocean beneath us.

A little further along I catch sight of some amazing little inhabited islands. 

I can't imagine living on something like that! One little storm and your house is gone!

50 minutes later we have Jeremie's runway in sight. Since I haven't seen it before I marvel at its length.  

Turning the airplane for final approach, Jason focuses on executing a smooth landing while I snap pictures of the jungle below.

Once our Cessna 207 is on the ground and off the active runway, Michael Broyles, another MAF pilot lands a larger airplane, the caravan, with the rest of the team members.

Setting Justin on solid ground again, he flashes me a big toothy grin. It's as if he's saying;"I'm all ready for this next adventure Mom!"

Piling into and on top of a pick up and trailer we catch a ride with the team to the beach cove about 5 minutes down the road. Waving goodbye to the team, Jason, Micheal, Brandy (our temporary MAF flight scheduler), Justin and I hike down to the cove of Anse D'Azur. Ruins of an old fort cling to the sides of a cliff overlooking the ocean.

Stopping at a lookout point, we pull out our cameras and admire the views.

Wow, it sure is amazing!

Making our final descent we reach the powdery sand.

The 180 degree view is beautiful!

Minutes later we are in the water. Leaving Justin with Brandy on the beach I swim  out to explore the sunken submarine with the guys. The afternoon waves are fairly strong and very quickly a wave sucks me under. Coming up laughing and sputtering, I stop to blow up the swimming ring I had brought with me. Having trained as a lifeguard in my previous life, I know the importance of safety and always being prepared.   

Reaching the sub I adjust my mask and snorkel and dive down. Stripey tropical fish dart around the conning tower and drive shaft. It's amazing to explore this piece of history that's been here for over a 100 years! Once I've finished exploring, I pass the mask and snorkel over to the guys to use. Leaning my forearms on the top of the exposed sub I quickly pull them back. Ouch! Stinging coral. Warning the guys, I keep a safe distance. Once they've also had a turn to explore we swim back to shore.  

Jason and Micheal then go on to explore the caves as I spend time with Justin and Brandy on the beach.

Digging in my pink bag, my big baby helps himself to bottle number two.

Since clouds are starting to roll in, the guys don't want to wait to long to head back. Using the remnants of a second building as a change room, the guys pull on their pilot uniforms over their wet, sandy bodies.  It might not be the most comfortable flight home for them!

Hiking back up the path I pause to photograph some pretty flowers.

On the main road again, we flag down some motor taxis and hop on for the short ride back to the airport.

There is (apparently) always room for one more on these taxis!

Back at the airstrip the pilots ready the planes and we climb back on board.

Goodbye Jeremie. Till next time!

Justin waves at the disappearing city beneath us as his Daddy plays with the controls.

Admiring the view from my window, I continue to snap photos.

More tiny inhabited islands, dot Haiti's coastline.

A little later, I snap photos of Micheal and Brandy passing us in the caravan.

Jason then decides that there's no time like the present for his youngest son to take his first flying lesson.

50 minutes later we have Port au Prince insight once again.

Friday, June 7, 2013


After some of my prior posts about mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats and tarantulas, heat and humidity, back pain and viruses I felt compelled to write about thankfulness. 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 

This past Wednesday, in part to celebrate Jayden's birthday and in part to just take a much needed break we spent the afternoon at a beautiful hotel. Some of the hotels here in Haiti allow you to swim and eat at their restaurants without actually having to spend the night there. 

Surrounded by plants and trees we soaked in the beauty of God's creation. 

We enjoyed the refreshing pool, 

swimming between hundreds of beautiful tree blossoms. 

Our sweet Jayden, who sadly asked me whether cockroaches went to heaven when I was in the process of slapping one with the fly swatter the other day, rescued a drowning bee. 

It was beautiful to watch it slowly recover from its near death experience before flying away.

For a snack we shared a delicious piece of cheese cake. 

That night, back home again, as the sun set,

and mangoes ripened on the counter, 

and my two tired boys fell fast asleep, 

I quietly thanked God for everything.