Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Whirlwind Trip

Our time with Jason's sister Esther, and her husband Garold flew by! Their visit consisted of a mix of family time, visiting various missions, ministry opportunities, and exploring the country. We traveled to the south coast, the central plateau and the north coast all in a matter of days! 

The boys loved having their Auntie Esther and Uncle Garold around.

Thankfully all three boys were great travellers as we dragged them from one place to the next!

Out on Haiti's roads we borrowed vehicles from other missionaries, or rode public transportation consisting of motos and tap taps. The tap taps were always fun as you never knew who you would be sharing it with! On one particular time we had a crate of 14 chickens clucking at our feet! 
The traffic and changing scenery were never boring either!

Since the MAF office was closed a few days around Christmas we could utilize an airplane to visit different missions and different parts of Haiti.

Haiti from above was always fascinating.

We saw everything from the crowded capital,

to the downtown markets,

to sandy coastlines and mountains covered in shimmery stratus clouds.

We also flew over and laster visited the Citadel.

We explored deserted beaches,

And utilized local water taxis.

We visited Amiga Island,

admired coves and cliffs, 

and waterfalls and basins. 

We chatted with locals doing their laundry,

and those who made a living spear fishing.

We partook in a pig roast in one of the villages we visited,

and had fun with three silly boys.

We organized a fruit program in a local orphanage and a Christmas program in the village.

It was a blessing to share and spend time with old and new friends.

At night, as the sun set, we talked about God, faith, family, and life. 

And even though I know I failed at times, God would gently remind me again and again of the words found in Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Update

I can't believe it's already half way December! There is so many things I want to write about, however keeping up with three active boys, and the reality of living in the third world means time to sit down and write is very limited! Even now I have a list of other things I should be doing, but since these two awesome people hope to arrive tomorrow, I wanted to quickly get an update in before I get too far behind. 

Jason, my handsome man, is working hard, like usual!

As part of the Christmas rush he helped out with transporting Christmas boxes from Samaritans Purse.

It's not all hard work though! Apparently, sometimes he just hangs around and eats cake!

Perks of being a pilot I guess! (He was gifted a piece of birthday cake from one of the missionary kids in the village he flew to!) 

All three boys are doing well! Jayden is a very kind hearted boy. This is a note he wrote me recently.

This past week he lost his first tooth, a very exciting event for him! At age 7, he was the last one in his class to lose a tooth which has made him quite frustrated on more than one occasion. When he came home from school on Friday with a very wiggly bottom tooth he was, of course, over the moon! "Mom!" Do you have an apple for me?" He begged.

But even with all the biting and chewing and wiggling, that stubborn tooth just held on tight! I tried to remind him about the value of patience, but when it still had not come out the following day, he begged me to pull it out for him. With the help of a tweezer it came out without a hitch and I had one happy boy, who according to him, 'tried very hard not to be proud'!

With Christmas approaching, we decorated the house to make it more cozy,

The boys loved it of course! I even found a snow 'recipe'. With two cups of baking soda and a quarter cup conditioner you can make some really great snow!

We even made a snowman without our hands getting cold!

Jayden also designed his own wrapping paper, which was a lot of fun!

Justin still struggles with the terrible twos at times. Here he decided he preferred to eat the long, unflavoured, uncut noodles out of the pan.

He can be really sweet too though. Especially with his baby brother 'Zander'.

Today he payed me the highest compliment he could think of by calling me a 'good boy'! Aww.. 

Alexander is the smiliest, friendliest baby I know.

He reminds me of the quote I once read when I was a kid: "Some people look at you and birds begin to sing!" Yup, that is Alexander, or Alex, or Lex, or Lexi or Zander, for you. He has a lot of nicknames, the latest one being 'rooster' as he has this funny tuft of hair that sticks up no matter how often I try to wet it down! 

For Christmas I got two very great gifts so far! Our toilet after many, many months is finally fixed and (can you believe it) the road in front of our house is PAVED! It wasn't a long process either, as roadwork often is here in Haiti. Within a matter of two weeks we had asphalt! Here is the event in pictures:

and now.. Voila!

Jayden said it now looks like we live in California! I'm not sure exactly why but something about the black colour of the asphalt apparently! 

The new road has significantly decreased the amount of dust wafting into our house daily for which I am very, very thankful! 

Finally, I promised to share some "life lessons" I've learned during our time here so here goes: 

One thing that really struck me in the 6 years we've lived here was how people from very different countries, cultures, backgrounds and denominations could work so well together. How could people do it so well here, when back home people, cultural groups, churches and denominations often had the tendency to be so exclusive? What was the secret? I think I found the answer in this quote from Augustine.

"In the essentials, unity; 
In non-essentials, liberty; 
In all things, charity. "