Thursday, March 27, 2014

So Teach Us To Number Our Days

Wind rushes past my face as Jason maneuvers the open cockpit airplane through the clouds flitting by. Jayden is strapped in beside me and Justin sits across from me on some type of bench seat. There are a few more passengers in the airplane and although they look familiar I can't identify them. Suddenly the engine falls silent. In slow motion the nose dips forward, then plummeting downward the whole aircraft begins to spin.  I stare down at the green fields twirling beneath us, drawing steadily closer, but feel no fear.

"Mom, Mom." It's time to wake up! I open my eyes to a small figure looming over me. Blinking a few times, I force myself back to the present. I'm not in an airplane plummeting towards earth.  It was only a dream, the second time I've dreamt it in two days.

It could be that the missing Malaysian airliner has something do with it, I muse.

Turning my attention to my oldest son, I tell him I will be out in a minute. Since he now has to wait for the recently installed alarm clock to go off before he can get up it must be past 6:30 a.m..

Later that morning as I'm praying I'm suddenly reminded of the words in Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Life expectancy in Canada is 81, and in Haiti it's 62 but there's no guarantee we will get that old. In light of eternity even if we live to be a hundred years old our time here is still short.

What are we doing with the time God has given us? Are we counting our days and applying our heats unto wisdom? James 1:5 tells us If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Do these dreams mean I'm going to die soon? Maybe. Do I have to be afraid? No. Instead I will say with David. But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand:Psalm 31: 14-15a.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Sunday, February 16
Guest post by Daniella M.

It is nice to be back with the Krul family. We are so thankful the Lord has spared us through this week in this amazingly beautiful but yet poor and broken country! We are thankful we can experience life here, and will hopefully view our lives a little differently from now on. We have so much! If only we could be content with all our blessings and stop wanting more!  We will definitely appreciate things like water and food, being able to shower whenever, having power, and being safe without high cement walls draped with razor wire surrounding us.

Today we experienced church in Haiti for the first time.

Although much different than church in Canada, it was good to be there. The Pastor preached a meaningful sermon about Elisha and how the Lord opened the eyes of his servant to see the army of angels and chariots of fire surrounding them, and closed the eyes of the enemy. We pray He may open our eyes to truly see His grace and mercy toward us.

The girls attended Sunday school and learned about Jeremiah watching a potter mold his clay, just as God molds His people to be like Him.

After church we enjoyed some delicious soup and croissants. Later we went for a walk around the neighborhood.

The streets were quiet and there were beautiful flowers and trees to admire.

The houses we passed ranged from large, with big walls and gates, to shacks and tents with walls of patched-together tin.


Monday, March 17, 2014

God, our Wonderful Counselor

Where should we go for counsel, for understanding, for wisdom, for direction?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Isaiah 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Isaiah 40:12 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

Job 12:13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

Psalm 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

Psalm 119: 24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he 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 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

Psalm 16:7a I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Goodbye Anse Rouge

Saturday, February 15
Guest post by Daniella M.

I woke up feeling a little sad to leave today but also excited for our next adventure. The eggs at breakfast were delicious! I felt spoiled to have my dishes cleared for me but remembered I was helping to provide the workers a much needed income.

The girls were anxious to play with their new friend and we watched as they ran off together chatting and giggling. Life here is so simple and relaxed, yet fraught with many hardships as well.

I found an adorable little two year old Haitian girl to win over named Abigael.

At first she was very shy and wouldn’t look at me, but she slowly warmed up to me when I hung around and went to sit on the cement porch beside her. Before long she was building a rock tower with me, drawing pictures, holding my hand and playing “Ring-around-the-rosy”. Then we walked hand in hand down the village paths.

Later I decided to try help out in the kitchen so I went and asked Samuel how to say, “Can I help you?” in Creole. After a good laugh about how to say “Can I help?” instead of “Help me!” I entered the kitchen where a few ladies were cooking. I was not allowed to help but was soon offered a chair and told “chita”.

It was extremely hot as they cooked huge pots of boiling food over two open charcoal fires and I soon had sweat running down my back, but I didn’t want to leave so soon after being offered a seat!

Thankfully it didn't take that long before the lunch of rice and cooked greens was ready. 

After our meal I was allowed to help with the dishes. When that was done I found Abigeal again and after another little walk, I sat down in the rocking chair on our porch and she climbed onto my lap and promptly fell asleep.

“Li domi” (she’s sleeping) I told her mom who was scrubbing laundry nearby. When she was finished she took her little girl and said, “Mesi” (thank you). I realized it was time to pack up as the MAF airplane would be arriving soon to pick us up.

I quickly packed our things, swept the house that the girls already called “home” and got Jayci and Ani to change out of the matching night gowns they loved to wear.

Ani thought we should just put dolls in the plane and stay 100 days, but promised to take good care of our gecko.

We loved spending time here; everyone was so friendly and welcoming! After goodbyes and thank-yous for the awesome experience we hopped onto the plane with two Haitian ladies who needed a ride to the hospital.

We once again enjoyed the many different types of scenery on the way back; bare mountains, forests, small villages and finally Port au Prince again,  the city of over 4 million.
Some more photos of our day . . .



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Think About It

My friend wrote this morning: “It is tough to be in a position where speaking truth can cause huge amounts of conflict. “Romans 12:18 tells us. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

I’m a people pleaser. People who know me well can affirm that. I don’t like to ‘rock the boat’ or create conflict, but there are times as I pray and study God’s Word that I feel convicted to write about issues I’d rather leave alone. 

When you pray, “Show me God what I should do today,” beware, you may not always like the answer.

I grew up without immunizations. Until yesterday I never really knew why. Since then, I’ve learned that there are two main reasons: number one, getting immunized means you are not trusting in God’s providence, and two, immunizations may be harmful or dangerous.

As I prayed and mulled these reasons over in my mind these thoughts came to me.

God entrusted three children in my care, one unborn. I take being a mother very seriously and do everything to protect them and keep them safe. I feed them healthy foods, make sure they get enough sleep, give them vitamins, protect them from sunburns, insect bites, make them wear seatbelts, bicycle helmets, and give them medicine when they are sick. Knowing that there are serious epidemic diseases out there without a cure, I immunize my children to greatly decrease the risks of needless suffering which could even lead to death.

Does this mean because I do these things I don’t trust God will take care of my kids, or that their lives are not in His hands? Of course not! I’ve learned in the six years living here the truth of Psalm 4:8b “For thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” I do however have the responsibility to take care of the children He has given me to the best of my ability.

Are immunizations harmful or dangerous?
When they first come out, admittedly they might have had some flaws and side effects but they’ve been around for 100’s of years now and tested over and over again.

What about the MMR vaccines relation to autism?
According to Wikipedia, “Claims of a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism were raised in a 1998 paper in The Lancet, a respected British medical journal Later investigation by Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer discovered the lead author of the article, Andrew Wakefield, had multiple undeclared conflicts of interest and had broken other ethical codes. The Lancet paper was later fully retracted, and Wakefield was found guilty by the General Medical Council of serious professional misconduct in May 2010, and was struck off the Medical Register, meaning he could no longer practice as a doctor in the UK. Scientific evidence provides no support for the hypothesis that MMR plays a role in causing autism"

The diseases themselves are VERY dangerous however. Measles for example, can lead to viral pneumonia, acute encephalitis and corneal uleceration. It can cause death or birth defects in unborn babies, small children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. In poor countries like Haiti the potential death rate of measles is as high as 28% for those who aren’t vaccinated!

Then I have to ask myself; how can I put my children and others at risk, knowing there are safe methods to protect them from potentially deadly harm? How can I watch my child or others suffer, or even die, with the knowledge that I hadn’t taken a simple precautionary method to protect them, and assume that somehow glorifies God?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Another Day in Anse Rouge

Friday, February 14
Guest post by Daniella M.

I wake up to birds chirping, roosters crowing, goats bleating and Creole speaking women preparing breakfast. It had cooled down considerably overnight and I take a moment now to savour the village sounds and cool breezes floating through the open windows.

Later as I walk out of the back door of the guesthouse I see the familiar sight of children riding donkeys with water pails strategically placed in handmade saddle bags. I wonder how long they have been up already? I sure hope and pray they get rain again soon.

Nothing is impossible with God, I remind myself. 

After breakfast we head over to the school for Friday morning chapel. The teachers graciously offer us a seat in the back. As the children in their plaid uniforms and colorful hair ties turn around to look at us I start to tear up a little just thinking about the fact that many had already been up for hours hauling water for their families. Although I am certain they are tired they enthusiastically clap and sing.

Mckinlee and I also visit the Kindergarten class. The youngest children there are barely two years old! They are soon holding Mckinlee's hands, tickling her, and touching her hair.



While we are there, the girls receive dresses that a team brought along from Canada.  We help them put them on and take some pictures. They look so cute!

The boys of course want their picture taken too!

We then visited the Grade 3 class where Mckinlee hands out her cards. It is so neat to see two Grade 3 classes from two totally different countries connect through homemade cards!

The rest of the day we spent time walking around the village, enjoying the butterflies and birds, and trying out our newly learned Creole. (We had received a Creole lesson from Robinsen and I really enjoyed learning the words and using them to communicate with the kids.)

Dave spent the day working on the school roof with locals and a visiting team. He even met another Dutchmen who said, “This roof is verhipt!”

After a supper of pumpkin soup and bread we washed up, endured a visiting cockroach, read a Psalm of thanksgiving, thanked the Lord for His many blessings of safety and health, and soon thereafter fell asleep.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Thursday, February 13
Guest post by Daniella M.

Today we flew to Anse-Rouge, a remote village located in the north western part of the island. It was about a 45 minute flight in the MAF plane and Jason was our pilot. We loved the small six passenger plane and the amazing view of Haiti from above.

We could see small villages with donkeys walking back and forth and salt flats that looked like paint palettes.

Arriving in Anse-Rouge, we landed on a short rough runway that the villagers had made themselves. They had spent many hours clearing the area of thorns with only shovels, hoes and their bare hands!

At the mission we met everyone who worked for Lemuel Ministries and took a tour of the cactus fenced grounds. There was a church, a school still in the building process, homes and guest houses, a traditional Haitian kitchen with woven reads for walls and a tin roof, and a gazebo with a grass roof which served as the eating area. Everything was simply constructed but clean.

After meeting Ani, the daughter of the founders of Lemuel Ministries, the girls quickly got busy catching flies and geckos, collecting rocks and drawing with sticks in the dirt.

They soon became great friends, laughing, playing and jumping on the bed.

Many beautiful trees surrounded the area; we learned that the mission had initially planted and watered these themselves, as it is was too dry for them to grow naturally.

Currently the area is experiencing a severe drought since during Haiti's last rainy season they had not received a drop of rain.  Out of desperation the villagers even had to let many of their animals go to find their own food and water in hopes they would survive the drought. Besides that, the villagers children now had to get up at midnight every night to haul water on their remaining donkeys since the closest water source is quite a distance away.

A number of the villagers work for the mission to provide an income for their families and some of the woman cooked us a traditional meal of rice and chicken for lunch.

The guesthouse we stayed in was simple but nice. There was no power or water but there was an outhouse and shower house out back.

Dave got busy looking at the electrical wires in the Lemuel house and building the school roof.

Later in the day Lucson gave us a tour of the village. He had grown up there but now spent a lot of time in the Dominican Rebublic where he was studying to become doctor. His hope was to return when he was finished to be the village doctor since there were no real options for medical care right now.

The tour was a very humbling experience. We saw mud huts with grass roofs, scantily clothed children, and a few skinny goats, donkeys and chickens running around. Everything looked very dry and dusty.

The villagers had been feeding the animals they had left sorghum, dry stalks which filled their stomachs but had little to no nutritional value.  It costs $25HD a load ($3USD) and most only made one or two dollars a day.

As we toured the area we met a little girl and her sweet baby brother. I just had to hold him!

The people led hard lives, but were cheerful and friendly and happily let me take pictures.

I asked one man, through Lucson, if I could see inside his house and he agreed. Peeking in all I saw were some mats on the floor to sleep on, a string of clothes hanging up and a large knife by the door. Outside he proudly showed us his stockpiles of rocks which he hoped to use to build a new house one day. 

We also met an old, toothless grandma who quickly went to put her best dress on when she saw us and showed us her four grandchildren. "They all go to school," she proudly told us

As we walked, Lucson was very kind to the girls, holding their hands and saying, “Why shy? No shy. No shy.”

We walked all the way to the well where the villagers get their water and were told that the water is getting more and more salty and dirty. Many people were there filling water jugs, and washing! Lucson told us that the well is between 300 and 400 feet deep! 
On the way back we saw a mother grinding millet in a hollow log with her naked little boy clinging to her leg.

We learned that millet, which is kind of like rice, is pretty much the only thing they eat.

It was dark by the time we got back. After dinner we settled down for a good night sleep. It sure had been an interesting first day in the village!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Arrival in Haiti

Wednesday, February 12
Guest post by Daniella M.

We arrived in Haiti on Wednesday at about 2pm. After waiting an hour and a half for one airplane to leave causing us to miss our connection in Miami, we were very happy to finally reach our destination!

The girls were good travelers and we were very excited as we began to see the first glimpses of Port-au-Prince. As we deplaned the heat hit us; 37 degrees Celsius, what a change from frigid Alberta!

We were quite relieved to see Jason waiting for us; with him in the lead, we scurried through the line-ups and were soon looking for our bags among many other Creole speaking Haitians.

My excitement soon turned into nervousness as we stepped outside the international airport. Holding tightly to my girls' hands, we stumbled over the uneven, broken concrete as baggage handlers jostled to carry our bags. Thankfully we soon reached Jason’s vehicle and after cramming our suitcases into the back, we headed out into the city.

Our jaws dropped as we bounced over the rough, busy roads. Weaving our way through a maze of cars, motorbikes, tap taps, people, and kids in school uniforms, we saw a totally different city than ours. 
Brick or cement walls surrounded everything.  Small storefronts were colourfully decorated, while merchants dotted the sidewalks selling everything from clothes, food, and sugarcane to household appliances. Between the stores, tiny cardboard and tin shacks, dotted the overcrowded city.

As he drove Jason told us stories about city workers who filled a drain with cement but soon after other people came with pieces of cardboard and stole the still wet cement!

We made many turns on a variety of unmarked roads, some newly paved, but most still rocky and bumpy. After 2o minutes or so, we arrived at the Kruls' home. After a honk the big metal gate opened and we drove in to see a nice house and a yard with brown grass, and dry, dusty trees. We soon heard that rain had been very scarce in the past months. 

After touring the house and settling in our room, we hung out outside and watched the kids climb trees, warning them not to fall since a hospital in Haiti was not the place they would want to end up in!

Jason later told us many more stories about their time in Haiti and what it was like during and after the earthquake. One that really stuck out to us was how clearly the Lord watched over them during the earthquake, as most of the houses around them collapsed and theirs remained standing. Also, how they had all been in the house at the time and not other places that were completely destroyed where many others lost their lives.

After a delicious spaghetti dinner and discussing some plans for the week, we went to bed, tried to cool off a bit, and 'enjoyed' the many night time sounds of Port-au-Prince; dogs barking, cats fighting, goats bleating, horns honking and roosters crowing.