April brought rain, and May is the rainy month. We'll see how much more we get. Rain brings mosquitoes, and I'm dealing with them as I type. Ouch! Mosquitoes bring malaria. Times like these make you want to take that chloriquin (?) tablet. Mmmm. :)
The cement house is all blocked up and getting ready for the roof. We're right on schedule and right on budget. The head mason is doing a great job. I like to sit in the new house and imagine how it'll be when finished. This is a fun stage.
I taught English to school teachers last week. We worked on pronunciation especially. There's a moment when you're teaching sounds that people start to get it right, and the class of Haitians sounds all-of-a-sudden like a group of americans. It can catch you off guard. That happened a couple of times last week. I'm teaching English more lately. I'd like our town to export English teachers...good ones.
I had to do a rapid intervention yesterday evening...domestic squabble. There was a machete involved, and a drunk man. Those episodes can go bad quickly. This one ended fairly well. I was glad to see several young men come and get involved. Sometimes people tend to watch. I always feel so bad when people are acting irrationaly when I figure how much they will regret it when they're done. I just feel like I have to jump in and help diffuse the situation.
Had a great Sunday. Led worship, taught Sunday school, helped kids present a sketch, played a trumpet duet, and led worship and taught a bit in the evening. On days like those I'm so glad that I can be here. Teaching is feeling better and better lately. Looking forward so much to July and ASAPH Teaching Ministry full time.
OH! We got word today that the container (my buildings and supplies) may be on its way soon. Perfect timing! God is soooooo good.
A couple of Sunday's ago I listened in as a teacher in our church worked with a few adolescents who had gathered to rehearse some Bible sketches. He asked them what they knew about God. Two young gentlemen rattled off a list of attributes: omnipresent, omnipotent, all-knowing, holy... I smiled because I knew those boys learned about God when they were children in our Sunday morning kids program. Teaching is all about seeing people grow.
I've been teaching Creole to a couple of new WFL missionaries. And I've been teaching English to our teaching staff also. It's neat being in the middle where you're able to help people on both sides.
We read a couple of the minor prophets here at my house in devotions lately. I didn't know that there are songs there, too. The Bible has music all through it. Amos sang. And Habakuk sang.
I also ran into Asaph Music School...or somthing like that. I found it on-line. It's a church musician apparently inspired (like me) by the story of Asaph. He does on-line courses for church musicians.
The building they are building for me is taller than I am now. Everyday it goes higher. I'll have photos
Construction. Putting pieces together to create something bigger and better than the individual parts. We're busy constructing in two different areas. The ASAPH board of directors is busy working on tax-exempt status. Lots of forms, lots of calculations, lots of arranging and planning. We're well on our way and may be able to actually send our application to the IRS this week. We have our own EIN number, we have the ASAPH name approved by the state department of PA. Big steps on the way to building a ministry.
Physically, we're constructing as well. The shed is up and in use. It'll house my 'extra stuff' plus all of the construction equipment and supplies that we'll use to build the cement room and two steel buildings. Thanks to Jason Stoltzfus and his team for setting up the shed. It's great! And right on time.
The masons are (right now) wiring together the steel poles that will be the inner strength of the 16 x 16 cement room that will be my office and bedroom. It's building number 1 on the construction list. If all goes will, it may be up sometime in May. Three dumptruck loads of sand are here, and the foundation is dug.
Yesterday I had the priviledge of listening to a teacher working with our adolescent group that does little theatre sketches from time to time. He was asking them about God. Two of the young people rattled off a fine list of things they new about God...He's holy, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient...and what all of that means for us. I smiled. They learned those things when they participated in our children's program. It's a great program that step by step introduces kids to God and the relation between God and man.
Keep praying for ASAPH Teaching Ministry. OH! We had a meeting last week...we're planning the first academic competition among four area schools. It'
It's not everyday you get to preach the Easter Sunday message at a church. I was given the opportunity to do so this year here in our congregation. They let me know on Saturday. It's such an amazing story. We looked at how the Ark of the Covenant crossing the Jordan River in Joshua 3 is an image of Christ being ahead of us in death, and taking the stinger out of death for us. We cross without getting 'our feet wet'. The Bible is such an amazing book. The place where they crossed is the same place where Jesus was baptized all those years later. Baptism itself is a picture of death and new life. Amazing stuff that God put in that book!
On Saturday some kind missionaries here in Haiti with Jason Stoltzfus put a cement pad for my shed. Today, Monday, they built the whole thing. This is the first building I've ever really had. It's about 9' by 11'. It's a special feeling having your own space. It is on rented land, and, well, I haven't paid for it yet, but.... It's a big step #1 either way. We're on schedule to begin construction of the cement room this month (see the 'buildings' page).
I've had time to begin preparing some things for the future. I've started a series of ten 'assembly programs' that I'll offer to neighboring schools next year. I'll touch practical lessons in math, science and language plus Bible and moral lessons all in one hour of fun video and song. I've also started working on a Vacation Bible School where I'll teach on the Tabernacle in Exodus. And a series of 5-minute radio programs to be aired on a local Christian station is also in the pipeline. Lots to do. Help me pray
Palm Sunday. The triumphal entry into Jerusalem...filled with rumblings of violence and treachery. Jesus knew all about the end of the week and just kept on. Each day probably got tougher and tougher. I feel that swell when I'm leaving PA for Haiti sometimes. You count the days and check them off. Three more. Two more. One more. Final night. How hard that must have been for Jesus knowing not only the pain of separation from the Father, but the physical abuse as well! So glad he did it!
We re-enacted Palm Sunday with our kids at church again this year. Donkey's aren't that hard to find...or palm branches. It was exciting to see 'him' arrive. People here identified with it more this year because we just lived through the president's visit.
Reading through John's version of the final week again. You should, too. Count how many times the word 'believe' appears from the Lazarus story to the end. And the themes of light and dark. The more I read, the more I find.
We have plans to put up a small storage shed this week. I'l
Missionary in Haiti.