The first few months of this year have been very busy for us with many activities happening all at once.
The most obvious activities are around the secondary school’s multi-purpose building and the farm. As I mentioned in my last letter, our long-time home had to be destroyed to make way for the center. As I expected, it was very hard for me to watch it go down. I tried to stay away, but on the days I am scheduled to do classes, I had to go. I salvaged a few blocks and tiles to try to creatively use in our new yard. The group taking the house down was very safety conscience and made all efforts possible to bring it down without any workers or students being injured in the process. It took almost a week to get it down. We were told there was enough rebar used in building it that it was probably guaranteed to survive a couple more earthquakes if necessary. We will make sure the new center will be built just as sturdily. The group finished their work on a Thursday and by the next Monday Haitian workers were hard at work preparing the foundation for the new center. They are working with great efficiency and the walls will start going up in early April.
The farm is producing amazingly well. The students of L’Exode have already benefited from the vegetables of tomatoes, cabbage, sweet green peppers and eggplant being added to their lunch meals daily. There was also a short season of millet that gave them an option to the rice and cornmeal we have been buying. Currently there are 60 acres of land that is planted with corn. Once it is cultivated we will no longer need to buy corn. The corn and vegetables are growing well because we have the equipment for watering the fields from a nearby river. This is very fortunate since most of southern Haiti has not received significant rainfall for months and months. One buyer has already been found for buying the surplus to give us the money for buying the rice and spices and to help with smaller farm expenses.
In early March an HCDF board meeting was held in Orlando. It was a time of encouragement for us as well as clarifying and defining the future. While in the U.S. Jean and I had a doctor’s appointment for health physicals. Thank the Lord all our tests came back in the normal ranges.
However, that just made me remember that some of you may not know Jean broke his smaller leg bone. It was a clean break that did not break the skin and did not require pins or any kind of surgery. It did require that he wear a cast (which was well signed) and use crutches. The cast came off just before the trip to the board meeting. He is still moving slowly with a slight limp, but he is doing very well.
Recently the whole community had the joy of watching a Fond-des-Blancs soccer team play against a team from Port-au-Prince who are a promotional team for the current President of Haiti. Before the game we were told the promotional team had never lost. Our game with them ended 2-2 so I guess they can still say they haven’t lost, but our community counted it as a win. Jean made sure each of the FDB players got to play. They scored two goals while the opposing team made their two with a goal and a penalty kick. It was a very exciting afternoon.
The day before the match Pastor Jean Francois sponsored a youth day at the school that the young people from all the station churches attended. It was an all-day affair of singing, learning and fellowship.
The farm is located five miles from the rest of our ministries. The creek that has always been near us is drying up and the local farmers must depend on rain which still isn’t coming. Do pray for them as well as your usual prayers for the ministries of HCDF.
He is Risen!!! Let us Rejoice and be Glad in it!!!!
Yours in Christ,
Joy L Thomas